Attention all readers: this is my first official story! Please give me as much feed back as possible- good or bad! All is appreciated!

ENJOY!

"Ah! Damn it!" a co-worker yelped from across the familiar shelves within the bookstore.

"Another one Jaimie?" I yelled back, smirking at my own comment. You'd be surprised how many paper cuts come organizing the books on these shelves. "You should just wear gloves from now on."

"No, I'll look like a clown!" Jamie joked back, while leaning around the shelves to face me, sitting at the cash-register.

"Jamie, clowns have the huge boots, not huge gloves, if thats what you mean" I can't help saying without shaking my head. That happens to be my signature move- shaking my head. Even after having a laughing attack, I shake my head.

"Hey man, I'm not an idiot!" he says, a smile spreading to his face as he disappears around the bookshelves. "And I've got a date to prove it!"

"Ha! NO WAY!" my voice rattles with disbelief! I jump down from the cash register, and search for my friend among the bookshelves. "Your taking out Cindy Hayers?"

I'm weaving through the bookshelves now, dying to see Jamie's face. Jamie suddenly pokes out from the other end of the shelf. "You got it man!" I run toward him, and he to the other side- kind of chasing each other around this one bookshelf.

"THE Cindy Hayers?"

Jaimie leans against the shelf, "Yep, THE Cindy. Man, stop shaking your head!"

The Hayers family is the richest family in our town of Rockwell, and is involved in all of the town fundraisers and activities of the schools to a point where it would be impossible to not have heard of them. The family had moved to the town rather quickly from the famed New York City. Mr. and Mrs. Steve Hayers live in one of the last mansions still around in our town that dates back to about a hundred years at least. From rumors spread around back in high school and the well-talked about parties, the mansion was quite a sight to behold inside and out.

The Hayers only have two daughters by the names of Cindy and Samantha. Now, Cindy was always the sweetest girl anyone may ever meet, who gave a ripe apple to every one of her middle school teachers, and was the best at comforting anyone upset for any reason. While her sister Samantha, never had a single sweet and happy bone in her small and fierce body. You could probably be seriously injured from making simple eye-contact.

"How'd you do it!" I tackle Jaimie to the bookstore carpet, laughing all the way down.

"It was classic, she dropped her books in the hallway and I helped pick them up with her" his smiled, "and I walked her to her next class."

"Oh, you're just SO smooth" I snickered. The doorbell rings to end the moment.

A shout out to all bookstore employees, its a bad idea to be caught lying on the floor when a customer walks in- just so you know.

"What is going on here?" the shocked customer gasped. The customer is Mrs. Dew-guard, an elderly woman who cannot stand kids, let alone un-orderliness. She is a very petite old woman with an everlasting scowl etched on her face to match a very sour disposition. The cane she holds in her hands looks hand carved and battered from intense daily wear. "Get up and assist me!"

"Of coarse Mrs. Dew-guard" we say simultaneously, jumping off the ground to take our posts, me to the cash register and Jaimie ready to guide Mrs. Dew-guard to the right bookshelf of her desire.

I can hear my ringtone to some Jay-Z song playing in my backpack on the floor near my seat. I look over to Jaimie and he's showing the client where the mystery section is, an apparently new venture from her usually bland book sections.

I grab my phone and head into the back storage room of the bookstore. "Hello?"

"Lucas? Where are you? You're supposed to be helping me with painting today. Please don't tell me that you forgot"

My father had left my mother and I only a few months after I was born. My mother had worked herself through law school while taking care of me, and since then she has provided for us through her career as a top lawyer in the state of Maine.

She has always wanted to go into painting, and now she had planned to redo the whole kitchen as a test-run for her upcoming new hobby. We're in the early stages and she needs more than just her two hands to do the job.

"Mom! No! No, I'm...almost to the house...uh breaking up...can't hear you! Bye!" I slam the phone shut and run out of the storage room.

"Jaimie!"

"Yeah? Something wrong?" he turned away from the client who seemed to be pleasantly happy with the novel in her tight grasp.

Picking up my backpack, "I completely forgot I have to help with painting the house. Can you finish with Mrs. Dew-guard and lock up?"

"Sure! Man, you know how late you are? It's already dark!"

