Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tove Lo - Habits (Stay High) - Hippie Sabotage Remix

So, if you read my post yesterday, you saw how I've been thinking about Violet Paris's sister, Ariel from Heavenly Killers: Roseville Vampires. Ariel was an enjoyable character to depict because she has a little edge and a bit of a wild streak. Yet, the more I think about Ariel Paris, the more I contemplate how she is suffering internally. Her mother ditched her family and her father is an abusive alcoholic. She tries to find ways to escape her mental torture through men and partying.

The music video below reminded me of Ariel and how she feels inside. She tries to escape her pain by inevitably creating more pain in her life. It becomes a cycle that only spirals downward.

Have a great one guys; you're the best!

©  Brighton

Friday, October 3, 2014

Sirenas Mediterranean Academy subt ENG dipta Costa Daurada Tarragona

Hello my fantastic readers,

I just discovered there is actually a real life MERMAID ACADEMY! How cool is that?!!! You can actually learn to be a mermaid at the Sirenas Mediterranean Academy in Spain.  

Imagine swimming like a mer with your friends while vacationing on the shores of Tarragona Spain and making your magical fantasies come true in the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Sounds like a dream come true.

Here is a little promo clip from the Sirenas Mediterranean Academy.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Brody Kills the Beast - Jaws (10/10) Movie CLIP (1975) HD


This photo is actually a part of a series where each picture shows the great white devouring the seal. Poor guy.

So you know how I told you The Watermagic Series was inspired by the Twilight books and the film, Jaws? Well, here is a a little scene from Blueisland (The Watermagic Series) that shows the Jaws inspiration. And below the excerpt, is a clip from the movie! A lot of you have probably already seen Jaws, but those of you who haven't proceed with caution because it's the final scene and I don't want to ruin a masterpiece of a movie for you. If you have never seen Jaws, watch it!!! It is the legend of all legends and you won't want to swim in the ocean ever again unless you have a sexy mer like Marcel or Laurent with you for protection.

Here is the excerpt. Blueisland is a self-contained novel that can be read in any order in The Watermagic Series.

 "But, after a second the boat jolted again and without any time to think I was in the ocean myself. It occurred so fast that I didn’t know what happened to Savannah.

I felt like I was literally being pulled under the waves. There wasn’t much time to think about anything other than how do I get to the surface for air, then save Savannah. But the surface wouldn’t come and something just kept pulling me deeper and deeper into the depths.

If it didn’t seem so real, I would have thought I was hallucinating. I heard the most beautiful, entrancing music. It sounded like the call of angels. The black water lit up in a rush of sparkles of light. It looked like some kind of water creatures… No, it looked like human beings were pulling my classmates down and devouring them with their teeth the way sharks feed in frenzy. They were tearing them to shreds. Blood flowed fiercely.

Soon, my lungs felt like they were going to explode. The pain was excruciating. But, worse, was the unbearable fear and then remorse. Now, I knew what my mother must have felt when her boyfriend drowned her in the bathtub. That’s when the pain intensified to the unimaginable—death is not an easy transition, no matter what anyone says.

Suddenly, I felt someone grab onto me. It must be my turn to be ripped apart and devoured. But instead I felt soft lips pressed against mine. I struggled violently to get away. The pain in my lungs vanished. Such erotic sensations rushed through my body, better than sex and better than the heroin my uncle’s friend shot into my arm once as a kid. Everything went black."

Thanks for reading. All the best and enjoy the clip below,

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Amazing Mermaid On The Rock "Sirena" (Animal Planet, Special Analysis 10...

Hey Guys!

This Marilyn Monroe-esque picture brings Marine Thibault from Bluehour to mind. Remember? She was the sexy mermaid with attitude who went after Grace at the Santa Monica Beach party:

"'That’s Marine Thibault,' he stated, seemingly proud that he knew her name. 'She’s the blond one, but you can’t tell because her hair is wet.'

I turned to look at her, trying not to stare, but I couldn’t help myself. She stepped before the bonfire, the flames leaping in the air. I could see the silhouette of her sleek, shapely body beneath the sheer white fabric of her dress. She was voluptuous in all the right places. Others turned to look at her. Her beauty was more than enchanting.

I wanted to get up and leave. My stomach tightened into a knot. I was sure she was coming to talk to me. It was a gut feeling. Maybe Laurent said something to her about me. I must have offended him somehow. From his reaction, it seemed like I did something awful.

Her last several steps after the bonfire were surprisingly swift. Her clear blue eyes suddenly turned fierce. She came up to me at once, without any sort of hesitation, and grabbed my arm roughly. In a shockingly violent manner, she yanked me off of the ground and punched me in the stomach with jarring strength."

Thanks for reading! Below is a video of a mermaid that was spotted by two hikers at the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Israel. Can you believe it?

All the best to you,
Here is a link that gives more info:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ozzy Osbourne And Lita Ford - Close My Eyes Forever (HQ)

Hello there my lovelies,

This photograph reminds me of Violet in Heavenly Killers. Remember how she joined that rock band, The Hell Razors? Joaquin dug her, but the other girls were jealous of her extreme beauty and sexy allure. Isn't she hot?!!! Too bad her father was so mean to her and the evil vampire, Lord Dyson, wanted to suck her blood. What a shame.

The song below kind of makes me sick to my stomach because it is so intense and I feel the pain way too deeply, but I wanted to share it with you because it seems like a perfect melody for Radley and Violet to sing to each other. Just put glasses and a prairie dress on Lida Ford and make Ozzie hot like Justin Beaver and you get Violet and Radley. Imagine that while you are experiencing the song.

All the best,

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Misfits Die, Die My Darling

Hey there my wonderful readers,

I think Blueisland should be first in the series of the Watermagic novels. I was thinking that this song by the punk rock band, Misfits, called, "Die, Die My Darling" would be a good song for the part in Blueisland when Raz goes into the ocean with Jason. After you listen to the song, read the excerpt below from the part of Blueisland that I am referring to. Imagine this song playing once Raz and Jason make contact.

Have a great one,

“He made it off the yacht,” Jason said while sitting in the makeshift tent with Raz on the beach.

My eyes lit up. “He did?”

“Yeah, it was some weird shit.” He leaned back with his hands behind him on the sand as he shook his head again. “That criminal French exchange student—you know the one who was in jail?”

“Marcel?” My heart rate sped up.

He nodded. “Yeah, that’s the guy—long ass hair—the one all the girls fall over.” Now he was chuckling and shaking his head more.

“Go on,” I encouraged anxiously. “The dude made out with your boyfriend right there on the deck, lips pressed together, shit…” he sighed, “…and then the punk kicked him off the boat like he was a football. It was some weird ass shit.”

“Are you serious?” I bit my finger much too hard. Was Marcel gay? He couldn’t be. I saw him with Emily. But then again, he didn’t seem like he cared about her at all now. Maybe he just messes around with girls to seem macho, but he’s really into guys. That actually makes sense because what guy on the planet earth wouldn’t be in love with Brigitte? She is utter perfection. And then when I lost control and was making out with Marcel, he pushed me away. I thought about it for a second. Well, that could just be that I’m not his type. Even if I am more attractive than I used to be as everybody keeps saying, Marcel saw me before the changes in my rag doll state and maybe that was enough to turn him off. “Do you think Marcel is gay?” I asked Jason.

