Upon poking around the Blacklight forums for some inspiration, I was rewarded by an idea pistol-whipping me in the face.
Why do I do this? Plan epic works, I mean. I get sick of them within three chapters. No, I shall persevere because, for God's sake, I need some sort structure and writing may as well be it.
Dedicated to the entirety of the Blacklight forums, BriKyo and all the closeted Shelkero fans.
Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy VII, any of FF7's many spin-offs, Hot Topic, Apple, AIM, Motorola flip-phones or any of the screen names listed in this fic.
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Shelke rubbed blearily at her eyes. Her tirade against the goth faction of her high school had flown from her fingers for almost an hour now. She was on the verge of just letting this fall in parts, but, no, she did not become a relatively famous blogger by placing things in parts. In fact, she despised all the bloggers who did that. No endurance, in her opinion.
The entire basis for the hour-long rant had been caused by some random face in the cafeteria calling her goth. Shelke had rolled her eyes, but the comment had stuck all the way through English, Web-Page Programming and the meeting of the Computer Club after school. It echoed through her homework, her dinner with her parents, her ritualistic cleaning of her bedroom and her e-mail checks. Now it was coming out freely in her blog.
It wasn't that Shelke had anything personal against goths. She just didn't like to be lumped into them. They shopped at Hot Topic, spending ridiculous amounts of money on clothes. It was the same place that emos (something else Shelke was frequently referred to as) shopped at. In Shelke's mind, they were different, and she knew they were different, but too similar for her.
People frequently made the silly mistake of asking her what "clique" she was in and all Shelke can really do in response is shrug. The word "clique" made Shelke's head swim. On one hand, it was very easy to lump people into categories, like putting files into folders and keeping them nice and organized. On the other hand, people, unlike files, were very difficult to nail down like that. Where, for example, would she put someone who played massive amounts of sports, but did not fit the traditional "Jockish Neanderthal" stereotype that all the other jocks did?
People baffled Shelke, and bafflement was the exact reason that she had started blogging. Bafflement, unease and the need to send questions out into an almost-infinite void.
It was after 10 PM, Shelke's usual bedtime, when she finally finished her harangue, spell-checked it, proof-read it and sent it out into cyberspace. She reached a hand up to her shoulder and pressed down, stretching the muscle until she heard a very satisfying crack. Then she changed into pajamas, brushed her teeth and fell asleep.
Net Dive was Shelke's personal blog that she had started as a freshman. She had simply needed a place to store her head and writing in an actual diary made her hand hurt. So Shelke had created Net Dive on the third day of school and had stored her head there ever since. It became an obsession, especially when she discovered that people not only enjoyed hearing about her life, but also wanted her opinion on life in general. She would oblige them, if nothing earth-shattering was going on, which there rarely was. Shelke's real-life friends knew that she was the owner of Net Dive, and treated her no differently.
"Saw your post last night," one of aforementioned friends said, as they drove to school. Rather, he drove, Shelke checked his math homework for him. It was a fair trade-off, because Shelke hated the bus and he was terrible at synthetic division.
"Why were you up at 10:04 PM?" Shelke asked, unaffectedly. Her tone always came out unaffectedly, no matter how emotionally charged the topic she was speaking about was, and it bothered her sometimes. "I thought you needed to sleep because you go to practice and whatnot."
Azul shrugged. He didn't give her many answers because, to be honest, he didn't like talking. He felt that words were inefficient at conveying things. Shelke didn't like speaking either, because she felt that words were wasted too often on the wrong people. and she understood his nonverbal communication anyway.
Shelke and Azul had been friends since before Shelke could remember. In fact, Shelke couldn't really remember how they became friends in the first place. Shalua said that those were the best sort of friends, but it made Shelke wonder if they had allied over something trivial. They were a bit too different for it to have been a common hobby. Azul did sports, Shelke did not. Nonetheless, Shelke was at all of his games because she was the stats keeper for the team. All the teams that Azul was on.
When they arrived at school, they immediately parted ways because Shelke had places to be and Azul had people to see. More specifically, Azul had to eat something loaded with protein and discuss something with "The Team." Shelke had a massive amount of books to stuff into her locker, a teacher to talk about homework with, and a book to return to the library. And her cell phone to check.
After storing the physics textbook safely away in her locker, Shelke dug her Motorola out of her pocket. One text message, probably something from her college-occupied sister.
Except it wasn't. The number was unfamiliar. Shalua always put her messages in proper English, save for necessary space-saving chat-speak. She capitalized the first letter of the sentences, used punctuation, and everything else appropriate, as if she were writing a term-paper in her cell phone. This sender did not.
"check your aim"
At first she didn't understand it, then she did. AIM, not aim. The possibility of a virus shot through her head, but was quickly removed. Her Apple laptop was safe and sound at home, with a strong anti-virus program. She could just as easily check the messages on the dashboard for the messenger. And that could easily be accessed by any given computer in the school.
Shelke skidded into the library, loaded up the instant messenger and typed in her information. She had messages waiting for her, all from the same sender. Two were from about 10 minutes after she had posted her blog, the last was about 20 minutes ago.
"OblivionsKeeper: i disagree with your statement about hot topic makeup.
OblivionsKeeper: i've always found that, with the correct amount, you can frighten more people into avoiding you than people will become attracted to you.
OblivionsKeeper: by the way, you really shouldn't store a cell phone number on your messenger. "
Shelke's insides froze. It almost felt like someone was stalking her and that was just a creepy feeling. Feeling something reminiscent of an anxiety attack growing in her chest, Shelke immediately quelled her panic and tried to think about this logically. She looked over the messages again. This was an awful stalker. Shelke could just call this person if she very much needed to.
And she very much needed to.
She stepped out of the library and dialed the number that had sent her the text. It rang twice and a very irratated-sounding male answered it.
"Is this the owner of this cell phone?"
"No. He's in class." There was a faint whispering rustling, as if the speaker was shifting his position on something like a pile of clothes or a bed. "Who is this?"
"Tell him not to call this number anymore." Shelke hung up, turned the phone off, put it away and ran down to the science wing.