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Cascade Hills 02: There seems to be a special place in her heart to hate me

Cascade Hills

-Cascade Hill High, Shelley Haynes’s AP History Classroom-

Now I know the school year just began however, this is an AP History class, if you can’t handle the workload, don’t take the class.” Shelly Haynes announces, looking over to her students.

“That being said, I have a project for you all. It will be worked on in pairs of two only, of which I will be assigned. The project will be a 10 or so slideshow on the early settlement of Cascade Hills and will be due by the end of the month. Cascade Hills has been around for quite a while so I’m sure you all won’t have any trouble finding out its history. Is that understood?” She said, looking around again.

Most of the students nodded in reply. Alex, however, was obviously not paying attention as he was drawing something into his notebook. Ms. Haynes eye’s stop on him and narrowed, Katherine, seeing the rising trouble tried to get Alex’s attention however it was all too late.

“Mr. McKenzie!” She yells out startling Alex.

He sat up straight, his face looking much like a deer caught in the headlights, and gave Ms. Haynes a smile.

“Y-yes?” He said placing his pencil down and closing his notebook.

“Since you seem to be so adamantly taking down notes please, repeat what I said to the class.” Ms. Haynes said as she motioned to the rest of the class, a smug smile on her face.

Instantly everyone turned towards him, some of them snickering quietly while others threw him pitiful looks. Alex’s mouth drops open as he looks nervously around, his eyes stopping on Katherine for a few before looking back at Ms. Haynes.

“Well, Alex? Repeat what I said.” She said leaning back against her desk with her arms crossed.

“Uhh repeat what you said?” Alex replied.

“Yes, repeat what I said.” Ms. Haynes repeated, a bit of frustration boiling in her voice.

“I did?” Alex said with a confused little tilt.

No Alex, repeat what I said about the class.” Ms. Haynes said, the frustration straining in her voice

“Repeat what you said about the class.” Alex mimicked with a small smile.

A few snickers rang out as Ms. Haynes glared harshly at Alex however before she could yell the door to her classroom sprung open. In walked a young girl with brown skin, slightly untamed black hair, and dark brown eyes.

“Ms. Coleman so good to see you’ve graced us with your presence. You’re just in time for our new project.” Ms. Haynes says dryly, directing some of her anger toward the girl.

Great…” Kristen mumbled sarcastically as she took her seat.

“I will repeat myself once again for Ms. Coleman and those who weren’t paying attention” Ms. Haynes starts, directing a nasty look toward Alex who just gives her a smile and a wink.

“To start the year, you all will be doing a PowerPoint on the early settlement of Cascade Hill. It’s a two-person project of which I will choose the pairing. Is that clear?” She said once again, glaring some more at Alex as he nodded eagerly.

Katherine waves over to Kristen who gives a weak smile and nods. Katherine mouths ‘Where were you’ to her however she just shakes her head and signals that she will tell her later.

“Alright, I will start calling out names now.” Ms. Haynes says as she looks down at her list.

Alex turns to Kristen and Katherine, both of whom were seated behind him.

“Where were you this morning and yesterday, Kris? You missed all the fun.” Alex whispered to her with a snort.

“And I’m guessing you’re the one who put Ms. Haynes in such a delighted mood today?” Kristen said with a grin and raised an eyebrow, nodding towards Ms. Haynes.

“Hey, I just did as she asked. She should have been more specific.” Alex said with a shrug.

Kristen chuckled softly and shook her head.

“Or maybe you shouldn’t have been such a smart ass and actually pay attention?” Katherine murmured looking off to the side.

Alex gives her an irritated look.

“Alex McKenzie and Dominick Williams.” Ms. Haynes voice calls out.

Alex immediately tenses up as he turns slowly then suddenly gets up from his seat and walks over to her.

“Um, Ms. Haynes I know we don’t have the greatest relationship…” Alex sort of trails off as he looks at her.

The deadpan look that she gives to him, tells him that he should really stop while he’s ahead, however, Alex, hardheaded as usual, continues.

“But is there any way I could be partnered up with anyone else?” He said with a delicate smile.

“No, and now that I know that you’d particularly like not to be paired with him, absolutely not.” She said with a smug smile.

Fantastic.” Alex mumbled as he glanced back at his partner with a grimace.

