Chapter One: Taken
The room was lit by only one tiny lamp that illuminated the scene like a ghost, sitting lonely in the corner of the
dark walls. But the seemingly gloomy lighting had little effect on the mood of the room’s occupants; it was abuzz with
a cheerful, carefree conversation that often accompanied four teenage girls at an Overnight-Sleepover-Oh-My-Gosh slumber
party, which were commonly held among the group of friends as reprieves from daily high school life. In the dark bedroom
of Katie’s house, the girls chatted merrily, having no idea to the misfortune that sat just outside their window.
Watching them. Watching them…
“And so, I said, ‘Screw you! We’re done!’ and he just walked away!” Katie was saying, gesturing
dramatically with her hands. This was just how she talked, with her expressive motions and extreme gestures that caused
everyone to duck out of the way. Rachel leaned over her large fluffy pillow and gave Katie the rare high-five. The rest
of the girls just clapped.
“Way to sock it to the jerk, Kate!” French smiled in that knowing way, as if sure that Katie was already on the
search for a new beau, “That means you’re fully single now, right?”
“Yepperoonies,” she sighed. It seemed like forever since Ryan, the love of her childhood life, moved back to NY.
Since then, she had been dating some jock of a classmate who turned out to be a total psycho-nut. Just this morning, she
had dumped him this morning in front of the entire Geometry class, embarrassing that bum out of his freakin’ wits.
“At least he hasn’t bothered you since you split!” French said exasperatedly, “Cody won’t give up. He’s
still all, ‘I want you back! No! Honey! I love yoooooou!’”
All the girls minus Kacie giggled simultaneously.
“Come on, guys,” Kacie sighed, annoyed, glancing up from the Phoenix Wright fanbook that Katie had given her to
read. “If you’re gonna talk boys, make them pixilated, like Kristoph. Or Axel. Or even Sai.”
She glances sideways at the Axel plushie, Sai sketch, and Kristoph Gavin patch that all sat in a circle around her ratty
old book bag. Girl wouldn’t let them out of her sight.
“Well, does anybody feel up to some RP-ing-age?” Katie grinned mischievously, crossing her legs Indian-style and
unknotting her hair from its high ponytail.
“Sure!” Rachel said, returning the smirk.
“No, NO!” French shouted, “Do you remember the last time we RP-ed?”
A scared shiver ran through the group.
“So,” French said with a final tone, “Keep it under control. Okay?”
“Deal,” Katie groaned childishly, finally untangling the rubber band from her frizzy hair.
Abruptly, an eerie silence fell about the room. Katie looked to Kacie, who looked to Rachel, who looked to Courtney, who
looked back to Katie.
Suddenly, all four were thinking the same thing: “We’re being watched.”
A light shifting noise.
“What was that?” Katie said quietly.
Like a crash of metaphorical well-placed thunder, the rickety window of the bedroom burst open with an echoing blast,
sending glass shrapnel flying throughout the room. The girls had no time to wonder what was happening; dark figures were
emerging from the brown dust.
Katie whipped around. Kacie had screamed as a blonde man seized her arms and forced her to jump out the window, shoving
her out of the room. Katie instinctively took a step toward where she had vanished, but a cold hand enclosed her
forearm. Freezing on the spot, she saw the glint of what seemed to be… a freakin’ metal scythe at her neck, shining
in the now visible moonlight.
“Hmm. I think I like this one,” a voice growled in her ear, and with unnatural grace, the man swept her outside the
window, grasping the kicking and shrieking teen under his arm.
Meanwhile, French was trying to reach the door on the other side of the room that led to the rest of the house. Before
she could undo the thumb-turn lock, however, a man far taller than her with black hair grabbed her around the waist and
began dragging her roughly toward the still open window. She tried to scream to hopefully get somebody’s attention,
but the man merely covered her lips with his hand just as she opened her mouth.
“Shh,” he purred, and swiftly carried her from the room.
Rachel, however, had the quickest reaction to the attack; pulling herself up, she dashed at top speed into Katie’s
closet and swung the door closed behind her. Slinking down to the floor, she covered herself up with random pieces of
clothing, blankets, anything she could find to conceal herself.
The ruckus suddenly ceased.
“Well, boss,” she heard a muffled voice say, “I think we got them all,”
“Good,” another voice answered, “We’ll return imme-,”
“Wait,” a dark voice suddenly boomed out; Rachel shivered at his tone; it was flipping demonic.
All fell silent outside. The man continued.
“I believe…I sense another.”
She heard footsteps approaching her hiding place. Frantically, she searched around for something larger to cover her, as
her hair was still slightly visible. But it was in vain; she settled for her hiding spot and ducked her head deep down
just as the closet door creaked open.
With a fluid jerk, the man with the deep voice ripped off the leather jacket that sat upon her head and revealed
the girl underneath it.
Rachel saw that he was no ordinary man, but a sort of man-creature; he almost resembled an overgrown Venus fly-trap. She
would have laughed at his overly bizarre appearance, but was rudely interrupted by-
“OW!” she shrieked, “OW! OW! OW!” The man had seized a hold of her mussed-up hair and began dragging her
violently across the carpet. With her still twisting in his grasp, he swung himself out the window.
“Well, I guess that’s it,” said a man with orange hair. With that last thing said, the other cloaked people swept
from the room the way they came, leaving one heap of a mess behind them.