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#1 Samanthier

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:10 PM

Chapter 1: The Escape

My name is Nicoletta Hayden, and I am seventeen years old; at least, I am for the next seven hours. Today is my birthday, not that it matters much to me. From what I have read in books, my eighteenth birthday is supposed to be some big deal. I’m supposed to hang out with all my friends and do crazy, stupid things. I am supposed to go to a club or something. Yet, instead I am stuck here, in the place between the Elysian Fields and Tartarus. Don’t get me wrong, I do like it here. I mean, I have friends in the Elysian Fields who will never die, so I never have to worry about losing them. And I get to hang out in the Elysian Fields whenever I want. There are also so many books in my house, and they go back hundreds of years. It’s just that I have heard so much about the world of the living from people in Tartarus and the Elysian Fields alike, and there are so many things that they talk about that I wish I could see for myself, that I wish I could experience myself.

For example, pizza seems to be a very interesting food. Everyone seems to really like it. And apparently you can have all sorts of toppings like pineapple or mushrooms. You can even get it with small, salty fish. Though, I don’t really understand why anyone would want to have pineapple and fish together. Anyway, I’d still really like to try it. All I ever seem to have here is pasta and sometimes we have steak or something. My mom isn’t a very good cook. At least, that is, she doesn’t know how to cook very many things. And there are just so many things that I’d like to try.

Which is why for my eighteenth birthday, I plan on asking my mother and father if I can go up to the world of the living. I mean, it isn’t like I’m dead. Both my parents are; my father is the death deity of the Underworld for the island we live on as well as areas within about a twenty mile radius. My mother was alive when they first met, and when she got pregnant with me. But, after she had me, she died so she could stay young with my father in the Underworld.

There story is a romantic one, but it is not a sickly sweet one or anything, but kind of dark, as only the best love stories are; like Romeo and Juliet. Though, I do think that Romeo and Juliet killing themselves was a bit of an overreaction.
Anyway, I’m a little nervous about asking. I asked once before when I was sixteen and they just got really quiet and after ten minutes my dad finally said no, and not to ask again. But, I so want to go up there. I mean, there hasn’t been an incident with the Furies in over fifteen years. I’m sure they’ve given up and moved on to some other death deity by now.

I hear them coming up the stairs now, I’m not going to ask until after dinner. When they ask what it is I want for my birthday. This is something that has become a habit since the Christmas fiasco that occurred about three years ago when my father got me a Barbie. I was relatively horrified that he still saw me as so young to play with dolls. Now, they ask what I want; which certainly ruins the surprise but, in general, has been an improvement as I now get gifts that I actually want.

What I want more than anything is to be free of this place. I talked to my only friend in Tartarus the other day about the living world. I like how she describes it. She doesn’t describe it like my parents, as a twisted and dangerous place, or like my friends in the Elysian Fields, as a place of amazing beauty. Bailey is very neutral in her view of the world, so she describes the good and the bad.

Bailey is a close friend of mine, though I really wish that meant I could help her. She was sent to Tartarus. It makes sense in a black-and-white sense, but if you look at all the details and take in other things besides the bare facts, she doesn’t belong there.

The bare facts are these: she killed a man and she meant to do it. The circumstances: he was her little sister’s high school teacher and he got her sister pregnant. Her little sister was so happy; she had thought he would be overwhelmed with joy as well. However, his being married and her not yet being of legal age made him less that joyful. So he dismissed her, threw her to the side and treated her like dirt. Her little sister was so heartbroken, she killed herself. That is why Bailey killed him. The courts of the living world found her innocent, but I guess Rhadymanthus and his brother didn’t see it the same way.

She is so different from the others in Tartarus, it almost seems cruel. There is a line between Tartarus and the Elysian Fields and it seems that the slightest of things could tip the scale either way, there is no neutral, and there is no middle ground. You are either innocent or guilty.

Anyway, her stories have given my pursuit fire. She has re-inspired me to try asking again.

They’re here. They’re sitting at the dinner table. Father is grumbling about some trouble that was caused when a couple died together, but were then separated. She went to the Elysian Fields, he did not. After dinner was over, which was quite an odd ritual since I am the only one that actually eats; I started mustering up the courage to ask.

I opened my mouth to speak. Silence. Well, that is not going to do me any good. I try again, this time a small sound escapes my lips.

Again, “Father? Mother? Before you ask what I want for my birthday, I wanted to remind you that you say that I can have whatever it is I ask for.”

Father shifted uncomfortably. He could tell that I was going to ask for something he wasn’t going to like. I could see it in his eyes, he probably thinks I’m going to ask for Bailey to be moved to the Elysian Fields, but I know that is impossible, partially because she doesn’t want that. She feels that it is her punishment for the crime, the punishment she didn’t get in the world of the living. However, I also know that he can’t do that. He is in charge of making sure people get to where they are assigned to go, but he is not actually involved in the judging itself.

“What is it?” My father asked cringing slightly.

“I want to go to the world of the living.” I muttered, I said it quietly, but I knew it would still be loud enough for him to hear. From the expression on his face, I could tell he had heard me. He opened his mouth to speak and I knew what was coming.

And yet I was still not expecting is reaction to be so excessive. I mean, you'd think I asked for something totally impossible when he stood up with a start and almost knocked the table over as he did.

"No!" He shouted; his fists clenching and face scrunching to a very angry expression.

"But why?" I asked sounding more like a whiny child than I had hoped, but it was too late to change my tone, the words had escaped my lips.

"Because I said so!" He shouted as he turned and started to stomp away.

"But Dad-"

"And don't ever ask again!" He called out as he disappeared down the stairs. Meanwhile, my mom just sat there at the table staring down at the gold lined place setting in front of her. She reached out a hand and touched the gold lining with her teeth clenched, as if she was trying her hardest to distance herself from what was happening. I looked at her. I tried to catch her eye, but she didn't look up.

