Chapter one: Doggy doo

Minerva Williams adjusted the white button down shirt that had ridden up her stomach when she had combed her shoulder length hair. The action caused the layered hair to veil her heart shaped face. Annoyed, she tucked the naughty hair behind her ears, smoothed out the wrinkles in her pleated skirt, and then applied some lip-gloss. She stared at the bathroom mirror, sapphire eyes looking for any imperfections in her appearance. Satisfied, she walked out and into her bedroom grabbing her small leather backpack and blazer. She stopped short and threw the maroon colored blazer back onto her bed, realizing that it wouldn't be necessary since it was still quite hot.

She glanced out the window. The town of Layton lay before her and beyond that, the Pacific Ocean glittered as the blue sky gazing upon it remained cloudless for the third week in a row. She pouted hoping that her expression would make it rain. She loved it when it rained. She loved the cool refreshed feeling of water droplets splashing onto her skin and the unique smell of the freshly drenched environment when it had gone. But with the look of things, it wasn't going to rain any time soon.

Oh well.

A small breeze picked up, bringing the salty ocean air into her room. The gentle gust also had a hint of something else that smelt vaguely familiar to Minerva. She couldn't quite place her finger on the unpleasant smell. She cringed as the unwanted odor slowly wafted into her room. She closed the window and left her bedroom hoping to escape the smell.

She made her way downstairs into the kitchen only to find her sister there, eating breakfast.

"Yasmin, how can you eat toast without anything on it?"

Yasmin noticed her and she swallowed the piece of toast she was chewing.

"I read in the magazine that what makes bread fattening is the topping you put on it. And I'm on a diet," she replied in that 'guess what' tone.

"A diet?" Minerva raised an eyebrow. "Exactly what's there to lose?" she questioned.

Yasmin stood up and pointed to herself.

"Just look at me! I've gained like a pound this week!"

Minerva bit her lip to stifle the laugh that was dying to come out. It was funny how her sister could make anything so innocent sound as if the sun had turned into a red giant and swallowed earth.

"Omigod! A pound! That is absolutely terrible!"

Yasmin noticed the over-exaggerated sarcasm.

"Very funny hahaha."

She sat back down on the stool and crossed her arms, not bothering to touch the other piece of toast that was on her plate.

Minerva examined her. She always asked herself if they were even related not to mention twins. They were both tall, slim with curves to die for and both had sapphire eyes. It was the rare sapphire eyes, a famous William's trait that could tell they were merely related. The similarities ended there. While Yasmin had long auburn hair, Minerva had short raven black hair that rested on her shoulders. Yasmin was nicely tanned, Minerva was very fair; the sun never agreed with her and whenever she did try to get a tan she'd end up as red as a lobster. If she thought about it, it was a good thing; at least she could cross out skin cancer as a possible cause for her death.

Their personality traits were on completely different ends of the personality spectrum. Minerva valued her education, Yasmin personally didn't give much of a damn unless it involved her outer appearance and contact with the opposite sex. As for the word 'fun', both had different opinions on what that three-letter word meant. Minerva's type of fun was curling up on the sofa reading a book or doing laps in the backyard pool. Yasmin thought fun was going to the beach hoping to pick up guys, going to parties and spending all her allowance at the mall purchasing clothes and shoes, half of which she would never wear.

Yep, that sounded right.

She snapped out of her reverie when Yasmin stood again, sniffing the air.

"Minnie, do you smell something burning? Like really burning?"

So that's what the smell is... Minerva thought, sniffing the air as well.

"Yeah I do."

"Wonder where it's coming from?"

Minerva looked around the kitchen…nothing. She then noticed that the kitchen window was wide-open, gentle gust blowing the smoky air inside.

"It has to be coming from outside. Turn on the TV, might be something on the news."

Yasmin reached for the remote control and pressed the 'on' button with a manicured finger. The kitchen TV came to life and Yasmin flicked through at least ten channels until they reached the local news. They watched the TV intently until Yasmin dropped the control. It clattered onto the floor, the batteries coming out and rolling away. Both eyes widened, staying glued to the TV. They didn't need some news reporter to confirm what their eyes were seeing.

There was aerial footage of St Veronica's College, a private all girls' high school in Mount Layton, the school the girls both attended.

But that was not what rendered the two girls silent…it was the fact that the whole place was in flames.