Dominick Williams currently was seated in the back of the classroom and was chatting with his older brother. Dominick is another one of the popular students however it’s based more on his social status and very good looks. Dominick is a rather cocky, bit of a big talker. Pale skinned, short slicked back dirty blonde hair and pale blue eyes. He seemed to feel Alex’s eyes on him and send an irritated look to which Alex gave a smile and head nod. Alex then trudges back to his seat and sits back down with a rather irked look on his face. Ms. Haynes then continues with her reading, a victorious smirk on her face.

Troubles in paradise?” Katherine teases with a smile.

Alex doesn’t even look at her as he just drops his head on his desk.

“Kristen Coleman and Curtis Williams.”

Kristen nods towards Ms. Haynes then gives a quick glance at Curtis. Like his brother, Curtis is also quite popular. Tall with long curly blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Curtis, however, is the complete opposite of his younger brother personality-wise. Not very talkative in the least, and only really opens up to his younger brother and sister.

“So what did happen yesterday?” Kristen asked, her eyes darting between Katherine and Alex.

“Alex managed to get us roped into the homecoming committee preparation.” Katherine answered with irritation in her voice.

“You’re still upset about that?” Alex mumbles with an eye roll.

“Oh right, the dance is next week.” Kristen says with a thoughtful look on her face.

“Katherine Norman and Nathan Foster.” Ms. Haynes’s voice calls out.

Katherine instantly perks up at the mention of her partner’s name. She shyly glances over at Nathan Foster who appears to be sleeping. His head propped up on his hand and eyes shut. However, as soon as she looked at him, his eyes opened staring directly back at her. Nathan Foster is a mysterious one. He doesn’t really talk too much about himself and tends to keep everyone at arm’s length except for a few people. He has black hair which falls to his mid-back and amber-colored eyes. Tan-skinned and extremely tall. Katherine quickly turns her head away when his eyes meet hers, the rather unimpressed look on Alex’s face makes the smile on her fall a bit.

“What?” She asked, confusion written on her face.

“And you talk about me?” Alex says motioning to Nathan and giving her a meaningful look.

“Huh? O-oh it’s not like-.” Katherine stumbles to explain, shaking her head with a faint blush appearing on her face.

The stare of absolute disbelief that both Alex and Kristen fixed on her cuts her rather poor excuse short. The class soon came to an end, and the three went to lunch immediately after.

“So where did you go? Family business again?” Katherine asked as she sat down at a table.

“Hmm, something like that.” Kristen said as she sits next to her.

“I wish my mom made it so I could get out of class.” Katherine says with a chuckle.

“Katherine Norman, skipping class? Is this the end of the world?” Alex jokes.

“Haha, you’re not funny.” Katherine dryly gives him a glare however the amused smile on her face betrays her anger look.

“You know you love me.” Alex says with a cocky smile.

Katherine let out a scoff, rolling her eyes while Kristen chuckles as she takes a bite out of her food. Lunch resumed as normal, however just as they were about to leave a loud crash sounded. They all turned to see Nathan and Dominick glaring viciously at each other. A tray of food was down turned on the floor with the contents splashed on the ground. Dominick’s eyes were practically glowing with rage, his body completely tense. Nathan looks slightly less aggressive however there was a definite predatory look on his face. Curtis and a young girl with blonde hair suddenly appeared at Dominick’s side.

The young girl is Haley Williams, Dominick’s and Curtis’s younger sister. Long dirty blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and a very child-like appearance. Haley is a very prideful girl and has a bit of a nasty habit of looking down on others.

Curtis stood in front of Dominick, placing a hand on his chest pushing him back slightly, and giving a rather stern look as he said something to him. Haley was looking wearily between Curtis and Dominick as it seemed like Dominick wasn’t calming down. The cafeteria was dead silent as everyone watched closely.

“Looks like those two are at it again…” Alex mumbled, a concerned look appearing on his face.

“Not again…” Katherine mumbles, a frown on her face.

Kristen said nothing but stared rather intently at Nathan and Dominick, her face completely neutral. Whatever Curtis said must have snapped Dominick out of his rage-induced haze as he instantly relaxed. However, he, strangely enough, throws a quick glance towards where Katherine, Alex, and Kristen are before storming out of the cafe.

Curtis turns back to Nathan, there were now two girls at his side.


