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Specific fights.... Trigger specific non-human people.


Submitted:Oct 24, 2011    Reads: 54    Comments: 2    Likes: 2   


Fiona

It rains nearly everyday here.

In winter, it's close to hail.

In summer, it's not that hot.

In autumn, the leaves really do change color and fall from the trees.

In spring, the flowers pop up like daises and the town turns beautiful.

But it still rains.

Seattle, Washington, is like that. I don't enjoy It, but the rest of my family does. I don't like the rain, I like the seasons. I never wanted to move here, I wanted to stay in Georgia with my friends, in the house with the awesome ginkgo tree.

At first, it was just an idea to move here. Economy was bad, and Dad would complain about money a lot. Lily and I would listen in on Mom and Dad's conversations in the hall.

"Then get another job, James!"

"Yes, Rachel, because there as so many jobs out there just waiting for me, of all people."

"Maybe there are, you just have to look for them!" Lily and I flinched at our mother's tone. She never used that tone with us, and yet she did with Dad.

There were plenty more words out there that were thrown out, but Lily and I raced back to our room, so we didn't hear anything else.

I thought that since Dad said that we didn't have much money, we wouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon. But that changed when I was eleven and Lily ten, Mom angry and Dad frustrated. They announced the move to Washington, where one of Dad's brothers lives, and about half a year later there we were, driving cross-country to our new home.

It didn't seem that bad, of course, except for the fact that the last quarter of the school year and all of summer was basically devoted to moving. When we did arrive in Washington, Dad's brother paid for a rent house a half an hour drive from his place. Then we moved in 1682 Roshbush Avenue, an hour and a half drive from our uncle, and we started to pay the bills ourselves.

Mom and Dad god a new job each, but they don't really enjoy it. Dad is a policeman - night duty. He goes off every night to patrol near the bank, along with some of his buddies; Uncle Rick, Auntie Clem, and Aunt Jack. There were all good friends in college, and they work well together. Aunt Jack's really name is Jacquelyn, but no one took her seriously, calling her "Officer Jacquelyn". 'Officer Jack' sounds much better. But they call Dad "Officer Thompson".

Mom is a seventh grade English teacher. They call her "Mrs. Thompson", but they like her and call her "Mrs. Terrific". She hates her jobs, she loves her students. Sometimes she gets her salary cut low because she fights to be paid more.

Lily and me, we just agree with any complaints out parents give us, any at all. We just say "Uh-huh" and "Wow" fifty percent of the time we actually listen, and don't argue for the other side. That's the system, that's the rule.

Way back at the beginning of the move, I had to help out a lot in the house, while Lily went to exploreup and down the windy hill of a backyard outside. Eventually I would persuade Lily to come down to our little one story house plus basement and small attic and help do the laundry or something.

Now it's a routine, we know that this is our home now and what responsibilities it requires. Lily washes the dishes, mops the floors, and helps to take care of Mom's garden in the morning when Mom isn't here. I take care of everything else, and by everything, I mean everything. I vacuum the rooms, make sure there aren't any cobwebs or anything, make Dad's morning cup of coffee.

Before, when we were still in Georgia, Mom and Dad would do all that cooking and cleaning stuff, and Lily and I would only have to worry about our school work, nothing else for the most part.

But that was then, and this was now. And now was a lot more difficult than then.

Sometimes I'm able to do some chores with friends, if they'll help me. The Harrisons like helping people, but their twins Cody and Natalie like to help me in particular. We talk, we laugh, and we gossip about who likes who and the funniest fail of the day. Cody and Natalie come over nearly everyday after school, and Lily brings her friend Suzanne. They're only a year younger than us, so we all get along fairly well. Except when we don't.

Low profile. Low profile. Those are the two words that run through my head every time I start to raise my hand to answer a question at school. As long as I know that I know the answer, I'm fine.

Low profile. Low profile.

Don't draw attention to yourself. Talk with the friends you already have.

Low profile. Low profile.

Ask teachers after class, not during. Hold any questions of bathroom breaks for lunch.

Low profile. Low profile.

Everyday look down, walk to school, have the best possible day, and walk home. Nothing else. It helped that Seattle Middle was only a mile from my home. Don't be see, don't be heard.

That was the rule.

Lily

I remember when Fiona pulled me aside in front of the school building. "Don't be seen. Don't be heard," she said. "That's the rule." Then she pushed me to go onto seventh grade while she begun eighth.

I talked to my friends. I stayed out of everyone's way. I did only what I was told, nothing else. I was a good girl, everyone who knew me (which wasn't that many people to begin with) knew it too.

When school was over I would trudge on over to the eighth dread buildings and wait for Fiona. Then together we would walk home, side by side, and say nothing.

We would get rained on, and Fiona would sprint home while I walked, calmly kicking the same rock over and over. When I did get home, I would close the door behind me, go to my room, and start on homework.

Without a word.

Then I would finish, and wait for Fiona to finish taking a shower so that I could wash my blonde, now muddy, hair. Then I would wash the dishes from dinner or breakfast, and not say a word.

All day while doing these things, I would wonder about my necklace, and the barely known grandfather that gave it to me before he moved on. "Wear it with pride," He had said. And I had taken it, give him my thanks, and walked away.

I wore it everyday anyway. It was a simple silver chain with a star with "Bravery' engraves, but the thought of grandfather giving it to me mean something more.

I know that every night I fall asleep clutching the necklace that hung around my neck. And I knew that I would never let go either, because when I woke up, my hand would be in the exact same position, and the star - the star, would be warm.

