Chapter 1: The Note

I lay, wide awake, the covers pulled up to my chin and the tips of my toes pocking out from under the polka-dotted sheets.I stared out at those brown wiggling toes looking back at me.I sighed, pushing back the cover to unveil my bare caramel legs and body covered with a large t-shirt reading the "Mark's Steamers" logo on the breast, just another sleepless night, which is bound to be followed by another dreary day. I moved over to turn on the desk side lamp beside me, illuminating the of posters of bands, used cotton balls -from an earlier manicure fiasco -hair ties, book shelves filled to bursting, and my quirky collection of movie tickets in the corner stared back at me, and familiarity of it all made me smile faintly.

My feet padded softly to my book shelves, where I carefully selected a volume and nestled myself in-between the scattered array of my life and an old wardrobe.I carefully opened the book to the first page, where my horrible sleepless night and ordinary life bid me farewell and the story beneath my finger tips took hold.

But, suddenly, I was rudely interrupted.

A light tapping on my window startled me.I froze, then slowly pulled my legs into myself and there wasn't another tap, but still I stayed in that position for quite a while until finally darting across the room to my bed, where I pulled the covers up to my shivered in the sudden cold.

My shoes found the pavement in a steady rhythm, as I walked the long way home from school, only stopping occasionally to adjust the straps of my backpack as was usual with my walks home from school, I wasn't really concerned with the walk as my mind was thinking about the strange events the night before, I had once again experienced a sleepless then that following morning, I had decided to open my window, to prove to myself that everything was fine, but tapped to the backside of the window's pane with clear scotch adhesive looked back at me, proof.

A note on a single piece of paper stared back.

Esme Johnson,

Meet us after school. On the far side of Mickeny's Schoolyard.

This was one of those notes you parents warned you about.

The ones with scary men who take you away, and don't give you back.I wasn't stupid, and I didn't plan on showing up for the "little meeting".What did these people want from me, if only I'd pondered that for a little while at the time what had bothered me, even more than the short note, was the stationary it was on.

Central Intelligence Agency.

The heading stared back at I was many things, fidgety, loud and I prided myself on not being I actually believed for a fraction of a second that this was really the CIA, then I deserved whatever came to me.I had turned from my thoughts of the note then,crumpling the disturbing note in it as far away from myself as possible.I hoped whoever had written it would take a hint, and leave me alone and never bother me again.

But as we all know dreams rarely come true.

My pencil absently tapped my kitchen table as I stared at the overwhelming large supply of math equations in front of me.

I wasn't really concentrated on them though, mostly I was concerned about the strange and disturbing notes that kept appearing around addressed to me, everyone with the exact same message.I still hadn't told my Mother about the notes, and I still didn't really understand why I hadn't, inside my gut just seemed to know that if I told her about these notes, that something even worse would come, which only scared me even more was it really the government sending me these messages?And if so, why?A knock came at the door, and my stomach dropped, my Mother, humming softly wiped her hands carefully on a dish towel and went to answer it, I sensed danger, I wanted to scream at her to stop, to not answer that door, to steer clear of it-

But I didn't.

I let her walk up and open it, look about and frown.

"Well, that's odd," she said a puzzled look crossing her mahogany colored face, then she seemed to notice something on the old discolored doormat.

Leaning over she reached her hands out, to pick up a clean white of many, and so familiar.I stood up, before I realized what I was doing, running forward I snatched it up before she could all my books on the table, I headed for the stairs.

"Esme!" I heard her yell after me.

And then the sound of her footsteps after I wasn't listening, as I tore into my room, hurriedly locking the door behind me.I left her there, her voice echoing behind out the note from its envelope I looked franticly at the words typed so carefully there.I prepared for the so disturbing, and reoccurring message I had been seeing for days to my surprise and dismay another message was written on the familiar three word stared back at me.

WE ARE COMING

Something sick rose in my throat.

My heart beat faster and faster.I closed my eyes trying to block out the persistent thud of my Mother banging on the door of my room, as well as the dread that had begun to consume me, they had come to my door, seen my mother, knew where I lived-And were planning to come again.I wanted to cry, afraid, raking sobs, until my Mother came and made everything away.I did cry, but to no console.I fell asleep, shaking, on top of my covers, the note clutched in my hand.

CRASH

I heard frantic noises, shouts, my Mom's shouts, others who I didn't know.A crack, silence from my mother.I stood up looking around franticly, something slammed into my door, causing me to trip over my self.I cried voices, more crashes. I heard more until the door gave way and finally crashed down to the floor.I looked around.

"Get up!" someone shouted at me.

I looked up at the man's had short dark cropped hair and a slender hard face.I said something incomprehensible to which his response was another," Get up!"I stood, as he took something from behind his back, a sneered at me his dark face filled with an emotion I couldn't place at the time, but as I was to later to understand the expression, pleasure.

I'm going to die, I thought.

I'm going to DIE.

He yelled out," She's in here, throw it in!"

Throw what in?He put the mask over his face just as a yellow mist filled the room, my head clouded, and I realized that the gas filling the air was some kind of drug.I felt myself floating away,falling into something, the world seemed to be slowing down, time itself, seemed to have no take on my now spinning world.

"Oh," I heard myself mumble out loud.

The man grabbed my arm, and I began to last thing I saw as I drifted into unconsciousness was the cruel smile of the man as he stood over me.