"Sammy!" Darren groaned, rolling off of his bed. His yellow lab, Sammy, had decided to shove him off when his alarm started to go off, just for the fact that he was hungry.

"You know, I don't like you very much." He mumbled, and the 3-year-old puppy whimpered. "I'm just kidding. I love you."

That phrase invited puppy kisses and fetch for the next five minutes until a knock came to his door. "Darren, come on, you have school!"

"Yeah, yeah, Adonis, whatever," Darren replied, and rifled through his closet for clothes. Black jeans, black AC/DC shirt, leather jacket with a mini sketchbook and small pencils in the pocket.

Darren looked nothing like his sophomore (in college) brother. Raven black hair, and large, round, brown eyes. Nearly black, which matched his usual attire. Adonis, on the other hand, was your typical surfer-boy-hottie, even though he didn't act it. Reminded him a lot of a character he had read a book about sometimes. Some realistic fiction stuff. The main character was pretty stupid, really and it was pretty depressing in some parts…

Anyways, grab a granola bar on the way out the door, Darren and Adonis left for the younger of the two to go to school.

School was...usually interesting. To Darren, at least. Decently intriguing, but only because of the drama. Or the 'tea' as Kris and Troy called it. It seemed to him that almost everyone got a new significant other every week. And tried to work their way up the social hierarchy.

Except for him and his friends. They seemed to be below the Emos and Goths and Scenes. They had nicknamed themselves the 'misfits'. Through the years, being that that's what they were, really.

"Hey, asshole." Said someone from behind him as he attempted to walk into school unnoticed. Darren immediately tensed, but as he realized who it was, relaxed. The same old french accent he had been hearing for the past five years; same amazing best friend.

"Hey, Allison." he chuckled at the nickname and Allison sighed.

"That's not what you're supposed to say…"

"You'll live, I promise. Where're all the other ones?"

"Well, Gwen and Kris aren't talking to us, per usual, and Troy and Carson are in the cafeteria. If you'd check your phone once in a while, I'd guess you'd know, wouldn't you?"

"You see, Allison," he started with a cocky smirk. "I'd challenge you to a battle of wits, this morning, but I see you come unarmed."

"Come on, Avril Lavigne, let's just get inside."

"Avril Lavigne?"

"Skater Boy?" Allison shrugged. "Her first album came out in 2002." She said in a very matter-of-fact voice.


A minute or so later, the five friends met up by the side of the school, sitting at a yellow picnic table outside.

"Hey, Darren! Allison." Troy said as the two sat at the table. "How's Adonis doing?"

"Why, got a crush, Winfield?" Darren mocked.

Troy shrugged. "Only 2 years older than me, and he's hot as f-"

"Language, man!" Kris said quickly and covered her younger friend's, Gwen, ears with her hands. "We have little ears present!"

"Oh, screw off, Krissy, you're older than me by a month." She mumbled through a yawn. "I haven't had enough coffee for this yet."

"You're 14, kid," Allison added. "Don't kill yourself on caffeine."

"Either way, we all wanna die, don't we?" Kris asked, and everyone laughed. "I love Gen Z humor…"

A new person walked over, sitting down next to Allison, at the end of the table. Disheveled red hair to bring out his jade green eyes, with a lean but tall build.

He dropped all his books and papers on the table, most of them scattering. Quite a few things fell before he could actually set them down.

"Carson, what happened?" Allison asked, helping him organize his things again.

"Andy sent her minions after me again," he mumbled miserably. "Drives me crazy. I'm fine, though; they only punched me once."

"Names," Darren said immediately, standing, and Troy had to push him back down into the chair.

"Darren, no." He said, and Carson sat down next to Allison, as they finished putting his things away. "You don't need yet another detention."

"If Carson's still getting beat up, then I want to-"

"Punching someone isn't going to help," Carson spoke up. "I'll be ok."

"Cuss them out but don't get physical," Kris muttered to Darren and he nodded.

"I like that idea."

"What idea?"Allison asked, and both Darren and Kris shook their heads.

"Nothing." the freshman said quickly. "No idea."

"Whatever…" Troy mumbled. "You're alright, though, Carson?"

