I was on my way home when I felt like someone was following me. I looked around but no one was there. I just kept on feeling like someone’s eyes were looking at my back. I stopped again but still, no one is there. I did feel a light breeze on the back of my neck like someone was right behind me. The breath was warm almost hot. I started walking faster and faster.
When I got home. I bolted up the stairs to my room. I shut the door and sat on my bed breathing like I sprinted the mile in gym. I lay down for a minute with my eyes closed to catch my breath. When I opened my eyes the lights flickered, then the lights went out for five seconds. When they came back on, there was a piece of paper stuck with tape on my window. It said one word in large letters “ Run.” I didn’t know who put it there but I had a feeling that I should follow what it said.
I grabbed my backpack, shoved clothes, toothbrush, and paste, hair brush, all my money from my summer job, my driver’s license, and a picture of me and my parents. I opened the window and threw the old fire ladder out. After it was securely on the window sill, I swung my backpack over my shoulder and went down. The ladder was swinging very slowly side to side. I stepped down onto the next rung it was a little rusty but held my weight. I went down the whole ladder and got into my little red car.
When I started to roll out of the driveway, the house burst into flames. I stopped and got out. I called 911.
“ Hello, this is 911. What’s your emergency?” said the operator.
“ Hello, my house just burst into flames. I was not in the house but my parents are trapped in the house.” I said in a panicked voice and close to tears.
“ Okay. What is your address?” asked the operator.
“ It’s 32 Calvan Street, please hurry.” I said now crying.
“ Okay, stay calm. Help is on the way.” said the operator in a calm voice.
I hung up and watched the house as it burned. The fire truck came down the street with its lights and sirens on. Then the ambulance. So did the police. All the sirens sounding loud and lights flashing brightly. I was crying but I was drowned out by the sirens. I sat on the ground watching the firemen go inside the house in fireproof suits. The suits were black with yellow stripes and had a mask like a gas mask. They came back a few minutes later and told the crew to extinguish the house. I watched them as they put out the house with the big hose. The water splashed onto the house and put out the fires that it touched.
When the house was out they shut off the water and sirens. The fire truck and ambulance drove away. The police came over to me.
“ How are you doing?” asked the policeman.
I just sat there crying. Knowing that my home was gone and my parents dead.
“ What’s your name?” asked the policeman.
“ My name is Zilla Snow.” I said between my crying and sobbing.
“ Okay Zilla, where are you staying?” said the policeman in a calming voice.
“ I’m going to stay with my friend Sicilia.” I said still crying hard.
“ Okay, do you need a ride?” he asked.
“ No, my car is at the end of the driveway.” I said trying to stop crying.
“ Okay, you drive safely then.” He said.
The policeman left in his car. I slowly got up and looked at what was left of my house. It was mostly charred. The second floor was ashes and the bottom floor was barely standing up. I walked stiffly to my car. I got in and drove slowly to Sicilia’s apartment.
When I got to Sicilia’s apartment in the Mayley apartment building. The building was made out of red bricks and was five stories high. I got out with my bag and walked up to the apartment building door. The door was opened by a man. I walked in with my head down to hide the tears on my face and in my eyes.
I went up the elevator to the fifth floor. And shuffled down the hall with heavy feet to Sicilia’s apartment door number 555.
I knocked on the door. Knock, knock. Sicilia opened the door.
“ Hey Zilla. I haven’t seen you in a while.” said Sicilia with a smile. Then she saw my face and the smile on her face vanished.
“ What happened?” she asked.
“ My house is gone and my parents are dead from a fire.” I said starting to cry again.
“ Oh. Well you can stay here for as long as you want. Come inside.” said Sicilia.
I walked inside her apartment crying. She led me to a couch and got me some hot chocolate. It was warm and creamy in my mouth. It tasted like heaven.
“ Thank you.” I said with a small smile.
“ You’re welcome. So, while you’re here you can catch me up on what’s been happening in your life.” she said.
“ Well first, I got a summer job at Mary’s restaurant.” I said.
“ So is that why you didn’t stop by?” she said.
“ Yeah, busy summer. Never got any time to go out. Most of the time I was sleeping or working.” I said.
“ But now?” she asked looking hopeful.
“ But now I have time. My job is over because school starts in the fall next week. So, what did you do all summer?” I said.
“ I mostly worked at my job. And sat on the couch all summer long.” she said with a smile.
After that we talked about the boys that we liked.
I yawned. “ Think we should go to bed.” I said sleepily.
“ Yeah, we should. You can bring your things into the guest room.” she said quietly.
I dragged my bag into the bedroom and fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow.
I was in my house the one that burned down. I saw my parents alive and sitting on the couch with their eyes glued to the TV like in a trance. Then they both suddenly turned their heads to look at me and spoke in unison.
“ You must find him and stay with him. He will tell you everything. Please, forgive us. Zilla” They said with a tone of sadness at the end part.
Then their heads turned back towards the TV again. I watched them but they said nothing more. I was walking up to my room when I saw a shadow from the corner of my eye. But when I turned to look there was nothing there.
Ring, ring, ring, ring. I woke up with a jolt. I forgot that I set my phone alarm to eight thirty. I got dressed as fast as I could and opened the door. Sicilia was up and getting breakfast. She has always been faster than me at getting up even at sleepovers when we were kids.
