Chapter 1

Okay. I know there could very well be an explanation for this. Maybe stranger things have indeed happened and my story, the one I'm about to tell you right now, isn't all that unique. But I'm just saying, this didn't really happen to me on a daily basis – or in my life beforehand – until this very day. I suppose I should tell you what's going on, but the thing is – I'm not even sure myself what is going on right now.

But what I can tell you is what looks like is going on; a boy, around my age – maybe even, shock-horror, my age – is running around my yard, with a spade he's picked up from the garden around the frangipanis and the daisies, and is trying to decapitate my dog with it. Oh. And he's naked; can I just mention that too? Because he is, and his clothes are in a very not-neat pile at the back gate of my backyard.

I honestly don't know what to say. All I know is, that apart from stunned, I'm kind of angry. It's the reaction you get when someone is trying, if not at all succeeding, to hack your dogs head off with garden equipment. "OI!"

The boy drops the garden equipment, his head whipping around and his startled eyes meeting mine as he trips over an overgrown rose bush and falls right into it, thorns pressing into his skin in what I can tell is all kinds of uncomfortable. "Hello? Please don't tell them I'm here. I mean. Hi, my name is Bam."

Bam, screwing up his nose, stands up from the rose bush, blood trickling down from his palms as pressure is applied onto the thorny branches of the bush. I eye him, a little miffed. "Is this some kind of joke? Put your clothes back on, stop walking towards me –" he stops, and pouts, putting down the hand he had tentatively held out for me to shake. "Who sent you here?"

"There are things I can't tell. I can't tell you that, she said I can't." he says, looking sorry and starting to walk towards me with a smile again, pointing to my dog who, angry-faced, looks at him from the corner of the yard, all barking and quivering. "I was trying to have food."

Huh. So he wanted to kill my dog and eat it. That just makes me feel a whole lot better about the killing thing. Not. I'm being punked, or – or something. People don't usually prank me. In fact, people don't usually notice or talk to me at all. I'm just that weird girl, that does 'alternatively' well in class…meaning I do well, but have a tendency to think outside of the box.

Holding up a hand and trying not to look in a southerly direction, my cheeks red as the blood trickling down everywhere from him like he's some kind of human blood fountain, I command flatly, "Stop walking towards me. Get your clothes, and get out of here."

He stops walking towards me again and looks over to his pile of clothes, screwing up his nose again. "I did not believe her when she told me I had to wear these…clothes…in the outside," he narrows his eyes with distaste and sends me a faint smile before heading towards the pile, starting to pull his clothes back on, "but I will wear them if you will help me."

Staring at him incredulously as he flails, putting his legs in the one trouser leg and falling flat on his face – I can't help but think why he has any hope of me helping him after all this. Obviously, this is a practical joke. Boys do not just show up in your backyard, naked, and chasing your dog with a spade. Not unless they are mentally unstable, anyway.

Which now that I think of it isn't exactly in the realm of impossible from what I've seen of this boy. Apart from the way he acts, his hair is all messy and long, and in incredible need of a wash, and he's got dirt smeared all over him. He looks like a crazy person, too. Or a cave man. Your pick.

I start to slip my mobile out of my pocket and the boy tilts his head at it as he pulls his pants on right on his second go, asking curiously, "What is that? I think I have one of that. She gave me one." When I don't answer (too busy trying to come up with help lines for this sort of thing. I mean, is there any phone number you can ring to come pick up missing loony bin people? ) he asks another question. "Can you help me?"

He's pointing at his pants zip this time. I glare at him and slip my phone back in my pocket. He must be trying to harass me, or something. Like when I come over there he's going to pull a Chuck Bass to my Jenny. Which is so not going to happen, by the way. Because I am in no way coming near that boy, no matter how genuinely helpless he seems to look, with his charming grin and clumsy gestures.

It's all just part of some ploy. Make me think he's just a cute little brainless boy who wants nothing but the kind help of a girl next door type and then – WHAMMO! Rape, or something of the kind. He's already tried to kill my dog with a garden spade, there's no telling what he'll do to me if I come within a foot of the guy.

"I said; put your freaking clothes on and get out of my backyard, Bam, whatever your name is. It'd be nice if you tried not to go near Princess while you're at it." I say, holding a finger up to him in warning.

Bam blinks, looking confused, looking back at Princess who backs back into the fence at his glance. Looking back to me, he asks, slowly, "This dog is of noble birth? Is that why you are angry?"

It's my turn to blink and stare again, and clearing my voice after a couple moments of equally confused looks, I say sarcastically, "Sure, that's why. Look. Just – just please go away, I don't know if you think you're funny or what but this isn't funny for me. I have homework to do, so –" waving my maths book around in demonstration, I trail off.

