|Freak in a Trench Coat
Author: Pluto Eats Ink PM
I used to be normal. I'm not anymore. My name is Carol Jones, and my life changed for good when me and my Dad moved the the obscure little town of Kiktehbukket. This is why I'm a freak... Dark humor/minor character death later on/yadda yadda ON HOLDRated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Supernatural - Chapters: 14 - Words: 17,936 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 03-20-13 - Published: 11-21-12 - id: 3076383
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I had to help Mom lug her stuff into the manor.
"How do you manage to buy so much stuff?" I asked as I plopped one of the many bags of revealing clothes down on the floor. "Without worrying about how much it'll cost, I mean." Mom glanced sideways at me.
"Charlene, when you turn fifteen, no matter how much of a tomboy you are now, the idea of a nice new skirt or shoes will seem so heavenly that money just doesn't even resemble something relevant anymore. Oh! Look at us!" Mom smiled and sighed, like a she was dieing of thirst a moment ago and I had given her a bottle of water. "Mother and daughter, you and me, finally talking about girl stuff!"
"Thrilled," I said, though my tone didn't say so at all.
Mom caught my lack of enthusiasm. "Don't be so... so pessimistic, Chyme. Girl world is fabulous, as long as you play by the rules. Let me take your coat, honey, I forgot my purse in the car so I'm going back that way anyway."
I sighed inwardly and shrugged off my coat, but while I was handing it over to Mom, the joint (which Gracie had slipped into the pocket while helping me pick Mom's shit up) fell out and hit the floor. Mom's inhumanly-green eyes dimmed a little as they traveled downwards and locked onto the drug.
"Carol," she said, getting my name right for only the second time since I've met her, "what is this?" She dropped my trench coat and picked up the drug. Her lip curled the tiniest bit. "Where did you get this?"
"I've never seen that before in my life," I answered almost-honestly (Gracie had shown it to me), but too quickly. For some reason, if you tell the truth while you're in trouble too quickly, people assume you're lying through their teeth. But if you hesitate they still assume you're a lying little brat. Mom glared.
"Did Robert raise you that way, Clementine?" asked Mom disapprovingly.
"No, Mom, I said I've never seen that thing before," I objected.
Mom tutted and shook her head. "Oh, Carrie. I won't be mad at you if you tell the truth, you know. It would be Robert's fault for neglecting you, after all."
NEGLECTING ME? I screamed in my head. You're the one who has been neglecting me! You never even wanted me! "Dad never neglected me," I said. "And he always said drugs were terrible for your health."
"Oh my," said Mom, going from coaxing to concerned. "Is it Kiktehbukket? Have you met some kids who are on these evil things?" She waved the joint in my face. "Honey, you don't need to do this sort of thing to fit in..."
"Mom," I said.
"Were they older kids, or your age, Catherine?"
"Mom," I repeated, face reddening the tiniest bit.
"You can talk to me, Callie-"
"Rosalie," I said firmly. Rosalie was Mom's first name. I always liked Mom's name. It was pretty. Shame it had to be wasted on such a heartless bitch. Mom glared the tiniest bit.
"The closest thing to drugs I have ever consumed is cough medicine. I only know a few people around my age here and I honestly have never seen them consume anything in any way before. Dad raised me better than to go on drugs for non-medical purposes," I said slowly. Mom scowled.
"Cheryl Jones, I have tried being soft with you, but you continue to lie to me – your own mother!" Mom put the joint in her breast pocket. "Robert will hear about this, mark my words. I do not have custody of you, so it is not my place to punish you properly for this. But Robert does have custody of you."
I opened my mouth to object but Mom raised her hand to stop me. "Camilla, I don't want to hear it." Mom walked away, and I stood, dumbfounded, as she left.
Dad can't punish me for it if I'm not here to punish, I thought. My heart began to beat faster. Grandpa Johnny was upstairs with Dad. If I was stealthy, I could sneak up to my room, get the stuff I needed from there, steal some food here, and be out the door in ten, maybe fifteen minutes.
Mom found a joint in my pocket she was completely convinced was my own. Dad already had be grounded for at least a week and a half as it was. I didn't want to cake more on to that, and who knew? He could send me to military school if she convinced him I was a closeted delinquent or drug-addict. Who was he gonna trust? Me, a little girl who had recently gotten into the habit of disobeying him, or Mom, a full-grown women who worked a day-job and barely even had a speeding ticket?
Then again, I considered, Mom does have a tendency to enrage Dad. But knowing Mom she'd drag the matter into legalsville. Then it didn't matter what Dad thought.
I gulped as my eyes flashed over the clock that hung on the wall. I'd wasted almost two whole minutes just standing here. I made my way towards the hall, that connected to the staircase.
