Chapter 1

"..." That was the majority of Faith's spoken vocabulary. Don't get me wrong, she could talk if she could, and back when she could speak, she was well known for being a bit of a loud mouth. And she was intelligent. Let's get that across. She suffered naught from mental inefficiency, nor from some birth defect that prevented her vocal chords from doing what God intended them to do. No, it was truly just the cruelties of life that had robbed her of her voice, and perhaps it was the same thing that granted a piece of her that she hadn't known in return.

I first met Faith back in grade school, when she could still speak, was still popular and captain on the cheerleading team, back when it seemed completely and utterly impossible that we could ever become friends. I was fifteen, and she was only a month or so younger than me, although she quite nearly surpassed me in height and athletic prowess. I was strictly about those that pertained to the adventures portrayed in the many novels that lined our school library; she almost strictly pertained to those that dwelled in the here and now. She was the blond Catholic beauty; I was the brown-haired Protestant book worm. In lamest terms, we were nearly thousands of social worlds apart.

I guess our friendship began somewhere in HomeEc, possibly the most unlikely place for any acquaintanceship to take root. Neither of us wanted to be in the lowliest of electives-the "art" of learning how to cook and clean decently-and we both agreed that we hated the class with a passion. While Mr. Sands droned about proper cleaning techniques, I quietly helped her with her math homework, making sense of the many variables and solutions, while she showed me her impressive dragon and manga sketches, and we laughed quietly at our mentor's weasel-ish appearance.

In a short amount of time, Faith and I became a sort of unofficial...erm, "item", and many other students were claiming that I, Matthew Parkson, was her geeky boyfriend that doubled as her math tutor. She was demoted from her position as cheerleading team captain, due to that essential part of high school politics known as gossip, although she pretended to be as unconcerned as a boulder of granite.

However, it wasn't the demeaning nature of high school that nearly derailed what we had somewhat struggled to maintain. No, it was that beastly, almost malevolent factor known as Chance, and it made a stop at our school to partake of a taste-test of disaster, much like the bodachs from Dean Koontz's novel "Odd Thomas". However, neither of us could take hints from the dead as Mr. Koontz's enigmatic protagonist had, and sometimes I believe-if not know-that even unearthly spirits and shades couldn't have helped us on that faithful April afternoon, when Chance, Death and Grace had a gamble.

Author's Note: Yay, I'm writing again! Man, had a bit of writer's block for a second there...Well, anyway, here's the first chapter for "Cursed Silence". I know my style's a bit different than what I usually write, but hey, I was inspired. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed. Shalom!