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Death Howls

                                                                       CHAPTER ONE
                                                                         THE DREAM   


There he stood in the midst of the forest, in front of a raging fire. The flames soared well above his head nearly touching the tip of each pine branch hanging down. The colors in the flames were quite unusual. Bright greens, blues, reds, and yellows were unlike the normal colors of yellow-orange I saw from a fire.
As he continued to gaze into the flames, he raised his hands up over his head, and spoke in an unknown language, summoning spirits. When several apparitions appeared inside the flames, I no longer could understand what was being said. The speech sounded Latin.
I kept still as much as possible peeking from behind a large rock.
As he continued speaking to the apparitions, he kept his arms up, and steady as though performing an incantation while he chanted, repeatedly. While he continued to recite the words the flames grew higher with the apparitions moving outside from the flames, surrounding him.
The figures looked ghostly, not having faces of their own. After a brief conversation with the apparitions, the five figures vanished into a large puff of smoke.
I shivered, not from the chill in the air or the dampness from the now forming dew, but from the images in each hologram that disappeared. When the last hologram dissipated, he fell to the ground. He sniffed up into the air like a wolf, as though picking up a scent ready to devour what lurks.
He steadied his vicious gaze, looking in my direction. His eyes changed amber, like that of a cat’s eye. Terror filled inside me, causing my willowy frame to stiffen. I watched his actions becoming like a raging beast. But he appeared human, not like the distorted creatures that appeared outside the flames. I clearly saw his face, but could not quite distinguish who he is, only that he has a fair complexion.
His sandy-blond hair draped nicely down, covering his ears. His clothing is all black. Black long sleeve shirt, jeans, jacket, and Nike tennis shoes.
He appeared familiar, but from his distorted features, it was difficult to distinguish. When I stepped onto a twig, snapping it in two pieces, he swirled around, and met my gaze, staring evilly into my hazel eyes. I could feel my souls being swallowed from the intensity of his gaze.
He hissed violently, putting fear in every inch of my bones, causing every bone to stiffen. I was unable to move. It was as if epoxy glued my joints in place, fusing them together.  .
Slowly, like a snail crawling on the ground, he approached me. I stood frozen like an ice sculpture unable to move. Even if I wanted to move, I was too scared to budge an inch. His icy blue eyes pierced my hazel eyes as he stared directly at me. I felt my heart pounding faster, and faster, unable to catch my breath.
His face showed no emotion like a corpse lying in a casket. Stiffly he stared at me without expression until he dropped his jaw. Fright entangled the inside of my intestines like barbwire that swirled around the top of a prison wall, twisting every speck of organs inside my body, causing a twinge.
The only sound I could hear were my bony knees knocking together. They sounded like the branch of a tree hitting against a window. I became petrified. I felt the color from my dark tan wash away when he leaned towards my face. He reached for my chin, gripping it tightly in the clutch of his hand. He held my chin tightly like a baseball in a catcher’s mitt.
He pushed my auburn hair to the side, pulled my face to his. I trembled, feeling my face fall back. I almost lost balance, nearly falling to the ground. I felt his rapid breathing as he pressed against my now pale cheeks. I became more terrified, fearing he was about to take my life by snapping my neck.
I knew I was unable to prevent what is about to take place, not that I am strong enough to fight him off. When he squeezed my jaw down, forcing my mouth open, I did not know what to expect. There was no way I was going to kiss him. I prayed to God my life is spared. He opened his mouth, widely, placed his lips over mine, and sucked in deeply.