Tanya

I don't know why it appealed to me. I barely knew the girl. She was the girl that hung out with that weirdo Suzanne, the girl that sat in the same area of chairs in every class, the back corner farthest from the door.

Even though I didn't know anything about her personality, I was jealous of her. Her blonde hair, how it seemed to fall naturally down her shoulders perfectly. Her face, how every feature seemed to be designed by a make-up artist. Her smarts, how even when she didn't seem to know the answer to any question, she knew anyway. Her sister, how she was so different and yet so perfect at the same time. Her necklace, how it hung from her neck so comfortably there, as if it was already there since birth.

I hated myself because of her. My black and purple highlighted hair wasn't a match for hers. How my spelling bee awards didn't seem to matter when she answered a question correctly, and how no matter what beautiful, expensive jewelry my parents bought me, it just didn't seem to come into comparison with her necklace.

I don't know how or when I decided to do it, but I swore, one day, that sometime in the seventh grade I would do something to her that would ruin her life, and put me on top.

Suzanne

Tanya's always hated Lily and me, God knows why. Whenever I try to talk to her, she gives me a glare that just screams for me to go away, and I do. I don't what Lily ever did to Tanya, but Tanya has always seemed to go out of her way to stomp on Lily's toes, or trip Lily, or do anything to Lily. Then Tanya walks away as if nothing ever happened, and I watch her leave.

I think Tanya just doesn't like Lily and me, but Lily's life isn't all that good in the first place. Every time I go over to Lily's house, you can always hear Fiona somewhere else complaining about everything.

But I do see why it seems as if Tanya is jealous of Lily. Lily does seem perfect, yes, it's true. But that necklace she always wears is just screaming "I'm rich!" No, that's not something to hate a person for. No.

Yes.

No.

Yes.

No.

Yes.

Cody

Nothing bothers me more than death.

Black widows? I kill them without a second thought.

Rattlesnakes? Walk away, no question.

Food poisoning? Stay in bed and don't eat anything.

Death? Forget about it. If I even think about death, I get all sweaty and I'm close to fainting - but I don't, because death is too close to fainting.

I've always hated death, since I watched to two cars crash, the police and ambulances come. Since the close to death bodies were carried out. For a six year old, that's a pretty terrifying thing when you're walking home from the park.

Life is so much better than death. I've never been to death, but the fact that everyone seems afraid of death, it just seems to be the most reasonable answer.

Natalie thins differently. She welcomes death, every second of every day, but it just isn't ready to take her. "It's coming," She says. She's been saying that since last month. "Death is coming, Cody. Death is angry, and it's coming to take someone."

You're crazy, I tell her. She acts as if she is death.

"No I'm not, Cody. Death is coming. And it's angry at someone we know."

"You're crazy." I repeat. She shrugs.

"It'll happen soon, Cody. You just wait. It might take Mom, or Dad, or me, or Theodore (their brother), or Lily (friend), or Fiona (friend's sister), or you…"

"That's crazy, you're crazy!" I yell. We head Mom's footsteps pause outside our door.

Natalie gives me a curious look, and smiles. It's a nice day today, isn't it Cody?" She points out the window, when I thunderstorm is happening. "I think I'll go play outside. Would you care to join me, Cody?" We hear Mom's footsteps walk away. I shake my head no. Natalie frowns and grabs her raincoat, her sandals, and her summer hate and walks away.

I listen from my doorway for the door slam. But it doesn't happen. I run downstairs and expect to see the door open, but instead I see a pried open window, the lock broken, and Natalie dancing outside in the rain with a parasol, short on, sandals, raincoat, and summer hat. I listen to her voice over the rain, and I hear Christmas songs, oldies songs, but mostly, I hear my sister, my twin sister, singing her own made- up songs about Death.

"Death, death,

It's what I see.

It's come for you

And it's come for me.

It's angry

It's coming.

But you think I'm wrong.

Just wait till Death comes,

Picks you up, and brings you along."

Natalie

He doesn't believe me.

He thinks I'm wrong.

You just wait, Cody, when Death comes and picks up a new passenger.

That's what I tell him, I try to warn him, but he calls me crazy every time I try.

I'm NOT crazy. Death trusts me. He tells me everything. He tells me who his next passenger is, and how he will pick him up. I listen to what He has to say, and I nod and agree, it is the best way.

It started when I was five. Death came to my mind, and told me that one day, Mom, Cody, and I would go to the park and we would witness a death so that I could see how Death worked. That day came when I was six, a year later. Cody and I watched the car crash, the ambulances come. It was terrible, but it was thrilling. Instead of blocking out Death, I willed Him to tell me more, and he did.

Contacting me through dreams was the best way. He didn't tell me everything, but enough. He told me the names of the people, how and why their death is planned. I tell him what I think, and Death listens. Then he fixes the people's death to make them more painful or pleasant, it all depends on why the person deserves death.

The second death I helped create happened a year later, but Death and I had been planning it since December.

Death told me in a dream, he came to me disguised as a dark man in a black flowing cloak, but I knew he wore that so he wouldn't frighten me.

He didn't move his mouth, but his voice came clearly in my head. There will be one near...he warned, and there we were, in Death's lair.

