I'm running through the forest. It's dark and I can smell smoke. As I run I turn my head and notice I'm not alone. Running next to me is a gigantic she-wolf with Snow white fur and glowing green eyes. I hear a loud snapping sound and look back just in time to see another giant wolf, this one grey, leap into the air to land just in front of me snarling and ready to attack.
I wake up to the sound of my alarm with the fear and adrenaline of what I just saw making my heart pound and my breathing heavy.
Calm down. It was only a dream.
Not wanting to sit around thinking about the dream I drag myself out of bed. As I'm getting dressed in my usual khakis and t-shirt I hear mum rummaging around down stairs getting stuff out of the cupboards for breakfast. My mouth starts watering at the thought of her famous blueberry and chocolate pancakes that she likes to make every so often. Sure enough, as if she read my mind the smells of her cooking pancakes started to waft up from the kitchen. I hurriedly pulled on my favourite pair of worn sneakers and rushed downstairs, the dream forgotten.
"Morning sweetie. Could you pass me those plates on the bench?" Mum sang as I came into the kitchen.
She was standing in front of the stove in her suit and a pink frilly apron she found at a thrift store in Texas when her and Dad went there on holiday before he died. Her dark brown curls were piled on top of her head and her intelligent blue eyes were bright and clear of sleep even though she likely just woke up.
"Mum I'm almost 18! Why do you still insist on calling me 'sweetie'?" I ask feigning annoyance. I don't really mind, I know why she does it, I just wish she wouldn't do it while my friends are here.
"Because you’re so sweet!" She replies kissing me on the cheek.
I shake my head and sit down at the table to devour my pancakes before Ben turns up to take me to school. Ben is my best and oldest friend. We've known each other for almost 12 years now and have been practically inseparable since day one. When he got a car for his birthday from his rich granddad he offered to drive me to and from school since me and mum couldn't afford one.
As Ben pulls up to the kerb I jump in and toss my bag in the back seat.
"Bro! You look terrible!" He announces as I put on my seat belt.
"Thanks, man. So thoughtful of you to point that out.” I reply.
“You're welcome!” He says ignoring the sarcasm in my tone. “So what happened?”
“Bad dream, didn't get much sleep," I explain as we drive off.
On our way to school, we have to drive through one of the rich parts of town. As we approach one of the largest mansions in Brighthall we see a moving van followed by a black stretch limo turn and drive through the gates. As we drive past I get a glimpse of a girl about our age stepping out of the limo and in that moment time seems to slow down.
She is tall and slender with very pale skin and piercing green eyes, the kind that seems to look through you to your core, but her most stunning fetcher, even more than those eyes, is her snow white hair. It is cropped short, coming to just below her chin and framing her face like a curtain of ice. I imagine running my fingers through it as I stare into those breathtaking eyes.
Then as if against my will I imagine her turning into the white she wolf from my dream, the image is so powerful I almost feel that the two are one and the same, but that's impossible, I've never even seen her before so how could I have a dream about her. That and she’s a person! Not a wolf! But for some reason, I feel like that's not quite the truth.
"Dude you OK? Hey, earth to James! You there mate?" Asks Ben waving his hand in front of my face and snapping me back to reality.
"Hmm! What? Yeah, yeah I'm good. Sorry just spaced out there for a bit." I reply.
"You sure you’re OK? You’re not feeling unwell again are you?” He asks, concern tinting his voice. “We could always skip first period and go hang out in the woods if you want."
The past couple of months I've been experiencing ongoing colds and fevers. They come and go suddenly and without warning, one minute I'm completely fine and the next I'm passed out on the ground sweating and shaking like a leaf. The doctors have no idea what’s wrong and nothing they do has made any improvement. The only thing that helps is being outside in the woods. Ben will often go walking up the mountain with me whenever I'm not feeling well. I know he gets shit for it and I've told him he doesn't have to but he does it anyway.
"I'm fine really. I just got distracted by that girl back there." I explain not wanting him to worry about me.
"Oh! Girl! Where? Was she hot?" He asks looking around trying to spot her.
I let out a snort of laughter and shake my head.
"Back at the big mansion. She was getting out of the limo that just pulled up there." I told him, pointing back at the gates.
"But was she hot?!" He demanded
"Yes, Ben. She was hot. Beautiful really, and she had the coolest hair! It was completely white and it looked like it was her natural hair colour too!" I enthuse.
"White hair?! Damn wish I'd seen her. How old was she?" He replies.
"She looked about our age. Maybe we'll see her at school?" I tell him and the thought of getting to see her again sent excitement rushing through me.
"Maybe." He says shrugging his shoulders. "Anything can happen. We'll just have to wait and see . . ."