A/N~ Well, this is the outcome of one of the many ideas that stray through my mind, and this story is actually being put here because as dedicated as I might be to it, I really have no interest in trying to get it published or anything, because it's not as good as some of the other stuff I write.
For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream. ~Vincent van Gogh
I was in a very comprising position.
Nestled in a tree right above this ancient stone bench, in the middle of the night, I had been reasonably sure that I was safe from human contact.
Well, I was wrong.
How was I to know that two of my high school's most popular guys had picked that night to go for late night stroll in the local park? Exactly. I couldn't. Therefore, anything I may have happened to overhear was completely and totally NOT MY FAULT.
I was just lying there, all stretched out on a tree branch some fifteen feet up in the air when the dynamic duo came meandering out of nowhere, talking loudly, but indistinctly. I twitched my head in annoyance, praying that they would just keep walking, even as I became interested in their conversation.
"I don't give a shit, man. That guy had it coming," one of them was snarling audibly, and as his words grew louder I realized that the sounds of footsteps had faded away.
Grumbling silently to myself, I couldn't resist struggling to a sitting position and leaning over, barely making out the two guys' heads below me, hidden the inky shadows. They were sitting on the bench in that annoying guy style- where they put their feet on the seat and their ass on the back.
Alright, fine. I do it too. Happy?
"Keying his car was a little cold, though," the other one disagreed, and I scrunched up my nose trying to think of who could possibly be under my tree at this ungodly hour of night. "I mean, besides, it was a Corvette."
I nearly fell out of my tree with shock. Logan Thorne and Caleb King were sitting underneath my goddamn tree, talking about keying Jack Adams car.
Hey, when a seventeen year old boy has a Corvette, all his peers know it. Can't beat the grapevine, dear ones.
I should mention I'm the reason everyone at our high school obsesses over Jack's car. Seriously, how could you not come across a Corvette without bowing down in reverence?
"Yeah….But otherwise he would have told everybody," moaned Logan, moving slightly, and I squinted, trying to make out what he was doing.
Oooooh…..more gossip that I can smear through the halls of our hell-hole school, to pass the weary, pain-driven days.
Honestly, I'm not really a gossiper. But when it comes to fat-headed pricks like Logan and Caleb…..let's just say my misguided morals stray a little more off path.
"Asshole," muttered Caleb, and I couldn't help but agree. Hot cars don't make up for everything, though if given to other people they sure as hell help.
"We're safe now, though," Logan said soothingly, and I nearly gagged. So guys were really mushy bags of sentimental crap with each other! I freaking knew it!
They lapsed into silence, and I wondered what they were doing. I seriously couldn't see shit, and I seriously doubted Caleb and Logan were thinking about something. The planets weren't in the proper alignment and hell hadn't frozen over enough for that to happen.
"So…You haven't told anybody, have you?" asked Logan hesitantly after a moment.
"Hell, no. You think I want to be lynched?" snorted Caleb, falling silent again. I wanted to scream at them to start talking again, because it was killing me not to know what they were rambling on about. Honestly, here I was, one of the school's freaks, and therefore privy to the juiciest gossip around, and their conversation eluded me.
"We shouldn't do it anymore," sighed Logan, and Caleb made a choking sound. This not being able to see them was really pissing me off.
"Not where we could be found," amended Logan, and Caleb made a relieved little noise. Squinting even more, and leaning dangerously forward, I watched with intense interest as Logan and Caleb wrapped their arms around each other and proceeded to each one another's face.
"What the fuck?" The words came screeching out of my mouth before I could stop them, and I came toppling out of the tree in surprise, landing in a crumpled heap a few feet away from Caleb and Logan. "Damn it, that hurt like fuck."
"Who the hell- Arabella?"
Apparently, there was a lot of incredulity going around. First, I had just seen the two most popular guys at my school make out. Then, the poor guys had been scared shitless by somebody dropping out of a tree next to them. Finally, I had no idea that Logan Thorne was aware of my existence. Strangely enough, it was the last thing that shook my interior with fear. It only proved the evil omniscience of popular people.
"Uhm….No….This is all a dream. When you wake up, you will be naked and in each other's arms, with an empty bowl of chocolate ice cream beside you…," I said in a way that I hoped made them think of misty dreams, backing away slowly.
"Arabella, what are you doing here?" Caleb demanded, frighteningly calm, his words even and carefully measured.
"You're the ones that came up under my tree!" I wailed, making a face and crossing my arms. "I wouldn't have seen anything if you hadn't been under my tree!"
"Arabella…," Logan began dangerously, and I made another face.
