Chapter One: Window Fog

It was raining again for the third day in a row, and Alexander, whom had just been released from juvie the day before, was sitting on his bed with the light off, door closed, and the shades torn off the window onto the floor. I'm quite certain you can imagine the depressing grayness of the room. He kept rubbing the fog off the window so he could stare outside. It became irritating having to continuously rub the window so many times that his sleeve was wet.

He rested his forehead on the cold glass and pounded on it once with his fist, "Stupid!" he roared, seething with anger as he remembered the year's past events.

"Shut-up," his father hollered up the stairs. "Your sister has a headache!"

"Sorry, Senna," he apologized through the air vent on the floor.

"It's okay," Seneca answered through the responding shaft on her ceiling.

Alec folded his arms and leaned on the windowsill and sighed audibly, then noticed something moving in the upper left corner of his window. It was a small silver spider that appeared to be mending its web. "Don't you ever get tired of fixing it?" He spoke to it in spite of the fact that he knew it couldn't answer him– or. . .could it?

Alec was –not in the least bit– surprised when he saw it write an answer on the foggy window and only figured it was his imagination. I mean, who wouldn't be bored if they were locked in an attic that was really their room with nothing left in it but their bare bed (with the exception of a blanket) and a broken lamp on a night stand that was older than they were because the rest of it was packed in a trunk so they could go away to boarding school tomorrow?!

Ahem. . . .uh. . .sorry about that. Anyways. . .

In small, stubby, letters, was written: Yes aND No

"What do you mean?"

The spider moved quickly across the windowpane: Yes, someTimes i TiRe oF iT, buT mosT oF The Time i haveN'T much else To Do

"Oh. Well, do you have a name?"

Yes. Do You?

"That's obnoxious," he snorted.

No iT isN'T

"Is too."

buT You askeD me The same QuesTioN

"So."

so ThaT makes You obNoxious Too

"Never mind. So, what is you name?"

WhaT's YouRs?

"I'm being serious," he grit through his teeth as his patience was growing thinner with each passing second.

so am i

"Knock it off!"

okay, okay. i'll sTop. mY Name is Denzelle Elliathe Bailey. aND YouRs?

"Alec Kilfether" he answered casually.

kilFeTheR :the spider paused a moment: iv'e heaRD ThaT somewheRe beFoRe

"Really," he replied in a doubtful tone, raising an eyebrow.

Yes ReallY

"So, are you a boy, or a girl?"

The spider scurried up the window and underlined Denzelle, then wrote: a giRl oF couRse! WhaT else woulD i be?

There was a gentle knock at the door.

"It's locked, Senna," he responded sub-consciously.

After a light jingle of keys, the door opened to a soft, fragile, voice, "No it's not," she smiled mischieviously.

He looked at her and smiled back, "Guess not. So, how'd you get the keys anyway?"

"I– " she stopped and her smile faded, "I don't– . . .I don't remember. . . ."

Sadness and the knowledge of false hope surfaced on his face, forcing him to look away, "It's okay."

Tears started to form in her eyes, "I'm sorry. I-I don't mean to forget, it just. . .happens."

"Don't be sorry. It's not your fault."

"I know. . ." She padded silently over to her brother, "Here," she said quietly. Cradled in pale, shaky, fingers was a metallic purple cell phone. Alec looked at her with that "you're kidding me" expression on his face. "I didn't know you'd rather the pink one," she giggled. His eyes went wide, making her laugh more, "Purple it is then. You get free minutes on nights and weekends, and you can text and send pictures for free too, anything else you have to pay for. But you only have to pay for minutes after you run out. Oh, and you have free internet service and I almost forgot to tell you that you have four hundred minutes."

"Why are you giving it to me?"

"So you don't have an excuse not to call me."

"I should've known," he sighed, smiling as he rolled his eyes.

"You promise to call me every day then, right?"

"Promise."

"Okay, but you have to give me a hug first because I know I won't see you tomorrow morning."

