Chapter 1

My alarm went off with a loud, "All aboard!" Soon after, there was a thunderous laughter that could be heard from a mile away. I instantly put my pillow over my head, while the CD in the player continued to play.

"Metal wounds not healing, life's a bitter shame!" the deafening song sang out. I knew that there was only one way to turn the booming sound off, which required me to take the pillow off my head and hit the turn off button. I took off my flowery pillow, threw it behind me, and slammed my hand onto the alarm. To my surprise, I accidentally knocked it over. The clock landed on the ground with a big thud. Just then my mother came running into my room with her pajamas still on.

"What happened? Is everything okay?"

"Yeah, everything's fine. My alarm just got knocked on to the floor," I answered in a dull voice as I lay my head back down on my bed.

"And how did that happen?" she asked.

"Oh, I don't know," I said.

"Oh, really?" she asked, raising an eyebrow while inspecting the alarm clock.

"Yes, I don't know," I confirmed after turning around to face the wall.

A hmm came from my mother, but nothing else was said.

I heard her walk out of the room, but before she was completely gone, she came back , leaned against the door fame, and told me, "You need to get up. You don't want to be late for your last day of finals at school." After that, she left.

I groaned as I got up. I didn't want to go to school and take my boring finals; even if it was the last day before summer.

I slowly got out my warm, comfy bed and into the cool morning air. The sun was shinning through my blinds, and just from that I knew it was going to be a gorgeous day.

I grabbed a pair of dark capris and a blue and white t-shirt before I headed down to the basement to take a shower. My brown-red hair was flapping up and down as I practically ran down the steps to the basement.

As I got ready to take the shower, I started thinking to myself, it's going to be a long day.

Guiding myself through the hallways of Roosevelt High School was difficult because of the mobs of students roaming around the hallways during the 6 minute passing period. It felt like I was in some sort of machine, where the main cafe was the engine of the machine and the students walking the corridors were the ones that run the machine.

I guess that's what it felt like to me, at least when I was walking towards my last final exam, which was Pre-Algebra in room 208. I had already done my first final, which was P.E. We had to run the Pacer Test. I absolutely hated the Pacer Test, mainly because I didn't like running. But, I just went with the flow of things.

The music started playing when I was walking up the stairs to my Pre-Algebra final. This was going to be the last final I would take today before I would go home. The song that was on was 'Don't Stop Believing' by Journey. I like the song, as so many other people I know do, but there are some people who listen to that song over and over and over again till they can sing every single word. I'm not that kind of person.

Just as I walked into classroom 208, the bell rang. It went rang for about 5-9 seconds and then it was off.

I picked a chair and a desk to sit at while my teacher, Mr. Ryan, was passing out the scan trons. I grabbed my #2 pencil from my bright red pencil case.

"Hey Josephina," whispered a familiar voice behind me.

I turned around to see a 6 feet tall, blonde haired boy with brown eyes, named Spencer.

"Yeah Spencer?" I asked.

"Do you happen to have an extra #2 pencil I could borrow for the final exam?"

"Sure, I believe I do," I answered as I turned around to grab my pencil case. I started searching through it when Mr. Ryan came to my desk and gave me a scan tron.

"Hurry up Josephina," Spencer said behind me.

"I know," I whispered back. I took hold of a lightly colored #2 pencil from my pencil case and gave it to Spencer.

"Thanks cuz," he told me as he started writing his name on the scan tron.

"You're welcome, Spenc," I said under my breath as I, too, wrote down my name on the scan tron. Spenc was just a little nickname I had come up with for my cousin and, yes, Spencer was my cousin except I was a couple months older than he was.

During the final exam, I was starting to get hungry, even though it was about 11:15, and we had started about 20 minutes ago. There was a low growl from my stomach. I took a look around. Everyone was focusing on the exam, except on kid who was putting glue on his scan tron. Why in the world would someone do that?

I looked down at my final and tried to focus on what was at hand. I'm not really good at focusing on one thing, but right now, I had to.

I was about halfway done with the final when I saw something rather . . . odd. I looked up to see what time it was when I saw it. It looked like mist coming out from the vent in the ventilation system, at least that's what I thought it was. Many other people weren't noticing it. Actually, no one noticed it, but me. I guess it was because they were too busy taking their final.

I got up to get a tissue from the tissue box, which was right under the vent. When I went to throw away the tissue, I looked up to see if the mist, or whatever it was, was still there, but it wasn't. Hm, weird, I thought as I sat back down in my seat.

Suddenly, the boy who was sitting to the right of me started to have a coughing fit. He must have choked on some air. The thought crossed my mind as I looked over at him still coughing, trying to clear his throat.

I tried to ignore him, but then Spencer, my cousin started coughing right behind me.

Then all at once, the whole class started to cough, including me. It was like a symphony of coughs. They all sounded different, some were high pitched, but most low. I bet we could have made a song with all of these coughs, if we could all just stop coughing!

My stomach started to hurt after a minute of coughing continuously, and I was starting to close my eyes. Why on Earth was I closing my eyes? Do people close their eyes when coughing?

In an instant, I saw about five of my classmates stop coughing and fall down to the floor.

I tried to walk towards one of them, but all I did was fall off my cold metal chair and onto the carpet.

The door opened and a tall man with a white lab coat walked in with a mask on, pushing a little cart out in front of him. I couldn't make out much of his face appearance, but what I did notice, was that the mist or what I thought was mist, was actually gas coming from the little cart the masked man held in his hand.

My eyes got wide as I realized what was going on, so I grabbed the sleeve of my sweatshirt and covered my mouth and nose with it. We were being knocked out with gas!

"There's always one last person to stay awake from the gas," said the masked man sarcastically. "And I guess it's you."

I so bad wanted to say something, but I was afraid of opening my mouth.

"Oh, I see," he said with an evil grin. "You want to say something, don't you?"

He left the cart of gas where it was, by the doorway and came closer to me.

"I know you want to say something. Well, go ahead a say it," he urged me.

I shook my head, no.

"Oh, it's because of the gas that you can't say it, right?"

I nodded my head, yes.

"Well, how's this sound. I'll turn off the gas so that you can talk."

I nodded my head.

He went to the gas tank and turned the gas off.

"Okay, now you can talk," he stated simply.

I removed my sleeve from my nose and mouth, but instantly regretted it because I was engulfed by large amounts of gas. My body went limp, and I fell to the floor. I was completely surrounded by the blackness that closed in on me.

By the way "cuz" is short for cousin. Please read and review!