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nebula January 18th, 2017 02:46 PM

Autumnal Chills - Project #1
"Autumnal Chills" - a small thing I just put together! This is one short section, I'm planning to make a couple more and then upload them to my wattpad! This'll be my first actual project I've done, and I'll keep them up to date here with all of my updates on the project :)

I froze in my tracks. Was someone - or something, by that matter - following me? I removed my right earbud and gazed around to have a look. The dead leaves of autumn crinkled around like tumbleweed in the chilling wind, yet there was not a person in sight.
"Hmph," I said aloud to myself, speaking my train of thought, "must've just been the wind." I pushed the earbud back in its rightful place and continued my brisk walk home. My grip firmly on the left strap of my backpack, I followed the labyrinth of shortcuts back to my new house.

We'd just moved into this 1930s bungalow, which seemed nice enough, although it was the other side of the country from where I'd lived for my other 15 years of life. Saying goodbye to all of my best friends wasn't easy, not at all; the move was stressful to say the least, too. My old friends were the only thing on my mind while I had been out for a wander around for the majority of the day to get used to the area. After all, walking to and from my new school was not a thing I had been looking forward to at all, even when my dad first said it.

"I managed to get my hands on such a bargain, Stevie! You and your brother are going to enjoy the new opportunities down south. We'll be near the beach too, so you'll get to see the sea often! How does that sound, huh?" as he nudged my shoulder with his comforting left hand. I loved my dad very much, but I feel like sometimes his impulses went a lot faster than his logical reasoning. On the outside, I gleamed. I loved seeing my dad happy, since the majority of time I saw him stress-ridden.
"That's great, dad. When do we move?" I kept the conversation light, and this was represented through my crisp tone. I knew that my twin brother, Ben, wouldn't be as pleased - the typical teenager he is.
"I was thinking within the next week or so, yeah? I was thinking you could help me move the stuff." Everything after this sentence had completely fizzled out of my head. Next week? Are you kidding me?!

The thought still played back in my head while I was walking, along with other affairs such as the gossip I'd be missing with my friends--
"Oof!" I exasperated, as I came crashing on the floor. Supposedly, I had tripped on a tree root, but I couldn't really tell in the dark. My hands had cushioned my fall slightly, but as my head jutted forward my glasses had fallen onto the pavement. "Damn," I thought to myself, "this is the last thing I need: a new set of glasses." I slowly recollect myself, and exhale deeply.
"Do you need a hand?" I hear from a stranger - a boy about my age by the sounds of it - as I look up to see a pale skin-coloured blur in front of me resembling a hand.

nebula February 9th, 2017 05:02 PM

Re: Autumnal Chills - Project #1
I used my day off to my advantage and finally got back to writing again! If it seems fragmented, I apologise, the first part was written long before the other parts :P

I blink blankly up at the blurry figure in front of me. Confused, I squint in order to focus and pick up my glasses and put them on. They had survived the fall, luckily enough. I sit there for a good few seconds getting my vision back to normal before realising the boy was still in front of me. I flinch slightly at this realisation, and fix my eyes back towards his hand. His slight and slim hand was still there - a little shaky nevertheless yet still resilient - waiting to help me up from the floor. I hook my left hand into his, and he pulls me back up gently.

"Thank you." I murmur shyly to the stranger, and slowly look up to study his facial features. His slightly tanned face - bordered by a mop of light cocoa coloured hair, most likely at its peak length - carried a clear complexion, with the addition of freckles across his forehead and under-eyes. The irises of said eyes were the most majestic shade of blue, the colour of the sea, shielded above by bushy brown eyebrows of the same hue as his hair. The nose in the centre of his face was button-sized, yet still prominent enough to make enough of an impact. His jaw was tough and defined, and jutted outwards at the corners, with a slight stubble poking out of the bottom of his face and chin. His somewhat thin lips cracked into a friendly smile as he noticed me scanning me analytically.

"Are you from around here? I haven't seen you before." He says matter-of-factly, as if he had been sizing me up the same way that I had done with him. I wasn't sure whether to say yes or no to his question. I slightly nodded my head before uttering a little mouse squeak:
"I'm new here. I start at the secondary school in sixth form tomorrow. My name's Stevie." I speak monotonously, preparing to say those few phrases many times that week. Gosh, I sounded like such a robot. I hope he doesn't think I'm a freak or anything like that. He looked on in silence, but he wasn't really there; it was almost as if I could see the cogs turning in his brain as he was deep in thought. He nodded thoughtfully, and removed the index finger that was almost stitched in between his lips during his intense thought process.

