OH HI THERE! I know a lot of you have been anxiously awaiting the promised *Re-Write* of Haunted Past: Forgotten Dreams, and here you are! But before we begin with the reading, I'd like to clarify a few things.
The reason that the origional was taken down was because of an act of plagarism. Now, normally, I'd of asked the person to remove the story and everything would of been fine. Since HP:FD was based on an origional novel of mine, however, I felt that I had no choice but to remove it. In order to stop this happening again, it has been changed significantly. I can promise you that a lot of it will contain the main plots that you read about in HP, but it would be both pointless and boring for you to simply change some little things and post it again.
As you'll see, in this story, Max is living with her father (Jeb) and step-mother Bridget (I couldn't resist XD). The other family, however, have remained pretty much the same - with the add in of Angel and The Gasman.
Hopefully, I'll set about this in a fairly realistic way, and if I don't well... you'll have to bare with me. This version isn't set in stone, and if there's something that you'd like to see changed then include it in a review, and I'll see what I can do. This will within reason, of course. Most of all, let me know what you think, and if you think it has the potential to be as good as the other one!
"You're a waste of space. Always have been - I'll be glad when you're gone, maybe you can even take that waste of space brother with you, so I can be done with the pair of you!"
My step-mother's words were dancing around my head as I stared blankly forwards. Class was nearly over, and I was anxious to be out of the room. My claustrophobia had settled in with a vengeance - stronger than ever, for some reason. Besides, I had to pay a visit to Iggy Griffiths before the end of lunch.
Stupid boy should of known better really. I'd told him that he shouldn't buy the phone off Dean - if only since we'd been such close friends once - but he hadn't listened, and now it was my job to go and give him a warning. Dean was clear with the rules, which had been lain out clearly by Dylan.
If Iggy didn't pay by tomorrow night, there would be serious consequences. Having seen the last guy who'd missed his payment narrowly avoid being checked into the hospital, I was eager to get the message across to Iggy that he had better cough up. I honestly didn't want to see him hurt.
Heck, if I'd of had the money, I'd of payed for it myself. As it was, I needed all the money that I could get right now. Dad was working the night-shift at the moment, and being payed minimum wage for doing so, and there was a fat that Bridget was ever going to do anything productive that might earn the slightest bit of cash.
It was all of me to ensure that we had enough money to pay the rent, the other bills, and feed everyone. All at the age of seventeen.
I refused to let the thought bother me. I was gradually saving as much money as I could afford not to lose, and I knew that I'd have enough to move out - and take Ari with me - soon after turning eighteen.
I shifted in my seat, pulling my beanie a little further down on my head, and my sleeves a little further down my arms. My tank top and long-sleeved shirt offered little protection from the Washington winter, and my jacket was doing little to help matters. Being cold wasn't my only concern, it would only take a brief moment of carelessness for my sleeves to ride up and expose my bruised wrists.
That would cause questions that I didn't have an answer for.
Bring, bring. Bring, bring. Bring, bring.
The bell announced the start of the lesson, and I grabbed my bag (which I'd never gotten around to unpacking); I was out of the classroom before most of my peers were even out of their seats - closely followed by Dean and Owen. I'd "convinced" the woman at the front desk to inform me that Iggy had just had English, and was ready when he emerged from the classroom.
Dean grabbed one of his arms, Owen grabbed the other and the two of them shoved him into the conveniently "Out of order" boys bathrooms that were next door. There was a reason that Owen and Dean had been late to first period.
The two of them waited outside the door as I headed inside where Iggy was waiting for me, a slightly nervous look on his face. Brushing past him, I jumped up on the counter between two sinks and watched as he glanced between me and the door.
"You'll never make it." I chided gently. "And even if you did, Dean and Owen are on the other side of the door. You'd be sent straight back in here, and I'd be in a less patient mood."
"Alright." He said, bluffing through his fear. "What is it that you have to say?"
"I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt here, Igs. We used to be friends, but I can only cut you so much slack; I warned you not to buy that phone." I said. "If you haven't paid by tomorrow, Dean and Owen will take payment in other ways, and there'll be nothing that I can do to stop it. You have to get them the money by the final bell tomorrow."
There was a long pause as Iggy studied me, and I resisted the urge to shift uncomfortably - I couldn't afford to show a weakness.
"Nothing that you can do, or nothing that you will?" He said eventually, a show of bravery that I hadn't honestly expected.
"Borrow the money off someone if you have to. I'm sure Nick'll give it to you." Was all I said, refusing to show any emotion as I nicked a welt in his hand with my knife on the way past - resisting the urge to wince as I did so. It was necessary. It meant that the boys wouldn't bother him again until tomorrow.