"Does that mean you are a queen? Or are you this dog's servant girl?" he asks curiously, and I'm starting to get sick and tired of his act. Whatever it is. His insanity. I don't know, all I know is I shouldn't be the one putting up with it, he shouldn't be in my yard, and he should at least know how to zip up his pants properly.

But he doesn't – he's trying to zip them up sideways.

"For God's sake hurry up or I'm going to cut your head off with the spade –" at my words Bam starts looking upset, his eyes filling up with fear and his lips turning 'o' shaped. He forgets zipping up his jeans and starts moving further away from me, like Princess did for him. At the same time he looks kind of mad at me, his brows furrowing.

"Get away, you stupid woman." He tells me, shaking his shirt at me threateningly. "I don't want my head off. I'm hungry, I only wanted noble dog to eat. My stomach growls and I feel…I feel not good, and people's faces go funny when they see me. I tried waving. It did not work. Everything is horrible, worse than inside. But more fun. But she's not here. I don't know what to do and. You. Not. Help!"

Bam sounds so upset about this I almost feel sorry for him, if not for the fact he called me a 'stupid woman'. Also, after his speech, he balls up his shirt in his hands and throws it at me. It hits me – before I can stop it – in the face, and then falls to my feet. I pick it up and start to storm up to him, not caring if he's a rapist or what. He made me angry.

"Are you disabled in the brain? Is your worried mum out looking for you?" I snap, as he glares down at me. But I don't care about his glaring. I don't really appreciate being called stupid, or having shirts thrown in my face. I can tolerate being ignored at school – but this, this is not what I call being ignored and I do not like it one bit. I don't even care if he is disabled, what he is is annoying.

"My real mum is gone, and what about my brain? It does not sound very nice what you're saying." Bam stops leaning on the fence and stamps up to me, looking about to throw another temper tantrum. Which he does, just as I'm about to throw his shirt right back at him. "YOU ARE NOT A NICE LADY! GET AWAY! GET AWAY! YOU SUPPOSED TO HELP ME!"

He reaches out to shove me away by the shoulder but I hold up my hand, "Stop right there, calm down and get your meaty paws away from the merchandise. Just what, might I ask, is your deal?"

Bam's lips start to quiver, "I have been let out of inside, the place with the white long shirted people with the badges and clear eye cover things. I used to be, as they said, from different time. But I came from melted ice in ocean, and now I am here. That is that. They learn from me – learned, but then she set me free, said it wasn't fair. Now I am here. With you. And I don't like it."

Giving me another glare he starts trying to fix his pants again and I stare at him, trying to make sense of what he's telling me. White, long shirts? Badges? Clear eye covers – does he mean glasses? I think, by the sounds of it, he's talking about scientists (or doctors, or mental institute workers more likely) and from the rest of what he's saying…well, it sounds like he thinks he arrived at their lab in a giant, melting ice block or something. Kind of like a cave man…

Which he kind of looks like. But nonetheless, that is just completely crazy to even consider. You see it on movies – but seriously? Unless scientists have learned of a way to bring people back from the dead, this just isn't possible. I mention this to Bam, but he just looks up from his jeans, looking even more upset.

"Look at me. I am living proof. I would not lie to you." He abandons his jeans again and reaches out for me, giving me a little shake by the shoulders. "I am not lying. Please, can you just look after me? I trusted you. I told you. Now you be good to me back. Help me."

I look pointedly at the hands on my shoulders and noticing the direction of my gaze; he drops them and heaves out a big, exasperated sigh – before falling down on the ground in front of me and pressing his face into the front of his jeans. "Help me. Help me. Help me," he looks up, face still pressed into his jeans, "Please? And what – what's your name?"

"Braiden," I answer automatically and he grins while I scowl. I can't believe I just gave the crazy boy my name. Now when his mum or whatever comes looking for him he'll have a name to be going on about and then she'll track me down and tell me off for letting him indulge in his fantasies. Which I'm not even doing. "And what exactly do you want?"

"I want to be normal so people don't notice me – and I want food." He sounds more urgent about the food, and so, sighing, I look back to my house and wonder what we have lying around. I'm just hoping the kid isn't like some kind of stray dog, like when I give him something to eat he'll stick around and start getting freakishly attached to me.

"Fine." I mutter, hoping that if I get him something he'll leave me alone. "But I don't think I'll be able to make you normal."

Looking at him, and waiting for him to glare at me, I'm disappointed; he just continues grinning at me. Sighing, I give him a pat on the shoulder, "Be right back," and then, padding down the grass into my house, analyse just how crazy I am. I mean, it's bad enough I've resigned myself to semi-believe him, but try and help the crazy freak too? If I am being punked the audience is going to think I'm a total loser.

