CHAPTER 1

RAINA

I've heard there are some people you just know. From miles away you can tell it's them without even seeing their face simply by the way they walk or how they carry themselves. I don't really have anyone like this in my life, but I know the woman in the romance section of this bookstore will sit around reading the books as if it's a library before going to pick up her child from school. I have no affiliation with the man in the science-fiction section either, but I know once the woman leaves he will buy a book from the romance section. Everyone will live their lives ignoring these invisible strings that connect us to any and every one. But what do I know?

I'm a lonely college student who watches other people's lives for fun. Not too much talking happens in a bookstore, but it's only my part-time job. My college course allows me to "people watch" more. Graphic Designing, however, is mostly a bunch of guys talking about Call of Duty or something. I survive.

"Raina! Your shifts over!" Darcy called. I grabbed my bag and switched places with Darcy. She took a seat behind the counter and I headed towards the door, the woman mentioned above following. The woman went in the direction of the city's school and I plowed through the hordes of people to the bus stop. Thankfully, the walk was short. The wait, however, dreadfully long. I listened to the couple next to me.

"Jesus Christ J.T.! You're an idiot!" the girl yelled. She looked about twenty (just two years older than me). The girl wore a green tank top under a black coat with a brown skirt and expensive looking boots. Her curly brown hair was in a low ponytail.

"Hey! I want to get to the bottom of this! It was perfectly safe!" the man, J.T. I assume, shouted back. The girl slapped him. I barely suppressed my laughter. Some people were highly entertaining. I saw the bus approaching and the couple walk away; thankful I didn't reveal my eavesdropping.

I got back to my apartment and plopped myself on to the cheap couch. Taking out some books from my backpack, I heard my cell phone ring. I groaned in annoyance be for pulled it out of my bag and answered it.

"Hello?" I said.

"Raina Glenbrook?" the voice on the other side asked.

"Yes, who is calling?"

"That's not important right now, Miss Glenbrook."

"Excuse me? Please tell me who this is before I hang up," I said, annoyed be the mysterious person.

"I wouldn't advise that, Miss Glenbrook. You see, I know something very important about you. Something you'd rather I didn't know."

"Who is this?" I questioned, trying to keep my composure. I felt my heart beginning to beat faster and sweat beginning to drip down my forehead. No one could know, right?

"Now, Ms. Glenbrook, no need to panic." That only scared me more. "I can see you right now," the voice spoke. "You are wearing a red sweatshirt with black skinny jeans and a red beanie." I quickly took the beanie off. "And now you took it off. I wouldn't advise testing me. I don't tend to be patient. Now listen. We are going to play a game. It's very fun. I'm sure you'll learn to enjoy it. There will be ten other players and one winner. I will not participate in the game play, but I will lead you in the right direction. But don't worry. I don't want any specific player to win, so I'll help everyone equally and not target anyone player. "

"What kind of game is this…?"

"Why, the Killing Game of course!"

CHARLOTTE

Sighing, I packed up the small amount of paperwork assigned to me by Dr. Lansing. The doctor's door opened and he exited.

"Hi Charlotte! Remember the office is closed tomorrow!" He sang. I laughed at him before responding.

"Of course I'll remember. I need some days where I don't listen to sob stories."

"Well, once you graduate, there won't be many of those!" Dr. Lansing laughed. I smiled and sat up from my desk.

I worked as a secretary on Mondays (6-10), Tuesdays (6-10), Thursdays (6-9), and some Sundays (4-9) at a teen therapy office. Then, on Saturdays I get to run the suicide hot line from 4 am - 7 am. Fun. But it's what I really want to do.

As I stood up, I fixed my brown skirt and put on my coat. I grabbed my purse and walked to the door, waiting for Dr. Lansing to join me. On days we close early, Dr. Lansing and I walk to the bus stop together.

"Sorry, hun. I have dinner with the Mrs."

"Ok, Doc. Catch you on the flip side."

As I approached the bus stop, I heard arguing.

"Jesus Christ J.T.! You're an idiot!" A girl yelled at her…boyfriend (?).

"Hey! I want to get to the bottom of this! It was perfectly safe!" J.T. I shouted back. The girl slapped him. While they looked about my age, they were highly immature.

I heard soft laughter from a girl who looked about eighteen. She must have been listening too. The bus came and the angry couple stomped off.

When I opened the door to my apartment, I was tackled by my roommate.

"What's up Lottie?" Lauryn giggled. I pushed her off of me and stood up. "You're way to serious Lottie!"

"Maybe you're a little immature. And stop calling me Lottie. Charlotte is fine." I walked over to the kitchen, pulling out a can of pop from the refrigerator. Lauryn hopped on the counter next to me.

"Mrs. Karen, at the front desk," Lauryn said, "told me that you had a visitor that left a letter."

"Who rights letter?"

"Some people are classy," Lauryn said, stealing my pop. She entered the living room that was only a few seats away while I grabbed another pop.

"Don't steal this one," I warned her, "I'm going to read my letter."

"Cool bro," Lauryn's muffled voice came from the other "room".

After the short elevator ride, I went up to the front desk of the apartment complex. Barely glancing up, Mrs. Karen gave me my letter. As I walked to the elevator, I opened the letter.

Dear Miss Charlotte Shepard,

It is with pleasure that I inform you that you have been chosen to participate in The Game. It's very enjoyable and I'm sure you'll learn to enjoy it. There will be ten other players and one winner. I will not participate in the game play, but I will help you out. But don't worry. I don't want any specific person to win, so I'll help everyone equally and not target anyone player.

Resistance is futile. I know something very interesting about you. Remember that.

Enjoy the Killing Game, Ms. Shepard.

"What the…."