 I could not breathe.
Bluish-gray vapors released from the opening of my perfectly round mouth. I began choking, finding it difficult to take a breath. He stopped for a moment, and continued sucking the life from me until the bluish-gray vapors were completely released.
He reached into the side of his jacket pocket, pulled out a small glass vial, and blew the vapors into the vile, sealing it with a cork. Once he finished, I felt my slender body slide from his draped arms, falling beneath the tree I had been under. I then wallowed between the fallen pine needles, and dirt.
I lay on the hard ground. It felt like several hours elapsed. When I opened my eyes, I looked up at the dark sky, watching it spin around like a carousel. My vision was blurred. The stars and moon looked distorted. After several minutes, which felt like an eternity, I began to make out shapes of my surroundings.
 When I could finally see clearly, his devilish eyes glared down at me. But his eyes were no longer icy-blue, but crimson like the dress Scarlet O’Hara wore in the movie ‘Gone with the Wind’.
His face looked pallid like the paste I used back in kindergarten when the teacher taught us to paste colorful objects on black paper. His jaw was still wide open. He breathed heavily. I felt like screaming, but the problem is my tongue seemed to be snarled around the inside of my stomach. This of course made it difficult to utter any sound.
He extended his left hand down to mine. Did he really think I would give him the time of day for nearly killing me, and scaring me half to death? I barely had any strength to reach for his hand, but this was going to be able to stand back up. I healed up my right hand, gripped his hand firmly in the palm of his rough hand.
When I faced him, my first reaction was to slap the smirk from his face, wrestle him to the ground, and destroy him. But something inside my mind told me this was impossible. I was not sure why or how I got to this forest. The last memory I had, I was sitting at my desk, typing a report for my history class that’s due on Tuesday.
I could see something different about the person; there was something too familiar about the way he appeared. But with a covering around his face, it was difficult to make out. Then I heard a voice inside my head that said, “He’s immortal!”
I stood weakly, gazing into his now bluish-gray eyes, trying to identify my attacker. Suddenly, his face returned to normal. To my surprise, it was Ryan, my former boyfriend. Instantly, I became pissed-off.
“What did you do, Ryan?” I cried, feeling tears roll down the sides of my cheeks. “Answer me. I demand an answer!” But no words passed from his sour lips.
All I felt in my heart was hatred for what he has done. I cussed at him. I called him names I would never use. Ryan looked shocked when I called him a bastard. I have never thought of calling him anything until now. All he could do was smirk to one side. It was though he felt he accomplished something important, and I still was not sure what he actually did to me.
I stared steadily at him, trying to break through his thoughts. And when I did, I heard sounds of several voices. His thoughts ran deep, and many things were on his mind. One thought that became shocking, even to me. And that was Ryan just stole my soul.
I laughed, and laughed hard. He turned from me when the wind began to blow. He looked up into the sky. A large black apparition swooped down, and covered him like a blanket. I stood motionless, without any laughter.
 I could not hear any words being spoken. Then Ryan said, “I understand. It will be taken care of.” Whatever that meant, I was not sure. I was not sure of anything except that I wanted to go home.
He set a devilish stare at me that caused me to wonder what would happen next. I no longer could read his thoughts. And I knew now the life I have would be over soon. What I read from Ryan’s mind is something that changed him, forever. And he did this to me.
Ryan walked towards the flames. The glow from the moonlight shined down on him, radiating his flawless body. I knew then at this moment, Ryan was immortal.

