She was having that dream again. She could tell what would happen, always, but she would be powerless to stop it. She would have to see all the horrors like a movie on repeat. It would start the same way-- she'd be walking down the sidewalk, then out of nowhere she'd be surrounded by six scary-looking guys. They would start to harass her, push her around. One would pull out a wicked looking knife. Then, she starts fighting, getting stonger by the second-- almost TOO strong! One tries to punch her; he misses, then she hits his arm with enough force to break it. The other five are a blur as she becomes a monster at this time-- hitting, scratching, tearing, BITING them--
"Sam, it's time to get up!"
Samantha Gibbons shot up out of bed, breathing hard. She looked around, making sure she was still in her room, before sighing in relief and flopping backwards onto her bed. She turned her head towards her alarm clock-- 6:30 a.m. "Ugh, why must I suffer the torture of the damned and have to get up this early?" she muttered to herself. She rolled out of bed and stumbled upstairs to the kitchen. Her mom greeted her at the top of the stairs with a little plastic cup in her hand. Sam saw the cup and stopped. "Aw, Mom, can't it wait until AFTER I'm awake and coherent?"
Her mother simply arched a brow as she took in her condition. "You look pretty awake, and you sound coherent enough. Now take your medicine before you forget."
Sam rolled her eyes, accepting the small cup. When she was born, she'd had a heart defect that doctors had never seen. Even though it wasn't serious enough to kill her, her family found out later in her life, she had to take medicine for it ever since to be safe. And it wasn't all that pleasant either; it was in liquid form, tasted like aspirin left in your mouth for too long, and left her throat feeling like chalk afterwards. How could she forget?
Walking around her mother and into the kitchen, she found her twin brother, Adam, sitting at the table and eating cereal. He nodded to her in greeting, since he wasn't that much of a morning person either. She pulled out a glass and some grapefruit juice to go with her nasty medicine while her mom was flitting around the kitchen, making sure everything was in shape before she left for work. She always worked hard to make sure EVERYTHING was the way it should be. Sam didn't want to think about some of the times that she had messed up-- only small things, like scraped knees or rough-housing in her "best" clothes.
They had never met their father... apparently, he wasn't even around while they were being born. Since her mom had to be both parents, she basically morphed into a control freak. And most of that was centered around Sam, because of her heart defect and a freaky problem with her eyes. Her pupils were shaped like a cat's were, and that usually got her teased. Nothing was wrong with her sight, but it was still a big deal, in more ways than one.
Sam watched her mom do her "security check", as both she and Adam loved calling her morning routine, then decided she'd better do her own before they had to go to he-- school. They lived in New York state-- not in the big city, but close enough. They also went to a private school, which mostly consisted of either rich brats or stuck-up braniacs. Her brother was the star soccer player, so he was in a league of his own. As for her... Well, if she was invisible, she'd get more attention. She had one friend, Corrinne, who she had been friends with for years. Sam liked her right away, since she took one look at her eyes and said, "I'll bet you can freak out half of the 'dogs' in this school with eyes like that."
They lived in a little house about five miles out of town, so Adam's and Sam's form of rebellion, she was happy to say, was get a motorcycle instead of a car when they were old enough. Their mom flipped as could be expected, but eventually got over herself and found new things to obssess over, so the motorcycle stayed. She couldn't be happier; it had become her one source of escapement... The feeling the wind in her hair, the sun on her face was almost like she was flying. Nothing was better in her mind.
Even though Sam had a somewhat awkward social life at school and as strained of a relationship she had with her mother, she didn't care. Adam stuck with her through everything and took care of her like the brother everyone would want. They had each other-- at home, on the road, even in school. And nothing would change that.
She had finished her routine and set down her hairbrush as she heard the motorcycle enging roar to life. She quickly grabbed her backpack and took the stairs two at a time. "Sam!" her mom called, just as she reached the door. Her brother revved the engine, and she signaled for him to wait a minute before turning back into the kitchen.
"Yes, Mom?" she called. She half expected to be lectured on something unimportant or on something she would forget, but as usual her mother didn't even look up from her work when she answered.
"Don't go running up the stairs like that, you'll hurt yourself one of these times."
"Yes, Mom." She strode out the front door and climbed onto the bike, putting her helmet on.
"What was that about?" Adam asked.
"Nothing, as usual." She said nothing else and let her brother drive them out onto the road, allowing herself to enjoy the favorite part of her day.
If someone were to tell her that in only a matter of days her life would have changed for the worst, she would have either laughed in their faces or simply walked away from them, shaking her head. Nothing could change in the almost perfect world that was created for her, where there wasn't any reason to be afraid, and murderings and gangs and the like only existed in the big city. None of that would happen to her-- not in a million years!