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*Sneak Peek* Fantasy/Romance story idea


faxity

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Hey everybody! There's been a new story being spun out in my head, and I've finally had to put it to paper (screen?). It's not named yet ('The World Beyond the Mirror' is my only idea so far, and I'm not sure about that), but I'll start posting it as soon as it is. I thought I should drop the prologue off here, since it worked really well for the last idea I had (still working on that one, just slowly :P). Any advice (or name suggestions :D) would be appreciated!

 

Thanks to Rano for being the editor!
 
Like all my stories so far, it's gonna be rated 'Mature'. This one's not gonna be too dark, but there'll be (extrememly) graphic sex between consenting young adults and also a fair amount of swearing (I'll tone it down 0:), but I won't kill the realism). If none of that bothers you, then I hope you enjoy :)
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I sat in my advanced math class, in my usual seat by the window, gazing longingly out into the rain. The soft pattering of the rain mixed with the nasal droning of the teacher, making it easy to tune them both out. The rain was mesmerizing as it hit the roof outside, and I admired the patterns it made in a puddle right by the window for a moment, before looking out over the small slice of the town visible from this second story window, regretting that there wasn’t more to see.
I guess that’s on purpose, I thought. They didn’t want anything interesting outside to distract us.
They’d succeeded. There were a few houses that I could see, boring brick and shingle constructions, and there was a small piece of a road visible. I watched as a car went by, there and gone before I could notice more than the fact it was brown. I watched the road for a little longer, trying to identify the few cars that went by, but it soon became as boring as the rest of the class. I looked back to the puddle, watching the ripples spreading through it.
Wait… ripples? I wondered. Those aren’t from raindrops. They’re way too big.
I looked around the roof, wondering what could have made those, and something near the edge caught my eye. I twisted, leaning to get a better view. Nothing was there, but there was something about how the rain was falling…
“Mr. Adams,” the teacher said, reprimanding. “Can you answer the question?”
I turned back to the board, quickly scanning it.
“Sorry,” I said, buying time to think. “I got a little distracted. The answer is ‘X’ equals plus or minus fifteen.”
The teacher nodded, satisfied with my answer.
Safe, I thought, looking back out the window. I eyed the spot I’d been watching before, but there was nothing remarkable about it now. I sighed, wishing my mind would continue imagining things so I’d have a little bit of entertainment.
I wish I could go outside, I thought with another sigh. I craned my neck, looking up at the sky to watch the rain coming down, but it wasn’t nearly as mesmerizing while I was inside, and I soon gave up. I stopped looking through the window and looked at it, making the reflection of the class come into focus. The room was just as boring from the window, with its plain white walls and the ‘Math is FUNctional’ poster that was just visible past the glare from the old yellowish lights. I watched the few other students I could see in the window. There was a girl, looking harried as she tried to write down the teacher’s every word, and two guys who were whispering to each other. Finally, there was me, staring back at myself, looking bored. I tried to adjust my expression to be more neutral, but my full pink lips didn’t want to co-operate. The teacher didn’t deserve to have me glaring around his classroom. It wasn’t his fault that I’d been down for the last little while, and there was no reason to take it out on him. I smiled, trying to get my face to stick in a pleasant expression, but even with my lips curved upwards, I looked bored. I examined my face, trying to figure out what I was doing to ruin my façade. My blond eyebrows matched my hair, and they were tilted slightly downwards with boredom. I adjusted them until they looked normal, and considered my face again. I just looked vaguely pissed off now. My tanned forehead was free of wrinkles, and my straight nose looked normal, but boredom was still radiating off me in waves. I met my reflection’s piercing blue eyes that lots of people had mistaken for contacts, and found the problem. My eyes were always pretty expressive, and now they were dull and lifeless. I sighed again, giving up. It seemed that there was no hiding my boredom. The bell rang loudly, and I glanced down at my binder, open to a blank page, still waiting for me to take notes. I closed it and grabbed my textbook, putting it on top of the binder and picking it up.
“Erin, can I talk to you for a second?” the teacher asked.
I nodded, some of my boredom replaced by curiosity. I fanned that flame, trying to burn away my indifference before the teacher had to see it, and I was satisfied with the result before I reached his desk. My curiosity had always been able to overwhelm my other emotions when something woke it. I stopped in front of the desk, looking questioningly at the teacher as everybody filed out. It was a small class, so I didn’t have to wait long before everyone had gone and he spoke.