"I guess I'll show you about the place tomorrow. We officially start then, anyways. I know the place inside out. I know all of the stories." He trailed off slightly at the last sentence, but I managed to catch the gist of what he was saying. His face turned grave and dark, somewhat heightened by the eerie street lighting. I decided not to question him on it; I didn't want to tarnish any of the little reputation I'd carry for myself in this new town. Anyway, I needed someone to take me under their wing while I started at the new school. I had no knowledge of the place whatsoever. He started to shift in place, knowing that he had ruined the short flow of conversation that we had. The awkwardness he felt was definitely shared.
"Uhh..." I start, struggling to get my words out, "my house is just down the road here. I assume you'll be walking to school, too." It all fell at once, in one big heap, without a pause for breath. I was being so awkward about this, but his sentence had pulled me in. I had a love for the type of 'stories' he'd hinted at.
"Yeah, I'll walk you home. I'll come and knock for you at 8 tomorrow? That sound good?" He pulled himself back, and managed to sling the fluidity of conversation without any effort required. The type of confidence he carried hinted at maybe popularity in his younger years in the secondary schools. I wonder if that would be projected into the future years, too. I pull myself together, adjust my backpack, and proceed to walk home next to this stranger I'd barely known 10 minutes. I didn't even catch his name yet. As if by magic, or some good psychic qualities, he turns to look at me.
"By the way, my name is Calvin."

nebula February 11th, 2017 03:46 AM

Re: Autumnal Chills - Project #1
"Everyone hates Calvin, really," I hear from the girl next to me in my first geography class, "he's never exactly been good at keeping friends. He usually does his own thing. I'm surprised he's actually shown you around the place and spoke to you so amiably." She chatted on, but in essence she was correct: he had spoken to me in a friendly manner all morning, as if he'd known me for years. He gave me the brief rundown of most of the groups in our year, and he offered to keep me company until I integrated in the school. Accepting his request graciously, I was still curious about what he'd said last night. What were those 'stories'? I pushed it to the back of my mind. It's not like he would tell me immediately anyway, his response was very negative.

"Why do you all hate Calvin? He was nice enough to me. Sounded like he had a lot of friends." I quizzed her, I really wanted to get more information on this guy. She shot me a look as soon as I closed my mouth, and then started laughing heavily.
"Are you kidding me? He's never had any friends. I've known him since nursery school. He's always been a loner and a suck up to teachers." She said harshly, then continuing to laugh. I felt the need to defend Calvin, but I barely knew the guy. I had nothing to defend him with; knowing someone for 12 hours really left me restricted. Even when he chatted, he never spoke about himself. Maybe it's a trait he's picked up: extroverted, but closed off.

She continued to aimlessly chatter throughout the lesson, but her annoyingly rabbiting tone turned to white noise in my head as I cancelled out her voice completely, and fell into a daydream about being back at home. I wish I was there. With all of my friends, especially my best friend, Rob. He'd get just as excited about the stories as I have, he's really into that kind of thing. Although I was only just starting to size up Calvin, I knew he'd kill to meet this guy. Maybe if me and him became close friends he would agree to go back to my hometown and meet Rob.

Meeting Calvin at lunch was incredibly painful. It was true; he didn't have any other friends there except me, and it was just the two of us at the table silently eating our lunch. I had so many questions for him - but the silence was too awkward to break. I looked dissatisfied at my soggy sandwich, but soldiered on as the school buzzed to life around us. Looking back up at Calvin, I could see that he was looking at me, struggling not to laugh.
"Hey, what's so funny?!" My voice had an ounce of hostility and bossiness to it, as he spluttered and started laughing hard. I looked at his gaze, which was behind me, and I turned to see our year mocking me. Angered, I threw my sandwich on the floor, and sling my backpack on my back and ran away into the school. I had no clue where I was going, but I'd find somewhere eventually.

nebula February 15th, 2017 04:59 PM

Re: Autumnal Chills - Project #1
"What a jerk." I sobbed, sliding my back down the wall of the cleaner's cupboard in the languages section. There was a partition in there, cheaply made of fiddly plastic, and I hid behind there to avoid any detection. It was silent in here, except for students laughing outside and footsteps treading past the door. Except for my quiet sobbing, of course. My head was nested in my knees, and my arms were clasped to my legs, hugging them for comfort.
"I just..." I speak to myself, as if someone was listening, "...want to go home. That's all I want."

