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The scenery flew past, all merging into one big blur. The effect was brought about by the combination of speed and the drizzling rain which fell incessantly. Mary-Kate sighed and a poem started running through her mind 'Rain, Rain! Go away! Come again another day when we're inside!' It wasn't the entire poem but was all she could remember. The memory was of small children, she being one of whom were chanting the poem as the rain began to fall, causing them to quit their outside games and run for cover. The memory was a bittersweet one, back from her gradeschool days. Days she both cherished and wished to forget at the same time. It was a confusing combination.

"We're here" Ashley stated the obvious.

Mary-Kate rolled her eyes, she had realized that. As the car pulled into the driveway she sat up straighter glancing around her. So this was to be her new home. This place was going to replace the only home she'd ever known. The only life she'd ever known. The car stopped and she opened the door. She grimaced as her foot landed in a big puddle, making a splash and causing water to leak into her shoes. She sighed. Off to a great start already!

She climbed out of the car and walked around the backyard. A few small trees and the occasional obscure flower dotted the lawn in a haphazard way. The garden definitely needed some work! She glanced over at the house. It was painted a pale, faded, blue that was so pale it was almost white. Mary-Kate shuddered, the effect was hideous.

Her parents had unlocked the front door and Ashley called to her to come and see the inside of the house. Mary-Kate walked over, surprised to feel a slight sense of excitement, she hadn't wanted to move, and she'd refused to come with her family when they looked around this house trying to decide if they should buy it. This would be her first time to see the interior, she only hoped it would be more impressive then the exterior.

She rounded the corner and started up the stairs to the door, then stopped midstep. Her attention was drawn to the neighboring house. It was atop a small slope so Mary-Kate had to look up to see it. The house was in a rather shabby condition, paint flaking, and wood sagging. There were no lights inside, all this gave it the appearance of a sad face sitting dejectedly on the hilltop. But that wasn't what Mary-Kate noticed so much, there was something about the house she didn't like, it gave her that prickly feeling on the back of her neck, that feeling you get when someones watching you.

She shuddered and continued her climb up the stairs and into the house.


The old lady looked down through her lounge window as the family walked around the yard next door and later went inside. She noticed the young girl stop at the door and glance up at the house. The old lady immediately shrank back from the window, not wanting to be seen. Her hand unintentionally knocked over a small photo frame sitting on the table next to the window.

The old ladies hand shook as she straightened it, for a moment she just stared at the people in the picture then shaking herself she walked away. The past was in the past, dragging up old memories would only cause more heartache and pain. She'd learnt that lesson before.


Mary-Kate surveyed her room. The expression on her face could only be described as disappointment. The room was small, very small and the walls were covered with a pale flowery wallpaper which she hated. She sighed and set her bag down on the floor. Shoulder slouched, she walked over to the bed and sat down. The bed squeaked in objection and she leapt a little in surprise. Realizing what the sound had came from she relaxed a little and lay back on the bed, staring up at the glaring white ceiling.

'This room REALLY needs redecorating!' she thought. And from what she'd seen of the other houses, the whole place did. It was positively depressing.

Mary-Kate remembered the house next door, she walked over to her window, which happened to look up at the house, and drew back the blinds. The room was immediately flooded with a grey light, Grey to accompany the day. She glanced up the hill to the house. It was still dark inside and dusk was drawing closer. Mary-Kate shrugged, figuring the place must be empty. She couldn't explain it, but there was something about the house that drew her curiosity.

She hoped it wouldn't be raining the next day. She really felt the desperate need for cheering up. Hopefully some bright sun shine would lighten her mood, not to mention her view of this place.


Mary-Kate was awoken the next day, from her attempt at sleep in the very uncomfortable bed, by the shrill ringing of the phone. She groaned and covered her head with her pillow anything to block out the incessant, annoying noise. It was, however, a impossible battle.

"MARY-KATE!" Ashley called from the other room "It's for you!"

Mary-Kate sighed and threw the blankets off, goosebumps immediately appeared on her skin. She shivered. It was VERY cold! She grabbed her jacket and glanced at the clock on the wall, 8:30. She couldn't image who would be calling this early.

She walked into the lounge to find the rest of her family there. Her father greeted her with a disapproving look. "It's Sam" He said.

Mary-Kate's heart lept a little, but the look on her fathers face quickly dispelled the feeling. "You're supposed to be escaping your old life" He said firmly "Sam's a part of it"

"Yeah. The only good part" Mary-Kate returned with a slight glare "He's my best friend. You can't expect me to totally give up on him. I won't!" She said resolutely.She marched over to the phone picked up the cordless and marched out of the room, her nose in the air the entire time. Her friends always said she was stubborn. They were right!

Chapter 2