SC: Since you demanded it, and if I don't do this I'll go nuts, the sequel for To Walk Among the Dead! And look, it has a name the first chapter! And chapter titles! Woo hoo!
Disclaimer: I don't own TNBC so don't sue.
--Chapter 1 Remember
October 28, 2007 (ooh, the future! insert twilight zone theme )
I woke up covered in a cold sweat and my stomach churning. I ran into the bathroom that connected my room to Emily's and over to the toilet. Emily walked in after I flushed. "Aubrey?" She yawned, rubbing her eyes. She started to stretch, but stopped as she saw me clutching the toilet's porcelain rim. "Oh no, not again."
I looked up at her. "I told you I couldn't stomach it." My throat was burning from the acid.
She sat down next to me. "This is the fourth time in the three weeks."
"You think I don't know that?" I snapped. My stomach lurched. "I'm gonna puke again…"
She sighed and pulled my hair back. "You need to relax, sis. This stress is gonna kill you."
I smirked. "Maybe then I can finally relax." The last syllable was barely out of my mouth when I had to turn away to empty the contents of my stomach.
As soon as there was nothing left for me to puke, I stood back up and walked to my room. "You sure you don't wanna come lay down with me?"
I shook my head. "No. I'm fine now." I shut the bathroom door and flopped back down on my bed.
I had lied to her again.
I was as far from fine as possible. Getting sick regularly in the middle of the night, insomnia, not eating much, I was the opposite of fine. I was sick.
It had been like this ever since I remembered what really happened to dad ten months ago, i.e. the car crash that Oogie caused.
I pulled my necklace out from under my pajama shirt. It was true; I missed Halloween Town and everyone there, especially Lock. Okay, I know I sound lovesick or something, but I can't help it. Lock was the first person I'd met in years that I could relate to. Yeah, there were Jack and Sally, but Jack was always busy, and they were both adults. They didn't have teenager problems; they had adult problems.
Mom had enrolled me in the local high school. I was now officially a sophomore, but it was still nothing compared to being a freshman in Halloween Town. Really boring is the only way to describe it here. People tend to avoid me.Well, that's not completely true. I've had a couple of boys ask me out, and they were both fairly normal. I turned both down.
What can I say? I can't do normal anymore.
I'm the crazy psycho girl with freaky eyes.
Lock was right: any other guy pales in comparison to one who could use make fire romantic, especially when I used to be close to terrified of it. Besides, he'd taught me how to pull off most of our pranks without getting caught. Well, most of the time. Stealing a bottle of Banshee's Shriek from science and opening it in the next class we had wasn't the best idea the three of us ever had.
Then there was Barrel. I didn't see Barrel during the school day, he was in middle school still, but he was really growing up. I don't care what Shock says, he's smart, and he probably could've skipped a grade if he'd wanted. Barrel really likes Shock too. It's SO obvious, but I don't think she even notices the sweet little things he does for her. It's just stuff like making absolutely sure that he's always there waiting for her when school lets out (Shock's locker is closest to the exit, so she always beats me and Lock out.), giving her all of her favorite candy from his stock without arguing (of course, he actually just slips it into hers without her knowing. She's often asked me where all those mini chocolate bats come from.), etc.
Speaking of that witch, Shock and me had just started getting to know each other. She was a lot of fun to have as a lab partner. Witches are just naturally good at that kind of stuff. Unlike Lock, who would be if he didn't purposely heat his experiment up so high that it spontaneously combusts and takes half a lab with it. That was the first time, if anyone's wondering.
I rolled over in my bed. TGIF much.
"Lock, wake up!" Barrel yelled, bouncing up and down on my back.
I threw a pillow at him. "Shut up and go away. It's Saturday."
"But Jack and Sally are taking us down to the lake! We can collect toads to throw at people." He tempted me.
"Just shut up and go away. I don't feel like going." I muttered, placing my other pillow over my head.
"God, are you going to do this every weekend?" Shock asked. I looked up to see her in my doorway. "What would Aubrey say if she saw you like this?"
I rolled my eyes. "If Aubrey could say something, I wouldn't be like this."