“Is everything OK?” he asked, concerned. “You’ve been really distant for a while now. You know you can come to me, or any of the other counsellors, with any problems you have, right?”
“Yeah, I know,” I said, adding the expected amount of thankfulness into my voice. “Thanks for being concerned, but there’s nothing wrong. I’ve just been tired.”
I’ve always been a good liar, when my eyes didn’t betray me, but he didn’t accept my response. He tried to hide his disbelief, but it takes a bullshitter to know one.
“OK,” he said. “Just keep us in mind. If you’re not comfortable talking to me, the other counsellors would love to help you.”
“No, I’d be fine talking to you if I ever needed help,” I assured him. He was trying to figure out a way to breach the subject of my life at home without sounding nosey or like he doubted me. I regretted that he knew about my situation, but he’d obviously been warned to look out for me. They’d flagged me as someone who’d need extra help, since my past was troubled to say the least. I had to make a conscious effort to keep my hand from rising to fiddle with my necklace, a simple black string with a small but convoluted metal triangle attached. I glanced towards the door but pretended to catch myself and look back at the teacher. Maybe that would give him a hint without being rude.
“Oh, yeah, you’ve got to get to class, don’t you?”
I nodded, giving him a brief smile. “Thanks,” I told him. “I’ll make sure to come to you with any problems I can’t handle.”
He was starting to believe my bullshit a little bit more, so I started to walk towards the door, hoping to get away.
“Erin?” the teacher called.
Damn.
I turned back, putting a curious look on my face.
“Yeah?” I asked, keeping my frustration out of my voice.
“Make sure to get enough sleep,” he reminded me with a smile.
I smiled back, nodding. “I will. Thanks again!”
He waved, turning to some papers on his desk, and this time I made it safely out the door. I walked to my locker and opened it, tossing my books inside. I closed it, deliberately not slamming it, and I saw my friend walking towards me.
Shit, I thought, putting the lock back on my locker and turning to meet him.
“Hey, Erin,” he said. “Shouldn’t you have gotten your English books before you closed your locker?” he teased.
I shook my head, giving him a smile. “No, I’m dying in here. Math was really boring, so I’m taking a break and skipping English.”
He nodded. “If you’re going to Tim Horton’s I’ll go with you,” he offered.
I laughed. “Oh come on,” I said. “You can’t afford to skip English.”
He nodded. “I can afford an Ice Capp, though, and that’s too tempting.”
“I’m not going to Tim’s anyway,” I laughed. “I’m just gonna wander around.”
He gave me a weird look. “You know it’s raining, right?” he asked.
“You know it’s just water, right?” I asked, gently mocking.
He laughed. “OK, what excuse do you want me to tell the teacher?”
I shrugged. “I don’t care if she knows I’m skipping. It’s not like I do it often. She’ll know it’s nothing personal.”
He snorted. “You’ve got bigger balls than me. I wouldn’t take my chances with her.”
“You’re about to,” I warned him. “You’ve got less than a minute to get to class.”
“Shit!” he yelped. “See you!”
I waved absently, already turning towards the nearest exit. I opened the door, my actions smooth and deliberate as I concentrated on keeping up an appearance of normality, and walked out into the rain. I headed to a park I knew was around here, and walked in. There was no real forest to speak of, but I managed to find some bushes that gave a semblance of privacy to the bench in the middle of them. I sat down on the bench and looked upwards, fascinated by the raindrops speeding towards me. I watched the rain for a while, fondling my necklace as I thought. I hadn’t managed to convince my math teacher that I didn’t have any big problems, but it didn’t matter as long as he respected that I would work through them without his help. I’d seen more than enough of psychiatrists over the course of my life, not that it was my choice. I traced the intricate pattern of my necklace, embracing the comfort it gave me. I’d never parted with this necklace since I’d gotten it, when I was three. I’d had to replace the string more than once, but even then it never left my hands. This necklace was my only tie to my past, and my parents. I tried to remember, sometimes, tried to find some clue that I’d been loved, but it had been too long.
The only memory I’d retained was from when I was three. I was in the back of a car, and my parents were with me. There was an impact and loud noises, and I remember crying, wondering why my parents wouldn’t move when fire was consuming the car in front of us and why this sticky red stuff was everywhere. The door had opened, and someone had pulled me out of my mother’s stiff embrace before running away from the car, carrying me as fast as they could. I’d been terrified, and I remember flames as the car exploded behind us.
I started as I realized not all the water on my face was rain, and I looked back down. My face was still composed, and the rain would hide my tears from anyone who could see me past the bushes, but I was uncomfortable with anybody seeing me crying anyway. I ran my hand through my hair, brushing the short blond strands off my forehead so they wouldn’t drip water into my eyes. I tried to turn my mind to happier things, but it was like I’d broken a dam, and I couldn’t stop from reliving my early years.
