Cataclysmic (middle section)

So I decided to show you guys part of what I’ve been working on for my novel. If you guys remember, I have been working on this novel called “Cataclysmic.” The name actually started as a placeholder, but then as the story progressed, I realised that it was perfect for the story I wanted to tell. So here is the middle part.

***

‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ I exclaimed.

Not only were we in a dark, underground jail cell, but I was trapped with Aaron. The guy who, for all I knew, wanted to roast me on a pit and eat me. We had been previously on a hill next to our high school in San Rafael, California, when the creature approached. After seeing the creature, Aaron had grabbed me from behind and thrown something at the beast, sending us to this cave. After the sensation of popping from one point to another, I was faced with more versions of the creature. Each one was identical to the other, with green scales surrounding its body, red eyes, and a blue horn on top of its head. They each carried some kind of metallic object in their hands. The objects reminded me of the Grim Reaper’s scythe, except they didn’t look old.  As soon as I wrestled my body away from Aaron’s, I was grabbed by an invisible force and thrown in the jail cell; Aaron along with me. The creatures disappeared from view.

There was nothing I could see outside of the bars. No indication of where we came from and no sign of the creatures anywhere.

Inside the cell, there was nothing except for the small orb in Aaron’s hands, which he took out of his pocket. It didn’t cast enough light for me to see the entire layout of the cell, but I could see the rust on the wall next to the cell door. The walls were made of metal, but the torches hanging around the opening of the cave entrance were lit by fires instead of electricity. I tried banging on the door, in a futile attempt to break free. To my surprise, the doors sparked beneath my hands, shooting electricity through my body. I hastily withdrew my hands and took a step back

‘Where the hell are we?’ I asked.

‘Trisha, this might be hard to hear, but you’re in the same spot we were just in,’ Aaron said.

‘That can’t be right. We were just on the hill, not in a cave. Now really, where are we? And what do you want from me?’

Aaron looked at me like he was pained, but I didn’t let him speak. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say.

‘And you know what? I wouldn’t have been in this cell if you hadn’t been following me. What is your problem anyways? I don’t even know you –,’

‘You do,’ Aaron interrupted. ‘you do know me.’

‘What?’

‘It’s just…’ he started while looking at his hands.

His expression reminded me of when Tyler would eat the last of the chocolate candy. Tyler always felt sorry afterwards, but I knew he was only saying that to make me calm down. Looking at Aaron at that moment, I rethought of everything that I knew of Aaron. Maybe I judged him wrong.

‘Don’t you remember me?’ he asked.

‘No…should I?’

‘This is hard to explain. I never thought I would have to explain it to you hear, in the parallel world.’

‘A parallel what? Are we in some form of Doctor Who episode?’ I asked, jokingly, hoping that it wasn’t the case.

I remembered nights staying up late with my Dad watching episode after episode of Doctor Who. We would wait till Mom and Tyler went to bed before tiptoeing into the living room to watch the Doctor save the world from an alien attack. When Rose got trapped in the parallel world, away from the Doctor, Dad had run to the nearest 7/11 a few blocks away to grab two pints of ice cream for both of us, and a beer for him. We stayed up all night crying over Rose. To this day I can’t eat ice cream without thinking of the Doctor and the way I clung to Dad’s shoulder after the Doctor put the device around Rose’s neck, sending her to the parallel world, forever.

‘Sort of. Look, do you remember this?’

He took out this small round object from his pocket. It was the heart pendant that my imaginary friend Leonard gave me when I was 6 years old. It was something Leonard and I used to fight away the bad guys in my stories. It served as a protection amulet to ward off any evil doers in my backyard. Somehow I had lost the amulet once I was 8 years old and stopped believing in Leonard.

‘Where’d you get that?’

Aaron handed the amulet to me. It was exactly how I had last remembered it. It was cool to the touch and a bright red light seemed to glow from within the pendant. I knew this was the amulet because of the marking I made on the right side of the heart. ‘T and L forever.’ I remember the day I put it there. We were in my backyard, under the big Camphor tree.

‘What is it?’ I had asked Leonard, as he handed me the amulet.

‘It’s an amulet to ward you from the bad guys.’

‘Cool!’ I had thought any kind of adventure was cool back then.

‘You should write something on it, so that it can be a message for future you. Like in Doctor Who.’

‘Like Doctor what?’

Leonard looked at me like I was missing a head.

‘You haven’t watched Doctor Who yet?’

When I shook my head, he let out an exasperated sigh.

‘You have to watch it. You never know…’ he trailed off.

After I scratched in the engraving, my mom had called me in for dinner.

I started watching Doctor Who that night.

‘I kept it after your parents told me to leave you alone.’

‘Why would they want you to leave me alone? Wait,’ I said, fully realizing what he meant by that statement. ‘You were,’ I started, unable to process what was going on. I didn’t know how to phrase what I wanted to ask.

Aaron nodded. The light from the orb in his hand was moving in a circle around the cell. The light made the gold tint in Aaron’s hair more prominent.

‘My real name is Aaron Leonard Rodgers. I didn’t want you to leak my real name to your parents. But that backfired once the elders figured out what was going on.’

‘My parents? What have they got to do with ANY of this?!’ I asked, upset that he would even think about bringing them into what was happening here.

‘They are guardians, like me,’ Aaron hesitated, ‘Like you.’