Shaking my head and trying not to think of the consequences of that happening I trek down the hallway, over all of my brothers' stuff that's lying around on the floor. It's disgusting how messy they are, and they feel obliged to spread that mess out onto the rest of the house – some of it is even starting to near my room, which I have to put a stop to.

I turn the corner and hear a bang behind me, and thinking it's my little brother Mark I just groan, "Mark, stop running down the halls – you are not an Olympics runner," but I am greeted with silence as I open the door, and peak back only to find Bam right behind me, grinning bemusedly and holding his head.

"What is Olympics?" he wants to know and I'm too busy freaking out about my mum finding him in here to even answer. Grabbing him by the arm I push the kitchen door open properly and poke my head in – she's not in there, and I let out a sigh of relief. "What is Olympics?"

"Do you know what a battle is?" I want to know, dragging him into the kitchen and then pushing him down on a chair by the counter. "Stay here." I narrow my eyes at him and go to the fridge, opening it. Apple pie, leftover pizza, some chicken, lettuce – hm, a chicken and lettuce sandwich maybe? Two rounds, I look back at him in scrutiny, he looks the type to be an eater.

Bam slides his hands up and down the counter, biting his lip, thinking. "Yes I do, is that what this Olympics is? Battle? With weapons and fists and the killing? I was just…running."

"It's more like, non-violent battles, you fight who is the fastest by running, sometimes throw things, swim." He perks up at my mentioning swimming, and I smirk as he pounds his fists on the counter. I look back to the fridge and grab out the chicken, margarine and lettuce, and kicking the fridge door back I head over to the counter.

"I like swimming. They show me what that was – I used to do it, even before then." He leans back in his chair, looking thoughtful. "Is there a place to swim around here?"

"Yes," I place the food on the table and he eyes it, grinning, before reaching out for it, "Hey, not done yet."

Bam brings his hands back and sighs heavily, arching his eyebrows. "I'm hungry…I haven't eaten since…since an hour ago," he gives this big pout. "Take me swimming afterwards. I want to go swimming."

"Well," I say irritably, reaching over and grabbing four slices of bread from the bag, "take yourself I've got homework to do, like I said."

Bam screws up his nose and shakes his head, resigning himself to drooping down on the counter and watching me make his sandwiches. I lower my gaze, buttering them in silence, hoping against hope my parental units don't come home from work too early or that my brothers ditch their afterschool activities and opt for an afternoon at home.

What kind of person does this in the first place? What kind of person makes chicken and lettuce sandwiches for a complete – and completely insane – stranger?

Me, obviously. Maybe I'm insane too and the vitamins my mum gives me every morning are really drugs to keep me from acting out – although said drugs, if they exist, are not entirely working because I seem to not mind inviting strangers into the house and accepting the fact that they tried to kill my dog. Just like it's same old, same old for me.

I grab the two pieces of bread and squish them down over the chicken, margarine and lettuce covered slices before I cut them in half and hand them over the table to him. Bam grabs them out of my hands almost instantaneously, and starts shovelling them in his mouth like a – well, like what he so-called is; a cave man.

I eye him with morbid curiosity for a bit before I'm forced to look away, open mouthed chewing becoming a bit too graphic for me. I wonder what he's going to do after he's finished. I mean, he hasn't shown the slightest intention of leaving yet. He can't be at home when everyone else gets here, though. He doesn't exactly look like safe sort of company, kind of the opposite. He looks dangerous, is what he looks like.

Well. When he's not giving pouts and grinning at you.

"Thank you Braiden." I look back to him to see he's finished the sandwiches already. "You're a very good food maker."

"All in a day's work," I say wryly, and then ask the question on my mind, "So what are you going to do now?"

Bam screws up his nose once more and gives a big shrug, "I don't know. Find a place to stay. I think she rented…hotel room…for me but I got distracted and wandered off in the wrong way and now I do not know where to go," he makes a frustrated noise and bangs his fist on the table again. "It's stupid. Stupid. I do not like it."

"I can help you with that," I offer, "where do you have to go?"

"Aston Hotel."


Yes, Bam is short for Bam Bam which is what the scientists nicknamed him on account of you know...flinstones. I think this idea is absolutely crazy and unrealistic but...I just wanted to know if you guys would like me to continue it! Because it'd be heaps fun, and I'm sorry for not updating as much anymore. Just, you know, school. And I'll put up my greek retelling again as soon as I can be bothered fixing it up. It will hopefully be done in future though.

I don't even have a proper NAME for this story. I just couldn't think of anything. But I'd like your opinion?