Chapter 1: Up on the Rooftop

"How in the world did he get up there?"

"What is he doing up there?"

"What if he slips and falls on someone?"

I lowered my head in shame as I listened to the other school kids around me gossiping, my face blushing. Why did he always do things like this just to embarrass me? I looked up at the roof of the community school, which was made of weak wood to start with. "Aeson! Get off the roof!" I hollered.

He looked down at me, his expression blank like normal as he stared at me with his blue eyes, then continued carefully walking up the steep slope. I stepped a little closer and cupped my hands around my mouth. "Aeson, if you don't get down from there right now, I'll tell your mother!"

"It's up, sister" he called back in his slow, retarded way. "I have to help it!"

Nothing was up there, of course. Nothing ever was. See, Aeson's crazy. He sees things that aren't there, never have been there, never will be there, and don't even exist, yet he insists that they're real. Dad says he only does it for attention. We took him to a doctor for it last year, one of those psychiatrists, and she diagnosed him with hallucinations, both visual and audio. In other words, crazy. This was just more proof that he needed to go to one of those psyche wards and be locked up in a padded room. He was such an embarrassment.

He was about halfway up the schoolhouse's roof, ignoring me like always as I instructed him to get down. It wasn't until I heard the police ordering him through a megaphone that I really got embarrassed. Not again! I thought to myself. Mom and Dad are going to kill me for this!

"Sir, stay where you are," they called over the loud talking and laughing the entire school was making as they watched him make a fool out of himself. "Some people are going to help you down."

He hollered back about his ridiculous mission and continued climbing. I buried my face in my hands, trying to hide my severe blush. I heard some of the school's cutups standing near me hollering things like "Stomp on the roof!" "Make it collapse!" and "Now go left! Now right! That's right, keep going!" I glared at them. "Don't encourage him!" I exclaimed.

They just laughed and kept telling him where to go. This was just another terrible day, like every one since my parents had gone through with their threats to put him in school. I looked up to see Aeson standing on the top of the roof, his hands moving like he was untying something. I just kept shaking my head. No. This is just a dream. Aeson doesn't exist. He's not up there pretending to untie one of his illusions. He's not. I'm at home, I'm asleep, I'm an only child and Aeson's just a dream.

Suddenly, something I wouldn't even wish on Aeson happened. He was on his way back when he stepped on a weak part of the roof. The old wood broke under him, and he plummeted through the roof into the school building. I gasped and broke into a run towards the building. If Aeson had hurt himself again, my parents would ground me forever.