The walls seemed to cave in on me when he said that. My parents were guardians? This didn’t make any sense. To lighten the mood, I said, ‘Oh, you mean like the Guardians of the Galaxy?’ I remember my parents took me to see that movie when it came out. Just them and me. Tyler was at a friend’s house and my parents were both off for the weekend, which was a first in months. Mom wasn’t into the whole Marvel franchise, but she came anyways to spend time with me. It was always my Dad and I who spent most of our time obsessing over the Marvel comics. I was happy to have them both to myself, since that rarely happened ever since Tyler was born. After the movie, in the lobby, my dad had tried so hard to beat me at a dance off,             but he couldn’t get his footing right. He kept falling on the floor, which made everyone in the theatre’s lobby turn to look at him. I didn’t mind at the time, since it was nice to be spending some quality time with my dad.

Aaron gave me a look that told me he was getting tired with my little quips.

‘Trisha, this is serious. Your parents were..’

‘I know this is serious, Aaron. Or should I say Leonard. I’m finding it difficult to believe this is really happening.’

I turned my back away from him.

‘I’m sorry if I got angry. I understand how this might feel –.’

‘No you don’t. You’ve had this knowledge prior to this moment and I’ve been the one in the dark. And now we are literally in the dark. I’ve kept it together when my parents died and when I thought I saw that thing. And even when we first met, I kept my cool. Now you tell me that my parents were some kind of guardians and you expect me to just accept that? Aaron, there is only so much I can take before I break.’

In a futile attempt to escape, I grabbed on to the door, hoping to somehow break free of this imprisonment. Electricity ran through my body, causing me to jump backwards, straight into the wall behind me. As my head hit the wall, a couple of startling memories of the past few months came to me.

It was two weeks back and Tyler was asking me to play blind man’s bluff with him. I didn’t want to play, but he kept insisting. To shut him up I put a blindfold on him and told him to wait thirty seconds. With his eyes covered, I made my way to the small shed outside by the pool. There was a hammock in there that I claimed as my own when we moved in. After ten minutes, I heard Tyler open the back door. It was a hot day out and I was sitting in the hammock in my bathing suit. The next door neighbor’s backyard was being renovated so every now and then the sound of a jack hammer could be heard.

I tried to crouch down below the Bay windows, but this didn’t seem to work.

‘Trisha, I know you’re there,’ Tyler said.

After a moment, I heard Tyler sigh.

‘Okay, so you don’t want to play with me. I get it. But do you really think that hiding yourself in your room will change the fact that our parents are gone? I kind of thought coming to San Rafael would bring us closer together, but all you’ve been doing is moping. I’m going inside to watch Netflix. You can come join if you decide to stop hiding away.’

I heard the distant sounds of his footsteps as he went back into the house.

As quick as I heard the backdoor slam close, I was pushed from this memory into the next. It felt as if I was slowly floating in the space of nothingness. It was neither hot nor cold and the only feeling I had was of just being in my body. After a few scary moments of me wondering if this was the end, I saw a trickle of light ahead. I started to move more closely to the light, like a bug drawn to a lightbulb.

Next thing I knew I was back in my house in San Francisco. Except everything was in boxes and we were moving out. The back of the house had been boarded off because of the fire. Tyler and Aunt Kristy were fighting over what they should bring back to Aunt Kristy’s place.

‘But I want this blender,’ Tyler was saying.

‘I have the exact same blender at my place. We don’t need another,’ Aunt Kristy argued. We all knew who would win this fight. Tyler, once he set his mind on something, always got his way.

The front of the house looked nothing like it once did. All of the pictures of Mom and Dad were packed away and the only picture that adorned the shelf above the couch was the one of Tyler and I at the Marin County Fair. We were sitting on the benches in front of the merry go round eating our ice cream cones and looking at the new iPod mom got me for my birthday. It was the day Dad had gotten that promotion at his work. He had been working tirelessly to get the promotion at his law firm, and when his boss had fired one of the other lawyers, they decided to finally give him it. We woke up early that morning to make it early to the fair. It felt like luck was on our side that day when we missed the traffic getting out of San Francisco and gotten free upgrades to cut in line at the fair.

‘Oh I want this,’ Tyler said.

He had walked in to the living room while I was checking out the picture.

He was starting to get taller, like dad. He was already almost to my shoulders. I unfortunately took after my mother and stopped growing when I was 12, five years ago.

‘Well too bad. I’m taking it. It’s going to stay in my room,’ I said, hoping to put some older sister authority to my voice.

‘That’s not fair. I called it first. You were just staring at it. So there,’ he said, while sticking out his tongue.

‘You got everything that you wanted. I just want this picture,’

‘I got the frame, so it’s mine,’

‘You can have the frame. I want the picture.’

‘That’s not how it works,’ I half yelled, grabbing the picture.

‘Yes it is. You don’t know.’

He grabbed the other end.

We continued to fight over the picture when the doorbell rang. It surprised me enough that I jumped, causing the picture to fly out of both our hands, smashing against the wall.

Tyler’s eyes started to well up with tears.

‘You couldn’t let me have this one happy memory, could you?’ he asked, stomping down the hall to the bathroom that wasn’t taped off by the fire department.

The doorbell rang again.

I rubbed at the tears threatening to fall from my eyes.

When I opened the door, Jake was standing there wearing his work uniform. He worked at a movie theater and they made him wear these horrendous black polo shirts with a movie title on the back. His hair was still as floppy as I remembered it the last time I saw him, in the hospital.

‘Jake? What are you doing here?’

‘Well I hadn’t heard from you since the hospital. And I was worried about you. I didn’t get a chance to talk to you at the funeral. You left before I could say anything.’

