Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 1

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”



The scars on my wrists itched. I curled my fingers and tugged on my cuffs as I rubbed my arms against my jeans. Everyone stared at me as I walked down the hall. Maybe not everyone, but enough to make me lift my chin and straighten my shoulders. I glared back. Most of them looked away. Don’t provoke the crazy girl. At Bell Hill, no one had looked at me.

I’d thought my second day of high school would be easier than the first, but it was worse. Gossip had spread, and now everyone knew who I was and what I’d done.

I scared them—it was obvious. Even the ones who smirked at me or made remarks were afraid. They wanted to look tough to their friends. Hey, if making fun of me made them feel strong, then they obviously had their own problems.

I’d known some of them for most of my life. New Devon wasn’t a very big town, and at one time I’d been a popular kid. In day care and elementary school everyone had wanted to play with me and my sister the ghost. I wish I could have seen my own face the first time someone told me I was too old to have an imaginary friend anymore.

Imaginary? The word echoed in my head. People applied terms like overly imaginative when I was still young. Eventually they began to say things like, “dissociative,” “delusional” and my personal favorite, “troubled.” No shit. There had never been a teenager in the history of the world that wasn’t troubled by something. It was kind of our thing.

I walked past a small group of girls clustered in front of a section of lockers painted in the school colors of purple and gray. They drew back, as though I was contagious. They didn’t say anything—didn’t even giggle. If they’d been mean I would have been more comfortable.

I didn’t hang my head. I had nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe I’d made a couple of bad choices, but they had been mine.

I wasn’t crazy. I might be a freak, but I wasn’t crazy, and I never had been. I had proof of that, and other people knew it, too—not many, but enough.

As luck would have it, my locker was just a few down from where the girls stood watching me warily. I stopped and opened it, placing my bag inside so I could take out what I needed for my first class.

“Why are we here?” my twin sister, Wren, asked. She stood by the locker next to mine, arms crossed over her chest. Her vivid red hair fell over her shoulders in a straight curtain that required absolutely no work—no style she wanted ever did, because it was of her making. There weren’t any hair styling tools in the Shadow Lands.

I didn’t respond. Talking out loud to someone no one else could see would make them all think they were right, that I was still crazy. I was supposed to be cured. That was the only way the school would take me back. Although, at that moment, I had to wonder as well what the hell I was doing there.

Oh, right. My parents didn’t want me, so I’d had no choice but to move in with my grandmother in my old hometown while Mom and Dad had a fresh and shiny new life in Massachusetts. My mother just couldn’t deal with the fact that I could see and interact with Wren. Not because she thought I was lying, but because she was mad Wren didn’t talk to her.

I wasn’t cured. I wasn’t crazy, either. But there was just no easy way to explain why Wren was there with me—she’d been dead since the day we were born. I came out breathing and she...didn’t. I think someone made a mistake somewhere along the way, because my hair was stark white and hers was deep, vivid red. I should be the ghost, not her. God—if there was one who even cared—knew I liked the dead a lot more than the living most days. Other than our hair and style, we were identical, to the point that if I dyed my hair her color even we’d get confused over who was who.

For years my relationship with Wren was seen as cute if not sad—a little girl playing with her “imaginary” dead twin. As I got older, my knowing things about how people died because “Wren told me” made me look weird, guilty even. People would ask me to communicate with their dead relatives, but it was Wren who did all the legwork.

People called me a liar. Called me crazy. Called me a freak. Eventually, I began to believe them. That was when I got desperate and made the scars on my wrists.

I closed my locker and walked down the hall, pushing my way through the crowd of teeming hormones. People stared. Some said things. I ignored them, staring straight ahead. I just wanted to get this day over with. These people didn’t matter; I knew who and what I was.

I just didn’t know why.

“I suppose you have to ignore me while you’re here, don’t you?” My sister sighed—rather dramatically I thought. She knew the drill. The time I’d spent locked up made her a little...needy. Other than me she didn’t have anyone to talk to except an old woman who stuck around to watch over her family and a crazy man from the 1700s who liked to haunt his old house just for the hell of it. Although, I think she’d have more friends if she wasn’t with me all the time. Unfortunately, the few other “nice” ghosts we’d had contact with had moved on once we did what they asked of us, and hanging out with the scary ones wasn’t an option.

“Mmm.” It was the only response I could make without anyone noticing.

“Fine. I’m going to the library. I’ll find you later.” With that, she walked through a wall and was gone. I hated when she did that—mostly because I couldn’t.

I followed the swarm, rounding a corner toward what would be my homeroom for the rest of this year. A small group of kids were gathered against the wall just a few feet away. A few guys—mostly girls. Seniors. I could tell just by looking at them—they had that faint smug superiority of knowing they had to make it only until June and then they were free, done with the insane asylum that was high school. I might have sneered at them as I walked by if one of the guys hadn’t raised his head and looked right at me.

Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies