Tick! Tock! Tick! Tock!
The entire room was dark and all Eva could see was the red and gold grandfather clock which stood some feet in front of her. For some reason she could see the grandfather clock clearly like the little light that came into the room radiated only on the time telling machine.
Whispery voices came from the clock low and haunting. "Beware the red queen." They warned as red mist seeped out of the clock and as if possessing a mind of its own, seemed to move in her direction.
"Eva!" She heard someone call her name. "Eva!" The voice was louder but she couldn't see anything in the dark room. "EVA!"
Eva immediately sat up on her table wide awake and she could hear the muffled laughter of her classmates. Her history teacher Mrs Brown stood by her desk, hands on her hips glaring down at her. "Well, it seems like my class is not all that interesting to some students. Infact, they find my class so boring that they not only fall asleep in my class but also talk in their sleep."
Eva cringed. She couldn't believe she had been sleep talking in front of the entire class. From the corner of her eye she could see Sherry holding out her phone. Just great! Now she'd be the laughing stock of the entire school.
"I'm so sorry Mrs Brown, I didn't mean to fall asleep." She quickly apologized. Mrs Brown raised an eyebrow. "Of course you didn't. My boring lecture is to blame."
"N-No I didn't mean it li-" Eva began but Mrs Brown cut her off before she could finish. "Go stand in front of the class. Let's see if you can sleep while standing up."
There was a chorus of laughter from her classmates as she walked slowly to the front of the classroom.
Just as expected, there were kids making fun of her for the rest of the day. Some smartass decided to add a groovy beat and emojis to the video and posted it on the school blog. Everywhere she went, the girls bathroom, the cafeteria, the library, there were kids pointing and laughing.
By the end of the day, she was already getting sick of the rude stares she got from everyone.
Eva pulled open her locker and began organizing her books into it.
"Hi there super star."
The sarcastic and unwelcome voice was easily recognized. Sherry Green the most popular girl in the tenth grade and the girl bent on making Eva's period in Everdale high a living nightmare. She was blonde and perfect on the outside but she had the heart of a shedevil. Eva inwardly groaned before turning around and plastering a fake smile on her face. "Hi Sherry, what's up?"
"You are. You've gone viral." Smirked Sherry holding up her phone so Eva could see the video of her sleep talking in class. "I mean 200 views already! You're going to be so popular. How does it feel to be a famous. Sort of."
Eva was very much aware that Sherry was just trying to get to her but for some reason, her words still hurt. "I don't know, how do you think I feel?"
Sherry shrugged. "Anyway I'm thinking of putting this on YouTube and I wanted to ask your permission but I'm pretty sure you'll say yes so I'll just go and post it."
She whirled around like she was on a catwalk and began strutting away. "I can't believe you actually thought Nick would date a weirdo like you." She added. "How humiliating."
Eva felt a pang of pain. Why did Sherry always have to bring this up, couldn't she taunt her with something else. Nick Evans was Sherry's boyfriend and Eva's ex crush. Like every other girl in Willowdale high, she had had a huge crush on Nick since the first day he transferred to their school back in the ninth grade. He was seemed so nice and unlike the other guys in her class he actually spoke to her in a friendly manner. That was until she had made the biggest mistake ever. After watching a super romantic movie one night, she had made up her mind to tell Nick just how she felt about him. It was a horrible mistake. Once she was done pouring out her heart to him, he calmly told her he wasn't into her. Infact, he said she was too weird and not that pretty, it would be embarrassing to have her as a girlfriend.
She had been crushed and had cried for hours. As if that wasn't enough, he must have told his friends because by the next day, the whole school knew about the incident and the popular kids taunted her mercilessly. Eva had to hide as much as she could those couple of weeks. Eating her lunch in the bleachers, sitting at the back of the class and putting on a hoodie when she was walking down the hallway. Nick wasn't even a bit sorry for her and laughed whenever someone insulted her. To top it all off, a few weeks later, Nick and Sherry started dating and Sherry loved rubbing this in Eva's face. She had to be thankful to them though. Their relationship got the attention away from her so people soon forgot all about her confessing to Nick.
"Don't let her get to you." An unexpected voice invaded her thoughts. She whirled around to see a girl standing behind her with a bunch of books hugged to her chest. She was one of the MK's (mystery kids). There were a whole bunch of them going Willowdale high. They were always in school at the beginning of the day but disappeared when classes started. They would sometimes show for classes but only for about two or three of them. Nobody knew where they went and lots of rumours were passed round amongst the students. Secret society, cult, hidden coven, but nobody really knew if those stories were actually true. They also wore really expensive clothing. If they wore gold it was purely gold, if they wore diamonds it was pure diamonds, their clothes were gotten from the best designers. Where they got the money from, noone knew. They were the envy of the entire school and whenever they walked past, people would just stare in awe. Even the most popular kids would die to be one of them but they never spoke to anyone outside their clique. In the social pyramid they were at the very top. So why are you talking to me?
"I wasn't planning to." Said Eva turning back to her locker. "Good." Stated the girl simply before walking off.
