• I knew that the thing chasing me was going to catch me any minute. I closed my eyes and waited for whatever might be coming. I had braced myself for maybe five minutes before I opened my eyes. I couldn't see anything that had changed but I noticed that the crunching of leaves and breaking of branches had stopped. Everything was silent. I heard a bird begin to chirp before the sound was brutally cut off. I gasped. It was silent again. I noticed I could breathe again. I slowly started walking and heard something rustle behind me. I whirled around but nothing was there. Something was messing with my mind.

    I'd set the alarm to radio mode. I was woken up to Hot and Cold by Katy Perry. I lay there listening to it for a while then got up and went and did my daily ritual up until running for the bus. Only that morning I wasn't the only one. I saw Eric running for it too. He was a faster runner than me so he got there before the doors closed and it pulled away. Only this time the bus waited for me to get there. Eric was standing in between the doors. He smiled at me. He wasn't even breathing hard from the sprint. I smiled back at him and then payed my fare. I sat next to Ash again and Eric sat in front of our seat. Ash looked at me in half disbelief and half anger. She must have thought that I'd stolen him in less than a day. I shook my head. She'd never learn.

    The last bell had just rung and I was packing my things when I heard Phil clear his throat. I looked up and he was in front of my desk. Eric was still standing next to me. He smiled when I looked at him. I smiled back.
    "Ms. Vale, I'm assuming that you showed around Mr. Sinclair last day. Did she Mr. Sinclair?" he asked. Eric nodded. Phile smiled and nodded. "Good. that means you pass Ms. Vale. Nice work." He walked away and I stuck out my tongue at him. Eric laughed and I smiled.
    "Hey there Bianca!" Ash said as she rushed up beside me. I'd told her in Math that Eric and I had History class together. "You're Eric, the new guy, right? I'm Ashley. The pleasure is all mine yours sure." I couldn't help but giggle. Ash gave me a death glare then returned to flirting. I saw that Eric kept shooting me SOS glances. I sighed and then tapped Ash on the shoulder.
    "We have to get going now Ash or we'll all miss our bus. I'm sure you wouldn't want to get Eric in trouble. Now, would you?" I asked. She pouted at me but beamed Eric a smile before leaving and telling me to meet her outside. We looked at each other and started laughing. Phil glared at us but didn't say anything. He knew we'd leave soon. I grabbed Eric's hand and felt a shock run through me. "Race you to the bus. One, two, three, headstart!" I said and started running without saying go. I heard Eric quickly catch up to me then take the lead. I also heard Ashley whining behind us about making her run in heels. I ran faster and then remembered my dream. I remembered the fear I'd felt and it gave me a quick shot to adrenaline. I ran faster and caught up to Eric then pushed him aside as I got on the bus first. He got on a second later panting. I could barely get enough air in my lungs. I didn't like running that hard. About three minutes later Ashley walked onto the bus right before it took off. Eric and I were already sitting together so she sat to our right. Ash and I got off before Eric but we waved to him while the bus pulled away. I awlked Ash to her door then went home.

    It was around dinner time when the phone rang. Mom had gone to work and had to work late so I was alone. I got up from my microwave dinner of spaghetti in alfredo sauce to get the phone. I caught it on the last ring.
    "Hello?" I said. I heard breathing on the other side but they didn't speak at first. I asked again. "Hello?" This time they responded.
    "Bianca?" they asked. I didn't really want to answer if they were a weirdo.
    "Yes, who is this?"
    "It's Eric. I called to ask if you were busy," he said.
    "I'm not busy. Just eating dinner. Why? Need help with History or something?" I asked.
    "No, nothing like that. I was just wondering if you wanted to do something tomorrow after school."
    "Okay. Um, good night then." He sounded ackward.
    "Loosen up. 'Night." I put down the phone and went back to my meal. Mom was sitting at the table. I knew what she was wondering. "That was my new friend Eric. Wants to hang out tomorrow." I said. She nodded and made a hmpf kind of noise. It usually meant okay so I smiled and went back to eating.

    I was sitting on my bed doing my homework when the first strange thing happened. I heard the sound of an animal getting killed. I'd lived in an area with lots of wolves, cayotes and a few bears so I knew the sound. I looked outside my window and saw what looked like a wolf in the yard across the street. I blinked. That couldn't be right. Wolves never this far into the city. I pulled my head back inside. I grabbed a stick and went into my yard but it was gone. I shook my head. The nightmares must be getting to me, I thought. I went back inside and went to bed thinking that a night's rest might do me some good.