It isn't how you would imagine, all read with bones all over the cave. No, it's nothing like that. It's dark and pitch black, but if you look around it'll look like you were in an aquarium, because there'll be tanks full of green murky water. There are some good tanks, they're filled with clean, fresh, bright water, but all of the tanks are filled with souls. Not ghosts, but souls. Death told me that these tanks are much long and much bigger than they look. The clean tanks hold the good souls, the souls that had done great admirable things, the rest held ordinary people, or naughty people

I listened to Death.It will happen near,he told me.It will happen when one takes a turn for the worst...I listened closer.He will decide not for himself, but for a loved on... He will steal from another for another.... And he will be punishable by death.

I nodded and listened to this man's planned death. I was told to go to downtown's jewelry store on the eighth of July. And when that day came, I brought Cody along.

Maybe he would see that Death is really thrilling.

When we arrived, the shop was being robbed. The man was masked, but I could tell he was someone I knew. I could also see Death himself, lurking under a policeman's car. This was it.

The masked man tried to make a break for it, but the policemen were 2 fast 4 him. One policeman pulled out their gun, and when the man was only five feet about from me (Cody was a coward and had run for it), Death had guided the policeman's bullet into the masked man's heart. It was thrilling, watching that man - only five feet away- struggle one more step, then fall. He wasn't dead yet- Death was still hiding under the car.

The event was still thrilling, but I knew my face was chalk- white. I looked at the police man, who was also chalk-white, perhaps eve more. "I didn't mean to kill him, I just wanted to stop him...." he muttered. We stared at the limp body, and I kneeled down and peeled off his mask.

It was my old teacher.

When I looked up, I saw Death in his flowing cloak floating towards me, and I back away. Death muttered something, and out came my old teacher's soul. Death tucked it into his cloak and faced me.You will be useful. You shall assist me. There will be no turning back.I nodded, not knowing what I was getting myself into.She will try to kill herself, and you will let her.I bowed to Death, and he flew off when I ran from the scene.

Over the years I grew paranoid, I was to be present at every death that Death told me to be at, and it was stressful to watch the person die. I learned to control my being paranoid, but sometimes I just couldn't control. I stayed away from people when this would happen, but sometimes the people - and Death - wouldn't stay away from me.

A few months ago Death came to me again. It wasn't an ordinary, this time he only filled my mind with his voice.I'm coming....he warned. He sounded angry.The girl shall die, in good time. This time, it will be even closer than you thinkThen he left, and ever since I'm been warning Cody, and wondering - who was next?

Fiona

The first thing i hear on a perfectly rainy Sunday is LIly yelling at me. "You never emptied the dishwasher! I can't do the dishes if there's nowhere to dry them!" I groan. I had thought I'd emptied the dishwasherlast night.

"I'll be right down!" I yell, getting out of bed. Then I get to the kitchen and start emptying the dishwasher with Lily's help. I pick up a bowl and turn it over, not realizing that it's full of water. All the water spill out - right on top of Lily's head. She gasps, and I yawn.

"You did that on purpose!" She yells. I protest. There's no adult home to help us dissolve the problem - Dad's at the police station and Mom is probably at work grading papers. "You suck,dammit!" She cries as I fling another bowl of water at her. Now she's soaking.

"Go to hell." I retort, and I stomp back to my room and jump back in bed. My bed is my sanctuary, my heaven. Nothing bothers me there. I hear a clanging of dishes, then LIly creatively cussing at herself. I can only expect that Lily's broken some dishes. I take one deep breath and go back to bed.

Or try to, rather.

I hear Lily banging on the door yelling at me to get up and help her. But I just ignore her, and I pull up the blankets over my face, making the failure attempt at blocking our Lily's voice, but I can hear her through my blankets. "You never do anything you're told anymore! Why don't you just go find another family? One with butlers and maids and everything! That what youwant, isn't it?" I groan. Sometimes, I swear, Lily could be a real pain in the butt. The little snoop went through my journal a while ago. Thanks to her,that went into the garbage.

I rose out of bed angrily and opened the door a crack. LIly was sopping wet, thanks to me. "What about you, huh? One day you're going to complain all about your life of 'hell', and you'llknow what I think." Lily rolled her eyes as she squeezed the water from her hair.

"Vacuum the freaking house. Empty the stinking dishwasher. Clean your suckish room. Die so you can go to freaking hell." I slammed the door and yelled through it.

"You know, one day I'm not going to be here to tell you what to do. You're going to be ON. YOUR OWN!" I kick the door with my foot and try to go to bed again. I fall asleep to the sound of LIly creatively cussing in my name.

Tanya

Or crap. Oh crap. Oh crap. That's what goes through my mind over and over when my mom busts me for hiding a stash of candy in my room in the very back of my closet. The stuff is what I eat when my dinner is forbidden for me to touch. The stuff is what I steal on Halloween night. The stuff is there for when I need it.

"Is this what you've done to repay me?! STuffing yourself with candy until your butt is as big as afiretruck?" I roll my eyes at her, but she keeps nagging at me. Eventually she turns around. She can't face me anymore. But when she turns, I run to my room and lock the door.

I'd give anything to be Lily right now. Anything. She's probably enjoying some warm whatever while my mom throws darts at me with her voice. I try to ignore the sound of Mom's sharp voice and pull out a piece of paper and start to write plans for the destruction of Lily Thompson. I could wait until I'm eighteen and I get a car a Lily would be in a small little 'accident', but seeing as how that's six years away, that's not really an option.

I keep writing ideas till I come to the very last idea I can think of, and pick which plan I like best. There's the strangling her with a rope in PE plan, but that's too public. There's the poisoning her food plan, but I don't have any poison, unfortunately. There's the 'edit a video to make it look as if Lily is picking her nose and eating what comes out of it' plan, but that's too much work, and I don't really have a video of Lily.

