Telina lay in the dark, muttering to herself. She hated this. It was New Years Eve, and her whole family was downstairs celebrating while she was forced to go to bed. Just because she was the second youngest in the family didn't mean that she couldn't handle staying up this late. Her eldest brother had been allowed to stay up to see the new year since he was nine, and she was thirteen. It didn't make sense.

She had argued with her parents about this, but they had both overruled her immediately, and that left her fuming. Telina had almost told her parents that she was usually up until one or two in the morning, anyway, in order to get the never-ending pile of homework finished, but she caught herself just in time. If she told them, they would completely freak out, and probably ground her. And if that happened, she would never get her homework finished.

She sighed. There weren't enough hours in a day for her, especially during the holidays. Telina was artistic, and loved to make things for her friends and family as gifts for Christmas instead of buying them. She never seemed to be able to start her projects early enough, however, because she always had to rush to finish them all before vacation began. The teachers all seemed to become homework-happy, and gave them tons upon tons of homework due in a short amount of time. Telina never had any time to read or to talk to her friends as often as she would like to.

Telina rolled over in her covers and stared across the room and through the small hallway that connected her brother's room with hers. In the back of the dark room, her brother rolled over and stared at the ceiling. Telina could only see his profile, but she knew that he was just as upset as she was about being made to go to bed on this night.

"Delano," she whispered, and she wasn't sure if he would hear her, but he sat up and looked at her.

"Yeah?" he whispered back.

Telina didn't answer, but crept out of bed, grabbed a large book off her desk, and padded silently to Delano's bedside.

His brown hair was askew, as if someone had used a tornado in his hair instead of a hair curler, and his bright hazel eyes glistened. Delano was eleven, two years younger than Telina, but he was extremely mature for his age, and even if he never truly showed it, he was extremely intelligent.

Telina, without saying a word, opened the book and tried to find the page she had left off on. "I've lost the bookmark," she said softly.

"I know where we were at," Delano said, and took the book from her hands. "I've read this book so many times, I could read it word for word in my sleep." He found the page they were on and gave it back to Telina.

Telina looked down at the book, opened her mouth to begin reading aloud, then shut it again. "What's wrong?" asked Delano.

"Well, I haven't read this book nearly as many times as you have, and I can't read it word for word.and.well.maybe you've noticed that it's a bit.dark.in here." Telina replied softly. She didn't understand why they were whispering, though, there was so much laughter, music, and chattering downstairs that if she had screamed no one would have heard her.

"Oh, that presents a problem, doesn't it?" Delano replied. He fished around beneath his pillow and emerged with a small purple flashlight. "Would this-" He cut off.

Telina turned to look at him. His eyes were wide with fear, and when he reached out to tap her, he moved as if in slow motion. Telina whirled around, and what she saw made her grab Delano's hand.

A bright yellow light was growing larger against Delano's baby blue walls, and little purple lights were dancing around it. Inside there seemed to be a face - a wrinkled, pale-eyed, red-haired face. He squinted his eyes menacingly at them, then grinned. Telina held tightly to Delano and whispered to him, "Are we hallucinating?"

Delano shook his head fiercely. "Not if you're seeing what I'm seeing." Telina decided not to reply.

The room began to spin around them, turning into a world of mixed, dark colours. Telina felt her knees hit the floor, and heard a clunking sound, which she supposed was Delano. In the background, a bell chimed somewhere, and downstairs she could hear a roar of shouting. She tried to shout out, but her voice caught in her throat and she choked.

The room went black.

**********

Author's Note: Well, what do you think? This is my first story on fictionpress.com, so I'm not sure what people like to read. Please tell me your opinions, and tell me if there are any mistakes. Thanks, I'd really appreciate it!