~No Harp~

Chapter 1---The End of the Middle

Stephanie woke to the light patter of rain on her windows. Slowly she sat up, making the bed creak and her head spin. She was not a morning person. Groggily she climbed out and made her way to the shower. Her golden hair was soaked when she exited the shower, leaving a trail of droplets on the floor as she walked. A little more awake, she decided on her outfit for today and went over to the table. The rain had stopped and left a fresh smell in the air. Today would be a good day.

As she stepped out of her house and said her goodbyes to her mom, she noticed a feeling. When she had woken it was nothing. Now it was like a wave. Silently crashing against her from the outside in. Pushing it aside she continued on her way to school. Which by the way, she was late for.

Barley making it in before the late bell, Stephanie clasped in her seat. Her breath was ragged and her legs ached from the non-stop sprint. She ignored her 'friends' whispers and giggles at her appearance. Was it her fault she had to run? Technically yes…but still.

"Hey guys! Quit it!" A voice sounded from behind her and she turned, a small smile on her mouth.

" Oh… hi….Thomas…" She said, making her lungs scream in protest. He smiled, causing her face to flush with color.

" You overdid it again, didn't you?'

"…No."

" That's not convincing at all."

"…" She gave him a glare and he raised his hands in protest.

After that it was a normal school day. Homework in math and two tests loomed over her head. It was already Wednesday and tomorrow she had guitar practice. Although she enjoyed it, it felt more like a burden than a enjoyable thing. After the long walk home and the tiring practice she had time to relax. Plopping down on the sofa she let out a slow sigh. Her mom came up to warn her that her dad would be home soon. When he came he was dead tired. It was his day job that took a lot out of him. She would have to be a little more quiet. Turning off the TV and getting on the computer would suffice. A little fooling around wouldn't be too bad once in a while.

Hours later and it was time to sleep. In a tired daze she washed her face, got in her nightgown and plopped down into her bed. Turning over and over, she tried to shake herself of the feeling that was now taking over. It was infecting her smell, her taste, her brain. Spreading with each heartbeat. Commanding control. She lay there several hours before drifting into a troubled sleep.

The sound of a footstep in her room woke her. She was used to her mom coming to wake her in the morning, so this was her first thought. However, on closer inspection it was pitch black. And the clock in the room read 2: 34 am. And that person wasn't her mom.

He was a tall slim figure dressed in plain clothes. She opened her mouth to scream but found no sound. The feeling droned into her head once again. She flinched and the intruder turned his head. He lifted his arm, and a bang resounded through the house. Eyes wide with horror, she watch as red soaked through her clothes.

All she could concentrate on was the feeling though. The strangest phenomenon. Here she was, shot and bleeding slowly to death, and she couldn't even feel the pain. Something clicked in her brain and a new feeling took control. Pure terror. A shaky hand came to pull off the blanket, but the pain had paralyzed her.

Another shot flew across the room and she had no choice but to watch as her world sank into the black.