Chapter One

I wound the window of my fathers Mercedes down and stuck out my hand. I felt as the rain splashed onto my palm and trickled down my arm.

'Mya, wind it up please. DJ's getting wet.' I sighed and did as my father bid. My nine-year-old brothers obese bulldog glared at me. Growing up with Dane as his master had made DJ think he was superior to me. Having been defeated I continued to stare at the back of my older brothers amazingly big head.

'How come Rob gets to sit up front?' Dane whined for the umpteenth time.

'Because only the best can sit up here,' Rob replied, full of himself.

'Yet again, how come Rob gets to sit up front?' For once in my life I was actually, faintly proud of Dane. He's turning out more like me everyday, except for the nose-picking, wedgie-picking and picking up of disgusting slugs and hurling them at the window to see which ones sickly spatter of slime would spread farther. But I did love them both, deep deep down I might add.

My mother had suddenly woken up one day with a vision, a very disturbing vision at that. The family moving from our apartment of eleven years to a house, miles away from anywhere I knew ever existed. My mother would be here now but she had to go back to the Philippines to look after my sick grandmother. So here we are, pulling into the drive of our new 'home' after the ten-hour car trip from hell. I mean honestly, I don't know how I survived with DJ whining, Rob pushing his chair back as far as it could go so my knees were crushing my ribs, my fathers not-so-beautiful duet with the stereo or Dane asking the all-annoying and ever-so-overused question, created by the very devil himself, uncountable times, dare I mention it? Are we there yet?

I glanced through the sunroof to see a blurred picture of a greenish brown two-story. Inside it was quite modern, which meant every single thing was painted a blinding white. It looked more like a psychiatric hospital to me. Then again, that's probably where I belong with a family like mine.

I arrived in a room with a bay-seat window overlooking the harbor a few blocks away. I checked the name on the boxes the movers had left in the room. Mya was scrawled across them in minute writing. At least one thing was going right today, I had the best room. The corners of my mouth twitched. Oh my god, did I just smile? Oh mighty one, please tell me otherwise.

My amazement at having the heavy stone cemented sarcophagus of my happiness opened was interrupted by Dane ambling down the hallway screaming. Between the ear-splitting barks from DJ I was able to understand that he wanted me to look at something in the backyard. I was about to follow him when DJ appeared. I bowed, however slightly and said, 'Mutts first, your butterballness.' He trotted haughtily in front.

From the concrete deck I could see what Dane was yelling about. There was a massive Bali-style pool and spa and next to the triple garage with sleep-out there was a half-pipe. Great, more future cuts and bruises I will have to fix up. Seeing as my 'loving' mother isn't here I've been stereotyped as the housewife figure. My mother and I have never been very close. The only thing I can thank her for is my good looks. With wavy black hair, deep brown eyes and an all-year-round tan from the Filipino in me, I wasn't exactly to go unnoticed. And I'm not the vain type. She was strict, straightforward and believed strongly in apathy, one of the traits I've inherited. My father on the other hand, wears his heart exposed on his business shirtsleeve. He was in love with his job and hardly had any time to see his children. None of us mind though, Rob and I had both matured quickly; I can't exactly say the same about Dane. Even now he's tugging at my father, begging the man to make him some lunch. My father obliged, he's such a complete pushover.

I returned to my room and started to unpack. I made a note to buy some paint as soon as possible. The total blankness of the room was starting to get to me. There was a good wall I could unleash my artistic flair upon. Perhaps a blazing day in Giza or a crisp night in Portugal.

After setting everything up in my room the way it was before we moved, as I'm not too open to change, I strolled downstairs and into the lounge and dropped myself onto the leather couch next to Rob who was immersed in an extremely melodramatic soap opera. The drama channel, trust that one to be the first tuned in. As I was reaching for the remote from Robs sweaty grasp the doorbell chimed.

'Mya, could you answer it please?' Dad called from somewhere in the big house.

'Yes, oh great and mighty one,' I shouted back.

'Don't you take that tone with me.' Was I hearing right? My father was actually standing up for himself; this year just keeps getting weirder. 'If it's the pizza guy there's some money by the door.'

I peered through the window, it was. A guy in his teens dressed in that horrid stripy shirt and huge baseball cap was standing on the front porch with a pizza in hand. I grabbed the cash and opened the door.

'Pizza for a Mr. Rookward,' he said blandly. When he noticed I wasn't the aged and balding man he'd expected a smile crept onto his face.

'My dad,' I said, rolling my eyes at his gesture. 'How much?'

'Eight dollars. Hey, um, my work numbers on the box, if you wanted to call. Just ask for Rick.'

'I'll tell my brother, how'd you know he was gay?' Before the idiot could figure out what I'd said I shut the door in his face. 'Pizza on the bench if you want it,' I yelled. Suddenly the soap opera didn't seem so interesting as Rob raced Dane into the kitchen. The pizza was gone before I could even step out of the room. Why is it I have to have utter pigs for brothers? No, it would be a disgrace for all of pig kind to call them that.

