After primping herself and caking on some makeup, Alexis came barreling downstairs, greeted at the breakfast table by her mother and her sister, Apryl.

“G’morning Lexi, you sleep okay?” her mother cheerfully asked, like she did every other morning.

“Fine mom,” was always Lexi’s reply.

“Hey Lex,” Apryl said, taking a bite of toast and sipping some coffee, all while trying to read a book. Apryl Murphy, 16, was also a student at Springwood. She and Alexis were sisters by name, but the similarities ended there. Alexis was 18, Apryl was 16. Alexis was a senior; Apryl was a sophomore. Alexis had long, wavy blond hair; Apryl had short, curly red hair. Alexis was the head cheerleader; Apryl was on the debate team. Despite all that, they had somehow managed to get through most of their high school life without ripping each other’s hair out. In fact, over the past two years, they had even grown to develop quite a bond, something their mother Sandra had been hoping for for a long time.

“The art of debating, huh?” Alexis asked, grabbing the book right out of Apryl’s hands. “Well let me ask you this. I have a serious debate on my hands. Should I put my hair in a ponytail and go for the whole Kirsten Dunst ‘Bring It On’ look, or should I put it in pigtails for Mike?”

“Very funny,” Apryl answered sarcastically, taking back her book. “Some dilemma. You should try debating something worthwhile for a change. You know, someday you will learn that it takes more than just looks to get ahead in life.”

“Not if you’re Paris Hilton,” Alexis joked back.

“Whatever,” Apryl sighed, gulping her coffee as they all heard a car horn honk outside.

“Hey, that’s Mike, I’ll see ya later,” Alexis said, ignoring her mother’s plea to eat breakfast and rushing out the door.

Outside on a bright sunny morning sat Mike Clark, Springwood High’s star quarterback, in his red Corvette. Mike, 18, was every college scout’s dream. A solid, 6-foot-4, 225-pounder with an arm like a laser, he was already being heavily recruited by some of the top division-one colleges in the country. All he had to do was bring his grades up and he could basically write a ticket to any school of his choosing.

“Hey honey,” Alexis smiled, greeting her boyfriend with a kiss as she climbed in the car.

“How’s it goin’ babe?” Mike asked, peering at her from behind his black Gargoyle sunglasses.

“You ready for the big game tomorrow?” she asked.

“Hell yeah I’m ready,” Mike responded, flexing his right arm. “And so are my guns.”

Alexis didn’t reply. She just smirked, squeezed his muscle and kissed him again.

“Woah woah babe, hands off the merchandise,” Mike joked. “I need every inch of these muscles if we’re gonna beat Collins.”

“You’ll need every inch of those muscles after the game, too,” Alexis hinted, grinning from ear-to-ear as she looked into his eyes and winked at him.

“Oh yeah,” Mike answered emphatically, throwing his gear shift into drive and speeding away from Alexis’ house, 8241 Elm Street.


At Springwood High, the parking lot was abuzz with the typical early morning crowd as Mike’s Corvette came cruising into view with the stereo system blaring loudly. Mike slid into his parking space with ease and turned off his radio, which was playing Switchfoot’s “Meant to Live.”

Mike and Alexis then got out and approached the front courtyard as almost everyone wished him good luck in the game. He just nodded an arrogant grin and continued on toward their group of friends. The first to greet them was Quinton Williams, the star wide receiver.

“Yo, yo, Clarky, what’s up?” Quinton asked, high-fiving him into a handshake and giving him a mock salute. Quinton Williams, 17, had broken nearly every receiving record the school had. He was so good that he’d already secured a full scholarship to attend Ohio State University the next fall. And Quinton made sure everybody knew it. When he introduced himself to people, he didn’t just say “Quinton Williams.” Instead, he said, “Quinton Williams, Ohio State University.” The fact of the matter was that no matter how good or bad the team was doing, Quinton was always sure to tell you how many yards receiving he had or how many touchdowns he caught in a particular game. The one sure thing about Quinton Williams was that he was all about Quinton Williams.

“Same old, same old, Q-dub,” Mike replied, returning the salute. “You ready to kick some ass tomorrow night?”

“You god damn right I am,” Quinton answered. “Those Collins guys are nothing but a bunch of fuckin’ pussies anyway.”

“Hey Tash,” Alexis cheerfully said to Tasha Brown, Quinton’s girlfriend.

“Hey girl,” was Tash’s reply as she looked up after rummaging through her bookbag.

Tasha, 17, was an aspiring art student who had dreams of attending art school in New York. The caramel-toned Tash could have been a dead ringer for Tyra Banks if she had chosen to be a model, but instead, she stuck to her art, trading in her makeup bag for a set of pastels. Tash longed for the day where she could get her work displayed in such places as the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Guggenheim. She was quite good, too. She had had straight A’s in art ever since junior high. It’s the only thing she truly enjoyed doing.

“Be right back, babe,” Mike said, pointing to a group of football players not too far away. “The guys want me for a minute. Come on Q-dub.”

“How do you put up with it?” Tash asked, clutching the easel of her latest work of art.

“I guess I got used to it by now,” Alexis replied. “I know enough not to get in his way before a game, and he knows enough to stay out of my way before a cheering competition, so it balances out.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” Tash answered. “But look at them. They’re a keg party waiting to happen over there.”

Lexi just smiled as the first bell rang and students began trickling into Springwood High. Another day was about to begin.

“Well girl, I’ll see ya at lunch,” Tash said, “I’m gonna go try to get some sleep in homeroom. I haven’t slept at all the last few nights.”

“You either?” Alexis responded, matter-of-factly.

“Yeah,” Tasha curiously replied. “I’ve been having these fucked up nightmares...”

Just then, Quinton came and hugged Tash tight from behind, dragging her toward the entrance.

“Come on baby, I can’t be late for class anymore or coach will have my ass,” Quinton said.

“Put me down!” Tash complained cheerfully. “We’ll talk later, Lexi! See ya!”

But Lexi didn’t reply. She just stood there in a daze, almost staring off into nothing as Quinton and Tash disappeared from sight. She dreamt about him, too, Lexi thought without taking a single breath.

She was then brought out of her momentary trance by Mike, who was trying to get her attention to go to class. “Hey, daydreamer, you coming or what?” he asked.

“Huh?” Lexi asked, clearing the cobwebs as she came out of it. “Yeah.”

Mike put his arm around Lexi and they went through the main entrance. What neither of them noticed was the headline on the rack of student newspapers nearby. There, in black and white, it clearly read: “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you!”

Proceed To Chapter 2
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