A/N: This is my first story. Please review to let me know what you like and what I can improve on...constructive criticism is always welcome! Thanks! :)

Oh, p.s.- just for fun, i have links in my profile to the pictures I used of the characters when I was writing. Take a look!


Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Clara Donovan is staying with her father in Vermont for the summer. She knows that this summer will be different... but what she doesn't know is what's in store for her: hate, love, sabotage, and the discovery of age-old family secrets! What happens when ancient myths come true in a race to save her, her family, and her friends' lives?


Prologue

"How much time?" he asked in a low voice, breaking the silence. It was impossible to discern his expression in the dark. I looked at my watch for the umpteenth time.

"Two minutes." My mouth seemed to move of its own accord, the rest of my body frozen in fear.

My heart was thumping loudly inside my chest. I checked the time again. One minute, thirty seconds. The little boat was going as fast as it could, but it still wasn't fast enough‑- the small, dark island in the center of the lake still seemed miles away. One minute. Fifty-nine seconds. Fifty-eight. Fifty-seven. I drew a ragged breath. If we didn't make it in time, everyone would be as good as dead.


Chapter One

I opened the fortune cookie that was the last bit of my lunch. It read, "Look with favor upon a bold beginning." Snorting, I crumpled it up and handed it, along with the rest of my trash, to the flight attendant walking down the aisle carrying a trash bag.

Then I checked my watch. It felt like I had been on the plane already for at least four hours, but we still had over two hours until the landing in Vermont. I groaned audibly, and the lady sitting next to me turned and stared. I tried to ignore her.

Looking out the window, I reflected on the events that had unfurled within the past week- exactly one week ago it had been decided that I would be spending the summer with my father in the tiny town of Swanton, Vermont. I could remember it clearly: my mom had been on the phone for over two hours before I could hear any hint of ending the conversation. I only knew that she had been talking to my father, I had no idea what about, but finally I heard her give in to whatever argument they were having.

"Fine, Will. You're right. No, I think Clara will get used to it," she conceded.

And then she broke the news to me.

I had lived in Swanton with my mom, my dad, and my brother Jared until I was three, when my parents divorced. To this day, I still don't know the reason for their divorce, but I think it was rather serious. So my mom, Jared, and I moved across the country to Denver.

As part of an unspoken agreement, Jared and I went to go visit my father in Swanton every summer for a day or two, and then he would take us on vacation somewhere. We all liked it better that way- it gave my father a chance to get out, and Jared and I didn't have to stay at his house with nothing to do for a week.

Because I only had to be there for a few days each summer, I had no real biases against Swanton. It was a small, peaceful town right on Lake Champlain and only a few miles from the Canadian border. Because of the lake, and the fact that the Missisquoi River ran straight through the downtown village, the town had a very outdoorsy feel, and I liked that.

I wasn't particularly excited to be spending the summer with my father, but I wasn't dreading it either. I wasn't going to miss my friends, either - I had never really felt that comfortable with them, and I was glad to be going to a place where I could finally be myself.

It wasn't difficult on my mom's part to convince me to go to Swanton. I had spent past summers either working or lying around the house, and I wasn't particularly excited for that again.

As I walked through security earlier that morning, I finished convincing myself that it was a good idea. I realized I had been going through the same motions for years now, and this was the summer before my junior year of high school- I was ready to do something different. I wanted a change of surroundings.

I remembered glancing back at my mom and Jared before I left for the terminal. My mom had her hand on Jared's shoulder, who for once, didn't shrug it away.

Jared looks like me in almost every way: we have the same brown eyes, the same nose, the same face. But his hair is a much lighter shade of brown. My mom, on the other hand, has the same olive skin tone as I do, but nothing else. I smiled and remembered when the highlights in her hair had gone wrong and turned out rather blonde, instead of the caramel color she was going for. My mom and Jared waved once, and I turned and went up the escalator.

I checked my watch again- still over two hours left. I sighed, put my iPod headphones in, and took out a book to read.

Two and a half hours later, I was jerked awake by the plane going into landing. I had been strangely calm the past week, and especially that morning- I had expected that I would be at least a little anxious. Of course, that was when the worries started. Suddenly, I was wondering about things that hadn't even occurred to me earlier. What would I be doing all summer? I didn't know anyone in Swanton besides my father. What would it be like living with him, anyway? Would I make friends? Or would I be spending the summer holed up in my room? My heart started beating faster as the amount of questions in my mind increased. I had to admit, I was nervous.