Author's note: Hello! This is my first story uploaded here, I hope you enjoy it! Oh- and can anyone guess who the main characters are? I like challenging you. This is simply the prologue, so if you have no idea it's ok. All will be explained in good time, darlings. -NZ
Though a path of descended foliage, dank and sodden, treads a lone silhouette. The sky beyond remains a fathomless cinereal, for the muted overcast has loitered all day. The dreary clouds etched into the afternoon ozone were biding their time, teeming with pre-downpour. This dark, morbid part of the town is secure from most eyes. Unstirred, a trail of solace from the hectic activity of the average human's life. Although the original was a path to a school deemed 'Wade Elementary', she has long left the trail to the school. Instead, she'd shrewdly veered to the left, down a little path around the school, which is rather large for a learning facility.
This back road led to a modest little playground. The youth of the school often played there in the afternoons. On a normal occasion she'd be ambling her way down the lithe crosscut, on a walk to that playground. It might as well be a journey, she decided one particular evening, this school is huge!
Indeed, it took the girl nearly 30 minutes to hike around a meager half of the perimeter.
The child had wound her way around the building now. She'd walked the path numerous times before, sometimes even in her dreams. That, she decided, only testified to her obsession. Hunger for knowledge, her father sometimes called it. She called it having friends in all the right places. Despite the fact that there was only one.
He was her best friend. And he so often filled her with convivial feelings. Today, though, was different. She carried disheartening words, words of which her mother had said were of upmost importance.
He wasn't particularly reclusive, yet not extremely chatty. And that was one of the things she liked about him. Another perk was his sense of humor. She liked it when he laughed. He openly favored her over his companions on his side of the fence, though she was never able to understand why. He had many, many other children to play with, if he ever felt lonely. Yet he was always at the far end of the playground, near the fence.
There had always been a fence there. Confining the border of the playground. Chain-link, coated in a slim rubber (In truth, she had no idea what it was coating the fence. She just inferred it was rubber.) Whether it was to keep her out, or him inside, they'd never been able to establish. In the previous year, they'd begun wary conversation, which evolved into a close, bonding friendship.
She'd finally arrived at the fence's boundary, where through the chain-link she saw him. He was in his normal position, sitting on the ground and refusing to stand until she was in full sight.
And so once he'd arisen, she reluctantly began.
"We're not supposed to be friends, the two of us."
"No, we aren't." He'd known this all along.
"Then why are we?" The female youth allows the afflictive question into the air, a bitter feeling following her words.
"..I'm not sure." The boy responds after a lengthy silence.
She spins on her heels, the murky clay staining her shoes. Her mother would be very displeased to see this, as she was very intolerant of accompanying mud onto the pale carpet. The girl knew she'd get a punishment for forgetting to wipe her feet. She hastily decided she would remember.
It has just rained, and the vapory yet refreshing scent lingers in the atmosphere.
She likes the rain.
It makes her feel clean. Like all the bad has been washed away.
The boy is still watching, with an unwavering gaze, that of a bird of prey's. He has dark, oak brown hair, and burnished eyes to match. And his hands are squeezed into little fists. He's afraid of something - but whether it's admitting the inevitable, or trying to deny it - she cannot determine.
"Would you miss me if I went away?" She inquires, out of abrupt curiosity. Her back is still turned; with a little beige-colored french braid hiding the nape of her neck.
".. Maybe." And a voice within him uttered a strained, 'Always.'
"'Cuz, I'd miss you." She mumbled, examining the damp earth for anything unusual. She'd paid no mind to his reply, obviously. It made him wonder if she'd actually heard him or if she just didn't bother to respond.
For him, it was rather comforting to hear her say that. On his side of the fence, there wasn't much tenderness to go around. There was a chilly, flint-hearted atmosphere about it, one that even the naive girl was aware of.
"Thanks.." He allows a soft grin to come to his lips, but does little else other than gaze through the chain-link at her.
"My mother says I shouldn't come here." She sighs, reeling around to stare at the logo of the school, which proudly read 'Wade Elementary School.' No, she did not attend here. Mother had said the children here were hardly people at all. Even so, she felt a stronger attachment to this boy, only a year or so older than she. She was nine.
"She's wrong," He spewed posthaste, albeit he knew his friend's mother was right, "You've never gotten hurt here before!" Reasoning with her would prove a smooth task. It wasn't like she was any the wiser.. Suddenly an ache of guilt swiped at his stomach. He hadn't meant to think of her like that. In all faith, she'd remained a devoted, loyal ally.
