And Some Nuts In Hell

() He stumbled along the side of the road until he came to the bridge from his dreams. Many times he had dreamt of jumping from the railing into the abyss below. Never again would anyone worry about him. Never again would he have to worry about what was to come. He could just fade away as though he had never been there. He had never really helped the world out, anyway… just mess up and make things worse. No one would miss him. No one cared enough. Not one person even cared that he existed. His parents had left him in an orphanage and his adopted guardian was never home, literally. She was nice and kind, but she just didn't care about him. She kept him alive with food and shelter and access to freedom and education at no price at all. He almost felt in debt to his guardian. His solution was to pay off all debts with death.

As he reached the bridge he noticed things in the moonlight he had never noticed before. It was as though he was seeing the bridge for a first time again. The bridge itself was a blazing crimson red, almost the same color as the rose petals at the side of the road near the ends of the bridge. The bridge had some name relating to the rose, he was sure, but it wasn't a very popular bridge and the name wasn't mentioned much. He simply couldn't remember it. The guardrail was gray concrete, with numerous cracks here and there. The red paint on the bridge was splashed up somewhat on parts of the guardrail and it looked as though it was intentionally done for an artistic flare. The paint was well worn on four streaks where tires would mark, but besides that, the paint seemed top quality and stayed firm in other areas. The yellow and white road lines stopped where the red coating began, with clear distinction between road and bridge.

His dreams always ended here. Right here, with his right hand gripping the cold, rough guardrail. It seemed colder, though. He had never actually remembered jumping in his dream, but he knew that was next: the fall into the raging river below. The drop was many times his height and if it didn't kill him instantly, the river's jagged rocks would finish him. He wasn't ready, but he knew he probably never would be. He nerved himself and pulled himself up so that he was kneeling on the top of the guardrail. He'd flip over so that he'd fall headfirst. Just when he thought he was as ready as he'd ever be, lights flashed from behind him and to the left. It was most likely just a passing car. ()

[] He knew he was lost now. Not only was he thousands of miles from his home and in a strange car driving in a strange place, he was way too tired to be driving. He knew it, too. The coffee supply had run dry many hours ago and his eyelids refused to stay open. He had to keep blinking to stay alert. Now he wished he hadn't declined his best friend's offer to go with him. He could really use a friend now to either take a turn at driving or just talk to him to keep him awake. Every mile seemed to take an hour, but that couldn't be; the speedometer clearly read 60. A little over the limit, maybe, but the faster he went, the sooner he'd be to where he wanted to be.

Wait – where was it he wanted to be, anyway? In his lack of sleep he had forgotten. This was crazy. He should have stopped at the hotel near the airport, that way he'd have a clear mind. Or he should have at least slept on the plane. No, he couldn't have slept on the plane if he had wanted to. The punk kid in the seat next to him had rudely turned up the volume when asked to lower the volume on his music player and the baby in the seat behind him couldn't have been hushed either. He had promised to get sleep in a hotel, but the one right near the airport was far too expensive. So he had decided to head towards the nearest one that had a reasonable price. Only now did it occur to him that he might have been given poor advice in finding one. Now he was lost and too tired to find his way all the back. He'd have to stop soon.

Not now, though. He needed a good place to pull his rented car off the side of the road. He strained his eyes to look ahead, but he only succeeded in almost swerving off the road. It was too dark, anyway. The moon gave off way too little light to see. Then he realized exactly how tired he was to have not turned on his high beams. He fumbled around for the switch and ended up turning off his lights altogether and starting his wipers going. This wasn't good. He hit the brake as his source of light died. Maybe he should just drive to the side of the road and park there. He could get things going in the morning. Unfortunately, he had no idea how much space he had to park, so he'd need light for that. He fumbled around some more and found the switch to turn the lights back on. The trees were pressed tightly against the road on both sides. This wasn't like the roads near his home where twenty feet was placed between road and tree line. So he had to keep going, lest someone come up on him in the night and crash into his lightless car. He kept going and this time he looked more at what he was doing trying to find the high beams than he was looking at the road. He found the high beams. Then he looked up… and saw a green truck skidding across a red bridge nearly missing a teenager draped in black… directly in front of him. []

