Chapter One: In a town called Pooley

Pooley is a small town in the mountains between Tennessee and North Carolina, but it's the secrets of this tiny southern town of 1001 that makes it so interesting. Casey Pooley is that secret.

I sat in the back of my history class, going over from the night before and waiting for the rest of the class to show up. I have this thing where if I'm not early, I'll be late and so far the only thing that it's given me is extra time to sleep, so I figure it's good at the time being. I go to Pooley High School, junior year. You have no idea how much it sucks sharing a name with an entire town, Thanks great-grandpa. Especially if it's a family you don't want to be a part of.

I've got 3 sisters and our mom who single handedly raised us, and that's where the similarities end. My sisters are actually my half-sisters; I was the end result when you mix ignorance, a divorce, lots and lots of alcohol, and some guy from out of town. About 9 months later after mom and Mr. Tall, dark, and mysterious hooked up, I came along.

I sorta stand out from my family, where my sisters are toothpicks and probably eat as much as one; I have curves, am 5' 6" and love to eat hamburgers and steak. They have beach blond hair and are irritatingly tan; I took after Mr. mysterious with raven black hair and unnaturally pale skin.

"Morning Casey." Mr. Thorton, Our American History teacher, said as he set a pile of papers on his desk.

"Morning Mr. Thorton.: I said dryly. I had finished my homework, AND reviewing my notes, and was now resorting to doodling anything I could think of to last me the last 5 minutes before the warning bell rang and the class room started flooding with students.

The first ones after me to arrive were the usual buffs, and ass kissers who are very low on my priority list, and then there was this new guy. He must have been a bit mental because he sat next to me and to top it all off, he tried talking to me.

"Hey, Lucas Wolfe." He stuck out his hand and I just stared at it like it was some foreign and strange object that I've never seen before, slowly I reached out and shook it.

"Casey Pooley."

"Ha-ha, like the town, right?" He asked in disbelief.

"Yep." I said as I kept doodling, I was now trying to recreate one of those Pon and Zi cartoons but all that came out was a blob crying, nowhere as cute as the original.

"That must be cool, what are you? Famous or something around here?"

"It's really not that cool, I've been living with this stupid name for the past nearly 18 years and it's annoying as hell. And the closest you can get to famous is well known and everyone here knows everyone once you're here a while."

He laughed, I didn't think it was something to laugh at but okay. "So you're 17?" I nodded, trying another doodle, maybe a tree or an octopus. I wasn't sure what it really was. "That's cool, I'm 19."

I turned to him and stared. "You're 19 and still in high school?"

"Hey, gimme a break. I move around a lot with my family. I didn't get to finish a couple years so viola! Here I am, Pooley High, Class of 2010." He stretched out his legs to rest on the seat of the desk in front of him and rested his arms behind his head while closing his eyes as if readying himself for a nap. That was until the screech of my evil sister rang across the classroom.

"Hey Twerp! Outside, now!" I looked up and saw that I had about a minute and a half before the tardy bell rang. I stood and headed to the doorway where my older sister, Kayla, was outside in the hall just chewing bubblegum like there was no tomorrow and looking like she wished she were in an episode of Dukes of Hazzard or Cops (I think the latter would have suited her more.), wearing her daisy dukes and tank top that you could see her bra through.

"What do you want?" I asked.

"Shut up, you emo wanna-be. I need you to do me a favor."


"I want you to make up excuses for my teachers today. I'm going out to the lake with Mark." Mark Vasquez was Kayla's hot-shot football playing boyfriend who can't tell the difference between an astronaut and air.

"If you're gonna do what I think you're gonna do, then no. I want no part in it. Make up your own lies." I said in disgust, turning to go back into class where everybody else was waiting for the bell to ring and where I wish I had never left my seat.

"Yes, you are. Because if you don't, I'll tell mom that you were the one who wrecked her car."

"That wasn't me and we both know it. That was you and your other idiot boyfriend." While other people collect coins, my lovely sister here collects boyfriends. Her other significant other is Mark's best friend, Chad Fryczynski.

"So? Who do you think she's going to believe, me or her accidental daughter?" That hurt, a lot. I hated being reminded that I wasn't suppose to be part of this family and the fact that my mom treated me like I wasn't didn't help either.

"Fine. I'll do it, but if you get caught doing something your not suppose to be doing it's your own fault." I warned her.

"Good." She flipped her hair in my face and walked out of the school. I quickly turned around and went into to class with about 2 seconds to spare when the bell signaled Mr. Thorton to start his class.

"Good Morning, everyone!" He greeted us happily, probably because his system is overflowing with coffee.

Some "Morning, Mr. Thorton." were greeted back, others just grunted in response, and then there were those that just didn't say any thing.

"Today we're going to be going over…" I blocked out the rest of his spiel as I wrote down all the necessary notes to pass the class. I felt a slip of paper slide under my hand, I looked and it was a note. I then looked around to see where it had come from and there was Lucas pretending pretty horribly to be doing nothing else. I gave him a look that asked about the note and he just smiled, translating into 'open it'.

