Eris is your average sixteen year old girl living in a small, heavily wooded town named Pauwau. Quiet and reserved, Eris is able to hide her gift that she counted as a curse. She is able to speak to the dead. What will Eris do, though, when she encounters a malevolent spirit that might not be a dead human but a living demon? What will she do when she discovers even more gifts that she never knew about? How will she protect the ones she loves from something who wishes her dead?..

Chapter 3

Damsels In Distress

The boy was standing in front of the office, looking through the large window. The view was of the vast forest that had kidnapped over one hundred students in the past 2 decades. The disappearances were always rather tragic. No one I ever knew had ever disappeared. Then again, I only knew Erica. Having only one friend becomes a blessing during some parts of life.

Hadrian had shaggy, light brown hair. He wasn't pale, but he wasn't exactly tan, either. "Hi, I'm Eris. Mr. Olmstead asked me to give you a proper tour of the high school." I introduced myself.

Hadrian lifted his head. His ice blue eyes bore into my skin, and a shiver forced my spine to shake. "Hello, I assume you know I'm Hadrian." He uttered quietly. It appeared that he was slightly frightened of the place.

"Yes, I knew. Let's go down this hallway first." I motioned down the hallway that led to the cafeteria.

3:45 pm~

"Ready to go?" Erica asked. She hopped up and down enthusiastically. We trudged through the rain and mud to her Ford truck parked half way in the yard because of their lack of parking space. Her house was always so homely, and it was always one of our favorite places to be. It was a small, ranch house that sat away from the woods on a small, empty acreage. We always used to play games and say we were damsels in distress. Sadly, no prince came. Ever. We grew up to accept our prince-less states, and now our boylessness isn't a problem in our eyes.

We both slid onto the leather bench seat of the old, beat up truck. I pushed the keys into the ignition and the car revved to life. I gave it a little gas so it wouldn't stall while Erica turned the heat on full blast. The air came out ice cold. My hands quickly switched it off. "Dude, if you do that before your car warms up, you'll ruin the engine or something." And freeze us to death. I added silently in my head.

Erica nodded and pretended she understand. Behind those green eyes, though, I could tell she ahd no idea what I was talking about. It made me smile. She was so sweet and innocent, and I couldn't imagine my life without her. She's been my absolute best friend for as long as I can remember. From what I was told, she even showed up to the accident earlier than my father had.

After the truck heated up, I turned on the heater and began driving. "Where to, birthday girl?" I asked.

"Let's go to Starbucks, and then let's head to the mall. I need some new clothes." Erica offered.

I nodded. "Starbucks sounds like heaven right now."

Eleven PM~

Erica was asleep on the other side of the bench seat. Our shopping bags were piled in between us. The rain had subsided by the time we reached the mall two hours away, but by now, the rain was pounding violently against the windshield. The bright lights on the front of the truck barely cut through the thick fog that was attacking the night air. I squinted at the windshield. It was getting harder and harder to see through it because the wipers were beginning to just wipe dirt onto the windshield and leave it there. I knew Erica kept an extra three sets of windshield wipers in the glove compartment, so I decided it would be a good time to switch them out.

I managed to pull on to the shoulder of the road. Erica stirred in her sleep, but she didn't wake up. I opened the glove box and pulled out a packaged pair of windshield wipers. Next to them was a pocket knife, and I pulled that out too. My fingers flipped it open and cut open the package. I pulled out the wipers, put my hood up, and pushed open the door.

The rain beat down on my with such force it almost felt like hail. I buried myself deeper into my hoodie as if to hide myself from the rain's blows. I hurriedly changed the wipers and crawled back into the safety of the truck. Pulling away from the edge of the road, I dropped the used wipers on the ground between Erica and I's feet. In the few seconds for me to look down and find a place to drop the wipers, the truck had reached 65 MPH. As I looked up, my ears started ringing. My vision began to blur. I started silently cursing at myself. This couldn't be happening then. I had to focus on the road. I shook my head and slowly the dizziness faded.

"Well, that was weird." I mumbled to myself. That's when it happened. Erica started whispering. She was speaking in a low whisper at first, but she gradually got louder.

"Leave me alone." This was the only phrase she was yelling that I could understand.

"Erica? Wake up." I gently gripped her arm and shook her. She kept yelling. In the middle of her outburst, she let out a croak. Her eyes flew open. Erica grabbed at her throat. A choking noise escaped her lips. "Erica?!" I yelled. I proceeded to violently shake her shoulder.

My eyes were darting from the road to my choking best friend. Nothing visible was around her neck. All I could hear ringing in my ears anymore was white noise. I felt like my brain was going to explode. "Erica, stop!" I yelled. My nails dug into the skin under her short sleeve. My eyes kept bouncing from the road to Erica. I would have stopped, but there was no shoulder on this road. Next to us was an eight foot drop to the ground below.

My grip on the wheel loosened; and in that split second, when my eyes darted once more back to the road, the car lights bounced off of something in the middle of the road. A boy. A boy was standing not twenty feet away from the truck going sixty miles per hour. I screamed and tried to swerve away from the boy. The truck's wheels spun on the gravel road. We spun out. The next thing I knew, we were rolling down the hill.

The blackness seemed to surround me as quickly as the boy had come out of nowhere.

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