He laughed. “I think he’s just a weird dude. Maybe he is over sexed or into kinky shit.” I had to move back as he stretched his long, thick legs out and crossed his arms over his chest. Emily was sleeping like a baby now just a couple feet away from us. “I saw him out at a club one night with Kitty Kole.”

“The supermodel?” I asked with surprise. My breathing sped up. I just felt so out of control and desirous.

“Yeah. Shit, she’s even more beautiful in person, long ass legs. She was all over him, but he didn’t do anything about it. He left her there high and dry. She was crying all over his friends. He’s crazy. Apparently, he does that to a lot of girls. Attachment issues or something.” He laughed, rubbing his forehead. “I heard the dude is rich.”

“What?” My voice lifted. “You mean his parents are rich?” Then I thought about it. Does he even have parents?

“No, I think their dead. He owns vineyards in France and does a lot of international corporate shit—the guy is worth billions. I heard he’s even on the Forbes list. Lucky asshole.”

“You want to go for a swim?” I asked him suddenly.

He scoffed, his brown eyes crinkling at the corners. “You gotta be shitting me?” His eyebrows pulled together. “I’m not getting in that ocean ever again.”

I smiled sweetly. “Not even naked?” Before I knew what I was doing, I pulled off my t-shirt and overly tight, stretched out bra.”

“Hello,” he said staring wide-eyed at my bare breasts. I wiggled out of my jeans and underwear.

His jaw dropped. At once, I was out of the tent and running for the ocean. I watched him from the water throw off his clothes and jump in after me. “Wait up,” he called, but I swam out further.

“Come on.” I waved him out to me. Damn, it felt so frickin’ good in the water, almost orgasmic.

“I’m comin’,” he yelled as he swam a fast, splashy crawl stroke out to me. It was so dark out under the stars and moon, but there were little flashes of light on the water from the cosmic array above.
I felt tingling sensations throughout my body. I could feel an aching burning in my groin. The tips of my nipples throbbed in the saltwater. But Jason finally caught up to me. I took his thick, fleshy, muscular body into my arms. A football player. Big and strong. He smelled delicious. It was an indescribable scent—a bit like blood and wine and flesh. My teeth were pulsing and everything just ached all over. I was breathing so heavy. All I remember him saying was “You’re so unbelievably hot…” And then, I bit off his ear. (Imagine the song playing here:) Blood gushed. He screamed out in pain which only increased my hunger. I started tearing him to shreds, eating and eating in hedonistic frenzy.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tracy Chapman - Fast Car

I used to listen to this song a lot as a kid. "Driving in a fast car" makes me think of a free life, one where the wind rushes through your hair and everything feels carefree and fun even if just for a while. But I never really felt like I belonged no matter where I was or what I did. I think it's just like that for some people. I never felt part of a group. In a lot of ways I've always had an anti-group mentality. But, on the other hand, there is a part of me that finds being a part of a gang or coven appealing, a family where you are totally accepted and loved. Maybe that is why I like shows and books about motorcycle gangs or covens and why I like to write about them. I guess I like the fantasy of having a group of close friends who are there for each other through thick and thin and then getting in a fast car (or on a fast motorcycle) and speeding so fast "like I was drunk..." It's a dream of belonging. "I had a feeling that I belonged. I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone..." 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Photo of Lord Dyson and The Vampire Diaries - Move On Trailer

Hey Guys,

What do you think? How's this pic for the wicked Lord Dyson who rules over the Night Ryders and The Crimson Devils in The Roseville Vampire Series? I can imagine him looking like this.

If you look closely you might be able to see Giselle, the woman Lord Dyson aches for but was snatched up by the even more sinister Lord Viparado. Maybe Lord Dyson wouldn't be so cruel to his teen vampire covens if he wasn't broken hearted. And the sad thing is, it seems Giselle wants Dyson just as badly.

And here is some news--I just found this great contest where you can win a copy of the DVD  of Season Five of The Vampire Diaries! Here is the link to enter: Bop Tiger Beat

Have you seen the Season 6 Move On Trailer for The Vampire Diaries yet? Well, here it is. Check it out below. Can't wait for Season 6!

Have a great one,

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Vampire Diaries - My Dinner Date with...Paul Wesley

Hello my wonderful friends,

This picture reminds me of Violet Paris when Radley Aston shut her inside the coffin for incubation in Heavenly Blood. Radley played his guitar in the graveyard waiting for her, but it was torture for the two lovebirds. Then when she was released, it was a shocker to both of them. Unexpectedly, their lives were forever changed. Poor Violet and Radley--will they ever live happily ever after?

I was just cruising around and found this interview with Paul Wesley from The Vampire Diaries. Have you seen it yet? Well, here it is. Stephen's kinda cute in an Edward Cullen kind of way, but as you know from The Roseville Vampire Series, I'm partial to the bad boys. I like dangerous men with edge. Damon's more my type at least earlier on in the series when he was a little more unpredictable.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, September 8, 2014

Catalina Island--The Magical Paradise for Mermaids and Mermen

Mermaids and Mermen! Oh, my!!!

Hello my beautiful Watermagic Novel fans,

Rememeber when Grace took a field trip to Catalina Island in Bluehour?

"But as we arrived in Catalina’s town of Avalon, the music faded and I was surprised to see how charming it was. Open storefront shops, cafés, and quaint hotels lined the cobble stone promenade before the harbor. It was a dreamy setting. The sun was bright and cheerful. There was a light breeze with the scent of eucalyptus trees and wild fennel..." (Bluehour (Watermagic Series))

Well, I have posted these lovely pictures and a short video for you to see some of the shore and underwater landscape for yourselves. There is so much to this magical island and this is just a delicious little taste.

Grace, Agatha, and Ashton take a ride on a glass bottom boat just before she sees the enigmatic boy who has been haunting her mind and soul:

"The boat was beautiful. There were only a few other passengers aboard which was nice. There was a lot of room to move around and enjoy the ambiance. After boarding, we looked around before we set out. It was relatively large in size with a nice deck. The glass bottom cabin was a lounge area with a mini-bar, sofas and big submarine windows that stretched across the walls. The room dropped down low in the water like a half-submerged submarine. It was a fantastic sight to see the underwater beauty.

At first we leaned against the rails on deck and enjoyed the sunshine and sea breeze as the boat set in motion. But shortly thereafter we headed down below. The captain navigated the boat out to a coral reef with stunning scenery. He cut the engine. We took seats on the plush furniture in the cabin and gazed in awe at the magnificent underwater views.

I enjoyed relaxing and talking on the sofas as we watched the fish swim around and through the kelp. Some colorful sea anemones rested on the impressive coral reef. I noticed that the prettiest fish were a bright golden yellow. The gold contrast with the pristine blue water was breathtaking.
The captain called us on deck for drinks and snacks. Everybody headed up, but I had to run back down because I forgot my sunglasses downstairs. “I’ll be right back,” I said to the others.

Agatha wasn’t paying attention to me. She and Danny were playing Rock, Paper, Scissors and laughing up a storm, but Ashton nodded and said, “Hurry up.” He winked playfully. “I’ll be waiting.”

When I got downstairs, I had to stop and look at the beauty beneath once again. I marveled at the varying types of seaweed and underwater life. I saw a baby shark swim by.

But, then the most surprising thing happened. I saw a boy swimming. His hair was flowing wild in the water. He came alongside the window of the boat and looked at me. I was in shock. It was Laurent.