So instead I choose the easiest, most undetectable, most devious plan, and I decide that yes - yes, it is good enough.

Suzanne

The next day when I go to school, it's almost as if Lily - and strangely enough, Tanya - is avoiding me. I only see glimpses of her at lunch, and she won't evenlook at me during science. After school I finally see her, sitting outside Mr. Brewman's door.

I nearly say hi, when I can see Tanya sitting down next to her. Why is Tanya,of all people, sitting next to Lily? I again nearly yell out to mention this when Tanya gets up and goes into the bathroom nearby, and Lily reaches for her cell phone, which seems to be ringing. Lily's yelling now, and I can hear her all the way down the hall from my hiding place behind the corner.

"Sorry, it's not my fault, I picked up a piece of gum from the walkway and Mr. Brewman thought it was mine!" There's a pause. "Does it really matter? Not like you waited for me." Yet another pause. "Well you have fun munching on... What's that, microwavable macaroni and cheese while I'm with Brewman!" Lily groans. "Because I can hear, dammit!" SHe slams the phone closed and puts it back in her pocket.

I come out of my hiding place and wave. "Hey, Lily." Lily looks up. Her eyes tell a story. Frustration. Sadness. Fighting the urge to throw the phone against the wall. A good amount of madness. All mixed together.

She opens her mouth, and only one word comes out. "Hey,"

Lily

When I see a little wrapper on the floor, I pick it up when I realize it's a stray piece of gum. I immediately think of the two obvious things of what to do with the gum. A) throw it away and be done with the thing, or B) stash it in my pocket and eat it/give it to someone later. I'm about to do the second option so I can give it to Suzanne later, when our of nowhere the strict art teacher, Mr. Brewman, pops up and yanks the gum our of my hand.

"What, Miss Thompson, might this little specimen be?"

I gulped. "Gum."

"And what, Miss Thompson, might you be doing withgum?"

"I found it."

"Miss Thompson, you are aterribleliar. I'll seeyou after school, my classroom. Detention. Three hours. No complaining." I opened my mouth to protest, but it was always pointless to argue with Mr. Brewman.

I now had three hour detention.

I wanted to slow the day down, but instead it just sped up. I sighed as I plopped on the bench outside Mr. Brewman's door, when suddenly Tanya -Tanya Jones - sat next to me and blew a big bubble of bubblegum.

"Detention?"

I nodded. Why the hell wasTanya, of all people, talking tome?

"Me too, Mr. Brew-ha-ha busted me for chewing gum in his class..." We didn't talk for a couple seconds, but then Tanya rose as my phone started to ring. "Well, I'm going to go to the bathroom... Tell Mr. Brew-ha-ha he can start without me." Tanya left, and I answered y phone.

Fiona's voice came blazing through the speaker. "How thehell did you getdetention? Mom's going tokill you! And probably me too! And Dad's going to have a freaking barn when he gets that call from Mom!"

I sigh. "Sorry, not my fault, I picked up a piece of gum from the walkway and Mr. Brewman thought it was mine!"

"Mom and Dad are still going to kill you! I was wondering where you were when I walked home."

"Does it really matter? Not like you waited for me." I reasoned.

"You know the rule, if you're not there, I'm going to leave without you."

"Well, have fun munching on... What's that, microwavable macaroni and cheese while I'm with Brewman!" I hear the microwave timer go off and the silence of awkwardness.

"How do you know that?" Fiona asks, and I roll my eyes.

"Because I can hear, dammit!" I flip the phone closed, cursing in my head. I close my eyes and lean my head slightly against the wall when I hear Suzanne's voice.

"Hey, Lily." I look at her, but I can tell my eyes are close to tearing up.

I can barely open my mouth, but I manage to greet out "Hey."

"What are you doing here?" She asks, but this time I don't need to answer. Instead I lean my head back against the wall as a tear slides down the waterslide on my face. I shrug, and she pats me on the shoulder. "It's going to be alright, Lily. It's going to be alright."

This time I shake my head. "No, Suzie. No, it's not."

Natalie

Even though Theodore's waiting for us at home, and Fiona's already left, I drag Cody around the corner of the school building, and there - finally - I see Lily crying next to her little friend Suzanne. "Lily!" I shout. "Fiona was looking for you." I ignore Cody's attempt to hurt me in order to let him go, and Lily nods. She already knew. I sit next to her and stare at her face. It's a mess. Tears stream down her face every now and then, and her lips look blue.

Cody mumbles words of encouragement, but i don't think Lily's listening. Then Mr. Brewman comes and enters his classroom, and Lily follows. Suzanne sits there stunned, but Cody drags me away before I can really get a look at her face.

He practically drags me all the way home, ignoring my pleads to stop. "You've got to stop getting into other people's business, Natalie." He tells me this once we're inside our room.

I blink. "Death told me to be aware of people's emotions, Death told me that my observations might come in handy."

Cody takes me by my shoulders and shakes me. "You're fourteen, Natalie. You've got stop acting likeDeath is controlling your life!" He yells, but I shake my head.

"Death isn't controlling me, Cody. I'm controlling me. Death is just giving me practical suggestions, and I'm giving Death helpful suggestions." I reason, but instead Cody pushes me onto my bed.

"You're crazy, Natalie. My blood may rush through your veins, but you arenot my twin." He leaves the room, so I close my eyes and take a nap.