She ignored me. "She'd be in here helping Barrel, yelling 'wake up you lazy ass' just like I'm about to."
"Fine, I'm up!" I growled, sitting up. Barrel slid off my bed and hit the floor with a hard 'tunk'. Both of them scrambled out of my room so I could get dressed.
I sighed. This is not my idea of fun…
Shock and Barrel came down the stairs to see the Pumpkin King and Queen waiting. "Well?" Jack asked.
"He's up." Shock offered.
Jack sighed. "That's better than most days."
Lock tromped downstairs in a red T-shirt and jeans. "Can we just go now?" Barrel barreled out the door (no pun intended. Well, okay, yeah there was.), cursing as he fell down the stairs. Sally shook her head and followed him out, making sure the green-haired boy was okay when she reached the bottom.
Lock sighed. This was going to suck.
"It's Saturday. Why do I need to get up?" Aubrey groaned.
Her mother, Rachel, smiled at her. "Well you certainly can't sleep the day away, silly. It's beautiful out; why don't you go to the park or something?"
"I'd really rather not, mom…" She muttered, picking at her eggs.
Either not hearing or ignoring her daughter, she continued smiling. "By the way, a boy called for you."
Aubrey nearly choked on her eggs. "WH-WHAT? Who?"
"I believe he said his name was Nathaniel." Aubrey scrunched her nose in disgust. He had to be the most annoying boy in her third period English I class.
"What did he want?"
"Something about a Halloween Dance… why didn't you tell me that your school was holding a dance, sweetie?" Rachel asked, scrubbing her plate off in the sink.
"Because I'm not going. Especially not with him." Aubrey muttered, setting her plate on the counter. "I'm going to the library."
Lock chuckled as Shock shoved a toad down Barrel's shirt. He was having a better time than he'd expected. The wind rustled the trees behind him. 'Practice.' He thought. Halloween was in two days, and Lock, quite frankly, was surprised Jack could even find the time to come out to 'play' with them. At the moment, playing involved throwing mud at each other.
He sighed again. Normally, he looked forward to Halloween. Not even the thought of the new costumes Sally had been making him, Shock, and Barrel could perk him up now.
A handful of mud hit the side of his face, jerking him from his thoughts. He wiped it off and glared at his 'siblings'. Shock was laughing madly, the ball of goop in her hand dropping to the ground. That left only one suspect… "BARREL!"
October thirtieth. One day until Halloween. One day until my birthday. It was late afternoon, and I still hadn't gotten out of bed. I had curled into a little ball under my covers to try and keep out the cold, failing miserably. "Ryan, could you turn up the thermostat?" I called.
"It's almost at eighty, Aubrey. It's not going any higher." I shivered and burrowed deeper under my blankets. If it was almost eighty then why was the house so damn cold! 'Maybe it's just me.' I thought. It wouldn't be the first time. I couldn't stand the house anymore. I needed to be outside. But I'd gotten sick again this morning and was being confined to my room. Mom and Emily had gone shopping in the Mercedes, which left Ryan's truck and mom's van in the driveway.
It was a bad idea, I know. But it was an idea, and I grabbed at it. I shoved open the window, pulled the screen, frame and all, out, and climbed onto the roof of Ryan's truck. I got hit with a flashback of déjà vu, except this time I knew Shock wasn't here to pull the strings.
I slid down into the truck bed and jumped over the rails. Ryan hadn't noticed yet. I made a break for it.
xXxSomewhere in the 'other world' offices…
A small goblin walked into a large, black covered office. "Um… Mr. Reaper?"
The skeleton looked up. "What is it?"
The goblin held up an hourglass. "You might want to take a look at this." The Grim Reaper grabbed the hourglass. He narrowed his eyes in that weird way skeletons can.
"Well I'll be…"
Inside the hourglass, the sands that filled the top had started to fall at an alarming rate, already less than half full. "I see. I'll keep an eye on this one." He flashed the goblin a toothy grin. "Personally."
SC: There you go, the first chapter of my first sequel. (squeals) I've got a finished story! I feel so cool!
Puck: Yep, and the squealing does the complete opposite to your popularity.
SC: (glares) Shut up fuzz butt.