I had an idea for a game. I will begin it by typing up the opening to a story, and the next poster will continue the story, and so on and so on until we have a complete story. To make it hard, and force us to be a creative team, a post must have at least 3 sentences per paragraph (no more than 6), and at least one paragraph(No more than three). In other words, anywhere between 3 and 18 sentences. Please spell check, and re-read your post before posting it.
No arguing with, or contradicting, one another, and do not post unless you are contributing to the story. I will begin.
It was a long desolate road that lead from the larger of the two cities to the smaller. Unfortunately, I was heading to the smaller. This is not because I wanted to go, hence the word unfortunately, but instead because I had been kidnapped. Well, technically it isn't kidnapping if they're your legal guardians, but I beg to differ.
You guessed it, we were moving; just the thing I needed in my life. Since mom and dad divorced its been one change after the next. First dad moves out, then burning his stuff, mom finding a job, meeting someone new; next thing I know I find myself in the back of a crowded minivan hauling ass through the middle of nowhere (a place where boredom comes to die) with an obstinate cat and a broken Ipod. And somehow mom thinks I'm supposed to be excited to move in with her new girlfriend? Sorry for not being all pepped up when I barely know the woman. Besides, I'm still trying to get use to the idea of my mother's girlfriend.
I hated one city, I hated the other city. Thus it stands to reason that I would hate the road connecting them, but frankly, I did not. I did not blame the road, it was not its fault it lay directly in-between two total hellholes. I felt rather sorry for it, actually. I also liked it because time spent on the road was not spent in either city, so it was a double-win situation for me.
It was a neat road; wide cracks crawling across its cement surface like veins, tufts of doomed grasses and daisies clutching desperately on to a meager existence like the last hairs on an old man's head. And the ragged, wretched vendors along the rode, crying out in hoarse voices to the occupants of the cars in the ridiculously long and slow line. There was no real traffic on the road, just a perpetual line of cars. Arms reached out of rolled-down windows, cash exchanged hands and cheaply-made, inexpensive objects entered cars as the windows were hurriedly rolled up again. For whatever odd reason, the motorists did not very much like the charming, toothless, limping vendors. I did.
They reminded me of myself somehow, broken remnants that don't live up to their potential. Once upon a time I was the smartest girl in the entire class. People would beg me to help them, with their homework, essays, and reading assignments. I was the ultimate brainiac and everyone knew it. Until tenth grade, which was this passing year. This was the year my mom decided to break it off with my dad.
I can't blame her really, if I were gay I doubt I could just pretend I wasn't. She really tried, but it still affected me. I couldn't focus in class, and ended up only scoring average the entire year. Which is why this summer we're testing out a new arrangement. Maybe If I see that there is no animosity between my parents I can finally focus without worrying. So, my dad will be joining my mother, her girlfriend, and I at the temporary (Or, if things work out, permanent) home.
I'll be honest here, I think it sounds like a ridiculous idea, but for some reason nobody seems to have had much interest in what I have to say about this whole plan. Okay, so things got pretty sucky at home, but I really wasn't convinced that moving to an even smaller, even suckier city would do much to improve things. At least, I told myself, staring out the window, I'm not leaving any friends behind.
Weirdly enough, that wasn't a particularly comforting thought.
It was true however. The closest things to friends I ever had were the aforementioned slackers trying to get my help in school. Oh, I almost forgot Twinkie. I suppose I could say Twinkie is my friend.
To settle the confusion, Twinkie is my cat. I named him Twinkie because I was always fond of strange pet names. I knew a girl once who told everyone who would listen about her dog named Cat, and I thought it was so funny that I began to name all of my animals in strange ways. Once I had a plain black cat named Blanco, and after that a gerbil whom I name Captain Loopity-Loop. When my mom and dad decided to surprise me with a new kitten, I just happened to be eating a Twinkie, and so he was named. Later I decided this was not absurd enough, and so I extended the name to Sir Twinkie Licks-a-Lot, Knight of the Square Litter Box.
And, as it turns out, Sir Twinkie Licks-a-Lot was who woke me up hours later as we slowed to a halt in front of the new house.
"Alright Twink, I'm awake," I murmured, petting the cat's soft head. He purred in my ear and carried on licking my ear, his rough tongue making a soft rasping sound. I glanced out of the window at my new home, taking in the pristinely whitewashed wall, the large windows and neat path leading to the front door. It was beautiful. I hated it on sight.
"It's even better than it looked on the website, don't you think?" my mum gushed, and it took a moment for it to sink in that she was talking to me. I shrugged, still gazing at the house.
Ellis, mum's girlfriend, got out of the car and started up the front path, pausing halfway to turn and look expectantly at those of us still in the car. Mum got out and opened my door for me, leaving me no choice but to roll out of my seat and follow her up to the door.
I took Twinkie in my right hand and a bag with small bits of entertainment in the left as I walked up the stone steps leading to the beautiful, antique, wooden door embedded into the well-cleaned white wall. I really had to admire it, even if it made me want to puke. I absolutely hated it, and every fiber of my being refused my living in it, but I had promised Mum that I wouldn't be judgemental, and would give everything on this roadtrip a chance. Say what you want about me, but I will never break a promise.
"Janie, can you come give me a hand?" Ellis called from inside, using the pet name she had given to my mother. Mum duly answered the call, running through the front door. She made a left turn and walked into the kitchen. I followed behind her.
