Chapter 2

Three days earlier…

"It's 4:30 honey, time to start getting ready. I made an appointment at that school so I want us to look presentable and with the clothes you pick out, that will not be achieved", Ms. Jackson yelled.

"Wait, lemme finish my dream about eating apples all day", Katie said with her head under her pillow. She was obviously lying. She HATED apples. Her head was under the pillow because her mom could look at her face, and easily tell she is lying.

"Come on, up, up, up! And having too much of a good thing isn't a good thing", her mom informed her, being the teacher of unhealthy, junk-eating, 4th graders, then went to the kitchen.

What is this school really about?, Scarlett asked herself silently. Whatever it was, Scarlett got a feeling that something was going to happen. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but it will happen soon. Just then, her mother came to the room with ice cubes, a small bucket of water, a smelly old fish, and her iPhone. Scarlett had closed her eyes and was not aware of what was happening. First, her mother had put ice cubes in the blankets. Scarlett didn't even flinch. Next, she poured the bucket of water on her legs. Scarlett moved over on her bed. Scarlett absolutely, positively HATES fish as much as apples. This was the grand finale. Ms. Jackson took out her iPhone and put it on recording. She tapped her daughter gently on the face. Scarlett opened her eyes very slowly. The reaction came sooner than she expected. Scarlett jumped up and shrieked.

Ms. Jackson texted and read out loud, "Scared my daughter with a plastic fish!", and posts it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Myspace.

"NOOOOO", Scarlett screamed and swung at her mother's phone, but luckily, her mom had lowered her hands because she was feeling her age-old knees.

"My knees went through everything. From running to jumping around to squatting to make my bu-", "Okay, I get it", Scarlett finished for her quickly.

Ms. Beatrice Jackson walked her daughter to the bathroom.

"Time to fix that treacherous, tangled forest you call hair into a silky perfection."

Once they made it to school, a snobby, mean looking, wrinkled lady was sitting at the front desk of the school. Ms. Jackson looked as if she recognized her, but couldn't quite place her finger on it.

The old woman smiled an evil smile and said, "I suppose you've made an appointment?"

"Yes, we-"

"Okay then, time to tour around the school to show your wonderful daughter what things we have in store for her."

Scarlett's mom looked nervous, but her daughter jumped with excitement.

Ms. Jackson said shakily, "Uh, I dunno. I mean, I'm gonna need your help with the applica-"

"Don't worry, that is taken care of. The applicant will fill in the information needed", and with that, the woman pulled Scarlett off to a hallway.

The tour took 1 ½ hours but the standard time was 3 hours. That was not surprising because the woman by-passed some doors. At least Scarlett thought they were doors. There was one door that the lady got really nervous about. She stared at Scarlett peculiarly, in a see-right-through-you kind of way.

She started to walk again when Scarlett said, "Hey, aren't we going to check out this room?"

It looked old and beat-down. There was also the initials S.L., freshly painted.

"How can you see this door . It's supposed to be well hidden from human eyes-"

Then, a distorted, malicious sounding voice out of no where spoke out to the woman.

"Ssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh. You have ssssaid too much already. Keep on with the tour. I wanna ssssee what thissss girl can do", and the voice dissipated, gone with the wind.

"Uh, that was weird. Anyway, what does this door go to? A gym? The teacher's lounge? Or maybe it's another hallway to the BEAUTIFUL water fountain", Scarlett asked impatiently.

"No, no", the woman replied. "Please don't be so curious. It will impact your life more than necessary-"

"Why are you giving her advice? Are you finally turning on me, like I prophesied? Listen to your all-knowing master and father."

"Oh, I'm so sorry Ms. Scarlett, but I have to go. I have some business to take care of with my father. Go run along to your mother. I'm certain she's looking for you. She wants to talk to you. She looks bewildered."

The woman bolted with her stiletto heel shoes, stabbing cracks in every place she stepped, down a dark, eery hallway into nothingness

Scarlett did not listen to the fearful woman, and went inside. The room was a total mess. Paper balls, coffee stains, leftover food and odd blueprints dotted every inch of space. Scarlett stepped in a gooey substance, and jumped back in fright. Right into the man behind her.

"Well hello there, darlin', how's ya' tour so far?", he asked extra-nicely.

"Fine, thank you very much. Is this your office?" she questioned suspiciously.

"Why yes, yes indeed. Needs a little dusting here and there. Anyway, why are you in here? Trying to stumble onto some other great rooms?"

"No. Maybe. Okay, yes I was. But I will be going now-"

"Wait! We haven't even introduced ourselves. My name is Bates. Nigel Bates".

"WHat kind of name is Nigel? A forever alone dork-face like you?", Scarlett scoffed.