*******

Waking up to my favorite song, ‘My Immortal,’ by Evanescence, I could not be glad enough when I looked around my room. “It was only a dream,” I said to myself. “What a nightmare!”
But when I looked at my cell phone and saw what time it was I sprung from my bed, with all six pillows flying to the floor, and tore off my red silk pajamas.
“Oh shit, I’m late, again!”
Darting to the bathroom, I spotted bloodshot eyes in the mirror. My eyes looked so bloodshot it looked as if I smoked marijuana. Bags and dark circles were also very noticeable. Quickly I washed my face, applied the proper amount of moisturizer, then the foundation to hide the dark circles.
 Being in a hurry when I grabbed the toothpaste, it squirted out all over the sink, and across my hand. I knew already this day would not be good, and being a sixteen-year old life never went according to plan.
After brushing out my tangled rat’s nest, I grabbed my Gucci purse, and trotted out the door, running to the bus stop as fast as my skinny legs could get me there.
“I really need a car,” I said, coming to a dead stop.
I reached the bus stop just in time for the bus to pull away from the curb. I waved my arms in the air, yelled at the top of my lungs at the bus driver to stop. But she smirked and continued driving away. I knew she saw me flapping my arms around like a bird in flight.
“Damn it!” I yelled, with arms still swinging in the air. “Bitch!” I knew she saw me. Especially with the silly ass grin, she gave as she drove off.
Just when I turned around to walk back home, I heard a loud noise from a motorcycle. I stopped and Jimmy rode his Suzuki 750 right past me, and pulled over to the curb.
For a sixteen year old, he really has his life together. He knows what he wants out of life, and that is becoming a rock star. He formed a band called ‘Distant Future’ back when he was in the sixth grade. He spends endless hours daily practicing his music in the garage his father converted into a music studio.
 Every weekend, after he comes home from the beach with his surfer friends, the band members meet at his house, and practice their songs. Jimmy wrote the majority of the songs, and co-wrote three songs with his good friend, Brad Lion, who resembles John Lennon. Brad even wears glasses like John Lennon. Brad’s parents were huge Beatles fans back in the 60’s.
 Jimmy’s father was in the music business, back in the 1960’s until he had an injury while surfing in New Zealand. A shark attacked Richard during a charity event. A Great White took a bite from his leg. After the doctors successfully grafted his leg where he was bitten, an infection spread through his leg. Richard walks with a limp now. Richard gave up surfing, but taught Jimmy and his five brothers how to surf.
“Want a ride?” Jimmy said overly cheerful, reaching for my backpack.
“I guess.” I was heading home to go back to bed. I yawned, widely. 
“Hop on, and hold tight around my waist.” Jimmy revved the motorcycle, and we pulled out, and headed for school.
Once Jimmy pulled into the parking lot, the bell rang. Last minute seniors drove their sport cars, Jeeps and Monster Trucks through the parking lot, revving up the engines.
“Friday night on Signal Hill, I’ll race you for pink slips,” yelled Kyle Smith to Jack Fletcher, who just drove his Cherry Red Corvette his father bought him for an early Eighteenth birthday present. Jack revved his engine back at Kyle’s black truck.
“Thanks for the ride,” I said, taking my backpack from Jimmy. “I am glad we have a four day weekend. I’m awfully tired.” Jimmy smirked to the side, fastening his helmet to the lock on the side of the motorcycle.
“Don’t you take multi-vitamins, and eat organic food?” he asked with innocents, walking through the parking lot. He waved hello to a few people in his photography class. “Hey, I got the pictures developed for you.” He shouted to Ben Gilmore, a lifelong friend of his.
“Yeah, but I think I might need to upgrade the multi-vitamins I take. Scooby-Doo chewable doesn’t seem to do the job anymore.”
“I guess not,” said Jimmy, smiling brightly. He shook his head back and forth ruffling his fingers through his blondish brown hair.
 Veronica Collins walked by. She smiled warmly, and said a cheerful hello, batting her eyes at Jimmy. I could have barfed right there.
“He’s taken, and dating Renee Jeffries!” I snapped, glaring darkly. Veronica is a senior and has the hots for all the cute guys. Even if she is dating the cutest guy on campus, Justin Parker, captain of the varsity football team.
“Hey, that wasn’t very nice,” said Jimmy coarsely, bumping my arm. “She is just being friendly…”
“A little too friendly!” I defended. After all, Renee is my BFF. “I saw how she looked at you, batting her eyes, flirting!”
