• Chapter 1
    ‘the white room’

    The wind whistled through the leaves on an old country lane, like golden sail boats drifting on the ocean the leaves sailed on the wind currents. Zach walked on the old sidewalk childishly following the cracks like a race track. He toddled down the street, a deep whirring sound brought him out of the sea of deep thoughts.

    When Zach turned around he realized that it was the sound of his high school English teacher’s car, Mr. Williams, When he noticed that it was his teacher Zach’s cheeks suddenly got warm and blood rushed in like over flowing rivers. The boy’s eyes darted to the ground hoping that if he wasn’t seen would be invisible to his teacher. Mr. Williams smiled and wrinkles appeared highlighting his face, Zach felt a pair of eyes stop on his back.

    The whirring sound from Mr. Williams car slowed, Zach glanced up and caught his teacher’s eye. While the window was being rolled down the man began to speak in a low monotone voice, “Zachary,” Mr. Williams said.

    The boy’s face twitched ‘It’s Zach.’ he thought almost murmuring it under his breath. The teacher continued speak as he pulled his car into a spot near the curb marked with red paint. Before getting to the point Mr. Williams talked about the weather, while questioning and prodding about Zach’s life at home.

    Finally he reached the true point of what he was going to say: “Look…I don’t have much time,” said Mr. Williams looking down at the red tinted curb “Will you meet me in my class tomorrow before school, so that I can talk to you about the pep rally next week before class.”

    Zach smiled and replied, “Sure ill make sure of it do you need me to bring anything?”

    In the back of his mind he knew that Mr. Williams was just looking for a reason to learn about Zach’s personal life.

    “Yes, In fact your student council speech.” he replied, his eyebrow arched and he grinned once again revealing his pronounced wrinkles. “Smart Zachary, smart.”

    He spun around in his seat and placed his left hand at twelve on the steering wheel and his right arm behind the seat. Then pressed his foot gently on the gas pedal and zipped off, sending dead leaves in every direction.

    The leaves settled back on the road, and the sound of the teachers car could be heard faintly in the distance. Houses lit up while the sun was beginning to set, it blanketed an eerie glow on the street. The chill of the new night air seeped in through the seams of his clothes and you could almost see smoke from each breath he took.

    Zach’s mind was the warmth and comfort of a home cooked meal. Zach began a confident stride, his stomach complained and his arms grew limp he checked his watch. It was 5:02 in an attempt to curb his apatite reached behind him feeling for the familiar spot on his backpack that held his energy drink. When he didn’t feel the familiar plastic bottle his mouth began to dry up, like someone who has been stuck on a desert island. He sighed and turned around to find his bottle on the edge of the curb half a block away, sitting there alone and forgotten.

    “Damn.” he muttered harshly under his breath, and slowly walked back towards his water bottle. There was a piece of paper left fluttering in the autumn wind, mingling with dust and fighting with the leaves. Dirt and dust rested in the in the cracks and potholes of the concrete, the paper gently placed back on the sidewalk by the wind almost waiting to be picked up.

    When he reached his plastic bottle down the street, he grasped the strap of his backpack and lifted it off of his shoulder. Then he set it down near the planter box, the leaves crunching under the weight of his textbooks and papers. Zach lowered himself down and grabbed his water bottle the water sloshing around.

    He opened the cap and finished off the rest of the drink with multiple long swigs. A piece of bright colored parchment caught his eye. Lips still sealed around the opening of the now empty water bottle Zach crouched down and picked up the paper.