BRING ME TO LIFE.
Keirnan Huntly sat in the backseat of her parents car silently. She was
still unable to believe that they were actually going through with what
they had threatened. The injustice of it all, what she had done hadn't been
that bad, certainly hadn't warranted what her parents were doing about it.
She hadn't been consulted, hadn't had a say in the decision that had the
potential to change her life.
She could have run away, but where to? Where could she go? What could she
do? Her parents didn't hit her, were wage earners, well above the poverty
line. There wasn't a mark on her body or on her file that she could go to
child services and complain about.
Sometimes when Keirnan was all alone, she would go deep into her mind and
imagine that she lived in a tower high above the rest of the world, try as
they might; they couldn't reach her. All she had to do was close her eyes
and she was there, her tower. Waiting for someone crazy enough to climb up
and rescue her.
Kiernan fell from her tower as her eyes fluttered open and she realized
that they had arrived. She didn't want to get out of the car, would have
stayed in the backseat and held onto the handle above the seat for dear
life, but her younger brother Sammy was sitting across from her his big
brown eyes enough to break her heart, and realize that she had to do this,
had to climb out of the car and be brave for his sake.
"We'd better not come in" her mother told her, the prim school teachers
tone seeping into her home life as it had done every day for the last
sixteen years that Kiernan had known her.
"Fine" she answered, turning her head from her mother's perfunctory kiss.
The thing she remembered that day as the car drove away from her was
Sammy's face in the back window, watching her; the sadness where his
beautiful six-year-old smile should have been.
Kiernan turned, picking her bags up from the ground and heading in through
the double doors of the school. She read the sign without feeling, her eyes
running over the words 'boarding school' almost indifferently.
Inside her mind she worked on the interior of her tower, adding to the
fibre of it's walls everything that she could remember about Sammy, every
scrap of a memory she could find in her mind, she placed inside her tower.
Packing them away carefully, like treasures; knowing that someday soon she
would want to unwrap them and finger them, look at them and be able to
remember her brother as he was when she saw him last, unchanged.
Kiernan walked into the hall in a daze, she was greeted by a tall woman,
stiffly dressed wearing a stern expression. Inwardly Kiernan sighed,
outwardly she didn't make a sound.
"Kiernan Huntly?" Kiernan nodded, and didn't look up as the woman clucked
approvingly. She didn't have any desire to know who this woman was, but she
wasn't going to push it, and be rude to her on her first day here. She
could be here a long time, Kiernan acknowledged.
Kiernan looked out at the barren landscape that was the vista from her
tower. There were thorns, fierce wild tangles of them, but that was just a
requiem. A requirement of living as she did, It wouldn't be easy for anyone
to get close to her, they would have to be determined, and Kiernan had no
inclination to let anyone get through those thorns.
"Welcome to the school, you do right by us and we'll do right by you" the
woman told her, and Kiernan nodded absently, following her when she was
Kiernan didn't take in the pleasant blue walls, the white trim; didn't take
in the cream coloured carpet underfoot until she went from that to the
sickly green lino of the corridor. Doors dotted the corridor both ways, but
Kiernan was led away from the maze of rooms and into another wing of the
The large windows splashed natural light across the walls and floors, and
for the briefest moment Kiernan was captivated, making a note to increase
the size of the window in her tower.
"Well.. this is where the girls your age sleep, there's a free bed in the
corner.. they'll be back soon, make yourself at home" with that she turned
on her heel and left the room, closing the door softly behind her.
Kiernan didn't see the sad expression on the woman's face as she clicked
back up the hall towards her office, the furrow of her brow as she worked
at the problem that was Kiernan Huntly.
Kiernan placed her bags on the floor, and lay down on her bed. She didn't
want to deal with everything now, not the stupid school, not the way that
she wouldn't ever see any of her friends again, and most of all; not the
look on Sammy's face as they had driven away. She closed her eyes and saw
the familiar surrounds of her tower. Small enough to be cosy, large enough
to give her room to move if she wished it.