Everyone rushed through the parking lot, the baseball field, and the middle of the quad area to hurry to their classes. Teachers were seen coming out the doors of the teachers’ lounge, pulling their roll-a-round backpacks. It reminded me when my surrogate parent, Scott, and I was at Los Angeles airport over the summer, on our way to Hawaii.
Just when I thought it was safe, I heard a squelching voice behind me. It was Miss Applegate, my councilor. She stormed out from the double doors of the administration office.
“Kristina, I want to speak to you in my office,” she said in a stern, annoying voice. My back stiffened instantly. Out of all the eleven councilors in this school, I have the one who is most annoying. I turned around sharply, and glared. I had a feeling she would stop and corral me in her dungeon.
“I loathe her,” I whispered, looking at Jimmy. “I don’t believe I’ve ever hated anyone as much as that woman.” Slowly, I walked towards the double doors, dreading this conversation. I knew what Miss Applegate wanted. And that was to discuss my tardiness, truancy’s, and more than likely, my grades.
Jimmy whipped around me, quickly. I do not know why. He is a straight ‘A’ student. Maybe I embarrassed him, and he did not want to be seen associating with me while at school. He walked across the freshly mowed lawn, humming a tune from his latest song, ‘“Forever.”
“What are you talking about, Krystina? You hate everyone here. Ok, nearly everyone,” Jimmy shouted back, on his way to photography class.
“You know me pretty well,” I nodded. Miss Applegate just stood impatiently with her arms folded across her chest, snarling in my direction. She held a stack of folders in one hand, waving one around as if it was about to take off in flight any second.
I tried squeezing past her, but this was not easy. She only left enough room for the door to be open. Her overweight body took up the whole space of the open door. I excused myself to get through, but she snarled with her piercing brown eyes through her red-framed glasses like a Rottweiler, and spitting between glares.
“I’ll see you during lunch,” Jimmy yelled at the top of his lungs from across the quad. We’ll meet at the bleachers…”
“Okay, see, yeah,” I yelled back startling Miss Applegate. She jumped back, knocking the folders from her arms, spilling them on the ground. Yellow folders fanned out in several directions. Some papers blew across the grass when a light wind blew. She scurried in her four-inch stilettos, almost tripping on the grass when her heals sunk into the grass. It took everything I had to hold back the laughter.
“Allow me to help you, Charlotte,” said Mr. O’Connor in a soft voice. He bent over exposing his small tight ass. I raised my left brow. He was young, attractive, and sexy. The prep squad and cheerleaders were always seen swarming around his office during lunch. He loved the attention. When he was a teenager, he modeled for Glamour Magazine. His wavy blond hair, blue eyes, and golden-brown tan had all the girls talking about him.
“Sweet,” I said before taking a seat as far away from the administration doors.
I am glad I wore my long sleeved sweater. The counseling office is normally cold like the inside of a walk-in freezer. I cupped my hands under my armpits to keep them warm.
Then I sneezed a few times. Mrs. Bartley pulled her brown knitted sweater off the back of her chair, and wrapped it around her shoulders. I am not even sure why she is still a secretary here. She must be older than Moses. At least she looks that old. Her hair is snowy white, and wears small black framed glasses. She has more wrinkles than a crumbled piece of paper.
Miss Applegate and Mr. O’Connor talked for a few minutes before entering back into the office. I sat crunched down, head against the wall, trying to keep warm. My fingers were frozen.
I hoped the Hunchback of Notre Dame would forget all about me waiting in the office, and walk past me. She looked in a good mood. Mr. O’Connor had her laughing. But no such luck. She spotted me. She cleared her throat, and pointed towards her office. I pulled my weary body from the blue plastic uncomfortable chair, and shuffled to her dungeon.
She held the folders tightly in her hands, rolled her eyes as I walked past. With twisted eyebrows, she glared harshly. Butterflies filled my stomach. I though that at any moment I would be sick. She stood in the doorway of her office, grunting as I slowly walked in her direction.
“Hurry up, Krystina. First period is going to be over before you walk your first step inside the door.”  Her voice was deep, and stern.
I ignored her. At least I tried. She made it impossible. She glared at me as if I’d just been sentenced to the gallows. Standing in the doorway, Miss Applegate reminded me of a woman’s prison guard. She stood stiffly. She was wearing a gray suit, and her hair was pulled back tightly in a French roll. Her red-framed glasses were pushed up to the center of her nose. She squints her eyes together, glaring like a rattlesnake ready to strike.

