Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Time to Do or Die.

This is where I am in my life right now. Just replace ‘song’ with ‘story’ and this right here, this is about me. Jared talking about how he wrote ‘The Kill’ (the song that changed my life; read THIS first if you haven’t already):


“I’d done a radio interview, early in the morning with the band in 2003. I was walking through the halls of this radio station and I saw U2 and The Police and Metallica; all these giant bands who had Platinum records all over the walls and I was like ‘Wow, what does it take to write a song that connects with people?’ Nothing about album sales, but what does it take to really communicate and speak to people, ‘cause I’d never had that experience as a song writer. For us [Thirty Seconds To Mars], we were always on the left and most people didn’t understand what we were doing at that point. They just thought we were weirdos – which I guess we are – but I went into the bus after that and I sat down, and picked up my acoustic guitar. The rest of the band went to bed because it was really early and no one was used to getting up at that time. I sat down with the acoustic guitar, and the very first chords that came out and lyrics and the song was The Kill. And I think that came out of my frustration that I was having at that time with myself as an artist; my frustration [with my] inability to communicate. I was trapped, a little bit, in the world of the obtuse. It was a very important moment.”


This is exactly how I feel right now. Trapped in the world of the obtuse. Trapped in a life that I did not intend, and do not enjoy. Sure, there are elements that I like. There are even elements that I love. But this, for the most part, is not what I want out of life. I don’t want to wake up and hate the day before it’s even begun. I don’t want to spend my life stealing moments to write under the cover of darkness. I want it to be the only thing I do. I want to live and breathe words. I want it to be my passion, my desire, my dream, my life. It’s already the first three. So how do I make it the fourth?


The question is, actually, how I do I stop making excuses for why it can’t be the fourth. How do I get past all the other garbage that it bogging me down and start living the life that I want. How do I become the person that I want to be. That I need to be.

How do I break free.

And that right there is the crux of the matter. How do I break free of the things that are holding me back, without breaking too far and risking everything? I mean it’s not exactly smart to quit your day job, even when you are published. A very very small percentage of writers actually earn enough to live on their words alone. So that’s clearly not an option. But neither is staying here in the obtuse. I don’t want to get to 50 (or even 30!) and wish. I wish I had pursued this. I wish I’d had the courage to fight for what I believed in. I wish my life was different.

No. Stuff that for a joke. I’m not going to spend my life sitting back and wishing things were different. I’m going to make them different. I going to BE the person I WANT to be. This is who I really am inside. I am a writer. Maybe even an author. Anything less than that is unacceptable. Anything less than that and I am not being the person I was born to be.

Anything less than that and I’m going to kick my own ass. Time to do or die.
TITLE LYRICS: 'Do Or Die' by Thirty Seconds To Mars
Quote taken from an '07 AndPOP interview:
Part Two

For those of you who aren't completely obsessed with the band, The Kill was the song that changed their lives. It is everything Jared wanted it to be, and more.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

I'm taking it slow, feeding my flame...Shuffling the cards of your game...

And just in time
In the right place,
Suddenly I will play my ace...

(I felt that was fitting for what is coming next :p)

We are only a few hundred words away from the end of my preview, so I am going to Drag. This. Out.

Sorry...Not sorry :p


The next instalment of...HEAT.

As always, please comment and let me know what you think. Every time you read and don't comment, a baby fairy loses its wings. You don't want that now, do you?*

TITLE LYRICS: 'Eyes On Fire' by Blue Foundation
*I'm totally drunk on vegan red velvet cake, so forgive my shenanigans! 
If you need to get caught up, you can do it HERE.


