Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night!

Today is Christmas, for all of you not in the know. Myself and the rest of the writers of Life In Fiction are busy celebrating this joyous season with our families, whether annoying or cool. (Literally, my father's opening up gifts while I'm typing this message.) I thought I'd take some time to not only give you my present of Ankoku no Ki's latest chapter, but also a special Christmas message from all of the Life In Fiction crew.

So, as you could probably see from my last post earlier this week, I always associate Christmas with a time of extreme, but happy, greed. Not a huge stretch, right? Well, as a little piece of interest, I thought I might share what each of us received this Christmas. (In no specific order...)

1. Yours truly
In total, I got 3 boxes of candy (nerds, starbursts, and skittles), a bag of dried fruit, a bag of pistachios, 3 CD's (Riot by Paramore, Neverender by Coheed and Cambria, and A Thousand Suns by Linkin Park), an Alice In Wonderland shirt, and an HTC EVO 4G.

2. Tara
I got a GPS device, and the voice is Yoda. I got gorgeous necklaces, and a beautiful ring. I got some clothing items, and a pair of slippers. I got 9-10 books. A couple tree ornaments, and Just Dance for the Wii. There are probably many more things that I received, but I can't remember them all.... OH! My amazing boyfriend bought me Taylor Swift's cd Speak Now, the Target Deluxe Edition which had 3 new songs and 3 remixed versions. I really wanted that!

3. Quinton
I got a bunch of clothes basically, Ohio State gear, A Clockwork Orange, iHome, candy, earphones, a watch, Zombieland, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the world. :)

4. Megan
 I got some new furniture and clothes and a barnes and noble gift card.
Hope everyone has a great christmas!

5. Joseph W. 
I got some video games and dvd's. a new sweat shirt, some nice cologne, and my nephew got me a whoopie cushion lol

6. Anora Anakaya
Socks, a charm bracelet, a necklace, some cash, and a Barnes & Noble's gift card, but I have too many books right now so I won't get to use the gift card for awhile :/

Did your Christmas bounty match up to any of ours? Hopefully, it was the best of all of them. Myself and the rest of the Life In Fiction writers hope that your Christmas was great and that your New Years will be even better. No matter where you are, who you are, or to what religion you prescribe, this time of year should always be a source of joy as the calender ticks over to the next year :)

So, without further ado, here's my holiday gift to you:

