Hi hi hi there! Thanks for giving this story a shot! Alex DeLarge definitely makes an appearance in this chapter, so just stay on your toes! - Plainsong30

I've been lying with my face buried in my pillow for nearly the past six hours, trying to sleep, willing myself to sleep, wanting to sleep, but just never quite making it. There's a thunderstorm brewing outside, real loud with bright lightning that lights up the room for a split second every once and a while. I'm listening to it and how the rain kind of hits the windows when my phone starts vibrating on my nightstand, and though I'm not sleeping, I almost don't want to answer. I sit up and glance over at it anyways, only to see that the picture of my close friend, Mick, lights up the screen. I check the time before I answer – 4:22am.

"Howdy stranger," I greet, wondering if I'm angry or actually glad that he's called. Something to help distract me from trying to sleep, maybe.

"Hey… uh… Sofia? Sorry, did I wake you?"

"Nah, kid. I can't sleep."

"Ah, bummer… you wanna come, like… pick me up? Maybe? Please?" he says. His voice has got this distinct tone to it, and I can tell right away that he's been out and about in the night, partying like the little devil he is.

"Magic word first, pretty boy," I say, even though I'm already crawling out of bed, holding my phone to my shoulder as I slip a pair of jeans on and my favorite, oversized college sweatshirt.

"Pretty please?" he slurs into the phone, sounding like he's about ready to fall asleep.

"Where are you?"

"It's that lake house we drove past that one time… with the lion statues," he tells me.

I can't help but roll my eyes. "All right, kid, I'll be there in ten. Stay awake, okie dokie?"

"You bet your sweet ass." The phone clicks as he hangs up, and I yank on my Chucks and tie my hair into a knot on my head before grabbing the keys. On my way out of my room, a huge clap of thunder goes off, and I jump suddenly, causing my hip to ram into my dresser, and I can't help but yelp out loud as all the perfumes and jewelry sitting atop it rattles. At the same time, one of the books laying on top falls off, too. Rubbing my raw hip, I bend down to pick up the book, seeing it's my frayed copy of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange. A brilliant, shocking piece of work, one of my favorites actually, and I can't help but picture that piercing gaze of Alex DeLarge as he was in the film. It's when I'm staring at the cover that the lights suddenly flash and go out from the last crack of thunder.

"Shit!"

I'm just a tad bit spooked, because I've never been a fan of the dark.

I kick open the front door, forgetting how it's pouring rain outside. I yank the hood of my sweatshirt up and dash for my 2003 Chevrolet Tracker. It takes a few punches to finally get it started – starting it up has always been a pain in the ass ever since I can remember – and turn the headlights on, trying to remember where the hell that one lake house with the lion statues is exactly. So I call Mick back on the phone, and he slurs a bit more and burps a bit more, and finally gives me some actual directions as to what street it's on, because I honestly cannot remember a house with lion statues, for God's sake.

I finally find the place, and there Mick is sitting on the curb looking very drunk indeed. He's in his DC shoes and skinny jeans and a Guns 'n Roses t-shirt, the hood of his sweatshirt up and his black hair growing just a little passed his ears. He greets me by waving with a bottle of UV in his hand, his long-board in the other. He's soaked to the bone, and I'm more or less concerned when he gets into the car, shivering like crazy.

"Christ, kid, what's the matter with you? Why didn't you just wait inside like a normal person?" I ask, pulling away from the curb and taking us home.

"Party was over. Everybody got kicked out," he says, groping for his seatbelt and sliding it on ever so slowly. "Sofia, guess what. Guess who was at the party."

"I don't know. Jack Nicholson?"

"No. No, Lorraine was there," he says.

I almost want to smack him upside the head for saying that. "Lorraine? What? No. You told me you weren't going to speak to Lorraine ever again."

"What? Nah, man. When did I say that?"

"Uh… when you found out she was sleeping with another guy behind your back, I'm pretty sure," is all I can say.

"What? Nah…"

"Yeah."

"Not ah."

I'm rolling my eyes, my head leaning on one hand while the other grips the steering wheel. The rain is coming down very hard at this point, practically causing wave like blurs across the windshield.

"Kid, you gotta pull yourself together, you gotta get over that skank. It's bad news, man. I would say to stay away."

"No, it's not bad news!" he says, leaning his face into his hands. "She's gorgeous."

"Yeah, and she's a skank-whore."

"Nooo…"

"Come on, Mick."

I'm looking over at him, pitying him all the while, wondering if his drinking binges are really out of the desire for a good time like he says, or maybe if he does it just to get out of the unhappy moods I know he can be in sometimes.