DREAMS (continued)
The day passed in a blur of strange faces and incomprehensible instructions. The fall semester had already begun, making transitioning into a new school even more difficult than it already would have been. Everyone was already secure in their classes and their friendships, making me an outsider in more ways than one. Snippets of the day played through my mind as I began the walk home in the afternoon, and I was overwhelmingly relieved I’d made it through the day without any more incidents like the one that morning. So far, at least, it didn’t seem like the other students were interested in me. No one had really spoken to me, and that suited me just fine. I couldn’t risk having friends. It wasn’t safe. I wasn’t safe to be around. I kicked a rock along the pavement as I walked, keeping my eyes on the ground. After a few minutes the hair on the back of my neck stood up and I turned around, acutely aware that someone was behind me.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Hi, my name is Bloggy-Mc-No-Blog. Nice to meet you!

I've just spent more time than I care to admit reading other people's blogs and not doing any work on my own, and I've come to this conclusion:
I don't have to write a new blog post every day.

I know, I know. It's shocking news, right? But here's the thing...I wanted to do it to motivate myself to write every day. Honourable intentions and all that. But it's unrealistic, right? It's simply not sustainable. I'll still blog regularly, but I can't promise to post new content every day.

Try not to cry too much. I know you're all devastated.

I suppose this a realisation that every over-ambitious blogger has after a few weeks of being a slave to their post counter. So, I'm going to give myself a break. Just a little one. Put Cubbins back in his cage and all that. I'll just have to accept that my post counter will be sitting there, judging me with its lack of eyes. It will be all like "Remember when you were like "I'm going to blog EVERY DAY!"? What happened to that, Bloggy-Mc-No-Blog?? Where's your fancy post count NOW??" I may cry a little, but I'll learn to accept it. Probably.

And if I can't...Well, I can always let Cubbins out of his cage. He happens to be a raging asshole, but he gets the job done!

If you need something fun to read on the days that I am Bloggy-Mc-No-Blog, might I suggest either Hyperbole and a Half or The Oatmeal. Both are freaking hilarious. Be warned: Today I planned to read one post on The Oatmeal. That was three hours ago.


Spot the hidden MARS reference!
BONUS ROUND! Tell me where and when said hidden reference occurred! :p

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A quiet desperation's building higher; I've got to remember this is just a game...

I’m starting to suspect that my whole ‘I’m going to post something new on my blog EVERY DAY!’ ambition was a-little-bit-really-very-optimistic-and-stupid. Not because I don’t have anything to write, but because I have TOO MUCH to write. I have too much I want to do. I have too much want in my life.

For example…Right now I’m editing HEAT for the 30 millionth time so I can finally get my ass out of query letter hell, I’m editing a short story for a competition (which is actually now a medium story because it almost doubles the word limit so THAT’s been all kinds of fun), I’m trying to come up with interesting things to blog about every day (and mostly relying on things that I’ve already written so that barely even counts now, does it?), plotting through at least 7 story ideas inside my head at any given moment, juggling THREE Twitter accounts (like really; what the hell made you think THAT was a good idea??), working on a massive and awesome but did I mention MASSIVE project with the Echelon, working full time (and since I chose to become a teacher that really does mean FULL TIME), helping others with achieve their dreams by offering my highly questionable beta-reader skills, attempting to actually have a life beyond my laptop (hahahaha, oh Girl With Words…You cray-cray), and catching cats carrying canes and collies carrying clubs and cows carrying cakes and cakes covered in candles and Caroline Catfish and Clara Canary because apparently I’m freaking Clarence Clown*.

And before you say anything about the run-on-sentence mania going on up there, THAT’S HOW MY LIFE FEELS.

I know it’s in my power to stop. I know that I can ditch one or two or fifty-five activities and just focus on the other eight hundred other things I’ve got going on, but I don’t know how. I honestly don’t know how to stop with all the want. I want to be everything I can be. I want to achieve so much in my life, and it already feels like time is slipping away from me far too quickly. I want this dream so desperately that it is literally consuming me. There is a fire inside of this heart and a riot about to explode into flames. I can’t escape my desires, and when it comes down it to, I don’t really want to. Maybe I’m a sadist, but I think I’m addicted to the constant fear and adrenalin of always having a deadline breathing down my neck. That must be it, right? A normal person doesn’t get her kicks by staying up until 4am and then playing chicken with the school bell in the morning (I win every time, school bell. I win every time.) A normal person doesn’t have RedBull for breakfast (but it’s the sugar-free version! That’s healthy, right?!) A normal person knows how to say NO to some things and let some pipe dreams go. So the only logical conclusion is that clearly, I am not normal.