He stood up and took her in his arms, "You gonna miss me?"

"Mm-hmm. Are you gonna miss me?"

"Yeah. . ."

"You sound sad."

"I am," he said simply.

There was a brief silence. "I love you, Alec, so be careful and don't do anything stupid. . .okay?" she choked.

"I won't."

"Okay," she breathed, letting go and taking a step back. "I gotta go back downstairs before Dad finds out I was up here instead of in the bathroom. Bye."

"Bye, Seneca," he said dismally.

He turned back to the window and found another –what he thought to be– imaginary message.

whaT's wRoNg wiTh ThaT giRl? she looks hoRRiblY pale. aND whY was she so upseT ThaT she coulDN'T RemembeR someThing? :she scribbled worriedly.

"She's my sister."

oh. pooR DeaR

"She looks pale because she has some unknown illness, but they think it's some kind of cancer. And it's not just something, it's everything. She has a mild case of Alzheimer Disease," he explained. "Anyways, I'm tired. So, goodnight, er, whatever. I mean it's not like I'm really talking to a spider," he said just before laying down to sleep without bothering to change out of his jeans and red sweatshirt. Then again, I wouldn't change out of something my little sister gave me I wasn't going to see her for god knows how long (I'm talking about the red sweatshirt).

The next morning, Alec awoke to his head smacking the cold, wooden floor. "Owwwwwww," he moaned through clenched teeth.

"Get up now, or you'll miss the bus," he hissed. "So stand up, take your trunk, and get out."

"Ugh, whatever," he grunted. As his father walked out of the room he hoisted himself off the floor. He reached over his bed to grab the cell phone off the windowsill, though he was too busy to notice the spider jumping onto his shoulder. After shoving the phone in his pocket, he traveled silently out of his room, down the stairs, and out of the house; on his way out, he collected the large black trunk and package of –what he did not yet know to be– blueberry pop tarts.

Alec walked quickly down to the corner and arrived just as the bus was stopping. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out his bus fare to give to the driver. "Here," he said flatly, handing him five dollar bill. "Keep the rest for yourself." The driver smiled and tipped his hat to Alec who flashed a quick smile in return.

Alec wandered towards the back seat, hoping to be alone, and of course, he wasn't.

He sat leaning against the right side of the bus with his head on the window and his trunk on it's side under the seat.

"Never though I'd see you again," a woman's voice came from his left. She was sitting perfect posture so as not to wrinkle her gray suit.

He looked at her, then turned back to the window, "What do you want?"

"Someone to talk to." A little girl leaned forward slightly, peeking out from behind her mother, searching for the familiar voice.

"Selfish," he scoffed.

"No, not quite. It's just nice to see a familiar face," she corrected. The girl leaned out a little further.

"Hello, Veronica," he said without looking; he didn't have to look to know it was her.

Her pretty blonde curls bounced wildly as she scrambled over her mother to sit next to him. "Hi, Alec," she grinned through her glossy hair.

He turned to her, smiling warmly as he brushed her hair out of her eyes, "You should really learn to remember to tuck your hair behind your ears."

"I know," she chirped.

"Why didn't you have a lawyer?" she pried.

"Why didn't you have a babysitter?" he countered angrily.

"That has nothing to do with it."

"That has everything to do with it! You shouldn't be making your daughter come with you to court," he scolded. "She's too quiet because of it!"

"She is very well behaved and–"

"That's not how five are supposed to act!" he snarled.

"That is your opinion," she responded cooly.

Alec drew in another short breath, ready to throw another sharp comment, but held his tongue when he felt a tug on his sleeve, "Alec?"

He looked down at her, his fiery hazel eyes softening, "Hmm?"

"It's okay. I like it quiet, and it sounds funny when she talks to me. It's okay."

But it wasn't okay, he knew it made her hurt inside. He knew it hurt her because it hurt him; or at least. . .it used to. . . .