Time had escaped her when she felt something blunt poke her in the side of
"Don't poke her!" one voice whispered.
"What else can we do? She won't wake up!" another hissed back..
Kiernan heard a variety of other voices taking sides in the argument and
she opened her eyes.
"Look! She's awake" the first voice whispered, and the argument abruptly
"Who are you?"
"Are you going to stay here?"
"Well d'uh! Did you think she was just borrowing the bed for a nap?" the
"What's your name?"
The voices bombarded her, and Kiernan sat up slowly blinking dazedly.
"Lay off her!" snapped a voice at the door, and the other girls hastily
The girl at the door walked slowly over to Kiernan's bed, and sat down,
placing a tentative hand on her shoulder. Kiernan gave her a grateful
look, while the other half of her sat in her tower, leaning on the window
bracket wondering who this stranger was.
The stranger took her hand and smiled at her, Kiernan could feel the other
girls watching them curiously.
"Don't worry about them, they're harmless, just curious" the girl told
her, and Kiernan smiled a small smile, while sitting down and getting
comfortable in her tower. Far off on the borderlands, the thorns thinned
out a little.
"I'm Kiernan Huntly" Kiernan introduced herself not wanting to be rude to
the girl beside her.
"Charmed, I'm Natasha, Nat for short" she answered, a grin covering her
"This here is Madison, Davs, Paige, Helaina, Emily, Molls, Sara and
Corrinne" she told her, pointing to each girl in turn.
Kiernan waved, smiled weakly, unable to imagine what close confines with
these girls was going to be like. Each of the girls smiled or waved, and
then broke off into smaller groups, congregating on a girls bed, and
sprawling out. Kiernan tuned out as their chatter turned to certain
teachers and the latest 'hottie'
Natasha rubbed her shoulder reassuringly.
"You'll get used to it" she told her, plonking down on the bed beside her
and picking up a sports magazine.
Kiernan hesitated, not really wanting to disturb her.
"Say it" came Natasha's muffled voice from beneath the magazine, and
Kiernan smiled at the girl's perceptiveness.
"Uh.. Do we stay here? I'm kind of hungry.." she broke off, voicing what
was on her mind as best she could.
"We have an hour of free time between sport and dinner, It shouldn't be too
long, we can go early if you want" Nat offered, and Kiernan smiled. She
Kiernan lay back on the covers of her bed, and closed her eyes.In a
heartbeat she was in her tower. She had put a bar of Dove chocolate there
earlier in the day, and in her mind, she found it and chewed it
She mused over whether or not a moat was tacky, and too olde worlde.
Deciding it was, she quickly gave that up, and began to read a book from
the shelf. Her fingertips traced the familiar path to the book, and she
pulled it out, opening it's well worn cover, and reading from the dusty
pages. The Princess Bride, it was a story that grabbed her up in it's rich
embrace and held her till the end of the story, the final kiss. When it
took her fancy, she superimposed the image of Buttercup and Wesley's kiss
over her north wall, allowing her to imagine what it must be like to have
someone love you so deeply. In her tower, surrounded by thorns, she still
had to imagine what love was like, couldn't magick it up like anything else
Kiernan opened her eyes reluctantly when she heard Nat calling her.
"I'm up" she protested, and Nat laughed.
"Funny, you look dead" she answered, taking her arm and pulling her out of
"Just fishing" Kiernan muttered, coining her phrase for receeding into her
tower. She had often contemplated buying a 'gone fishing' sign to stick
over her head when she did visit her tower.
"Ok, I'll pretend I know what that means, The others think I know
everything" she answered with a laugh. Kiernan smiled, stopped then smiled
again, noting that she had smiled more being with this girl for an hour
than all of year 10 last year at that horrible public school.
"C'mon, I'm starved!" Nat exclaimed, and kiernan smiled. Again.