“Corrin! Corrin!” Shaylese shook Corrin awake and the poor girl started. “Come on!”
“No,” Corrin said groggily, using feeble attempts to push her away. “Lemmelone...”
“Corrin, Dante’s missing!”
Corrin shot up instantly and looked around, the sounds of a kids' TV show playing on the television.
She staggered to her feet and Shaylese helped her to steady out. Corrin then started for the door, screaming, “Dante!” over and over again, hyperventilating. She threw open the heavy door and sprinted down the stairs into the driveway, looking around wildly for her missing brother. “Dante!” she wailed, beginning to sob.
“Corrin...” a familiar voice murmured from a little ways away. Corrin spun around and there stood a figure in the shadow of the trees surrounding their house. “Dante!” Corrin gasped in relief. She ran to him, dodging the branches separating her and her brother.
She embraced him tightly and sobbed even harder.
“I couldn’t let you be in any more pain than you are already in now...” Dante murmured into Corrin’s hair. “When I heard you screaming...I...I came back as soon as I...as I could.” Corrin tightened her embrace and let even more tears flow helplessly. “Don’t...” she sobbed. “Don’t...don’t do that...a-again.”
“I won’t,” Dante murmured, though Corrin heard an edge to his hoarse voice.
They soon headed back towards the front door where Shaylese waited helplessly. She made an odd sound when Corrin showed up with Dante, running forward and embracing them both in a tight hug.
“Don’t - you - ever do that to me again, you hear?” her voice broke and she hid her tears, turning away from Corrin and Dante. Corrin broke away from Dante suddenly to sit, cross-legged, by the fire inside.
“I remember when I was six and you were eight that you used to threaten to run away, but never made it halfway down the block.” Corrin let out an exasperated laugh and then composed herself. “You still can’t make it a block away without turning tail back for home.”
Dante chuckled as he sat beside her, grunting as he did so. “I’ll always come back if it’s for you, Cory.” He put a reassuring arm around his sister’s shoulders. Corrin heard Shaylese sit at Dante’s other side and he put an arm around her also. “My two favorite girls are here—I could never leave in a million years.”
Corrin chuckled once and then sighed, letting her head drop onto her brother's shoulder. Shaylese did the same and Dante laughed, saying, “And I’m you guys’ favorite guy, right?”
Corrin looked up at him and gave him a smile. “Well, it’s a tie between you and Marc, but, yeah, you’ll always be my favorite—as the best bro ever.”
Dante nodded, satisfied, and Shaylese said, “Well, you are my favorite guy, Dante.”
He laughed and they hugged each other tightly.
Two weeks passed of complete torture of school. There was only one school throughout America and it was located in North Dakota, only seventeen miles away from Corrin and Dante’s house.
Dante drove her and Shaylese to the school where they stayed in dorms. Yes, dorms. They spent two whole weeks there and then a week returning home.
Corrin sighed as she collapsed onto her twin bed beside Shaylese’s and closed her eyes, hoping for rest when Dante and Shaylese burst into the room, intertwined with each other. Corrin’s face flushed and her ears burned. Shaylese and Dante broke away abruptly at Corrin clearing her throat, their faces flushed with embarrassment.
Shaylese cleared her throat and patted Dante on the chest. “Tomorrow?”
“Definitely.” Dante swooped down to peck her on the lips, shot an embarrassed look at Corrin, and scurried out of the room.
Shaylese plopped down on her bed and covered her face in her hands, hiding her flushed face. Corrin’s face burned as well and she hid it by turning over and stuffing her face into her pillow.
“So...” Shaylese murmured.
“How about you make sure I’m not in the room before becoming sexually active with my brother?” Corrin teased.
If at all possible, Shaylese’s face became even redder, eyes widening. “We...I...we weren’t...”
Corrin laughed and got up from the bed, sitting beside her best friend. “I’m kidding, girl.”
Shaylese suddenly jerked away from Corrin and stood up, glaring at Corrin with such contempt and hatred, Corrin jumped away from her.
“Don’t touch me!” Shaylese yelled in a voice quite unlike hers. Corrin backed away, collapsing onto her bed, and scrambling away from Shaylese.
“What’s gotten into you?” her voice shook with fear. “Shaylese—”
But Shaylese turned away and hid her face in her hands. Corrin sat there, pressed up against her bed’s head and ruining the covers with her dirty black Nikes.
Shaylese did not turn, nor did she acknowledge Corrin’s question.
Then both Corrin and Shaylese jumped at a knock on the door. Corrin hurried to the door, casting an anxious glance over her shoulder at Shaylese, before opening it. There stood a blonde-haired, green-eyed sixteen-year-old guy with a blue polo shirt on and out-of-place ripped skinny jeans held up with a black studded belt.
“Marc!” Corrin let out an exasperated sigh and threw her arms around her boyfriend. He hugged her back, but Corrin felt that he was a little tense.
She led him inside her and Shaylese’s room and they sat on the bed, their backs facing Shaylese.
Corrin put her hands on the sides of Marc’s face and made him look at her. “What’s wrong?” Marc shook his head stiffly as if he was just released from a trance and stared at Corrin lovingly, and, for a moment, she was lost in his emerald-green eyes.
“There’s a lot of tension and fear in this room.” Marc murmured, tossing side-glances over his shoulder, most likely, at Shaylese.
Corrin sighed, ran her hand through her hair and closed her eyes as she laid her head on Marc’s shoulder.
“You gonna tell me what’s really going on or do I have to find out myself—the hard way?”
Marc flinched and Corrin jerked away from his shoulder to look at his face. It seemed pained but it soon became tranquil and he smiled at Corrin widely, bending down to kiss her, but she held up her hand. “Stop trying to distract me, Marc,” Corrin growled. “Tell me.”
Corrin and Marc jumped at the smashing of a window and spun around to see Shaylese standing at the window, which spilled grayish light of the night and cold, fresh air.
Shaylese’s hands glowed crimson. It dripped onto the blue-carpeted floor and stained it permanently. They stared at her for a moment longer in shock before she suddenly cried out in pain and collapsed onto the floor, sobbing.
“Shay!” Corrin shouted, running to her aid. Corrin crouched down beside Shaylese as she let loose agonized screams.
“Marc, go get the nurse!” Corrin shouted to him. She heard heavy footsteps exit the room.
“Shaylese,” Corrin murmured, pulling Shaylese towards her bed, but Shaylese suddenly turned on Corrin and pinned her to the middle of Shaylese’s bed. Corrin screamed at Shaylese’s new—and quite frightening—appearance. Her face was covered in blood, which was dripping everywhere, especially on Corrin, for her scarred hands. But Corrin was mostly frightened of Shaylese’s eyes. They'd turned scarlet red, and burned with hatred.