All the faces I had seen in that last hour filled my brain, Death and his creepy cloak in the middle of them all. His smooth voice again fills my brain.You have seen many. You have tried to warn, tried to turn back. I shall assist - perhaps you can find the puzzle and put it together. Death waved his hand, and the vision came to mind. There was Cody, Fiona, Lily, Tanya, Suzanne trailing behind, talking to.... Me.

I was viewing it from Death's view.

It was raining, but seeing as how we're in Seattle, that didn't help. I couldn't hear, but Lily was screaming. Then crying. And there was Suzanne's chocked face, Tanya's confused one.

Then the vision dissolved.

That was nothing, I say. That didn't help me.

It will happen soon. It will be devastating. But it will make sense.


When I wake up, I find myself in my mother's arms, Dad pressing a cold towel to my face. Cody is looking at me with a look of horror. "Honey, what's the matter?! Tell Momma..." She feels my cheeks, but I stare straight ahead. I must have done what I had done so many times before, I had screamed and cried in my sleep, saying my thoughts?

"Momma?" I ask, still looking at the ceiling.

She sighs of relief, then cradles me more. "What is it, honey? Tell Momma."

I look at her, wishing that she could somehowunderstand. But I tell her anyway, and I tell her what I had been telling Cody for days now. "Death is coming, Momma. And he's angry."

Cody

If God couldn't make me an only child, then the least He could do was give me anormal sibling. Theodore sings in his room with kareoke songs, and that's on thing, but having a creepy, weird, paranoid twin sister is another thing.

The minute I shut the bedroom door after argueing with Natalie, I know something's wrong. Well, there's the twin telepathy thing, and the fact that two minutes later, I hear Natalie screaming. I bust down the door as Theodore comes running, but then he goes to get our parents. Then things get even more out of hand. Natalie is squirming in bed, as if she's getting shocked. Dad is trying to grab her, but she keeps hitting him in the face.

Eventually they hold her down, but by then she wakes up. mom is trying to coax her somehow, but Natalie only speak in Death, her own language. Dad looks at his little girl, his little girl speaking gibberish. She speaks it often enough in front of me, that I cant nearly speak it myself.

A scary thing.

Nobody's looking at me when Natalie speaks again, but I mouth the words I know she's going to say.

"Death is coming, Momma. And he's angry."

Fiona

If I had ever tried to build the world's largest snow cone machine, the task would be nothing compared to trying to write this stupid english assignment while the Mad Lily pounds on your door every five minutes. I'm trying to make the goal of 5000 words and I'm still in the 600's when Lily busts down the door and immediately starts yelling at me.

"Where is it? I know you have it. Hand it over." I turn to look at her in my swivel chair and roll my eyes.

"Where iswhat, Lily? I swear, you havegot to be more specific sometimes."

"You know what I'm talking about."

"No, I don't." I turn around and try to write more.

"Really."

"Really, really."

"You're lying." Lily accuses.

"Am I?"

"Give itback, Fiona!"

"I don't even know what you're talking about!"

Lily groans and I imitate her. "Can I just have my green notebook back!?"

I roll my eyes. "I'm doing homework, Lily. Leave me alone, I don't have your green notebook, why the hell would I?" I turn around and see LIly stomping out of my room, and I can tell she's close to screaming. Soon enough I hear a loud "FOUND IT!"

I continue my paper, but soon enough Lily comes storming into my room again, shouting for this book she's been reading for the past five months. "I was on the last chapter." She complains. She always says that.

"I don't have it." I mumble.

"You're a bad liar."

"You're a bad detective. None of your stuff is in my room. Deal with it."

"Fine then where's the book?"

"Last time you were reading it in the kitchen."

There's a pause, and at first I push my luck and think she's gone. Yeah. That's - "No, I wasn't."

"How would you know, you don't even know where the book is."

There's a grumble of annoyance and the slam of a door. My door.

I heard the distant "found it" from the kitchen and start on word 681.

Tanya

Surprising as it may be, I'm actually on the good side with teachers. So when I asked Mrs. Kim if we could switch seats (and let me choose everyone's seat) in her history class, Mrs. Kim obliged and gave me the seating chart. "As long as it's reasonable," She said, "I'll put it into play."

When I got home I started. I honestly didn't care who was sitting where, only that Lily Thompson was sitting in front of me, and taht Suzanne was sitting on the other side of the room, in the first row. So I stationed myself in the corner closest to the door, Lily in front, and Suzanne closest to the teacher's desk.

Now I just had to wait for the right day, the right time.

Patience.

Patience is key.

*A Week Later*

Does sheknow about my plan or something? Is she thinking about my plan right now? Or is she just thinking smart?

I know when the perfect day is coming. I know that. But I have no idea Lily will decide to cooperate with God. I have about a month, maybe three weeks.

As much doubt I have in myself, I can't ignore the feeling that's pulling at my gut.

I will - even if I try not too - ruin Lily Thompson's life forever.

Suzanne

A week ago Mr.s Kim said that we would be switching seats. Which was strange, it was the middle of the quarter and we only switched seats at the beginning of the quarter.

But who could argue against a teacher?

So I was moved from the third row second seat, and placed right in front of the teacher's desk. I settled into the seat, making myself comfortable. I had watched Lily and Tanya get moved near each other. Strangers were moved near me, but I didn't mind them.

I had to keep my eye on Tanya, sitting right behind Lily. Suspicion filled my mind, Mrs. Kimknew that Lily and Tanya didn't get along. Why on earth did she place those two together?

Over the week, I kept looking behind me to check on Lily.

"Maybe she just wanted to give us a chance to be friends," Lily suggested. I snorted.