"I know," She responds with little regard to his outburst. "But she said that I should stay away." Her eyes are averted, as if she is too deep in harrowing to stare him down.
The boy sighed. "I'll miss you..." He pauses. He knew it'd come to this.
She did not belong in his world and he did not belong in her's.
The girl nods. Slowly, solemnly. And she sharply makes an about-face, and the boy sees she is forcing back tears.
He's never seen her cry before. In the ambience of the area, he wishes the fence would crumble away, fall and disintegrate into ashes. So that he could reach out and touch her, hug her, even hold her hand if she was upset enough.
And since the luxury of having that fence gone was impossible, he did the next best thing. He tottered over to the fence, and extended his arm to her.
She hesitated; her mother said that he was hardly a human at all, because of his 'abilities,' which she refused to tell.
But she cared not. After no more than a heartbeat, she'd clutched his hand with her own, leaving a quiet yet comforting slice of silence.
Then the bell rang.
It was a loud, rather unpleasant sound to the ears. It usually made him shiver and yank himself away, and begin a trudge back inside the school. She felt he was hiding something about it, he despised the very mention of it and refused to talk of it - claiming it was 'too boring for someone like her.'
She understood he must depart, although she secretly wanted him to stay and never leave her.
He did leave, with a forlorn, desire-filled glance cast over his shoulder. In the ten years of his life, this was the most painful thing he'd ever had to do.
Her best friend was gone within the duration of a minute. Once he was safely inside, she sank down to her knees, tarnishing the fabric with moist mud. With her petite hands, she gripped the fence. She felt memories, flooding back and overcoming her. And she wasn't sure exactly how long she remained there, surrounded and absorbed in her own thoughts, but she did remember that she picked herself up, began the journey home, and received a prompt scolding from her mother about her muck-stained pants. It'd even crossed her mind to wipe her feet before coming in.
Startlingly, it was around 7:36 when she returned. Her parents both gave her a lecture about coming home late and her mother shot her a wary glance. She knew very well where her daughter had been. And she never wanted her to return. The school only held children who were... Not like them. This was for her own good. With that final, unspoken warning, mother and father retreated to their room.
Hostility lingered in the room, even after mother left.
Once she'd pilfered a handful of chips from the pantry,(She'd been feeling a little peckish from the walk home) she ventured upstairs to her room. She'd quickly shoved them into her mouth in an aloof manner, a chewed loudly because her mother never liked it when she did. Mother wasn't here to scold her now and it gave her a little bit of paltry satisfaction.
She swallowed, the sloppily mashed chips scratching her throat. She'd scrambled over to the window, stood briefly on the windowsill, stretching her hand out to unlatch the locks. She leapt down, causing a small thump to break the solace. She shrugged it off, (yet hoped she didn't awaken her parents) and heaved the window up. There was still a screen there, blocking any attempts of fleeing the house via rooftop.
It wasn't like she wanted to take the screen off, anyway. She was well aware that if she stumbled, the plunge to the ground would break her neck. Besides, she was only nine, (and a half, which she'd ardently debated with Harold one afternoon) it wasn't like she was some sort of escape artist.
She allowed her thoughts to become a vagabond, aimlessly roaming through the recent events. She reclined her chin on the pearly ledge, reeling her stare along the vast dusk scenery. The sun had only small amounts of pure light shimmering through the treetops, while the rest of the sky dwindled outward into an auburn color, then farther into an abyssal indigo. Several specks of light were in that area. Stars. She read a book about them once. The trees swayed in a placid pattern, lurching slightly back and forth.
The serenity of the scene began lulling her into a blissful pre-sleep state, where the surroundings of Fairport were whitewashed.
Her mother worked at a place called 'Arm-can.' It had a logo with three big diamonds that were all connected and a circle in the middle of the largest diamond. She'd heard her mother say 'Working for the future and you' was a 'dumb slogan' over the phone. She promptly received backlash from the person on the line, which was hidden from her daughter's alert ears. She appeared to have more knowledge of Wade Elementary than she chose to show, and it didn't take the intelligence of a brain surgeon to figure that out.
She hated how her mother described the children at the school. They weren't monsters. Harold was her nicest friend.
She was furious at her mother. Her mother was ignorant. There was nothing wrong with Harold.
Nothing at all.