I gasped. And then I touched the window with my hand and Laurent touched the same spot. He was gorgeous, a stunning  figure. Our hands were pressed together with only the window pane separating us. He smiled sweetly at me. My heart raced. And then he swam away.

I nearly hyperventilated. I couldn’t believe what had just occurred. He was so amazing. While we were doing all the touristy commercial stuff everybody else does, he and probably the other French exchange students were swimming in the bay, exploring the beauty without the confines of a boat. I so longed to be with them, diving in the ocean blue." (Bluehour (Watermagic Series)).

Soon Grace will discover a whole new world of mermaids and mermen that will shock her sense and tantalize her in a romance of a lifetime.

 This is an easy going short video of the town of Avalon on Catalina Island. It can give you a view into what real life is like on the island of magic.

If you haven't read Bluehour yet, it is FREE at online bookstores for a limited time. We are thinking about taking it off the free lists soon, so get your copy now.

You guys mean so much to me. Thank you!!!

The xx - "Chained" (Official Video)

"Chained" by XX reminds me of how devastated Violet and Radley were when they were apart. Violet's father forbid them to be together. Violet kept waiting for Radley's secret calls, but they never came. Both of them were crushed and pined in their hearts for each other. Yet, Radley had new secrets that would force him to shun her. The odds were against them from every angle, but true love will prevail even if death awaits around every corner.

This video was created in conjunction with the Creators Project where they are trying to combine mind and matter together. Using cancer cells and bacteria they create art. Beautiful and inspiring, a strange contradiction, like Heavenly Killers where "Heaven" and "Horror" are combined. I find beauty in contradictions of the extreme. Love and Hate, Holy and Evil, Beautiful and Ugly.  Check out the Creators Project and Their Art