So, I did what any frustrated teenager would do, I stormed out of the dining room and into my room. I slammed the door shut and locked it, put my hands over my ears and screamed as loud as I could. It was a long, blood-curdling scream so full of frustration and anger that it was a wonder that the mirrors in my room didn't crack. I collapsed onto the floor, as I heard one of the men father assigned to be my bodyguard running down the hall to my room. I heard him slamming into the door. I heard him asking if I was alright, but his voice faded into the distance as I stared at the bottom of my dresser and the carpet's edge.

He managed to break down the door. He picked me up and checked to see if I was breathing. When he saw that I was, he put me on my bed and left to tell my father I was alright, or not alright. I don't know for sure what he was going to say, because as soon as he left, I knew what I was going to do.

It hit me like an old forgotten memory reawakened in the strangest way. And as soon as he was gone, I jumped out of bed. I ran to the door and pushed my dresser in front of it. I turned my CD player on as loud as I could, grabbed my bag and threw some clothes and miscellaneous other things inside it. Then, I went to my window and climbed out. There are walls around my house here, but they are easy to climb.

As soon as I was over I was on my way to Tartarus.

It may seem silly, as the easiest way to go into the world of the living is a door in my house, but father keeps the door locked tight. So, I am going to have to go another way.

And the only person who knows how to get there besides my father, who definitely isn't going to tell me, is a very creepy, very evil little girl in Tartarus.

And when I say evil, I mean it in the 'she died at seven and there is no doubt she belonged in Tartarus' kind of way. When she was alive, she killed her parents and her baby brother. She says she did it because she was bored, but if that is true or she was angry at her parents for giving her younger sibling more attention than her, I have no idea, but setting her house on fire and taking a poor, innocent baby and throwing it in the pool, that is just insanity.
I talked to her once and only once when I was visiting Bailey in Tartarus. I asked her why she was there, because I thought perhaps she was visiting her mother or father, which sometimes little children who have died with their parents are allowed to do. And she told me about what she did like she was explaining what she had for breakfast, with no remorse or feelings of any kind. I have never felt so sick to my stomach as when this girl who looks no more harmful than a porcelain doll explained in great detail the horrible crimes she committed. Still, she is the only person who ever left Tartarus as something other than a Fury. No one is really sure how she did it without being stopped or seen, but she did. However, as she is dead, she was only a ghost when she got to the world of the living. She could not touch anything or talk to anyone; she couldn't even leave the hollow ground of the graveyard. So, she grew bored and went back to Tartarus. She seems to like Tartarus, and no one messes with her. In fact, some of the creepiest sinners in Tartarus are in awe of her and give her a wide berth.

She is not an easy person to find in Tartarus, though. If you don't find her in the first few moments of being Tartarus it may be days before you find her. So, I really hope she will be easy to find.

As soon as I get in Tartarus, I see Collette, the little sociopath herself. She is playing with some insects that are scurrying in fear as she surrounds them with fire. I can't help but feel a shutter run down my spine.

I feel my legs shake as I start walking over to her. Other than being just plain creepy, Collette gives off this vibe, or aura, that just makes you feel uneasy. It makes you feel like one of the small little creatures she torments.
But, if I ever wanted to go to the world of the living, my only chance lies with her.

I step forward and tap on her shoulder, "Collette?" She turns to face me her sickly sweet smile spread across her face.

"Yes?" She asked in her high child-like voice.

"I need your help. I'm trying to go to the world of the living. I want to know….how did you get out?" I asked lowering my voice as if I was telling her some secret, even though there was no one around. I heard a small laugh escape her mouth as her eyes turned up at me.

I had no idea what was going to happen next.
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#2 Samanthier

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:11 PM

Chapter 1: The Escape

My name is Nicoletta Hayden, and I am seventeen years old; at least, I am for the next seven hours. Today is my birthday, not that it matters much to me. From what I have read in books, my eighteenth birthday is supposed to be some big deal. I’m supposed to hang out with all my friends and do crazy, stupid things. I am supposed to go to a club or something. Yet, instead I am stuck here, in the place between the Elysian Fields and Tartarus. Don’t get me wrong, I do like it here. I mean, I have friends in the Elysian Fields who will never die, so I never have to worry about losing them. And I get to hang out in the Elysian Fields whenever I want. There are also so many books in my house, and they go back hundreds of years. It’s just that I have heard so much about the world of the living from people in Tartarus and the Elysian Fields alike, and there are so many things that they talk about that I wish I could see for myself, that I wish I could experience myself.

For example, pizza seems to be a very interesting food. Everyone seems to really like it. And apparently you can have all sorts of toppings like pineapple or mushrooms. You can even get it with small, salty fish. Though, I don’t really understand why anyone would want to have pineapple and fish together. Anyway, I’d still really like to try it. All I ever seem to have here is pasta and sometimes we have steak or something. My mom isn’t a very good cook. At least, that is, she doesn’t know how to cook very many things. And there are just so many things that I’d like to try.

Which is why for my eighteenth birthday, I plan on asking my mother and father if I can go up to the world of the living. I mean, it isn’t like I’m dead. Both my parents are; my father is the death deity of the Underworld for the island we live on as well as areas within about a twenty mile radius. My mother was alive when they first met, and when she got pregnant with me. But, after she had me, she died so she could stay young with my father in the Underworld.

There story is a romantic one, but it is not a sickly sweet one or anything, but kind of dark, as only the best love stories are; like Romeo and Juliet. Though, I do think that Romeo and Juliet killing themselves was a bit of an overreaction.
Anyway, I’m a little nervous about asking. I asked once before when I was sixteen and they just got really quiet and after ten minutes my dad finally said no, and not to ask again. But, I so want to go up there. I mean, there hasn’t been an incident with the Furies in over fifteen years. I’m sure they’ve given up and moved on to some other death deity by now.

I hear them coming up the stairs now, I’m not going to ask until after dinner. When they ask what it is I want for my birthday. This is something that has become a habit since the Christmas fiasco that occurred about three years ago when my father got me a Barbie. I was relatively horrified that he still saw me as so young to play with dolls. Now, they ask what I want; which certainly ruins the surprise but, in general, has been an improvement as I now get gifts that I actually want.