But you know what?

Maybe I want it this way.



TITLE LYRICS: ‘A Beautiful Lie’ by Thirty Seconds To I Ramble A Lot

*From the book ‘C is for Clown’ by Stan and Jan Berenstain


…Stan and Jan?? Seriously?? Seriously??


Spot the hidden MARS reference!

Monday, 19 August 2013

'Cause it's a long way down from the mountain to the ground, and it's a long way there; going nowhere...

Two posts in one day?? I'm pretty much a superhero.

Before you point out the differences in the dates, it's 1:11am and I haven't been to bed, so it counts. No one can tell me otherwise. It also counts as my post for tomorrow, so bonus!
Stop judging me. I'm a rebel. I'll do what I want.

It's been a while, and people have been asking (which is all kinds of awesome that I can't even begin to explain), so I present to you...HEAT.

We're still not at the end of Chapter Two. Enjoy the awkward car ride to school.

Please let me know what you think, even if you hate it. Nothing is scarier than page views without any kind of feedback.*

TITLE LYRICS: 'Running Down The Aisle' by Morning Parade
(Purely because the song was playing while I proof read this and it felt fitting, somehow)
*Pages views + silence = Crippling anxiety and oh-gosh-everyone-hates-me-and-my-work-and-I-should-just-crawl-into-hole-and-stay-there-forever.
If you need to get caught up, you can do it HERE.

DREAMS (continued)
Arthur seemed content enough to drive to school in silence so I stared out the window, noting the turns he made and the names of the streets we passed. After a couple of minutes he breathed out heavily, seeming to psych himself up.
“So,” he said gruffly. “Ready for your first day?”
I stiffened. I liked it better when we were driving in silence.
“Yes, thank you.” I wrapped my arms around my waist. Maybe if I squeezed hard enough, I could hold myself together.
He was silent for a minute, as though he was trying to figure out what to say next.
“It’s a good school,” he said eventually, keeping his eyes on the road. “You’ll get a good education there, as long as you study. You a good student?”
I shrugged. “I do my best.”
“Good,” he muttered. “Good…”
After a few more minutes of awkward silence he pulled up out the front of the school. It was significantly smaller than my school in California and looked like it could only house about 500 people; a small cry from my previous high school of over 2500 students.
“Well, here we are,” he said, cutting off the engine. “You need me to… To come in with you?”
I shook my head vigorously. “No. I mean, no thank you. I’ll be fine.”
He looked relieved.
“Well, I’ll be back to pick you up at three.”
“I can walk,” I said quickly. “I can find the way.”
He scratched his chin thoughtfully. He needed to shave. “You sure?”
I nodded, opening the door and hopping out of the car.
“Positive. I’ll be fine. Thanks for the ride.”
He nodded once and started the engine. “Alright. Well, have a good day.”
“Thanks.” I closed the door and stepped back, watching as he pulled away from the curb and drove away. I stayed where I was, staring into the space where his car had been. A clap of thunder jolted me out of my stupor and I turned to face the school, scanning the tan coloured buildings for the administration block. I spotted it in the distance and, with a heavy heart, I willed my feet to move towards it.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

I took my time, I hurried up...The choice was mine; I didn't think enough.

Because I'm in the dark and twisty place.

Trigger warning. Be safe, darlings xo

The sound of running water filled her ears and momentarily drowned out the thoughts. They played in loops in her head, all day and all night. It was finally time to silence them.

She shook off the clothes that hung loosely on her now fragile frame and slid down into the scalding water. A slight smile passed her lips as she thought about her mom’s theory that everyone who commits suicide does so in the buff. It seemed fitting, after all. You enter the world naked; why not leave it that way, too?  Besides, only the successful suicides happen in the nude. She’d had several failed attempts in her past, and she was fully clothed for all of those. Maybe there was something to the naked rule.