“ Good morning.” Sicilia said in a bright voice.
“ Good morning.” I said.
I got ready and ate a piece of toast for breakfast. Sicilia stopped me before I went out the door.
“ Hey, where are you going?” asked Sicilia.
“ I was going to go shopping because most of my clothes burned in the fire.” I said.
“ And you were going to go shopping without me?” she said sounding offended.
“ No, oh okay yes but only because I thought you had to go to work.” I said trying to sound like I was a good friend.
“ I don’t have work today it’s my week off. So, you’re going shopping with me whether you like it or not.” she said stubbornly.
“ Okay then let’s go unless you want to sit around here instead.” I said teasingly.
I ran out the door before I could hear her answer. I raced down the stairs just like when we were kids.
“ Hey, wait up. No fair.” she said. She was right behind me.
I got to the sidewalk first. Then Sicilia stopped next to me.
“ Ha, I beat you down.” I said a little out of breath.
“ No fair. You got a head start.” She said also out of breath.
“ But I still beat you.” I said. Then we both started laughing.
We got in my little red car. I drove and she sat next to me in the passenger seat. We drove into town to the clothes shop called Near and Far fashion. Me and Sicilia got out and went into the shop.
The shop was filled with racks of dresses, shirts, pants, shorts. Even bathing suits. I took a few things off the racks that I liked and went to the dressing rooms. I tried on a pink shirt with a jean skirt. I walked out where Sicilia was sitting.
“ Nice but a little last year. How about something newer.” said Sicilia in her fashion reviewer way.
I went back into the dressing room and tried on a short purple dress with skinny straps. I fit comfortably on my body. I went out spun in front of my friend.
“ Nice one. Definitely one to get.” she said with a look of approval.
I went in to try on the other clothes I picked out. I tried on shirts, skirts, and dresses. Half of them Sicilia gave her stamp of approval on and the other half she didn’t like at all. I liked all the ones she picked.
After I was done I had two big bags filled with clothes. We went out of the shop it was about noon so I left my new clothes is the car and we walked to Pepper’s Cafe for lunch.
I ordered a hot cheese sandwich with soup and Sicilia ordered a fish platter.
I looked outside and saw a boy about my age standing outside the window. He had black hair and was wearing all black clothes. I felt like I knew him.
“ Hey, Sicilia. Who is that boy outside?” I asked.
She turned her head.
“ What boy?” she asked confused.
I looked over again and he was gone.
“ Never mind. He must have left.” I said.
Our food was ready and we got up to get it.
I got my sandwich from the cook and sat back down to eat it. My lunch was a cheese sandwich with a tomato basil soup. The cheese was soft and tasted so good. And the soup was creamy and warm. After lunch we walked back to the car.
I brought my new clothes into my room and sorted it into the drawers.
After I was done I looked around the white room. There was the bed in the middle, the dresser in the corner, and a table next to the bed. There was one piece of paper on the table. It said “ Hello, Zilla Snow.” it was the same writing as the paper that was on my bedroom window before the fire.
I went out of the room with the piece of paper in my hand.
“ Hey, Sicilia. Do you know who put this note on the table in the bedroom?” I asked.
“ No. I must have been one of the janitors. I told them you were staying here.” said Sicilia.
“ Yeah, must be.” I said. Not sure if that’s who sent it.
A week passes, most days have been the same. I eat breakfast, then Sicilia goes to work, then I sit at the apartment doing whatever. Sicilia comes home, we eat dinner and go to bed.
But it’s fall tomorrow and I go back to high school for my senior year.
I get up extra early and get ready. I say goodbye to Sicilia. I drove to school in my little red car. I went to the office to pick up my schedule and books. I went to my homeroom in Miss March’s room.
The classroom was white with five rows of desks and a table in the front of the room. I sat down in the first row. The teacher started to call out names.
I didn’t pay any attention to her.
“ Zilla Snow.” she called out.
“ Here.” I said raising my hand in the air.
The rest of the day went by fast. I saw teachers and classrooms. I got to find out the rules. After school I went back to Sicilia’s apartment that sort of became my apartment too.
I ran up the stairs and went into my room. I took off my backpack. I fell onto my bed tired. I fell asleep for a few seconds then I heard a noise like someone was in the room. I looked up and saw that someone put a piece of paper on my table.
I got up and took the paper it was the same writing as the one from a few weeks ago.
It said “Hello Zilla Snow. I want to meet you tonight. You will follow the instructions exactly and meet me in the alley across the street tonight.
1. You will bring a knife so you’re not defenseless against the enemy.
2. You are going to go down the stairs at 7:00 P.M tonight and tell no one where you’re going.
3. You’re going to walk across the street into the alleyway and have the knife out. Be there by 7:30 P.M. See you then.
From your protector, Him.
I was scared but I knew I have to go because of my parents.
That night I got a good size knife out of the kitchen. I went down the stairs with the knife in my purse. I walked out of the building at 7:00 P.M. I watched the cars go by. Then they stopped coming and walked across a little nervous. I got to the dingy alleyway. There was one person in the shadows.
“ Hello.” I said while getting out the knife.
“ Hello Zilla. I have been waiting for you my name is Him.” said the figure in the shadows.
Him stepped out of the shadows. I gasped. He was the one outside of the cafe. He has black hair and electric blue eyes. He still had all black on. I dropped the knife. *****.