What I want more than anything is to be free of this place. I talked to my only friend in Tartarus the other day about the living world. I like how she describes it. She doesn’t describe it like my parents, as a twisted and dangerous place, or like my friends in the Elysian Fields, as a place of amazing beauty. Bailey is very neutral in her view of the world, so she describes the good and the bad.

Bailey is a close friend of mine, though I really wish that meant I could help her. She was sent to Tartarus. It makes sense in a black-and-white sense, but if you look at all the details and take in other things besides the bare facts, she doesn’t belong there.

The bare facts are these: she killed a man and she meant to do it. The circumstances: he was her little sister’s high school teacher and he got her sister pregnant. Her little sister was so happy; she had thought he would be overwhelmed with joy as well. However, his being married and her not yet being of legal age made him less that joyful. So he dismissed her, threw her to the side and treated her like dirt. Her little sister was so heartbroken, she killed herself. That is why Bailey killed him. The courts of the living world found her innocent, but I guess Rhadymanthus and his brother didn’t see it the same way.

She is so different from the others in Tartarus, it almost seems cruel. There is a line between Tartarus and the Elysian Fields and it seems that the slightest of things could tip the scale either way, there is no neutral, and there is no middle ground. You are either innocent or guilty.

Anyway, her stories have given my pursuit fire. She has re-inspired me to try asking again.

They’re here. They’re sitting at the dinner table. Father is grumbling about some trouble that was caused when a couple died together, but were then separated. She went to the Elysian Fields, he did not. After dinner was over, which was quite an odd ritual since I am the only one that actually eats; I started mustering up the courage to ask.

I opened my mouth to speak. Silence. Well, that is not going to do me any good. I try again, this time a small sound escapes my lips.

Again, “Father? Mother? Before you ask what I want for my birthday, I wanted to remind you that you say that I can have whatever it is I ask for.”

Father shifted uncomfortably. He could tell that I was going to ask for something he wasn’t going to like. I could see it in his eyes, he probably thinks I’m going to ask for Bailey to be moved to the Elysian Fields, but I know that is impossible, partially because she doesn’t want that. She feels that it is her punishment for the crime, the punishment she didn’t get in the world of the living. However, I also know that he can’t do that. He is in charge of making sure people get to where they are assigned to go, but he is not actually involved in the judging itself.

“What is it?” My father asked cringing slightly.

“I want to go to the world of the living.” I muttered, I said it quietly, but I knew it would still be loud enough for him to hear. From the expression on his face, I could tell he had heard me. He opened his mouth to speak and I knew what was coming.

And yet I was still not expecting is reaction to be so excessive. I mean, you'd think I asked for something totally impossible when he stood up with a start and almost knocked the table over as he did.

"No!" He shouted; his fists clenching and face scrunching to a very angry expression.

"But why?" I asked sounding more like a whiny child than I had hoped, but it was too late to change my tone, the words had escaped my lips.

"Because I said so!" He shouted as he turned and started to stomp away.

"But Dad-"

"And don't ever ask again!" He called out as he disappeared down the stairs. Meanwhile, my mom just sat there at the table staring down at the gold lined place setting in front of her. She reached out a hand and touched the gold lining with her teeth clenched, as if she was trying her hardest to distance herself from what was happening. I looked at her. I tried to catch her eye, but she didn't look up.

So, I did what any frustrated teenager would do, I stormed out of the dining room and into my room. I slammed the door shut and locked it, put my hands over my ears and screamed as loud as I could. It was a long, blood-curdling scream so full of frustration and anger that it was a wonder that the mirrors in my room didn't crack. I collapsed onto the floor, as I heard one of the men father assigned to be my bodyguard running down the hall to my room. I heard him slamming into the door. I heard him asking if I was alright, but his voice faded into the distance as I stared at the bottom of my dresser and the carpet's edge.

He managed to break down the door. He picked me up and checked to see if I was breathing. When he saw that I was, he put me on my bed and left to tell my father I was alright, or not alright. I don't know for sure what he was going to say, because as soon as he left, I knew what I was going to do.

It hit me like an old forgotten memory reawakened in the strangest way. And as soon as he was gone, I jumped out of bed. I ran to the door and pushed my dresser in front of it. I turned my CD player on as loud as I could, grabbed my bag and threw some clothes and miscellaneous other things inside it. Then, I went to my window and climbed out. There are walls around my house here, but they are easy to climb.

As soon as I was over I was on my way to Tartarus.

It may seem silly, as the easiest way to go into the world of the living is a door in my house, but father keeps the door locked tight. So, I am going to have to go another way.

And the only person who knows how to get there besides my father, who definitely isn't going to tell me, is a very creepy, very evil little girl in Tartarus.

And when I say evil, I mean it in the 'she died at seven and there is no doubt she belonged in Tartarus' kind of way. When she was alive, she killed her parents and her baby brother. She says she did it because she was bored, but if that is true or she was angry at her parents for giving her younger sibling more attention than her, I have no idea, but setting her house on fire and taking a poor, innocent baby and throwing it in the pool, that is just insanity.
I talked to her once and only once when I was visiting Bailey in Tartarus. I asked her why she was there, because I thought perhaps she was visiting her mother or father, which sometimes little children who have died with their parents are allowed to do. And she told me about what she did like she was explaining what she had for breakfast, with no remorse or feelings of any kind. I have never felt so sick to my stomach as when this girl who looks no more harmful than a porcelain doll explained in great detail the horrible crimes she committed. Still, she is the only person who ever left Tartarus as something other than a Fury. No one is really sure how she did it without being stopped or seen, but she did. However, as she is dead, she was only a ghost when she got to the world of the living. She could not touch anything or talk to anyone; she couldn't even leave the hollow ground of the graveyard. So, she grew bored and went back to Tartarus. She seems to like Tartarus, and no one messes with her. In fact, some of the creepiest sinners in Tartarus are in awe of her and give her a wide berth.

She is not an easy person to find in Tartarus, though. If you don't find her in the first few moments of being Tartarus it may be days before you find her. So, I really hope she will be easy to find.

As soon as I get in Tartarus, I see Collette, the little sociopath herself. She is playing with some insects that are scurrying in fear as she surrounds them with fire. I can't help but feel a shutter run down my spine.