I remembered talking to a psychiatrist when I was five. She’d told me that my parents were in a better place, and I’d asked why they hadn’t taken me with them, not understanding. I’d never been able to comprehend that they were never coming back, so I’d never warmed up to any foster parents. They’d shuffled me from house to house, and I remembered almost nothing until when I was six.
I’d just moved to a new foster house, and the foster parents finally explained everything to me. They’d laid the facts out as gently as they could, and it had helped hugely. I remember them telling me my parents and I had been driving in a taxi and a drunk driver had crashed into us. My parents had died instantly, killed painlessly by the impact, but the police thought the drunk had survived the initial crash. Our car had caught on fire, and a witness had run in to grab me before the fire reached the gasoline that was spilled everywhere. The cars had exploded, killing the drunk, and when the corpses were recovered, my necklace had been around my mother’s neck. The police had given it to me, 'cause it was the only thing my parents owned to pass on to me and there was nobody else to take it. They’d never identified my parent’s bodies, and they didn’t know where they’d come from before getting into that taxi. They hadn’t had any possessions, other than the necklace, so it was assumed they’d been illegal immigrants. I’d been granted citizenship, and I’d taken on the last name of the family I was with at the time. I’d kept my real first name, though. I’d known that my name was Erin, so my first name and my necklace were my only proof that I’d ever had a family.
The foster parents’ explanation had been exactly what I needed, and I’d finally been able to accept that my parents were dead. The memories were still painful, even now, but I’d been able to move on with my life. I’d stayed with those foster parents, and we’d gotten along well. I was still too distant for any sort of love to grow, but they’d respected my occasional need for privacy and I’d respected them. They were the perfect family for me after my parents had died, understanding and patient. After almost nine years with them, I’d felt more comfortable and I’d tentatively accepted them as parents. There still hadn’t been any love between us, but for the first time I’d thought it had a chance of growing. We’d done fun things, family things, like going bowling together and watching movies. It had been the best few weeks of my life, and then the foster mother had died of a heart attack. The foster father was deemed too unstable to continue fostering me, so I’d been thrust back upon the system. The man I’d been on the edge of accepting as a father killed himself soon after they took me away, and it had crushed me.
For the next two years, I’d stayed distant from all the foster parents they’d set me up with, afraid that anyone I accepted as a parent would die. For those two years, I’d never been able to escape the psychiatrists, a constant stream of them demanding I strip my soul bare for them to examine and judge. I’d finally managed to work through the problems on my own and accept, for the second time, the death of my parents. I’d been sixteen at that point, and I’d come out of my shell, taking an active role in my own life. I still hadn’t shared anything with the shrinks, and that didn’t change, but I became a normal member of society, and I’d maneuvered myself into living here.
I’d liked the location, so I’d played nice with the family and gotten in. I wasn’t close with them, and despite their pretending, I knew they didn’t care much about me either. It hadn’t taken me long to figure out they were doing it for the monthly income and tax reductions. I didn’t complain, because I wasn’t looking for another family. I just needed somewhere to stay for another year and a half, and I liked this area. My current ‘parents’ had been surprised when I revealed that I knew why they were doing it and that I was OK with it, but things had been better ever since. They’d stopped pretending, except around other people, and they respected me more as a person.
Now, life was good. I was free to do pretty much whatever I wanted, as long as it didn’t disturb my ‘parents’ or make them look bad, and they left me alone. I’d come to think of them as housemates instead of a foster family, and the arrangement worked well for me. We all understood that after I turned eighteen we’d probably never see each other again, and we’d owe each other nothing. I couldn’t wait.
I pulled my necklace off, dangling it in front of me so I could examine it again. The patterns still fascinated me, after all this time. The metal was durable, and it hadn’t bent or rusted at all. I was so caught up in my examination that when somebody sat down on the bench next to me I jumped, startled. I threw the necklace over my head, tucking it back down my shirt where it belonged, the cool metal against my hot skin, safe from prying eyes.
