The dark black car pulled up to the cemetery. A young girl stepped out into the heavy rain, almost instantly soaking her through, leaving her hair straightened out and stuck to the side of her face.

She was a tall girl, with deep brown eyes, so dark that they were almost black. Her name was Keziah, nineteen years old wearing black all over, from her dress to her shoes. Keziah walked slowly down the hill to where the graves sat, and as it stopped raining she looked at the sun, blurred and only just visible through the clouds.

*****

One month earlier

It was a bright, sunny afternoon and Keziah was sitting outside. She was sat upon a wicker chair, a pad upon her lap. Keziah was planning for a party, one she planned to have in a little over a week. She heard a squeal and looked up. It was the sound of the back door opening, Keziah's brother Simon had entered the backyard where Keziah was and was making his way down to the shed.

Simon stayed down in the shed most days, fixing up computers and playing his guitar. Keziah frowned ant the scraping noise of the opening shed door, which was breaking her concentration. The backyard became peaceful again fro Keziah, but only for a moment. Simon's electric guitar started up, pumping out high-pitched, fast music. Keziah gave up on planning put her pad down and went inside to her bedroom.

*****

The dark black gates of the graveyard were opened, ready for its guests. There was many seats set out around a particular gravesite, it was open and empty, a great hole in the ground measuring about seven feet long. Keziah took one of the seats in the front row. She could see others gathered to the site, she knew most of them.

She could feel their eyes on the back of her head, quite a few people were looking at her with sympathy, the way you would look at a tiny, cute animal that had been abandoned. Keziah just looked ahead, her eyes blank and cold. Her body was numb, only just keeping its composure wither her hands still and icy blue. It looked strange against her dress, her blue mottled skin. She was thinking about it, like she'd been doing for the last three weeks.

*****

Simon was sitting on his tattered old sofa down in the shed, playing his guitar, and absent-mindedly strumming the chilled metal strings. It was four days until his older sister's big party and Simon was not looking forward to it. He didn't like his sisters friends - especially the guys, they were so reckless, not caring whether they were building or destroying, not caring whether stuff was theirs or others. Simon got up and put his electric guitar back on its rack. As he walked past his microphone stand he stretched out his arms, yawning with closed eyes. As he stetched out, his arm hit the stand, causing it to strike the the wooden wall of the shed, snapping the bottom panel and making a small hole which opened out to a small grassy patch, next to the fence and was hidden from the rest of the garden. 'Shit.' Simon muttered to himself.

He picked up the stand and put it back in place. He then took his scrap paper box and placed it in front of the hole he had created. He made a mental note that he had to empty the scrap paper bin soon, he had too much of it and he hardly ever used it. But still, glad with his quick fix, Simon wandered up to the house planning on getting something to eat.

*****

Most of the seats were now filled and everyone was wearing dark colours. There was still a few cars on their way and a few more were still pulling up now. Keziah's parents were both seated to her right. They were sobbing and burying their heads in eac others arms, a stark contrast to Keziah with her cold, emotionless stare. She had not talked much over the last few weeks and had become almost reclusive, sometimes staying in her room for an entire day, just lying in bed staring at the ceiling with her black eyes.

*****

Now only two days from Keziah's party, Simon finished his sandwich and walked out his house and down to the shed in the backyard. He opened the heavy metal door and walked in, expecting to find the shed or his shed as he thought of it devoid of other persons. But when he looked over to the far wall, next to where he had damaged the wall, he saw his father who was screwing steel brackets into the wood. 'Hello Simon,' said his father. 'Do you need to use the shed for something?' 'Ygg.' Simon grunted, meaning yes.

His father was used to Simon's strange language so he understood most of what he said. 'I'll that that as a yes.' He said. 'Well I'll be done in a little over ten minutes, all I have to do now is shove on a few bits of wood for shelves and put the old petrol and paint cans and that back. Then I'll be out of you way.' 'Ukay.'

Simons father placed a piece of wood on two of the brackets and started loading it with semi-filled petrol and spray cans while Simon lay on his tatty sofa and stared at the roof.