I feel my legs shake as I start walking over to her. Other than being just plain creepy, Collette gives off this vibe, or aura, that just makes you feel uneasy. It makes you feel like one of the small little creatures she torments.
But, if I ever wanted to go to the world of the living, my only chance lies with her.

I step forward and tap on her shoulder, "Collette?" She turns to face me her sickly sweet smile spread across her face.

"Yes?" She asked in her high child-like voice.

"I need your help. I'm trying to go to the world of the living. I want to know….how did you get out?" I asked lowering my voice as if I was telling her some secret, even though there was no one around. I heard a small laugh escape her mouth as her eyes turned up at me.

I had no idea what was going to happen next.
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#3 Samanthier

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:17 PM

Chapter 2: The Child

I stepped out of the doorway into the sunlight. Somehow the terror I had felt being dragged behind someone as crazy as Collette, had caused my mind to shut down somewhere along the way.

I looked around thinking back to what had happened only moments before with the child psycho.

Collette had latched on to my right hand and started dragging me off into the darkness that lies in the back corner of Tartarus. It is believed by many that there is some horrible demon living there. But no one who goes there is ever seen again; at least, in one piece.

Which led to a sort of accepted confirmation that there was something lurking back there, in the shadows. Something that choose to remain unseen.

At that point, I was relatively certain I was going to die. So, with that feeling in mind I suddenly had a new found courage, or at least a feeling that if I was going to die I had nothing to lose and I decided I would ask Collette how she died.

“Collette, you’re relatively young...so, how did...um, you die?” I asked.

She had laughed and as she looked up at me from the corner of her eye, “Well, I suppose, it was either from burns or gas inhalation. Or it could have been the building collapsing on top of me.”

“You mean, in the fire that...you know, killed your parents?” I asked lowering my voice, suddenly afraid of her answer.

“No. I was outside for that fire.”

“Right, when you threw...so what fire was it, then?”

“The one I set in the orphanage I was sent to. It was a horribly boring place. All those kids crying over their parents’ deaths, it was so lame. So, I set in on fire. But, I wanted to watch this time. I didn’t get to with my parents, and the fire was so beautiful.” She said looking over her shoulder as a noise echoed through the air.

“What was that?” I asked startled, but also hoping for a change of subject. She didn’t reply. She just kept walking in a steady pace down an unidentifiable pathway.

“Oh, probably just Fluffy.” She sighed as she continued dragging me further into the darkness.

“Who...who is Fluffy?” I stuttered, my eyes widening in a new level of fear.

“Oh, he is nothing to worry about. He is just a giant three headed dog that guards the exit that we’re headed towards.” My heart was racing in terror as her words fully sank in. We were headed into a pitch black area of Tartarus where a giant monster was guarding the way. There was no longer any doubt that I was going to die.

Suddenly, I wanted to go back home and never leave my room again. I wanted to take back ever asking if I could leave home, and go back to being the obedient daughter, but it was too late to turn back. I had chosen my fate and was about to meet it. Collette stopped and turned away smiling as ‘Fluffy’ made his way towards us.

Just as the thundering steps of the giant monster grew closer and closer, I felt a small hand shove me forward, and suddenly the darkness was gone.

I held my hand up to shield my eyes from the sun. It was so bright, brighter than I had ever expected. I looked around the cemetery, there were beautiful flowers on the graves and the sun shone down and hit the glass of the church about fifty feet from where I was standing.

I couldn't move from where I stood. I was still in too much shock. I had never expected to get this far; especially, when Collette was dragging me towards a suspicious fate.

I mustered what was left of my strength and courage, and took a step forward, then another and another. Until, I was standing on the sidewalk. I pulled out the paper that was in my pocket, it contained an address, my grandmother's address. At least, it was the last address I could find for her in my mother's things. I looked around wondering how I was going to find her house. A girl about my age was walking by me. She was wearing a black dress and red high heels. She had black hair with red streaks and thick eyeliner.

"Excuse me." I said as she walked by. I don't know if she was ignoring me or she just couldn't hear me, because she didn't stop. I started walking after her. Every time I thought I was catching up she would start walking faster; until, she stopped abruptly and turned around, with a very scary look on her face.

"Why the heck are you following me?" She snarled under her breath. She was glaring relatively intensely at me; I was starting to wonder if I should run away or not.

"I...I was hoping you could help me find this address," I started holding out the piece of paper as I attempted not to make eye contact before continuing, "I...I don't know anyone else I can ask."

"Try asking someone who cares." She rolled her eyes and turned around.

"Wait!" I shouted. She didn't turn, but she didn't walk. So, I took that as an opportunity to continue. I ran in front of her and held out the address again.

"Please." I begged clear desperation ringing through my voice. She paused and looked me over before looking over the address.

"Why were you in the cemetery?" She asked looking at me skeptically.

"I...well...I got lost." I said looking away, shifting uncomfortably.
"You are a horrible liar."

I sighed before continuing, "Fine. You're totally going to think I’m insane, but here is how it happened. My dad is a demi-god of death. My mother and he got involved; it was very dramatic and they had me. You know, the birds and the bees and what not. I was trapped at home; they wouldn't let me go anywhere. I wanted to leave and ran away. I asked for help and was led here. I don't know why I was led here exactly, but..."I trailed off as she looked at me with a glazed over expression.

I was waiting for laughter, confusion or even terror, but instead she just said, "So, you're running away from home. That is kind of cool. I want to run, but have no money so I’m stuck, trapped in this nightmare called suburbia."
"Um...yeah," I started wondering if her mind had filtered out what I had said about my dad being a demi-god, "that is why I need to go to this address. I think my grandmother still lives there. And I'm hoping she will give me some money. So, I can get away from this island."

"Makes sense. Where do you want to go?" She asked.

"Anywhere but here...I don't really know anything about-"

"Anything?" She interrupted.

"Well, I wasn’t going to say that, but yeah...so, want to come with me? I mean, I'm going to need someone who knows how to like...talk to people and what is going on in the world and find things, like a place to stay when we get...where ever it is we are going."

She smiled and threw out her right hand, "Deal." I looked at her hand skeptically before reaching out my hand as well. She grabbed my hand and shook it vigorously.

