Saint Apollo's Academy for the Gifted isn't any ordinary boarding school for special teens. It's students are anything but troubled. All of them have a special ability that they have and they're all taught how to control them.
Melanie is a quiet, 16 and a half year-old girl with dark features. She's reserved and doesn't attempt to make any friends on her first day. Everyone whispers about her behind her back... What a weirdo.... a freak who sees ghosts--she's REALLY gone off the deep end...
Melanie sees ghosts alright, especially a helpful ghost - everywhere she turns, she always sees him. He always appears to her. She doesn't know much about him except his name. He's the only friend she can trust at this point in her life.
But a persistent boy and girl will forever change all that...
17 year-old Chase McAllister is a troubled delinquent from a troubled home, keeping everyone at bay with his disarming witty--and often sarcastic--remarks and brash personality. He's sent to the Academy after he accidentally burns down a general store with his bare hands. Almost emotionally unstable, Chase makes sure everyone at the Academy knows to keep away. But all that will change when he stands up for the quiet, weird girl who talks to ghosts. They instantly become odd 'friends.'
Allison Marks is roughly 17 and loves to draw--it's all she does in her spare time. But when she starts drawing ominous pictures, the staff becomes increasingly worried. What does all this mean and what kind of dangers are coming?
ONE: The Dream
The same occurring dream came to Melanie again. It started off the same as always; she was back in the chilly and boring interrogation room, sitting in the cold steel chair and talking to the pretty but stern female investigator who was asking her question after question about what happened...
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“How old are you, Melanie? 15?” Ms. Stewart wondered, flipping through her file. The lady already knew her age—it was in the file. Maybe it was just protocol.
“16…” It came out as barely a whisper from Melanie's lips when she replied. The room was dark and musty, leaving Melanie uncomfortable. She felt like a criminal—but she hadn't done anything wrong.
“Sweet Sixteen, huh? Did you have a big party with all your friends?” The detective was trying to make light conversation to try and make her feel comfortable, but it wasn't helping Melanie to take her mind off the horrible things she'd seen; it just made her even more sad—she never had friends.
“No,” was all she said.
Ms. Stewart pursed her lips; she wasn't getting anywhere with her. “Do you know what happened that night, Melanie? —Or can I call you Mel for short?”
Melanie's eyes wavered, staring down at the cold metal desk that separated Interrogator from Interrogatee.
When she didn't answer, the detective leaned forward, speaking in a soft tone. “You can trust me, you know. I want to help you.”
Melanie didn't know what to say to that—the lady wouldn't believe her if she knew the truth—so she continued to remain silent.
Ms. Stewart leaned back in her chair and cleared her throat before going on, trying to go about this as lightly as possible. “Mel, there's something I have to tell you. It's about your parents…"
This shocked the detective. Ms. Stewart regarded the young girl closely. “What do you know about your parents?” She asked.
Melanie's stormy-gray eyes flicked back up to look at the detective. "I know they're dead.” The words came out of her mouth before she knew what she was saying. Why was she not bursting into tears over this? Her parents were gone.
"And how do you know that?" The detective's voice echoed hollowly in the room, seeming to come from a distance. Time seemed to stand still—this always happened in the dream.
Once again, Melanie found herself saying it without thinking—without considering the dire consequences.
“I know because I've seen them. Their ghosts told me so.”
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Immediately after this admission, everything went dark and Melanie woke up, panting and sweating, back to reality.
Allison hated the world. She so firmly believed this that her attitude towards everyone around her reflected that same hatred she felt inside. Her life sucked, her current situation sucked, the teachers and their classes sucked; everything just SUCKED. Her life couldn't get any suckier than it already was. She'd like to see it try...
Ally was always in a foul mood, every minute of every day. Everyone around her kept their distance, giving her a wide birth whenever they walked past. She liked it and wanted it kept that way.
She just wanted to be left alone today, but apparently the headmaster of St. Apollo wanted to ruin that for her—all because someone chose to mess with her today. Big mistake that was.
Ally sat slouched in one of the headmaster's leather chairs inside his office, her arms crossed over her chest as the two of them argued back and forth. Family discord, one could call it.
“Don't even get me started, Allison…” Anthony Marks rubbed a hand across his temples, a migraine already setting in.
"She deserved it; she called me names, thank you. That ingrate had it coming." She huffed, resisting the urge to roll her eyes at him. She didn't need to be yelled at more than she already was.