Rose Foster, Nathan’s younger sister and Claire Martin, a close friend to the two siblings. The two girls are vastly different in both personality and appearance. Rose has long dark brown hair, caramel-colored skin much like her brother with brown eyes, extremely confident and says what’s on her mind. Claire, on the other hand, has cream-colored skin, medium-length dirty blonde hair, and forest green eyes. Claire has a very prickly personality, she doesn’t talk much and is very quick to confrontations.

 After giving a long stare at Nathan, Curtis also walks off, Haley following close behind. Soon the cafe was filled with whispers as everyone continued to leave.

“What the hell was that all about…?” Alex said when they walked out of the cafe.

“Who knows, they’ve always had some deep-seated hatred for each other.” Katherine says with a shrug.

After that time flew by rather quickly and soon school was over. The three immediately reported to the gym for student council work.

“So that’s why Ms. Armstrong has been so pissed.” Kristen said with a laugh.

Katherine had just finished retelling the tale of how Alex and she were now helping the student council.

“The woman has it out for me I swear.” Alex says as he finished putting together a paper light.

“Well, you haven’t been the perfect student, Alex.” Kristen replies with a raised eyebrow as if daring him to challenge her.

“Look at the bright side, she didn’t suspend you.” Katherine adds.

“Good point.” Alex mumbled in agreement, a slightly troubled look appearing on his face as he thought of the possibilities.

“So you guys will be here tomorrow, right? Cause afterward I want to go to Serenes. It’s ice cream social night.” Kristen said with a smile.

“Sure, I’m in.” Katherine says as she finishes another paper light and places it down next to her.

Alex nodded in agreement as well and the three continued to work. Soon the student council was over, Katherine glanced over towards the clock as they were walking out of the school.

“Alex, can you get me to Ms. Huges?” Katherine asked as they walked out into the parking lot.

Kristen waved goodbye to them and continued down the street.

“Wait, I thought you didn’t go to work until another hour?” Alex questioned as they both got into his car.

“Yeah, she asked me to come in early today. Said she would need to help or something.” Katherine says as she pulls her seat beat down, pushing her backpack in front of her.

“Slave driver.” Alex huffed out as he started the car.

“She’s not a slave driver. Hell, I’m happy she even allowed me to work for her” Katherine says, giving Alex a look.

“Well at least she likes you, there seems to be a special place in her heart to hate me.” Alex said.

“She doesn’t hate you, she just…um…uh.” Katherine trails off as she tries to think.

“Very reassuring Kat, thanks.” Alex says sarcastically with a disapproving look on his face.

Katherine just shook her head and remained silent. They soon arrived at a rather strange-looking house, the paint job was rather spotty and the color clashed terribly. The area around the house was poorly kept, the grass was paling and patchy in certain areas and there were weeds everywhere. The building was also in pretty bad shape, some of the wood was peeling in certain areas and

“This place will forever be creepy.” Alex says as he pulls into the driveway.

“Hm, yeah. But she lives here so.” Katherine says with a shrug as she gets out of the car, swinging her backpack onto her back.

“When do you get out?” Alex asked as he bent over a bit to see her face.

“8, I definitely call you when I’m done. I’d much rather be gone before it gets any darker than that” Katherine said with a small shiver.

“Okay, see you then Kat!” Alex says as he pulls off.

Katherine nods and watches him drive off before walking towards the house. When she got up to the door, she knocked a few times but no answer. She waited for a bit however nothing but the faint sound of wind echoed around her. Just as she was about to knock again, the door swung open. Katherine jumps back, her heart almost leaping out of her chest before visibly relaxing at seeing her boss, Dianna Huges. Dianna is an elderly woman, around her mid to late 50s. Long, kind of wild grey hair with dark brown eyes and olive-colored skin. She’s a bit short, always hunched over due to her bad back. She’s a very strange woman and has a tendency to be very cryptic or just withholding information altogether.

“What’s wrong with you?” She asked with a raised eyebrow, stepping aside so Katherine could step inside.

“N-nothing, I’m fine.” Katherine mumbles as she walks inside.

The inside is not better than the outside. It was extremely cluttered and a little dusty. Shelves were filled with various bottles, strange items, and trinkets. Katherine moved through the shop towards the counter where the cash register sat and placed her bag down.

“We’ll be getting guests in an hour, so can you sweep up here?” Dianna said as she grabbed a long chest from the floor.

“Sure” Katherine replied as she grabbed the broom nearby her and began to sweep the floors.

