5 | Violet | Taylor

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She thinks I'm a brat, defined by nothing other than my cheer uniform and blonde hair – and who could blame her?

That is exactly who I was.

I'm watching through her eyes as she steps into my life. She doesn't know that I'm here yet, but she'll soon sense it.

In my wildest dreams, I never would have imagined that I could look through somebody else mind – feel what they feel, see what they see – but when you're bound to a chair, hurting and crying for two months, listening to your captor fill your head with tales of the otherworldly, you start to pick up on a few things, and if you truly believe... you can make anything happen.

Taylor is my only chance of survival, but to feel me, she needs to become me, and right now... she's not ready.

But she will be.

The more she pretends to be me, the more she'll see, and the first domino has fallen, I just hope that when the time comes, she can stay standing.


Torture. That's what this is!

It's payback for being such a lowdown snake. I've infiltrated their family, and now I must suffer the extreme consequences.

''What's wrong, Vi? You used to love family game night.'' Violet's little sister, Celia, smiles at me.

I almost vomit on her head. Family freaking game night. It's the lowest circle of hell that I've entered into, and I've done it with the happiest, shiniest family in town.

The only good part about this deal, so far, is the food. People that I've never heard of have been coming by all day, dropping off lasagnas, plates of pasta, salads, and even homemade pizzas, and telling me how much I was missed. I've smiled at them – with great effort, trying my best to channel every cheerleader I've ever seen on a motel room TV – and they seemed happy with it. I suppose it offers them the qualifications needed to claim their 'good Samaritan' certificate.

I lounge on the couch and watch the family contort into crazy positions for a game of Twister. Celia gripes that I'm not taking part. Her tiny little voice is grinding, and I'm thankful when Juliet tells her to zip it.

The older sister, Tess, hasn't said anything to me since I walked in the place, and the youngest kid of the clan, Nicky, is an eight-month-old baby who hasn't done much more than goo-and-gah. He seems completely indifferent towards me, and so far, he's my favourite family member.

After the game ends, Tess grabs her coat and exits the situation. Her boyfriend, Matt – typical jock in a typical jeep – comes to collect her, and she heads to a party. She's given a list of rules before she leaves, and they're the usual parental rules said with a lot more authority, 'no drinking, no drugs, no pregnancy, be home by nine' etc. and as I listen in, I decide that I will break every rule they have at some point, except maybe the pregnancy one.

Toby – as I now know he's called – and his family land at the door a little after she leaves. They're here to welcome Violet home, but as Toby's eyes land on mine, the vibe in the room changes instantly. Near as I can tell, Violet and Toby are some kind of betrothed couple that everybody expects marriage and babies from, or, at least they did... but one look at his mother's face tells me that my version of Violet is unacceptable for her son.

I think she's scared her grandchildren would have Mohawks and henna tats by the time they were two. She might as well stand in front of him with a big-ass sign and a megaphone, screaming, ''no gran-Goth's.''

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