"I'll live, thank you."

Something about the way that Carson smiled at Troy when he said that unnerved Darren. He tried to convince himself, he's just jealous because he and Carson had been closed for so long. And he loved the feeling of protecting someone...and with Troy there, he couldn't as often anymore.

Perfect Troy Winfield, always in the way. Darren loved the guy, he really did. They had been friends for years, but it always seemed he got in the way of everything. With his stupid sky blue eyes and moronic smile to make any girl swoon. Or gay guy...like Carson. Which really made him mad.

"I'll see you guys later," Darren said when the bell rang for them to leave and go to classes. He loved everyone with his heart and soul, really, but sometimes being with them was a real pain in the ass.

He stood and headed around the corner, towards the front of the building.

"He alright?" He heard from Carson as he left.

"Dunno," Allison added. "Seemed happier this morning…"

Darren heard them continue to talk as he headed out to his locker, going to text (or possibly call) his brother.

Darren: Hey, you're leaving tmrw, right?

He sent, hoping that he would have some time to talk.

Adonis: Yeah, what's wrong? you don't text me unless you're upset and don't wanna talk to Allison about it

Darren: Can you call?

Adonis: Yeah, I've got you

Darren sighed and hit the answer buttons when he saw Adonis's name pop up on the screen. "Hey."

"School hasn't even started yet, now what's wrong?" Adonis asked flatly and Darren hesitated, hoping no one was around.

"You know what I told you the other day?"

"Yeah, what about it?"

"I think it's kinda coming into play," Darren mumbled, and Adonis gasped.

"Holy—really? Aww, can I know—"

"No, I'll tell you when I get home. Not now. And you sound like Hannah and Kacey."

"Yeah, well, she's my best friend. So one would expect. Also, you're holding back, man, I can tell. What happened? Full story."

"Andy sent her minions after Carson. Pushed his books around, probably shoved him into a locker…"

"Oh, Damn…" Adonis mumbled. "I know her older brother, Luke. I'll see if next time he's home they can talk about that, cause Carson's a sweet kid. I didn't know it was that bad, otherwise, I would've said something already."

"Yeah, thank you."

"You sound upset, though. Is it just you're frustrated or did something else happen?"

"That's it. If anything else happens, I'll let you know."

"Sounds good. Want me to pick you up today?"

"Yeah, please."

"Alright. See ya, kid."

"I'm not a-" Darren heard the three beeps, saying that Adonis had hung up. "Kid." he finished and sighed. "Today is gonna be great…"

Well, he was right. That day totally sucked. A lot.

2 quizzes in English, unit tests in both Science and Math, and the final in history/civics. Which was outright torture?

Thank god, though, he had study hall during 7th period in the library. Mrs. Winfield was the amazing librarian, who also happened to be Troy's mom.

"Hey, Mrs. Winfield." He said as he walked into the library, knocking on the doorway to the small back office. "Need any help with anything?"

The small woman looked out from behind a stack of book on the counter, well over her head. "Oh, yes, if you don't mind!" she said cheerily and nodded.

Before the books could fall on her head, he grabbed half of them and set them in a nearby box. "It looked like the leaning tower of Pisa." He smirked and Mrs. Winfield chuckled.

"Well, I think you, Darren. Do you want to scan some books in for me?"

"Of course." he nodded and left the office, heading over to the desk with the bright red check-in box next to it.

The library was...amazing. It was peaceful and colorful, plenty of inspiration for a new sketch.

Darren was an artist and hated the class. He usually drew more outside things, like a few trees or a sunset. But the library had loads of different colors, pictures, displays, bulletin boards. Mrs. Winfield loved to keep everything decorated with things kids would make for her. Snowflakes and confetti hung from the ceiling, with a tv that played book trailers.

After a while of putting away books, talking to Mrs. Winfield, and drawing, the bell rang. Darren went back to his locker, grabbed his stuff and headed out to his brother's car.

"Hey, baby bro, how'd school go today?" He asked and Darren groaned. "That good, huh?"

"Finals, tests, quizzes, you name it. Plus why I called you earlier."

"Yeah, how's that working out for you?"