XX, Brighton 

Heavenly Killers
(Roseville Vampires)
by Brighton Hill
Chapter One
It was dark in Roseville Mountains at Blood Falls as Violet Paris and Radley Aston embraced at the edge of the cliff. His fingers dug a little too strongly into her back as he held her in his lean muscular arms. She felt the pain, but as weird as it was, she liked it.
The full moon overhead lit up the riverbed below causing glimmers of light to dance like sparks of fire on the black waters. A summer wind rushed through the trees and their hair as they kissed breathing in each other’s essences for the last time.
Violet pulled away just enough to look into Radley’s scorching green eyes. She inhaled a long jagged breath. His expression was unreadable which confused her. His thoughts seemed turbulent like the waterfalls that rushed off the side of an adjacent mountain. If only she could figure out what he was thinking.
He stroked her long black hair and then held the back of her head in his hand. She wanted to memorize his perfect tan face like a clear picture in her mind that would last forever. His fingers brushed across her cheek lightly, but then his jaw clenched. The tension in his demeanor caused Violet to wonder if he was angry.
At once, he pulled out his switch blade and looked behind them away from the cliff’s edge, past the grassy park and toward the woods. His eyes were wide, his glare intense.
“What is it?” Violet asked looking around and not seeing anything suspicious just darkness, trees, and flashes of light from the lodge in the distance.
He didn’t answer for a minute, but just kept still like a deer frozen in shock before the headlights of a car right before it gets hit. It appeared now as if he was listening for something, his eyes violent, his nostrils flared.
Violet’s heart pounded fast in her chest. “Come here,” she said taking his hand.
At first he ignored her, but when she took off her shirt, he relaxed and pulled her up against him, putting the switch blade back into his pocket, and smiling wryly. “I sense an impending doom coming my way,” he whispered.
To her surprise, he took the shirt from her hand and pulled it back over her head, dressing her. “I wish you didn’t have to go,” he murmured into the night, looking out at the dark forest again. He turned back, his mind in some other place. But then their eyes met. He blinked. His irises looked glassy, deadpan as he leaned in and kissed along the line of her ear.
She could feel the warmth of his breath. Tingles rushed through her body, but she couldn’t help but sense by the way his hand pressed powerfully against her lower back that he was subduing some sort of inner rage unrelated to the skittishness toward the forest beyond.
Maybe it was over his mother who had abandoned him on the side of a desert road as a young kid. She never came back for him. Or possibly it was over his foster parents who he had run away from. Maybe he was having second thoughts about returning to them as they had discussed. It bothered her that he wasn’t open enough.
“This has been the best summer vacation of my life.” She tried to keep her voice soft and steady. It would be embarrassing to reveal the emotions she was feeling inside.
He grinned. “You better believe it has.” His voice was teasing. “You were with me.”
“Oh, yeah?” she asked mockingly. “As good as it was for me, it was better for you.” The inflection in her tone was facetious.
His expression shifted and the way his eyes bored into her now caused her stomach to flutter. Why was he looking at her like that? Her mind spun. She tried to hold his gaze. She was afraid she would never see it again.
He was good looking in a rugged sort of way. She loved his thick dark lashes and his mop of disheveled black hair. His voice was almost lyrical like a rock star. When he spoke, she often felt like he was strumming her soul, each sound lifting her up to a higher realm. How would she ever find another boy like Radley Aston? He was a drug to her—her own personal ecstasy.
In Arizona all the boys weren’t interested in her. Most of them made fun of her and her out of fashion clothing. And anyway, they were boring. Life was dull there. Maybe the guys were uninteresting in California too, but Radley sure wasn’t and he lived in Los Angeles and she lived in Phoenix. And it seemed like he really liked her for some unfathomable reason.
“Okay, love birds,” Violet’s younger sister, Ariel, called from the rock bed set off to the side and below the plateau of the cliff.  She and her new boyfriend for the night who they met at the tavern restaurant, Clark something or other, climbed back up the rocky hill laughing and teasing each other.
“It’s almost 10:00,” her sister hollered out to Violet again.
“Dude, this is steep,” Clark exclaimed as he looked up at Ariel climbing above him. “I could pull you off the side by your hair,” he chuckled hoarsely as he wedged his foot into the dark crevice of a sizable stone. His hands held tightly to the branches of a small tree before him. “Just yank that brown hair and throw you down under me.”
Ariel flinched at that thought and quickened her step up the side, now not as carefully. She didn’t really know Clark. Was he joking? Not sure what to do, she tried to ignore him and called out again to her big sister. “Violet, stop making out and help me up.”
“Come on.” Radley released Violet and motioned quickly with his chin toward the far side of the cliff where Ariel and Clark were ascending. “I’ll get her.”
“Did that guy say he was going to yank her off the rocks?” Violet asked in a panic. The blood rushed to her cheeks.
“Sounded like it.” Radley hurried over as Violet followed.
Her pulse raced as she watched Radley edge his way down the rocks.
Clark was laughing and reaching for Ariel’s hair from below her. “I’m going to get you,” he snorted. His face was pale and ashen colored in the moonlight.
Radley looked at him fiercely in the eyes and just as Clark caught a thin lock of her long hair in his hand, Radley grabbed Ariel by the arm and kicked Clark on his chest. He fell backwards and hit the rocks at the edge of the creek, landing right on his back.
Clark let out a loud cry. “Dude, what the hell?” As he rolled over to his side, he coughed something up and spit it to the ground. “What? Are you trying to kill me?” He moaned and wrapped his arms around himself.
Radley ignored him and helped Ariel up to the narrow plateau where Violet stood with her hands over her mouth and her eyes wide in shock.
“Let’s get out of here.” Violet pulled her sister to her clutching her in her arms.
But Ariel broke away and leaned over the edge. “You freak,” she screamed out to Clark who was grasping his head in his hands as he lay on his back still grousing. Furious, she coughed up some phlegm and spit it at him.
If the wad landed on him, he didn’t show any recognition of it.
“Let’s go,” Radley said to the girls.
“Gladly.” Ariel’s tone was incensed.
“Are you okay?” Violet took her sister by the hand as Radley led them along the narrow plateau that led away from the craggy rocks and to a grassy park.
“I’m fine,” Ariel responded in a huff. “That guy was weird.”
“You shouldn’t hang around with boys like that,” Violet reprimanded her sister.
Her eyes widened in indignation. “Like, I was supposed to know he was a creep.” Her voice was condescending.
“I thought he was strange from the beginning,” Violet retorted. “He had all those glass animals in his backpack. Why would he carry stuff like that around?”
Ariel rolled her blue eyes in annoyance. “He was damn cute and he said he won those figurines from the games at the amusement park.”
“Oh, please.” Violet put her hands on her hips. “They don’t give away glass animals for prizes at Red Lake Pier.”
Ariel pulled out a tiny glass fawn from her jean’s pocket, examined it for a second, and then stomped it on the ground with her shoe. “Idiot,” she breathed, tossing her hair over her thin shoulder.
“You or him?” Radley lifted a dark eyebrow.
“Very funny, prick.” She tried to swat him with her hand, but he jumped back sort of dancing around in his cocky way.
“We better call the police,” Violet interrupted their play. Her face had paled and she looked nervous.
Right then the girls’ dad pulled up along the dirt road by the closed ranger’s station where they were supposed to meet him at ten. He honked the horn to signal them to his car. For a minute, Violet just stood there staring at Radley. A million thoughts twisted in her mind. But Ariel ran over without hesitation and got into the backseat.
“We should call the police,” Violet whispered to Radley as she bit at the edge of her finger.
He shook his head. “I’ll take care of him. Don’t worry about it.” He took her hand away from her mouth and kissed it lightly.
But she tried to ignore how tempting his lips felt on her skin; she looked over at her father. “My dad is going to be angry.”
He nodded. “Who cares.” His eyes gleamed with mischief.
Her body sort of shuddered involuntarily as he pulled her into his arms and kissed her like he had never kissed her before. She dug her fingernails into his neck.
“Ouch,” he murmured, his lips still pressed to hers.
At that, her father got out of his vehicle in a rush. Before the kiss could end, his massive body was across the street and pulling them apart. “Get in the car, young lady,” he commanded in a self-contained rage.
Violet hurried over to the car, glancing over her shoulder to look at the boy she loved for the last time.
“You stay away from my daughter.” He put his hand on Radley’s shoulder. His eyes locked with his in a threatening stare.
“For now.” Radley backed away from her father with his hands in the air and ran away across the grass and through the trees. He howled into the wind like a wild animal as he leaped agilely over a fallen oak.
