December 21 2012 was prophesied to be the end of the world. And
it perhaps it was?
There was no catastrophic event. No
armageddon. No judgment on the righteous or evil. Somewhere, it
rained. Somewhere else, there was an earthquake. An estimated
56,597,034 people died, and another 73,485,898 people were born.
The next day, a man named Steve drove to work. On the way back,
he stopped to buy a pastry for his daughter. No tragedy befell
Steve that day, but his boss' mother-in-law did die after a long
battle with cancer.
And somewhere, four girls slept soundly.
Chapter One- Friday 13th April
To passers by, they saw a short girl become smothered by an over
enthusiastic girl who had just gotten off a bus. It putted in the
lane outside the station, as the people trapped in it's belly
marched out in a continuous, solemn stream. Some grabbed their
bags and made straight for home. Others were greeted by family,
or friends, and started chatting immediately. This particular
girl had moved from her defenseless short friend to a freckled
girl on her right. She too received a death hug. And finally,
having watched her friends suffer, the tallest one was hugged.
"Yay, I'm back!!! Urgh, six hours, I need a wee soooo bad."
The short girl was moving to help get her friend's bag. The
returner did too, telling her friends to 'hang on'. It may have
surprised onlookers, as the girls all looked and acted quite
young, but they were all first year university students. It was
the Friday before the end of mid semester break, and Aileen, the
enthusiastic one, had just gotten back from a week at home. The
others would have had to fly, which was too expensive, as they
lived in the North Island. Their university was near the bottom
of the South one, but was one of the two best in the country, and
recognized overseas. The two girls returned, suitcase in tow, and
various things were shared out to lighten the load. Aileen took
her suitcase, as it was heaviest, Rowan, freckles, was to hold
the carry on bag and Sam, the shorty, held the pillow. Taryn was
lucky to get away with nothing, but she was in charge of opening
all the doors. Luckily, it was only a ten minute walk to their
Hall of Residence. The girls were already telling their friend of
the escapades they had gotten into while she was away.
Apparently, they had gotten very drunk, along with Taryn's twin
sister (who had come down to arrived to visit the same day Aileen
left, so she had missed meeting her), somehow ended up in one of
the Residential Assistant's beds, been far too noisy and been
told off by Rosemary, the deputy Head of College. They'd spent
the next day terrified she would forever be disappointed in them
but the whole thing had blown over.
"I leave you alone for five minutes!" said Aileen, shaking her
head. She had curly brown hair, that fell just below her chin.
Her eyes were so dark a brown they were almost black, but this
was mostly unnoticed because her oval purple glasses drew most of
the attention. Of half British, half Seychellois lineage (or
half-white, half-black in layman's terms), her skin was just a
shade paler than olivey brown. As with all mixed race babies,
there was a interesting array of what people had thought her
ethnicity was. Her favourites were Mexican, Romanian and
Egyptian. She was laughing now, more of a cackle, which she had
inherited from her mother. She proceeded to recount for them some
of her exploits, especially in relation to her dog, Molly, a fat
black labrador whom she'd had since moving to New Zealand, 11
years ago. The girls stayed in Aileen's room for two hours after
her arrival back, laughing and telling each other stories.
Eventually, exhaustion overtook her and she affectionately kicked
them out. She hugged all but Taryn, who did not like hugs and
received a pat on the head as substitute.
They had met purely through serendipity. Sam was on the same
corridor as Aileen, and, armed with that surge of friendliness
and confidence one gets in such situations as moving school or
entering Halls, had struck up a conversation with her. Amazed and
glad someone was actually talking to her, she happily chatted
back, trying to be as least socially awkward as possible. With
apparent ease, Sam made conversation about the drawings on
Aileen's wall, the Dalek poster was mentioned, Dr Who brought up
and Aileen found herself walking to Sam's room to see her
T.A.R.D.I.S cookie jar. It lit up and made that whirring noise
like a machine with tuberculosis. She was most impressed (and
Through Sam, she met Taryn, who was also majoring in Psychology
(although as a Bachelor of Science, rather than of Arts, as
Aileen was. Apparently this would allow her to start work
immediately, without getting a Masters). At first, she was
annoyed by Taryn, who talked almost constantly and seemed
standoffish. But now she had learned to tune out, or politely ask
she shut up, and that the stand offishness was nothing more than
a protective cover. Taryn was one of the warmest and considerate
people she knew, she just had a unique and sometimes complicated
way of showing it. Somehow, Sam had met Rowan, who then met
Taryn, and then Aileen. Rowan was a take-me-as-you-see-me girl,
with a passion for laughter. She reminded Aileen of her Mum,
making her all the more endearing. Both Rowan and Aileen had
thought the other had been friends with Sam and Taryn since high
school, and were surprised to find out this was not so. The other
two had attended the same high school in Auckland, but Rowan had
lived in Wellington, the capital, while Aileen had live in
various parts of the South Island. It was amazing the ease with
which they got on. Despite their differences, and they were all
rather distinct, they seemed closer than any of the other groups
which had formed. They laughed frequently, and loudly, proud to
be the odd ones out.