A gust of wind blew over the sidewalk and Eva shivered. She hated the cold and it was especially chilly this evening. After school that day she spent the rest of her afternoon at Mrs Cornor's house. She was an old friend of her grandmother's and Eva enjoyed her company. They talked, laughed, played games, ate cookies and Eva would have stayed a while longer if she hadn't noticed the change in weather.
She guessed she had herself to blame for her current discomfort since Mrs Cornor had urged her to leave an hour ago but she had insisted on staying a little longer. Now she was shaking all over and her house was another ten minutes away.
"Just great!" She grumbled to herself through chattering teeth. "Today is just not my day."
The street was unusually empty and the only sounds that could be heard were the rustling of leaves and the barking of a dog from behind one of the numerous houses that lined the street. It wasn't until she rounded a corner that she realized that she was being followed. It was a man, or it seemed like a man. He wore a red parka, a grey turtleneck sweater that hid his face from view, long jeans and heavy looking brown boots. He had started walking behind her some minutes ago and went wherever she did. She had reassured herself by thinking that she was overreacting. After all, the man could be heading in the same direction she was headed. But just to be safe she decided to carryout a simple test. She slowed down a little and so did the man, then she quickened her pace and felt her heart skip a beat when the man did too.
She began walking faster and faster till she was speedwalking down the sidewalk with the man trying to keep up with her. The minute she spotted her house, she dashed up the gravel walkway, up the porch steps, unlocked the door in a flash and flew into the house slamming the door shut behind her.
She felt a lot safer now that she was locked inside her home and tiptoed to the window to take a peek. The man was standing right in front of the fence staring at the house. After about five minutes, he turned around and walked back the way he'd come from. There was something unusual about the way he walked. Creepy.
Her mom got home some minutes after the guy left and Eva felt so relieved to see her. At dinner, she contemplated telling her mom about the man or not. She knew telling her mom was the sensible thing to do but her mom got easily paranoid with things and would probably not let either of them to step foot out of the house till she had found a solution. She'd call the cops and hire a private investigator just like she did when she noticed their normally chatty neighbor no longer stepped out of the house again. Turns out, the old lady had moved to New York to live with her son and had put the house up for sale.
She was so deep in thought that she wasn't even eating her meal. She used her fork to toy with a strand of spaghetti and her mom Janet eyed her curiously.
"What's wrong? It's not like you not to have an appetite." Said Janet. "Are you okay? Did you catch something?"
Her mom's question snapped her out of her thoughts. "I'm fine." She nodded. "It's just that something weird happened today that's all."
"What is it?"
Her mom looked genuinely interested. "Its-" Eva hesitated and let out a sigh of defeat. "Nothing. It's nothing just my head just my head playing tricks on me."
Janet studied her face for a while as if trying to read her mind. "You're sure it's nothing." Her tone had a hint of suspicion that made her fidget a little in her seat. She didn't want to keep secrets from her mom but she wasn't really sure if this meant danger. It wasn't like the man was armed or anything. At least she didn't think he was armed.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Said Eva forcing herself to concentrate on her dinner. Janet shrugged and went on scarfing down her food.
The cafeteria buzzed with noise, the kind that came from tons of people crowding a room. Each person trying to talk louder than the other so as to be heard. She scanned over the heads of people trying to find a place to eat. She spotted the only relatively empty table at the very end of the room, the MK she had met the previous day was seated at it reading a book and eating her fries at the same time. She didn't know what would be scarier. Seating at a table with the populars or with an MK.
She sucked in a deep breath of air and began marching determinedly down the cafeteria. As she walked past tables there arose a chorus of snickers from each table as kids laughed to themselves and pointed secretly at her. She noticed the loud snort Nick let out as she walked by the table he sat with Sherry and their friends and it hurt. She forged on though, till she made it to the table and tried to sit as quietly as could on the chair. The girl looked up from her book giving her a questioning look.
"I'll just be here for a few minutes, I eat really fast." She assured quickly and after eyeing her with suspicion, the girl turned back to her book not saying a word.
It was only a few minutes but Eva couldn't stand the silence. "So I didn't get to ask you your name yesterday."
"Winter." Her reply was cold and she didn't look up from the book.
"Winter... That's pretty. I'm Eva."
"It's nice to meet you."
"We met yesterday."
"What I meant was, it's nice to have a conversation with you."
"Are you new here?"
"Oh." Said Eva not trying to hide her disapointment. She decided to focus on her lunch obviously Winter wasn't interested in having a conversation with her.
Eva stood at her locker once more. She put in a few books and took out the ones she would need for her next class.
"I'm sorry about how I acted at lunch."
Eva nearly jumped out of her skin and let out a sigh of relief when she saw Winter standing next to her, her face expressionless.
"No problem." Said Eva waving it off. "I'm used to being treated that way by people. It doesn't bother me anymore."
Eva had said that jokingly in an attempt to lighten the mood but the girl looked worried. Eva noticed for the first time how pale the girl's skin was, it was almost white. She had long dark hair that grew to her waist and really red lips.