He hid in the forest for a while listening to the night sounds as he leaned up against the outer rocks of a cave.  With his switch blade, he brushed away some fallen leaves and dug into the damp earth carving a heart into the ground. Somehow he would find a way to take Violet away from her horrible father. They would steal away to some place absent from all this.
As he was fantasizing about their futures, playing guitar under the stars, rock concerts, endless nights of revelry, he was startled out of his thoughts. Something was moving inside the cave. In the darkness, he heard a rustling within. Were there wild animals in there?
He jumped up, holding the switch blade tightly.
Now it sounded like wings were flapping inside and there was a clawing against the rocks. He backed away and hid inside a bush. Did he hear a voice? There were angry whispers. He held perfectly still and listened, his heart thumping madly against his chest, ready to kill.
At once, a group of teenage boys in black leather jackets rushed out of the cave tossing red wilted roses to the air as they moved in odd form. Their knees seemed to bend backwards rather than forward. Their faces were pale like bone, their eyes black as coal. A faint high pitched squeaking sound seemed to be emitting from their bodies. One boy grabbed up a frog from the muddy earth as he ran and bit off its head.
As still as a stone, Radley held his breath until they were gone. He wiped the sweat off of his forehead with the back of his hand. His eyes were wide with shock. What the hell had he just seen? It was unfathomable.
As much as he didn’t want to move, he couldn’t sit there all night. Those things might return. He made his way back to the cliff. He still had to take care of Clark. But once he neared, he heard the sounds of voices coming from below at the tide pools where he had kicked Clark down. Who could be down there?
Clouds covered the full moon. It was even darker now. He could not see who was talking below. It sounded like several boys speaking at once. The voices were muffled with the wind.
Someone shined a flashlight up at him. He ducked, trying to get out of the light. His adrenaline was rushing. Something was not right.
“It’s him!” One of the boys yelled.
“Get him,” another voice said.
Radley started to run. He slipped on some rocks and fell. The boys were climbing up the side of the cliff. Radley hardly had any time to get away, but he struggled to his feet, ignoring the pain from his fall. He felt around in his pocket for the switch blade as he ran, but it was gone. It must have slid out when he fell.
The boys were right behind him. It was the same guys from the cave, but they looked perfectly human now. Had he imagined their black eyes and disjointed legs? He heard the patter of feet coming in on him. He ran through the forest, the branches scratching at his skin as he rushed by.
But when he got to the dirt alley behind the lodge and the tackle shop, one of the boys grabbed him and threw him down forcefully. He saw there were four guys about his age, almost eighteen. At once, he scrambled to his feet.”
“What’s your problem?” Radley demanded, backing away from the angry teens.
“You think you’re so tough?” a guy with a spider web tattoo on his face asked.
Radley looked around trying to see if there was a way out. He was trapped. Two of the other boys had circled around behind him. There were log walls on either of his sides and the spider guy and his side kick were in his face.
“What do you want?” Radley asked sharply looking into the spider guy’s bloodshot green eyes. It almost looked like the boy had been crying.
The spider guy’s nostrils flared. “You wanna kill my brother?” He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand.
“Who the hell are you?” Radley’s body tensed up.
But before there was a chance to figure out what was going on, all four teenagers charged at him, slamming his body against the back side of the tackle shop.
“You’re going to die,” The spider guy said with Radley’s shoulders pinned against the wooden logs. He spit in his face.
Radley struggled to get away, but the four of them threw him to the ground. In rapid repetition, they took turns kicking him in the chest. He was gasping for air and moaning.
“Finish him off,” one of the boys said to the spider guy. He’s yours for dead.” 
Chapter Two
Violet was startled out of her sleep by a tap at the window of their new log house in Roseville Mountains. She threw the blankets off of her legs. Her sister was still asleep in the twin bed beside hers. When she glanced over at the window, she was surprised to see a black crow pecking at the pane of glass.
Its eyes were dark as the night, but somehow gentle. Once their gazes met, the bird held still. Violet froze. It was the strangest thing to see a crow act like such.
But again, it began to tap its beak against the glass. It stopped and lifted its talons. There was something in its grasp. It looked like a gold chain.
Violet’s heartbeat sped up, pattering against her chest. She got the oddest intuition; she got the feeling it wanted her to let it in. Before she knew what she was doing, she was opening the window.
Once she had the pane open, the crow sat there. Violet’s body shuddered slightly. It made her nervous to see a wild creature show no signs of fear. She ran her finger from the top of its head, down its spine. Though the proximity made her uneasy, she liked the feel of its soft, sleek body. At once, she plucked out a feather from its back. It cawed at the sudden pain and flew away in a rush, dropping the necklace on the ledge.
She lifted it, holding it up. The most beautiful big red gemstone carved in the shape of a rose dangled from the center.
Violet breathed in a jagged breath—it was the most magnificent jewel she had ever seen. It looked like an antique, but was polished to a beautiful shine. As she examined it more closely, she noticed there was some sort of liquid trapped inside. And as she held it, her fingers seemed to tingle ever so slightly.
She walked around some big brown moving boxes and stepped into the bathroom where she fastened the gold chain around her neck. “I’ll wear this forever,” she whispered in satisfaction as a gentle comfort surrounded her. It looked so beautiful in the mirror. Like nothing she had ever seen before. She wondered what kind of liquid was inside. It seemed strange for someone to carve a stone and fill it with something, but somehow that made it more special. It was mysterious and unique because of it.
At that, she woke Ariel. “Come on; wake up. You don’t want to be late.”
“What? Huh?” Ariel didn’t want to go to their new school.
“You have to hurry or Dad will get mad,” Violet insisted.
Ariel threw her pillow at her sister playfully and got out of bed. “Let him throw a fit. I’m sick of his crap.” She got out of her twin bed and threw all of her clothes off without even closing the curtains or waiting for Violet to leave. She strutted in her naked, thin body over to the shower, holding her messy brown hair up like she was hot.
Violet was used to her sister, so she just ignored her antics. She perused her new walk-in closet for clothes and quickly dressed without much thought. In some ways, she was a bit anti-social and didn’t care much what other people thought of her, so she didn’t bother with makeup and hairstyles. She just quickly ran a brush through her long black hair and put some red lipstick on because it was all she had and it kept her lips from chapping. Her pale white skin would have to suffice—she hated bronzers and foundation. Okay, so she looked a little like Snow White, but who cared.
As she walked into the yellow with white trim country style kitchen, she wasn’t surprised at all to see her father on his laptop. But she was surprised to see him eating hot biscuits. Usually, he just drank coffee and sometime he just had a shot of vodka instead. But today, he had baked sweet smelling biscuits fresh out of the oven special for their new start. Maybe he was going to turn around after all, she hoped.
“Good morning, Daddy.” She almost sang the words as she kissed him on the cheek. “I’m so happy you made Mom’s favorite recipe.”
His cheeks reddened. “Do you have to talk about her?” His voice was harsh.
“Oh.” Violet backed up. “I just thought…”
“Well, don’t think,” he reprimanded. He picked up his newspaper and opened it. “Take some before I throw them out,” her father grumbled.
Violet picked up a biscuit and ate it over by the refrigerator while she made her school lunch.
“Where the hell is your stupid sister?” He looked toward their bedroom and called out, “Get your butt down here, Ariel. It’s time to go.”
Even though it was morning, the sun was already bright and hot through the leafy trees when Daryl Paris dropped Violet and Ariel off at their new school. Teenagers were hanging around on the shaded lawns, in the parking lot and in the quad. Some football players who were tossing a ball to each other stopped playing to check out the new pretty sisters.
“Thanks Dad.” Violet stepped up to her father’s open car window. “I’m glad you got the Roseville Mountain job transfer. Even though Ariel’s mad about it, I think she’ll adjust.”
“Let’s go,” Ariel tugged at the sleeve of Violet’s conservative long sleeved blouse. “Everybody’s staring at your ass.”
Violet turned to look and saw the football players watching her. They looked more developed, harder than the jocks at her previous school. She got the feeling that life was rougher in the mountains of Roseville than it was in Phoenix. A knot formed in the pit of her stomach. She wasn’t going to fit in.