I sat down in the bright orange cushioned chair. My auburn hair felt out of place. When I reached for my comb Miss. Applegate sat at her desk, tossed all the folders to one side, all except for mine. 
She opened the folder with much hostility, flipping the pages violently. I picked at my fingernails. After turning several pages, she finally stopped, sat back, crossed her arms over her chest, and peered at me.
She opened the folder with much hostility, flipping the pages violently. I picked at my fingernails. After turning several pages, she finally stopped, sat back, crossed her arms over her chest, and peered at me. 
“We need to discuss your grades,” she said, reaching for a pink piece of paper from the vanilla folder that lay turned to the side. Miss. Applegate looked over the pink paper as studying for an exam. I waited to speak until she addressed me again. 
“Well, Kristina your grades are not quite up to par. How in the world do you expect to get into a good college?” She paused, breathed in deeply, and handed the pink paper to me. I do not know why she gave me the paper. I already knew my grades. Well, at least I thought I did.
I pushed back my long bangs that hung down below my lips. Slowly, I glanced over the sheet that had all my grades on them, for every class, and each semester. To my surprise, most of my grades looked better than I thought. What was she so hysterical about anyway? With all the truants, I maintained an average GPA.
“By the look of this, I am doing pretty well,” I said with a silly grin. I placed the pink paper on her desk. Sat back and waited. She placed the pink paper back in the vanilla folder, and quickly closed the folder.
“These grades are not pretty good. In fact, they’re horrible. You have potential, Kristina,” Miss Applegate sighed heavily. I knew I had potential, but going to college after I am sprung from this institution hell hole is simply out of the question.
“The deal is, Miss Applegate, I don’t plan on going to college. I’m going to be a model for GQ. So I don’t really need any damn education,” I said huffily, stomping my foot to the ground. I didn’t realize at the time that she could suspend me for being disrespectful. 
“I’ll ignore your attitude, and get right to the point,” she said containing her rage. I felt the coolness of her voice. “A good education is important no matter what career you choose,   especially speaking proper English. As your grades indicate, you’re receiving a ‘D’ in English.”
“Well, who needs to take English anyway? I already speak the language. Besides, I read more than my share, and write all the time. I keep a daily journal. And just last week I finished reading Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.”  I bit the hangnail off that kept bothering me since I walked into the counseling office. Miss Applegate looked irritated.
She makes it sound like I am a high school delinquent or a group home kid reject. Miss Applegate paused long enough to collect her thoughts before speaking again. I knew she must be goaded when she breathed in another deep breath. She took off her red-framed glasses, tossed them to the side of the folders. She reminds me of Sally Jessie Raphael. I found a vintage episode on YouTube. It was a reality talk show during the 1980’s through 2002.
Miss Applegate looked blankly. Her large brown eyes stared right through mine. At that moment, I could feel the tension and wanted to escape the torment I felt. I also knew I had better choose my words carefully until I was free from her office. 
“Krystina, I am going to recommend you take English Literature, along with grammar over the summer.” Then she pulled out a long yellow paper out of her desk drawer, and started writing. At least I can say one thing nice about her. She has great penmanship.
“SUMMER SCHOOL!” I shouted, swallowing hard. I do not have time for summer school. I will be at the beach every day. And if I have my way, I’ll be inside of a studio being photographed in Peris, France.  “I can’t go to summer school,” I pleaded, pushing my body forward from the butt ache I got from the hard chair.  
“I’ll be handing this form into Mr. Cassie. It’s for the best. You’ll see,” she said cheerfully as if accomplishing something great. For me, it felt like a death sentence. “I’ll be mailing a copy to your guardian this afternoon, along with an educational plan and other suggestions for classes to take over the summer.”
I held back the snarled glare. I even bit my tongue, and forced a fake smile. I became so nervous. Both of my feet started to tap rapidly on the floor. For a minute, it sounded like I was tapping the funeral march. Miss Applegate looked up at me and smiled warmly. She knew she just ruined my whole summer. 
I placed my index finger to the left side of my cheek and thought for a moment. I was thinking of a way to get out of going to summer school, and still make up all the classes. Then out of the blue the idea came to me. I could be homeschooled. I kept this idea to myself and smiled. 
“You’re right, Miss Applegate. Summer school would do me good. Thank you very much,” I said perkily, trying not to throw up. Miss Applegate reached for a small white tablet and scribbled a letter.
“Here,” she said. “Give this note to Mr. Collins. He’ll excuse your absence from history.”
As soon as I left the counseling office, I crumbled the two-inch paper into a tight round ball, placing it inside my jean pocket and headed to the nearest bathroom across the quad area where all the cheerleaders and jocks hang out during break and lunch. 