I didn’t know what to say. I had never been that great at confronting people. Even telling him how I felt about him four months ago was the hardest thing I had to do.

‘Um… we, ugh…’ I began.

‘Look. I get it. What happened was horrible. I care about you and would hate to see you shut yourself up for the rest of your life.’

I was reminded of the look he gave Jenny in the hospital weeks prior. The look I wished he would have given me. Even in the hospital, she was the one he was looking at with tenderness. I had spent so many years pining over him, only to be rejected; and for my childhood best friend, no less. Looking at him then, I realised that it was useless to chase after a guy who would never see me as more than a friend. But I couldn’t stand a future where we would be friends without the pang of heartbreak. I had to let him go.

‘No,’ I said, after a few moments, ‘I don’t think you get it. I don’t want to be friends anymore.’

I went to close the door, but Jake pushed back.

‘Trish, you don’t mean that. You’re just—’

‘I do mean it. I don’t want to see you again.’

With that final statement, I slammed the door closed.

‘Trisha,’ a voice called from somewhere.

‘Trisha, wake up!’

‘Wah?’ I exclaimed.

‘That’s it. Breathe. In. Out. Good.’

‘Aaron?’

‘Oh thank God! I was worried the shock from the bars had killed you.’

When I opened my eyes, I could see Aaron crouched down in front of me. The orb with the light was in between us, illuminating our faces.

‘Am I really a cold hearted bitch?’ I asked.

Aaron furrowed his brow.

‘No. Why would you think that?’

‘It’s just,’ I began, ‘I didn’t care to hear you out and I’ve been distant with everyone.’

‘That’s normal. You’ve gone through a lot in the past few months. I would have been more concerned if you didn’t freak out.’

I nod, not knowing what to say after that. Aaron offered me his hand. When I stood up, I felt as if the world was spinning around me. Aaron steadied me with his hands.

‘Your hair looks like it’s trying to do the wave,’ Aaron joked, trying to lighten the mood.

‘What do you mean?’ My hands went up to my hair.

‘It’s just from the electricity that you touched. Don’t worry about it.’

There was an awkward silence.

‘So, what were you talking about earlier?’ I asked.

‘Well, as I was saying before you touched the bars,’ Aaron started, ‘Your parents were never supposed to be together. But, because they are, things are getting crazier by the minute.’

A sudden chill ran through me. What did that mean, that they weren’t supposed to be together?

‘Why weren’t they supposed to be together?’

Aaron bit his lip.

‘Well, it’s complicated. They are from two different worlds, for one. The other reason, well, I can’t tell you.’

Aaron looked at me, pleading with me not to pry. As much as I wanted to figure out the other reason, I let that one slide. If I was going to get anything out of Aaron, I would have to start trusting him to give me the information I needed.

‘Okay, I’m not going to pry about that last one,’ I began, not particularly fond of dropping the subject. ‘But why do you look different than when I was little?’

The amulet, heavy in my hand, brought back memories of Saturday nights playing around the garden in the backyard, facing off faeries and ogres. Leonard had always had freckles and brown hair in the memories brought back by the amulet. He didn’t have the golden blonde hair and green eyes that Aaron has. These two images clashed with the solid form of the amulet. If Aaron wasn’t Leonard, then why would he possess the amulet?

‘It’s the machine. Watch.’ Aaron said.

He pressed a button on the orb in his hand. Suddenly, his appearance started to change. His image was pixelating, like when a picture on Facebook is loading. There was a bright light that came, as if, from around him. I covered my eyes. When the light seemed to fade away, I uncovered my eyes to find Leonard standing before me. We were silent for a minute as I took the sight of him in.

I babbled a few incoherent questions, unsure of how to respond in this situation.

‘Just think of it as a holographic projection. The machine can make you think what it wants you to think. It’s a lot of science stuff, but I’m sure you’ve seen enough Doctor Who, which I convinced you to watch, to imagine what is happening. I’m not sure myself on the mechanics of it, since the elders only told me which buttons to push.’

‘But that doesn’t explain how you were only visible to me and no one else. And how we ended up in this cell.’

‘It’s complicated. Lets just say that there are two worlds connected by a big machine, that must be protected at all costs. That’s really as far as I can tell you now. We will have to wait till we see Ada to give you the full scope of what this is.’

‘Who is Ada?’ I asked.

‘She’s my tutor.’

I didn’t want to believe a word he was saying, but the evidence was staring me in the face.

‘But why create such a device?’ I asked.

‘The elders in my world believed that by connecting the worlds, we could end the reign of the darkness that was coming over us. Look, we can sit here all day and discuss this, but it’s useless without Ada here to explain it. We need to think of a way to get out of here.’

‘But that doesn’t explain –,’ I began to say, as the cell doors opened.

Going unnoticed as Aaron and I talked, the lights had gone on in front of the cell. I could see more of the cave wall illuminated by the torches carried by the two people in front of the cell.

One of them was one of the creatures, and the other was…Jake.

Instead of the clean shaven face I was used to, here was a guy I barely knew. His face was painted with cuts and bruises, and his right eye was barely staying open. His clothes were tattered and he held his right arm close to his chest. I wondered if he had been following us from the hill.

‘Hurry. We’ve got to go!’ Jake said.

Aaron had taken a step back.

‘No. There’s no way I’m going with you,’ Aaron said.

I turned a questioning gaze at Aaron.

‘Why shouldn’t we?’