“Okay, girls,” Daryl said with a blank expression, checking his short hair sprayed brown hair in the rear view mirror. As he cleared his throat, he straightened his tie. He seemed preoccupied. “Have a good first day.” He didn’t even look away from the mirror now.
Nervously, Violet leaned in to kiss her father on the cheek, but Ariel just waited in annoyance with one hand on her hip.
“Hurry up.” Ariel was already walking toward the high school office building in her tight jeans, cowboy boots and tank top without a bra.
Violet got the feeling that somebody other than the football players was watching her. She looked over her shoulder and noticed a girl with golden hair duck behind a tree. It seemed like she was trying to hide from her. How strange.
Confused at that, Violet jogged to catch up to her sister, but her skirt was so long that she tripped and fell on her face. “Oh, no!” Her purse spilt its contents on the ground. The knot tightened in her stomach at the thought of what a geek she must look like. She much preferred to go unnoticed. It wasn’t pleasant to be the one everyone picked on. Been there, done that, she thought, trying to erase the painful memories.
“Oh, my! Are you okay?” The same girl she had seen hiding from her behind the tree helped Violet off the ground. She had wild long hair like a lion’s mane.
Violet looked up at her and was surprised to see so much hair. The girl’s face was hidden under a shaggy mess of golden locks. Only her blue eyes were just barely peeking through. She seemed to be torn between leaving and helping her. How odd, Violet thought. Aside from her disheveled hair, the girl looked quite beautiful and stylish.
Violet tried to dust herself off, but she wasn’t very good at it. In one way, she looked like an even bigger mess than before she started to clean herself.  She accidentally smeared mud all over her blouse and skirt as well as on her cheek.  She leaned over and gathered up the contents of her purse: a ruler, her retainers, sparkly pens, and a bullet. Oh, no. She hoped the girl didn’t see that. At once, she stuffed everything back in her hand bag.
“Gosh darn it,” Violet mumbled as she stood up. “I forgot my cell phone at home.” She was frustrated because now she would have to wait until after school to see if Radley called her yet.
“Here.” The girl kept her head down as she pulled out a handkerchief from her purse. She tried to cover her hands with her jacket sleeves. But wrinkly fingers protruded as she fumbled with the cloth. “Let me help you.”
Violet tried to keep a blank expression when she noticed her rough, parched fingers. What was with this strange girl? On one hand she looked as gorgeous as a supermodel with a hot physique and on the other hand she looked like a wild animal.
But then a thought occurred to her. Maybe she was a burn victim and was embarrassed of her face. That must be it Violet decided. She was probably covered in scars after being nearly burnt to death as a child. Oh, the poor girl.
Bewildered, Violet shrugged and looked around wondering how many people were watching them. But nobody seemed to give them any attention. Maybe they were accustomed to this shaggy haired diva and maybe clumsy geeks like herself were all too common. I guess that would be a good thing if the students at her new high school were used to nerds, she thought. Possibly she would fit in after all.
Some cheerleaders were sitting on a low brick wall nearby that circled around a tree. They were too engaged in looking at pictures on somebody’s cell phone to care about some awkward new girl. High school bitches, Violet thought thinking back to the time the cheer squad in Phoenix filled her locker with condoms. That was a dirty trick. People laughed at her for weeks after the condoms spilt out all over the ground.
“Hold still.” The lion girl said in a sweet voice as soft as silk. Quickly, she spit on the hanky without showing herself and wiped Violet’s face with it.
“Ugh. That’s okay, Mom.” Violet said sarcastically as she backed away in disgust. “Just leave it.”
“I got the dirt off.” Her hands started to reach for Violet’s neck, but then pulled back suddenly. “Where did you get that necklace?” Her voice was harsh. Her hands even started shaking as they fell to the sides of her body.
“Oh.” Violet blushed as she fumbled with the rose shaped jewel. “I, uh… it’s a family piece.” She didn’t want to tell her the truth.
“Can I buy it from you? My grandmother is very sick. She collects roses. This would make her very happy.” she pulled out a wad of cash from her purse.
Violet’s eyes widened. “Oh, no.” She shook her head in surprise. “It’s sentimental. I couldn’t sell it.”
“Name your price,” she encouraged as she counted out hundred dollar bills.
Wow! This girl is rich. Who carries around that kind of cash? “I’m sorry, but no.” Violet felt bad for her ill grandmother, but she felt like she could never part with the necklace no matter what.
Putting the money back in her wallet, the girl started to leave, but called over her shoulder, “You should be glad I didn’t let you walk around looking like a mud patty. This school isn’t kind to slobs.” She laughed sweetly; her tone had a musical quality to it kind of like a movie star’s voice. She started to text a message on her cell phone.
“Oh.” Violet wondered how bad she looked. “I have to catch up with my sister. We’re new here.” But the girl was too far away to hear by now.
The cheerleaders looked up at her and laughed. They were eyeing her clothing and whispering about her amongst each other. Oh, no. Violet hoped she wasn’t going to have a repeat episode.
For a moment, her mind reeled with ways to hurt them. But she didn’t want to be that kind of girl again, doing evil things to bitches like them just to make herself feel better. She wouldn’t dump a jar of red ants in the head cheerleader’s bed while she was sleeping at this school. It was against the law to break into someone’s house and she didn’t want to be that type of girl anymore. Now was a new start for her and she was going to be good.
She just shrugged it off and headed toward the office. Her mind was on the girl with wild hair. She couldn’t believe how striking she was in an unusual sort of way. All her curves were in perfect proportion. So sleek and muscular. In fact, her body was a little too idyllic which made Violet wonder if she had plastic surgery or some kind of hard core personal trainer. She looked strong as hell. This school, way up in the mountains, didn’t seem like the place for all her glitz.
Even though the girl’s hair was a wild mess, it was shockingly beautiful and as shiny as silk. She wanted to touch it. There was just so, so much of it. It was the most attractive hair she had ever seen.
Violet entered the office. To her surprise, the lion girl was behind the counter now. And her hair was out of her face. Oh my! Her face was like that of an angel’s. She was so damn pretty. And there weren’t any burn scars whatsoever. And her hands were silky smooth, the kind of hands you’d see in a hand cream commercial.
The lioness straightened her blouse over her voluptuous breasts and then leaned on the cool linoleum surface. “Name please,” she said in a liquid smooth voice that was as alluring as her face to Violet’s sister Ariel who was waiting at the counter.
Was she the school secretary? Violet wondered. She looked way too young for that. A girl like her ought to be famous, not working in an ordinary high school office.
“Ariel Paris and my sister, Violet.” Ariel glanced over at Violet and winked. “I wondered what happened to your skinny ass,” she said to her sister.
“You should have waited for me.” Violet frowned, feeling out of sorts and confused by this apparition before her.
But before Ariel could answer, the beautiful girl interjected, “Oh, yes. We were expecting you.”
She pulled their schedules up on a computer screen and started typing away. After a couple of minutes, she printed out the programs and handed them to the sisters. “Welcome to Roseville High School.” She tapped the tips of her long nails on the counter.
Ariel just scowled at her. “Am I welcome?” she retorted in irritation. It seemed apparent to her that this girl was just full of crap.
The girl wasn’t put off. She looked at Ariel and bit the tip of her finger, eyeing her as if to let her know that she was checking her out, making opinions about her. “I see you don’t want to be here.” She grinned like she was in on a secret.
Ariel shrugged her off, rolling her blue eyes. “Come on Violet.” She pulled her sister by the arm toward the door, but when she got there, she couldn’t get it open.
An old woman waddled out of the office bathroom. Her eyes darted to the lioness. “Get out from there,” she yelled in a crabby voice. “Students are not allowed behind the counter.”
The golden haired beauty just shrugged while she subdued a smile. “Just wanted to help out, Miss Marks.”
“Well don’t.” The lady made her way over and the girl sauntered over to the door to help Ariel who still couldn’t get it open.
“What’s your name?” Violet whispered to her as she made room for her to help. Violet was surprised at what a rule breaker she was to take over the secretarial job without permission. It was kind of funny. A secret part of her felt a kindred to people with guts to mess around like that. That’s what she liked about Radley—he was always taking risks.
“I’m Drew Collins.” She pulled the doorknob right off and laughed.
The sisters looked at each other wide-eyed.
“What the hell?” Ariel said as she looked at Drew in wonder.
But the girl held her hand out, motioning Violet and Ariel through the exit. She just dropped the doorknob on the ground. “I know your names already,” she smirked. “We have almost every class together.” She looked at Violet as the three girls walked together through the outdoor halls. “You’re going to love this school. Even though there are only about four hundred and fifty students, most everybody’s so nice.”