She closed her eyes and slid further into the water, fully immersing herself and letting it burn her skin. The drugs she had taken were already starting to mess with her head, and she knew she had to act fast if she wanted to be sure that this time it worked. It had to. There were no options left. She grudgingly pulled her head from the water and looked at her tools on the edge of the bathtub. The now empty bottles of various medications swam before her eyes and she struggled to focus on the item she was looking for.


With a heavy hand she retrieved the razor, slicing her finger opened in the process. She stared at the bead of blood as it grew larger before her eyes, watching it squeeze itself through the small opening she had created. She clumsily raised the razor again, widening the hole. The bead became a tiny river, trickling down her wrist and splashing into the bathtub. She watched as it twisted and faded in the clear water, until there was nothing left at all. It mesmerised her.

She lay back against the edge, sinking down and warming up her freezing arms. She examined the blade through the water, deciding how she wanted to do it. She knew it didn’t really matter, anyway. Even without it she knew she’d done enough to stop her heart from hurting. From beating. Every beat felt like a punishment. She needed it to stop.

She raised her left arm, examining the decade’s worth of damage she had done. Without a moment’s hesitation she dropped the blade onto her wrist, hard. With lightning reflexes honed through years of self abuse, she dragged the blade across her skin, putting what was left of her weight behind it. Her flesh went into shock, turning white for a few moments before filling with the deepest shade of crimson she’d ever seen. She watched with fascination as it pumped into water with every beat of her racing heart. The room grew darker with every beat, and she quickly slashed her other wrist to speed up the process.

No sense in dragging this out.

Her eyes grew heavy and she was vaguely aware of the throbbing throughout her whole body. An intense wave of nausea rolled through her and she leaned over the edge of the bath, allowing her body to rebel against her decisions for the last time. Hundreds of half digested pills hit the clean white tiles in a sea of purple cold and flu medication and yellow bile. She started to think that she should clean the mess, but she never finished the thought.

They found her body a few days later, lying naked in the now cold, murky water.

TITLE LYRICS: 'Adam's Song' by Blink 182

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Words have connotations, and those connotations matter.

I recently came across this little piece of gold in the book I am currently struggling through reading:


Now I don’t want to name the book, and if you know which one it is please don’t say it in the comments because I don’t want to publically bash this author.

But dude.

Some background: The main character of this book has been missing for three months, and has no idea where she has been, or what has happened to her. She is currently in hospital trying to piece together her memories of that time. She can’t remember and it’s exhausting to try, so she lets gravity has its way with her.

Are you for serious?

Let’s think about all the reasons this is wrong.

1.       Gravity does not have a ‘way’ to have. It doesn’t go ‘hmm, if I had it my way, ya’ll would be floating around right now.’ It just is.

2.       Totally inappropriate imagery!! The girl has been missing for three months and doesn’t know what happened to her. Is the image of something ‘having its way with her’ really what you were going for??

(Side note: Oh gosh. I just looked at this passage again and I noticed this:

It keeps getting worse.)

Now maybe this is just me, but I personally do not think that phrases like ‘violation swayed inside me’ and ‘constant sense of having it’s way with me’ are appropriate when the main character has been missing for months and may well have had something like that happen. I say this not to be offensive or hate on this book or the author, but seriously? Seriously? Words have connotations. Those connotations matter. Your vocabulary is like your toolbox…Just because you can use a hammer to get the job done, doesn’t mean you should.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

These lessons that we've learned here, have only just begun...

Just a friendly warning: This post is heavy on the MARS. Like 62.77% heavy.

I’ve wanted to write a post like this for a while now, but I’ve never been able to find the right words. I’m not even sure that I’ll find the right words today, but I’m going to do my best. Sometimes you just have to write something out of you, you know? It’s the only way that you can move on.

