Chapter One:
Anikee and Rain

(this chapter's song is Dayvan Cowboy by Boards of Canada)

Leaves scraped against the window of my sister's car. Her hands were set rigidly on the steering wheel, knuckles white, not used to country terrain nor to the closeness of trees to the winding road. We were nearing Anikee, on the dirt road which lead to the school, and everything - at least for me - was starting to buzz with tension. I sighed, uncomfortable, my seat suddenly feeling sticky, trying to block out the sound of the music my sister had chosen for the journey (yo mother fucker, yo bad mother fucker, yo muh mother fucker) and to focus, instead, on the leaves. They were already a lovely crimson colour, deep and rich, and I watched them as they were snapped off their straining twigs my sister's ambling car and fluttered to their certain death.

"The leaves," I said faintly, starting to hate the lack of conversation that had hung in the air throughout the trip, "They're very pretty, aren't they? Some of them are already red. It's still Summer but already they're turning red..."

"Mmm," my sister shortly.

I decided to try again with a more direct approach.

"So, how's life... Katie?" I asked awkwardly.

She sighed deeply, as if I'd asked such an obvious question it was pathetic, and rolled her eyes, "Pretty much the same as ever, Luce. I'm the dreadful underachiever, so I don't get to go to Boarding School. I'm not the little, eloquent sweetie, so no one cares peticularily if I stay out all night."

I let silence resume. I chose not to try and spark up a conversation for the rest of the twenty minute trip, letting the lyrical stylings of poets wash over me (shake that ass, shake that ass like you got ants, shake that ass like it hurts).

As we rolled up to the front of Anikee, even more magnificent than the brochures had ever slyly let on, I said quietly, "I love you, Katie."

She did not reply.

And we let life carry on.

The school year started with a shrill bell sounding and students bumping past me in their hurry to their first class, disregarding me as nothing more than another warm body. I hugged my books to my chest, ignored, eyes outlined in kohl and black hair hanging loosely around my face. My jaw worked as my teeth grated against each other nervously. My blood was nothing more than a fuel of nervous energy, leaving me both stalling in the moments before school officially started and ready and raring to go. I was hesitating, disliking the idea of throwing myself into that tustle as murmurring teenagers pushed against eachother roughly, shouting over one another as they rushed to class.

I was feeling very, very timid.

I waited until the crowd thinned before starting to walk to my class, less confident and more anxious as seconds snaked by. When I found the big door with the letters "DF8" written on it, I rapped nervously and let myself in. The teacher was already there, as were a full troop of students, even though the bell had only sounded three minutes ago. The teacher was a man with a glaring bald patch and furious, beady little eyes magnified by thick glasses. He looked at me as if I had just personally attacked him. The frown lines that nestled themselves in his brow were noticed, and taken into account. I had a feeling in the pit of my belly that this was to be a miserable first class.

"Yes?" he said, or rather barked.

"I'm... Ah...," I shifted my books in my arms as everyone's curious eyes snapped to me, "I'm Lucy Overton."

There was a pause, as if the teacher expected me to continue. After a moment in which nothing was said and everyone grew impatient, a long, drawn out, awkward moment, I said clearly, "I'm new."

The teacher's eyebrows drew together with the natural ease that told me this was a practised motion, "Yes, and?"

"I, um," I lowered my eyes to my shoes as I felt the heat rush to my cheeks like brushfire, "I... Don't know."

The teacher pursed his lips into a thin line. His frown lingered. I could tell he had more than the usual dose of teacher sadism.

Pointing lazily to a boy slouching at a desk by himself, he said, "Go sit next to... Adderson."

The boy named Adderson sighed, shoulders slumping as if all his dreams had just been ruined. Without a moment to spare, I sat dejectedly down beside him, shrinking into my seat and burning with shame.

"Before we were interrupted," the Teacher coughed, "I believe I was talking about... uh, your assignments for the year. The first will be due in five weeks. In partners you will analyse a piece of poetry selected by me, and give me your apt interpretation. I will hand you the criteria and poetry pieces out next lessons. Please do not dissapoint me like my last class did."

I looked around the classroom and found that no one was really paying attention, at all, to the teacher. Some were drawing, some were passing notes, some were muttering to eachother. But no one seemed remotely interested.

The teacher, seemingly having forgotten us, went to marking tests for God knows what, since it was our first class of the new year, and, with no idea what to do, I turned to the boy next to me.

"Hi," I said, "I'm Lucy."

He stared at me for a moment with big, blue eyes that had flecks of gold in them and said, "Yeah. Okay."

The people behind him snickered. I felt my face flourishing to a deep crimson that rivalled the leaves outside.

I decided to stay quiet for the rest of the day.