Iggy didn't move, and I didn't look back as I let the door swing shut on what had once been my best friend. Things changed.
I certainly had.
"Hey there, baby girl." Dylan grinned, pulling me in for an embarrassingly public kiss in the school parking lot. Some girls would have been lapping it all up, but I knew that it was nothing more than him showing the rest of the school that he could control me. That was just how Dylan was.
"Dean. Owen." He greeted stiffly. "How's things?"
The question that he was really asking was, of course, "How well are you selling the stolen goods that I'm supplying you with."
Both of them muttered positive comments that I could barely hear, eyes on the floor. If there was one thing that Dylan was good at, it was intimidating people. Then again, the fact that he was on probation and made no secret of his mostly illicit affairs tended to have that affect on people. Besides, the police could never prove anything against him - if there was one thing that Dylan was good at, it was cleaning up after himself.
No fingerprints, footprints, hairs. Nothing.
Nothing that could be traced back to him.
"What are we doing tonight?" I asked, keeping the sigh out of my voice just barely.
"I have a few jobs lined up." He said, grinning and pulling me closer. "Which needs I'm going to need a pretty little watch-out. You game?"
I nodded slightly. Why? Because I needed the money.
Dean and Owen might be jerks most of the time, and Dylan might be a jerk all of the time, but it kept Ari well-fed, and a roof over our heads, so that was all that mattered.
It was half eleven by the time that I finally returned to our tiny, two-bedroomed apartment. Bridget was in the same chair that I'd left her in this morning, although there was now a steadily growing pile of dishes, cigarette packets and beer bottles on the table next to her now.
"Did you make Ari dinner?" I asked, feeling fury build in my chest as I noticed the lack of any other dishes on the counter.
"He's not hungry." She replied, eyes remaining trained on the TV even as Ari's stomach growled loudly. The small seven-year-old was curled up with his toy plane; gently attaching the new load of stickers that I'd bought him for it.
I shook my head at Bridget's neglectful disregard on her own son's needs, and set about fixing him a sandwich, grabbing the last un-bruised apple out of the fruit bowl before leading him, plane in hand, into our shared bedroom.
It was the only tidy room in the house, other than the wall next to my bed, where I was gradually peeling back layer-by-layer the paint of previous owners with my penknife until I found a color more bearable than the dark green of the rest of the room.
"Coby said that he found a box of puppies in the alleyway behind the school today." Ari said, as he happily ate his sandwich. "But his mom made him leave them there. Can we go and have a look after school? I don't want them to die."
I smiled at him.
"Of course we can, sweetie." I answered, inwardly wondering if even if we did find them alive, there'd be enough money to feed them. "How many did he say there was?"
"He said that there was two, but that he thought that two different people had put them there, 'cause they looked so different."
The thought made me sick to my stomach. Obviously someone had seen the first puppy deserted in an alley way, and instead of helping it, he'd decided to add to the problem. I really hoped that we found them both awake and alive in the morning, if we found them at all.
"We'll go before school." I decided, knowing that the longer that the animals were left there, the slimmer the chances that they'd survive. "And if we find them, I'll bring them home before school and get them some food. Okay? We can go to the shelter after school and ask for some tips."
Ari finished off his food in silence, smiling slightly at the prospect of looking for the puppies. After tucking him into bed, and turning the light off, I returned to my own bed - blasting music out of the iPod that Dylan had provided me with free of charge. I knew it was stolen, but Ari had been so excited to tell all his friends that the two of us had the new iPod that I hadn't been able to bring myself to return it.
My thoughts wandered freely. Focusing for a matter of minutes on Dylan, Dean and Owen, before focusing with a sharper focus on Iggy and the puppies.
It was no secret that Max Ride was a screw-up; someone who had flushed their promising future down the toilet with the arrival of Sophomore year. I seemed to ruin everything that I touched; heck, I hadn't even been able to stop Iggy from working his way into something that was potentially dangerous.
Maybe saving the puppies would make Ari proud of me.
At least then I'd have done one good thing.
Well there it is. The first chapter.
The puppy plot may seem silly and random, but I can promise you that it's an important part of the story.
Now, onto more important things. Obviously, the first couple of chapters are going to be slow as I try to little-by-little set the scene, but I can promise that after that they'll pick up with the usual drama, alright?
Like it? Hate it? Think there's something I can improve on? Let me know! Reviews are the way forward, people.
On another note: please help me think of a title!