The final bell rang.

'Thank God,' 16-year-old Devon Michaels thought as he ran to meet his friends under the old oak behind the school.

His friends Cody McCinnon, Cody's sister Katie, Heather Laughlin, and Lacey Mitchell had been meeting under that old oak tree every day since they were in third grade.

When he got to the tree, the rest of his friends were already there.

Heather sighed contentedly. "School's out for the summer, thank the Goddess."

Heather was a Pagan, a Wicca to be more specific. Everyone else was Christian, Catholic, or Baptist. They generally didn't think much about it, but anyone else that knew their religions said it was a disgrace to associate with someone who believed in dead deities. They just shrugged and said, "To each his own."

Cody jumped down from the branch he was sitting on. "Well, what've we got planned for this summer?"

Devon jumped up, grabbed a branch, and swung deftly up. "The usual. Swimming, movies, sleepovers, poker games."

Katie sighed.

Cody looked at his sister. "What's wrong, Kate?"

"It's just that we do the same thing every year. I think it's time for a little variety."

Heather leaned against the tree. "What exactly did you have in mind?"

"I don't know. Something different. Something like..."