12:00 PM, Tuesday, May 25

Herring Manor

I sat with Atharos under our giant oak tree in our backyard. When we were children, this tree had been almost a nursery for us, maybe a safe haven among in our life. I remember when Mother tried to turn us into the picture-perfect children she had wanted, and how Father wanted us to be geniuses and take over his company, Herring Inc. It was quite the battle, when we were younger. Atharos always seemed to meet their expectations. I, however, did not.

That's why Mother never let me go outside. In fact, my whole existence was kept a secret. My mother told the whole world I died when it was clear I would not be like her. When it was clear I wasn't perfect. When it was clear my attitude was hideous. When it was clear I was a disgrace to the Herring family.

Atharos, however, went out in public and to charity events, and things like that. He pretended to be the perfect child. He pretended he was like them.

But he was really like me, wild and crazy.

I liked that. A lot.

Atharos shook me from my thoughts. "Sis?"

"Mmmhmm." I replied.

"I wish I was you." He said. Atharos was actually my twin, but he seemed less mature than I was. That's why I felt responsible for him.

"Oh really. That's amusing."

"Why?" He asked.

"Do you really want to be known as non-existent to the rest of the world?" I laughed.

His reply was serious. "Yes."

I looked at him. I stared at his face, wondering why. He had always hated attention, but liked being praised and talked to. My parents treated me like filth. His dirty blonde hair that matched my own looked like spun gold in the sunlight. His cream faced was peppered with freckles, as was mine. Our identical eyes stared into each other's.

"Atharos… what's wrong?" I finally asked.

"It's just… it's just that…"

"Spit it out."

"They'll be coming for me. At midnight." He said quickly.

"What's going on?" I asked, panicked. Mother and Father has been receiving threats lately (of course I only knew this because I eavesdropped on them). Was one of them about Atharos?

"Them. I don't know who they are. I just wanted to enjoy my last day with you." He said.

"Atharos, tell me now, what's going on. Your starting to scare me."

He whispered into my ear, "They want me, and nothing can stop them."