"Yeah, so...where do we go?" I asked looking down along the street taking notice of a couple arguing at the other end of the block.

"How about Chicago?" She suggested with an excitement that almost seemed unfamiliar to her.

"No, I meant to the address." I said pointing to the paper.

"Oh, this way." She replied signalling that we were to head down the path she had been heading. This was not going to be an easy friendship.
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#4 Samanthier

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:19 PM

Chapter 3: The Answer

I followed her for a long while in silence. I wasn’t sure what to say. I understood that small talk was customary, but I couldn’t think of pleasantries that I wanted to express. Mostly, I just wanted to ask questions. My father had not brought books back in quite a while, and as his fancy was more for the classics. I wanted to know about the world, what was happening. I wanted to know about it from someone who was currently living in it, not someone who had left it.

No one in the Elysian Fields really wants to talk about the world they left behind. They will answer questions, but with as few words as possible. And those in Tartarus just want to complain about it.

Even my mother started to reply with brief answers a few years ago. It is like the longer you spend in the afterlife the more details are forgotten. Or perhaps, she just didn’t want to entertain my fancies about journeying there.

And though I have been presented with the perfect opportunity to ask questions, I am silent. The same thing that had happened when I wanted to confront my father.

Though, this time I could not overcome it in time, because just as I had worked up the nerve to say something, we arrived. I could tell because it looked just like it had in the pictures my mother stores in her dresser of her old home. She doesn’t know that I’ve seen them, or seen her looking at them. It is clear that she misses it.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her, to leave her family behind. She can send them messages, I suppose, through father; but to not see them, to not hear them and to know she won’t for a long while must be hard. My leaving home was hard for me, but I know I will return and I will see them again.

My new friend and I walked up to the door. I could hear voices inside, someone was home. I could feel my heart starting to race, I had not been so nervous since I had to face Collette, but now I was also full of excitement and hope.

After a few moments my friend turned to me, “are you going to knock, or are we just going to stand here”, she asked. I took a deep breath and knocked on the door.

A man came to the door, a man I knew quite well from the photos I’d seen. He was my grandfather, my mother’s father.

“Nicoletta?” He asked, his voice catching in his throat. I nodded and lunged forward to hug him. He wrapped his arms around me, and I could feel him shake with tears.

“Hi.” My friend said.

My grandfather cleared his throat as he released me and looked at my friend, “hi, are you a friend of Nicoletta”?

“Oh, yes this is my friend-“I trailed off realizing I hadn’t even asked her name.

“Jessica. Jessica Tyler.”

“Nice to meet you, Jessica. Would you both like to come in?” He asked stepping to the side of the doorway.

“No,” I replied, “I stopped by to ask if I could get some money from grandma, she said in one of her letters that if I ever wanted to leave she would help me do so. I want to stay in the world of the living for awhile, and I need to get off this island and go to where my father can’t go, to do so.”

My grandfather tensed, my father was clearly a touchy subject for him, which makes sense. After all, if it weren’t for my father, his daughter would have stayed safe at home and gotten married to someone normal, and led a happy, normal life.

“I will give you some money, and I can get you plane tickets off the island. But, Nicoletta, I should go with you. Someone should go with you. I mean, what about the-” he lowered his voice to a whisper before continuing, “furies. Are you sure it is safe?”

“It will be fine; they seem to have gone a long while ago. And besides,” I paused trying to remember the name of the friend standing beside me,” Jessica will go with me.”

My grandfather looked over at her, “Are your parents okay with this?”

“Yeah, they’re totally fine with it. “ She said, nodding vigorously. My grandfather sighed, and grabbed a set of keys from a bowl by the door.

“Let’s go.” He closed the door behind him and we headed to the car out front. I looked over at Jessica. I wondered why she lied, why she said her parents were okay with her leaving when she had never asked. I also started to wonder if it was wrong to ask her, what if her parents miss her, what if they try and find her? Will my grandfather get in trouble for helping us leave? And where is it that we are even going?

There were so many questions rushing through my head as I got into his cars.

But the one that I most wanted to know, was what was happening in the Underworld after I’d left. Yet, somehow, even with some many questions I drifted off into sleep.

“Nicoletta? Nicoletta?” I heard Jessica say as I opened my eyes and looked around. We were in some sort of lot with lots of cars. There many grey buildings all around us, and it was very loud. There were people everywhere, busily shuffling from place to place.

“You fell asleep in the car.” My grandfather said opening the car door for me. I unfastened my seat belt and got out of the car.

“Where are we?” I asked as I tried to rub the sleep out of my eyes.

“The ferry terminal.” I don’t know who said it, because just as they spoke an almost deafening noise came from over heard.

“Why don’t you head in?” My grandfather said to Jessica, after watching her walk away he turned to look at me, but avoided meeting my gaze. Something was wrong, I could tell. My mother acted the same way when she had bad news to tell me.

“What is it?” I asked closing the car door behind me.

“It is about your grandmother. It...She died. About two years ago, she passed away.”

“But...no, that is impossible. I would have known, she would have come down. I would have seen her in the Elysian Fields.” I muttered, shaking my head so strongly that if it was not so well fastened to my shoulders it would have flown off.

“It wasn’t on the island. She was in New York City; she was...murdered while she was there. They don’t know who did it,” he cleared his throat before continuing, “I bought the house on the island and when I retired I moved there, so your mother could always contact me, and so you would always have a place to go.” I felt a tear roll down my cheek as he spoke, and I could feel more gathering in the corners of my eyes. I brushed them away with the back of my hand and let out a ragged sigh.

“So...does my mom know?” I asked trying to remember the last time my mother gave my father a letter to deliver, or received one through him.

“No. I left a letter on her grave for your father to pick up, but it doesn’t look like he ever took it.”

“He was probably trying to protect her. In his own way.” I whimpered through tears, as they had started to fall again.

“Once you’ve crossed over on the ferry, you will be on the main land and you will be far enough that he shouldn’t be able to get to you,” he pulled a card out of his pocket and handed it to me, “This is a credit card. I’m sure Jessica knows how it works, if you don’t. Don’t worry about overspending. I’m far from poor, and I want you to be able to do what you need to do while you are here.”