After this, I hear the door burst open. My head looks sharply up towards it, expecting Calvin, but my eyes see something different. It's a mere third year* girl, who was clearly listening in on me. Her cheeks burn red, almost to a similar hue as her dark ginger hair, pulled back into braids, with smaller somewhat curly hairs framing her pale visage. Why did she look so familiar to me? I swear I had seen her before. She looked innocent enough, so I strained a short smile on my tear-stained face.
"I-I'm sorry," she stutters, obviously nervous as her feet shuffled across the scratched lino floor, "I didn't mean to barge in on you like that. It was rude of me to do so." My suspicions were correct, and that she was a shy, smart and well-to-do younger girl. Her silver badge adorned on the lapel of her navy blazer contained the insignia of the school, along with the capitalised letters: CLASS REP 9-4.
"Hey, it's alright, class rep." I say calmly, and push myself up. I freezed, and realised at that moment that I respected her authority, even if she was technically below me. I ran my fingers through my hair and composed myself. Breathe.

"My name is Stevie, I'm a sixth year**, I'm new here. I moved from like 200 miles away." I say to her kindly, and she smiles back in the same manner.
"It's nice to meet you Stevie. My name's Isla Rayner, and like you said, I'm the class rep for form 9-4. I've been the continuous class rep the whole time during my time here. I guess I get the popular reputation from my sister, she would be about your age by now too." The way she worded her last sentence spoke mountains, but I couldn't pry just yet. She was just a stranger, we had just exchanged names.

"Well, class should be starting in around 10 minutes. Do you need a hand getting there?" Her warm and soothing voice felt like a fluffy blanket to my ears; delightfully tickled and always welcomed. Even though she sounded like she just wanted an excuse to hang around with me, I graciously accepted and nodded.
"Yes please. I have Greek history in room 4-B." I say, and she looks at me and giggles at me slightly.
"Greek history? Really?" She laughs, but it was with a friendly intent: she wasn't laughing at me, she was laughing with me.
"Blame my dad, not me." I laugh along with her, as we glide our way up to my class. Well, at least I was befriending someone. Even if she did have that familiar look in her eye.

* third year - equates to the grade in which students are 13 turning 14
** sixth year - equates to the grade in which students are 16 turning 17

nebula February 15th, 2017 05:44 PM

Re: Autumnal Chills - Project #1
2 sections in 1 night get me


It wasn't until I was collapsed down in bed, still playing through the lunch break of that Monday in my head, that I received a text from Calvin. Expectantly, it was as condensed as possible: "where were u 2day? sry 4 lunch. meet tomrw?" I rolled my eyes, and place my phone back onto the bedside table. Boys will be boys. I turn onto my back, gazing up into the ceiling intently. Who was Isla, and where did I know her from? And why did I feel a deep-down sense of perennial sadness and emptiness from her soul, even with the smiling and laughing? It was these sorts of questions that took time to answer. I'd only been there a day, yet it felt like weeks. I had found out a lot about the only two people I'd truly interacted with within the short six hours, yet I needed more.

"Stevie?" I hear faintly from behind the door, as it slowly inches open. I could tell within milliseconds that it was Ben. Maybe he could help me out a bit, he was in Isla's year too. As he steps in further, I haul myself up and sit up on the bed. I pat on my faded grey duvet, motioning for him to sit beside me. He did exactly this, obediently.
"Ben, what form are you in?" I asked him, with a touch of seriousness to my voice, while still remaining kind to my brother. For some reason, he could never really stand our father but he had a massive soft spot for me.
"9-4... Why did you ask?" My face softened at his response. Perfect. He could help me find out more about this Isla girl.
"Do you know Isla? Your class rep?" I ask, coming slightly closer to him. I started to get quite excitable, as if she would have some value to me in the future. He looks at me confusedly, waiting for me to speak again.
"You don't know her? Dark ginger hair, pale and freckly?" I see the look on his face turn from confused to completely baffled. He still did not speak, yet I had nothing left to say.

A few minutes had passed before he opened his mouth.
"You mean Hannah? She's... my class rep. Straight blonde hair... really preppy and popular. What are you on about, Stevie? Did you get confused or something?" I then shared his completely baffled look. I knew for sure she was class 9-4! Her badge said so and she told me herself! What was going on?
"Are you sure you're in form 9-4, Ben?" I ask, with a strain of worriedness on my face. I was utterly confused and had no clue what I was doing. Maybe I dreamed her up in my upset episode? Is that even possible?
"Yeah, I am. Tell me what's wrong, Stevie, I'm worried." He started to sound slightly concerned for me, and we told each other everything. I went ahead and told him the events that had ensued at lunchtime, about how I ran to the closet and met Isla.