When I looked into the mirror, my hair looked like a rats nest. It was all tangled and twisted into knots. I could have put my finger in a light socket and it would look better. Thankfully, I had my trusted comb in my back pocket. 
“Aw nopeit’s gone.” I stared frantically at my reflection and said nothing. 
Finally, it was lunchtime. Many of the seniors drove off campus to gather at the sandwich shop a few blocks down from the school. The varsity football team, cheerleaders, and the surfers normally gathered around the quad area. 
The freshmen and a few sophomores were seated in the cafeteria, like schoolchildren with their lunch trays in front of them. The geeks of the school sat far in the back, against the wall. Their group consisted of anyone who wanted to join them. Sometimes, the most popular girls, like Veronica Collins, would be seen talking to Mark Daniels. He was a senior and head of the Science Club, and probably one of the smartest guys on campus.
 Veronica wanted to attend the same college as her boyfriend, Raymond Phillip, and needed to be tutored in Chemistry, and Algebra. Like Veronica, everyone who needed help with their classes knew where to turn. And that’s at the geek-squad table during lunch. All the geeks knew they were being used, but it made them look good with beautiful women swarming around them during lunch. 
I couldn’t wait until two o’clock. I had been looking forward to this four-day weekend for months. At least, since winter break. Monday is President’s Day, and the teachers decided to take a floating holiday on Friday, giving us a four-day weekend. I am going to sleep in, and bask by the pool. But there is a history report that’s due on Tuesday. Ugh! 
Just when I thought my hair would stay frazzled all day, my BFF walked towards me.
“Hey kiddo, what’s up?” Renee looked at me wide-eyed, staring at my snarled hair. 
“Got a comb? Mine fell out of my pocket on the way to school!”
I put my fingers through my hair a group of jocks strolled by. They turned around and laughed. Jason Collins, Veronica’s twin brother made sly remarks. I rolled my eyes, turned away, and looked at Renee. She dug through her Coach purse looking for a comb. I didn’t care what style comb she had, as long as I am able to tame this rat’s nest. After a few minutes, Renee pulls out a red gigantic comb.
“Here, this should do the job!” she said bubbly, with a cheerful grin.
While I struggled to comb out the snarled, twisted knots, I told Renee I wasn’t in any mood to stand in an enormous lunch line waiting to purchase overpriced food. Last year ended the junk food craze at our school. No more soda machines, candy bars, and greasy potato chips were sold on campus. Instead, we have the option to purchase nutritional healthy sugar snacks, fruit drinks, and greasy vegetable pizza. 
Capitalism is what my Scott refers to institutions that gauge the pockets of teenagers, teaching them early about how legal it is to rob the public. Luckily, the food trailer just opened. Renee and I quickly stood in line, being the first to the window.
“So, did you get into trouble? Jimmy told me in Physical Ed, Miss Applegate corralled you into her office. 
Renee pulled out a bright yellow change purse, and handed a five-dollar bill to the freckled face kid that stood in the food trailer, staring at my hair.
“Don’t you know it’s not nice to stare?” she said, taking the vegetable sliced pizza, and a container of milk. “Keep the change, and get yourself a haircut. Looks like your hair could use updating!” We giggled loudly, walking away. 
“Miss Applegate wrote a recommendation that I attend summer school,” I said screeching, trying to tear the knots from my long hair.
“WHAT, summer school. Damn. I thought you wanted to go to Perris, France?” Renee looked as surprised as I did a few hours ago. “Too bad. What classes do you have to take?” She asked, walking towards the football field. 
“Ouch!” Looking down at my palm, a chunk of reddish-brown hair fell to the ground. I handed Renee the large red comb. “All the classes I am doing poorly in. English, Algebra, and whatever else she comes up with.” 
Renee shook her head, pulled her purse tightly around her shoulders. The sun was unusually bright, and warm. But I felt cold as ice. Normally, I wear a shirt underneath my sweaters, but being in a hurry, and waking up from that awful nightmare I forgot.
“There’s Jimmy,” Renee said, gleefully. Jimmy sat on the aluminum bleachers waiting for us. He fumbled through his brown leather backpack, and pulled out his Ray Bands. 
“Hey there, sweetie, how’s your day going?” he said as she sat near him. The two of them instantly lip-locked for a few seconds. I shook my head a bit, and turned to look at the football field. The track and field team was running laps around the field.
After Renee and Jimmy exchanged saliva, I joined them, sat on two benches down from them. The warmth of the sun heated the aluminum bench. I didn’t know why I felt so chilled. I hoped I wasn’t catching the flu.
“Hello, Krystina. What happened with your counselor?” Asked Jimmy as he reached into his backpack and pulled out a red Pringles can, and a bottle of Coke.
“Breaking the rules, again? You’ve been hanging around Krystina too long,” said Renee as she took her first birdie bite of pizza. I swear this girl could eat her way to China, and never gain an ounce. 
I opened the cranberry juice and drank half the bottle down. Jimmy shoveled a handful of chips in his mouth, and then swallowed down his can of Coke. It’s surprising he doesn’t have an acne problem with his diet. Maybe it’s the salt from the ocean that keeps pimples away. Jimmy is active on the weekends, and not just with Renee. He goes to the beach every Saturday, and surfs. Renee goes with him, sits on a large beach towel, and does homework. 
