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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

in which the reader finds that not all is as it seems, and a new character may have a mysterious past.

Chapter 5 (v.1) - flourish

Submitted: January 14, 2018

Reads: 53

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 14, 2018



trigger warning: the flashback contains the event of a school shooting. while there is no descriptive gore, if this is a sensitive subject for you, i suggest you skip it.

/ flashback /

"save your breath," said emma sharply. "i don't want to hear anything you have to say after what you--"

the teacher in the front of the classroom hushed her, but her face only flushed with irritation. in a lower whisper, emma continued, "--after what you said about me."

"it was a friendly joke--" peach began to say.

the teacher once again silenced them with a glare, and both girls scowled, immediately beginning to whisper again--

"stop flirting and pay attention," spat the teacher suddenly.

peach blushed wildly. was that really what they seemed to be doing? flirting? she was sure that she had gotten casually talking with her girlfriend down...all this time, had her sexuality been more than obvious? she shrunk into her seat, avoiding glances with emma. oh, how embarrassing this was! the last she thing she wanted was for the entire class to be aware of their relationship. sinking into her chair, she tried to look at the ground, pretending to be ashamed. luckily for her and her girlfriend, nobody in the class took the flirting part seriously. it struck peach that perhaps her teacher had caught on by now.

flinching, she straightened her back, trying desperately to act confident. but turning to emma and seeing the somber, unexcited expression on her face, she was sad again. before she had met emma, her life had been a black hole, a void. emma had been the glimmer of happiness, a star flickering in the sky.

speaking of flickering.

the entire class stood up frantically, scrambling out of chairs and to the door as a voice came over the loud speaker and the lights flashed warningly. the woman over the speaker said one thing.


the immediate reaction was to get the hell out of the school, considering their class was right next to the exit, but the teacher shushed them hurriedly, closing and locking the door. peach threw open the window, knowing that if something was to go wrong, it would be her best chance. she swerved to look back at emma, but she was lost in the crowd of students. anxious, peach's hands trembled, forehead shining with sweat, voice caught in her throat from fear. it was quiet if you ignored the footsteps of terrified teenagers--which made sense; nobody wanted to get caught by a possibly armed intruder.

a noise at the door. a knock. everyone froze in their spot, too afraid to dare move, leaving peach standing in place at the window, shaking and praying that whoever was there would leave the class alone. leave emma alone, more like it. yet as the lock clicked loudly and the door slipped open, she knew they were doomed. she flipped the window open, preparing herself to take a leap of faith. unfortunately for her, she only realized the truth after the door was swung all the way open: she couldn't abandon emma, not in the midst of such danger! she dove into the crowd as the person came inside to find emma. looking up, her face contorted with horror as she made out the person's face. it was a man in a maroon beanie and button up shirt with jeans, a sickening grin on his face and a large gun in his grip. he made no move, only shifting his eyes to each petrified student. then he lifted his gun and a girl screamed. that voice! peach whipped around to see emma, cowering in a corner, head in her heads with fear. peach dashed forward, grabbing emma's wrist. a gunshot was heard. both girls, shocked, turned to the man, frantic, and saw that he had only shot the ceiling. perhaps as a warning. relieved, they hurried faster to the window.

the man looked suspiciously at them, seeing them escape. he aimed his gun--

peach was gone, and emma was right behind, but just as peach jumped and beckoned emma to do the same, emma stopped. peach was barely clinging to the sill, waiting for her girlfriend to follow so they could fall to safety together. emma shook her head, unnerved. she was terrified of heights. realizing this, peach's eyes widened to moons, begging wordlessly for her girlfriend to trust her for once. there was no belief in emma's eyes, only intense fright in its place. hearing the alarming sound of a gunshot again, peach let go of the sill, and after what seemed to be hours of falling, she crashed to the ground, writhing in pain but without regret. the police were taking too long, yes, but that was the least of her worries as she looked up and saw a hand fall over the windowsill. it was pale, perfectly sculpted, nails long and painted rose gold. and yet, it was lifeless, hanging off of the sill, attached to what could only be a dead body.

peach's blood ran cold, paralyzed on the ground and looking up in a daze at the hand. she knew who it belonged to. she could not scream, though; her suffering was by far too much. she could barely hear the sounds of bullets shooting in the classroom as her body went rigid, mind flooding black. heart hammering, she made a small prayer, mouthing the words. before she could finish, her mind blanked out, fading into nothingness below the screams of students and teachers.


"stand up for yourself for once," chris scolded himself. "stop letting other people push you arou--"

ironically enough, peach shoved him out of the way, stomping towards the glen where she knew kace had to be now that she had left. ridge was following close behind warily, every now and then turning his head to make sure nobody happened to be following the group. as if something was in her way, peach stopped in her tracks, glancing back at the two boys with a smile weakened by sadness.

"you'll have to go the rest of the way yourself, chris. ridge and i must stay behind. if kace sees either of us, it will go wrong," peach quipped, and upon seeing the boys share equally unnerved faces, she added, "trust me."

chris nodded at ridge, stepping up next to peach. "so where do i go? and...what do i say to him?" he asked, sulkily, voice quiet with hesitation.

