Note from Shadow: Yes, here is another one. Italics are thoughts. This is a bit different from my normal stuff. Constructive criticism welcome and listened to. I haven't had this betaed, but I edited it so it shouldn't be too bad spelling-wise.

1. Circumstances

            The truth is that by the time December had come around she had given up. Sure, she was still getting good grades, but she was like a machine. She did everything without feeling. She couldn't even bring herself to read a book for fun anymore. Jazlyn was a pale version of her former self, and everyone felt the need to remind her of the fact. What they didn't understand was that she was like that for a reason. She was like that because she was completely convinced that she was insane.

            She'd always had vivid dreams, and many of them had come true. Lately though, it had been bad. She hadn't been able to get rid of the great sense of foreboding. It was like the world was going to come crashing down around her ears soon, and she had the privilege of knowing that it was going to happen. The worst thing was that there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it. How comforting.

            She didn't sleep much anymore, because the dreams were too frightening. She'd tried to tell her parents, but they thought she was just being melodramatic and paranoid.

I shouldn't have told them about the eyes. They blame the way I am on what happened last year. That's not it. I mean, it was bad, but it didn't cause this. I'm not a psychologist or anything, though. They've been trying to convince me to see one for a long time now. I don't want to, still. It's beginning to get to me now, though. I'm beginning to believe them. Hell, I thought I was insane before they even bothered to voice the opinion. They can't see the eyes for some reason. I guess I really am insane. I feel something building in the air this week. I don't know what it is, but it's going to be big. Something strange is going on in this town anyway. The people look strange to me as if they're all sheep. I can almost hear them bleating even though I've never heard sheep before.

            She walked into her math class dazedly. Her teacher walked in too and began to teach everyone else how to graph lines. She wasn't learning anything, however, so she looked out of the window. The sun hit her in the eyes and she had to blink. She avoided the sun whenever she could. There was just something strange about it that made her want to puke. That was another reason her parents thought she had lost her mind. This summer she'd started covering all of her windows with poster board so that the sun couldn't get through the blinds. They became worried for the first time then.

            "Jazlyn, why don't you tell the class what the standard slope formula is?" her asshole teacher asked.

            "Ax+By=C," she answered on instinct alone.

Now that I think about it I had a dream about this class last night.

The boring teacher went on with teaching his lesson and she went back to her thoughts. She was just beginning to sink back into her thoughts when someone knocked on the door of the classroom.

First of all, who knocks on a door in school? It's not like you're outside or it's locked. People here are so dumb.

            "Mr. Weller, I need Jazlyn Lionel to check out."

            She stood up and grabbed her bags. As she left the classroom she almost thought she saw something shimmer at the edge of her vision. Jazlyn wrote it off as her insanity, though and continued walking to the office.

            "Hi honey!" her mom said in an overly bright tone. She hugged her tightly and ushered her out of the door. Something wasn't right here. Her mom never acted like this. Something shimmered on the edge of her vision, but she was back in automatic again. Her mom opened the car door for her, which in and of itself was strange, and got in on the driver's side.

            It took her nearly five minutes to realize that the car she was in was black while her mom's was silver and that the person next to her no longer resembled her mother.

            "What the hell!" Jazlyn yelled wondering if she'd finally succumbed to the stress and lost it.

            "Shh, It's okay. I won't hurt you," the young man said soothingly.

            "You're kidnapping me," she yelled trying not to sound scared. The man looked no older than twenty-three and had the strangest features she'd ever seen.

            "I guess you could say that, but is it really kidnapping if you go willingly?"

            "But you looked like my mom! How the hell was I supposed to know that you weren't?"

            The man shrugged smiling mischievously. They let the silence fall for a while. Jazlyn didn't speak because she was afraid. Either she was going insane and none of this was really happening or she was being kidnapped by a weird looking guy who had looked like her mother not too long ago. Either way she was screwed. She wondered if he'd kill her or just hold her for ransom. She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. He had benevolent hazel eyes and a slightly boyish face, which didn't seem to fit her notion of a murderer. Did murderers ever really look like murderers, though?

            "Where are we going?" she finally asked. Some of her fear must have shown because he smiled sympathetically.

            "Don't worry. I promise not to hurt you."

            "Um… thanks," she replied not knowing exactly what to say. She was beginning to feel more at ease, however. He seemed somehow familiar.

            "You're welcome. I really don't want you to be scared. I promise we'll be there soon."

            "Be where?" she asked cautiously.

            "Our destination, of course."

            She stared at him for a moment but didn't ask again. She wasn't sure that she really wanted to know. She turned the radio on and listened to some mindless screaming.

            "So…what's your name?" she asked attempting conversation again. He smiled encouragingly. He seemed to be glad that she wasn't too frightened to talk to him.

            "Shane," he answered happily.

            "I'm Jazlyn," she offered.

            "I know," he said grinning impishly. She frowned then laughed figuring that the statement was probably completely harmless. She looked out the window and recognized the road they were on. It looked like they were leaving the city limits. The city she lived in was strange. It was a busy metropolis that tapered into farmland with few suburbs in between. If he were actually planning to kill her, the farmlands and forests would be the perfect place.

            "Um… are you sure you know where we're going?" she asked fidgeting in the seat.

            "Yeah. I've been planning this for a long time, little tiger."

            Tiger? How did he know that she dreamed of tigers?

            Oh shit.