Rated: T, English, Fantasy, Words: 5k+, Published: 8/19/2005
Chapter 1: OnE
Author's Note: I just thought I'd drop a line since this is the first chapter of my (as of yet) untitled story. I haven't entirely decided where this is going, although I have a pretty good idea. This first chapter is really quite short and is more of an introduction/prologue than an actual chapter. The rest of them are a lot longer, I promise. Well, I'd hate to bore you before you even get started reading it so I'll end this here. I hope you like it.OnEA girl walked down the abandoned city street, seemingly at ease with the world. The street lamps cast small pools of light in which one could feel safe from the darkness of the hour. The sun had set several hours ago and as such, the lane was empty of all normal traffic. Only an occasional car drove by. The only sound to be heard was that of the wind and her own footsteps. Yet she still felt like she was being followed. The feeling had been trailing her for some streets now. At first she had written it off as merely paranoia brought about by the time and her obvious lack of company, but now she wasn't so sure. Her choice of clothing, (a short skirt and her "hooker" boots), had been ideal for the show she had been at, but now they seemed a stupid choice, almost as stupid as her refusal of a ride home. It was a perfect spring night, she had told her friends, and home was only a couple of blocks away. She sighed mentally at her lack of intelligence and quickened her pace.She heard the footsteps then and concentrated in an effort to determine how many people there were. She couldn't tell. Considering her options, she came to the conclusion that she had two choices and a limited amount of time to decide between them. She could either keep on walking and hope for the best or start running and let them know she knows they're there. She opted for the first, since she didn't even know for sure that the person was following her. She sped up some more anyway.Everything was going fine until she felt the hand on her shoulder. Smacking it off, she whirled around and faced her pursuer. "What?" she snapped, squinting in the dark in an attempt to make out his features. In the gap between the street lamps, it was a challenge."Is that anyway to greet a friend who was just worried about you, Fi?" the boy questioned. Realization followed by embarrassment spread across her face."Oh! Ben! You almost gave me a heart attack! What are you doing following me like that?" she exclaimed, smacking him in the chest lightly."I wanted to make sure you got home ok. I didn't like the idea of you wandering alone at night. I can tell it didn't agree with you, either," he replied with his trademark boyish grin. He was used to Fiona's random bursts of violence."Well, thank you. I feel so much safer with you here. I know you'll protect me," she responded with mock seriousness, spoiling it only by rolling her eyes."Hey! That's no way to treat someone who's just trying to look out for you. Besides," he began, placing an arm around her protectively, "if anything happened to you, who would go to all my shows and be my own personal cheerleader?""Call me your cheerleader again and you won't have to worry about that because I'll kill you and no one cheers for a corpse," she growled."You're very mean today, you know that?""Are you walking me home or are you planning to just sit here talking all night?" she asked, ignoring his whining."Mean, mean, mean, mean, mean. Fine. Let's go."They walked on in a companionable silence, enjoying the peace of the warm night. Now that she was no longer alone, the night seemed a whole lot less threatening to Fiona. 'It's because Ben's here,' she thought, looking up at her friend and noting that he looked good at night, almost like he belonged there. His dark hair and attire blended in with it, making him appear shadowed and mysterious. The look suited him. 'He's always showing up when I need him. It's weird. It's like he has some sort of stalker sense...Hmm...'"Uh...Fi? We're at your house. You do want to go home, right? If not, may I take this opportunity to suggest my house as an alternative?" Ben said, snapping Fi back to reality.She processed his words and laughed, only a little delayed. "Maybe some other time. If I didn't come home, my mom might get worried..." she replied, laughing again at the look of comic disappointment on his face."Ah, fine then. Another night. One of these days you'll pay me back for all the times I've helped you. And I expect interest," he added the last bit in a playful voice."You're right. I will pay you back someday, though probably not the way you're thinking. Good night, Ben. Thanks for walking me home.""No problem and we'll see about the other thing. Night."He turned and left. Fiona watched him go before fishing out her keys and unlocking the door to her mother's apartment. Remembering the late hour, she shut the door silently behind her and made her way to her room in the dark. Once she got there, she flicked on the lights and plopped down on her unmade bed. The room was small, or at least made to look it by the large quantity of belongings she managed to fit in it. There was only one