{} She couldn't take it anymore. Nothing she did was good enough. Her friends treated her like shit and always put her down. She just craved some respect every once in a while. When she was alone, she got that. She treated everyone with respect, including herself. There was a cave she knew of along the banking of a river with a red bridge. She went there whenever life got her down and she just needed a break. She definitely needed a break now. It was her place and no one else knew about it. She discovered it years ago when she was hiking in a Girl Scout troupe and slipped, almost falling into the river. Her body naturally curled into a fetal position as she discovered her place. She was knocked unconscious by the fall and her peers ran off to get help help. The help came and combed the river in search of her body, but found nothing. Of course – she hadn't been in the river; she accidentally slipped into the coolest hiding place ever. She was surprised when everyone was worried, shocked, and relieved to "find" her.

She returned there every time she wanted to escape life temporarily. Now was one of those times. She contemplated the events that led her to her journey. Her best friend had made a really mean comment about her green fetish. So she liked the color green, big deal! Yes, her eyes were naturally green, she had dyed the front end of her blonde hair green, bought a green truck, wore almost solely green clothes, and fell in love with every passing boy with green eyes. It wasn't as if her friend didn't have obsessions of her own. Then her mother wasn't pleased with her either. B's weren't good enough, she wasn't trying hard enough to get the attention of colleges, she wasn't physically active enough, she wasn't socially active enough, she doesn't utilize her full mental capabilities, and the list goes on and on.

She planned to spend the weekend in her home away from home and contemplate her life. She wished that for once she could understand what her goal was and exactly what she wanted. Besides green, that is. It was getting late and dark, but she had good night vision and was used to staying up late. Nothing would bother her. Finally she recognized the out-of-place willow tree that meant she was a half-mile away. It was uphill a bit and then down suddenly and she'd get to the bridge. Off ahead a bit she saw a light cresting the top of the hill and then abruptly going away. This was strange, so she paid attention for future signs. None came at first so she kept driving as normal. Her car reached the top of the hill and she let the car roll down without accelerating. She reached down to change CDs quickly and looked up just in time to see the cutest boy ever run along the bridge. He was dressed in black with dyed bluish-purple hair and was running away from her. She didn't have time for looks, though. She swerved to the side and was suddenly blinded by a flash of light in front of her. {}

() A vehicle was coming and he thought fast. If they were a nice person or persons, they'd stop and ask if he needed help. He did need help, but didn't want it. If they were mean, they might make it difficult to succeed in his goal for tonight as well. Only if they were indifferent did he stand a chance, but he didn't want to take that risk. He ran to his right, away from the vehicle just in time to be blinded by some high beams from a different vehicle. What was this? This was supposed to be a private location. The road wasn't even mentioned on maps, let alone the bridge, and the gates on both ends were supposed to be locked. He wasn't aware anyone could drive in. He didn't have enough time to figure this problem out, though. Two vehicles lowered his odds that everyone passing would be indifferent. So he acted fast.

He ran to the road on his right and leapt onto the guardrail, somehow managing to balance better than he thought he could. He got his acceleration up and jumped mostly upward and away from the bridge and only forwards a slight bit. He held his breath. He didn't take the amount of time he thought it would take to land, and neither was the landing at all like what he thought it would be. His feet found solid ground far before they should have found anything. His legs collapsed underneath him and he ended up in a squatting position of sorts. He couldn't have made it to land… he did fall a bit. No, this was something different and unexpected. He looked up and saw no stars. He sniffed the air and it smelled sweet, far sweeter than it should. Needless to say, this wasn't what he imagined death to be like. Besides, his legs ached from the land. His envisioned death was painless and ended all pain. Something was wrong here. Something was terribly wrong here.