About 15 minutes later, Simon's Dad finished the shelving, all loaded with petrol cans, oil, loose tools a few spray cans and on one, a small radio. 'Okay, I'm done,' said Simons father as he picked up one remaining can, this one almost full to put in their car. ' Put in a little radio system in case you wanted to listed to something.' 'Thanks.'

Simons father crossed the floor, but when he reached the sofa his hand knocked the mic. stand that had caused so much damage earlier, making his hand twitch which in turn made him drop the petrol tank. Petrol splashed onto the corner of Simons lounge, and a small line of it ran its way back to the shelves, which were over hanging the scrap paper box where Simon had knocked out a small portion of wall.

'Shit.' Said Simons dad as he quickly bent down to pick up the now only half-filled can. 'Simon, can you clean that up for me?' Simon glanced momentarily at the wide trickle of fuel winding its dark liquid back to the shelves. Simon thought about this. If he got his dad to clean it, he might find the hole. 'Yeh, I'll do it in a sec.' Once Simons dad had left the shed Simon smirked. ''I'll do it later' he thought.

*****

The drizzle had started up again, but most had brought with them umbrellas. Dark grey clouds were gathering in the sky, a storm was sure to come soon. 'Rain on a funeral day was a bit of a cliché,' she though allowing her the first smile for a while. 'But then again, there must be a few funerals a day and its not always raining.' She still had a slight smile on her face but her eyes remained the same - cold, black and unreceptive. She wanted to get it over with, have her say, and she would. Soon.

*****

It was the eve of Keziah's party, she was ecstatic, enjoying organising while Simon was dreading it, all of his sisters irritating friends, all gathered into a ball of general annoyance for him. The party was to mainly take place on their wooden deck, but some would be down on the adjoining lawn - which was right next to the shed. Simon planned to bury himself in there for the night, fixing up Keziah's laptop.

It wasn't just a favour to do it for her, she had to pay Simon $25 to even take a look at, let alone any parts he might need. Keziah did not enjoy having to pay Simon, but he was a master of computer circuitry and software and there was nowhere else she cou;d get it repaired faster or cheaper. Keziah was again on her chair on the deck, her legs pressed tight up against her chest to protect her from the wind that was coming in from the side of their house. Keziah looked around for a minute, scanning their backyard before getting up, walking down the few steps to her detached flat. She entered the three-room mini and went through the door from her lounge to her bedroom. Next to her bed was a small side table. Sitting on the side table was a lamp and a few magazines with pens scattered all over. She looked again, this time over shoulder, to check there was no-one watching her.

Keziah bent down to the third and last of the drawers in the table and opened it. She rummaged through hurriedly to the back of the drawer until she found what she was looking for. She pulled out a small red cash-box with a tiny gold padlock holding it shut. She took a small key out of her pocket and unlocked the box opening it up to reveal a cream change tray, with three dips in it for the different coins. Keziah lifted the cream tray up to show a small, grey packet of cigarettes. She again locked over her shoulder. Keziah took six or seven cigarettes out of the packet before replacing it and locking up the red cash-box. She put it back at the deepest point in her third drawer. She put the cigarettes in her pocket and ran up to the house, through the hall and to the front door. ' I'm just going to a friends, Mum' Keziah called out. 'Okay, which one' her mother called out in reply. But Keziah had already slipped through the front door and left.

*****

The rain had started to really come down, pounding against the grass and stone, some areas of the ground were bogged and squishy. Keziah got up after the priest had spoken and walked up to the stand, looking directly ahead of her. It was her mother that had got her to do this, to talk about it.

She kept saying it would help, but Keziah just wanted to forget. She climbed the single stair up to the podium, which was covered in a purple churchy throw to hide the splintered wood behind it. Keziah started.

'My mum said that talking about it would help, so here I am. I know the way the things normally go, about how good they were and all, but mine will be different. I'm going to tell you a story. I'm going to tell you the real story to how they died. It was my fault really.' Keziah paused momentarily, took a deep breath and continued. 'I was having a party when it happened, as I'm sure you all probably know.

*****

Keziah's party was really getting started and it was already irritating Simon. Heavy rock and punk music reverberated off of the only metal part of his shed - the door. Keziah's parents were out until the next morning, they were using Keziah's party as a good excuse to go golfing and then were staying overnight at a friends house near the golf course.

