Forgotten.

Unwanted.

Alone.

I hear the whispers. I know what they say. They're talking about me, about what they want me to believe. But it isn't me. It can't be. I have to believe that these whispers are speaking lies.

The rain pattering on the pavement is honestly a relief. It's a break from the relentless whispering I'm always hearing whether I want to or not. I can feel the water droplets mixing with the sweat already on my face as I run, my feet slapping against the wet concrete.

Away. Away from the whispering as far as I can.

But it follows me. Growing louder than the rain until it's all I can hear. Sometimes it's just nothing, but then there are words that appear in the senseless murmurings.

Freak.

I press my hands to my ears, trying to block it out, but they are in my head.

Monster.

I know they're wrong, but despair fills my heart and I can't help but start to believe them.

Why can't you just be normal?

I know I am normal, it's everyone else that refuses to acknowledge it. I begin to run again, pumping my arms to try to move faster as the whispering follows me.

It's just a choice.

I never chose to be like this.

This can't be what you want.

You think I wanted all this ridicule?

Come back to us.

You think I wanted to be something that no one thinks is real?

You know you want to.

A small light appears on the horizon. It's hazy, but as I move closer, I can see it's an old fifties-style diner. If I can make it to the diner, I'll be safe.

Don't go over there.

Come back with us.

I push harder, running faster than I thought I could. Rain is pouring down in sheets now. It's like even the rain that had been such a comfort earlier is now trying to stop me. I put one of my arms up to shield my eyes, not noticing the log that had somehow come in the road. I trip, but I manage to throw my hands out in front of me before I hit the pavement.

I swallow a scream as I feel my flesh tear and my bones creak. I stumble back to my feet, blood running from my hands as I move forward again.

I can see more of the diner now. The windows of the small train-car-like building are glowing a warm orange. The door opens and someone peeks out. I can't hear what they say because of the driving rain, but they are beckoning to me frantically, looking at something behind me. I don't dare take the time to look back at whatever it is that's behind me.

I race up to the diner, falling up the steps and through the door as the other person slams it behind me. My blood smears on the shiny clean floors and pain shoots through me again, but all I can do is gasp for breath.

I turn my head to look at the person who is still by the door; it's a young woman. Her eyes widen at the sight of my hands.

"Bandages! Now!" she calls to someone. "They're hurt!" She breathes a sigh of relief and crouches down next to me. "You're safe now. The Whispers can't get you in here."

I swallow against bile rising in my throat. "Thank you…" I manage to gasp. "I didn't even know there was a diner out here."

"We keep it a secret," she explains. "The Whispers can't speak to one another to talk about the Diner. They can only latch onto people like us and hope that they drag us down."

"Us?" I look into her eyes.

She smiles again, pulling back her sleeve to reveal a colourful tattoo on her left wrist, much like the one I noticed before the whispers began.

"You're like me," I whispered. "I didn't know there were more of us. I thought I was the only one…"

She chuckles softly, standing as footsteps came up to me from behind. "We all did until we found the Diner. Here, let me bandage your hands."

I hold out my hands as she covers them in healing salve first, then wraps them with the bandages. "So, you just stay here?"

She helps me up. "This is where we're stationed to watch for more of us, but it's not where we live." She looks up. "Jordan, show them where they can have a bunk, will you?"

The young man who had brought the bandages - Jordan - nods. "Absolutely. Carson will be up to take your shift when you're done, Alex."

Alex nods. "Wonderful. I'm looking forward to resting. We've had a lot of us come through today. Welcome to the Diner… uh, didn't catch your name."

I look up to Alex, smiling for the first time in what feels like forever. "Adrien."


So! This is really just the prologue for a story I'm working on. It'll be like a collection of sorts. There won't really be a big overarching story, just a bunch of short ones together. Some characters might reappear, but other than that, the chapters don't necessarily have to be read in order. The only issue I'm having writing this is coming up with backstories for the multiple characters there will be in here, as well as different personalities.

If you guys really enjoyed this and want me to continue, please leave a review saying so. And if you have any backstory ideas, I'd love them. It has to be somewhat placed in reality, though. Sorry, no fairies in this world. This world is set in our own, but slightly off. I don't know how else to describe it other than that. But yeah, if you guys enjoyed, let me know, and I'll work really hard on getting the first chapter out soon. I just need to figure out a bunch of backstories! If you guys have any plots, I would really appreciate the help!

Have a wonderful rest of your day!

~Arin