What was that about?

I wondered if I should answer it and figured there'd be no harm in replying.

Evil bitch sister of DOOM!

I heard his snickering but luckily the teacher didn't.

Big or Little?

What do you think?

Big then, I take it?

I was about to answer when my attention was drawn back up front where Mr. Thorton was getting ready for his next class and ending this one. "Now class, I want you to read chapters 6-10 for homework this week and I want you all to have a nice day!" He said as the bell to freedom rang.

"Hey, Case! What's your next class?" Lucas asked as he walked beside me.

"Uh…English 3 honors, you?

He grinned from ear to ear. "Same! Awesome! So, this big sister of yours, what'd she want from you?"

I almost made it out the door when called my name which was surprisingly becoming popular today. "Casey, before you go. Do you know why your sister is absent today?" He asked.

"Oh, umm…" I'll take revenge for 200, Bob. "She had to go to the lady doctor. Something about a rash or something. I'm kept out of the loop with these things. Sorry I couldn't be of any help."

"Oh, ok." He turned without saying anything else and went back to work. I do believe I've just made Mr. Thorton blush! Score for me! I smirked and turned to walk to my next class when Lucas joined me.

"All right, that was gross. I'm sure even I didn't want to know that." I laughed and kept walking, dodging oncoming students in the mid-break rush. "No, she just skipped and went to the lake Owens to sleep with her jerk boyfriend. She's blackmailing me into doing it for her. "

"And you're getting back at her while doing it by making her seem like a slut?" He said, catching on to my evil workings very quickly.

I shifted my backpack on my shoulder so all my books weren't staying still and digging into my back for too long. "That's the plan, but she doesn't need my help making her look that way, she does it fine by herself."

He laughed. "Nice." We turned into a room that was off white like all the other rooms in the school, but was covered in famous writers and some of their most well known sayings and some not so well known ones.

The bell rang once more and we all took our seats, Lucas sat next to me and continued to look around. A frazzled looking woman came out from behind her desk work area with magnifying glass lenses in her glasses, making her eyes seem five times bigger that normal.

"Oh, good morning class! I hope you all caught up on your sleep in first period so you'll stay awake in mine!" she was wide awake, unlike half of the class that had already settled down for a long snooze in here. "Alrighty then! Let me read the morning announcements real quick before the pledge comes on." She pulled up a sheet of paper that listed things from teacher meetings to student council meets. "Ok, then. Football practice Friday afterschool, same for cheerleading. Student council Thursday, oh yes. The Halloween Masque tickets are now on sale you can purchase them at lunch if you like. And I guess that's it!"

I snorted and pulled out my notebook to start taking notes. Matt turned to me and gave me a questioning look. "What?"

"What a perfect way to throw a birthday party when you know everyone at school will be there!" I said sarcastically.

"Your birthday's on Halloween?"

"Every year until the day I die. Born October 31st at 11:59pm." I turned once more to my backpack that was on the floor to pull out a pen or something to write with.

"That's awesome! I wish I had a birthday like that. Maybe on New years, then everyone in the world would party with me."

"Yeah, I guess."

Mrs. Henry, the English teacher who looked like she stuck her finger in an electrical socket, called my attention. "Casey, where is your sister?"

"Gyno!" I said loud enough so everyone could hear.

She sighed and put a hand on her hip and sighed. "Again? That girl is going to ruin her life if she keeps this up." Mrs. Henry winked my way and continued her class.

Ahh! Yes! Food! My mind reeled as I sunk my teeth into the lukewarm slice of cheesy pizza I had gotten from the cafeteria along with some French fries and chocolate milk.

"So what was all that about?" Lucas said taking a seat next to me that was usually empty at the table in the far corner of the lunchroom that was always empty.

"What was what about?" I asked with a mouthful of food.

He laughed for a second before speaking. "The thing with the English teacher. Uh, you've got a little something right here," He pointed to my chin; I tried wiping it with my napkin but missed horrible because he reached out and got it off himself. "There you go."

"Thanks. Mrs. Henry hates my sisters just as much as I do; she's had to teach them all of them and knows that they're all lazy brats." I took another bite and my eyes rolled into the back of my head.

Lucas did the same before asking the inevitable question. "You've got more than one sister?"

I swallowed the bite I'd been chewing, "Yeah. Uh…I've got three. Kayla, the one you saw today, she's the youngest next to me and especially the dumbest. The only way she'll graduate is by paying nerds to do her homework for her. The next one up is Amy, she's 20 and is taking a year off before going to college to study culinary, and then the oldest is Julie. She's 25, and is working as an apprentice for an Architect in New York; also she's my mother's pride and joy."

"Cool." He nodded and continued to eat his food.

"Do you have any siblings?" I asked.

"Oh yeah, I come from a big family. Never grew up alone and if I did it was a time when I didn't remember." The bell that controlled our High School lives rang and this was where Lucas and I split ways while he went off to Gym, I went to Biology Honors. At least I made a new friend, today. I thought as I made my way down the halls along with the rest of the student population going one place or another.