I opened my window to see a bright red bird pass by. It was a lovely spring day in San Francisco, California. But something felt different about today. I shake the thought out of my head and continue to look at the vibrantly colored birds. A minute or two later, I hear a chilling scream in the distance, and a gasp escapes my mouth. A moment of silence passes, and I close the window before heading downstairs. “Hey, Carter! What’s on the agenda for today?” I started down the long staircase in the apartment. But then remembered the scream from just a minute ago, and heard something in my head. “You’re next”. I gasped, and lost my balance, and fell down the steps, getting many bruises and a cut on my elbow. I then hear a laugh I know very well. “Shut up Carter!” I said furiously while standing up. “I’m sorry, but it’s not my fault that your pain is hilarious.” He went to get the agenda for today, and a band-aid. “We get ten more minutes for breakfast. Then we have to meet up with the rest of the class to get sorted into groups. And here” He handed me the band-aid before taking a large bite of his chocolate croissant. “And then-” He continued spitting crumbs out of his mouth. “We leave at five to head for the airport. To- you know- leave.” He was done with his food by now. We grabbed our suitcases and day bags and headed out of the apartment. 

“Okay class!” the teacher raised her voice to quiet the conversing students. “We have a very packed day, so if you all will just bear with me for five minutes.” In the corner of my eye, I could still see some students not listening. But she continued. “The other teachers have their group papers, and where they’re going. Please listen to them so you know where you will be going.” They started calling out names. “Faith Rivers and Carter Speilburg.” I heard our names called together and we both whisper “yes”. 

The first place we go is the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the spots we didn’t go to yesterday. We were walking for twenty minutes, but I started feeling dizzy. I stopped walking, and Carter came to my side. My vision became blurry, and I heard Carter’s voice before blacking out. “Faith!”


I woke up a second later, but everything was different. The bridge, the one I was on when I passed out, was replaced with buildings. Tall buildings, I was at least five hundred feet off the ground, and I saw a Carter next to me. “Carter? What happened?” The city was bleak now. Almost no color at all, too. “How? How do you know my name?” I heard him say, I was still feeling a little weird, but I could hear him clearly. “What do you mean? We’re best friends.” I got closer to him. He looked clueless. What happened to him?

“Look, I don’t know who you are. You just- f-fell out of the s-sky and on-onto this b-building.” Carter stammered. Wait did what I think just- no it’s not possible. I must be dreaming. Inter-dimensional travel only happens in books or movies. That can’t be what’s happening here. In the morning I’ll wake up, and everything will be fine. I was about to go into the building, from the roof entrance, when the voice came back. But this time, it was out loud. Carter was talking. “What are you doing here, girl? Making my job easier, I see?” The voice was even worse in person. It was a deep, demonic voice that gave you violent chills down your spine. “What- what are you talking about?” I managed to get out before Carter-or the demon- jumped off the building. I ran over to the edge and screamed “Carter!” before seeing a speck splatter onto the ground. I went into the building, the voice was everywhere. I could still hear it. “I’ll find you.” It kept saying. Find me? Find me for what? I got to the bottom of the building, and outside, but Carter’s body wasn’t there. It was gone. There wasn’t even a speck of blood on the concrete ground. I looked around, and no one seemed phased by this. “Hey! Hey! Did anyone see a-” I started to say, before getting pulled into an alley. “There you are.” The voice. Was he in Carter’s body? Or someone else’s? Why does he want me? I have so many questions. “Faith.” The voice said, in its deep chilling tone. “Turn around.” I did as the voice said. And I saw him. It wasn’t Carter. It was a cloud. A black cloud. “I could smell your blood from a mile away.” the cloud said, smelling something. “What are you?” I managed to squeak out. I’m terrified. I looked into its eyes. Imagine your worst nightmare, and multiply it by a hundred. That’s what it feels like to stare into its lifeless eyes. “Wait- you don’t know what I am? It’s pretty obvious, I’m a black cloud.” When it said that, he had a normal, not demonic voice. But somehow that was even scarier. “Of death.” He added. “And we need you. Because Faith you’re” He paused for dramatic effect. It was only for about ten seconds, but it felt like ten years. “Our sacrifice.” Sacrifice?! I’m too young to die. I can’t die. I haven’t done everything I wanted to. I haven’t traveled around Europe. “Grab her and prepare for the ceremony.” two people, human people grabbed me and put me in a room with no windows and only one door. That was locked and guarded. There was no way out. This is definitely not a dream. Suddenly the door opened, and they gave me food and water. I wasn’t sure if I should eat it or not, so I decided not to. They left the food with me, left the room, and locked the door.

Hours passed by, and nothing happened. I’m tense, terrified, and pacing up and down the room. Someone opened the door, and the black cloud came into the room. “Faith.” It started. “It’s time.” Not yet! I have to stall, even if it’s just a little bit of time. “Wait! Why me? Why not someone else? And where did Carter go? I saw him die.” I started to tear up. “It has to be you. Faith, you see, I’m dying. I’ve been buying myself some time by killing others, but I need you. You are the only one who can keep me alive forever.” But I don’t want to die for a this-this puff. “But why me? What about me is so special?” I’m shaking at this point. It’s visible too, my knees are about to give out. “Your blood. Your blood is why you are so special, Faith. There is something in it that makes it different from the rest.” He took a minute before speaking again. “Now, are we ready for the sacrifice?” My blood? How is my blood different? Two different men grab me and take me out of the dungeon-like room I was in for the past six hours. The new room I’m now in is red. A deep red. Like blood. And there was a surgical table in the center of the room. That was the only thing in there. I was brought over to the surgical table, struggling to get out of the men’s grip, but failed. They put me on the table, and they injected something into me. I tried to get up, but something was holding me back. My body was numb. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t do anything, and then I heard it. The Voice. “It’s time.”

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