Avye lives a normal life in central London with her Aunt Nedra, but one day she discovers a rough-hewn hourglass hidden in the woods, which marks her as the Time Keeper of ancient legend.
Avye. A name meaning "keeper". A name that would soon suit the girl soon. She didn't know it yet, though.
She sat on the bench at the bus stop alone. The wind was bitter, but she could hardly feel it any more, becuase she'd been sitting there for so long. The bus to her road only came once every two hours, but she didn't usually miss it. No, that was all Sammi's fault. Sammi Newman. A name that wasn't ambiguous or mysterious- it just screamed "I'm POPULAR!" though, didn't it? Avye sighed. Sammi, of course, was the coolest girl in her year- the one everyone looked up to, and she was the one who hated Avye more than any other. White blonde, long hair that curled in all the right places around her oval face. Sparkling, blue eyes that always seemed to be able to convey a malicious meaning that only Avye saw. And today she stayed behind after school with her whole clique of blonde, tall clones to corner Avye by her locker, after English. She wouldn't let Avye go until it was too late for her to catch her bus. Sammi had obviously not taken Avye's rebate to her debate on ancient tribal rights as well as she had made out in class to the teacher. And then she'd skipped off in her white leather jacket to the car park, where her boyfriend was waiting in his BMW convertible especially to pick her up. And then, as soon as the car drove out of the gates, clouds flew over the school and the rain started to fall.
Avye shrugged her bag back up onto her shoulder and looked up and down to the road for one last time. Still no bus. Cursing under her breath, she stepped out from under the bus shelter into rain. By the time she was 10 metres down the road, her dark hair had already plastered itself to her forehead and neck.
The journey home was long and dark. Avye trudged up to her house half an hour after she left the bus stop, rummaged around in her bag, and finally found her keys and let herself in. She shrugged off her school bag and coat, and flung them over the banister. She eyed herself in the long mirror at the bottom of the stairs. Long, dark hair, now dripping, hung around her pale, pointed face in curtains. Her eyes, naturally lined with thick, dark eyelashes, were a startlingly pale grey and were easily the most striking thing about her. She turned from side to side. Her navy skirt was above her knee- not too long and not too short, her jumper was baggy and hung off her slender frame and her blue socks stopped at the bottom of her knees. She wasn't that bad, she thought, to deserve this every day from Sammi, was she?
She had just started flattening her skirt down to examine whether her butt was too large, when her Aunt floated into the room.
"Avye? Oh, Avye, it's you!"
Avye jumped and spun around guiltily. Her aunt was framed in the doorway, and the expression on her face was questionning and friendly, rather than accussing. Avye relaxed.
"I just got in- I missed the bus, and so I had to walk, and then I got soaked." she explained. Her aunt didn't reply, so she turned to go upstairs as her aunt called up to her.
"Good day at school?"
Avye snorted. "Just the usual."