Chapter 1: Too Early to be Alive

"It's 4:07 AM, and for all you early birds it's ti-"

Helga slammed her fist down on the annoying little device, wondering why she even bothered with it in the first place. She stirred, about three minutes later, well knowing that she'd eventually be awaken by that syrupy-sweet voice that sent glass shattering. Sitting up in bed, she heard footsteps coming up the hallway. Too Late.

"Helga!!! Are you awake?"

'The dead are awake now, Olga!', she said mentally. "Yes", she whined, sitting up straight, and stretching, listening to each bone crack in it's own rhythmic way.

"Well, hurry and get dressed, I've got breakfast downstairs for you.", she said, exiting the room.

Helga stepped over a large suitcase, a duffel bag, and two smaller versions of it, all strategically placed encircling her bed.

The little clothes she let remain in her closet were the ones she barely if ever wore. She quickly grabbed a her old gym uniform, a red T-shirt, with North Hillwood High School Phys. Ed. Written in big black letters across the chest, and a pair of baggy sweat pants. Her favorite navy blue hoodie and she was ready to go.

In regards to the suitcase she dragged it out of her room, and down the steps. The two smaller versions of her duffel bag was also carried down and placed on top of the suitcase accordingly. As for the duffel bag, it was thrown carelessly down the steps (it contained mostly shoes and clothes, nothing breakable).

In living in that house all her life, her parents never bothered to change any of the furniture. She walked into the kitchen, which was spotlessly clean, and looked at her breakfast. Two eggs, sunny side up (This was OLGA after all) and 2 strips of bacon. Of course, Olga was bouncing around the kitchen, living off her endless supply of perky.

"Eat up, baby sister. You've got to get going.", she said running water into and empty pan.

Helga stabbed at her eggs for a moment, before ingesting them. She side glanced at the clock on the wall, and imbibed the last of her orange juice.

"I'm gonna be late!" she said, with a mouthful of bacon. She ran outside and loaded the popped trunk of Olga's shiny Mazda Protégé with her bags and hopped in the front seat. Olga started the car and popped in a tape.

Now, the upbeat sounds of "You're The One That I Want", from Grease, wasn't what annoyed Helga. It was Olga's incredibly hindered driving. She looked up at the road, then at Olga, then at her watch, then back at Olga. It was 4:47, and the train left at 5:05 (train's leave at funny times…) That would barely give her enough time to get a good seat and find Phoebe. Helga growled slightly as Olga stopped dead on at a yellow light, that took it's own sweet time turning red.

"You could have made that!", Helga said, clearly irritated.

"Then, I would have gotten a ticket, and you would have been twice as late.", Olga said. She could tell Helga was anxious to get there, but she wasn't one to rush for much of anything. "Don't worry baby sister, you'll get there on time." she reassured her, smiling happily.

They got there (eventually) and Helga leaped out of the car and pounded on the trunk of the car until Olga popped the trunk. She lifted out all of her bags and set all but the smallest one in a large pile of other bags thrown along side the train. She turned to close the trunk, but Olga had beat her to it. Without warning, Olga embraced Helga, and for the first time in along time, Helga hugged back. Over the past few months, Olga had been coming over so often, she might as well have lived at home. She'd acted as a mother and friend to Helga, despite their vast and complex differences.

Olga (although she and Helga were more or less the same height, still towered her by an inch or so), knelt down, and looked her straight in the eye. "You have fun, okay? And be safe." she said, on the verge of tears.

"I will, I promise.", Helga said, simply. Olga waved, returned to the car, and disappeared out of the train parking lot.

"Hey Helga!"

Helga whipped around surprised to see Phoebe hanging out of the train's door, accompanied by a very upset train usher.

C'mon, we're about to leave."

Helga ran up the ramp and avoiding the eyes of the usher, handed him her ticket and looked for a seat. The one bag she took on the train with her carried her CD player, a CD holder, 2 old issues of Newtype (her favorite magazine) and 3 Snickers bars (Hey, a girl's gotta eat!). She took a seat across from Phoebe, knowing better that the seat next to her was reserved.

"Is this seat taken?"

Phoebe looked up, smiling and turning that oh so distinctive shade of magenta. Helga had heard enough, and in turn, put on her headphones. The train began to move, and Helga pressed her head against the glass window. The scenery slowly changed from scenic early morning to treetops and country roads, back to scenes of the late morning city. She decided to stop trying to figure out what state they were in and just enjoy the view. Halfway through her Something Corporate CD, she began to doze off, she leaned her head back, and drifted off into sleep.


"Yo sleepy-head."

Helga was compelled to immediately backslap whom so ever disturbed her slumber, and go back to sleep.

"What?", she stated simply, rolling over.

"Rest stop, you need to go?"

By this time, she had no idea who was talking to her or why he did so as if she were five.

"Yeah, sure, whatever.", she said, extending her hand. She figured whoever this guy was he'd at least be kind enough to help her up. On her feet, she scratched the back of her head, mussing her hair more than it already was.

"Mornin' Sunshine!", Arnold said, loudly.

"Did everyone have a big cup of perky this morning?", she asked exiting the train.

The rest stop was…average, to say the least. The bathroom was packed with sweating, tired bodies, making the air tight and putrid. The "snack bar" was repulsive. Helga, now mostly awake, returned to the train, the only other passenger other than a few other people. She flopped back down in her seat and flipped open an old issue of Newtype. She buried herself in an article about the new Inuyasha Movie coming out early the next year.

"Whatcha reading?"

Helga glanced up and showed Arnold the cover. She knew before she even showed him that he had NO idea what it was. Of course, how could he? He'd lived in safe little Hillwood his entire life. Everyone knew everything about everyone else, and better yet, everyone knew that it would stay that way until forever. Helga on the other hand had spent a year in Japan with Olga her 7th grade year, she'd opened herself up to a whole new world of literature and art. She decided to just hand over the magazine, she'd read it from cover to cover, and the boy could use some literary enlightenment.

Eventually, the train resumed motion. Helga didn't bother telling Arnold to move, although she was very comfortable with the seat being all to herself. Either way, she figured the usher would tell him to go back to his seat. But even after a few minutes, he remained seated. After another 15 minutes, Helga decided to break the preverbal ice.

"Are you going back to YOUR seat anytime soon?", she asked, trying not to be rude, although it was a habit.

"This is my seat. I've been sitting here for the past 3 hours.", he said, his attention riveted on the page.

"Oh.", she said. "Don't wake me up 'till we get to Brooklyn, okay?", Helga said, turning over, using her now limited space to resume sleep.



That's all I can give today! I know it's a lot, but, oh well! I'm tired, and my little brother has a concert today (he's so cute with his little flute, just tootin' his little heart out!!!) So, I gotta go! Review! Bye!!!