"Oh my gosh!" Gasped the girl with concern. "I'm so sorry I didn't mean to be insultive I ju-"
"It's okay." Eva cut her off quickly noticing that her joke had sent the wrong message. "I was just messing around, I guess this wasn't the best time for humor."
The girl looked confused for a few seconds but her lips soon pulled into a small smile.
"Like I said before, I wasn't offended. Hurt? Yes. But only a little." Eva grinned. "I didn't expect you to apologise though so I've totally forgotten about the whole thing."
"Thanks." Said Winter. She stood there a few seconds longer like she was waiting for Eva to say something but after all that transpired between them was awkward silence, she cleared her throat nervously. "Well, see you later." She waved hurrying off. "Yeah, y-you too." Stuttered Eva waving. It wasn't the longest conversation she'd had but it was certainly the nicest she'd had in a long time.
She arrived at her last class of the day and as usual everyone was gathered in their various cliques chatting with one another. Nick was sitted on his own in a corner typing into his phone. He looked so irresistible sitted next to the window with the sun outlining his muscular figure and that gorgeous face. Maybe she could try talking to him again, after all it had been a long time since the whole crush incident.
She pushed herself towards him and stopped right in front of his desk. "Hi Nick." She said her pitch a bit higher than she had intended. He stared at her and the look of annoyance and disgust on his face made her heart sink. "What do you want Eva?" He asked impatiently. "I ju-just w-w-wanted to talk." Her courage had shrunk greatly and she was surprised that she still managed to speak.
Nick let out an exasperated groan. "Look Eva. I guess I was a little too nice to you back in the ninth grade, I don't know. I definitely can't figure out why you pulled off that stunt back then but honestly, I don't care. I just need you to do one favor for me, okay? Don't talk to me. Just stay as far away from me as you can. That little confession of yours back then made all my friends make fun of me. It was a good thing I started dating Sherry or I would lived through highschool with that embarrassment. So please, just stay away."
Eva was dumbfounded, she had never felt so hurt in her entire life. She blinked back tears and forced a smile. "Well.. okay, if that's how you feel. Bye Nick."
She walked slowly and unsteadily to her seat feeling like her heart had been pierced with hot iron. She couldn't wait for this day to come to an end. As soon as the bell rang, she sped out of the classroom only pausing for a few minutes at her locker to get her homework then continuing on her way home. She didn't stop for anything and once she got home, she locked herself in her bedroom, dove into her bed and wrapped herself in a quilt. Somehow, this always made her feel better.
Eva was about to let out a loud yawn only for her to feel a hand cup her mouth. She stared at her mom wide-eyed with confusion. Janet placed a finger on her lips, a sign for her to be quiet before removing her hand.
"Mom what the heck! It's 12:30am." Whined Eva in whisper. "I can't exactly explain right now but there are soldiers trying to break into the house through the front door." Janet whispered back. "So we're going to have to try escaping through the back. Follow me."
Eva tiptoed after her mom out of her room and down the stairs. "Shouldn't we be calling the cops?" Asked Eva. "We should, if this was a normal attack. Unfortunately, this isn't a normal attack so we're going to have to follow an abnormal approach." They were creeping round the backyard when they heard the sound of glass and wood crashing to the floor from within the house.
"They're in, this is our chance. Run!"
Eva dashed after her mom into the car and Janet started the engine. She swirved the car around the lawn and zoomed into the road. "Mom what is going on?" Eva demanded. Janet kept speeding down the road regularly glancing at her rearview mirror. "Eva like I said before I can't exactly explain." Said Janet. "All I can tell you is that there is more to our family than you know and right now there are soldiers from Wonderland trying to kill us. I'm taking you somewhere safe but just in case we don't make it, I need you to keep running to your school and meet your principal. She'll know how to help y-"
It all seemed to happen in a flash. One minute they were driving, the next they were rotating midair and suddenly they were on the ground upside down. Eva's vision was blurry but she could hear her mom calling out her name. She sounded like she was panicking and a few minutes later she felt someone wrap their hands around her and help out of the car. It was her mom. Now that she was right side up her vision cleared and she could see the figure of what seemed like a huge beasts galloping towards them.
"Eva, go." Her mom said but she was paralyzed with fear and couldn't move. "Eva snap out of it, Run!"
Eva turned to her mom. "But I don't want to leave you."
"Don't worry I'll be fine. I stand a much better chance at survival if I'm on my own and you're safe, now go. GO!"
The school building was just ahead. She gave her mom one last hesitant look before sprinting towards it. "HEY!" Janet flailed her arms to get the beasts' attention. It worked and they were soon bounding towards her. Eva didn't stop running till she was safely in the school walls. She surveyed her environment trying to find a good hiding spot when she noticed a glow of light headed in her direction. She found her locker, speedily put in her combination and hid in it. Just in time too, she could hear voices.
"Where is she? She should be here by now." That voice sounded familiar. "Patience, they'll be here." This voice sounded a lot like Principal Erikson's. "You don't think something happened to them on the way here do you?" Okay that was definitely Winter's voice. Eva slowly pushed open her locker and stepped out causing all three females to jump startled. "Are you looking for me?"
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