Hands. Holding guns. Why? Facing me. Scream. Bang! Red.

I hated waking up like this. Damn nightmares. They kept coming to me like this, and, when I wake up, I'm panting and coated in sweat.

"Dirk, get up! You're going to be late for school!"

My mom always yelled at me in the morning. Her shouting at me had recently occured more often because of my recurring dreams. Yet, it might also be because my dad died about a year ago. She's been trying harder to keep her authority over me since his death.

"I'm up, Mom! Stop worrying!" I yelled back.

I got up, grabbed a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, put on my socks and shoes, snatched a waffle from the kitchen, got in my Versa, and drove to school.

School (as usual) was completely boring. Well, besides the fact that everyone had extremely high energy because the first football game of the season was tonight. Being the star quarterback of the football team, I was bombarded with high fives and pats on the back. Still, I was used to all this.

The football game that night? Same old, same old.

We beat the opposing team 41 to nothing all while my girlfriend, Christie, kept on trying to flirt with me the whole time. She was really annoying when I was focusing on the game.

Now, after the game was when the real action of the day began.

My friends, who had driven me to the game even though I told them ten thousand times that I had my own car, had decided to ditch me at the game. So, I was walking home. Much to my surprise, I wasn't the only person out for a walk. It looked sort of odd, but I didn't care enough to feel worried.

I should have run for my life.

Every single person out there on the street started moving toward me. Suddenly, I was surrounded by at least 15 people. I was a little spooked by how they acted like they all knew each other and what each person was going to do.Then, my nightmare was no longer a nightmare.

Each person took out a gun and pointed it at me. Not understanding that I was in serious danger, I laughed like it was all a joke.

"Okay guys. Come out. You got me," I said, thinking that my friends were trying to pull a prank on me.

Their guns were still pointing at me.



I was pushed to the side just as shots rang out all around me. The voice I heard sounded like a girl's, though I had no idea who she was. Still, I was completely confused about what was going on. I kept my eyes closed, and the shots stopped.

I woke up (once again) on my bed. The left side of my body felt extremely sore, like I was hit by some really big guy really hard. I grunted and sat up on my bed.

"He must be awake now," I heard my mom whisper outside of my room. My door creaked open, and in walked my mom with some girl who was holding a little black dog. The girl looked to be about 17 with shoulder-length blonde hair, blue eyes, and glasses. She reminded me of one of the Aca Deca geeks at my school.

"Can I talk to Dirk for a moment?" the girl said, giving what I thought to be her puppy eyes to my mom.

"Sure. Dirk, this is Karen. She found you on the sidewalk while walking her dog and brought you home," my mom replied. I am sure she started mumbling about how the girl would be a much better girlfriend for me than Christie.

"Finally!" the girl huffed. She took off her glasses and set her dog on the ground. Her little dog found a pair of my boxers on the floor and started chewing on it. "Your mom is a freak show!"

"Why are you still here?" I asked. Karen looked a little less nerdy with her glasses off.

"To make sure you're okay, duh." Karen plopped down next to me on my bed.

"I'm okay. See? Now you can go."

Karen stayed right where she was. Her little black dog stopped chewing on my boxers and sat down next to her feet.

"There's something I need to tell you," she breathed out.

This Karen girl was weirding me out. She was almost like some of those freaky nerd girls who completely worshipped me, thinking that they would actually have a chance at getting me to notice them.

"What?" I looked away from her, a little agitated.

"How do I put this? Umm...okay. Promise you won't freak out before I tell you anything." I could feel her eyes looking at me. Karen had to be one of those obsessive freaks from school. There was no other reason why a girl would be acting weird around me.

"Fine," I said, going along with her charade. It was always much more entertaining to watch a girl run after she has confessed her undenying love. They would always leave thinking that their whole life was destroyed. Total idiots.

"Okay then...I am your guardian angel."

That didn't sound like a confession of love to me. I turned to look at Karen to make sure she was serious. Nothing on her face said that she was joking.

"What? You are seriously crazy," I was sure she had to be beyond crazy.

"I'm not crazy," Karen glared at me, "I've been dead from the past 25 years. My job since then has been to protect the living. Get used to having me around. As long as those people with the guns are around here, I'm going to be watching every move you make."

The look in her blue eyes told me she wasn't crazy, nor was she lying. I jumped off my bed and put my back against the wall. If she was right, I was going to need to get used to seeing the butt end of guns along with her face.

"Well, I can see you finally understand what I am saying," Karen murmured, "I'll be around when I'm needed."

She grabbed her dog and left me in my room to ponder over what she had said. I still thought she was insane, but why did I believe her?