Violet smiled wondering if Drew was totally clueless. It was already obvious that the cheerleaders were snots and the football players were lewd. But regardless of her unfounded optimism, she already liked Drew even though she wiped saliva on her face with her hanky only five minutes ago.
But Ariel looked bored as she stared at her, eyeing her red jacket. “It’s a little hot for velvet,” Ariel said to Drew.
Drew rolled her eyes and laughed as she looked up at the cement overhang. “I’m always cold. And anyway, I wear this because it’s my clique’s jacket.” She tilted an embroidered label on the front toward Ariel.
Ariel read the words. Her voice was laced with light condescension. “Crimson Devils.”
“What’s that?” Violet asked as she repositioned her headband and placed locks of her long black hair over her shoulders. She was surprised this girl would be in a club with such a dark name.
Drew winked like they were close buddies in on some inside joke. “Come, I’ll introduce you girls to my friends. They’re in the quad hanging out before school starts.”
Drew looked over at Ariel who was walking beside Violet in boredom. “They are going to love you,” she whispered specifically to Ariel. Violet wondered why she didn’t include her in that statement, but when she thought about it, she realized, why the hell would they like her?—hardly anyone ever did.
They walked through a row of lockers and stepped out onto the cement quad. Drew bent over to pick up a pen she dropped, but when she stood up, her hair was all in her face again. She rushed across the quad ducking like it was raining even though it was perfectly sunny out while the girls followed behind.
The football players were talking in a group now over by the lunch lines. Some of them were eating hot cinnamon rolls that they bought at school while others snacked on French fries. A few of them stopped talking or eating and stared at Violet and Ariel.
“Take a picture. It’ll last longer,” Ariel snapped at them as she, Violet, and Drew passed by.
Some of the guys laughed and one actually held his phone up and snapped a photo. And then he licked the screen of his phone where the picture was.
Ariel rolled her eyes as she mumbled under her breath, “So juvenile.”
Drew motioned with her head and they joined her friends who were leaning against a brick wall looking off in varying directions.
“Hey guys,” Drew almost sang the words in her liquid voice. “Meet Violet and Ariel. They are new to Roseville.”
The clique of pale faced girls looked at the sisters coldly, except for one girl with shiny red hair who smiled and backed away from them slightly like a wary fox. Violet was surprised how gorgeous all of Drew’s friends were. They all had such thick, luxurious hair. In different ways, each one of them had animal-like features. There was something wild looking about the group.
They were all wearing the same red velvet jackets that were much too hot for late August. From the way they stood, one crouched on the low wall, another with her fingers spread, supporting herself against the lockers, and the other two watching with stony eyes, Violet felt like prey.
“Hi, I’m Lucy.” The red head said to the sisters. She seemed a bit unpredictable like she might snap off their heads at any moment, but she was friendly. “Where are you from?”
Ariel was looking away down the hall now and didn’t answer, so Violet took the lead. “My dad took a position at a law firm in Roseville, so we left our hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.”
“Oh, I’ve been there,” Lucy added as she twisted her long hair up into a knot with the ends fanning out of the top like a fox tail. “Phoenix is so fricken hot!” She licked her lips.
Violet laughed politely. She was not comfortable and wanted to get to her first class. “You’re right. We make our houses as cold as refrigerators and never go outside in the summer.”
The other Crimson Devils were looking away now and Violet got the feeling they wanted them to leave. But before she could excuse herself, Drew introduced the others. “Violet and Ariel, this is Angie.” She pointed to the tallest skinniest one with long straight dark brown hair.
Angie nodded disinterestedly as she held her hand casually on her hip. She started to say something, but Drew interrupted motioning to her other friend, “This is Chanel.”
“Hi,” Chanel said in an ambiguous tone. She was thin with long legs and straight long blond hair. Her blue eyes sparkled out of her pale skin. But, like the others, she looked almost dangerous.
“And this is Nona.”
Nona’s eyes narrowed at the introduction. She had pale olive skin with black long layers of silky hair. Violet noticed that she had a dark, quirky air that reminded her of some of the gothic characters she had seen in movies.
“Okay,” Ariel said suddenly as she clapped her hands together once. “I’ve got to piss.”
Everyone, but Drew laughed.
“Want me to go with you?” Violet asked her sister.
But she was already walking away. She called over her shoulder, “I’ll be back soon.” As she started to jog, she glanced at her watch.
Violet noticed that the girls were looking at her conservative clothing. Uncomfortable, she felt entirely out of place with this group. She sensed that there was something not quite right about them. They were intimidating, maybe even a little frightening in some inexplicable way. She wished she was off somewhere reading a good book under a tree away from all people.
“Did you leave a boyfriend back in Arizona?” Angie asked in her husky voice that overpowered.
“Why do you ask?” Violet responded, trying to sound confident even though she felt like running away.
“You look love struck,” Chanel said as she tucked a strand of her blond hair behind her ear. Unlike the others, she slouched slightly in that cool girl way.
Her mind was whirling now as she shook her head and looked down at her hands. “Interesting that you sensed that.” She looked back at Chanel searching in her eyes as if they could give her some sort of reassurance. “I met a boy while vacationing at Blood Falls this summer. I thought we had something special, but I never heard from him again.”
“What’s his name?” Lucy asked excitedly. She couldn’t help but make a silly expression on her pretty pale face. To Violet’s surprise, something about her ways seemed almost genuine.
“Radley Aston.” Violet blushed when she said his name.
The Crimson Devils looked at each other and laughed.
“What’s so funny?” Violet asked in surprise.
“Oh, it’s nothing.” Drew put her arm around Violet’s shoulders and gave her friends a dirty look.
“What was he like?” Chanel asked. Her voice was edged with the slightest melancholy.
Violet’s face lit up uncontrollably when she described him. “Radley was the kindest, most genuine, heroic boy I have ever met. He was just real. You know what I mean?”
Everyone but Drew and Lucy chuckled.
“He sounds very sweet,” Angie’s husky voice was laced with sarcasm.
“Yes,” Violet agreed, wondering why Angie was such a bitch. “He is very well mannered.”
The girls laughed again.
Ariel couldn’t find the bathroom and was too proud to ask anyone in the halls. The first bell directing everyone to class was bound to ring anytime now and she still had to get back to her sister to save her from the witch models. She cut across a lawn and passed the library.
But just as she found the restroom, she noticed some attractive, but dangerous looking boys in black leather jackets joking around with each other under a thick cluster of trees on the lawn. Is that who she thinks it is? She took a second look. One of the boys looked like Radley Aston!
Oh, my God. Violet won’t believe it! It is… It’s him! He looked so different now. His face was paler and harder. His features looked sharper like anger had carved its way into the contours.
She was about to walk over to Radley, but then she heard her sister’s name. The idea of it was shocking. What could he possibly be saying about her to those wild guys?
Chapter Three
“We don’t care about her name, bro,” Shark teased Radley. “We just want the action.” He ran his hand over his curly black hair.
Ariel flinched as she hid from them tucked away to the side of the wall of the entrance of the bathroom.
“Violet.” Henry sang the name in a high pitched tone. His smile broadened, showing his buck teeth, his only odd feature on his otherwise perfect face.
“Come on man. Who is she?” Nathan taunted as he unzipped his leather jacket. The blood rose to Ariel’s cheeks—that guy was hot with black straight hair and dark eyes like the Devil’s.
“Violet,” both Henry and Lewis sighed melodramatically. Lewis was almost as hot as Nathan. He just had blond hair which didn’t appeal to Ariel as much as Nathan’s black locks. And there was just something about that dark eyed devil that made her blood boil.
“Violet was cool,” Radley responded. “Big breasts.” He held his hands over his chest and squeezed. “Out of town chicks are the best—hump ‘em and dump ‘em.”
The guys laughed and gave each other high fives.
Ariel was incensed at the way they were talking about her older sister. She wanted to run out and slap Radley’s face, but she refrained. Violet was a virgin. There was no way she had sex with him.
“What about her ass?” Shark asked as he jumped around.
Radley grinned. “Round and tight. And she liked to use it if you know what I mean.”
Ariel couldn’t stomach anymore. Anger rushed through her veins. She hurried into the bathroom and purposely did not come out until the first bell rang, waiting until Radley and his friends were gone.
“Why don’t you and your sister come with us to the race Friday night between the Night Ryders and the Dirts?” Angie asked Violet in as sweet of a voice as she could muster.