'By the way, I'm not gay,' argued Rob between mouthfuls of greasy, runny and violently yellow cheese.


A dense forest surrounded me. The eerie cry of an unknown creature sounded repetitively in my ears. No wait, its just that wretched alarm clock dad insists on keeping in my room. I blindly felt for it, picked it up and threw it as far as my morning weak arms allowed. Monday . . . Monday meant school. New house meant new school. New school meant new enemies. Oh the joy of it all. I slowly swung my legs over the side of my bed and toppled onto the floor with my bedding, and apparently I'm not a morning person? I dragged myself to my closet and put on the first items of clothing I saw, baggy jeans and a black bomber jacket. First impressions mean everything of course. I pulled my hair back into a windswept looking pony and trudged my way downstairs to breakfast, which was cold leftover pizza crusts. I'm amazed that my body keeps in such good shape considering the food I eat. I suppose I'm just one of those people that never gains weight.

A half-hour later I arrived in the front office of Harbor View High.

'Name?' Asked a woman behind the front desk stiffly.

'Mya Rookward,' I replied just as stiffly.

'You here for your time table?'


'Mya, Mya,' she muttered as she stared at the computer screen. A few seconds later I was handed my freshly printed schedule. First period . . . Science. My cold heart dropped, this day just keeps getting better. As I walked into a clean lab the chaotic class fell silent as though they had abruptly found out they were all condemned to die a slow and excruciatingly painful death. I took an empty seat and felt the eyes of at least thirty other people staring at me. Honestly, haven't these people ever seen fresh meat before? The girl sitting next to me said, 'Hi, I'm Mina. Ignore the others, there touched in the head.' The guy who looked as though he permanently had to blow his nose snorted, which was an extremely horrible sight. 'This is Adam,' the girl said and rolled her eyes.

'I trust you enjoy his company,' I stated.

'Very much so,' she replied sarcastically.


At lunch Mina helped me to decide where I ought to sit in the cafeteria.

'There's the Goths, the loners, band geeks, nerds, emos, their just as disturbingly horrid as the nerds except they try not to care what anyone thinks of them. Then there's the do-gooders, the popular guys.' I noticed Rob was sitting amongst them. 'The plastics, led by Skye, the blondest person ever to set foot upon this cursed world of ours. And then there's Ethan,' her eyes glazed over as she stared at a tall guy with black hair and piercing blue eyes. Mina cleared her throat and continued. 'Ethan, Daymon and some random guy, I think Peter or something. I sit with them, although we hardly speak.

I sat opposite to the one called Daymon. He was quite the looker with glossy brown hair, which he ruffled up with wax and stunning green eyes. He smiled and I could see his teeth were straight and pearly white. Snap out of it. I swore I would never date again after James. The fool had stood me up and ran off with some one-night stand.

'Who's your new friend Mina?' He asked.

'Mya,' I replied.

'I'm Day, this is Ethan and Pierre,' he pointed to his companions. Ethan smiled and I felt Mina grow irritatingly weak beside me. Pierre just stared. God, it's annoying when they do that. It's not like I'm the prettiest thing on the planet. Lunch consisted of mince casserole and bread. I happily gave mine to Daymon after finding a long ratty hair swirling innocently in it. It was silent at the table, except for Pierre and Ethan squabbling over who got the last piece of soggy bread, which ended up being shoved into Ethan's mouth after Pierre was trapped in a headlock. I will never understand the mannerisms of boys.

After break I had history, one of the most interesting subjects ever. And for once I'm not being sarcastic, that's a first. I entered the room and looked to see for any familiar faces. I took a seat in front of Day, the only person I somewhat knew. The class was studying Ancient Egypt, my ace topic. Having debated the teachers statement that the intestines were held in the canopic jar with the baboon head of the god Hapi, when it they were in fact held in the falcon-headed jar of the god Qebehsemuf, he then asked the age-old question, would you like to teach the class. Guessing I could further puncture his massive ego I replied simply yes.

'Well, if you think you're so smart, why don't you tell us a chapter from the book of the dead?' He said rigidly.

'Fine, what chapter would you like?' A smile crossed my face. I had memorized the book of the dead since before I was able to read. K, maybe I'm exaggerating, but still I knew it none-the-less.

'Er, chapter 30b.'

'Osiris, the scribe Ani, saith: "My heart my mother, my heart my mother, my heart my coming into being. May there be nothing to resist me at my judgment; may there be no opposition to me from the tribunal; may there be no parting of thee from me in the presence of him who keepeth the scales. Thou art my ka within my body, which knitteth and strengtheneth my limbs. Mayest thou come forth to the place of happiness to which I am advancing. May the Entourage who Make Men not cause my name to stink, and may no lies be spoken against me in the presence of the god. Good is for thee to hear."' 'Thoth, the righteous-'

'Silence,' the teacher said. The expression on his face was a mingled surprise and fury. 'You are to report to the deans this instant. I laughed under my breath. Trust me to be in trouble on the first day.


This text of Chapter 30b of the Papyrus of Ani is based on the translation of E.A. Wallis Budge, 1890.