I looked over at the person who’d startled me, wondering who else would be out in this rain. My first answer to that question was a drug dealer, considering the location, but this guy didn’t have that look. He was looking up at the sky, his eyes closed as he let the raindrops land on his face, and he looked tired, like I felt. He was wearing a t-shirt and shorts, like me, and he seemed to have the same muscular swimmer’s build as me. His skin was tanned, almost the same tone as mine, and from his profile, he was handsome. He had lush pink lips, a perfectly sized straight nose, and black hair. It was a nice shade of black, dark without being inky, and it didn’t have that greasy look that some black hair could have. He wore it short, but it was impossible to tell if it was supposed to be styled in any way, since the rain had plastered it to his head.
His lips parted slightly, allowing water into his mouth for a moment before he spoke.
“I like your necklace,” he told me, his eyes still closed. His voice wasn’t deep, but it wasn’t high pitched, either. It was a pleasant timbre, but his words offset any appreciation I might have felt for it.
“It’s nothing,” I said, carefully keeping my voice free of the defensiveness I felt. “Just a trinket.”
My necklace was private, and I hated when people commented on it.
“It doesn’t need to be expensive to be valuable,” he said calmly. “If you like it, why should it matter what price someone else would put on it?”
Damn, I thought. Obviously, I picked the wrong approach if I wanted him to forget about it.
“I don’t like to talk about it,” I corrected.
He nodded, accepting it without opening his eyes or questioning in any way. We sat in silence after he didn’t respond. One minute passed. Two. Three minutes passed, and I couldn’t take the silence any longer.
“Are you from the school too?” He looked like he was the same age as me, so I figured that’d be a good place to start.
He shook his head slightly, and I waited for him to elaborate. He didn’t. Another minute passed. Before one minute could become two, I decided that I did, in fact, want to talk to him, and I didn’t have too long before I had to go catch the bus. The city busses didn’t go near my house, so the one from school was my only ride.
“Where do you go to school, then?” I asked.
“I don’t go to school,” he replied casually, his eyes not opening.
I’ve never been one of those people who get angry if you’re not looking at them when you talk to them, but he’d roused my curiosity, and his refusal to look at me was driving me slowly crazy.
“Not very talkative, are you?” I half-joked quietly.
He shook his head, his lips curving slightly.
“Why’d you sit on the only occupied bench in the park, then?” I asked, thinking that maybe if I pissed him off he’d look at me.
He shrugged. “This is where I always sit,” he said. “And I don’t get to be around people much. And I liked…” he inclined his head towards me, indicating my necklace while respecting my desire not to talk about it. “A lot of reasons,” he summarized, the faint smile returning.
I nodded, not really caring that he couldn’t see. If he wanted to know how I’d reacted, he’d have to open his damn eyes and look at me.
“What about you?” he asked after a moment. “I get the feeling you weren’t here to talk, either, yet here we are.”
I didn’t answer immediately, but I wasn’t really thinking about what to tell him.
“I was just thinking,” I said finally. “But then you showed up, and now I’m curious.”
He hadn’t been moving, but I somehow got the impression that he’d stopped. He turned, looking at me and opening his eyes.
“What were you thinking about?” he asked, his voice softly curious.
Seeing his face shocked me. He had a fairly severe burn along his jaw, but it was his eyes that made my response catch in my throat. They were a deep brown, and he looked like a professional makeup artist had put the slightest touch of eyeliner around his eyes. Something told me it was natural, though, and I didn’t doubt that something was telling the truth. Either way, it made his eyes even deeper, and I felt like they’d pull me in like a black hole if I looked for too long. I focused on the burn again, and I wondered why he was walking around with that.
“Shouldn’t you go to the hospital?” I asked softly, not wanting him to take it the wrong way. “You know…” I tapped my jaw where his burn was. It looked like it was a few days old, but maybe they could still help. I’d heard that I’d had minor burns from the car crash, but they’d healed quickly and well, leaving me with no scars, so I had faith in hospitals being able to help.
He shook his head slightly, and his eyes dragged my gaze back into them, not through anything he did on purpose. He looked embarrassed, but his eyes didn’t give me a chance to examine his face for long. I noticed they had a faint bit of orange in them, too, and I fought to keep them from pulling me in.
“I don’t think that’d be a good idea,” he told me, shrugging. “Besides, they’ll heal.”
“They?” I asked, alarmed, not missing the plural.
He shook his head, doing his small smile again. “Perceptive,” he commented. “Just forget I said it. I’m fine.”
“Are you sure you’re OK?” I asked, worried. “That looks pretty bad.”
He grimaced. “Thanks,” he said sarcastically.
“No, I didn’t mean it like that!” I protested, until I saw the smile on his face again and realized he was joking. I tried to glare at him, but his eyes pulled me in again.
It’s yellow, not orange, I decided. How did I think that looked like orange?