The weather was heating up. Violet unbuttoned the top button on her blouse to cool off. “What kind of race?” she asked in a soft voice.
“Oh, do you think that’s a good idea?” Drew said to Angie. She sounded concerned.
“Hell yeah.” Angie ran her fingers through her dark hair. “It’s a motorcycle race.”
“Chicken,” Nona added. Her expression on her fine features looked mischievous.
“What?” Violet wondered if she was challenging her. “I’m not afraid. Should I be?”
They laughed. “We weren’t calling you chicken,” Nona said as she licked her lips. “It’s a chicken race. Two guys race with high stakes. The winner gets the honor for their gang.”
“Well, thanks for inviting me. Sounds fun. I’ll talk to Ariel about it.” Violet put her hands in her skirt pockets nervously.
“Come,” Drew said to Violet. “I’ll show you to English class. We’re in it together.”
“I wonder what happened to Ariel?” Violet thought out loud as she looked down the hall.
“She’s a junior,” Drew sighed. “She’ll be fine. It’s not like she’s a measly freshman, right?”
Violet just shrugged, not knowing how to respond. Because she was a year older than her, she couldn’t help but feel protective. She worried about her, especially since she was known to be a trouble magnet.
When they arrived at class, some of the kids were throwing wads of paper across the room. The teacher walked in and frowned. He stepped up to the podium and turned to write his name extraordinarily large across the white board. “Mr. Zappo!” He said it as he wrote.
The rest of the students filed in as the bell rang and everyone took seats. Violet sat beside Drew, but at the last second, Joaquin Elfman slipped in the desk beside her. In his conservative slacks and button down short sleeved shirt, he looked conservative in dress like Violet, but the tribal design tattoo down his arm confused her. He set his guitar in the aisle.
Once his tall, lithe body got settled in his seat, he glanced at Violet. His eyes nearly popped out of his head. He was so enamored that he thought he was sitting beside an angel. For a moment he fixated on her dimples when she smiled and her violet blue eyes that looked so innocent and heavenly. She looked like the sweetest girl he had ever seen.
Mr. Zappo jabbered on and on about all the books he was going to make them read and the endless array of quizzes and tests ahead. Violet loved English class, but feared this one was going to be challenging. Again, she noticed from the corner of her eye that Joaquin kept looking at her. He tousled his short, preppy brown hair with his fingers.
When class was over, he leaned over on her desk. “I’m Joaquin Elfman,” he said coolly. He held out his hand for her to shake it, but when she lifted hers to his he pulled it away and winked.
Violet tried not to laugh at his play. “I know. The teacher called your name during roll call.”
His brown eyes lit up. “You remembered?”
Violet noticed his Adam’s apple lifting in his throat. “It would be hard to forget.”
He chuckled and then stretched his arms over his head and leaned back in his chair. “So what do you do with yourself?”
Drew leaned in, her golden hair falling over one eye. “She likes hanging out with me and the Crimson Devils. Mostly, we just cast spells, but voodoo dolls are our specialty.”
He stepped back. “Lucky her.” Do you know how to dance?” He looked at Violet’s heart shaped lips and imagined parting them with his tongue.
Violet couldn’t help but gain interest at his question. “I’ve been taking tap dance lessons for the past ten years.”
“Perfect,” he chuckled, not caring one bit if she was the worst dancer in the world as long as he got to do what he wanted with her. “We need a new back up dancer for our rock band, Hell Razors. We can work together.”
“Really?” Violet was very interested even though she didn’t like the name of the band. She wasn’t that comfortable with Drew and her friends. The idea of dancing in a rock band, hopefully soft rock, sounded promising. “I want to audition.”
A huge smile spread on his face. “You’re hired. I just have to introduce you to Mr. Peters and the Hell Razors will love you.”
“It’s a paid position?” She had been saving up for a Ruger 10/22 for her secret gun collection and with the extra money she might just be able to get one.
“Sure is.” He tapped his fingers on the table. “You get paid with every gig. It’s small time so far, but the Indian reservations have us play and we’ve gotten some Ocotia Wells gigs. We practice every day during third period for music credit and for two hours after school.”
Violet looked at Drew who was gathering her books in her designer backpack.
“Go ahead,” Drew whispered. “I’ll see you after the break in history.” She smiled, showing her perfect white teeth. “Like I said, we have almost every class together. I’ll save you a seat.”
“Thanks, Drew.” Violet was touched at how kind she was being to her even if she did stare at her necklace a little too much. She wasn’t used to having girlfriends. Aside from Ariel, she had mostly been a loner at her other school. She had a few pals but she never seemed to connect with them in a genuine way.
And Drew looked like the popular type with her good looks and designer styles. Certainly, none of her friends had ever been popular. The whole idea of hanging out with the Crimson Devils was much too foreign and intimidating to her. The band practice was just what she needed to soothe her fears and keep her out of trouble. Maybe she could even learn to play the flutophone or the bagpipes.
Joaquin walked Violet over to the band room and introduced her to the teacher. He was tall and skinny with a hooked nose and dressed in slacks and a tie that he kept messing with.
Mr. Peters liked her immediately and enrolled her on the spot. Violet was relieved to have a place of refuge at school. She got to swap her cooking class for band credits. Every day she was to spend third period dancing and playing the tambourines and two hours after school practicing.
The teacher said that if they had enough time, he might help her learn the flutophone or the bagpipes like she asked, but he suggested singing with their voice coach. He explained that he was too busy to focus too much on a beginner student.
Aside from band class, she spent every period with Drew. That seemed like an odd coincidence to her that their schedules were the same, but it was reassuring knowing someone in all of her classes. To her surprise, Drew wanted to sit by her in each subject. She wasn’t used to getting that much attention from a girl.
“So you have to sit by us at lunch,” Drew said as they were walking out of calculus.
“Uh.” Violet paused for a moment. She wasn’t sure if she was up to spending time with the Crimson Devils. The day had been stressful enough so far and she didn’t feel like Drew’s friends liked her. Though, to her surprise, she was growing to like Drew. “Okay.” Her voice was hesitant.
“Come on,” Drew said cheerily. “They’re tough at first, especially Angie and Nona…”
“And Chanel,” she interrupted with a sigh.
Drew swayed her head side to side as if taking consideration of what Violet just said, “Okay—you’re right—and Chanel.” They started to cut across the lawn. Sunlight broke through the trees. “They are a bit intimidating, but Lucy is a goofball and a lot of fun. And eventually you’ll get used to the others.” She looked down and her hair fell in her eyes.
Violet smiled tightly. “I’ll go.”
Drew shrugged, still looking down. “Don’t let me force you,” she said in her sweet voice as she put her hands under her hair that was covering her face.
“No, I’ll go.” Violet’s smile lifted as the stepped under an overhang. “Thanks for inviting me.”
“Okay, great!” Drew’s expression was cheery now as she tossed her hair back and away.
As they walked through the crowds of students talking in the halls and hurrying off to lunch, Violet asked, “I didn’t notice a cafeteria. Where do we eat lunch?”
Her voice lifted in pitch. “Everybody just finds spots in the quad. Some kids eat on the lawns and others sit in groups along the short brick walls that circle the grass and trees.” She waved to a girl in the hall and blew a kiss to some guy with short hair in overalls.
When they got to the lunch area with their trays of food from the checkout, Violet was surprised to see Ariel sitting in the shade along the wall with the Crimson Devils.  She was even laughing along with Angie. They looked like great friends already.
“Violet, come here—sit by me.” Ariel motioned her sister over.
Violet sat down beside Ariel and Drew sat beside Violet, but she didn’t sit too close. As usual, she always seemed to keep a considerable amount of personal space between them. That didn’t bother Violet though. She was used to people always crowding in on her and she considered Drew’s ways to be refreshingly polite and respectful.
Violet looked at Ariel suspiciously. “Have a good day so far?”
“Actually, it was,” she responded nonchalantly.
“We have every class together,” Angie said in her husky voice as she stared into Violet’s eyes making her uncomfortable.
“Oh.” Violet’s voice lifted to a higher pitch. “What a coincidence.”
“Yeah,” Ariel said flipping her brown locks. “Angie invited us to the race Friday night between the Dirts and the Night Ryders.”
“I know,” Violet breathed. “She told me to ask you.”
Ariel’s eyebrows scrunched. “We’re going.”
“Uh, alright.” Her sister’s strong conviction surprised her. “I guess we can do that. As long as it’s over by ten.”
Ariel shook her head in annoyance. She was frustrated with her father’s strict curfews. But rather than complaining, she simply rejoined in conversation with Angie and now Nona.

Suddenly, the loud roar of motorcycle engines sounded through the lunch area as a gang of motorcycle riders entered the parking lot in view of the quad.