A serene voice somehow disturbed his thoughts, "Are you going to hunch there all day or do I have to shove you over in order to get in?" He twisted his head around and up to spy the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. Somehow there was enough light here to illuminate her body in much detail even though no source of light could be seen. No words could thoroughly describe the beauty before him. She had the most perfect curves in the most perfect locations. Her face looked angelic and indeed she appeared to have a green nimbus around her entire body. Her blonde hair was beautifully shaped with the resemblance of a ponytail. The front of her hair, however, seemed to have an extended part of her nimbus covering it, with the most noxious shade of green tinting the blonde and complemented it so much. Her nose seemed the perfect size, not extending too much or too little, her mouth formed the quirkiest smirk and her eyes… lo, her eyes seemed to glow an emerald green. She wore perfectly fit blue jeans, green saddle shoes and a sparkly green tank top. It wasn't slutty, though, either. It was just different. No one else could dress that way and not be stereotyped one way or another. Somewhere about that time, his heart stopped beating and started floating out of his chest on a chariot of clouds.

She seemed to be getting rather irate at his staring, so he quickly stood up, brushed himself off, and grappled for a response. He answered her, "Uhh, I'm not dead, then? Or maybe I am – I'm seeing angels." ()

[] Things went from strange to bizarre very quickly. The kid ran and didn't stop when he came to the guardrail of the bridge. Over the side of the bridge the dark figure went, as if knowing exactly what he was doing. Was he seeing things? It didn't matter; he had to stop his car from hitting the oncoming truck. Turning wouldn't do any good; he'd just go over himself. So he slammed the brakes and tried to steer as far to the right as possible. Screeching was heard from his car as well as the truck and he locked his eyes shut. When he opened his eyes again with much difficulty, he found the truck had turned back to stay on it's side of the road and the driver was getting out very fast. God, she was a blur. Yeah, the driver was a she. For some reason he had imagined her as being a guy. His mind was stereotyping and relating her with the truck, perhaps. Regardless, she didn't seem interested in slowing down her getting-out-of-the-truck process. She pocketed her keys in her dull blue jeans. She wore a tank top, but it really didn't even fit her. She was blonde – typical.

It wasn't exciting in the least to watch her run. She wasn't homely, but neither was she eye candy.  She ran to the same spot the phantom kid had jumped from and leaped off without looking around at all. It took a minute for him to understand the scenario. He was completely exhausted. Either he had dreamed of the phantom kid and the strange green girl and he still had to explain the green truck or he and this green girl had nearly crashed and nearly killed a kid. If they had nearly killed a kid, that might explain why that girl had jumped over – to save the dark teenager. That would leave the question as to why the kid jumped. Maybe it wasn't too far of a drop. He turned off the engine and pocketed the keys as he unbuckled his seat and got out of his rented car. Then he immediately headed over to the mysterious side of the bridge.

The whole bridge was eerie with it's red coloring. The edge didn't shed any light, either. Not only was it just too dark, but also the ravine went down further than he could see. He could hear water flowing far below, though. That gave him a fair estimate. It was too far down. This whole business was freaking him out. His drowsiness hadn't let up either. So he decided to head back to the car. He opened up the trunk and took out his clothing suitcase. His pillow was in there. He never slept on hotel pillows because they tended to be lacking in the fluffiness factor and he never knew who had used it last. So he unpacked his clothes enough to get to his pillow from the bottom. He didn't bother shoving the clothes back in, either. He just took his pillow and shut the trunk door. There would be time enough tomorrow.

He opened the back door as quickly as he could, which ended up taking a bit of time, and stuck his pillow next to the far door. Then he slid himself in and locked the doors. He was just too tired to be concerned about phantom kids and sexy girls and trouble and the like. His body needed sleep immediately. He expected to have a hard time falling asleep on the uncomfortable back seat with seat belt buckles poking him. He didn't remember falling asleep. He was sliding into the car in one moment and was completely asleep and worry-free in the next moment. He stopped concerning himself with matters of the waking world. []

