Chapter 1 - A Prank of the Eight Legged Variety

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Chapter 1 - A Prank of the Eight Legged Variety

I've always considered myself a normal girl. Maybe a bit on the quiet side, a bit nerdy, but normal nonetheless. Imogen Rose Hanson is my name, and most of the time I spend my days with my nose stuck in a book, engrossed in a world that is much simpler than the one we are forced to live in. Not a geek exactly - I don't sit with the self-proclaimed nerds at school - but I do love to read if only for the doorway of escaping my own life for a little while.

My mother, Helen, didn't exactly approve of my introverted ways. During high school she had been the Queen Bee, attending every social event and stepping on several heads just to stay at the top of the social ladder. That's exactly how she had ended up stuck with me at the age of seventeen, engaged to my deadbeat dad who left a week after I was born and only visited me once on my birthday every year. She constantly tried to push me out of the nest to go 'experience life,' but she had yet to exceed on this feat.

Even though she couldn't get me to 'live,' she did lock me out of the house during the summer. I guess she reasoned that if I was going to be laying around reading all day anyway, I might as well get a tan. Unfortunately, that also meant I was susceptible to all of the pranks my neighbor, Grayson Logan, would inevitably pull on me.

For some reason I had yet to understand, Grayson hated my guts. He was two years older, and my childhood was full of painful memories of the young boy torturing me. Possibly the most prominent was when we were eight and ten. I had fallen asleep on the lawn, and Mr. Demon Spawn and gotten rubber gloves and skillfully placed almost an entire fire ant hill under my shirt.

Yes, he was pure evil.

Less evil, however, was his brother, Wesley. Wes was actually kind to me, we were best friends. We grew up together and both plotted ways to get rid of the demon in our midst. Unfortunately, two little kids were always too scared to stand up to the brother who was taller, stronger, and meaner than us. Grayson left us cowering in our boots.

Oh, who am I kidding? I was sixteen and Grayson still scared the crap out of me. Even though he didn't purposefully go out of his way to pick on me as much, there were still days where he felt exceptionally demonic and decided to play some tricks on dear old 'Genny.' I hated that nickname, despised it with every fiber in my being, and yet I was too cowardly to stand up to Grayson and tell him. Not that it would make much of a difference, anyway.

My story begins on May 23, the first day of summer vacation. It was so blissfully nice to be able to wake up without the godforsaken alarm clock that I slept until noon and awoke with a cheerful, peppy attitude. Nothing was going to ruin my mood, it was going to be a good day. The first day of summer always was.

Stretching in the warm, comfortable cloud that was my bed, I let out a groan. It was almost too cozy to even let the thought of getting up come to mind, but I knew that out in the sun I would love it even more, plus I would get to become absorbed in the book I was currently in the middle of It was some sort of love story, where so far the girl was playing hard to get. Usually, I didn't read those types of books, but my best friend Leah had insisted.

With a jolt I realized I had fallen asleep before I had finished a chapter last night, leaving the couple about to kiss for the first time. Not really important, I know, and I get so into it that my heart literally started racing at the thought. I was suddenly void of all drowsiness and leaped from the covers onto the cold, hardwood floor.

Squeaking, I scurried over to the cream colored carpet that sat at the end of my bed, escaping the chilly bites of the wood. Even though it was summer and everything was warm, the floor felt freezing compared to the hot temperature of my feet. Not only had I just been wrapped up in my huge yellow duvet, but I had naturally hot feet.

My room was a decent size; not tiny, but not massive like the ones you see in the movies or in rich people houses. Mom was a doctor, but since she was the only one bringing in an income we weren't rolling in money or anything. The walls were painted light cream, like the carpet I was standing on, and the floor was a dark, red chestnut wood.

The wall parallel to my queen size bed had a large bay window, which soaked every inch of the room in bright, dancing rays of light. There was a white lacy canopy strung up above my bed, which used to make me feel like a princess, but once I turned fifteen it started to make me feel childish. The wall opposite my bed held two doors, one that led to the en-suite bathroom and one to the huge walk-in closet.

I skipped to the closet, a smile on my face. Why I was in such a good mood was a mystery I wasn't going to try and solve, I was just going to take it and be happy. Once in the closet, I yanked open the top drawer of the white wood dresser, grabbing my favorite bikini. My plan for the day consisted of reading and sipping lemonade by the pool.

Once in the black halter top bikini, I threw my thick, brown hair into a messy bun and tossed some pink sunglasses on top of my head. I looked myself over in the mirror, smiling in approval as I realized that my blue eyes were actually shining more than usual. With flip flop clad feet, I grabbed the book from my desk and hurried down the stairs.

In the kitchen I found my mother slaving over the kitchen island, fixing a sandwich for herself. Her long brown hair flopped over her face, but I could tell she was not having such a good day. I shuttered internally, dealing with my mother in a bad mood is never a good idea. "Morning, mom," I chirped, skipping over to give her a kiss on the cheek.

Her head snapped up, and the sharp, angry glare I received froze me in place. Okay, so no kiss. "Imogen, it's noon. Do you really expect me to let you sleep all summer long?" Taken aback, I stuttered some sort of incoherent response. What had crawled up her butt? "Here, I made you a sandwich."

The blue ceramic plate was shoved into my chest so roughly a small burst of pain sprouted in my ribs. I blew out a breath, "Thanks," and then I pretty much ran to the backyard. I felt like I was fleeing a battle to prevent casualties.

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