CHAPTER ONE: The beginning
An agonizing girl’s scream made the blood inside Sophia’s veins turn to ice. She was shocked beyond words. She stopped running and stood rooted to the spot. She slowly sank to the cold damp wooden floor of the cursed mansion. She was panting, gasping for another breath of oxygen to keep her alive for long as possible. She could see the hair on her arms stand up on their end with goosebumps on her skin. She clutched the hair on her head and tried to rip them off of her scalp in distress. She hugged herself to keep warm in the freezing weather. Her nails dug into her jacket while she started to sob. Her cheeks started to get wet with the stream of tears which started flowing from her eyes. She rested her head on her knees while she patiently waited for her destruction.
How did it come to this? The thought drifted into her mind when she recalled the incidents which led to this horrific experience.
The school bell gave a deafening sound to notify the students of Lightwood high school that it was the start of their summer vacation. Sophia closed the book she was doodling on and packed her bag. Her best friend, Edmund Ingham had already stuffed his stuff into his bag carelessly and slung it over his shoulder. He smiled at her.
“At last summer’s here. Let’s have some fun. For god’s sake will you hurry up?” he said.
“I don’t want my books to be folded in half like yours okay?”
“You and your precious books. Why don’t you join some sports clubs? Your arms look like twigs”
“We’ve already had this conversation almost a thousand times before. I DON’T LIKE SPORTS okay?, I know you are a splendid swimmer but I suck at every sport on Earth”.
“But you are good at chess?”
“That does not count as a sport you want me to join”
“Ok, ok. Let’s leave this horrible place. It’s giving me nightmares”
Sophia giggled. “Ok I’m done packing let’s go”
Sophia walked towards the door as Edmund took the lead. Sophia stared at him.
He was a giant. At 6′ 5 he had the best physique to be a swimmer. A great swimmer. He had won the national championship several times, giving him the opportunity to compete at the next Olympics as the youngest competitor in the country. That made him the most popular kid in the entire academy. Also, his looks immensely contributed to his popularity. Especially among the girls.
He had soft and bright, straight blonde hair, which always looked like he had just taken a stroll on the beach. His eyes were electric blue. His jawlines were very defined just like his athletic body. He was tanned in all seasons. Even though he had these god-given traits, he still did not have a girlfriend. There were many girls almost begging for his attention. But he never gave much attention to such people.
This made Sophia a victim of murderous glares from his admirers.
But Sophia did not see him as a greek god made out of marble. She saw him as the wimpy kid she met back in elementary school. She thought that he was quite the whiner at that time. Puberty had sure hit him hard.
Edmund and Sophia walked through the crowded hallway. It was easy for her to get through the crowd because she was following enormous Edmund.
Sophia looked at herself. She was this nerdy, introverted bookworm. Sometimes she had felt uncomfortable hanging out with Edmund as she was the exact opposite of him. At 5′ 3 she looked like a dwarf next to Edmund. But she had overcome this uneasy feeling by gaining more confidence in doing the things she liked. Analytical things. She was way smarter than most kids in the school. She had received many scholarships. But when looking at her social life Edmund was miles ahead of her.
Unlike Edmund, she did not feel comfortable with new people. That described the lack of the number of friends she had. She was now meeting one of them, who seemed to be waiting for her and Edmund.
Aiden Bones was leaning against the wall of Sophia’s neighbouring class waiting for the two to come. He was an average-sized guy with dark red hair. He had bright green eyes and freckles over his nose. He was quite athletic as he was a member of the school’s football team. But he preferred music over football.
As soon as he locked eyes with Sophia he gave a lazy “what’s up” nod.
“Well hello to you too,” Edmund said with his eyebrows raised.
“Where the hell were you at the lunch break?” Edmund said.
“Ahh I was just chillin’,” Aiden said.
“I don’t like to be with people. I just said hello because I just met you guys accidentally”
“What? Accidentally? You could’ve left hours ago. You were clearly waiting for us” Edmund said.
“I WAS NOT,” Aiden said with a blush on his cheeks.
“Anyway, I was thinking if Sophia wanted...”
" If we wanted...” Edmund interrupted.
“Ok if you guys wanted to have a coffee with me at Starbucks this evening,” Aiden said without making eye contact with anyone.
" Sure, I’ll come with Sophia at 5 p.m. Is it ok with you Sophie?” Edmund said.
“Yes,” Sophie replied.
“Great, sooooo let’s go now,” said Aiden.
“You can go alone. You’ve just told me that you don’t like to be with people. We respect your wishes. Go on now..” Edmund said sarcastically.
“Don’t tease him” Sophia said while punching Edmund’s arm.
“Ow ow.. stop it..″ Edmund said while laughing.
A trio of girls appeared from the far end of the hallway.
“Look your fan club is here,” Sophia said.
“Don’t be silly Sophie they are just kids of my father’s business partners. So we know each other. I’ll go talk to them and drive them off. You two go wait near the school’s entrance, okay?” Edmund said.
“Why should we?” Aiden muttered.
“We haven’t officially entered the summer vacation Aiden sweetheart, so please wait for me,” Edmund said with a wink toward Aiden. Then he jogged towards the girls.
“Tchh..” Aiden said.
“Don’t giggle. You know why those demon trio won’t leave you alone. Do you?”
“Yes,” she replied.
“That dumbass doesn’t seem to know that. And the fact that he is the root cause of it” Aiden said.
“Don’t blame that on him”
“AND he doesn’t know that they act like angels around him while they treat others like trash. Those foul-mouthed cockroach b*....”
“Wow calm down. They might hear you.“Sophia said.
“I know that too. But we’ll have to be calm for Ed’s sake. They are the kids of his father’s business partners. What if we fought and..”
“So WHAT, it’s not like he’ll go broke this century. He’s filthy rich you know”
“Haha, I know. But I prefer peace over brawls.” Sophia said.
“You are too kind for your own good”
“Oh, we’ve arrived at the school gate. There! Edmund’s coming towards us. HEYY we are here!” Sophia said.
“Hello my friends, I, Edmund Ingham hereby declare that the summer vacation has officially started.” Edmund declared with a majestic bow.
Aiden’s eyes were twitching.
“Soooo cringey” he muttered.
“Come, my friends, I shall drop thou to thy home,” Edmund said while locking Aiden’s head with one arm and tousling his hair with the other.