Alec watched her blink and rub her eye like there was something in it. He wanted to reach out and hug her but wasn't sure if he should. Even if he didn't want to (which he did very badly), he would end up hugging her anyway when she sniffled and leaned into him; resulting with him putting his arm around her shoulders and glaring at her mother.

The two of them sat in a stony silence, which was often disturbed by the nervous fidgets of her daughter. Den(Denzelle) watched quietly from under his hood, just thinking of how much they reminded her of Erinn and Victoria Claire. Especially the way the woman's red-gold hair was knotted in a tight bun atop her head. How odd. . .

"If you must know, it's your fault I didn't have a lawyer."

"Is that so," she answered irritantly.

"I was counting on you to be there. But when I called, I found that you had taken his side. You knew that Jamie did it. You were there when it happened. You watched your cousin try to kill your brother and yet you still defended him. You watched your brother get fisted by Jamie in the alley from across the street. You watched Jamie run when he heard me whistling my song that I wrote on my way home from baseball. You even watched me check to see if he was okay. And what did you do? You called the police on me because you didn't want your cousin to get caught. And now, your brother is lying in a hospital bed because of it. And what with the brain damage he now has, he can hardly remember his own name. And Jamie is still out there, probably just waiting to do it again. Since he was my friend, he was able to time it perfectly because he knew that I was playing baseball with DaVion that day, and he also knew that I had written the song I was whistling because I wrote it with him. So if he can set it and turn on me, he can do it to you too, Elizabeth."

She waited as the bus slowed to a stop, then corrected him bitterly as she stood to leave, "That's Ms. Claire to you, Alexander Kilfether." She grabbed her daughter's hand and tore her away from him, "Come, Veronica."

"Bye, Alec," she waved with difficulty as her mother dragged her down the aisle.

"Take care, Vonna," he called after her. She looked back at him one last time and smiled. She loved it when he called her that.

The bus jerked forward and continued its route. Alec pulled out the poptarts he grabbed earlier this morning and unwrapped them. He took a bite that equaled more than half of the frosted pastry. Ugh! It just had to be blueberry!!

He chewed and swallowed as fast as he could, gagging lightly as he did so. He shoved it back in wrapper with the other one then set them on the floor and shoved it under the seat in front of him with his foot, pretending not to know they ever existed. With nothing else to occupy his thoughts, he leaned back in the seat and started to sub-consciously think about how much he hated women.

Den noticed the sultry look on his face. Just what was he thinking about anyway? It had to be something awful because his eyes narrowed and he was completely silent the whole way there. She couldn't help but wonder where it was exactly they were going. Guess she would just have to wait and see.

Hours passed, and they were still going. Denzelle sighed and laid flat on her stomach with all eight legs sprawled out around her. She hated this form, but she didn't have much of a choice. A spider was the first thing she thought to change into that wouldn't be suspicious to a human. 'I just had to pick a spider,' she thought miserably. 'I hate spiders. But he scared me, ripping those curtains off like that. So it's hardly even my fault that I'm a dumb spider. I mean, I didn't mind it when I wasn't stuck as one, making those cute little webs was kind of fun, I suppose.'

Eventually, the bus slowed to a stop in front of an enormous building. Den sprang up, unable to hide her excitement, and almost squealed with joy. 'It's about time!' she thought expectantly as relief swept over her. 'I thought we'd end up riding this wretched bus forever!'

It was no more or less than he had expected, in fact, it was just the way he liked it: huge and boring. Though, of course, as you can all probably guess what he was going to do to there. Their little prestigious academy would be prestigious no more when he was through. Oh yes, things will definitely (or rather, defiantly) change here at Benjamin Roads Academy. But, things never go without a catch. He was in for just as much of a surprise as the Principal of the boarding school, if not more.

Well, tell me what you think. If nobuddy thinks it's good enough to keep I'll ditch it. . . . NOT!! But I WILL make changes.