He saw I was going to ask again, so he spoke first. “I don’t like talking about it,” he said, quoting me. He gave me a small smile, knowing he had me beaten. Now I couldn’t bother him about it unless I wanted to tell him about my necklace. I couldn’t help returning his smile, but my curiosity had peaked. Nothing had ever intrigued me as much as this guy did. Every answer he gave me led to two more questions, and I was burning with desire to know more.
“What’s your name?” I asked, trying to keep my curiosity in check.
His head tilted slightly, and he examined me before meeting my eyes again with a considering look on his face.
“…No.” he said finally.
“No?” I repeated stupidly.
“Maybe next time,” he told me, with a teasing smile, slightly wider than the ones he’d given me before.
“Why can’t you tell me now?” I asked, intrigued all over again.
He shrugged. “Life’s no fun if all your answers are handed to you immediately,” he told me. “I’ll tell you sometime. Bonus points if you guess it before then,” he said, giving me another small smile, almost a smirk this time.
“And what are bonus points worth?” I asked, my curiosity piqued.
“A profound sense of accomplishment,” he told me with a straight face, but something about the yellow tint in his eyes made me think he was joking. I watched him, unsure, and the corner of his mouth twitched.
“Bastard,” I snorted. “I thought you were serious for a minute.”
His lips curved a little bit more, and I smiled back at him.
I wonder what his lips feel like, I pondered. They look soft…
Wait, what the hell? Where did that come from?
“So what are they really worth?” I asked, buying time to consider what I’d thought.
He met my eyes, halting my thought process entirely. I admired how pronounced the yellow in his eyes was. I’d never seen eyes like that before.
Actually, I don’t think I have seen eyes like that before! I realized. Last time I saw them, they were not that yellow. I don’t think I was wrong about the orange color before that, either!
“Curiosity has killed a lot more than just the cat,” he warned me gently. It sounded like a threat, but I could tell he didn’t mean it like that. It was advice, and I had a feeling it meant more than he was letting on.
I don’t think he’s talking about the bonus points, either, I thought. I decided to take his advice, since I didn’t want to end our meeting on a bad note, and I had to leave soon.
“Your name isn’t a usual one,” I decided, changing the subject to see how he’d react. “It’s one that not many people have. Different, but simple. It’s not a long name.”
He gave me half a smile, which was still bigger than the other ones he’d given me.
“That’s still pretty vague,” he teased. “Care to take a guess?”
I pretended to think about it. “Hmm…” I said. “No. I have a feeling there’s rules to this game that I don’t know yet.”
He gave me a happy smile, almost a full one, and I realized he’d been right about the ‘profound sense of accomplishment,’ even if he’d been joking.
“You’re learning,” he told me appreciatively.
“So do I get any bonus points for this?” I asked, half-joking.
He smirked slightly. “Yes, actually,” he told me, looking back up at the sky and closing his eyes again.
We didn’t say anything for a minute, and as much as I hated to waste precious time, I had a feeling this was the right thing to do. My feeling was vindicated as he spoke again with another half-smile.
“You want to know what they’re worth?” he guessed.
I nodded, still not caring that he couldn’t see me. It didn’t bother me that he wasn’t looking at me this time, though. He’d let me see his face, so now if he wanted to let the rain soothe his burn then I had no problem.
I remembered that he’d implied he’d tell me what the bonus points were worth as his smile widened slightly.
“Congratulations,” he said, giving me his biggest almost-smile yet. “They’re worth another piece of the truth.”
He turned back to me and opened his eyes, and I gasped as I saw they were royal blue now. They flashed yellow as I reacted, and I gazed into them, mesmerized enough to ignore my shock for the moment. The yellow drained out as I watched, and the blue deepened until it was almost purple. He looked back up at the sky and closed them again, and I began to breathe once more.
“I need to go now,” I said, grimacing as I realized it sounded like his eyes had chased me away. “I have to catch my bus.”
He nodded slightly, not opening his eyes.
“See you?” I tried to say, standing up, but it came out as a hopeful question.
He opened his eyes and looked at me again. “See you,” he confirmed, his slight smile back. His eyes were back to the original brown, with a slight bluish purple tint.
I turned and walked away, unable to keep the happy smile off my face. I couldn’t wait to see this odd guy again, and surprisingly, it had little to do with my curiosity. The curiosity was still there; hell, it’d gotten to the point that I’d kill for answers, but I wanted to see him personally, more.
I shook my head, remembering why I’d left, and started to sprint back to school to catch my bus. I wouldn’t have had to run if I’d left earlier, but it had been worth it. I made it, and the bus driver gave me a weird look as he saw how thoroughly soaked I was. I ignored him and got onto the bus, and we left less than thirty seconds after that.
Safe, I thought, and as my mind turned back to my strange new friend, I realized I was happier than I’d been in a long time.
 