The kitchen, the whole house really, was already furnished, and we had learned its schematics by heart through the use of a virtual tour website. This allowed us to get set up quickly, and after forty-five minutes had passed we were through unpacking. Ellis and Mum sat on the rented couch, turned on the rented television, and inserted a rented dvd for them to watch while cuddling together with their "Special Blanket," which was the only thing involved in the equation that we actually owned. I decided that this provided a perfect oppurtunity to stow away in my new room with a book.
The bedroom I'd chosen was the smallest of the three available. Mum had wanted to make it the spare room, but when I saw a photo that included the view from the window I knew I had to have it. Some not insignificant measure of ingenuity had been required to make room for all my books, the longest wall of the room was entirely full of shelves, but it was worth it for the view.
I made my way to the window, dumping Twinkie unceremoniously on the bed en route, and leaned against the cold glass. Just outside was the back garden, with a cutesy white picket fence marking the end of our property before the ground suddenly dropped off dramatically. It was hard to tell from where I stood exactly how far down the ground started to level off again, but the height difference gave me an uninterrupted view of thick green forest, starting less than half a mile from the house and continuing as far as I could see. Over the tops of the farthest trees rose the vague shapes of mountains, shrouded in mist. It was stunning.
After a few minutes of admiring the scenery I remembered why I'd come upstairs in the first place: time to read. I scanned my shelves, looking for the book I'd been reading the day before. Haruki Murakam's 'Norwegian Wood', a story of nostalgia and loss - perfect for my mood.
With yesterday's reading I had gotten to the point were Toru met this beautiful outgoing girl named Midori. Although it doesn't sound like it, it really is a depressing story. Take this into consideration: Toru's first girlfriend began dating him after the pair's best friend commited suicide. Then Naoko, the aforementioned frist girlfriend, quits college and runs away because she feels like she's betraying their best friend's memory. Anyway you slice it, that sucks.
Somehow I manage to make my life relate to the novel. See, here's how it looks in my mind. I am Toru, and my best friend is my parents' marriage. The best friend kills himself (my parent's get a divorce) and I start dating Naoko. Naoko? She's the new life I'm getting now, but soon she'll run away, and things will be worse than they have ever been. Then I'll meet Midori, a brand new life for me and my family, who will, pending the outcome of the novel, live happily ever after with me.
I put it up when I'm about halfway through, even though I want to keep reading. I always try to make books last longer, otherwise I'm done in one or two days. I look out the window, noticing that even at night the forest still looks to good to be true. There has to be something wrong with it, there has to be some kind of problem with this house. If not, I won't be able to hate it. I want my break up with Naoko to be easy to get over.
I pressed my forehead against the frigid glass, let the cold seep into my skull and wrap around my mind. The empty wall of optimism I built for mum and Ellis crumbled. What was I doing here? This wasn't me. This house, this room, this whole situation, it all seemed... right somehow. Which felt wrong.
I sighed heavily, my breath fogged up the window and blocked my wistful gaze of longing outside. Using the side of my hand, I wiped off the water, when something in the forest caught my eye. A glint, I swear I saw it. Some sort of yellow flash from deep inside the woods. Maybe it was a camera flash, perhaps someone's flashlight? But who would be out there in the middle of the forest at night? I squinted, trying to see if I could see it again. Maybe it was just my imagination. Staring harder and harder into the forest, I felt like the flash was about to happen any second. I could feel it. Someone, or something, was out there.
"SAGAN!" Ellis yelled my name, making me jump in my chair. I clasped a hand to my chest, felt the rampage of my heart. "One of our neighbor's came to meet us," Ellis continued. "Come say hello."
Honestly, the last thing I wanted to do was get to know the neighbors. It was like finally making contact and finalizing with this new and unwanted life. Still, I'd always been the kind of person who was conscious of propriety, so I tromped down the stairs, pushing my green and black glasses back up my long, straight nose as I tried to fix a polite and mildly curious expression onto my face. I had no idea how that was working, but went with it.
When I reached the bottom, I turned to the door where Ellis and mum were standing and waiting for me. When I didn't move forward into the line of view, mum "helpfully" opened the door to its widest so as to create an avenue of sight between the new people and myself.
Of course I should have seen what was coming next. The house was lovely, I was being semi-sub-consciously optimistic about this new life, and it didn't really seem that bad when I thought about it; so why should the people be any different? There in front of me stood a pleasant-looking lady -- albeit slightly hunchbacked -- with greying auburn hair and a wrinkling face holding the shoulders of 2 similar-looking people. The one on my right was a female with dark brown hair that fell in waves to mid-chest, and the one on my left was a male with short spiky hair of the same colour. Both had blue eyes, though the girl's were a shimmering sky-blue like the older lady's, while the boy had deep sea blue eyes; each was smiling pleasantly. I already knew I'd like them like I liked the house, no matter how much I tried to talk myself out of it.
"Sagan," Ellis said, "These are our next-door neighbours. Tina Newman and her kids, Sera and Toby. They're around your age."
I resisted the urge to make a sarcastic comment about how I could see that for myself, partly because I didn't want to show up my mum and partly because I wasn't sure how it would go down with the boy and girl standing in front of me. Instead I smiled a little wider and waited to see what would happen next.
"Nice to meet you," Toby offered, his mouth quirking up at one side into a little mini-grin. Mum shot me an encouraging look and twitched her head in the direction of the stairs. I took her incredibly subtle hint and offered to give Toby and Sera the grand tour. After watching them exchange a glance in which I assumed they were doing some kind of sibling telepathy thing, Sera turned to me and nodded.
"That'd be cool, thanks." Her voice, like Toby's, had something musical about it. I turned and lead them into the house, hoping I could get through the next hour or so without somehow giving them a reason to hate me.