‘Trish, you don’t know him. He is a robot created by Baltazar and his only objective is to take you to his master and torture you.’

‘That can’t be—,’ I started.

‘It’s true Trish,’ Jake said. ‘I was made to befriend you and take you when Baltazar gave the signal.’

‘See, I told you,’ Aaron said with a smirk.

‘But, I’ve changed. When I met Jenny, something clicked for me. It’s not something I can really explain. Aaron here probably knows more about it since he was your imaginary friend.’

I was in shock. I had thought that Jake had somehow gotten through the parallel world, or wherever we were, and came to save us. But as I looked at Jake, as if for the first time, I realised that I didn’t really know him at all. I guess my brain had filled in what it thought was a reasonable story for Jake. But none of this explained the creature next to him.

‘If you are here to help us,’ I asked, while pointing at the creature, ‘then why did you come with that?’

As if he anticipated this precise question, Jake got something out of his pocket. It looked like a remote control.

‘I found this in the laboratory down the hall, after I went against the other mutants. It’s still in the prototype phase, but it works pretty well. It’s a Hypno Ray. Look.’

Jake pointed the device at the creature, or mutant as he called it. Jake pressed a button and said, ‘turn to your left.’ The mutant actually moved to the left.

‘Now, do the Macarena.’

True to the gadgets’ scientific properties, the mutant actually started dancing! I started to walk towards the opening when Aaron grabbed my wrist.

‘Stop. This might be a trap. Jake was made to do one thing only. And that was to gain your trust to bring you to Baltazar so he can have you destroyed.’

I was starting to get tired of their bickering.

‘Explain to me this. Why does Baltazar even want to destroy me? What have I ever done to deserve this?’

Aaron’s grip on my wrist loosened and I could see in the periphery of my vision that he was biting his lip. Obviously, this was something I wasn’t supposed to know about.

‘Well, uh…it’s complicated–,’ he began.

‘Come off it Rodgers. She has a right to know. Look, if you don’t believe that I’m on your side, look at this.’

Jake turned around and grabbed the hem of his shirt. The shirt was then pulled up and on the bottom of Jake’s spine was a hatch door for what could have been a battery. The hatch door was the same colour of Jake’s skin. Inside was a bunch of muscles and a few wires, which didn’t seem to be in any coherent order. They were a jumbled up mess, save for the few wires that looked to have different coloured wiring strung together.

‘See? I’ve rerouted the instructions to my system. I am my own man now.’

Not having been too familiar with standard robotics, I was still equally confused. Aaron, however, seemed to find this an acceptable response. After a moment’s silence, he walked outside of the cell doors.

Following suit, I got out of that cell.

Aaron was busy studying the door on Jake’s spine.

‘But how? I mean…’

‘I guess what Baltazar never counted on was his pets getting real human feelings.’

I continued to stare at the two of them.

‘So Trisha, you were asking about why you were important to Baltazar.’

‘Jake, don’t,’ Aaron said.

‘She should know why they want –,’

Before he could continue, there was a long piercing shriek. It was inhuman in nature and seemed to make Aaron and Jake tense up. The mutant started getting more animated next to me.

‘Shit!’ Aaron exclaimed.

‘Trisha, we need to go. Now!’ Jake barked.

The noise had come from the tunnel to our left, so Jake turned to go out the right one, Aaron following suit.

I turned to follow them, but the mutant grabbed my arm; its claws digging into my flesh. Jerking my arm back and forth, I tried yanking myself away from the mutant, to no avail.

‘Trish!’ Jake yelled. He tossed something small into the air. I extended my other arm out and caught the object. It was the Hypno Ray.

‘How do I use it?’

‘Push the green button and tell the mutant what to do.’

I pushed the button and told the mutant to let go of my arm. It didn’t budge.

‘It’s not working!’

‘Keep doing it. Baltazar’s voice is getting through his circuitry. The Hypno Ray will need extra power to work because of the pull of Baltazar’s voice.’

I kept my finger on the button and repeated what I wanted it to do. After a few minutes, the resolve on his face was breaking. Its hands started to lose their slack on my arm. Eventually I broke free of the mutant.

‘Go to sleep,’ I told it. Lucky for me, it followed my command.

As I followed Aaron and Jake, I began to feel a chill creep onto me. I hadn’t expected to enter chilly weather when I woke up that morning. The corridor we were running through was dark, save for the torch on the wall every five feet. I could still hear the noise from behind us, but it got fainter as we got further in the cave.

After a good ten feet, Jake yelled back at us.

‘Found it!’

I was so focused on getting farther from the cell, I hadn’t realised that they had stopped, causing me to bump into Aaron.

‘Oomf! Sorry! What did you find?’

From the faint glow of the torch a few inches next to him, I could see Jake’s hand go towards a chord in the wall.

‘This.’ A hatch opened up in the ceiling, revealing some light.

‘How did you know that was going to be there?’ Aaron asked. With the light above, Aaron’s expression was visible. He clearly didn’t believe this stroke of luck that led us to safety.

‘I stole one of the cave plans from Baltazar’s desk before I came to rescue you.’

‘You made it into his chamber without detection?’ Aaron asked.

‘Well he hadn’t figured out I went rogue till just now, when he discovered the bodies. The room’s security system okayed me entry because of my DNA.’

In the distance I heard barking, growing nearer and nearer.

‘Guys! Let’s figure this out after we get above ground!’ I yelled.

