Author: theDeadTree PM
After what she can conclusively call the worst summer of her life, Quinn is faced with new problems as well as some of the old ones. Someone new has rocked up and is making being as normal as possible incredibly stressful, not to mention potentially life threatening. Something about ten year old serial killers is just so unsavory. Sequel to December Sun.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Angst - Chapters: 25 - Words: 78,568 - Reviews: 31 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 10-24-12 - Published: 12-06-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2977385
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It's times like these I realise that I'm not exactly what one would call normal. Or perhaps, I'm normal but the circumstances in which I commonly find myself aren't. I mean, I look reasonably normal, the general human shape and everything. I suppose I might even sound normal too. I have an opinion for everything like most people do. I have a few friends, I talk about pointless shit, I swear, I smoke, I drink, and I have vague, mostly drunken sexual encounters. I go to school and hate every second of it. I'm seventeen years of age, I was born in July, I'm a brunette, I'm Caucasian, and if you haven't worked it out already, I'm also a girl. That's what you'd call normal, isn't it?
Oh, and I also strongly believe in the existence of vampires.
Okay. Not so normal. Like I said, it's times like these I realise that I'm not exactly what one would call entirely 'normal', whatever the hell 'normal' is anymore. Who even cares? Since when did such a thing as normal even matter? Do you want to know what else isn't so normal? Drew. Drew is not normal. He's even less normal than your average human being, even less normal than me. If that's possible. Personally, I'm more concerned about a young girl than how normal I am and how not normal Drew is. Yep, that's me. Quinn Johnston, the girl who believes in vampires and is terrified of small children. Totally what you'd call normal.
I guess I should warn you now; this is the part of the story that doesn't actually have much plot because it's too full of emotions and the consequences of those emotions. Which is a plot in itself really, but still. I sighed heavily. Screw it all. Who wants to read about someone with a boring normal and has normal things happen to them? No one, that's who, so I don't know why I'm agonising over this. Also, vampires. You just wait, soon enough they'll come for you too. I should know. I killed one just over a month ago.
Oh yeah, it's that serious.
I leaned back, silently cursing myself. Oh yeah Drew, ask her out Drew, you'll be fine Drew, I've got no problems with it Drew. Of course I've got a bloody problem with it, he's my best friend. And so is she. What the hell? Why are my two best friends suddenly so interested in each other? Why did I egg them on? I know nothing of my own feelings. And now…well, now they're going out, aren't they? Now they only need each other's company and I just lost myself two of the closest friends I'll ever have. I simply love the way life kicks you up the backside like that sometimes, don't you?
Hello being a third wheel.
And don't even get me started on what's going on with my subconscious. I think it might be able to tell the future. Just another not so normal thing in my increasingly abnormal life. They're getting quite numerous lately. Vampires, death, blood, alcohol, smokes, drugs, angst. Sitting around in PE and doing fuck all. Just another day in the life of me. I don't know how Drew manages to do this to me. Somehow he can manipulate people without doing anything at all. Then again, somehow he can break glass without touching it, and somehow I know what's going to happen before they do. It's all freaky and supernatural and generally completely, utterly, absolutely normal.
"Are you going to join in, Johnston, or just sit there?" My physical education teacher called to me, suddenly bringing me back to reality.
My head snapped up. "What? Oh…uh…I'm not feeling all that well today, Mr Inglis."
He shook his head. "Do you and Reaves want to pass this subject or not?"
I opened my mouth to answer, but he already turned away and started divvying people into teams. Jack flopped down beside me, positively glowing.
"This is the fourth lesson in a row we've managed to get out of PE. Can you believe it?"
"I wonder who's going to win?"
"The team with Nick in it, by seven points." I answered listlessly, without missing a beat.
Jack looked at me oddly. "How do you know that? You don't know that."
I arched an eyebrow at her. "Know what?"
"The answers to questions like that so quickly. And the scary thing is that you always seem to be right."
"I've got superpowers, Jack. Didn't you know?"
"Well aren't you special?"
"You're just jealous."
And then there's all the shit that has happened to me since last year. All that stuff that has made me not so normal. The more I think about, the more I realise that I haven't really been as not normal as I am now for that long. Just four months ago I was your slightly less than average girl. Such a cliché thing to say, but it's true. In fact, it was only really December last year when things started to get weird. Only three months ago when vampires came into the picture. So much has happened since then it seems like a lifetime ago when I knew nothing.
Jack turned to me. "How do you do it, Quinn?"
I looked at her oddly. "What?"
She bit her lip. "How do you deal with it all? I mean; what with happened with Rachel and everything. You don't even take drugs. How do you do it?"
I shrugged. "I've got lots of stuff on my mind. I forget."
I honestly forgot about the grizzly murder of one of my best friends. That sounds so heartless. Truth of the matter is; I've gotten used to the idea of people turning up dead in side streets and alley ways, lying in pools of their own blood. I got used to the idea of running into a mangled corpse with its neck ripped out while walking through the city at night. I just got used to the idea of living in the same city as vampires.