“So, Kristina, are you serving detention?” Jimmy asked, staring at Renee. Pizza sauce was smeared across her lips. “Allow me to get that for you.” He took the tip of his index finger, and wiped the pizza splatter, then sucked his finger clean. 
“You could call it that,” I bitterly answered. Jimmy wrinkled his brow confusingly.  I glanced over my shoulder and saw Josh run by. He smiled his pearly teeth in my direction. “Miss Applegate went out of her way to destroy my summer.”
Renee giggled, slightly. “She’ll be joining the rest of us over the summer,” Renee said drinking her milk. Jimmy turned his head, didn’t look shocked for one moment. 
“Oh, Kristina, the trip you planned to take to France will be ruined....” Jimmy tried holding back the snicker from his lips. “Sorry, I know how much it means to you. Don’t feel too badly, though. In spite of my grades, my parents feel summer school will benefit me somehow.”
“And you see a bright side to this?” I asked. Jimmy shrugged his shoulders, and pulled out a roast beef sandwich from his pack back. Renee continued to eat her pizza.
 I put the cranberry juice down, ripped open the trail mix bag, and looked across the field. Josh spotted me again, waved his long hand, and then tripped over the hurdle. Coach Wilson yelled at him to pay attention. I held back the laughter.
“Are you coming down with the flue? Your complexion is looking a bit pale,” said Renee concerned, pushing her blue square framed glasses on her nose with her left hand, and taking a drink from the milk carton. 
“I hope not. But I do feel chilled. I can’t seem to get warm.” Jimmy leaned over, placed his palm across my forehead. His hand felt warm, and soothing. 
“You don’t seem to have a fever,” he said, giving Renee a peck on her right cheek. 
“Want to hear the crazy dream I had last night?” 
“Sure. You’re always having unusual dreams,” Renee said leaning forward. Jimmy took the last bite of his roast beef sandwich, placed his left arm around Renee’s back, and leaned forward. 
After sneezing a few times, I reached into my purse, and pulled out a Kleenex. After I blew my nose, I collected my thoughts of the nightmare. I wanted to get all the details correct, not leaving any out. When I told Jimmy and Renee about the nightmare, I began having a vision of the account that happened. Renee reached over, placed her left hand on my shoulder, and asked if I was all right. I jumped back and gave her a horrifying glance. 
“That’s one hell of a dream you had,” Jimmy said, looking sensual at Renee. “The dream I woke up to, was you and me making love on the beach.” Renee nudged Jimmies side, causing him to slip off the bleacher. I smirked, slightly. A lover’s quarrel I thought. Made me miss Ryan, but not after the dream I had.
“Wow! What a dream you had, Jimmy,” I said. Renee looked embarrassed, unable to say a word. I breathed in heavily, took a deep breath, and drank down the rest of the cranberry juice.
 “I bet you can’t wait to call Ryan, and tell him that you had a dream that he was a demon,” Renee blurted out in short laughs
Renee is my BFF, and we share everything, except boyfriends. We’ve done everything together since our first swimming lessons at age three. We even went on our first dates together, double dating twin boys while in junior high school. We even started our periods at the same time. Growing up with her has not been dull. But when she and Jimmy started dating last year, things changed. We would double date when Ryan and I started going out. Well, until Ryan and I broke up. Then he moved to Lyons, Oregon to live with his father.  
“I’m not sure I’d call him a demon. I don’t really know what he was in my nightmare,” I said, remembering that Ryan dabbled in the occult. Witchcraft fascinated him. Once he learned how to read the Tarot, he bought an Ouija board, and advertised readings in the local newspaper. That was one of the many reasons we broke up. It scared me to know my boyfriend was worshiping Satan. Besides, no one can turn into a demon they’re created beings.
 “I don’t plan to call him,” I said firmly. “I just want him to stay out of my life, for good.”
Jimmy’s eyes became as big as saucers, matching Renee’s brown eyes. I looked away from their surprised glare. I stood up, and stretched my legs. Jimmy reached for Renee’s hand, and pulled her up. Both of them trotted up the bleachers, to the top to make-out. I walked down towards the fence line to stand in the sun. I couldn’t believe how cold I felt especially with the sun bright and warm. 
“Eight minutes, that should give us enough time before the bell rings,” Jimmy said as he wrapped his arms around Renee, lip locking her into a long passionate kiss. 
Placing my arms over the chain link fence, I watched the track team, and Josh. He’s from an Island, on Hawaii, but not sure which one. His long legs, broad chest, and golden rich tan caused me to fantasize about him. I almost felt I was betraying Ryan.
After the final lap, Josh grabbed a towel, wiped the sweat across his brow, and started walking towards me. I stood up from leaning on the fence. He smiled widely, meeting my hazel eyes. 
“Hello, there,” he said warmly, still smiling. My heart melted to his voice. “How are you?”  Before I answered him, I heard the stampeding of feet trample down the bleachers.
“Kristina time to go, we have choir,” Jimmy said, his arm still clutched to Renee’s waist. He wiped the wetness from his lips, glared at Josh disrespectfully. Jimmy didn’t like Josh, and is still best friends with Ryan. Jimmy promised Ryan he’d look after me when he moved to Oregon. Jimmy was like my big brother, even though we’re the same age. 