"Terrible. Probably gonna go on a walk when I'm done with my homework…"

"Aww, don't you wanna spend time with your big brother who loves you so much?"

"The one who cursed me out yesterday because I 'sent Sammy after you when you were packing to go back'?"

"You did."

"No, I didn't. And the fact that you care so much about not getting dog hair on your clothes, shows that you really are a stereotypical gay guy."

"Yknow what?" Adonis asked and rolled his eyes. "That's a compliment. Thank you."

"You're an idiot." Darren snickered and his brother shrugged in response.

"Love you too, baby bro."

"I'm seventeen!"

"I'm twenty. You're a baby."

"Peaceful, isn't it, Sammy?" Darren asked his dog as they walked. The two were out in the woods behind his house, strolling along the trail he had learned to follow over the past year.

The dog made a small 'ruff' noise in confirmation, walking around Darren in circles. The little security in his community didn't mind unleashed dogs, as long as they didn't mess with anyone.

"I know. Everything is boring, anymore. At least it's not like in those books we have to read for school. Now those are boring." He asked with a sigh. "I like it out here, though. Don't you?"

The dog seemed to nod, and walked over to a tree, sitting in the shade. Darren agreed: walking in the sun covered head to toe in black clothes, or in his case, fur was no fun at all. He crawled up in a tree, pulled out his pocket sketchbook and pencil, and started to draw.

Sammy stood and started barking after a while, causing Darren to look up.

In the distance, was a bluish-gray tinted light. More of a fog, really. The color was pretty, he decided, but it was extremely odd to see it in the middle of the woods.

"Hey, Sammy, let's head home, ok?" Darren asked the dog, jumping down, and out of the tree.

The dog ran off, Darren chasing him through the forest. Unfortunately, it was towards the smoky light.

Darren crept closer, now curious about it. A woman with a black cloak stood in the fog, staring at a mirror that floated by an adjacent tree trunk. She was muttering in some sort of foreign language. It was definitely not something taught in his high school.

"What the hell…?" he mumbled, seeing the fog start to swirl around the person in a spiral. The wind blew around, making Darren squint. Sammy was still, sitting and staring in the same direction.

The glass in the mirror shattered, and everything stopped. The wind, the fog…

Darren looked around by the tree he had hidden behind. All around and through the air was minuscule shards of the destroyed glass. Suddenly, they all flew back to the mirror and disappeared through it.

Like before, a fog came out of the mirror again. But this time it was more concentrated in a single streamlined, and much darker purple, with hints of navy.

"Sammy." he harshly whispered. "Sammy let's go."

When Darren turned back to where the mirror and person had been, he was in shock. Everything had disappeared. The ornate mirror, the fog, everything.

"Let's go home, Sammy…" he said with bewilderment, running off back to the path and back home. Sammy followed along quickly, barking occasionally.

Darren got back to his house pretty quickly, is that he ran the entire way.

"Woah, little bro, what happened? Pack of girls chases you in the woods?" Adonis said, stopping him as he ran in the back door of his house. "First time I've seen you run like that in a long time-"

"Don't tease me, Adonis. I wouldn't run away from a group of girls, anyway, I'd just say "I'm gay" and they'd go away from me." He smirked, trying desperately to forget what he just saw.

"Mhmm. Whatever." Adonis rolled his eyes. "But you ok?"

"Had a race with Sammy on my way back." Darren lied and got a bottle of water out of their fridge. "Dad headed home, yet?"

"Said he was going out with April but would try to be home before ten."

"Alright. You leaving soon?"

"Kacey and their girlfriend Renae are coming to pick me up."

"What about Hannah? She comes home for the weekend?"

Adonis shook his head. "Nah. Had some drama rehearsal or something. Sound and lights crew."

"Sounds good. Lock the door on your way out, will you?"

"Yeah, where are you going?" He asked as Darren ran up the stairs to his room.

"Lots of homework to do, sorry. Text me when you get back."

Adonis, while confused, brushed it off. Darren rarely did his homework.

What he didn't know, though, is that Darren wasn't doing his homework. He was up there sketching the mirror and the woman he had seen in the woods. There was something about the fog that was eerily creepy, and he was going to find out what it meant.