poster on the wall, a promo from her favorite movie that she somehow managed to get a hold of. She didn't have many decorations everywhere because it wasn't practical for her to do so. Her step-dad was prone to random outbursts of anger and too many times had she come home to find her room messed up, belongings scattered and broken. She only stayed there out of love for her mother and lack of places to go. The fact that he was aware of this did nothing to make her life better. If anything, it made it worse."Is that you, Fiona? Do you have any idea what time it is?! Your mother and I were worried sick!" the angry voice of her step-dad called from outside her closed door."I'm sure you were. It's always so great to be home. Just a year and a half more of this and I'm out of here," she muttered as she untied the laces on her boots. "The show ran late and I helped pack up. I'm sorry," she replied."How'd you get home? I didn't hear a car!" his interrogation continued."I walked.""By yourself? This late at night?""Ben walked me home," she explained in a voice full of strained patience. This was nothing new for her."Oh, that explains it. Next time you decide to go screw your little friend in an alleyway, could you at least have the courtesy to call first? I hate seeing your mother lose sleep worrying about you when you're just out earning some cash." Fiona stopped, halfway through the second boot and began retying them as fast as she could."Excuse me?" she asked, trying her best to keep calm."I'm sure you heard me.""You're right. I did. I was just giving you a chance to take it back before I came out there and stabbed you with a hair pin.""What'd you say?" he questioned."I'm sure you heard me."Why you...!""What?" she asked, opening her door, boots retied and anger blazing in her lavender eyes. "Why you what? Go on. Finish your sentence. I dare you." He took a step away as she approached, seething."Watch it, Fiona. You'll wake your mother.""I can honestly say that I don't give a shit, or anything else for that matter. I am sick of you and your constant abuse. Why don't you go find a nice little hole and crawl in it so no one will ever be so unlucky as to have to see your disgusting face again? Now," she said, pausing to take a breath, "I am leaving and if and when I return, it will only be to get my stuff. If it's not here when I get back from wherever it is I'm going, I cannot be held responsible for the resulting actions.." He stood there, dumbfounded, as she walked past him. "Oh, and about the hole. I seriously hope you consider it. You'd be doing the world a favor."And then she left, not looking back even as she slammed the door behind her.The moment the door slammed shut behind her, she realized just how dumb of an idea this was. Although he joked about it quite regularly, she knew Ben's parents would never agree to her living with them. And she wouldn't be able to stay with any of her other friends forever, either. She technically could not live with anyone other than her mother, though she might be able to convince a judge to let her live with her dad. That is, if she knew where he was. Or, who he was.Her mother had gotten pregnant with her when she was young, barely out of high school, in fact. Her dad had stayed with her mother only long enough to make sure she was taken care of and could support their unborn baby before disappearing. All she knew about him was that his name was Daniel Draven. And that was only because it was on her birth certificate. She could infer that she must have gotten her unique eye color from him, (no one else in her family had the lavender eyes she possessed), but beyond that, she knew nothing about him. He's not mentioned at home and she's never gotten so much as a birthday card from the man. Fiona was known to tell people that he was her father in the sense that theoretically, twenty-six of her chromosomes came from him.So, he wasn't really an option.She twirled her keys around her fingers and, for the second time that night, considered her options. She did not want to go back to living with the waste of human flesh her mother decided to marry, and staying here would result in that. So would going anywhere they'd think to look for her. Her only real option, then, was to go somewhere they wouldn't be able to find her. Unfortunately, she didn't have much money or a change of clothing. But she did have a car. She grinned. The car could take her away from here. The car could provide shelter and protection from most dangers. The car was her only hope. And she had the keys.Her grin grew as she sat in it and grew bigger still when she started it and saw the arrow on the gas gauge stop on "full." Escape was in sight. Where she'd go, remained a mystery. But it was all right. She'd settle for being able to escape for now. The rest she'd figure out as she went along.Author's Note: So that's it. I told you it was short. I'm posting the second chapter with this one so if you like it, you can keep reading. If not, well, you have the opportunity to give it a second chance. Thanks for taking the time. Oh, the reason it's cast in the "fantasy" catergory will be made clear in later chapters. Please, bear with me until then.