It was mainly just the four of them, but sometimes they were
joined by Michael, and Jay on even rarer occasions. Michael was a
big, blonde boy, with a pondering beard just on his chin and a
love for My Little Pony. Often they crashed his room, decorated
with Pony posters and figurines, and proceeded to annoy him until
he let them watch one of his sci-fi or Disney movies, while he
played Skyrim. Doomed from the start, being virtually the only
male in the group, he showed great patience and tolerance of
their girlish nonsense. Again, as the fate of all only males in a
group of girls is, he was mercilessly teased. Aileen had taken to
hiding his Ponies in safe places around his room, but he had
threatened to lock them all out of his room, which had put a stop
to her fun. When they went out clubbing, which was rare, they
took him with them to deter perverts. There was something about a
towering Michael in his RAF coat that put them off. Jay was
sweet. He came from a very small town but was quite easy going
and accepting, unexpected of a "small town mentality". He did
have a bad habit of sneaking up on people though. Not that he
meant to, he just walked incredibly quietly and saw no reason to
announce himself. So you would be having a conversation and
suddenly a voice behind you would pitch in with a comment and you
would almost jump out of your skin. And then you discover he has
actually been there for five or ten minutes. The girls were
dealing with this though, and training him to at least cough when
he approached. He was a dear and, despite this one creepy habit,
they liked him.
On Mondays and Thursdays, they had hot chocolates and watched a
TV program. On Wednesdays and Fridays they were supposed to go to
the gym, but somehow usually managed to excuse themselves. With
differing timetable, Taryn and Aileen had lunch together on week
days, while Rowan and Sam did. For dinner, Taryn and Aileen would
go down at quarter to six, 15 minutes after the begging rush but
also 15 minutes before the 6'o clock end-of-lecture rush. By
quarter past, Rowan and Sam had usually joined them. Jay came
most of the time too, and Michael would show every now and then,
eat his dinner in the blink of an eye, and return to his lair.
Often they would linger long past dinner's end, talking and
laughing, until they were the only ones left. One of the Kitchen
Staff, Tracy, had become friends with the girls, pretending to
make them leave and threatening them with a mop. She was
affectionately known as Gertrude, for reasons now in known to the
girls. On weekends, they would gather in Aileen's room, 15 or 20
minutes before dinner began. Her's was the room for gathering.
Through unspoken agreement, it had been arranged, mainly for
convenience reasons. Her's was the tidy enough to enter (unlike
Sam's), comfortable and on the floor just above the dining hall
(unlike Taryn and Rowan, who lived on second and third floor
Tonight was Saturday. The summoning txt had been sent round and
Aileen sat on her laptop waiting for their arrival. Rowan arrived
first, with a knock that just fell the wrong side of musical.
Like Aileen, she was also a mixed race baby. Her father was
white, and her mother Maori, and it showed in Rowan more through
her body shape and mannerisms, than her actual colour. Most of
her colour came from the freckles that dotted her body. She had a
round face, with dark brown hair that she usually kept in a bun.
Aileen loved it down, the long corkscrews falling past her
freckled shoulders, but Rowan found it cumbersome. Her hazel eyes
were mainly brown, with beautiful green and yellow, and were
framed by beautiful long lashes.
"Heya." she said, swinging her room key, which was here hanging
from a lanyard around her neck, with her left hand. Today she
wore a grey dress, with no bra, as usual. Aileen couldn't
understand how she managed to pull it off. She marveled at it.
"Oh God, I got through two cells lectures, in an hour."
"Ooh, well done."
"Yeah but it almost killed me."
Rowan and Sam were both doing Health Science First Year, and,
like all Health Scis, were slowly loosing their minds.
There was a shuffling down the corridor and Aileen prepared for
Sam's arrival. A tentative knock at the door confirmed her
"Hi." she said with a wave, in a voice that would be a whisper in
anyone else. She stood her a good head shorter than Aileen, who,
having always been teased for being short, took an uncalled for
glee in teasing Sam about her height, or lack there of. Sam had a
weak right hand and indeed whole right side, due to being born
premature. On the plus side, her fingers could bend in the most
interesting ways. Her long brown hair always had a slightly wild
appearance, no matter how much she brushed it. And her dark brown
eyes always reminded Aileen of some sort of dog. Had she wanted
to, Sam would have been the best at puppy dog eyes. Taryn arrived
shortly after, with a firm, demanding knock. At five ft seven,
Taryn was the tallest of the four. She had an oval face, with a
slightly pointed chin, and incredibly pale skin. Her hair was
interesting mix of strawberry blonde, gingery blonde and light
brown, with a centimeter of dark regrowth. Her blue eyes had
yellow rings around the pupil, and turned green when she was
particularly upset. Like Aileen, she wore glasses but her's were
brown, rectangular and Guess.