Chapter 3

Running From Fate

            Hurriedly Justin guided Rachel through the door of the building they had only entered seven minutes before. The once favorable air of Columbus in November now slapped each of their faces hard as the most morbid of thoughts passed through their heads. No longer was Rachel even aware of the world around her; half of her mind had been left at the scene of the crime where her teacher’s corpse now lied in all its bloody glory. A timid left hand she was unsure about being her own squeezed her crimson-stained right wrist in an attempt to clot the wound a vicious vine had opened. What her mind still couldn’t comprehend was the fact that the wound had already healed. Something had intervened.
            Softly, Justin’s left hand touched the middle of Rachel’s back, guiding her right, along the path that ran parallel to the building they had just exited. His body was kept close to hers, almost as if he were shielding her, protecting her from the now-dangerous eyes of the word-at-large. With wide-eyes she stared at him with the purest of innocence. Any ignorant mind would never guess the violent act she had just committed.  
            “Justin…” she whispered weekly. “Where are we going?”
            “We’re going to go back to your dorm. It’ll be safer there.” The tone of his voice was stern, trying to push away the small amount of doubt he held.
            “Justin… Why’d she kill him?” For a split second, the words burned brightly within his consciousness and he flashed an incredulous look to match her confused expression. As quick as they had come, he attempted to push her cryptic statement away.
            “Shhh…” He squeezed her slightly tighter against him in an effort to comfort her now fragile body, “don’t talk.” Soon, they were at the lot where he had parked his motor scooter. “The campus is too big to walk right now. It’ll be quicker if we take my moped.” Climbing onto the scooter, he reached out his left hand to help her onto the vehicle. With a weak nod, she took Justin’s lead and clung onto his waist tightly.  After a turn of his key in the ignition, the engine started and soon the scooter was moving forward. As the vehicle turned out of the parking lot, his mind ran speedily through the past half hour in an endless, morbid loop.
*     *     *     *
            Slightly over twenty minutes since the crime, Rachel’s head still swam with morbid thoughts she wasn’t sure she committed while her eyes stared pensively at the ceiling above. The shock her senses had been in when they had climbed onto the scooter before had dissipated while they rode, but the weakness in her body had failed to flee as easily. Trying to feel normal, she attempted to sit up to talk to her friend in a more casual fashion.
“No, don’t get up. Just relax,” Justin spoke soothingly. Rachel lied back down upon her bed, unaware of the fact that she was gripping her wrist. The closest, safest place Justin could think of was her dorm room. Though the dorm was not much of a hideaway, his apartment had been too far away for their current needs. Danger existed in driving his scooter the two extra miles, danger of being caught by the law—or so he believed. He cared for Rachel too much to let her go to prison so easily. They had been friends ever since he had rescued her from a runaway sled back in 5th grade. In a way, he had always tried to be her hero, whether the danger were allergies, grades, boys, or her neglectful parents. Even while by her bed side, he was in a hero’s pose, kneeling next to the damsel in distress with comforting eyes and a soothing voice. He always wanted to be by her side.
            “I don’t think I can relax…” she mumbled.
            “I think you’ll have to.” Justin laughed nervously. “If you don’t, you probably won’t feel all that well very soon.” An awkward silence passed between them, both knew what would come next. “Hey Rach…” he mumbled.
“Yeah Justin?”
 “What happened back there? Why exactly did you decide kill the professor?”
            “I didn’t!” She turned over quickly, defensively, begging him to believe her with the innocence of her wide eyes. “Justin, it wasn’t me. It was her!” He coaxed her into lying back down with his hands.
            “I want to believe you, you know I don’t. I just don’t know who she is. The only person I saw murder anyone was you…” Guilt in his accusation forced his eyes from hers. Nothing felt worse to him than accusing Rachel of murder and knowing her guilt.
            “But…I didn’t…” She sighed in defeat. The facts were against her. “Justin, you know how much Dr. Agasa’s voice scares me, right?” Her eyes shifted back towards him. “Today was worse than usual. He started yelling at me, and I must’ve panicked, or something… Because I felt scared and then I started feeling the pain like I always used to when we were in middle school and I’d have those panic attacks. You remember?” Justin nodded. With her innocent eyes she traded Justin’s face for the ceiling, attempting to make random shapes out of its continual strips of tan squares and then pushing away such thoughts to prevent herself from digressing. “But… all of a sudden…everything just left me, there was nothing. The pain, my fear, it was all gone…and then there was this tap on my shoulder.” Leaving her wrist, her left hand rubbed her right shoulder gently, remembering the slight feeling of the tap. “I looked over my shoulder and saw this girl who looked just like me, a more mature me…” A sad expression filled her face. “With a sweeter voice…” She paused.
            “What happened after that?” Something about her words unnerved Justin slightly, but the odd feeling only increased his interest.