Untitled story part deux

So the last post I had part of my story that I started. I have since gotten a little further in it and have realized that yes, it is a supernatural story. It involves witches and magic. I wanted to post it here so you all can see my progress. It’s actually going good and I’m super excited for the story to turn out the way I want it to. It has no title as of right now.

****

The world is a scary and dangerous place. When you aren’t paying attention, the world will swallow you whole like a black hole. When I learned that my parents had passed away, I was sitting in a café, eating cake and enjoying my second date with this guy named Tristan. I was just getting into the story of how my cat had swallowed an entire bag of pills, when my Aunt Kristy walks through the door of the café. She looked disheveled, which was very uncharacteristic of her, since she always seemed to be put together. The look on her tiny pixie like face was one of worry. Her green eyes seemed to water when she spotted me across the room.

There had been a fire in the house and my parents weren’t able to get out in time. I knew then that my life would always be one crazy whirlwind after another. The only good thing was that my little brother of four years old, Tyler, was next door at his friend’s house when the fire happened. In the blink of an eye, we had become orphans. That left us in the care of Aunt Kristy, the successful writer of two bestselling novels and now the parental unit of a four year old and a 17 year old.

People were always treating me like I needed help, when I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself. They always say, “Poor Tricia. She needs all the help she can get with her parents being gone. I know, let’s make a casserole!” People are always making casseroles. As if that will make my parents come back from the dead.

It’s not that I’m ungrateful for their help; it’s just that you need some time alone now and then. Tyler thinks that Mom and Dad are just on some holiday to Heaven. I’m jealous that when he looks back on this time in his life he won’t remember much of what went down.

It was the second week of staying with Aunt Kristy when we started off at the new school. We used to live in San Francisco, but Aunt Kristy lives in San Rafael. It was the end of October, so we had to start in the middle of the school year. I had been going to the same school with most of my classmates for my whole life. It felt odd to suddenly be taken away from everyone I knew and loved. I even tried convincing my aunt to move to the City. But she wouldn’t hear a word of it.

The first day was uneventful, in the grand scheme of things. Went to class, had lunch, and went home. Other than a few teachers making me go up in front of the class to introduce myself, I didn’t really talk the whole day. It was the second day that started the whole thing.

I was walking to my first class of the day when I bumped into someone. I mumbled a small apology, hoping to get as little human interaction today as possible. I’m about to walk away when a hand grabs my forearm.

I turned to look at the person and noticed that he is staring at me with some crazy purple eyes. The guy’s eyes were a dark shade of purple and what was even more surprising was his white blonde hair. He was wearing a blue button up shirt with khakis. Most importantly, however, was his attitude. I could tell that he was upset by what happened and that he somehow took offense to the tiny apology I gave.

I was terrified. Not just by the fact that his hand was still holding me to the spot, but there was something sinister in his eyes. The moment seemed to drag on. I was about to say something, when he just shakes his head and releases me. And then he walks away.

Chapter 2

I’m still shocked as to what happened. I try to focus the entire day, but I couldn’t help feeling that there was something sinister about him. The day seems to be going on longer than usual. Finally, when fifth period comes around, I see him again. He’s in the corner of the classroom, fiddling with his pencil. I don’t see any open seats besides the one next to him, so I cautiously take a seat. I can feel the tension as I wait for the teacher to begin. The teacher, Mr. Jakobs, is getting some kind of slideshow ready for the class period.

Out of the corner of my eye I can see that he is just as transfixed as I am. And yet, I can tell that he is kicking himself for not saying something. The class seems to drag on. The teacher’s lesson just white noise in the background. The clock above the white board seems to halt. Suddenly I’m aware of the itch on my nose, the way my lips are so dry they’re cracked and the uncontrollable urge to fart.

The bell rings with a sudden trill. I quickly put my stuff back in my bed and head out the door. I’m a bit disturbed by what happened, so I leave campus early, skipping out on my last two periods. It’s a sunny day, which is quite unusual for someone who came from the City. I ended up cutting my jeans into shorts this morning to be a little more comfortable and wearing my black spanks underneath.

The city feels so dull and empty. I head to the trail behind the school, so I can be alone. The school is situated next to a big hill that easily could have around twenty different hiking trails. I travel as far as the nearest trail will take me, which means that I can see the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, part of the Bay, and a whole bunch of sloping hills that hold tiny suburban homes. I feel the need to yell and so I scream at the top of my lungs. Complete nonsense, I know, but the feeling in my stomach starts to fade from anxiety to a small, rhythmic swaying.

As I’m looking around at the small clearing I’m at, I notice a silver box beneath a bush. I pick it up and examine it. It’s rusty and I can sort of make out Big Bird’s face on the front. Upon opening, I can see a bunch of folded pieces of paper. There’s also a toy soldier in it as well, which looks like it’s been chewed on through the years. I open the first piece of paper. It’s a letter.

Dear Luke,

I’m sorry I cannot explain what is going on. I can’t write to you anymore. I hope you understand that. There is just so much happening right now that I shall not risk putting you in more danger. Know that you are always in my thoughts. These past few months that I’ve been in contact with you have brought me hope for our family. Your father would have been proud. But please, keep your head down and don’t contact me again. I’m only worried about your safety.

Love always,

Mom

The letter was dated two weeks ago. The second letter looked to be from three weeks ago. I wonder who this Luke is and why his mom wants to keep him out of danger.