I hugged him and we exchanged good-byes. He then took out a piece of paper and wrote a number down on it. “You have to promise to call me at this number every other day, so I know you are alright, okay?”

I saw Jessica leave the ferry terminal entrance and wave, the ferry was leaving soon. I hugged my grandfather one more time and ran after her.

“Be safe!” I heard him call.

“So, where to?” Jessica asked as I got to her. I smiled, and looked back at where my grandfather still stood as I clutched the card and paper in my hand. I knew what I was going to do. I knew where I was going to go. I had answers, and someone to share them with.

I turned back towards the door and walked in as I replied, “New York City.”
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#5 Jesselover!

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:46 PM

"WOW"..Thats really good better than I can do !!! I suck at writting stories !
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#6 Katexxx

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 03:31 PM

oh my god YOU ARE LIKE A TOTAL AUTHOR MY STORIES NEVER SOUND HALF AS GOOD AS THAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#7 Jesselover!

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 05:04 PM

oh my god YOU ARE LIKE A TOTAL AUTHOR MY STORIES NEVER SOUND HALF AS GOOD AS THAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MINE neither anytis for us?/ ahhah
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#8 Purple Rocks

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:33 PM

AWESOME!
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#9 Lightninggirl13

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:17 PM

AWESOME!!!!!!
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#10 Samanthier

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 08:51 PM

Chapter 4: The Journey

I have read about planes. I have read a lot about them. So many of the new books that my dad brought back with him, the non-classics, have people going places on planes, and they always make them sound so safe and easy. They never mention how high the planes go! It was terrifying!
I mean, the ferry was a little scary, but mostly because there were so many people and the thought that something Fury related might occur played in the back of my mind. However, that was nothing compared to the terror of watching the ground get further and further away from you.
We got to the airport, where Jessica explained the basics of the credit card to me, and we got tickets; everything was going fine. We boarded the plane, still fine. Then suddenly we started to take off and I look out the window. It was fine at first, then things started to get smaller and smaller until I could barely distinguish houses from the land surrounding them. I was so terrified, I was sure I was going to die and that would be it. I would never see my parents again, and I would never see Bailey again.
But the weirdest thing was, no one else was even slightly freaked out! Everyone was so calm it was unnerving. Jessica kept going on and on about how her ex-boyfriend was going to regret breaking up with her once he found out she was going to New York City, and how she would find a new hotter boyfriend that worshipped her. There were people serving drinks, too.
It was like we were all being surrounded by fire, not so close that it burned but with the potential that it could. We were in a situation where if something went wrong, or got dangerous, that was it and we would all be dead. And yet, no one seemed to care.
At some point, I think Jessica realized I wasn’t listening and pulled some headphones out of a bag, that I only assume that she had gone to pick up after I had fallen asleep in the car. The flight from to New York City took about 3 hours, but it felt like so much longer, and most of the flight was a little hazy. I just remember that my eyes never left the window. I stared out on the world that I never could have imagined until we started to descend, which is how Jessica and the flight attendant put it. However, I would describe it more like falling from the sky. We went straight down for a few seconds, then we would stop and then we’d drop. The plane did this over and over until we hit the ground.
I was so happy we had landed that I practically jumped out of my seat when I had the chance. We didn’t have many bags, so we went straight to find a taxi, which is where I am now.
Looking out the window as hundreds of cars go by, I realize how difficult it is going to be finding out what happened to my grandmother. Not to mention the fact that the cab driver thinks I’m insane- something to do with asking him what hotel was closest to the graveyard. As he snidely replied, there are, in fact, 23 graveyards in the five separate boroughs of New York City; Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and Bronx. I don’t know what a borough is. I asked Jessica and she described it as a kind of city within a city.
Why would any city need that many graveyards? What is going on in New York City that would require it? Is there some sort of war that I don’t know about? I would have asked Jessica, but the driver already thought I was unstable, so I decided against it.
There is so much to worry about too. What if every cemetery has a different demi-god? That is 23 demi-gods to track down to talk to my grandmother. I mean, it seemed like such a good idea on the ferry; get to New York City, find a graveyard, track down the demi-god, get him to let me talk to my Grandmother and turn in her killer to the police. It happens all the time in books, right? And yet, now that I’m here...I don’t know if it will go quite so smoothly. I blame exhaustion and stress that must be why I thought this crazy plan would work so perfectly.
As it is we are heading to a hotel in Manhattan called the Bowery Hotel. According to the driver it is .2 miles from a cemetery, New York City Marble Cemetery a very old, historic cemetery. Jessica looked it up on her phone and said that it had 256 underground burial vaults. From some of the other details I read it seems like a good bet for finding a demi-god.
It still amazes me that Jessica hasn’t asked any questions about why I asked about graveyards or anything about my past. Of course, I haven’t asked her anything either. I have to remember to ask her as soon as we get to the Bowery Hotel.
We are coming up on the hotel, and I can barely make out a person standing outside in the dark. He was wearing a red jacket with black cuffs and a black vest. When the cab pulled up Jessica handed the credit card over to the driver, since we had determined she should probably be in charge of the actual paying.
The taxi driver handed my bag to me, and if I’m not mistaken he is standing as far as he can to do it. Jessica is already in the hotel lobby, everything feels like it is going so fast. I feel like it was only a few hours ago I was at home with my parents and now I’m in a strange place with a person I know practically nothing about.
When we got to the desk Jessica asked what rooms were available, and a very perky receptionist. The receptionist, whose name tag said Kelly, said that the only rooms available were a suite and a one-bedroom. It was decided that the one-bedroom is the one we would stay in, because there was the potential for more privacy and there was a deck.
Once we get in the room Jessica goes over and collapses on the couch. I remember what I decided before, it was time Jessica and I talked. There were things that she needed to know and what I needed to know.
“Jessica,” I started, “I think we have to talk.” She looked back at me from the couch with a tired expression.
“Can we do it the morning?” She yawned.
“I think this needs to be done sooner, rather than later.” I said walking around to sit across from her in a chair.
“Alright, what about?”
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#11 Samanthier

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:40 PM

"WOW"..Thats really good better than I can do !!! I suck at writting stories !

oh my god YOU ARE LIKE A TOTAL AUTHOR MY STORIES NEVER SOUND HALF AS GOOD AS THAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MINE neither anytis for us?/ ahhah


Thanks!
You shouldn't sell your self short, I write constantly. So, I have LOTS of practice.
And believe me, some of my stuff REALLY sucks.
Besides, you shouldn't compare. Different people have different styles.
:)

As for advice, just keep writing.
People improve with time.
Also, if you are really having trouble, I recommend going and doing something else.
(Writing something else, or just like walking a way for a few days and then come back and re-read what you've written.)
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#12 Samanthier

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:41 PM

AWESOME!

