“Morning, Ginger!” Randolph Hale said, hauling himself out of bed. Birds chirped cheerily outside, and the sun shone through the window, but none of it matched Randolph’s lonely mood. Ginger meowed and slunk away, probably to catch a mouse. Randolph sighed heavily and headed to the kitchen. He slowly made a pot of coffee and poured himself a cup. As Randolph settled onto his rocking chair, he felt a strange sensation, as if someone was watching him. The elderly man shuddered and pulled his housecoat tighter around his shoulders.
“Ginger?” Randolph said weakly, and the cat hurried over to the old man, purring at his feet. “Just stay there, okay Ginge? Just stay there.”
“Bye Mom!” Elijah Parker called, slinging his bag over his shoulder as he walked along the sidewalk.
“Have a good day at school! Love you!” Amelia called to her sons. Christian ran to catch up with his older brother, waving goodbye to his mom.
“Hey, did you hear some weird noises last night?” Christian asked, running his hands through his thick, dark hair. Elijah nodded.
“Yeah, I did. It sounded like there was someone outside our window or something. It was really weird!” Elijah quickly glanced both directions before the two boys crossed the road.
“Do you think it was a burglar or something?” Christian asked nervously.
“Nah…maybe some sort of animal or something. I’m not too worried though!”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah!” Elijah playfully punched Christian on the arm and grinned. “Besides, there’s nothing valuable at our place anyways!” Christian smiled, but he wasn’t fully convinced. As they approached Claremont Public High School, they could hear the loud chattering of students and the slamming of locker doors.
“Hey! Christian!” called a husky voice when they got inside the school gate. Christian turned to his best friend, Derora Edwards, or Rory for short.
“Hey Rory.” As Christian walked over to the African American girl, his face lit up with a grin.
“Guess what! I got the part of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz!” Rory cried.
“Sweet!” Christian replied, waving goodbye to Elijah as he walked to his locker, Rory following close behind.