            “She told me that I didn’t have to be afraid…that she’d solve everything…She said that the pain would come back, but I shouldn’t be scared. All I had to do was give in to the pain I felt and everything would be alright. I did, Justin.” Her words wavered slightly as they left her lips, tainted slightly more by her accent. Without thought, her hand gripped her shoulder as if to relieve the tension of the flashback she viewed before her tainted eyes. “I did just as she told me…and the next thing I knew I was watching from somewhere distant as she slaughtered Dr. Agasa. I had no control over anything until beckoned me to go out of hiding again. When I came out, I felt no more pain, but the fear…I had never felt so scared in my life…” She turned over onto her side, letting her eyes fall upon Justin’s face. His expression was pensive and uncertain. “What’s happening to me?”
            “You sound just like that Alex Arlington kid from senior year, before the military took him away.” She fell back upon her bed in a huff.
            “I guess that’s it. I’m going to go insane. I’ll go around killing random people like Alex, and I’ll end up just like him…” She sighed once more. “Please, Justin, if I start talking about angels and demons, just shoot me.” They both laughed at the small moment of levity. It was the eye of the storm, but such moments never last long. The calmness was broken by Rachel’s roommate, Katie—a short girl of Greek decent with shoulder-length black hair, and a contradicting, bright colored Japanese-pop-style wardrobe—rushed into the room. Rachel sat up once more at the shock of the sound Katie made as she kicked the door open and slammed it closed with equal force. Justin jumped off of the floor in response to the sudden boom.
            “I knew you’d be here,” she muttered in a victorious, yet breathless, manner.
            “Hey Kate…what’s up?” Rachel asked with uncertainty. Part of her mind already knew what was about to happen.
            “What happened with Dr. Agasa?!” the words burst from Katie’s mouth. “Everyone’s talking about you slicing him up into little, tiny pieces.” She made a chopping motion with her hands, her speech getting faster as she gained excitement. “IS IT TRUE?!?”
            “Well…yes, and no…” Justin stated casually.
            “Shut up, I wasn’t asking you, Feldini…” she grumbled, noticing Justin standing there for the first time. He grumbled at the name Katie had given him to punish him for breaking up with her the year before. She still was slightly scorned.
            “It’s kind of hard to explain…” Rachel confessed.
            “Well, then START ALREADY! I think we have time to hear the whole story.” Katie was growing impatient.
            “How do you know that no one will come looking for her here? It’s been a little over half an hour since everything happened, they must have thought of looking for her here already, right?” Justin asked sincerely.
            “Oh, c’mon, it’ll be a long while before those j-holes figure out that she’s hiding out here.” She laughed lightly. “This dorm is the furthest from the center of campus, and the only reason I came here so quick is ‘cause I know where she usually goes when things get too heavy.” 
            “I still don’t think we should stay here all day. It’s not safe,” Justin argued. “I was just about to suggest that we should go to my apart—”
            “Oh, keep your pants on Feldini,” she interjected. “You worry too much. Besides y—” Her words were cut off as something pierced through a window next to Rachel’s bed and the top of Katie’s breast, straight into the center of heart. The object blinked rapidly from inside the wound with a small clicking sound to compliment it. Katie’s eyes became wide with horror before her entire the object stopped blinking and exploded, sending her rib cage as shratnel in every direction. Justin jumped atop Rachel, shielding her from the blast. Two bones shot into his left thigh.
            “Justin…”Rachel whispered in shock. Looking down at her, he feigned a smile.
“Don’t be scared,” he muttered before he tried to lift himself off of her. “The wound’s not that bad.” Pain shot through his entire body, causing him to fall to his left just as a small, round capsule broke through the window. Before either of them could react, the capsule exploded loudly before letting out a large mass of gray smoke. In the wake of the bang, Rachel’s ears began to ring loudly, disorientating her as she struggled to sit up in her bed. Before the smoke claimed her vision, she saw the room’s door get broken down by a squad of men that burst through the opening.
“Justin…” she tried to say, but her confused statement was choked down by the thick smoke that began to invade her lungs. She coughed harshly and grabbed her chest in pain. What’s this pain? She gripped her chest harder. This isn’t from the smoke…
Once more the world began to overwhelm her… Everything began to slip away as it had before Dr. Agasa’s murder, but before she reached the void, she felt the prick of harsh needle upon her neck and darkness began to pervade the empty whiteness she had been falling into only seconds before. With a desperate hand, she reached out. She attempted to grab the diminishing safety of Columbus, Ohio in November, the feeling of the brisk air as it filled her lungs, the calming sense of knowing that she didn’t have to be afraid, but to no avail. Darkness consumed the world before her eyes and fear overtook her senses before her eyes closed and she fell into a deep slumber. 


Remember, any thoughts or comments can be sent to either Quinton or myself, or posted somewhere on our two pages (Facebook and our blogsite). 
Well, that's all for this week. Expect yet another installment of Ankoku no Ki next week and a large mass of writing from the rest of the crew. Every day brings something new ;)

Provehito in altum


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