"I just wanna go home," he whispers.

I'm still staring at him, feeling so bad that it almost kills me, and that's when I look back towards the road, only to suddenly see the street lights flicker and go completely out. I'm left to a darkened road, my headlights only leading the way, the rain coming down like crazy. So all I think is maybe it's just another power outage. But then the oddest thing happens – my headlights flash all of a sudden, and then they go out completely, too. The only light comes from the dashboard, and I kind of freak out for a second as I plow into complete darkness. Then suddenly the headlights flash back on, and a white figure is standing there in the middle of the street, a mere ten feet in front of me, their arms spread out, as if asking for me to crash into them.

That's when things start to go a little bit crazy. With one arm I reach out and kind of grab Mick by his arm and nearly squeeze it to death. My other hand is gripping the steering wheel so tight that I think I may have lost circulation, and my foot slams into the brake so hard that the two of us nearly plow our brains right through the dashboard.

"Oh… my God! Sofia, what in the hell are you doing?!" Mick is wailing, clutching his forehead, about ready to start bawling his eyes out it seems.

"Oh shit… whoa… oh my God! Do you see that stupid-ass standing out there in the middle of the street?!" I squeal, pointing in front of us. The windshield wipers are having a helluva time wiping the water away, and every time the glass clears for a half-second, I start to get this funny feeling in my stomach as the figure begins to become very familiar to me. A guy, maybe in his teens, in a white dress shirt, trousers, suspenders, a – oh, God – codpiece, and what looks to be black combat boots. And there's a very familiar looking bowler hat atop his head, and he's holding what looks to be a long, black cane which he drapes over his shoulders and leans his hands on. And he's standing there, staring, this deadly look in his eyes that I've seen before so many times… but the thing is, it's usually at home on the TV. Maybe this is just a dream, a bizarre hybrid dream from my insomnia suffering brain.

"You shitting me?" I say out loud.

"You talking to me?" Mick asks.

"Of course I am! You dumb, drunk shit! Who else would I be talking to?!"

"Easy, easy. Good God."

"You know that guy?" I ask. Mick looks up, squints his eyes, which are already pretty squinty as it is - suggesting some of the other things he'd been up to earlier - and just smiles all pretty like.

"It's Alex DeLarge!" he kind of guffaws.

My throat tightens just a bit when he says that. "C'mon, quit joking. You're drunk. And stoned. He's a friend of yours, right?" I ask. During our little bicker, the rain magically begins to lighten, the windshield becomes quite a bit clearer, and the figure in all white is slowly pacing towards the Tracker, spinning his cane about as he does it, coming round to my side of the car. My heart is pounding like crazy in my ribcage and my hands are shaking. I'm dreaming, I'm dreaming, I gotta be dreaming.

"Dude, he looks just like him," Mick comments. "Honestly, he looks just like him, doesn't he?"

This guy is coming closer and closer to my side of the car, and I believe I'm about ready to have a heart attack when he's outside the window, knocking on the glass.

"Mick! Mick!" is all I can say, grabbing for him and shaking him to death. "Oh shit, oh God, the guy's by my window! He's knocking on the glass! What do I do? I'm gonna drive away."

"No, don't! It's Alex DeLarge!"

I stare at Mick and give him the You're-Insane look. "Even if it was really him – which it isn't – it would not make the situation any better!" I holler.

"Crack the window."

"What?"

"Just do it. See what he wants."

Heart racing and about ready to pee my pants, for some reason or other, I obey the drunk and high Mick - who obviously is not in the best place to be making the decisions around here - and crack the window. I clear my throat and croak out a nice soft "Hello."

"Hi hi hi there, my little sister," this voice says. My tongue goes slack in my mouth as I freeze where I sit, realizing that I'm staring into a pair of piercing blue eyes. I know that voice. And those eyes… and that's when I see it, right on his right eye: a distinct, false eyelash.

There's no way… absolutely no way in hell…

"Are… are you…" is all I can say.

"Emmya thou asks of, my lovely?" he says, a charming smile on his face. He removes his bowler hat and bows for me, very gentleman like. "Alex DeLarge, at your service."

And that's when I sort of scream at the top of my lungs and step on the accelerator.

Sooo... how was that?! I definitely think this story will be a comedy, obviously there will be some serious points to it as well, but I think I may stay on the funny side. Not quite sure about romance, considering how complicated of a character Alex DeLarge would be for that type of thing, but maybe I'll find a way. Let me know if I should continue or if you have any suggestions! Thanks! - Plainsong30