"Oh, and did you hear about Drew and Rose?"
"Believe me Jack, I heard."
A bit hard not to, what with them both being my best friends and you know, the fact that I was the one who put them both up to it anyway. Their whole relationship only exists because of yours truly, and in the end, what kind of credit or thanks do I get? Complete and total abandonment from the two of them. Drew I could almost handle, but Rose…I needed her to talk to. She was who I confided in about emotional shit, Jana was who I talked to about vampires and Jack…Jack was the girl I didn't talk to about anything serious. Jack was the one I had fun with, the one who would be there in the early hours of the morning on a dark street, telling me how much she loved me.
Jack grinned. "Rose's first real boyfriend. It's kinda cute. Now they'd have some fucking good looking children."
"You don't find them being together at all awkward?"
"Not at all. They're both dark, mysterious people. I figured it was going to happen eventually. And you clearly got the same vibe."
I folded my arms and looked away. "Yeah…I guess."
Jack giggled. "Oh my god. You like him, don't you?"
I jerked and fought to maintain my dignity. "What? No I- I don't. Of course I don't. Not in that way."
Being a girl sucks arse. Having feelings about people sucks. Thinking and being alive in general is sometimes the worst thing ever. As much as I wanted to playfully punch Jack and make some clever remark that would instantly kill her suspicions, I couldn't. Mostly because I couldn't think of a remark clever enough to fool her into thinking I was totally fine with everything. Partly because I knew, deep down, I might possibly be a tiny bit in love with him.
And that, children, is the main part of this story arc.
Him and her…it's just…just…wrong. Weird. Out of place. Strange. Crazy and does not belong in a world that should make at least some amount of sense. It should, but it doesn't. In what kind of crazy sense making world is mythology real, and reality a myth? In what kind of world does this many bad things happen to one person? When I think about the summer and what amazingly complicated problems it generated in my life, I find it hard to believe any of it is at all possible. When someone disappears completely for four years, you'd think they'd be dead. It's a perfectly logical conclusion. Oh no. Not in Quinn's world, it ain't. No, a far more logical conclusion where I come from is that they've just gone abroad and made it appear that they were dead, because sometimes the truth hurts more than the lie.
And let me tell you, the truth hurts a hell of a lot more than the lie.
Ten years ago, I met a boy. I guess it was all downhill from there, because it was only after I met him did all the shit happen. The six years of relative peace, and then that night when we were thirteen…that oh so wonderfully horrible night that sparked clinical depression, an alcohol addiction, an attempted suicide and, on the other end of the scale, a lifetime of constant violent and bloody murder. And then there was the summer. Oh that glorious summer. It was going to be all beach, ice cream and bare minimal clothing like any other summer. It was going to be a huge big massive break between the end of one school year and the start of a new one, a time to relax, forget what day of the week it was, and generally waste my life.
Instead I got the return of someone I had presumed dead four years ago, several arguments, the murder of one of my best friends, a near death experience, the existence of vampires was revealed to me, more arguments, several tears, a strained friendship, a few disappearances, arguments between friends, severe blood loss and whole bunch of other stuff that comes with the whole 'my best friend is a vampire' thing. The whole kit and caboodle. I might also possibly have vague psychic powers. And boy does it suck shit.
So I realised when Nick scored another goal, putting his team's lead up to seven points when Mr Inglis decided it was time to stop playing and pack up.
"Nick's team by seven points." Jack murmured. "You're amazing."
Okay. I don't know what's wrong with me. Something is seriously wrong with me. Jack sighed heavily and got to her feet.
"I've got to go pick my little sister up from the primary school." She sighed heavily, as if this was an agonising chore for her. I stood up.
"I'll go with you."
"Won't you miss your bus?"
Jack grinned. "Thank you. You have no idea what you're saving me from."
"I can imagine." I sighed, remembering what little I could about my own younger sister. She would be…god, she'd be thirteen now. That would make Liam fifteen. I bit my lip and tried not to think about it, or them.
We went straight to our lockers and stated pulling stuff out. I sighed heavily and pulled out my stuff and tried to shove it all in my bag without making it split. However, two extremely passionate lovebirds ever so rudely interrupted my careful planning to get all my crap safely in my bag. I slammed my locker shut, in no mood to be kind to a couple that couldn't keep the displays of affection out of public, or at least not around me. What can I say? I'm not really a romantic person. Especially when I'm not apart of it.
"Oh my fucking god, cut the lovey dovey crap!" I screamed as I found myself facing Drew and Rose.
Well, this awkward.
"Sorry Quinn." Rose muttered before kissing Drew lightly and waltzing away. Drew leaned on the locker next to mine and arched an eyebrow at me.
"What's your problem?"