So. As I’m sure you all know, my favourite band in the universe is Thirty Seconds To Mars. I adore them. I listen to them every single day, and to be perfectly honest, right now I listen to very little else. I can’t help it; I’m crazy addicted. 30 Seconds To Rehab and all that. Now, in case you don’t know the band, this is them here:


Tomo Milicevic, Jared Leto + Shannon Leto
(You’re welcome.)

I’m quite new to loving this band (although you wouldn’t know it from how hard I’ve fallen), but I feel like I should explain it for the people who read my blog and just think ‘this girl is completely bonkers.’ I mean I *am* completely bonkers, but I think it’s justified. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. You can let me know in the comments section! I’m going to try *really* hard to keep the inevitable fan-girling out of this, but I make no guarantees…


So it started with a song.

That song was called The Kill.

Let’s go back about seven years. I was in a shitty relationship with a person we shall call ‘Voldermoron’. (He was ‘Voldermort’, but I like Voldermort too much for that). Voldermoron’s best quality (and potentially only good quality) was that he had really great taste in music. He introduced me to The Kill. If you’ve never heard the song, you can listen to it (and watch the kick-ass short film) here. Now skipping over the details about my shitty love for Voldermoron, I was not in a good place. In fact I was in a very dark and twisty place, as you can probably tell from some of the things I write about. I turned to music a lot during the hard times (don’t we all?) and I really connected to The Kill. The bridge goes like this:
I tried to be someone else
But nothing seemed to change; I know now:
This is who I really am inside
Finally found myself
Fighting for a chance; I know now:

 That bridge was something that I identified with so much. More than I can say, actually. I’d been battling depression and the dark and twisties for YEARS (actually years), but nothing seemed to change. That was who I was. I was scary and damaged, and there was nothing that I could do about it. I accepted it, and continued to live in absolute misery, never even dreaming that I could have anything different.

(Wow. This is rather heavy stuff. Let’s look at the band again.)

(Yep. Works every time!)

If we fast forward a few years, I got out of the shitty relationship with Voldermoron (go team!) and eventually moved across the country to be with my family. Things were looking up, but I was still working through some pretty tough things. I started spending a lot of time with my little brothers (aged 12 and 13), which meant that I spent A LOT of time playing the PlayStation. The only game I actually liked was SingStar, so we started playing that. A lot. There are only so many times you can sing a song before you get bored (unless it’s a MARS song :p) so eventually I started buying songs from the SingStore. Who wants to guess what I bought?

I can’t explain why the song affected me so much, or even how it went from just being a song that I liked to becoming the theme song of my life. All I know is one day I was singing the bridge (and KILLING IT, in case you were wondering. SingStar EVERY TIME, baby :p) and the meaning had changed. Suddenly it wasn’t about giving in to my depression and letting it ‘have me’ as I had been doing since the age of 14. It was about kicking ass and being the person I wanted to be. It was about no longer trying to be someone else or the person I *thought* I should be. It was about accepting myself…And maybe even liking myself just a little bit.

I know, right. Shock horror. Apparently it’s *not* normal to loathe yourself with every fibre of your being. Who knew??

My little brothers did not share my obsession (as that’s what it was by then) and eventually stopped wanting to play SingStar with me because I only wanted to sing The Kill. (And because I was better than them at it. Whoops! :p) I compromised by buying the other Mars songs from the SingStore…Kings + Queens, A Beautiful Lie and From Yesterday. And that was it. Life has never been the same.