Quietly as I could, I tiptoed up the stairs. I took extra care when sneaking past the third floor – where Dad and Grandpa Johnny were playing cards – and soon I was in my room.
I took my black backpack from the closet and began stuffing oddments in it, mostly things no one would notice missing. An extra pair of shoes. A few pairs of underwear. I paused over the shoebox that held all of my dolls. After a brief moment of internal disagreement, I put it in my backpack.
Back downstairs I stuffed random bits of food into the backpack. Finally I shrugged into my trench coat. I paused by the door and gave the kitchen one last look. God knew when I was gonna see it again.
I exited the house and ran through the cemetery, heading towards the woods. I'd hide in there for a while until it got dark out – then I'd go to the circus and look for Ivan or Lilith.
The dead trees thickened as I went deeper and deeper into the woods. Soon I got tired and sat down to rest. I sighed. What was I doing? Running away from home because of the sick thought of military school? I shook my head. No, military school was only a possibility. More grounding was inevitable. I'd be stuck up in my room for months, and I had to keep my new condition secret. I couldn't do that without the glamor, and how was I going to get it without Lilith and the others?
Deciding to keep going, I stood shakily and stretched. My backpack felt heavier than normal. I decided to cut my hiding time short and look for the circus.
When I finally emerged from the trees, I blinked at the sky. The sun was setting, and for once the sky wasn't covered by a thick layer of gray clouds. What few clouds there were, in fact, were puffy and white, and the orange light from the sun reflected off them.
I noticed how I was standing on the edge of a cliff. Weird. I haven't been to that part of Kiktehbukket before. Come to think of it, I thought, there are a lot of places I haven't been. The world was vast, and I had seen so little of it. I sighed. I was more or less immortal now – I couldn't get any older. That gave me a lot of options.
Soon, my head was full to bursting with dreams. I want to see the Eiffel Tower, I want to go to Tokyo, I want to go sky-diving, I want to climb a mountain... But then, all I really wanted was to watch the sunset.
The little things in life, I smirked.
"Christmas-Carol?" came Ivan's voice. I frowned. Great. My moment was ruined. I turned to the direction of Ivan's voice. He was leaning casually against a tree.
"Hey, Ivan," I said. Then my plan to run away came back and slapped me in the face. "Ivan," said I, "somebody – Gracie, most likely. That stoner from earlier? – slipped me a joint and now my mom is convinced I'm a drug-addict and if she tells Dad there's a chance he'll either ship me away to military school or he won't believe her and she'll take the matter to legalsville and then I will undoubtedly go to military school, and-" I stopped to catch my breath and calm down. "I need your help, Ivan."
Ivan, who had been staring at me with a look of concern in his eyes, suddenly had a insane smile stretched from pointy-ear-to-pointy-ear. "Oh, Carol-Warol. All you had to do was ask!" Soon I was being dragged away.
So now I'm Christmas-Carol and Carol-Warol? What next? I thought, but kept it to myself, instead concentrating on keeping up with my dear little coocoolander.
Ivan led me into the town. Several people had come out of their homes to admire the sunset (God knew how often they got to see them), but since they were all looking up, no one bothered paying me and Ivan any heed.
Ivan led me to a store called 'A Coin for a Coin'. I cocked an eyebrow at the obvious pun on 'and eye for an eye', but followed Ivan in nonetheless.
Inside was crowded with shelves and boxes full of different coins. A haven for coin collectors? Ivan led me to the counter, where Boris and Harry was having what looked like a staring contest.
"Boring and Furry!" he said cheerfully. The twins cringed at their nicknames and glared at Ivan. "Where is Sir Angstalot? Don't answer, lemme guess – angsting in his bedroom?"
Boris said, "He's chronically depressed, not 'angsting'. There's a differ-"
"What do you need?" asked Harry.
"Carol needs to fake her death – pronto." My eyes bulged at Ivan.
"Fake my-? Ivan, I don't need to fake my death," I objected. Ivan laughed.
"Actually, Carol, you do," Ivan said, his face suddenly turning serious. "Do you know how big Kiktehbukket is? It's miniscule. If you suddenly become a face on a milk carton, don't you think that would arouse suspicion? No one goes missing in Kiktehbukket, ever. You're either alive or dead or sick as a dog. If you go missing, you won't be able to show your face here ever again. People will see. They'll get you. So yes, actually, you do need to fake your death."
"Fake her death? Will do, Ivy," said Harry, flashing her yellow, sharp teeth in an excited smile. He turned towards the flight of steps that could be seen behind the counter. "LILITH! We need to fake Carol's death!"
I stared at my feet.