"Yeah, and maybe Tanya is a pretty fairy princess!" Lily rolled her eyes. "Just keep your eye out, okay? You never know, she just might stick a wad of gum into your hair. PUt your hair up, alright?"

"Tanya would never do that, she hates gum in the first place." I shrugged.

"You can't be too safe."

"To prove it, I'll wear my hair down. It'll give her more of an opportunity."

Lily, of all people, is good at holding a grudge. She kept her hair down for the next few weeks, and each day after school she asked me if there was any gum in her hair, and everyday, I was proved wrong.

But something was coming. I didn't know what, or when, butsomething was coming.

Natalie

The days passed, but Mom had gotten so worried about me ever since I had the mad breakout. At the dinner table, I had gotten into the habit of singing myvery creative song, just as a reminder to Cody of the events ahead.

Death, Death

It's what I see.

It's come for you

and it's come for me.

It's angry

It's coming

But you think I'm wrong.

Just wait till Death comes,

picks you up, and drags you along.


Cody kept screaming and running, but it was true. Death, though he was being rather secretive, was visiting my dreams more frequently now.

He stole me from sleep and brought me to his lair. Be careful, for when the clouds cry, they are mourning for those to be lost.

I made the mistake of getting annoyed. "Why don't you just tell me straightforward things?" Detah growled and grabbed my by the collar of my shirt and lifted me up in the air.Don't even try to defy me,He muttered.His breath smelled like onions.You know you've sold your soul to me plenty of years ago. defying me will kill you. Defying me will create distraction. Defying me will create destruction. Listen, follow, learn.

I breathed deeply, ignoring the horrible onion smell, and nodded. Death set me down on the chair down on the ground, and Death set a table. Give cups, one dice, five faces. "What do you want me to do?" I yelled, and Death floated down next to me.First pick a cup and a face.I picked the center most cup, and Cody's face. Death kept making me do that, until finally there weren't any more faces or cups to choose from.

Death waved his arm over the cups with the faces underneath, till they were all mixed up.Choose three. Take off the cup. I did. I started to cry as I saw the faces and realized what was going on. "Please. No." I begged.You now the last two faces. Roll the dice. That will be the person you will save.

I slowly picked up the dice, and carefully rolled it. I held my breath, but when the dice stopped rolling, I didn't exhale.The choice has been decided. They shall die.I started to cry, but Death wiped away the table carelessly.You disgust me. Leave my presence.I did, just in time to wake up so Cody walked into the room, I got up from the bed and started to hug him to death.

"Natalie? What's wrong? What happened?"

"Cody...! Cody, Cody, Cody.... I'm so sorry..."

"Natalie, what happened?"

I didn't tell him. I only said my apologies. "I'msorry,Cody. I'mso sorry."

Cody

Natalie hugging me and rambling on about something or someone dying isnever a good sign.

"Natalie! Get agrip! Didn't I tell you that all this Death talk is silly? No one is going to die, Natalie. No one we know, anyway. So be quiet and let's go visit Fiona and Lily. Fiona's working on the garden today, we can't help out like usual." I suggested, but Natalie shook her head in protest. I shrugged. "Fine, I'll go. You stay here and call me when Mom's done making a pie, she said she's making a blueberry one."

I grabbed my coat and left the house. Whatever, if Natalie didn't want to visit our friends. Lily and Fiona would get me.

Instead of knocking on the door, I went around the Thompson's back, and sure enough, there was Lily and Fiona weeding their mother's garden. Lily noticed me first. "Hey, Cody, get over here! THis is back breaking work, I need a rest. Can you take my spot for a while?" She asked, and I smiled and walked over.

Once I had started weeding, Lily took off inside, yelling "GOTTA PEE! GOTTA PEE!" I laughed, but Fiona nudged me. She rolled her big brown cow eyes at me once I looked at her.

"You aretoo nice, Harrison. THis isn't even my chore, it's hers! And now you've dragged yourself into it, too.Good job."I shrugged and we continued weeding for about 30 minutes when we decided to run. Fiona slapped me with her gardening gloves when I suggested it, but eventually we ended up chasing each other down the hill in her backyard, and again up the next hill.

Finally she decided to football tackle me at the bottom of the second hill, and we there too lie down and stare at the clouds. It had been an oddly sunny week, and everyone had been hoping for the good weather to keep up.

"Look, that one looks like a dragon blowing fire." Fiona pointed.

"Which one?" I asked.

"That one."

"Huh?"

Fiona got frustrated. grabbed my hand, and made me point to the one she was talking about. When i finally saw it, I muttered a rather idiotic "oh", and put my hand down along with Fiona's.

When our hands hit the floor, Fiona didn't let go.

I smiled as Fiona started asking random questions like she always did, such as "if you had to be any plant, what would you be?" I kept answering them, until she asked with eyes closed, "What are you most scared of?" A little absent-mindedly, that reminded me of Natalie.

By that time we had been lying on the softly cold grass for about an hour, and it looked as though Fiona was about to fall asleep.

I had almost immediately answered "Death", but I paused. Was it really? I mean, yeah, it was pretty bad, but... Were there more important things in life than...Life?

I glanced over at Fiona. Little snores were coming out of her sweet, cherry lip-balm mouth and cute little pudge faced nose. Even though her eyes were covered by her eyelids, she still looked adorable. Her hand was till wrapped around mine, warm - but not sweaty.

Her question still bothered me. What was I afraid of?