I guess the reason I’m telling you all this is so that when you see all my Jared Leto quotes and references, you understand where I’m coming from, at least just a little bit. They’re not just a band to me. They are the reason I fought against all the darkness inside me, and won. I WON. Do you have any idea how amazing that is? They are the reason that I will NEVER give up on my dreams. They are the reason I will always fight for what I believe in, and they are the reason that I will never stop trying to be a better person. They are with me always, and even though they’ll never know who I am or what they’ve done for me, I’ll always have them. I’ll always have their music, and I’ll always have the wonderful things that they stand for and believe in. Their interviews are some of the funniest and most inspiring things I’ve ever seen. There’s this one that Jared did where he went into a school and talked to the students about dreams…It was amazing. I would have sold my left kidney to be there. (Kidding…Or am I??)* They are amazing, especially when you know how damn hard they had to work to get where they are today. Some people fall into success…Others claw their way out of the muddy banks of Louisiana with their instruments in one hand and a fistful of food stamps in the other.

They are even the reason that I started this blog. Sure, I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I could read, but it’s only really this year that I’ve started to believe that it is possible. That I’ve started to believe in myself. Mars did that for me. They’re not just a band. They’re not. They are my everything. I’m even grateful that I had that shitty relationship with Voldermoron, because without him I may never have heard The Kill. I love them more than I can say. Them and this crazy family called The Echelon. The Echelon are more my family than some of the people that I share my DNA with. They are some of the nicest, most supportive people I have ever met. They are the dreamers + the believers, and whenever I feel like giving up on my dreams, they are there to cheer me on and push me forward. Sometimes they believe in me more than I believe in myself. I have never felt more loved, accepted and supported than I do right now. And if that sounds culty to you, well, all I can say to you is this:


THANK YOU Jared, Shannon + Tomo, for everything that you do.
Thank you for the dreams.
~ Provehito In Altum ~


TITLE LYRICS: Kings + Queens by Thirty Seconds to I LOVE YOU GUYS
To listen to the songs that changed my life, click HERE.
To support the band that saved my life, click HERE.

*Okay, you NEED to see this:
Jared Leto on Dreams




Tuesday, 13 August 2013

My intentions never change...What I want just stays the same...

…And I’m back from my great adventure :) I had such an amazing time…But more on that later, as I plan to blog about it :p For now, I present to you…The next instalment of HEAT. This will take you to the end of the section, but not to the end of chapter two. I am really dragging this out, aren’t I? It’s all part of my master plan…First, get you to like my novel. Next, get it published and get you to buy my novel. Third…WORLD DOMINATION. Sounds about right, yeah?

Thank you so much for your comments, tweets and encouragement. It means more to me than you will ever know. I love and appreciate every single one of you. My heart skips a beat every time I read a comment that says you are enjoying the story, that you like it, or even, heaven forbid, that you would actually buy it. It feels surreal. I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough.

But I’m going to keep saying it anyway.

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much.


TITLE LYRICS: ‘Was It A Dream?’ by Thirty Seconds To Mars


If you need to get caught up, you can do it HERE.

DREAMS (Continued)
I stuffed them into the pockets of my sweater and entered the kitchen, not wanting to hear any more of their conversation.

“Aurora,” Maria said, looking surprised to see me. “I didn’t hear you come down.”

I mumbled something incoherent in response, watching as Arthur carefully pulled shards of glass from his palms.

“What happened?” I asked softly.

“Damn cheap glass shattered in my hand,” Arthur grumbled, wincing as he pulled a large shard from the side of his thumb.

“I don’t understand how you broke it,” Maria said, getting a first aid kit down from the cupboard above the fridge. “I’ve told you before that you need to be more careful. It probably had a crack in it. You must have set it down too roughly.”

“I did no such thing,” he objected, getting up and turning on the tap in the kitchen sink. He held his hands under the cold water, washing away the blood.

“Clearly, you did,” Maria said, looking pointedly at the bloody shards on the table. She pulled a plastic bag from the cupboard under the sink and began cleaning up the mess, carefully putting the broken glass into the bag. I stayed in the corner, watching silently. Arthur cursed as he tried to pull another shard from his right palm, wincing as he sliced open his thumb on the protruding edge.


Maria looked up, shaking her head disapprovingly.

“Come here before you hurt yourself even more.” She retrieved a pair of tweezers and several Band-Aids from the first aid kit.