Soon the shop looked a bit less dirty and just as Dianna stated someone did arrive. Katherine turned to greet the new arrivals however her words froze in her throat as she saw Nathan looking back at her, looking just as confused. An older guy appeared from behind Nathan, looking between the two with a raised eyebrow. He appeared to be a bit older than her, with short spiky black hair and dark brown eyes. A strong build, tall with stubble. He was handsome however some about him seemed off and a bit intimidating. Nathan was the first to break eye contact as he nodded to her. Katherine immediately straightened herself, nodding back before going to the back of the shop where Dianna was.

“Dianna, the customers are here.” Katherine said as she entered the room.

“Can you help me get this to the counter Katherine?” Dianna asked as she was holding up one side of a heavy-looking chest.

Katherine went to the opposite side and together the two women brought the chest into the front room, placing it on the counter. Something nagged at the back of Katherine’s head while Dianna and she struggled to lift the box to the counter. Why weren’t the two guys helping them? They were just watching intently, poised to help if one of them fell, however, their eyes were trained on the box. After they finally got the box onto the table, Dianna opened it. Inside was an assortment of bottles, some big, others small. Dianna pulled out one bottle and handed it over to the older man.

“This should be what you need.” Dianna said before shutting the chest and walking back into the back once again.

The man nodded even though Dianna had left, looking intently at the bottle in his hand which was filled with some strange pale green liquid. He then turned and walked out of the shop, motioning for Nathan to follow. Nathan threw a glance and smile at Katherine before turning and disappearing from the shop. The nagging feeling was even stronger this time, something felt very peculiar about that transaction however this wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. Katherine just shrugged it off and continued to clean as she once was. The day went on and soon it was closing time. Since the shop was also Dianna’s home, Katherine bid her good night and stepped outside her house. She texted Alex that she was done and waited. It was pitch black around her save for the light that the porch lamp on Dianna’s house provided. It was quiet too, not a single cricket or any other animal. A cold breeze brushes up against her making her hug herself, her hands rubbing her arms for warmth.

“Great job, Kat. Don’t take a jacket even though it’s fall already. Very intelligent.” Katherine scolds herself as she shivers a bit.

Suddenly, another shiver runs up her spine however this one wasn’t from the cold. Katherine tensed up as she looked around herself. Nothing really to see around but grass and the road leading in and out of town. However something just wasn’t right, she felt like she was being watched. Katherine lets out a deep sigh as she walks off Dianna’s porch. Suddenly, the feeling was suffocating.

Goosebumps were popping up all over her body and her heart began thumping like a drum. She couldn’t even move back, her body was frozen in fear however she couldn’t tell where this feeling was coming from. She scanned her surroundings but nothing.

After taking in some deep breaths, Katherine finally muscled up enough courage to move. She took a few steps before freezing at hearing a rustling coming from the side of Dianna’s house. She slowly turns her head towards the sound. Visually, she could see nothing but something deep in her told her that there was something there. Her body began to slowly inch towards whatever was out there, completely against her will. She felt like a passenger, watching herself walk to her own death and having absolutely no control over it. However before she got too far off, a hand fell onto her shoulder, turning her around. Instantly, the helpless sensation faded and she let out a whimper as she fell into Alex.

“Kat? What’s wrong? Are you hurt?” Alex asked as he held her up, looking from her face towards her body to see if she was injured.

“N-no, I-I’m fine.” She said shakily as she took in deep breaths.

“The hell you’re fine, what were you doing? I’ve been calling you for the last minute. You

just kept walking.” Alex said an extremely concerned look on his face as he looked her in the eyes.

“I-I thought I saw something. Sorry…” Katherine said with a weak smile.

Alex looked at her for a bit but let the conversation slide and guided her to his car. Inside, Katherine takes in another deep breath and places her head in her hands. When she sits back up, she appears better, the fear and uncertainty almost completely wiped from her face. Alex gives her one last meaningful stare before starting the car and the two drive off. However, whatever was out there slid out from the tall grass surrounding Dianna’s house. The porch light immediately grew dim, making the figure unrecognizable. It tilted its head towards the front door of Dianna’s house however when it tried to step onto the porch something bright sparked flinging the creature back. It let out a hiss when it got back up before looking off to where Alex’s car went. It gave one last glance towards the house before slinking off into the darkness as quietly as it came.

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