AWESOME!!!!!!

Thanks! :)
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#13 BonkersBookworm78

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 04:17 PM

This is brilliant.
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#14 Samanthier

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 02:14 PM

Awkward silences are far more uncomfortable than I expected. I know I decided to talk to Jessica, but I had no idea where to start. Should I start by asking about her parents? Or should I start with my new found goal to help my grandmother? Or perhaps, I should try to go over the ‘my-dad-is-a-demigod’ thing again, since I am pretty sure she missed it the first time. There are so many questions I feel I should ask, and so many I feel like she should know the answer to, whether she wants to ask or not.

Of course, since I initiated the conversation and then never said anything, we sat there in silence for about twenty-five minutes before Jessica said anything. “Well, you wanted to talk. What about?”

“Right....well, maybe we should start small and work our way up. So, my first question is, what is your last name?” I ask after debating a bit more internally.

“Parks.” She says, with a clear intention not to elaborate or go on more than necessary.

“Okay...my last name is Hayden. Next question, how old are you?” I ask, looking her over as I do, trying to figure out what her answer will be. My guess is she is about 22.

“I’m 20.” She says, once again giving a minimalistic answer. I am kind of disappointed that I was wrong, but I wasn’t off by too much.

“I’m 18. Um...so, if you are 20 does that mean you don’t live with your parents or...?” I trail off unsure how to ask her if she just up and left home without saying a word. Though, I really shouldn’t be so shocked or put out- since, technically, I am doing just that.

“I do. And I don’t.” She says with a shrug. She doesn’t go on.

“You do and you don’t?” I ask, she just nods. I think that, that will be all I am going to get from her for now so I move on.

“Alright then...” I say, moving on,” So, I think you should know some things about me. My name is Nicoletta, I think you already know that, but can’t hurt to go over these things. I don’t like being called Nicoletta though. Most people call me Nicky. Actually, do you have any questions first?”

She pauses, thinking for a moment before answering, “nope.”

“Okay, so...well, I guess you should probably know my dad is a death deity. My mom is dead, but not dead exactly since I could still see her. My grandfather is the one paying for our trip here. And my grandmother died in New York City somewhere and my plan is to figure out who killed her and help put them away,” I say quickly practically linking the words together. I pause for moment and wait to see if she responds before continuing, “To do this, I will probably be spending a lot of time hanging out in cemeteries looking for other death deities. Not my dad, though. Other ones. There are different ones for different areas...it is kind of complicated. Oh, yeah. And there is a chance that creepy ghost like things, called furies, might inhabit people’s bodies to try and kill me or otherwise hurt me, but it isn’t all that likely so you shouldn’t be overly concerned.” I finish just as quickly, taking on a deep breath when I’m done. I watch for her reaction. She doesn’t look concerned, or confused. She just sits there, blankly staring at me.

This is not what I expected. I mean, I was kind of prepared for her thinking I was crazy or being confused, or freaked out but...this no reaction thing is starting to concern me.

“So, your dad is a death...deity? Like...the devil?”

“No! He can be a bit pig-headed, but he isn’t the devil. Or even a devil. He is like...Hades. In Greek mythology.” I say trying to reassure her that my dad was not, in fact, the devil or in any way evil.

“Gotcha...well, that explains why you’re so weird.” She says as if she has actually solved some great mystery.

I shift uncomfortably in the chair and mutter, “I guess.” I don’t really like being called weird. It is never really used in a positive sense. Well, sometimes, but usually in the context of flirting. And I highly doubt that Jessica is flirting with me at this particular moment.

She keeps nodding her head, similar to that of the bobble head the taxi driver had on his dash board. She doesn’t say anything, though. Processing, she must be processing.

“So, do you think I could go with you when you go to cemeteries?” She asks after all long while.

“I guess, I mean, sure. If you want to, but...why would you want to?” I ask.

“Well, I don’t know. I think it would be kind of cool to meet a death deity.” She shrugs. That is when I notice it, the glimmer of excitement hidden beneath her detached attitude. The pieces start to fall into place, the things she said in the cab and on the plane. I think she did hear me when I said my dad was a death deity before. She is treating this the same way teenagers do in the stories I’ve read. She is rebelling and instead of dating the boy on the motorcycle or doing drugs, she has decided to follow the ‘weird’ girl that claims her dad is a death deity. I’m her motorcycle riding boyfriend! Except not literally because I don’t have a motorcycle or anything else that would be required to fit that criteria.

She is looking for danger and excitement. That doesn’t really seem healthy. Of course, once again, who am I to talk. I went through the Greek mythological version of hell to run away from home. I followed a psychopath. I got on a plane, in a taxi and am sharing a room with a stranger.

Maybe, it is better this way. After all, it seems like she is sticking around, and it would be nice to have a friend with me, or at least someone that can help me find my way around and use modern technology that I haven’t used before.

“So...can we go to bed now?” Jessica asks. I notice she has moved from the couch to the bed, and changed into a tank top and sweat pants all without my noticing.

I nod and reply, “yeah. That is a good idea.” I get up to get dressed, I look around and realize that while I have my granddad’s credit card, I don’t actually have anything else. So, I kick off my shoes and climb into bed.

“Hey, Nick.” I hear Jess say.

“What?”