The more I thought about it while look at fourteen year old Sleeping Beauty, the more I decided. I leaned over and gave Fiona a gentle kiss on the cheek, the on I had been waiting for since that first day we met.

Then I whispered my answer right in her left ear.

"Losing, leaving, lovingyou."

Tanya

The day I had been waiting for finally game, about a month after Lily started to ramble on and on about how her sister was dating some kid, Cody Harrison. The situation, afterwards, was about just as perfect as it could be.

First, Lily wore her hair up.

Second, Lily's sister was dating.

Third, Lily would be telling Suzanne all about that.

Fourth, well- everything seemed to fine from there.

During quiet classwork time, or at least before it, I examined the situation. Lily's hair was up. Check. Mrs. Kim was letting us go to whatever seat we wanted? Check.

Nimble hands? Check.

While Mrs. Kim reviewed the rules for classwork time. I silently and quickly unlatched Lily's pendant. Then I waited till Lily got up to go sit next to Suzanne. When that happened, the pendant fell from Lily's neck, unnoticed. I snatched it up and stashed it in my jack pocket to examine for later.

So far, my plan was workingperfectly.


Suzanne

When Lily came over to sit next to me during classwork, I knew something was different - but I couldn't figure out what. It was something about her appearance - it bothered me.

By the end of the day, when we parted way to go home, I knew I should've stopped her, to figure out what was missing.

But I didn't.

Instead, I let her go.

Lily

After I got home from school, I did everything I was supposed to. Homework, shower, dinner, wash the dishes, finish any other homework, and go to bed.

In between all those things, I argued a lot with Fiona. First it was about her taking my notebook again. Then it was about her not helping me with homework. Then it was something about borrowing my spare hairbrush without asking. They all involved her and her own annoying sarcasm.

During dinner, Fiona kept rambling on about how she and Cody were dating. Honestly- it's amazying what a simple peck on the check could do.

When I finally hopped in bed, I turned on my favorite CD so I could fall asleep to the music. Then I got comfortable.

Or I at least tried too.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't fall asleep. I tried. I tossed and turned, moaning and grumbled. The last time I check the time, it was past two in in the morning and I hadn't gotten blink of sleep.

Eventually, around four thirty, I got an hour and a half of sleep before my alarm went off at six. I groaned but got out of bed anyway, and did whatever I had to in the morning.

When I looked at myself in the mirror, I had those stupid bags under my eyes that Dad usually had when he came home from the night shift.

I couldn't figure out why I couldn't sleep last night until I looked at my neck, expecting to see a silver chain. It wasn't there. The memories that went with that pendant flooded my head.

"Wear it withpride." is what he had said when he first gave it to me. Then at Thanksgiving, he asked me if I still had it, since I wasn't wearing it that day.

"Of course I do, Grandpa. It's over in my room, why?"

"You go over to your room and put that pendant on. Now." I don't remember arguing. I justdid it. When I came back to show him that I still had it, he didn't even smile. He was weird like that. "Lily Thompson, I want you to keep an eye on this thing. I told you to wear it with pride, no? I looked more into it. that pendant holdsfate. Good or bad, I 'm not sure. One day, something is going to happen that will change your life forever. Until that happens, keep an eye on the pendant."

I just smiled and nodded. Grandpa could be wacko like that. But I did keep an eye on the pendant. But now what would i do? THe pendant was gone. And I had absolutelynoidea where it was.

Fiona

Lily, for whatever reason, is yelling at me.

She started after school, right after the rain rolled in.

For her, Suzanne was tagging alone - and Tanya, but only God knows why. Cody and Natalie were following us too. I had promised that they could come over. But the hung back, as Lily yelled at me as rain poured down on us.

"Where is it, Fiona? Iknow you have it."

"Where iswhat?" I asked.

"You know what. My pendant. Where. Is. My. Pendant?"

"I don't know, ask... ask.... Ask Tanya. God."

"Why would she have it?"

"I don't know, why not ask her?" I suggested. By now, I needed another set of socks, mine were soaked.

"Stop it."

"Stopwhat?"

"STOP IT!" Lily yelled. She slapped me, straight across the face. When I looked at her face again, it looked as if she were crying. That's the thing about rain - if you cry, or when you cry, you can't really tell.

"That'sit." I yell, and I take off, stepping in every puddle, imagining it's Lily's face.

Suzanne

Today has been a rather weird day.

The sun never came out. Not once, even though it should have. The clouds rolled in when school started, and came and left. Now it's raining.

As Fiona ran off, I was watching Tanya looking in her fist. She was holding back showing something, which was completely unlike her. SO, instead of asking what she was looking at, I simple came next to her.

And stuck my foot out.

Tanya

The pendant was so beautiful, I couldn't help but to look at it. I pulled it out of pocket when Lily slapped Fiona, just for a couple minutes.

Apparently, Suzanne saw me looking at the pendant, but to her it was only something. I was about to put it away when I tripped. I only realized that Suzanne had tripped me, only when I was already on the ground, the pendant sprawled out in front of me.

Everyone turned when I yelped, and my eyes got wide. But they were wider when I saw Lily look down and see the pendant.

"No," We both muttered, "No."

Natalie

When Lily turned around, I turned around too. Death was close. I couldn't see where, or talk to him at this moment, but I could tell he was close.

"Cody," I started, but he shook his head. He pointed ahead of us, pointing at Fiona.

"Fiona..." He mumbled, and I understood that he understood.

Cody

I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but when we had gotten together, I could tell certain things. Like today, some kind of trouble was approaching. WHen Natalie tried talking to me, I shushed her and pointed at Fiona, so that she could look as Fiona crossed the street.

