It was finally over. I had won. There were a lot of happy smiles as well as sad, disappointed faces. I could hear people cheering. After training ever since I was 6 the day had finally came. I bowed. It started raining flowers so the curtain came down.

I was about to walk backstage when I realised I couldnt move. I looked around and saw I was buried in flowers. I could hardly breath. There were still flowers falling down on me. Where were they coming from? I struggled, trying to free myself but I knew I was stuck. If I stayed here any longer the flowers would soon cover my head, blocking out oxygen.

All of a sudden the flowers turned into water. I was drowning, deeper and deeper. I gasped for air but every time I opened my mouth more water came in. How could this be? One minute Ive won the dance competition the next Im drowning! I started to struggle and then it happened¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ I woke up!

Chapter One


"Michael! What are you doing here?"

"Mum told me to wake you up. Why are you so grumpy?"

Mum had warned me many times to not yell at him because he was younger than me. Today I wasnt in the mood.

"Im not grumpy and its STEP-mum to you!"

As Michael stormed out of the room I got dressed for school. This was the one of the few rare moments I could actually think without people, like my stepbrother interrupting. I hate Michael but I havent told anyone. They wouldnt understand.

When I was young I could tell my mother anything whether I lost my jumper or simply killed a worm in the garden. She would smile back and tell me not to worry. But now after dad left us and mum remarried Steve, it was different. She no longer had time for me. To her it was like I didnt exist.

After mum married Steve we moved to where Steve lived with his son, Michael and daughter, Betty. My first impressions were¡ how big! The house was made of big brown bricks. Taking up over 600m2 of land. After living here for 2 months I still sometimes get lost in the maze of corridors.

I walked downstairs to the dining room. I could smell the sweet scents of roast chicken. Thats the only thing that hasnt changed about mum. She believes that breakfast is just as special as dinner. Toast and jam isnt enough. Steve, Michael and Betty love that idea. Who wouldnt? All they had to do was eat while mum does all the cooking, cleaning and the caring.

"Morning mum!" I said with a smile.

She smiled back but then gave me one of her I-think-you-forgot-something look. I rolled my eyes.

"Good morning Steve, Michael and Betty" I said with a fake smile.

"Katherine! Ive told you a hundred time not to call Steve, Steve."

"Good morning Daaaaaaaaad!" I said

Mum sighed. I sat down. Why should I call him dad? His not my dad! The only reason he married mum wasnt because he loved her. It was because he could use her as a free house wife. I always have fights with him. We never get along. Our fights usually end with mum being the peacemaker. I stuffed down my food and headed for school.

On the way I stopped at Carolines house. She was waiting outside for me. When I first started school here. Caroline was my first friend and now she is my best friend. She sometimes goes a bit funny but is really nice to be friends with. Also we look really alike. People say we look like twins. Sometime they cant tell the difference between us. I usually feel sorry for Caroline because she has foster parents. Compared to her I am very lucky to still have mom.

"Hi Carol!" I said cheerfully "hows my twin."

From the look on her face I could tell today was going to be a long day.

I was right. Today had been horrible. Carolines cousin Matt had died. All day she rarely spoke.

I walked into the house and went upstairs to change. No one was home yet. Mum was at her friends house, Steve was at work, Michael at his friends house and Betty at a party.

After changing I went back down stairs into the sunroom and sat down on the soft fabric of the single lounge chair. I wanted to read. I love reading. I hate all schoolwork but I dont know why I love reading. Before I knew it, it started to get dark. Still no one was home. I turned on the lamp and continued to read.

Not long afterwards I heard the front door open. Then there were footsteps. They sounded like Bettys so I decided to ignore her. The footsteps stopped. I guess I was probably imagining things so I kept on reading.

Suddenly a hand grabbed me and I felt something cold against my neck. Before I could turn around, I could feel the cold thing go into my flesh. It hurt. Then every thing went black.