He switched off the tap and walked over to her, placing his hands palm up over a tea towel she’d set down to protect the table. He continued to mutter curse words under his breath as she used a pair of tweezers to remove the remainder of the glass and finish cleaning the cuts.

“Some of these might need stitches,” she said, frowning at the steady flow of blood oozing from his thumb.

“I don’t need stitches,” he said, grimacing as she applied pressure to the worst bleeders. “Just bandage me up.”

She shook her head, rolling her eyes at him. “Honestly Arthur, you’re worse than a toddler. Always refusing to go to the doctor, even when it’s obvious that you need to.”

He scoffed in response, muttering indistinctly.

“Anyway Aurora,” Maria said pleasantly, ignoring him. “This is my husband, Arthur. You’d already gone to bed when he got home last night, and we didn’t want to wake you for an introduction. Sorry you didn’t meet him at a better time. He doesn’t normally curse this much.” She paused, looking at him sceptically. “Well, actually he does.”

“Are you finished now?” he asked curtly, pulling his hands away from her. She nodded, giving an exaggerated sigh and tossing the soiled cotton wool and remaining glass fragments into the plastic bag.

“It’s nice to meet you,” I said as politely as I could.

“Nice to meet you too,” he said stiffly. Maria nudged him. “So, you ready for me to take you to school?”

I nodded. “Yeah, but… Are you going to be able to drive?” I looked pointedly at his Band-Aid covered hands.

“Oh he’ll be fine,” Maria replied before he had a chance to answer. “He has to take himself to work, anyway, since he refuses to go to the hospital to get stitches.”

“I told you I don’t need any damn stitches!”

She rolled her eyes at me, smiling as though this was how they always interacted. She didn’t seem bothered by his gruffness towards her.

“If you give me directions, I am happy to walk…”

He perked up at the mention of my walking and he looked at Maria expectantly.

“She can walk, can’t she? The fresh air will do her some good.”

Maria glared at him.

“I really think it’s better if he takes you,” she said to me, still glaring at Arthur. “At least for today. I don’t want you getting lost on your first day. If you want, after he has shown you the way today, you can walk from tomorrow. It’s quite nearby.”

I nodded, realising there was no point in arguing. “Okay.”

Arthur scowled, glaring back at Maria.

“Alright then. We’d better get going.”

He stood up to get his keys, and I started to follow him to the front door.

“Wait,” Maria called, following me with a brown paper bag. “I made you lunch.”

I stopped and slowly turned to face her. I hesitated, afraid to take my hands out of my pockets.

“Well here you go!” She thrust the bag towards me, waiting for me to take it. I held my breath and eased my hands out of my pockets, breathing a soft sigh of relief when I saw that they had returned to their normal hue. A horn beeped outside. Arthur was getting impatient.

“Have a great first day, honey,” Maria said, handing me the bag and patting me on the shoulder. “And ignore anything that Arthur says to you. He’s a grump.”

I gave her a faint smile and put my lunch into my bag before heading out the door.

* * *

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Tonight's the last, so say goodbye...

Well, I am just about set to head off on my great adventure for the next week. I don’t think I will be able to post something every day while I’m away, so I’m putting halt on my self-imposed challenge until I return.

Shut up. I made up the rules. I can change them if I want.

I won’t, however, be leaving you high and dry. Back by popular demand…The next 800ish words of HEAT. I hope you enjoy them…We are rapidly approaching the point in which I am going to cruelly cut you off and instruct you to wait for the book release.

Which means you will probably never know how it ends.

Oops. Didn’t really think this through, did I?

TITLE LYRICS: 'A Modern Myth' by Thirty Seconds To Mars
Well...At least I went two whole posts without using their lyrics.
I'm an ObsEchelon: Thirty Seconds To Rehab.

If you need to get caught up, you can do it HERE. 

DREAMS (continued)
There was a soft knock on my door. My eyes flew opened and I inhaled sharply, my heart pounding against my ribs. It was a dream, just a dream. I felt so happy that I could explode and I leapt out of bed, ready to tell my mom about my horrible nightmare, ready to laugh about how silly I was for dreaming about such things. I yanked open my bedroom door, giddy with relief.