I had whipped out my phone and dialed 911 even before Lily had screamed.

Lily

As soon as I saw Tanya and the pendant just three inches from her hand, I wanted to kill Tanya, but instead I turned around and started screaming Fiona's name, each call louder than the last. With evey step I started to run faster, but there was no way I could catch up - she was already two blocks away.

But I ran anyway.

Everyone followed me, but I didn't look back.

As we stepped onto the pavement of the last block that separated us, I screamed so loud I'm pretty sure I cracked a window somewhere. Fiona didn't look back, if she heard me. Instead, I screamed louder - as a car came around the corner and hit Fiona full on.

Everyone screamed. "FIONA!"

Fiona

All I can tell is that we're in a hospital, but I can't be entirely sure. My vision is blurry. My arm is broken. My legs are broken. And I'm pretty sure a couple rib are broken, too.

This should all hurt.

But it doesn't, not anymore.

It stopped along time ago.

You know why?

Probably because I'm dead.

Suzanne

We're in the hospital, in the waiting room.

No one's speaking.

Lily is crying.

Tanya is crying.

Cody is crying.

Natalie is crying.

I am crying.

I am regretting everything.

But why -why -didn't I see the gloomy feeling in time?

Why?

Tanya

We're in the hospital, in the waiting room.

No one's speaking.

Lily is crying.

Cody is crying.

Natalie is crying.

Suzanne is crying.

I am crying.

I am regretting everything.

But why -why -didn't I see Suzanne sticking her foot out sooner?

Why?

Lily

We're in the hospital, in the waiting room.

No one's speaking.

Tanya is crying.

Cody is crying.

Natalie is crying.

Suzanne is crying.

I am crying.

I am regretting everything.

But why -why -didn't I see the pendant, now clutched in my hand, clutched in Tanya's hand before?

Why?

Cody

We're in the hospital, in the waiting room.

No one's speaking.

Lily is crying.

Tanya is crying.

Natalie is crying.

Suzanne is crying

I am crying.

I am regretting everything.

But why -why - didn't I run after Fiona immediately, to stop her at the curb?

Why?

Natalie

We're in the hospital, in the waiting room.

No one's speaking.

Lily is crying.

Tanya is crying.

Cody is crying.

Suzanne is crying.

I am crying.

I am regretting everything.

But why -why- didn't I see Death lurking right behind Fiona, waiting for the kill, before?

Why?

FIona

They are in the hospital, in the waiting room.

Nobody is speaking.

Lily is crying.

Tanya is crying.

Cody is crying.

Natalie is crying.

Suzanne is crying.

I am crying, but I'm dead.

I am regretting everything, but I'm already dead.

But why -why - didn't I see that car coming for me, zooming straight for me?

Why?

Tanya

When I said that I wanted to ruin Lily's life, I didn't mean it likethis. No, never did I want her older sister to die.

Never.

No, I never wantedthat.

Never.

Lily

No one else is home, only me. Mom and Dad are still at the hospital. It's only me.

I walked into Fiona's room. No one is going to sleep there again.

It's going to stay empty, it will gather dust. It will be odd, passing an empty room.

I pulled out the pendant from my pocket.

It was the cursed metal that started it all.

The fate has been decided.

It'sover.

I set the pendant on Fiona's pillow.

There. Now, it won't be empty. The reason will not be empty.

It now has the cause.

Natalie

Cody and I went home after we heard about Fiona, how she died.

I cried myself to sleep, and Death visited me for the last time.

I knew I should've held back, but I couldn't. "Is this what you want? Eternal sadness from several people?!" I yelled into darkness.

Silence.Death roared.You have experienced one of the many possible sadnesses in the world . It is time you become me, it is time you became Death itself.

"No. After what you did? Never."

You will.

"Never."

Then suffer the consequences.

"NO!"

As I repeated "no" over and over again, Death started to fade away.You will regret everything, fool.

"Been there, don't that. So, sorry, but NO."

Death faded away, and I sighed. "Eight years of my life I'll never get back."

That was the last time I heard from Death.

Cody

She's gone.

No other words - she'sgone.

No getting her back.

It's over, she'sgone.

No denials, no changing it.

She'sgone.

The only thing really left to do is move on in life.

And that's what will happen.

Fiona

Evidently, I'm kind of happy to be dead.

Nothing will be the same.

Just, well, you have to wait for everyone to join up.

Obviously it'd be better to be alive.

Yet, you can't quite get what you want.

Life comes and goes, but you can't stop it.

Idiotic, I know.

For me, it doesn't matter.

Everything is gone.

But everything is still there, at the same time.

Everyone is in my un-working heart.

Forever.

Other than that, I should have enjoyed life while I had it.

Really.

Enjoy it.

Yup, life was great.

Oh, while I was watching everyone cry, thought came to me.

Under the ceiling, everyone was safe.

Really, a storm was going on outside.

Tears inside.

Everything but outside.

Actually, outside was probably a tear storm.

Ready for action.

Someone one told me that not everything happens according to plan.

Time is not one of them - but it can run out before it's ready.

Obviously, one example is me.

Reckon my time ran a little short.

My time did - yours could too.

So I hope you enjoy life.

Tell me about your life when it ends.

Already, I've told mine, but you haven't - yours isn't over yet.

Ready, set, go, to the rest of your life.

TIme won't stop, till it ends.

So, ENJOY LIFE BEFORE YOUR TEAR STORM STARTS.





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