 

I sat on the bench, watching my strange new friend leave, and I considered.
I’ve been smiling, I realized incredulously. Who’d have thought?
I smiled again, surprising myself, and looked up again, enjoying the cooling water on that damn burn. For once, I’d enjoyed my short period of down time. Usually, I found it mind-numbingly boring, and I only came here to give my wounds a chance to heal, but I suspected I’d be coming back more often from now on. Sure, a lot of people would celebrate the freedom from my presence, but after everything, I thought I’d earned some time to myself if I wanted it.
 
Oh well, I thought. I’d better get back to work now. Places to be, things to do… people to kill.

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I don't know what it is with me and using dramatic endings, but I don't do it as often as you'd think from reading the previews I've put up so far, I promise XD

 

Thanks for reading, and I'm looking forward to any and all feedback! Thanks in advance! :D

Edited by faxity
  • Like 1
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Don't bank on me to come up with an appropriate title ... you're quite able to coin it yourself :) That said, get on with the story, but don't neglect your other projects...

I've been alternating between this and Summer in Muskoka, and occasionally trying to get a bit more written in the other sneak peek I put up here XD. 

 

I knew I forgot something in the original post, and it was you XD. Thanks for editing it! I'm gonna check if I can edit the original post now, and sorry for forgetting :lol:

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