I slung my bag over my shoulder and glared at him. What's my problem? What's my fucking problem? Everything is my problem.
Drew laughed sourly. "You've never been able to lie to me."
"Whatever happened to being over relationships?"
"I never said that."
"It's insulting to Indie's memory."
Drew flinched as that name escaped my lips. "You never met her. Don't tell me what's insulting to her memory."
"I don't approve of the relationship."
"The relationship you don't approve of was your idea, remember?"
I folded my arms crossly as he said that. It was not my idea, no matter what anyone might think. "It was never my idea. I saw the obvious and sped the process up. Now hurry up and split, so everything can get back to normal."
Drew shook his head disbelievingly. "What's the problem, Q? I like her, she likes me. It's perfectly reasonable."
I gritted my teeth. "No Drew, it's not reasonable. None of this is at all reasonable. This is beyond all reason. You shouldn't even exist. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to catch up with Jack."
I tore away from him and ran down the corridor, catching up to Jack just as she started going down the stairs. I smiled put on the happiest act I could manage, and left Drew behind me. I'm over it. I'm over it all. Screw everything. I'm over it. I'm going to have a life. I will. Rose can take my place as the girl who has to deal with the whole supernatural aspects of the world we live in. I'm over it. Screw it all.
I took one fleeting glace at Rose and Drew together and something in me decided. I don't care if it was my idea. I don't care if I was the one who set them up in the first place. I don't care what I did that brought them together. I don't care if Drew is never happy again. I don't care if he'll hate me forever as a result of it. There was a tiny flicker of rage at them being happy together somewhere deep inside me as I saw them for that one second.
When boys get jealous, it's cute. When girls get jealous it's World War III.
The primary school that Jack's littlest sister attended was not far from our school, a few blocks over. It was about a ten minute walk. She, like I had once been, was one of four. I took a deep breath and quietly forced all my depressing angst to the back of my mind where it would stay until…oh, I don't know, some other depressing thing happened. What could possibly go wrong? When you're me, everything.
"You got a smoke?" Jack asked me.
I pulled out a couple of cigarettes from my skirt pocket and handed her one. She smiled at me and pulled out her lighter. I looked at the cigarette between my fingers and for the first time since I started smoking two and a half years ago, decided against it.
"I'm worried about Asher." Jack sighed. "He's starting to get like, properly involved with dealers and shit now. It's not just weed and the occasional coke anymore. It's proper drugs."
I shrugged. "Maybe he doesn't get high off pot anymore."
Jack stared at me. "He's going to get himself addicted to heroin or crystal meth and think there's bugs crawling under his skin. That shit makes you go legit crazy."
"Oh come on. Seriously, this is Asher we're talking about. Sure, he's a bit of a dero drug addict, but he's not an idiot. Besides, what's the point? It trashes your body and doesn't actually change your situation for the better."
"You don't get it, do you Quinn? Sometimes a high that lasts for a few minutes is what keeps people going. It's not the situation, it's how you feel about it. And, well, sometimes it's the only way you can have fun."
"Cocaine isn't an anti depressant, Jack. It's an illegal drug."
"So why do you do it?"
"Because sometimes, life is shit and drugs is an easy way to forget it all. You should try it sometime, Q. Come over and trip out on shrooms or something. It'll be fun."
I rolled my eyes. "Maybe."
"It'll take your mind off the fact that the boy you're in love with is dating another girl." Jack said snidely, winking at me.
I shoved her. "I am not in love with Drew!"
"And my arse is made of gold."
We turned into the primary school and found ourselves swimming through an ocean of small children, trying to find Jack's little sister. I fought my way through the crowd to a safe place and scanned the crowd. Finally, Jack yelled and pointed.
"There she is, over there! Katie! Get your arse over here!"
I looked over to where Jack was pointing, and found her little sister Katie leaning on the fence, talking to another girl who was perhaps one or two years younger than her. The younger girl was standing on the footpath just outside of the school, somehow looking both intrigued and bored at the same time. She was rather pale and had long, curly, coal black hair that hung to her mid back. I froze. I knew that girl.
Jack managed to grab Katie's attention. She turned away from the girl and headed over towards us. I was too shocked by the other girl to notice. You know how I said I'm terrified of small children? It's just one. And it's for a good reason.
"You coming, Q?" Jack called to me as she ushered her sister out of the school grounds.
I waved her off. "I'm fine, go ahead. I'll make my own way home."
The girl I knew as Lucy caught my eye. She flashed a small, somehow evil smile at me and skipped off down the street. I didn't move. Sometimes you do stupid things, like following your best friend behind the gym, or swearing revenge on someone you know could easily dismember, disembowel, mangle and maul you to death. I watched Lucy disappear into the distance and for some reason I knew I'd gotten myself in way too deep. This was not someone I wanted to mess with. Because that cute, innocent little girl?
She was the one who murdered Rachel Peterson.