The Unearthly (The Unearthly Series) Online - Laura Thalassa

Chapter 1

I WAS IN a burning house.

The oppressive heat evaporated the tears that ran down my cheeks, but my tiny hand still tried to swipe them away.

It was the sight of my small hand that made me lucid.

Not this again. Knowing it was a dream didn’t stop the events from unfolding as they always had.

Smoke choked my lungs and obscured my vision. Which room was I in? I never could remember, no matter how many times the events played out.

Out of the smoke came a figure.

“Dad!” I yelled, my voice sweet and high-pitched.

He scooped me up as the wooden beams above us shuddered, and he led us through the smoky corridors. I watched from over my father’s shoulder as fire ate up my house.

I blinked and a man stood amidst the flames.

My skin chilled despite the heat. Not him.

I gripped the expensive cloth of my father’s suit and twisted it beneath my fingers.

The fire stung my eyes and I blinked. When I opened them again, the man was gone.

At some point my father stopped. The fire was not so bad here.

Another figure appeared out of the haze. Cecilia. I was passed over to her, out of my dad’s arms.

“Dad?” I was scared again.

I hated this part.

He kissed me on the top of my head. “I love you angel.” He turned away, disappearing into the smoke.

“Don’t leave me!” I cried. But he was gone.

Cecilia led us through the house. I recognized my room along the way; my favorite teddy bear was lying on the floor, burning up before my eyes.

Cecilia carried me to our pantry. Barely glancing at the dried goods, she unlatched a trap door set into the floor. She dropped me down into the musty space before climbing down herself. I glanced back up through the trap door, wondering where my dad was.

She took my hand and led me through the darkness.

***

“Reek! Reek! Reek!”

My eyes snapped open, and I sat up, startled. My heart was racing, and I shivered from the cold sweat covering my body. It took me a moment to realize it was my alarm clock that had shaken me from the dream.

I hit the snooze button and flipped over, rearranging myself to go back to bed. I was a good sleeper; even an old memory-turned-nightmare couldn’t frighten me into wakefulness.

There was a knocking on my door. “Gabrielle, wake up!”

“No,” I moaned.

“Time to get up,” my mother said too cheerfully. “You’re going to miss your flight if you don’t get up!”

She walked into my room to assess the situation.

“But I just went to bed,” I mumbled.

“That’s what happens when you save packing until the night before your flight.”

My eyes sprang open. Junior year. I had almost forgotten. I jumped out of bed and grabbed the clothes I had set aside.

“Breakfast is ready downstairs.” With that, my mother turned and left.

I shoved myself into a black shirt, jeans, and a pair of boots. I popped into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror.

This was it. This was the last day I would officially live here. My nervous excitement had my adrenaline going. A year ago I’d never heard of Peel Academy, and now I was on my way to attend the prestigious boarding school.

***

I watched my mother’s car pull away from the curbside, disappearing into the crowded airport traffic, and then I walked towards the airline check-in.

I fiddled with my luggage straps as I waited. Would I fit in? I desperately wanted to; it was part of the reason I’d accepted the offer of admission. God knew I hadn’t fit in at my last school, or really any place for that matter. I clung to the opportunity to change that.

But there was a more important reason, one that I hadn’t voiced to my adoptive mother. It wasn’t that the school was located on the British Isles, and it wasn’t that the school opened doors—though it did. It was a single line printed on the admission letter.

Considering your status as a legacy, Peel Academy warmly welcomes you into its esteemed halls.

Legacy. Meaning one or both of my biological parents might have attended Peel Academy in the past. This was my chance to find out who they were, and I was not going to turn it down.

I checked in and headed towards the security checkpoint. It was as I walked by the large panoramic windows that I felt my skin prickle and the back of my neck grow warm. Someone was watching me.

I scanned the bustling street on the