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I gasped as I saw the thick cloud of smoke gathering at the bottom of the stairs. It travelled upwards, surrounding me.

'Help! Somebody, please help me!' I cried, my voice weak from the fumes.

I looked around me desperately, the only way I could go and have any chance of escaping was down the stairs, into the fire.

I gathered my nightgown up above my knees and ran down the old wooden staircase. My heart was beating so loudly that I could hear it pounding in my head. The smoke was even thicker down here, so thick that I was unable to make out my surroundings.

I could see the furious red flashes of the fire coming from the kitchen, and I could vaguely make out the moonlight flooding in through the glass panels on the front door. I began to run towards it, but I found myself stopping before I got there, exhausted. The smoke from the fire caught in my throat, causing me to curl over and cough until tears ran down my face. My eyes stung, and I could no longer see the door I was heading towards. I looked around me, trying to see another way out, but there was none. I gave in then, I sunk to the ground, ready to let the fire take me.

'This way!' I heard somebody yell, it was a boy. I could vaguely hear footsteps, but the ferocious roar of the fire overrun the noise. The footsteps became clearer as they got closer, and I opened my eyes to see a pair of black leather boots standing in front of me …



I woke up, sweating and gasping for breath, just like every other time. I sighed and ran my hands through my hair. I had been having the same dream for over a month now, and it was really beginning to creep me out.

I always woke up before I was able to see who the boots belonged to, and the dream was set in some old-fashioned house hundreds of years ago, it was completely random. First of all, I never recall being in that house, secondly, I don't recall hearing that boys voice or seeing those boots, and I have never been involved in a fire before.

I checked my alarm clock, even though I already knew perfectly well what time it was. 3:30 am. I always awoke from the dream at that time, it was strange. Really strange in fact, maybe there was just something wrong with me …


I arrived in my Chemistry class, dropping my jotter onto the table with a thud. My partner, and best friend, Greyson, looked up to face me.

'Well hello there Little Miss Ray Of Sunshine.' He laughed at my morbid expression.

'Shutup.' I growled, flopping down on to my seat.

'What's up with you?' He frowned. 'Didn't sleep again?'

I nodded in reply and lay my head down on the desk.

'You really should go to a doctor or something about this, Chlo.' He rested a hand on my shoulder.

'Nooo, I'm fine, seriously.' I sat up, giving him what I'm sure wasn't a very convincing smile.

If I went to a doctor, I would have to tell them about the dream, and I haven't told anybody about it yet. It seemed sort of private, like it was only meant for me to see. I don't know, I just didn't feel ready to tell people about it yet.

I hadn't even told Greyson, he just thought I had some sort of sleeping disorder, which probably wasn't far from the truth.

Greyson and I said we were best friends, and that we told each other everything. But we both knew that wasn't true. I had know him since I was twelve, and now, almost six years later, I still feel like he is hiding something from me. Not like who he is crushing on or whatever, something bigger. He has these days where he just acts completely weird and on-edge. And every once in a while, he doesn't come in to school for a couple of days. During those times, I know not to try and contact him, because he never answers.

It's not as if I tell him absolutely everything, because I'm sure he wouldn't want to hear about my new forty dollar handbag, or that my crush smiled at me in the hall.

'My cousins are coming to live in Kingston.' Greyson interrupted my train of thought.

'Oh, really?' I smiled. 'I don't think I've ever met any of your family, apart from your Dad of course.'

He laughed almost nervously. 'Yeah, they've bought a house not far from yours, actually.'

'Oh, well lets hope we get along then.' I laughed.

'I wouldn't get my hopes up, Daniel and Justin aren't exactly the easiest people to get along with.' He chuckled.

'Daniel and Justin? I've never even heard you mention them before.' I raised an eyebrow at him.

'We aren't close. We haven't spoken in a very long time.' Greyson sighed, running his hand through his mass of brown curls.



I sat up, hearing my dog barking from the bottom of the stairs.

'Okay, okay, Jess, I'm coming.' I sighed, getting up off of my bed and walking down to fasten her leash onto her collar. She ran around in circles excitedly, waiting to be taken out. I opened the door and walked into the chilly November air. I gripped my jacket closer around me and walked faster.

As I rounded the corner, I could see a removals van parked at the street at the back of mine. It must have been somebody moving into the house whose garden joined onto mine, the only thing separating them was a flimsy wooden fence.

I walked closer, curious to see my new neighbours. The removal men moved almost like robots, heaving boxes from the van into the house. It was a nice house, the same as mine. It wasn't huge, but it was big enough. It was painted a mossy green colour, and the windowsills were painted white. The windows were dusty due to the house being left empty for so long, and the paint was beginning to chip slightly. The last person to live there was Mr Owens, he was an old man, and he barely ever left his house. All of the kids in the neighbourhood made up stories about him, claiming that he was a serial killer and that he would snatch up any kids he found out in the street after ten o'clock. This wasn't true, of course, but it didn't stop me from running home at five to ten every night when I was younger. He died a couple of months ago, and the house had been empty ever since.

I got up the van, and Jess began tugging on her leash.

'Jess, calm down!' I scolded, as she gave one final tug and yanked the leash out of my hand.

'JESS!' I called, running after her as she ran up the path to the house. She ran round into the back garden, and disappeared from my sight.

'Jess!' I called again, running into the back garden. The grass almost reached my knees, which made it almost impossible to spot my small dog in this jungle of a garden. I waded through the grass, calling Jess as I done so. I heard somebody clear their throat behind me and I turned around to see a guy standing there with Jess in his arms. He had longish black hair and piercing blue eyes, and he was very, very attractive.

'Are you alright there?' He raised an eyebrow at me and smirked in amusement.

'Oh – yes, thankyou.' I bit my lip in embarrassment, struggling out of the thick grass and onto the patio area he was standing on.

'I believe this is yours?' He handed Jess to me.

'Yep. She ran in here and I had to come after her, sorry.' I bent down, placing her on the ground.

'It's okay.' He smirked.

'Well – I guess I better go, thanks for finding her.' I laughed.

'No problem.' He replied. I scurried away, almost tripping over on my way out. I turned round and saw that the guy had disappeared. Weird.

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