Big grey clouds hung above my dreamer's eyes, big grey, looming clouds that spelt out imminence. I was lying spread eagled on one of the many grounds that surrounded Anikee, flat and grounded against the reassurance of Earth and gravity. The air was filled with crispness - the smell of fresh cut grass, tangy and curt. Everything around my body was cast in grey due to the thick blanket of Nimbus grey clouds that blocked the sun selfishly, warming their own backs and leaving us Earth-dwellers cold. From a certain paranoid angle in my mind, the clouds broke off into faces and stared down at me.

I was delighted by the fact that it was going to rain. Such a rare and special occasion when you live in a sunny area with sunburnt soil. I adored the rain, the recklessness that welled up within me as the rain drowned everything. As it slid down my warm skin, cold and uncaring, treating me no differently than a tree or a building. How it felt almost catharctic, as my skin reddened and would come up in mountains of goosebumps, the intensity or coldness of the rain too much for my shell.

I waited, on my back, listening to the thick cracks of thunder, and then the afterthoughts of rumbles that reminded me of an empty stomach. I was jittery with anticipation, waiting for its offering of downpour restlessly.

A girl can only wait so long, you know.

As time past and I became uncertain that it would acutally rain, afraid the storm might rumble right over me and into a different district, I rolled onto my stomach. With nothing else to do, I studied the texture of the wide blades of grass that were quivering with the wind. The wind that tickled my skin and whistled through my clothing cheekily, scampering over my prickled skin with its icy little feet, quick as ever.

And then, suddenly, Halleljuh, praise be to God, the Heavens opened up with a booming crack, ripping the clouds apart and letting them cry for lost lovers. The first raindrop, fat and heavy, fell onto the delicate point of my shoulder. The second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth fell in startlingly quick succession and I found myself giggling as I stood up on shaky legs.

Suddenly, it started to come in amazing torrents, a thick, heavy sheet of rain washing over my body, grating at my skin, stinging my cheeks as my heartbeat fluttered wildly to and throe. Unable to keep up with the sudden shift from warm to glacial. I stood there, a warm body letting myself become soaked, letting my clothes become thick and heavy and sticking to me, hanging on my frame, dwarfing me. I let my hair stick to my body, shoes becoming soggy and socks retaining so much water that when, after a while, I did move, they squelched.

I laughed to the rain, my brother my sister my family in nature, left my mouth wide open and let if fill with the purity of rain drops. I swallowed them when I collected enough and felt the iciness run down my throat.

After, maybe, seven minutes when I started to cough and felt the chill start to seep all the way down to my bones and grab hold of them with persitant hands, I decided it was time to go in before the rain morphed from saviour to sickness. I hesitated, stopping then starting, before finally breaking off into a delighted run, long legs springing me far, until I found a door and flung it open, wet, gasping and ecstatic. My green eyes big and alight and happy and my body wraking with giggles and coldness, I let my eyes adjust.

With a start I realized I was not alone. I waited for my slow eyes to adjust and focus better, brushing away rain drops, and saw a boy standing before me, or rather leaning apathetically against the wall opposite me, watching me with a dark eyebrow curved upwards and a bemused smile.

It took me a moment to place him, but I finally realized he was the boy from first class... Adderson?

"Having fun, I presume?" he quipped lazily, as if he didn't care either way and I was just a girl enjoying a good dose of teenage-girl neuroses.

"I...," I tried for an excuse that would sound plausible, "I got caught... in the rain."

Adderson scoffed, "I've been watching you from the window. Spinning around. Seemed to be liking it, you know?"


"Your arms are all red and frozen," he said, letting his eyes slide over my body nonchalantly, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, "You like getting hurt, then? Are you a masochist?"

This boy was making my heart beat faster than the rain and that was saying something. He seemed to be looking into me and pulling out things that when surfaced, felt true. Or maybe I was just, you know, being a teenage girl with a good dose of teenage-girl neuroses and romantisizing something because I was bored and damn lonely.

"I don't know," I said truthfully, although I don't think he cared whether I answered or not, "But I like the rain. And I don't mind getting hurt in the rain..."

I trailed off unsurely and looked out the window, out to where the rain still played against the air and was making puddles where I had lied.

"What's your name again?" he asked.

"Lucy," I replied, "I never got yours."

"Donnie," he said, "Donnie Adderson."

There was a pause. I nodded awkwardly.

"Maybe you should go get changed," he said, smirking a bit.

I frowned and looked down at myself. I gasped. My top had gone see-through. I'd been talking to a member of the opposite sex and my top was see through. My black bra was peering, obvious in the lighting. I was mortified beyong mortification.

And he was laughing.


I walked off, cheeks burning so hard my cheekbones got singed. I was burning so hard you would've though the sun herself was shining through the pores.

what do you think? an okay first chapter?
think it could be better? think there's something i've missed?
gimme a review.
x I Shed Myself