"I'm not going to tell anyone…For now, that is," I cackled in what I hoped was an evil manner. I probably sounded like I was hacking up a hairball.
"Ara," said Logan in a pleading tone, and I suddenly felt sorry for him. Poor persecuted popular kid. The irony was not lost on me, but he was still persecuted, and that made him one of mine for the moment…
A PAGE FROM THE BOOK OF ARABELLA FLANNERY (that's me, in case you haven't noticed):
I am of the ruling class of weirdoes at my school. They don't really listen to what I say- they aren't insane asylum material yet- but I'm the toughest one of the bunch, and that means I have to stick up for them. I'm not particularly sure how I inherited my throne, but when I became a junior and the guy that had previously been their supreme being graduated, I took his place. The drama geeks, the stoners, the Goths, the ones that normally have issues with those accursed normal people, all became part of my tribe, of which I was the chief.
BACK TO THE SITUATION AT HAND-
"I won't tell anybody," I sighed, relenting, knowing that if my followers ever found out about such an act of betrayal that I would be immediately impeached and beheaded, but I was relatively certain that Logan and Caleb weren't going to be spreading the news any time soon.
"Thanks, Ara," said Caleb, breathing a sigh of relief.
"Oh, wait….You didn't that I would just keep you secret, did you?" I smirked evilly, crossing my arms and putting all my weight on one leg. I was in control, and they knew it. "There will be payment…..Think of this as blackmail."
"What do you want, Ara?" asked Caleb, looking utterly defeated.
"First of all? Well, I'm going to want the tree," I decided, referring to the beautiful oak tree behind the high school- well known for being the property of the 'cool' people. That damned tree was possibly one of the most coveted things among my people that happened to belong to the popular people, and damn…..we wanted that tree. Wanted to stand beneath its sweeping branches, and feel the sunlight trickle down and caress our faces…Wanted to climb up its twisted branches and survey the world from up above…..
"The tree?" screeched Caleb, rather loudly. "No way in hell are we giving you the tree!" I glared at him for a moment, and made to open my mouth to remind him of the circumstances, but Logan placed a soft hand on the other boy's shoulder, and Caleb melted. "Fine. What else?"
"I'll also need monetary compensation," I announced. "Fifty dollars a month."
"Done. Now, to the matter of the homecoming committee…..I don't really care about the court, but if I'm gonna sit through another one of those torture sessions, it sure as hell will not be baby blue and glittery," I told them matter-of-factly, biting the inside of my cheek to keep from grinning too much. No one likes a bragging winner.
"That's fine. Can you leave, now?" said Caleb through clenched teeth, his eyes scary little slits.
"Um, sure…Wait, you guys aren't going to kill me to prevent me from revealing your secret, are you? Because as long as I get what I want no one has to know…..Wait, no, what if you tired of giving me what I want? Don't kill me then, please!" I started to hyperventilate a little, and Caleb and Logan took a few steps backward, gazing at me fearfully.
The sound of a new voice startled all three of us, and I nearly jumped out of my skin as I shot over to huddle beside Logan, who, for the moment, seemed grateful to have someone on the other side of him. The voice sounded weak and shaky, but it was no voice I recognized- there was too much longing, too much pain in it.
"Who was that?" I choked, pressing myself into Logan's side, his arm clutching my shoulders readily.
Let's face it, even the worst of enemies can cower together when faced with an unseen foe in the middle of the night.
"Like I know," hissed Caleb, his arm tightening around Logan's waist. Normally, I would be grossed out by being so up close and personal with a couple when they were touching- heterosexual or not- but the circumstances were a little disarming.
"Arabella, must you run about like a child?"
The voice was exasperated now, and I could feel Logan's slender fingers digging into my flesh. The three of us were holding onto to each other so tightly there was probably no room for air to pass between us, but that was the furthest thing from my mind. At the moment, there was a disembodied voice calling me by name- you know, the sort of thing that terrifies everything else from your brain.
"Arabella. Have you honestly not received any of your old memories yet?" the voice asked reproachfully, and all I could do was shake my head slightly. "Oh, my poor, poor Ara…..Funny that you managed to keep that preference, even in this life…You did hate to be called anything but Ara, didn't you?"
"Poor, poor Ara my terrified ass!" I managed to gasp, trying as hard as I could to make myself stop talking. "What the hell are you on about? Who are you, anyway?"
Of course my fat mouth would choose that moment to start going. I doom myself, you know. There is no one left to blame.
"Ara, this is tiring," the voice sighed.
"I told you this would be the wrong time to show up," another voice put in sulkily.