"Shut up, don't remind me" I say, turning to bust out the door and into the darkness.

"Man, you're 19! And you forget more than I do!"

"Like I said, shut up!" I yell, laughing and shaking my head on my way out the door. I dig in my pocket for my car keys and get in my orange and black mustang that I got for my 17th birthday. I turn the keys, yet the car squeals in sharp protest. I twist them one more time and hear no squealing, no protest, and absolutely no sound of an engine.

"Come on!" I bang on the steering and then rest my head on my hands in defeat, "I guess I'll have to walk home then."

It's nearing winter time, and the sun has gone down earlier than usual. It is five o clock and pitch dark.

I take out my cell phone as I walk down the street, only a few block away from my house. The light from my cell phone helps to guide me through the dark when the warm yellow light from the few street lamps fade.

I get the strange feeling that someone is watching me, and I freeze underneath the nearest yellow street lamp. The hair on the back of my neck raise.

I scan the darkness, and see nothing.

The street lamp sparks and the yellow light fades, which gives the street the ironic resemblance to a scene in a horror film. My pulse picks up speed and I break into a cold run.

I search for the next street lamp and stand under the light to catch my breath. I try to look again, for anything within the darkness that could make me so paranoid.

A dark shadow moves across the street and then comes back toward my direction. It is a large animal, too large for this small town of Rockwell. This time every hair on my body raises.

I break into another cold sprint, this time not daring to stop.

I can see my porch lights only a few feet ahead, and I can see my mother already painting in the kitchen through our large bay windows. "Oh I'm so dead" there's a deep growl from behind me, "So dead."

I pound up the dark wooden steps of my porch and crash into the front door. Literally. The door gives way beneath me, as I tumble into the foyer. I guess we'll have to be redoing more than just the kitchen...

"What is going on?" my mother rushes in, picking me up off the broken door. She stands there helping me brush dust and broken wood off my clothes, "You really need to get a place of your own sweetie! I don't know how many more times I can fix this door!" She ends with a smile.

She guides me to the unfinished kitchen, where I zone in on one of the stools. I'm still panting from running three blocks from the yellow street lamp. Before I could look up again, there was a glass of water next to me, and the sound of my mother putting away the water jug in the fridge.

I can feel the curiousness rising, unlike most moms, mine isn't nervous about my well-being- oh no. She is way more curious than anything.

She stopped worrying about me after I turned 17.

"Don't even ask."

"What? How our front door was demolished? I need some answers hun."

I turn to her, glass of water in hand, "Car failed to start, so I walked home. Got a little spooked is all."

I raise the glass farther under the light bulb in the ceiling and the water in the glass starts pleasantly shimmering.

"You were never afraid of the dark, or even a monster in your closet. What spooked you so much? And while you tell me, pick up a brush and help me paint."

I can't help but sigh and shake my head as I roll off the stool and grab a rusty-colored brush.

"Saw something run across the street. Some sort of animal, I don't know."

"An animal? Huh, in Rockwell!" She turns to look at me, fully curious now. She is now never going to stop talking about this! "What kind of animal?"

"I don't know mom. It was dark. It was huge is all. Bigger than a dog for sure! Four legs..."

My mom puts down the brush, pausing, thinking. She turns to look at me, more with concern. I haven't seen that look in a long time.

"It was like a dog, but bigger?"

"Yeah, why?"

Her eyes start to dart around the room- until they land toward the foyer, "Wait, come help me close up the front doorway."

She goes over to one of the kitchen counters that are covered in thick paper to avoid paint splatters, actually the whole room besides the walls are covered in this thick paper. She grabs an edge and tears a giant rectangular shape of the paper off the counter where she's already painted.

Next thing I know, I am right behind her with masking tape. The door I crashed down was almost all wood, except it had one long panel of glass running down one side of the door.

My mother looks out into the yard, before kicking the broken pieces of glass and wood out onto the porch and on the welcome mat. Then she reaches up to cover the open entrance with the thick paper, "You have the tape?"

Why is she so worried all of a sudden? Now I'm going to have to remember not to go barefoot on the porch.

"Yeah" I strip long pieces of masking tape to the paper and door frame. "That enough?"

She steps back for a better look, "Perfect" she smiles, "let's go paint."