pairing: half-implied Dylan/ChrisA.
genre: supernatural/drama (may also be considered friendship between those two.)
prompts: doilies, jelly jars used as cups, yellow onions, and "it's no use."
for: Livvy! (within a sepulchre) Also, Summer Fic Exchange '12.
warnings: (implied) character death/suicide.
I doubt you're here.
This is stupid.
I don't want to be here.
The doilies that decorated every square inch of her grandmother's house positively infuriated her. It reminded her too much of little girl's tea parties and frilly, pink dresses; of lace and satin bows.
Maybe that's why she positively despised her parents' decision to send her here for the summer before her senior year.
("This will fix the phase you're going through. It'll all be great in the end," they'd encouraged.)
("What phase?" she'd demanded icily.)
She just wished that people would stop trying to change her.
("Well, honey, this… this 'dark days' thing. It's getting old," her mother had explained sweetly.)
People don't like to listen though, especially her. She hated doing what people told her to do, and she hated them judging her in the process.
("You don't know anything," she responded, storming out and slamming the door with a vibrating bang.)
And then he came along.
"Hey, I'm Chris Abeley," he introduced, holding out a roughened hand.
She'd stared at it for a moment before tentatively taking it. "Dylan Marvil."
He flashed a brilliant smile. "What brings you to Florida, Dylan Marvil?"
(I still don't believe anyone is listening.)
I'm losing my mind.
This can't be real.
Maybe I'm dreaming.
"You… You met Chris Abeley?" her grandmother had stammered, shocked.
"Um, yes… Let me guess, he's the town junkie and a horrible influence?" Dylan scoffed, violently taking a bite from a piece of licorice.
The elderly woman seemed to blanch, but quickly grabbed two cleaned jelly jars and filled them with iced tea. She handed one to the moss-eyed teenager, trying not to disapprovingly eye the cat-like design of makeup and copious amounts of eyeliner.
"Don't call me sweetheart. And… thanks, I guess," she muttered, taking a quick swallow of the tea and setting it back down on the countertops.
"Look, Dylan, you didn't meet Chris. That's impossible, really."
"I didn't meet- What? Does he have some evil twin or something?" Sarcasm laced her words like poisoned blood.
"Chris Abeley… Dear, he committed suicide."
Dylan arched an eyebrow.
"Four years ago."
The teenager rolled her eyes, tugging a strand of her bright hair in frustration. "Yes, I'm sure."
The grandmother, Leah, shuffled out of the kitchen. Minutes later, she returned, holding a faded newspaper. "It was a friend's daughter's son."
She hands Dylan the newspaper.
Teenage Boy Found Dead
Chris Abeley, seventeen, was found dead in his bedroom on Sunday evening. A bottle of Tylenol was cupped in his hand. It seems like his getaway vacation took a severe turn for the worst around dinnertime that night.
Reportedly, there was also a letter found, having been placed right beside his head. The piece that stood out most to investigators is as follows:
"I would've gone out with a bang, you know. Something to wow you people. You're like vultures, really. Of course, I couldn't get out of the house without having to pass the guarded gates. Pathetic. Everything in my family is done in an overkilling way. Seriously? Guards? No matter, though. By the time you read this, you'll have discovered that I didn't have a headache at all. No joint or muscle pain. Just mental pain. And now? I'm released of it. More importantly, I'm released of you. You and your sinister ways."
The police release that…
More on page B2.
Dylan looked at the picture right above the article to see the identically crooked smile of the Chris Abeley she'd met yesterday.
"Oh! Move that over a little would you? I have trouble holding things up, you know. I've never gotten to read my own death article before."
Dylan held up the paper to conceal her shocked expression from her grandmother and stared incredulously at the boy (Ghost?) behind her.
He smiled pleasantly back. "Did I forget to mention it? Sorry. Slips my mind sometimes." He cleared his throat. "Hello, my name is Chris Abeley, and I'm dead. Was that too blunt, do you think?"
I'm insane, for sure.
Seeing ghosts? No way.
This is impossible.
Chris Abeley is dead, yet I can see him?
No way in hell.
"Of course you can see me," he said, like it was obvious. "My situation is hardly different than yours. Contained in my grandparents guarded little areas as they try to 'fix' me."
He sat on her desk.
"But… But I felt you shake my hand!"
Chris winced. "Yeah, that took a little extra energy. But, of course, I had to be convincing."
"How're you sitting on the desk then?"
"It's more of a precise way of floating. I could pass through it, if you'd like."
Dylan hissed, "Is this some sort of sick joke?"
He simply reached over and stuck his hand through her computer. "Could I do that if this was a joke?"
"You're a hologram then."
"That would take one hell of an advanced set up, and you're in the very bare minimum of an old folk's community. Most of them don't even have their own washer and dryer. It's sad, really. But I had to follow you here, so…"
I shake my head. "This is impossible."
"You wrote that," he commented. "Yeah, I don't exactly have boundaries anymore. Nice panties, by the way. The yellow onions all over them are a nice touch. Do you like gardening or something?"
"You watched me get dressed?" she said shrilly.
"Well, no. I showed up as you were putting on your shorts. Really, they don't match the onions."
"This is… This-"
"Is entirely possible, clearly. Because, contrary to what will eventually become popular belief, you aren't losing your mind."
He pushed a hand through his hair, wrecking the middle part of its utter dark blondeness.