"What have we worked on with you countless times? How to exert self control. How many times do I have to tell you that violence is never the answer in situations like that. Now Cathy's parents are threatening to sue the school—sue me—because I can't seem to keep you in line." He paced back and forth behind his desk with arms crossed, looking more pissed than she'd ever seen him. The big ceiling to floor-length widows he was pacing in front of looked down into the grounds, where students were milling about, talking and laughing with their friends and playing catch with a Frisbee or a ball. Ally sure wasn't feeling so carefree and happy as they were at the moment.
"Well, I'm sorry to ruin the reputation of your precious little school, Dad." Allison gritted her teeth in frustration, biting back the other insults she wanted to throw at him. Unlike everyone else, it was her father who was the one person she really couldn't lash out at—like what she did with Cathy. Stupid Duchess Cathrine Honeycomb thought she could boss everyone around as if they were her subjects.
"This includes you as well, Allison. If they really want to, the Honeycombs can close down this school and then where would you be, and everyone else? This school allows teens like you to learn about their powers away from the prying, biased eyes of everyone else, allowing you guys freedom to be yourselves without being judged. If that's taken away, there's nothing left. So don't start with me."
Allison groaned. "They're just jealous someone stood up to Cathy's rude selfish ego for once, and they want to spoil their precious doll." The words tasted like vinegar on her tongue as she thought about it. Those stuck-up royals were fools and brats.
Anthony sighed, stopping in his pacing to rub his tired eyes. "Whatever the case, they have a substantial amount of money than we do, not to mention power, so we have nothing to say in the matter. If you'd just left and came to tell me so that I could settle this nicely and with less injuries, we wouldn't be in this messy situation." He pointed out.
"And risk being labeled as a tattle-tale? No thanks. Everyone else already thinks of me as the angry, spoiled headmaster's daughter, and I don't need another bad wrap to my name." Ally twirled a strand of her reddish-brown hair around a finger, lightly tugging on it out of frustration; looking anywhere else but at him.
Her father placed his hands on his large oak desk loudly to where the two family photos moved (one of all three of them and one with just her parents) and the pens rattled in their holders. The loud commotion made her look up at him. His expression was set in determination as he spoke. "That's enough, Allison… listen real hard and listen well, because I'm not going to say this again. If you cause this kind of trouble again, you'll be packing your bags and going to Barkley’s—no if's or but's. If you can't control yourself, the Honeycombs will sue and this Academy's as good as toast. You understand?"
Ally could see as she looked him straight in his dark green eyes that he wasn't bluffing; he was dead serious. Berkley was an institution for actual troubled delinquents, a place she had no intention of going even if her father forced her.
This time, she glared at him. "Yeah, sadly,”
Anthony stood up straight again. "Good. There's one more thing I have to talk to you about; your drawings." He pulled out a drawer and brought out her biology notebook—something she never noticed had ever been missing—and plopped it onto his desk.
Ally's mouth fell open in shock and outrage, and she quickly closed it. "You went through my things, too?! Have you guys ever heard of boundaries??"
"Ally, this is serious. You've been more withdrawn, your grades are falling—more than usual—and you're never paying attention during class. The teachers have said that you're always drawing in this notebook, a lot. So, for your safety, I went through it. Do you know what you've been drawing—repeatedly—everywhere in your notes?"
Anthony flipped open the notebook, flipping past a couple pages. Everywhere in the margins, there were pictures of evil; demons and evil, dark things and the like. There was even a satanic-looking pentagram symbol… Those were everywhere.
Allison remained indignant. "That still doesn't give you permission to go through my stuff! That's violation of privacy for God’s sake!"
She pushed herself up on her feet, slinging the strap of her bag over her shoulder.
"Allison..." her father tried to get a word in, but Ally interrupted him, whirling around before she reached the door. She was so angry at him, she wanted to really hurt him.
Anthony Marks was a leader, a visionary, but he could also be tough when he wanted to be. There wasn't much that could get past the tough defenses he'd put up, and Ally knew what that was all too well.
"You know, you really suck at this whole father thing. If my mother was still here, she would've done a much better job at parenting than you've ever done." She hissed, fuming out the ears. She didn't have one ounce of pity in her. He'd violated her personal privacy, and that was definitely not okay.
Without another word, without a glance back, Allison left, loudly slamming the door behind her.
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After his daughter left, Anthony sat down as those words sank in, his anger diminishing until all that was left was sorrow and regret. She was hurting, she hadn't meant it. She was just an angst, ornery teenager who held some resentment... But was it all true?
He reached for the picture frame of two people; a man and a woman. They were smiling, looking so happy and so in love. Anthony looked longingly at the picture of the dark-haired woman, trailing a finger down the glass as he consulted her in his troubled mind… ‘What am I doing wrong, Rebecca? If only you were here… You'd know what to do. You'd know how to help her…'