“We should probably go shopping tomorrow.” I laugh quietly, I don’t know why I found it funny exactly, but I did. We both mutter are good nights and drift off to sleep.
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#15 BonkersBookworm78

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 03:43 PM

This is really good and very well written. You have revealed a lot more about the characters but still left me with many mysteries. Please update soon.

Millie May
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#16 Samanthier

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 10:27 PM

Chapter 6: The Morning 

 

The next morning I woke up in a cocoon of white sheets with the sun streaming in as it fell upon my face and the pillow, I was surrounded by warmth. It was peaceful. It was the first time I had woken up to such light. It is dark in my room at home.

 

A debate starts in my head as I try and decide what to do next. Part of me was saying I should get out of bed, that this was no time to keep myself in bed because there was so much to do. And yet, another part of me said stay. Stay in bed, soak up the sun, and enjoy this new sensation.

 

I rolled over and looked over to where Jessica was sleeping. She was still asleep. I snuggled underneath the pillows so that the sun couldn’t reach me and I closed my eyes inhaling slowly. I should get up. I should get up, and get Jessica up. We have clothing shopping to do. Plus, we have lots to investigate.

 

I rolled onto my back and sat up. I looked over at Jessica again, and hit me. I still don’t know anything about her. We have talked some; we exchanged bits of small talk on the plane and a bit more in the taxi. However, I don’t really know anything about her.

 

I mean, she just up and left home. She didn’t tell her parents anything. She didn’t tell anyone anything. She just left. Who does that? Well, I did…but that was different. I was quite literally trapped in the Underworld. I mean, it was my home. But, I needed to get out and be free. She was walking around freely.

 

Maybe, she was trapped as well. Not physically, but perhaps financially. The ferry isn’t cheap, and even if she had enough to leave you need somewhere to go. I ran to my grandparent’s.

 

I wish she would tell me. I did tell her about my father’s…occupation. I think we could be friends, I have trusted her with something both sensitive and personal, I wish she could at least tell me something about herself. Maybe I should have listened more closely when she was talking about her boyfriend.

 

I stood up and looked around the room. I noticed that Jessica had a bag, which I vaguely remember her having when we got to the ferry. And I realize I had, had a bag at some point. It hadn’t had much. But it had clothes and shoes.

 

I suddenly felt a moment of panic as I dug through my pockets looking for my necklace. Thankfully, it was there. It wasn’t special like my mom’s, it had no special powers and it didn’t warn me of anything, but it was special to me.

 

It is a chakra necklace. It has seven different colored stones, in a simple silver setting. It was a gift from someone I met in passing. I don’t remember her very well. All I remember was that I was only about seven and I wandered into the area where people wait to be sorted. A woman there was by herself, she would not get in line but no one went to sort her either. I went to talk to her.

 

She didn’t say anything, but I talked a lot, for maybe twenty minutes straight. Then she handed it to me, smiling for the first time, and turned and walked away. I don’t know where she went or who she was. But the necklace inspired me. It was the first time I really became interested in learning and reading. Not just what my mother taught me, but about everything and anything. I wanted to know about the world. I wanted to know about the necklace, and what it meant.

 

So, the necklace, to me, represents the gaining of knowledge and an unanswered mystery. It is also pretty, and my dad didn’t want me to have it. So, there was the shiny-trinket factor along with the small rebellion factor.

 

I untangled the chain and hooked it around my neck. I then turned to Jessica, debating the best way to wake her up. After pondering for a moment, I jumped on the bed. She didn’t even budge, she just mumbled a little and then went back to sleep.

 

“Jessica. Oh, Jessica. Wake up.” I said softly poking her cheek. She grabbed my wrist with her hand and then rolled over taking my arm with her. I screamed, not loudly, but I was pretty startled.

 

She sat up quickly, with me lying startled across her lap with my wrist still in her grasp.

 

“Um…hi?” I mumbled quietly. She let go of my wrist and ran a hand through her hair.

 

“What time is it? What is going on?” She grumbled turning to see the clock. She groaned when she saw the time and flopped back down on the bed.

 

“Can we go shopping? I was kind of hoping to get some new clothes before we go to the cemetery.” I asked sitting up and moving so my legs were crossed on the bed.

 

“We can go shopping later, the shops are open pretty late.”

 

I shook her arm, “but we should do some investigating today.”

 

“So,” she said, “we can after.”

 

“Go after dark? That would be pretty dangerous. And if we go at the day we can talk to the priest. He is most likely to know about any…random people who go around at night.” I replied. She sat up and sighed.

 

“Don’t you like shopping?” I ask trying to peek her interest. At first she shrugged, then seemed like she had a realization and jumped out of bed.

 

“I love shopping. Let’s go.” I don’t know what happened but she suddenly seemed full of energy and excitement. After thinking about everything I had read and knew about shopping, people and my new friend, I think I figured it out.

 

“Credit card,” I say under my breath with a laugh before continuing, “It is more fun spending someone else’s money, I presume.” She didn’t seem to hear me as she changed clothes and put on her shoes.

 

I put on my shoes as well, thinking about what I had been wondering earlier.

 

“Can I ask you something?” I said as we headed towards the door. She turned and nodded.

 

“I know there are things you aren’t telling me. About your parents. About why you left. That is fine, I won’t push it. But…I do want to know…are we friends? I mean, do you think that we could be. I’m not saying we aren’t, but...do you get what I’m saying?” I said feeling exasperated by my own lack of coherence.

 

She sighed, but I saw a slight twitch from the corner of her mouth almost like a small smile.

 

“It isn’t like there was something driving me away. It is just that there was nothing keeping me there. My parents died. I live alone. Now, I do. I lived with my boyfriend for awhile. But then he cheated, and so I moved out. That is really all there is to it. Well, not exactly. But, that is really as much as I want to talk about.” She said pausing a moment before she continued, “I am not good exactly good with people, but I do think we can be friends. Now…let’s go shopping!” She smiled and walked out the door.

 

I followed behind her shutting the door smiling. How exciting, I am so close to having my first living friend. 


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#17 BonkersBookworm78

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 12:59 PM

Another brilliant, yet mysterious chapter, leaving me with yet more questions. Your dialog is so well written and sounds so natural. Please update soon.


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