The taxi driver looked at his passengers, who had fallen asleep in the past hour. They were lucky that he knew exactly where he was taking them, but it wasn't where their parents thought they were going. He luaughed to himself as he turned onto the highway. They were going heading west, and he knew that it would be a long drive. Just like any other pick-up. For him, at least. He was one of the few people that knew where the Boarding School of Nowhere was.
They could have come up with a better name, he thought to himself. Though, if he was asked where it was, he didn't think that he could say. It didn't matter where he picked a kid up, whether it was in Maine or California, it always took the same amount of time to get to the school. He would always pick up the kids in the morning, and would drive all day and half of the night. Then, at exactly midnight every time, he would somehow end up right in front of the school. One day, several years ago, he decided to go back and try to find the school when the sun was up. But it was never there. So, he was stuck driving on the highway again, driving west.
Then the girl in the passenger seat slowly woke up. She looked around and put her face in her hands.
"So it's not a dream," she muttered.
"No," the driver replied, "but you might wish it was."
"If your trying to be creepy, your not doing a very good job of it," she said.
"It doesn't matter," the driver said quietly, "you'll know what I mean when we get there."
"When do we get there?" she asked, changing the subject.
The driver looked at his watch: 11:55 p.m. "In a couple of minutes. You might as well wake the other two up."
As Erin turned around in her seat and started poking the two boys in the back seat, the driver turned the taxi onto an off ramp. It didn't matter where he went now. At midnight, the school will appear as it always does.
"They don't seem to want to wake up," Erin said.
"They will soon," the driver replied. They drove in silence for a few minutes, then the driver looked at his watch again: 11:59.
"This should be good enough," he said and pulled over to the side of the road.
"Why are we stopping?" Erin asked.
The driver looked at his watch. "Three... two... o-"
The driver's voice was drowned out by a loud wooshing now which was followed by an incredibly bright light. Both Ein and Brian jumped awake and started to try to get out of the car. Before they could, the noise and the light faded and revealed what had happened. The Taxi was in front of a huge building made of rotting dark wood. It was built around a courtyard with a large fountain in the middle. The whole place looked likde it was ready to fall apart. The taxi, along with the driver, had dissappeared so that Erin, Ein, and Brian were standing infront of the gate to the courtyard, with their bags behind them.
Before they could do anything, the rusted gate slowly creeped open.
"I guess we go in," Erin said. So they picked up their bags and walked towards and around the fountain. The other side of the fountain revealed a huge, solid oak, double door, which was slowly being opened. Out walked an elderly lady, hunched but still proud. He majestic face was somewhat hidden by a good amount of graying hair. She looked at them with peircing grey eyes and said: "You must be are newest residence." Her voice was raspy and a bit like a crow's.
"I welcome you to are, ah, 'school', shall we say."
"Where is everyone?" Brian asked. It was the first thing he had said since the had left.
"You are the only new 'students' we have for the time being. Come inside, please, it's a bit nippy," the old lady said and shuffled inside.
Erin, Ein and Brian followed, not knowing what to expect, and what they walked into was the last thing people would think the inside should look like. They walked into a huge entry hall. There were two large, wooden, curving staircases that framed a lit marble fireplace. All the walls were covered with elegant wood panels that had inlayed murals made of a lighter shade of wood. The floors were made of a dark wood that made your every step echo through the hall. They were still absorbing their suroundings when a tall man started to walk down one of the staircases. He looked to be in his late sixties with grey hair and features as elegant as the surrounding hall.
"Welcome to Nowhere," he said in a deep voice that hinted a Scottish accent. "I am Dr. Pinhoti. Before you ask, let me say that I am the one in charge here."
He went to each of them in turn and they introduced themselves.
"I understand that you all come from interesting families and you will have to tell me all about them later. First though, we will show you your rooms."
As thet started up the stairs, Brian looked up at the wood-work. What he didn't expect was the raven that was staring right at him.