"That's so weird..." he started, clearly unsure of finish, "but do you think you were seeing things, though? Are you sure she didn't say 9-2, or 8-4 or something like that?" He had started to put some likely scenarios in my head. It did slightly put my mind to rest, and I definitely had to thank him for it. Ben really was the best, and I'm glad I had him as a brother.
"Anyway... our dinner is ready. Dad is acting all weird tonight so I wouldn't recommend chatting to him all that much." He says abruptly - as expected, he mentioned Dad - and I follow him downstairs to the dining room, leaving my room definitely a lot more jarred and confused than when I first entered it.

nebula February 16th, 2017 04:46 AM

Re: Autumnal Chills - Project #1
When this story actually has some more content and progress in it I may actually start uploading to Wattpad. Or I may just wait for it to be finished. Who knows.

~ 6 months later ~

I don't know why I had agreed with him, but I found myself walking straight past my house as I walked home with Calvin: we were going to have dinner at his place. He'd never spoke about his place much, and yet he never mentioned his family or anything like that. I wondered what they'd be like toeards me when I walked through the door. Had me mentioned me to any of them? I knew I would find out soon.

The thing was, I wouldn't: he lived alone, in a studio flat. It was practical for him, but incredibly cluttered. There were takeaway containers littered across the worktop and floor, and other general rubbish on and surrounding the only bin in the house.
"Do you not clean this place at all?!" I judged jokingly, and he looked back at me sheepishly. I guess guys just didn't prioritise cleanliness as much as girls did.
"Look, it's Friday right? We'll just chill tonight, and I'm gonna clean up this place for you tomorrow. It's a tip!" I chuckled, and he nodded shyly; his guard was clearly up since I had entered his private space. Or he just didn't know how to care for guests that well, which was understandable. Doing my best attempt to dodge all of the clutter, I grabbed the limescale-ridden kettle and filled it up with the kitchen tap. I quickly rummaged the cupboard while the kettle took what felt like years to boil, and came across some instant coffee and milk. At least he had something to keep us going. Calvin had retired to his bed, watching me go through chaos to make cups of coffee for the both of us.

"See, it's not that bad," he laughs, after relaxing from his previous tense state, "it's cosy." I couldn't not agree with him on his statement - his little apartment was very cosy and served it's purpose of keeping him sheltered.
"I know the guy who owns these flats. He's like... family, I guess. He's letting me stay here for free until I get a job." He stuttered out between sips of his coffee. As he gratefully sipped, I could tell he liked my company in his home. He was most likely alone the entirety of the time he wasn't at school, and even then he was a loner except for the times I kept him company. Maybe I was helping him out more than I had thought.
"Hey, dinner's on me tonight, okay?" I say, while my left hand is searching around in my skirt pocket, unearthing a debit card and a couple of bank notes. I grin, while grabbing the copious amounts of takeaway menus. With all the junk food he ate, I had no clue how he wasn't morbidly obese.

We heard a knock at the door, and that was indeed the pizza delivery guy with 2 pizzas. The place was so regularly used, they didn't even need his address. They could tell from his voice on the phone alone that they would be delivering to his flat... again. I open the door, grab the pizzas and pay the guy and he leaves, looking surprised at the notes. Maybe he wasn't expecting for the pizzas to be actually paid for.

A few minutes later, we had dug into our meals, and I thought this would finally be the time to bring up Isla. We were all alone, with no-one eavesdropping or interrupting.
"Hey, Calvin?" I say nervously, trying to think what my next line would be. The most I get is a surprised grunt, his mouth stuffed with pepperoni pizza.
"Something weird happened on that first day of school... you know when I ran away from you?" I spoke slowly, so that he would be taking it all in. He nodded in response to my question and to tell me that he had understood.
"I went into the languages cleaning closet to mope about for a little bit, and this girl burst open on me and took me to my next lesson. She told me she was class rep, but when I asked my younger brother who's supposedly in her form - he said he'd never heard of her. It was weird." I explained to him, and the whole time he was listening intently.
"And have you seen her since?" He responds, after gulping down his mouthful of doughy goodness. I shake my head at his response somberly. After this, he was deep in thought for the rest of the dinner, while I just finished a few slices of my plain pizza.

When I grabbed the boxes to tidy up with the best effort that I could from the restrictions of his messy kitchen, Calvin called round from the partition protecting his bed:
"Hey, do you remember her name?" He asked curiously. Maybe this is was I needed. This would give me closure from what I most definitely saw on that autumn Monday. I needed to know, and Calvin could give me answers. I waited a few seconds hesitantly, as if I was trying to jog my memory. Of course I knew her name, it was heavily imprinted in my mind. I saw her - well, it was just an illusion - from the corner of my eye whenever I was at school.
"Yeah... it was Isla Rayner... I think?" I say, keeping up the forgetful and nonchalant act. But he didn't respond. I turned round to face Calvin, and to my surprise his eyes were wide open in horror.

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