She pressed her lips together. "Okay, not impossible. But insane!"
"No," he drew the word out, "what's insane is that the onions really don't match black and white plaid shorts. I mean, come on. Get it together!"
"Stop talking about my underwear!"
"They're rather cute, really."
He shrugged. "Fine, but I'll see you tonight. Family story time!"
I'm going to have an aneurism at this rate.
"Ooh, working more on that letter? What is it for, anyways? Is your therapist making you do it? Mine tried, but it didn't work. Why are you glaring at me?"
"I don't see dead people," she stated firmly.
"You don't see all dead people," he corrected. "Just me. Everybody relates to one dead person, really. Most just pass it off and are able to convince themselves that it isn't real, thus making the human mind disguise it. It's pretty trippy voodoo, I tell you. You're a special snowflake."
He tapped her nose, or attempted to. All it really did was make an odd coldness on the tip of it. She went cross-eyed for a moment, trying to see if there was some sort of snowy growth there, but gave up. All she saw was freckles.
"This is ridiculous."
"Maybe." Mister Dead-Guy was nonplussed, though. "I guess it doesn't matter. Ready for family background?"
"Um… Well, I guess, if I'm going to be a freak, I might as well go all out."
"Alright, look right there." He points to a corner and she looks up as he hums a short tune thoughtfully.
After a minute or so, she turned to him. "What exactly am I supposed to be looking at?"
"Nothing, really. I don't have enough energy to project images like that, but I've always wondered what it would be like."
Dylan stared at him blankly.
"Anyways. So, much like you, my parents thought I was going through a stage in my life. They didn't understand that maybe I was just becoming a naturally dark person. I mean, granted, they were right. It wasn't natural, but it felt quite natural at the time. It kind of started when my girlfriend cheated on me with another girl and some guy… at the same time. Threesome, anyone?
"Moving on, they decided it would be easiest to send me out to my rich Floridian grandparents to 'sort me out' and 'stop the madness.' Therapy didn't work well enough." He snorted indignantly. "They didn't believe it was possible for me to be so affected by it. But, you know, it was the loss of my first love, so. Whatever. And there I was, staying in some mansion-like house with guarded gates. I had to get special permission from my grandfather or grandmother to leave. And they were constantly suspicious of what I might get up to if I left the house, so I couldn't leave except for, like, once every week or so.
"I really got tired of it. They were trying to force me to participate in stupid, childish board games and brighten my day and I practically got force-fed cookies and lemonade. I don't even like lemonade… though the cookies were nice. However, no matter how nice the cookies were, I just got more upset. I started resenting anyone, and everyone for that matter, and they could see that. My grandmother tried relentlessly to cheer me up. My grandfather gave me life talks about the war and business and how to find a place in the world.
"On Saturday, I sat at my desk, and wrote a ridiculously long letter. It was filled with clichés, but truth. Lots of truth. And that was when I made my decision. I finished the letter, stuck it in a nice envelope, and even added a baby blue ribbon around it. Really girly, but fitting. The next day, Sunday, I acted like I was much more chipper, but claimed I'd had a headache after dinner. Grandma told me where the Tylenol was. I took the bottle, swallowed a handful of pills one by one, and lied on my bed. I held the bottle, for reasons I don't understand, and sat the letter by my head.
"After that, I don't remember much except for darkness and brightness and confusion. And now I'm still here. And I really don't want to wander, but I don't belong anywhere."
Dylan just gazed at him incredulously. "You were that depressed?"
"Depressed, slightly masochistic I assume, and looking for a way out. I got it!" he replied.
"Frankly, you're way too cheerful for a guy who apparently knocked himself off the board."
"I'm almost completely free. I just have one task left."
"So you do know why you're here then?"
"Yes and no. I know that I have to release somebody else from the pain I was in in order for me to get somewhere. I understand your story is similar? Boyfriend cheats on you, best friend backstabs you, parents refuse to believe that it's nothing more than a stage. You're miserable and hate life and are ready to move on."
She blinked rapidly. "Are you telling me…?"
"That I know everything that goes on in your head? No, but I've already seen the finished product of your little notes."
It's no use.
He knows everything.
He even knows that I've been thinking about offing myself.
If anything, this Chris character is a psycho. A cute, dead psycho.
This isn't going to end well, I just know it.
Dylan swallowed thickly. Chris had, in his words, gone off to "chill behind corners and walk through people so they freak out from the cold air."
She pulled out a pen and started writing. All of the little notes separated the chunks of the story she was telling.
She was ready. And never once did it occur to her that she was just a toy in a dead man's game of getting freedom.
With a deep breath, she went into the living room.
"Grandma!" she called, walking out.
"My head is killing me. Any suggestions on how to stake a migraine?"
"There should be some ibuprofen in the bathroom cabinet."
Bottle retrieved, she retreated to her bedroom and wrote the last paragraph. The envelope was sealed with black wax and tied with a velvet ribbon of deep violet.
So, this is it, I guess.
Official word-count according to MS Word: 2,050
(That including only the body of the story- from first line 'The doilies' to last line 'Dylan Marvil.')
Sorry if this is all horrible and such, Livvy. I don't even…
I'm not sure where this came from. This was actually the third variation, all of which are quite different. It's just one of those 'I want to try that' things that just happens; generally far too late at night for normal, beige people.
So, I hope you somewhat enjoyed it.
-i'll be a runaway (Laur.)