{} She tried her hardest to contain her rage. This was HER place, not anyone else's. She was also curious as to how this cute boy knew exactly how to get into it, though. Yeah, he was cute. He had the typical Gothic style going on, but there was more to it than that. He actually showed some muscle under his black clothes, not just skin, bones, and black. His pants and shirt covered his limbs and were jet-black. Then he wore fingerless gloves that were mostly black, one portraying a yin-yang with red and white and the other representing a bloody skull with those same two colors. He wore black leather boots with red lightning bolts on the sides. His whole outfit really fit together amazingly. It didn't completely hide his body, even though it covered his skin, however. No, he had a pretty nice body under all the darkness. His face was outstanding. It was shaped similar to a raven's head, but it was pale. He wasn't smiling at all, but neither was he frowning… his face almost seemed to be in awe. She wondered what that was about; maybe it was just her cave. His nose extended in a manner similar to a beak, but didn't look bad. Alone it might, but with the rest of his face, it fit in nicely. His eyes were sunken back a bit, but also looked nice with the rest of him. They were… green. They were a gorgeous green, a jubilant green, a sexy green, but also dark as to add a mysterious flavor. His hair was something else too. It was dyed a very dark violet that was just a hair away from being black, and it was slicked back to add to his raven-likeness.

Finally he responded to her question and stood up, getting out of the way. He moved smoothly as if he had planned his steps to the detail. Then he said, "Uhh, I'm not dead, then? Or maybe I am – I'm seeing angels."

She quickly scooted through the entrance of her cave to stand next to him while she was trying to figure out what he meant. She looked around nervously at the corners of her cave. Was something else in here? She'd just have to ask him. "Excuse me, but what exactly do you mean?"

He didn't take the time she did to come up with a response. He announced with a grin, "It's just you. You're miraculous. This place, wherever it is, is definitely your element. Either that, or you look this good everywhere." Wow. {}

() She didn't seem upset by his kind words, more like shocked. She blushed before answering, "Well, in that case, I'm complimented. Especially for those words to come from a cute raven-boy." Now it was his turn to blush.

"Heh," was all he had to say to that. He was usually smoother than that, but he wasn't used to girls calling him cute. Now he had to pick up the slack for his lack of words and form a proper sentence. He asked, "So, if I'm not dead, then where am I? And where did you come from? You must have been moving pretty fast to have come from one of the passing vehicles."

Indeed, she had. She explained to him how she had come to know about this place and a little of why she had come here today. "So I came here to be alone, but I think this will be funner. And then there's that other car, but I presume they kept going. They surely have no reason to stay. Why are you here and how did you find my secret place?" He didn't even notice the poor grammar.

Now he had to tell her… but what would she think? Suicide wasn't popular among girls that might be interested in dating. He felt compelled to explain his life, though. So he told her about his suicidal tendency and lack of motivation in life. He summed up, "That's my life in a nutshell. And I came here tonight to do it, but it seems coincidentally peculiar that I found myself here with you. I think I've changed my mind – at least for now. Maybe there's a reason we've met. I'm trying to be optimistic."

"I see. I'm going to have to sleep on this one; it's definitely not an ordinary scenario. I've got blankets and two pillows in my truck. I usually sleep with two pillows, but I wouldn't mind sharing," she added. She smiled and climbed out through a hole he hadn't noticed before. Everything seemed darker again… but this time there was hope. It seemed like eternity passed while he was waiting, but in reality not a minute had passed and pillows and blankets almost knocked him onto the ground. Then she was there with her heavenly smile. "Sorry I took so long, but that car that nearly crashed into me – it's still there. And the driver is already asleep in the backseat. He must have been tired or worried about us… Hmmm… Well, see you in the morning!" she said. She took a blanket and a pillow over to a corner and lay down. That left two blankets and a pillow for him. He stayed up a bit later thinking and then took the extra blanket and draped it over her sleeping body. Even in sleep she was beautiful. He huddled in a separate corner and started nodding off to sleep. As he was falling asleep he realized that he didn't even know her name. He was such a fool not to ask. She didn't know his name either, as far as he knew. His life had completely turned around in such a short period of time. At some point he was asleep. He was resting, but not in the way he had imagined. It was surely a better rest than what he had in mind just earlier that night. He slept with a smile. ()