“I’ll be right there,” I said to Jimmy. He and Renee started walking off the bleachers. “So, I guess I need to go. I have choir class.” I put my backpack over my left shoulder, and started walking away. I heard Josh snicker.
“I’ll catch you later, then,” he said softly.

“Okay, see yeah...” I smiled widely. “Wait up guys,” I yelled at Jimmy and Renee. They stopped walking and waited for me to catch up to them. I looked over my shoulder and Josh was still standing by the fence, staring at me. I’m really attracted to him, but I am not ready for a new relationship yet. I know I should move on, with Ryan living in Oregon now, but it’s only been a few months since we broke up.
“I think he likes you,” Renee said happily. I shrugged my shoulders, and kept silent.


Choir class seemed long today. As we stood practicing the songs for the spring concert, my mind drifted to the dream I had about Ryan. I don’t generally remember many dreams, but this dream was so real, as if it really happened.



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I've made a few slight changes to my blog this morning. Please feel free and check out the changes.  I'll tell you one of those changes that I am pleased to announce; I have added a language translator to my blog so anyone that cannot read English will be able to read the blog post and the first chapters in their chosen language. 

I played around with a few languages, Italian and French and was thrilled with the results. Check it out, and the other features that were added. 

I appreciate your comments, feedback and suggestions. I'd love to hear from each of you, so don't hesitate in leaving a message. 

Happy reading,
T.M. Waltman








Rebirth

As of now, I am writing 'Rebirth' book two in The Black Rose Trilogy. Currently, I am writing Chapter 5. I am planing to finish book two by  October or November and then I will start writing the final book afterwards, completing the trilogy. 
From time to time as time permits, I'll be writing between two other novels that I have been working on as well. Which of course depends on how the muse directs. 
I'll post updates with the progress from all novels as they become available. And I'll create new tabs on each of the first chapters of each novel for your reading pleasure.
Please feel free to post comments, questions and opinions here, I'd love to hear from each of you. 
Keep reading,  T.M. Waltman







Update on Allured

Allured is currently being read by a New York agent, I've started writing book two in The Black Rose Series. I've only written a few chapter so far, and I've been editing with a fine tooth comb, trying to learn the editing process on my own. I've been reading about how to edit a manuscript, and bought a few books on the subject that seems helpful.  As a writer I find that I have little free time, but that's okay with me. I would love to write fulltime and learn the craft to write more efficiently. In the few moments of spare time I have, I enjoy reading in a wide range of genres. I not only read for enjoyment, I read to learn and study techniques of voice, character development, sentence structure and plot. 
After spending hours in front of the computer today, I'm hoping to go watch Jurassic World.
Keep reading,  T.M. Waltman