"just follow the path i laid out," huffed peach, indicating to crumpled pieces of paper on the ground in rows. a wind picked up, and one of them quickly flew off. she sighed. "you'd better hurry if you want to make it to him in time."

realizing this, chris threw himself forward, deciding that he didn't have the courage to look back to ridge in this situation. he moved his legs quicker, trying to stay energetic instead of collapsing unconscious. his breaths became heavier, stomps lighter, until he was trudging carefully down the path, many pieces of paper far gone, unsure where to go or what to follow. it was only when he heard whispering of a boy did he know he was close. kace was talking to himself. he had to be! forcing himself to move faster, chris cautiously approached the glen peach had promised he would find. it was less...magical than he had expected. a small area of land, rocks, you get the picture. kace was nowhere to be seen. but chris could still hear the whispering. a chill running down his spine, chris noticed one large rock tipped over, right beside a ditch. what was lying in the ditch was not clearly visible--but it was light yellow, like cake batter sort of a shade.

upon closer inspection, a photo album. eyes flickering with doubt, chris opened it, kneeling into the dirt despite knowing it would absolutely ruin his favorite pair of jeggings. in the album, there were photos of him. he sighed, remembering why. kace had used to always carry a polaroid camera with him and sometimes take photos of them together. in fact, this very specific photo he happened to be staring at--he remembered the exact moment. kace had attempted to take a selfie (everybody knows how much that can go wrong with a polaroid camera) of them together sitting on a log above a stream. in the process, chris had fallen backwards, and kace had grabbed his arm to save him--thus the photo looked more terrifying, with chris's eyes wide with surprise and kace--

where was kace? heart suddenly racing, chris flipped through more pages, eyes carefully inspecting every inch of every photo. kace was in none of them. why was kace missing? he had seen these photos before, and he was well aware you could clearly make out kace's ginger hair and wide smile. hands shaking, he stood up, still holding the photo album in the tips of his fingers. his eyes scanned the horizon, trying to pinpoint where the whispering sounds were coming from. at last, they landed on a small pond. he stepped forward, ankles grazing more dirt. disgusted, he took larger steps.


no response. only the sound of his beating heart.

"kace? it's me, chris. it's me, kace. i'm not here to hurt you, i want to save you, i really do."

again, there was whispering, but no clear reply from his beloved. hope dwindling, chris looked up at the sky, eyes pleading with it.

"i want to kiss you. i want to embrace you, for you are my soulmate, my truest love. and you are ethereal."

as soon as he had spoken the last word, a sudden wind knocked him to the ground. horrified, he clambered backwards, afraid to look kace in the eyes, for he knew he was standing in front of him, eyes on fire.

"it's too late, my love. far too late." now when chris looked up, kace's eyes were cold and glasssy, emotionless. steeling himself suddenly, kace continued, "as much as i love you, we can never be together. you cannot listen to peach. you mustn't. i know how she seems to be speaking the truth, but who do you truly trust? me, or her?"

"you," cried chris, kace's eyes flaying him. "i trust you."

"then leave."

"what? i-i don't understand."

"go. go back to ridge. you don't need me."

"i do--i do need you, kace! more than anything! i don't love ridge! only you...we broke i could be with you--don't do this, kace! not to me! not to yourself!"

kace smiled, softly. "you're so orange. surely i could not kill all of that."


kace took chris's hands in his. "it's too late for the kiss. but it's not too late for this."

chris's eyes became moons, swooning over the sudden and beautiful colors kace was gifting to him. the magentas and teals returned, now mixed with indigos and purples. he understood them, but he could not make out the words--only colors. why was kace giving them to him? chris tried to wrestle free, he tried to shout to kace that this was not the end, that it could not be the end at all--but kace was stronger, gripping chris's sweating palms tightly in his grasp, lips touching chris's rosey cheek. it was a promise. a promise that they would always be together beyond kace's death, for the colors would remain in chris. the synesthia would not be forgotten, and as long as it stayed, the love between two boys, one a demon and one a victim, would also stay.

it wasn't enough for either of them, but at the same time, they both knew it was the only hope. the only shade of orange left.


peach knew it before ridge. her heart dropped to her stomach, eyes flashing with mourning. she knew kace was gone. she could sense it. but there was something missing. something she could not put her finger on. she whipped around to ridge, shell shocked and prepared for anything when it came to his reaction.

"it didn't work."

ridge was not as dramatic as she had expected. eyes dull, he looked at her, curiously. he seemed to be questioning everything, but said nothing. the truth was, he couldn't. not in this situation, when everything was on the line and their plan had failed. he had lost chris's love, and for what? absolutely nothing. and what had become of chris? even if they were no longer a hot item, ridge cared about chris deeply, and if chris was hurt or dead...he flinched. better not think about that. it only made him more furious with his life choices.

there was no signs from the path, no sounds of stepping like either of them hoped for. in fact, it was unclear if chris was returning at all.  a few more awkward moments of silence, and they shared disturbed glances.

"what if he's not alright? we have to go looking for him." ridge complained finally, voice breaking.

"we cannot. it's kace's glen, not ours. even if he is gone."

"you still sound like you don't believe your own words."

"it feels strange. like kace has left, but not all of him. there's a part of him still here. something abstract, like..."

"...his love for chris." they both said in unison, before awkwardly stepping away from each other.

"that does make sense, doesn't it?" ridge said, eyes twinkling wistfully. "what a time to be alive--demons and such."

"i don't know about you, but i would not take kace's death so lightly," spat peach, annoyed. "this could be traumatizing for chris. he may never heal from such an emotional blow."

ridge didn't say anything after that.


© Copyright 2019 Paris Tremaine. All rights reserved.


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