"It's freezing." she announced after the 'Hi's had been
"Mmm" agreed Aileen
"Really?" said Rowan, "I'm not cold at all." she continued with a
giggle. Taryn looked at hers though she'd just grown another
nose. Her arms came untucked from each other in order to support
the oncoming exclamation.
"What's wrong with you? I'm wearing a singlet, a merino tap and
then ANOTHER top and I'm still cold!!" Rowan just laughed again.
Sam, quietly watching the proceeding decided it was time to
leave. Everyone was ushered out of the room, had to wait while
Aileen found her key, so she could lock her door, then they
headed down for dinner.
Early, as usual, they got comfortable by the heater. For five or
so minutes, they engaged in some banter or other. When others
came,they were forced to move away from the heater and nearer to
the serving doors in order to prevent people pushing in front of
them. It had happened once before, a group of flippant girls
crowding in front of them. Not only that, but they then invited
all their friends to join them, leaving the girls with 20 or so
giggling creatures in front of them. This had infuriated Taryn,
angered Aileen, amused Rowan and Sam was put out a bit, but
accepted it as she accepted so many things. Since then, it had
been agreed, without words, that they would not let it happen
again. Even Sam did not want a repeat of such of rudeness.
Eventually the hall filled up on opposite ends with rowdy, hungry
teenagers who got more rowdy and apparently hungry as it got
closer to 5:30. At some point, decided upon by Taryn, she handed
out plates and cutlery to them, as was their ritual. Aileen
always got a bit lost when Taryn was not there to do this,
although the others seemed to manage. At 5:27, the doors were
thrown open and the bustling began.
"Ooh, they have vegetables, I
don't have to get salad!" exclaimed Taryn. "What?" she added, at
Aileen's wee shake of the head. "You wouldn't want salad too if
you had to have it with dinner every night. For. A. Year."
"True." Aileen conceded, as she conceded every time Taryn started
this story. Her (evil) step-mother had not worked for a year, and
had been too lazy to cook vegetables and so made salad instead.
And they had all had to eat it. Since then, Taryn had apparently
harbored a deep, burning hatred for all things salad related.
Pudding, which was displayed before the mains, was bypassed. It
was a suspicious looking fruit salad that none of the girls were
particularly inclined to eat. The main carbs for that day were
rice and pasta, although it could sometimes be potatoes (roasted
or mashed) and even cous cous.
"Ohmygodpeas!" Aileen loved peas. As for the main, of the two
choices, Taryn, Rowan and Aileen had the fish, while Sam had the
sausages (which she later regretted).
They sat down at a mostly empty table near the back of the hall,
opposite the windows that looked out on the tennis court. A
ginger boy in a torn checkered shirt and grey jeans with writing
all down the front came past with a tray. Karl was on Aileen and
Sam's corridor, and had also known Sam and Taryn since hugh
school. Sav, his girlfriend, arrived beside him, greeting them
all. She had blue hair, which was fantastic, and she was
incredibly lovely. Karl absolutely adored her and they were the
cutest couple if a bit odd. Karl always wore women's jeans,
finding he preferred the style, and always came out with the
strangest things to say. Sav seemed normal enough but she was
dating Karl, and she had moved into his room, from her's on
ground floor. They swept off to sit at their customary table with
their friends. The girls ate, and talked every now and then.
Michael appeared, ate at his inhumanely fast paced, then left
again. Eventually only Rowan and Aileen were continuing to eat,
the prior because she talked so much she hardly had time to eat,
and the latter because she was a slow eater.
Karl was creeping up on Aileen. Sam could see it. She thought
creeping didn't quite describe it, because he was walking quite
normally. It was more like walking with a sneaky purpose.
Although she gave not hint that he was coming, she tensed herself
for inevitable consequences of his sneaking. He reached Aileen,
and with her completely unawares, bent low to her ear and said
The scream shattered the room. Everyone, in a swift, unified head
snap, turned to look at them. Sam had moved her hands to her ears
in the split second between Karl's hi, and Aileen's scream. She
lowered them now. Taryn was complaining about the pain in her
ears, Aileen was hitting Karl while he professed how hurt he was
that she reacted this way to him and Rowan was laughing
hysterically. Inwardly, Sam sighed.
"Hey guys." The others continued to talk to each other.
"Guys." someone laughed at another's joke.
"Guys." She seemed to be completely ignored.
"GUYS! SPEAKING!" Taryn eventually screeched. They turned to look
at her now, both annoyed and amused.
"Okay," she said with an
over dramatic sigh. "So, I was thinking maybe we could do
something at the end of next week, to celebrate being back and
having done one week of lectures. What do you think?"
There were nods of agreement. Aileen said it'd be better to go on
Friday or Saturday, seeing as Sunday they'd want an early night.
Taryn was to look up times and movies, and they would take a vote
later. They then left the table, cleared their plates and went to
their respective rooms.