Most of the people who were due to come had already arrived and there was three times as many girls, but the guys didn't mind. Now they could take their pick.

Simon was sitting at his desk in the shed, trying to ignore the noise while fixing Keziah's' laptop computer. A mess of cables were flooded around the black case, but he knew what he was doing. BANG! Simon jumped, but quickly realised what the noise was. A couple of Keziah's' friends, Rick and Frank, were chucking pebbles from the garden at his shed door. Simon got up and went to the door, turning the metal handle, but it wouldn't open. He jiggled it around a bit, but still the door wouldn't budge.

Simon went to the small, round window next to the petrol shelf and craned his neck around to see what was jamming the door. The window was tiny, not even big enough to stick his head through, but he could just see the door from where he stood. One of the wicker chairs had been snatched off the deck and wedged under the handle, stopping it from opening. A bit of fun on the part of Rick and Frank, Simon guessed. The rocks weren't being thrown now though, so he just went over to his couch and tried to get to sleep.

Keziah paused momentarily. She had the attention of every single person at the funeral, each one with their mouths hanging open, or their hands covering their faces. Keziah gathered herself together and continued.

Keziah was relaxing on the one remaining wicker chair. The other was still jammed under the handle of Simons' shed. She didn't mind Rick and Frank doing that - at least it would force Simon to put his head down and fix her laptop. Keziahs' friend, Lisa, spoke.

"Is it safe? I mean, your parents are gone, right.?" "Yes and no", Keziah replied. "They are gone, but they asked their neighbours to poke their heads over the fence every once in a while. But don't worry," Keziah said as Lisa's face began to fall, "we can go behind Simon's shed. There are no windows on that side, and an empty lot behind us. It'll be safe."

Simon stirred out of the doze he'd been having, and opened his heavy eyes. He looked out of his window just in time to see Keziah and her friend Lisa walk past, heading round the back of the shed. He wondered vaguely what they were doing, but, too tired to really care, he fell back into a light sleep.

"Have you got them?" Keziah asked. Lisa pulled two cigarettes out of her pocket, handing one of them to Keziah, and keeping the other for herself. Keziah took a clear blue lighter out of hewr jeans pocket and flicked the switch.

A dancing blue flame shot up and she and Lisa lit up. 'Simon won't notice, will he?' asked Lisa after a while. 'No, the shed's pretty solid, plus when we went past he was almost asleep.' Keziah and Lisa finshed off and threw their cigarettes into the fresh, tall, green grass near the fence behind the shed. They both walked away, back to the loud pounding music of the party, but left behind them.smoke was still pouring out at an unusually high rate.

The flames burst out suddenly, the grass igniting from the cigarettes that had been most carelessly thrown down. It spread slowly along the grassy patches until it reached the shed. A small gap in the bottom panel of the side wall was all the flames need to get in, lighting the scrap-paper box in front of it. The paper went up fast, which in turn lit the shelves, which.

Outside Keziah was talking to one of her friends when Lisa cam up to her 'Can you smell smoke?' she asked. 'Yeah, kinda but-' Keziah's comment was cut short by an explosion coming from the very bottom corner of her backyard. She rushed down to the lawn and saw the shed, covered from end to end in flames, already black in the corner where. where the petrol had been. Keziah broke down.

*****

Keziah broke down. The crowd in front of her was silent except for a few muffled sobs and gasps of shock. But Keziah collected herself and went on. 'After the police came, some forensics guys were poking around. Then I saw.

*****

Keziah's eyes glazed over. There, lying just metres away from where the forensic people were searching, was a cigarette butt. Keziah picked it up and put it in her pocket. She wandered away. Two days later, on September 27th, the explosion was declared an accident.

*****

Every week Keziah goes down to the gravesite and pays her respects. She wrote the poem on the gravestone and says it over and over again in her head. When it rains, she remembers. Keziah would never had thought it before, but they'd really been one of her best friends. She was now more alone than she had ever been.

One by on, my friends, we fall
And each does leave their mark
But once or twice you lose someone
And you lose part of your heart.

COLLRIDGE, Simon Jason

Born 17\09\88 Died 16\10\03

Died Tragically,

Missed by mother Andréa, father Colin and sister Keziah.

He took Part of our hearts