Of Hearts and Nobodies

Shizuka Usagi

Chapter 1

Olette stretched her arms out gleefully as she got off the school bus. "I can't believe school is actually over. I don't have to worry about pestering you guys to do your homework for three months. I can shop till I drop. Or we can go to the beach!" She told her companions—the Usual Spot kids—happily.

"That is… if we're not broke." Hayner added unenthusiastically.

"That is… if you don't spend it all pigging out on Sea Salt Ice Cream." Pence mocked, causing all of them to laugh—except for Hayner, who settled for a scowl.

"Hey! I practically pay for everyone's ice cream. So, don't be complaining." Hayner defended.

"Actually, I'm the one who pays for the ice cream. You're the one that buys it." Roxas pointed out, making Hayner scowl. Olette and Pence laughed again.

"Don't worry, Hayner. We just need to save enough money." Olette said optimistically.

"How're we going to do that?" Hayner asked.

"By doing a job, silly. I can work at the mall; Pence can take on the junior photographer job; and Roxas and you can participate in the Struggle tournament."

"Good idea, Lette." Hayner remarked favorably. "I'm going to so cream you, Roxas. I doubt you'll get past me."

"Is that so? Who was the one who won last year, huh?" Roxas asked.

Hayner frowned. "That was last year. This year will be different. I've been practicing every day. Just you wait—"

"We get the point, Hayner. Anyway, see you guys at the Usual Spot later?" Olette paused at the corner.

"Will do, Olette. See you." The three boys waved as Olette turned the corner onto Market Street where her home was located.

11233… 11234… 11235—Aha, here we are, Olette mentally counted the house numbers until she reached hers.

Olette walked up to the doorstep and took out a pair of keys. Just as she jammed the keys into the lock, she heard a crash. She looked around in surprise, trying to locate the sound. She checked the driveway and realized her parents weren't home. Market Street was deserted, except for her. Could it be the crash is coming from inside?

Olette unlocked the door and pushed it open. Then she hesitated. Is this a good idea? Maybe I should—another crash was heard. There's no time. She decided to, at least, look inside and see what was causing the crashes. Who knows? I—It could be just a stray dog, Olette thought lamely. She tried to rid herself of worry and muster up courage. She took a deep breath and stepped in cautiously.

Olette couldn't help but gasp when she saw the sight before her. Her house was in disarray. It looked as if a hurricane came by and swept everything out of place. Things littered the floor, furniture was tipped over, pictures hung at odd angles. What happened here?

Suddenly, a creature in a white cloak sprang at her. Olette screamed, alerting two other creatures of her presence. She grabbed a metal pipe from the ground and swiped at the creature. It went right through it. She dropped the pipe in shock and ran to the door. The creatures swiveled after her. She stood frozen in fear as the creatures inched toward her. What… what are those things?

Common sense finally took hold of Olette when the three creatures lunged toward her. She opened the door and slammed it behind her. The door creaked under the pressure of the collision. She backed away slowly, then ran down Market Street blindly, unsure of where to go or what to do.

She settled on dashing through Tram Common and into a hole in the wall, which led into the forest. She didn't want to put any other people in danger. Plus, the forest was dark and full of bushes and trees to hide in.

Olette chose a random bush and jumped in it, making sure she was fully covered. She would stay here until she determined it was safe. She had a strange feeling that she was still being pursued. It turned out she was right. Three black vortexes appeared in thin air, revealing the three white creatures from earlier. She held her breath, hoping she wouldn't be found. It appeared they were searching for something. But what? What could they be searching for? It couldn't be me, could it?

Olette bit her lip as one passed dangerously close to her. As if sensing her fear, the three surrounded the bush, waiting to ambush her. She knew she couldn't hide here for long. She knew they would find her eventually. Therefore, she scrambled out and sprinted to the exit. Almost there! Just a few more— She skidded to a halt as a creature slipped in front of her and made a grab for her. She leapt back… only to fall in a portal of darkness. Cleverly, another creature had opened a vortex behind her.

Olette shrieked from the top of her lungs, hoping that someone would hear her. But she knew it was unlikely, being in the middle of a forest. She struggled as the darkness swirled around her. Her pleads for help were stifled as darkness filled her lungs. She choked on the black substance as it began to cut off her oxygen supply. Ultimately she passed out. Roxas, Hayner, Pence…