Dear Luke,

I’m glad school is working out for you. Remember when you used to beg me to let you stay with me at work? You were only seven and you would attach yourself to my leg and not let go. Your dad had to pry you off with the promise of ice cream after school. Boy, did you love ice cream. I’ve missed being able to watch you grow up. These past few years have not been good for our family. Remember your friend Tricia? Oh man, you guys were inseparable. It’s a shame what happened to her. You should contact her. I think she might know something. Sorry honey, but I’ve got to cut this letter short. Thinking of you. Love always, Mom.

That was kind of confusing. I wonder who this Tricia is, the one with my name. I’m about to pick up the next letter when I hear a rustling sound nearby. I shut the box, put it back where I found it, and run. I’m halfway down the hill when I hear this voice.

“Hey! Wait up!”

I keep running. I pass by this trail that veers to the left. I am about to go the other way, since the trail is cast in shadows, when I hear the voice again. I run down the trail and hope to God that there is a way out. The guy is pretty fast, I have to admit. I can hear him on the trail behind me. I get scared by a rabbit jumping out of the bushes, almost knocking into me in its rush to get to the other side of the trail. I see some light ahead, but as I near it, I realize that it’s on the other side of the trees. The pathway ends in a cul-de-sac.

I can a shadow in the distance. I do the one thing I can think of. I hide behind a tree.

I hear his footsteps slow to a standing position. I can hear his breathing coming in shallow beats. He’s just as winded as I feel.

“I know you’re there. I just wanted you to know that I know about your parents. I’m sorry that had to happen to you. It’s my entire fault. I know you can’t remember me, but I was your best friend. I still am. Tricia, I didn’t want this to happen to us. I’m going to leave, but I hope you know that I would never intentionally hurt you.”

With that, he walks away, leaving me confused. I’m unsure of what to think.

 

*This is a little later in the story. Probably near the middle.

Its lunch time and I’m in the library, working on Mr. Fredrick’s essay on why history matters. I’ve gotten through most of the essay, when I see a familiar patch of black hair in one of the stacks in front of me. I don’t see much movement, except for him treading his fingers through his hair every now and then. I find it strange to see him in the library. He’s never seemed the bookish type and I’m pretty sure he skips class almost every day.

I go back to my work, only to be interrupted by the owner of that black hair. He sits down in the seat in front of me, tapping his fingers on the table. I ignore him. The essay is due in two periods and I have yet to come up with my conclusion. And I’m sure Mr. Fredrick will get pissed if I have to ask for an extension. He’ll probably put me in front of the class as an example of what a bad student looks like. It’s not my fault weird things always happen to me whenever I even begin to start homework. I’m cursed.

“Eh-hem.”

I ignore him again and continue on to my essay. His finger tapping gets louder.

“Are you just going to sit there and ignore me?”

“Yes I am. Since most of my grade relies on this silly essay and Mr. Fredrick will probably fail me the second I try to give another excuse.”

“I don’t think you have to worry about him anymore,” I hear him mutter under his breath.

“Why not?”

“Oh I didn’t say anything.”

“Yes you did. Anyways, I don’t have time to listen to you. I have this essay to finish.”

The bell rings. I save my essay, but worry that the small two sentence conclusion I have is alright. It will have to do.

As I go to pick up my backpack off the ground, Luke reaches over to grab my forearm. I want to slap his hand away, but at the same time I’m comforted by his touch.

“Don’t worry about it. You will be fine. Good luck. See you later.”

With that he walks away.

 

Fifth period goes by and then it’s time for sixth period. On the walk to class, I notice the girl sitting next to me in the class. I walk up to her.

“Stacey right?” She nods. “Did you finish the essay for Mr. Fredrick?”

“For who? What essay? I did not know there was an essay due today.”

“The one Mr. Fredrick was going on about yesterday. You even asked to see him after school.”

“I know you’re new here, but there is no Mr. Fredrick here. But we are going to be late. Ms. Balboa won’t like it if we are late.”

She walks towards class, leaving me stunned at what she said. I know I’m not crazy. Mr. Fredrick was really adamant about turning the essay in on time. I walk towards class and somehow make it to my seat right before the late bell rings.

The person who walks through the door is definitely not Mr. Fredrick. The woman who walks through the door is maybe in her late forties, with the demeanor of someone who doesn’t take any nonsense. Her hair is graying and there is a slightly off putting mole on the side of her face. I want to ask where Mr. Fredrick is, but judging by the tone of Stacey’s voice earlier, I think I’d be instantly put into an insane asylum.

I look around the classroom and realize that no one seems to be surprised that there is a new teacher. They all look bored. I turn to the girl behind me and ask her where Mr. Fredrick was.

The girl looks at me weird.

“Who? You must be thinking of someone else from your old school. There is no one by that name.”

I know that sometimes I am a bit forgetful, but I know that I could not have made up the way Mr. Fredrick would call on me every day just to make an example out of me.

The teacher, Ms. Balboa, goes on with the lesson, as if she’s always been here. And maybe she has and my grief riddled mind is just playing tricks on me. But somewhere deep within my soul I know that something is definitely wrong. For one thing, the teacher never once picks on me and when she’s addressing the class, her eyes seem to pass me over. By the end of the period, I’m a little on edge.

The bell rings, signaling the end of the school day. I wait for everyone to shuffle out of the room. When Stacey finally stops talking to Ms. Balboa, I walk to the front of the class. I am going to figure out what is happening if it’s the last thing I do.

Ms. Balboa is shuffling papers around, leaning over her desk. Maybe I am wrong. But there is something in the way she is leaning over her desk that makes the back of my hair stand on end.

