Hello, my people. I actually got a comment and an alert from people I don't know, so yay. Virtual cookies for those gorgeous humans. (Yes, I'm weird.)

*Disclaimer that shall stand for this entire story because I'm lazy like that*

I don't own this fairytale. Otherwise, I'd probably be long gone. However, I do own my character's personalities, their names, the twists of this plot, and whatever else I own. *pulls out shotgun* SO BACK OFF.

Scowling at my best friend, I followed him down the hallway, rushing to keep up with his long strides. He'd wanted to talk, but apparently, it was somehow possible for us to be overheard in the completely deserted hallway.

"Stryker?" I call, stopping.

He spins. "What?"

I hesitate for a moment, staring into those eyes that somehow suddenly seem so empty. He was always happy. Always. I remember almost every time I felt like breaking down, he was there to crack a joke, and my world seemed a little bit brighter.

It was my first day at Brookefield. I had absolutely no desire to be there, even though Stryker and I were going together. I'd known him since we were five, and we were very close, but I was still walking alone. I just didn't really want to see anyone. Footsteps came running up behind me and an arm was thrown playfully around my neck in a choke-hold. Stryker's voice came floating into my ear from somewhere behind my head.

"You're avoiding me."

"No." I drawled, sarcasm lacing my voice. "Why would I do that?"

"Laugh all you want." He shot back. "But I think you should get a monkey."

I stared at him.

"They're very good companions, and their company is much better than that of a unicorn." He stated matter-of-factly. "Not to mention, they are very comforting and can be trained to throw poop at one's enemies."

With that, he walked away, leaving me to wonder what on Earth he'd done to discover this, but with my mood considerably brighter. I walked to my first class, a bounce in my step and a tiny grin spread across my face.
*End of Flashback*

I take a deep breath.

"What's going on?"

He shakes his head and motions for me to follow him as he walks straight out of the school.
I bite my lip so hard it draws blood before following him.

A straight and a couple of turns later, we've stopped in front of a dilapidated building. It's completely black, but a shade of which where it almost looks burnt, like charcoal. I stagger forward, almost falling straight onto the door, which reeks of a certain smell that I couldn't quite place. Suddenly feeling cold, I pull my hoodie sleeves over my pale, trembling fingers. I feel the presence of a hand on my shoulder and jump about a foot in the air. Stryker raises an eyebrow and I shake my head, curling into his side. I'm not usually a wimp about things, but something about this place gave me the creeps.

Stryker drew in a sharp breath that almost seemed to pain him before shoving me gently towards the door. I look back at him uncertainly, but there's a cold decisiveness written across his face. Almost feeling betrayed, but having no idea why, I opened the door and stepped inside, closing the door in Stryker's emotionless face. Gaze firmly on the ground, which was littered with sharp tools and things to trip over, I travelled to a solitary door in the corner of the room. It took me a long time to see that Stryker was right behind me, fingering something inside the sleeve of his shirt. My heart leapt into my throat and he nodded at the door. Stepping inside, I took in the dim lighting.

It was pretty grotesque, actually. The air had a thick, grubby feel to it, making it incredibly hard to breathe. Something dark and sticky pooled in a corner. It was a dark color in this light and, based on my current situation, I'm assuming it's blood. A draft breezed in through an open window, freezing me despite my thick hoodie. I briefly wished my jeans weren't so torn up from overuse. Startlingly enough, Stryker seemed absolutely fine. A thick layer of dust covered everything in sight.

Well, everything but a bearded, dark-haired man sitting menacingly in a corner, and his two black-clad cronies beside him.

"Ivory. You've kept us waiting for a long time."

Confusion filled my mind, and my pulse jackhammered inside of me, instincts screaming to run as fast as I could. There was malice filling their eyes, and I'm almost positive I was shaking, and yet, I couldn't stop an overwhelming sense of indignation from filling me from head to toe.

Even considering that, my voice came out as a mere whisper.

"Who the heck are you?"