Great. Two voices. Of course that would happen to me.
Just then, two figures came striding out of darkness, one in a majestic black cloak, flung around his shoulders, looking like he was around thirty or so, and really like he belonged in a Jane Austen novel. His clothes were anciently old-fashioned, and he seemed to hold himself in a way that made him look better than everyone else.
And yet it wasn't the majestic, extravagant one that drew my attention- it was the other one, the younger one, who looked my age. He wore black as well, but instead of old-fashioned clothes he wore baggy black jeans and a black t-shirt under a black military style jacket, with black skater shoes poking out from under his jeans. He watched me with pale, lilac-colored eyes- so abnormal, and yet so indescribably perfect on him- no other guy could pull off pale purple eyes. A fringe of messy black hair fell into his face, nearly curtaining off his wondrous eyes, done in that popular skater hair-cut, and I found myself wanting to reach and play with that hair. He must have been the one with the sulky voice- I could see it in his beautiful face, that there were a million other places in heaven and earth, and probably hell, that he would rather be.
Before I knew what I was doing, I had straightened up from my cowardly huddle with the two guys, my spine erect, and I was reasonably sure that my green eyes were flashing the way they normally did when I got pissed off. Even when confronted with creepy people who can be disembodied voices, my temper is a thing of fame and glory.
I know, I know- I'm a genius.
"Who are you?" I snarled, probably sounding a lot more threatening than I ought have.
"Observe that her temper remained," said the older one, waving his hand around carelessly. I was struck with the sudden thought to snap it off.
"Why do you have to talk like that?" groaned the younger one, his gaze flickering back to me. "She hates it, too."
"Arabella, send these two humans away, won't you?" continued the older one, ignoring the other, who snorted and returned to gazing at me.
"Logan…..Caleb…..You better do what he says," I breathed, my lips barely moving. "I'll see you guys later."
There was a moment of hesitation on their part, as if they couldn't bear to leave me alone with these two men, if that was what they were, but after their brief indecision, they both gave me tight hugs and scampered away. As I felt them leave, I felt something stir inside my chest- a dormant emotion, a feeling long repressed, and I glared at them, knowing something about them and yet nothing at all.
"Since you don't seem to recall my name, I am Corvus, this is Crater, and you are Ara Centauri," the older man drawled carelessly, smirking at me.
"Hold up…..What the hell are you talking about?" I demanded, too confused to try to look threatening.
"We are of the constellation family Hercules," he said grandly.
"As in, star constellations?" the younger one- Crater, I guess- muttered darkly.
I stared blankly at them, wondering if there was about to be an announcement about escapees from the mental hospital.
"You're saying that you are star constellations?" I managed to say, albeit somewhat shakily.
"I am saying that we are the spirits of the constellations manifested into human bodies," Corvus explained, as if that made everything clear. Which, let me tell you, did not.
"Look, we're immortals who have been forced to walk on Earth. Those stars were placed in the sky- one for each of us- to remind us of why we have been cursed to Earth for eternity. No second chances, no way of redeeming ourselves- we're stuck. Until, of course, this world ends, and then we're sent to another," sighed Crater.
"Why were you cursed?" I asked, unable to contain my curiousity.
"We were cursed by a god of great evil," began Corvus, having to draw attention back onto himself. "We were agents of his, causing death everywhere we went, when one among us rebelled."
"That was you," interrupted Crater, allowing me a small, reluctant smile. "It's better being cursed than being forced to kill. Living with humans isn't so bad."
"You are our queen, because you are the one who liberated us!" exclaimed Corvus.
"You expect me to believe any of this?" I countered, rolling my eyes.
"You wanted to be reborn. Live as a human for a while, so that you could understand if we were truly any different than them," said Corvus.
"You won't get your memories back for another couple of months anyway," said Crater. "I don't know why we couldn't wait 'till then." He shot an annoyed look at Corvus.
"You're saying that I am your queen?" I asked blankly, half-ready to call the cops.
"Told you she wouldn't believe us," muttered Crater, digging around in his jacket pocket and pulling out a bent cigarette and an old, battered Zippo, lighting the cigarette and puffing away at it. "We'll go now. C'mon, Corvus, you old fuck."
"What?" I managed, still trying to figure out what the fuck was going on, but they had just vanished, as cheesy as it might sound, into thin air.
I fell back onto the bench, bewildered and hoped to God that what had just happened was hallucinogenic effect of my hangover.
Like I would be so lucky.
A/N cont.- So, please review! Tell me what you think! I need feedback!
A/N cont.- So, please review! Tell me what you think! I need feedback!