“Excuse me, Ms. Balboa. I was just wondering when Mr. Fredrick is coming back.”

“Who is Mr. Fredrick? I’ve never heard of such a man. Now, I don’t have time to chat. I’m going to be late for a faculty meeting.”

With that she leaves the room. I can swear that her eyes turned green right before she turned away from me. I don’t mean just the pupil, but the entire eye.

 

Obviously I’m not going to find answers to my questions from anyone in school. Maybe Aunt Kristy was right. Maybe I need to see a counselor about this. I mean its one thing to think you’ve had a teacher who doesn’t exist, but eyes that turn green? That’s just bonkers. I head towards the front of the school, hoping to catch the bus before it leaves without me.

When I get outside, however, I can see that the bus has already left. I guess I’m going to walk again. I start down the road and see the orange cat from across the street. It’s hanging by the side of the school, playing with something. I go over to it. The thing it is chasing is a necklace. It’s a silver heart with a dagger through the middle. It’s kind of a warped looking Cupid’s arrow. The cat pushes its head out towards my hand, waiting for me to pet it. As I go to pet it, I notice that it had gotten the necklace inside its mouth. I rub its mouth and it releases the necklace into my hand.

It’s really pretty and whoever owned this must be missing it. Looking at it, I have this strange feeling like I’ve seen this before. I’m shaken out of my thoughts when I hear a rustling nearby. I ignore it at first, thinking it’s just a rat or something small. But the cat hisses at the sound and runs away. I put the necklace in my pocket and stoop to tie my shoes. The rustling continues.

This time, I hear a scratching sound, as if someone was scratching a boulder. I am getting the feeling it’s getting closer to me. I take the nearest trail up the hill, hoping to get rid of whatever is following me. If anything, it is getting closer.

I pick up the pace, hoping my legs don’t give out from exhaustion. The rustling is getting louder and somewhere behind me I hear a voice call my name, almost like a hiss. My bag is digging into my side, so I ditch the bag on the side of the trail. As I continue up the hill, I hear a sound coming towards me. They’re probably trying to corner me, whoever they are.

I pause for a second as I notice a fallen branch on the side of the trail. I pick it up and luckily I can hold on to it without much effort. The person in front of me is getting closer. I continue walking, holding the branch in my hand, ready to strike if provoked. I see a shadow walking towards me, its face covered by the branches of the trees. I hear my name from behind me, in that same slithery voice and I act fast. I swing the branch into the figure in front of me. Wham!

“Ow shit! Tricia, why are you hitting me?! That fucking hurt!”

I know that voice. As I move back so he can move into the light, I see that familiar head of black hair.

“Why are you following me?” I ask.

“Following you? Why would I… ow.” He doubles over in pain. I kind of feel bad for him. Well, if he wasn’t following me, that is.

“You’re saying you weren’t following me? Then why are you here?”

“Does everything have to revolve around you? I was living here way before you came here. If anyone is following anyone, it is you.”

“Yeah well, you’ve been kind of creepy since I met you. So you never know.”

“I’m creepy? I’m just trying to understand you. Anyways, what are you running from?”

As I’m about to respond, I hear the rustle and scraping sounds from behind me. The “Tricia” being more drawn out. I look at Luke, hoping that he’s as confused as I am. However, his facial expression seems like he knows exactly what is coming for us. And it’s not good.

Luke grabs my arm and pulls me behind him. The footsteps seem to be coming closer. Than they seem to stop in front of us. I take a look at what is there from behind Luke’s body, when my heart seems to stop. In front of me is a warped looking version of Ms. Balboa. Her skin is now the color of blood and her feet and hands are shaped into talons. The worst part of her appearance was her eyes. They looked like they could kill me at any moment.

****

So basically Luke knows something and Tricia is very clueless as to what it all means. I wrote part of it just as a backbone for the story, since I know I have to go and edit the wording. But I wanted the main parts of the action to be there so I can go in later and edit.

I hope you guys liked the story. I will be going home for the holidays!!! I’m super excited!!!!

On blogging and stuff…

The hardest part of starting off a new blog is how to start. I think that once that is done and over with, the real writing begins. The main purpose of this blog is to show readers what I can do. I am enthusiastic about writing and want that as my writing career. Sometimes I find myself being better at writing than I am at doing anything else. I’m not saying that I’m amazing at it or anything, I am just saying that it is a fun activity where I can express myself in a way that exemplifies the way I want myself to be portrayed.

I started off this blog wanting to review books. The sole purpose of this blog was to give my opinion on books I have read. Although I have indeed lived up to that promise, this blog has taken on a life of its own. I now go towards this blog whenever I have some inspiration on writing ideas and need the world to see it. Later on I will do a writing exercise to get the juices flowing. Then you guys can maybe see my process.

I wanted to comment on something someone said about my last blog. They said that they didn’t realize how terrible of an experience I had on the trip. I wanted to clear that up here. I had an amazing experience. Those incidents where things did not go my way, or made me sad, were not the highlight. I enjoyed getting to know my Macanese heritage and having fun with most everyone on the trip. I did not let those lousy experiences ruin my whole trip. Well…. except for the fact that I did choose to go back home early, but that is another matter.

Most of the time, I do tend to dwell on the negative… when I’m inside the comforts of my own room. But when I’m out with friends or anywhere else, I tend to think more positively. Take it from a girl who has had friends ditch her all her life. You learn to move on and deal with it. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to complain about it. Trust me, I did complain about what happened quite a bit afterword. I don’t want anyone to feel sad for me or pity. I’m moving on with my life. And I’m finding new things about myself every day.