“Mom, I—”

Maria stood on the other side with a tray of pancakes and a glass of orange juice. Her smile faltered.

“Good morning Aurora,” she said pleasantly, quickly regaining her composure. “I thought you might like some pancakes for breakfast. A good breakfast is the best way to set yourself up for the day, and you do have such a big day ahead of you.”

I felt like I’d been hit by a wave of cold water and I gripped the door handle, using it to support my weight.

“Thanks,” I whispered. My mouth felt like it was filled with cotton wool. She looked expectantly past me into my room and I moved aside, allowing her to enter. The floor swayed below me and I closed my eyes, struggling to remain upright.

It wasn’t a dream. It was a memory.

I clutched the pendant around my neck, squeezing it into my palm.

“Aurora?” Maria said carefully from behind me. “What happened to your pillow?”

I forced myself to turn around, still clutching the pendant.

“I…” My mind raced as I tried to come up with an explanation. “…Had a nightmare. I think I tore it in my sleep. I’m sorry, I’ll replace it.” I watched her, trying to decide whether or not she bought my story. She raised her eyebrow suspiciously.

“You did that in your sleep?”

I nodded, scrutinising her features for any indication she realised I was lying. She still looked suspicious, but I decided she most likely thought I tore it up on purpose. There was no way she could know the truth. After a moment she turned away from my intense gaze, and I hoped she had decided not to pursue it.

“Well, don’t worry about it,” she said lightly, picking up a couple of nearby feathers. “I’ll get this cleaned up while you are school. Speaking of which, you’d better have your breakfast and get ready. Arthur will drop you off on his way to work at eight.” She gestured towards the tray of pancakes she’d set down on my bedside table. “You do like pancakes, don’t you?”

I looked at the tray. A glutinous strand of maple syrup was oozing down the side of the stack, forming a golden puddle on the edge of the plate.

“Yes, thank you. You didn’t have to go to so much trouble. Cereal or fruit would have been fine.”

“It’s no trouble at all,” she said, picking up a few more stray feathers. “It’s nice to have someone young to look after. Now you’d best eat them before they go all cold and rubbery.”

She smiled, eyeing me curiously and leaving the room with a handful of feathers. I closed the door behind her, glancing at the time. It was just after seven. I scoffed down the pancakes and had a quick shower, intentionally occupying my mind with thoughts other than the dream.

The memory.

After my shower I deliberated over what I should wear for my first day of school, eventually settling on a pair of jeans and a black top. I opened my blinds, noting the dark clouds gathering over the mountains and throwing on an olive green sweater as well. I grabbed my bag and, with a quick look in the mirror that hung on my wardrobe door, I headed downstairs to meet Arthur.

* * *

“Why do we have to look after her?”

I froze in the hallway, stopped by the conversation in the kitchen. I took a tentative step towards the entrance, straining to hear what was being said.

“Arthur.” Maria’s voice was low. “We’re her only family. She’s all alone in the world.”

Arthur scoffed and I heard a glass being set down on the counter.

“She’s not family. You didn’t even know she existed until that social worker called you a week ago. That doesn’t make her family.”

I heard footsteps and I imagined Maria pacing through the kitchen.

“I feel sorry for her,” she murmured. “Her mother left her without anything. She didn’t even leave a will or anything sort of instructions for what should be done in the event of her death.”

“What about her father? Where the hell is he?”

The pacing stopped.

“No one knows, apparently. There’s no name on the birth certificate. No one even knows who he is.”

“Great,” Arthur muttered. I heard him take a sip from his glass. “So we’re looking after the bastard daughter of a whore.”

There was a scream and the sound of shattering glass.

“Son of a bitch!” Arthur cried. “What the hell kind of cheap glasses are these?!”
I instinctively glanced down at my hands. They were bathed in a warm orange glow.