Since I have moved on from that sad topic, I want to bring up a great point.

Why is blogging so important to me????

The other day I was talking about how I was going to blog about my trip every day, to some kid on the trip. He was like “blogging is for grandmas.” I beg to differ. This is coming from someone who just finished up an internship dedicated to blogging. (go to http://www.superinterns.com to see what I mean. And maybe get an internship yourself!) Blogs help gain readability between the company and its audiences. I’m sure you’ve read several articles on Buzz Net or whatever site you read articles on. The more blog posts you have, the more readers you’ll get.

By blogging not only about literature, movies, and my life, I have a better chance of gaining access into the world of writing and hopefully, one day, publishing. As a writer, I want people to notice my work and gain something from it. I love it when someone comes up to me saying they read my blog. Maybe blogs are becoming less popular, but to me, it is a very important thing to have. It not only teaches you about writing, it also teaches you about gaining viewers and how to properly publish an article.

Onto the writing bit!

I really want to work on my novel now that I don’t have a job. If you don’t know which novel I’m working on, look up “Origins” in my archive and read that. Here is the prompt:

Write a scene in which an object carries emotional weight for the character, causing them to change some of the conflict, or moves them in some way. 

I’m running. I don’t know where I’m going, all I know is that I have to get away. From him. From this place. It was a mistake to think I could ever love someone. I didn’t want his charity. I feel a drop of water on my shoulder. The cold air is frigid against my skin as I run through houses in the dead of night. Another drop of rain. Soon, it is pouring. Nick’s voice calls out from the dark, my name a raven’s caw in the night. My hands grip the jacket tied around my waist. As I bring the jacket up to me, I smell his cologne.

I’m caught so off guard that I trip on the sleeves of the jacket. I fall head first into the street in front of me. The last thing I see before I close my eyes is bright lights.

***

I know it’s really short, but it is all I can come up with. I wanted to start off with her running, so that we can have some action. I know that I want her to find out that Nick is only with her out of sympathy. But it isn’t the case. She misinterprets in some way and he has to go and fix that. Maybe it sounds too cliche, but it’s a start. I know once I continue filling in the gaps to the story, it will be a more cohesive piece.

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Writing Exercise part 4

Okay, so I haven’t posted an update on my story yet. However, I would like to take this chance to maybe start some conversation between me and whoever reads this blog. I have been really anxious about not making it in life. What if I don’t get my dream job? What if I don’t gain any skills outside of working a concession stand in a theater? Truth be told, I really don’t have any idea what it’s like to have an office job. But lets be honest. I’m only 22 years old. I have my whole life ahead of me. And whether or not that is spent working at a theater, or working in a really cool publishing company, that is entirely up to me. I have to get my life in order. I watch a lot of How I Met Your Mother… rather excessively. And one thing I love about the show is how they are really close and it feels like they have more independence than I do. Which is correct since I still live with my mom. Which brings me to my next topic: suburban or urban.

I’ve always held a high respect for Pacifica. It’s such a small town, but it’s very beautiful. It’s really a beautiful place to live. However, you can’t do much outside of go to the beach over here. In college I lived on campus, which was located in SF. I was always near the Muni station, so transportation anywhere in SF was great. Living in Pacifica, however, you find yourself isolated. You either have friends who can be your designated driver, or you don’t drink at all. Most of these days I only get the opportunity to drink with people who are obviously older than me and have more experience than me. I come from a very sheltered family. During high school, I didn’t go out much outside of club events and family outings. I never got that rebellious phase. I never drank in high school, mainly because the friends that I did have weren’t big on going to parties. Or even inviting me to them. So when college came around, I was in for a little bit of a shock. I never really got the chance to train myself how to hold down even a cup of wine. I hate the taste of wine or champagne, but if I have it, I start feeling the effects faster than most people. So living in an urban setting would be ideal for the fact that I could go out drinking and not have to worry so much about having a designated driver. And yet living in the suburbs is fun because you don’t really get to hear all that noise.

****

We’re moving. Daniel is holding me by my wrists, towards some unseen-able destination. I’m afraid to move in his grasp. What if he’s a serial killer and wants to throw me down the hill? I stay still as he drags me across the concrete. After a few minutes, we stop. Daniel moves in front of me, his breathe blowing through my hair. My eyes are trying to search for any type of light that it can get in the little cracks in the handkerchief. Daniel is standing so close to me that I feel his chest move as he speaks.

“Do you trust me?” he asks.

I am floored. What am I supposed to say? I’ve known him for a month now, and I can honestly say that I’m kind of confused at the moment. Part of me wants to trust him, but what if he just breaks my heart? What if this is some ploy to get in my pants? Instead of saying what I wanted to say, which was an honest, “I don’t know,” I said the one thing that was probably the dumbest thing I said as of yet.

“Yes.”

I feel Daniel’s hands go around me in a hug. His lips meet the side of my cheek. In a few seconds, he moves away from me. He pulls me forward a little bit. He takes the handkerchief off. My eyes adjust for a second, taking in the light. I blink and then all of a sudden I hear, “SURPRISE!!” A crowd of my friends are standing around the community hall.

****

Okay, so that was nothing really, but I think what I want to do is plant the seed that Daniel seems normal, but really, he is crazy. But that crazy will somehow change near the end. Anyways, I should get going. Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment on anything I have written, and if you just want to say hey, that’s fine too.

~ Jillian