Author's note: Welcome to my new story! Actually, it's pretty old as I've been writing it in a notebook, and the only reason I'm posting this is because I was editing it and well, it won't hurt. It's not gonna really interfere with Butterflies, and anyway, I was writing both at the same time, plus my fan fiction. It's in a bit of a different style than Butterflies, but I like it. It's purely just for fun. So, enjoy and please review!

 Also, I'm planning on posting another short story I wrote a while ago, called…. Well it's probably gonna be called the summoner, but I haven't decided on a name yet. It's sorta in the same genre as Butterflies.

 ~Kris J

    Chapter 1: Welcome to England, Karri Greene

 July 23/04

 My room at Chris's

 England

 Raining

Grey.

 Cold, wet, and Grey. Grey rain falling from a grey sky onto a grey street.

 That was my answer to Chris when he asked me what my first impression of England was. Grey. But he wasn't there then, was he? Noooo, he just had to stay with his friend in the emergency room while he got a pencil removed from his foot. So I had to wait an HOUR, in the rain, on his front porch.

 It was bad enough that I had to spend 20 minutes in a taxi with a driver whose accent was so strong I thought my head might split open.

 It was bad enough that I didn't know heads or tails about this city I've just been dumped into.

 It was bad enough I didn't know the difference between a shilling and a pound and that the taxi driver had to count out my money for me and probably could have robbed me blind. But that wasn't enough, was it?

I had to wait for my dearly beloved cousin.

In the rain.

For a whole hour.

 So there I was, sitting on the steps leading up to Chris's town house with my two suitcases beside me and my guitar case in my lap, when this lady came up to me. She started acting all worried and motherly and saying how a nice girl like me shouldn't be out on a day like this. Then she stuck a couple coins in my hand and said she was sure I could play quite well, and to go buy myself a nice meal or something.

 It wasn't until she walked away that I realised what she was going on about. She thought I was a street player!! One of those jobless guys who sit on the curb playing guitar and asking for money! ME! Karri Maria Greene!!

 (Well, Caroline Maria Greene really. But everyone, including my parents, agrees that Caroline doesn't suit me, so everyone calls me Karri. Plus, I saw the movie Carrie when I was seven and really liked it, so the name's permanent.) 

 I guess I should explain why I'm in England in the first place. Mostly, it's because of my bad taste in guys.

 No, really. It is.

 When I was 14, I was dating this guy named Norman. He was kind of weird, with greasy brown hair and big coke-bottle glasses and probably collected stamps or bugs or something. What can I say? I was desperate.

 Anyway, after about a month or so of being together, Norman started getting all obsessive. You know, putting pictures of me on his wall, phoning me five times a day, that sort of thing. So naturally I broke up with him.

 Then he started getting really creepy. He started following me around and giving me those phone calls where all you hear is breathing on the other end (of course I knew it was him, I have caller id) and actually picked through my garbage. Yes, my garbage. But I still didn't pay any attention to him. So finally, Norman decided to try and crawl through our kitchen window. All he succeeded in doing was breaking my mom's vase, setting off the burglar alarm and landing a nice little record with the police.

 So, a few weeks and a restraining order later, my friends and I were sitting outside of the 7-11. My friends are pretty different. Aiden's dad is a retired linebacker for the Saskatchewan roughriders, so every year he scores me, him and his sister season passes. Brandon had recently gotten out of his skater-boy phase and into a punk one. He wears a ton of fake piercings and has his once shoulder-length hair spiked up with blue and red fake hair color. He says it's a statement, but we all know he's just obsessed with Three Days Grace.  Brent's the artistic type. He reads a lot and goes to art museums and writes tons of poetry, so he's always using words and phrases that most of us don't understand.

 The only girls I hang around are Jenny and Cerise. Cerise is this champion snow boarder, and it seems like she's constantly in training. She's been trying to teach me how to snowboard since I moved here, but I still suck majorly. Jenny's this huge girly-girl.  She's always saying things like 'whatever!!' and 'fabolicious!' and 'like, totally gag me with a spoon.' And she wears enough pink to make you sick to your stomach. (Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against pink. It's just when you see that much, every day, it can really get on your nerves.)

 Anyway, we were all sitting drinking slurpees (except Cerise, who was drinking a Gatorade) and talking innocently when we got paid a nice little visit by, you guessed it, Norman.

 We were all pretty used to this happening, so we just kind of rolled our eyes and reminded him that he'd be, like, thrown in jail or whatever if he came near us. Then Norman did something way out of character for him.

 He pulled out a rusty-looking Swiss army knife and waved it around in the air threateningly.

 "Get away from her, you snivelling little dirt bags!!" he yelled. "Get away from my Karri or I'll skewer you right here and now!! Karri! Karri, I love you!! Don't leave me!!"

 Jenny jumped up and ran inside the 7-11, screaming. Brandon just rolled his eyes again and calmly took the knife from Norman. Then Norman said something along the lines of "AAAARGE! Bleigh!!! AAAAHH!"

 Then the police came.

Norman got sent to juvenile hall for a year, and I got sent to England to live with my cousin Chris.

 Before I moved to Saskatchewan, I'd always lived near Chris, in Toronto. Actually, I spent most of my time at his house, because my parents were never home. My dad is this elusive business man who works for some computer company and is never, ever home, and my mom owns a pizzeria where she manages, cooks and waits on tables. So I got to know Chris and my Auntie Bernice pretty well. Actually, Chris is more of a brother to me than anything.

 My childhood is littered with fond memories of Chris; Chris giving me a black eye with a baseball, Chris locking me in a closet, Chris hanging me from a ceiling fan by my pants. So you can imagine how excited I was to be forced to live with him for a month before I get dumped off at some snooty boarding school.

 Anyway, back to England. Chris eventually pulled up in his sleek green TJ jeep and jumped out.

"Karri!!!!" he said, running up and giving me a hug, "How are you? It's been forever! Oh, you've grown so much! Why are you all wet? And how come you're not inside?"

 "Hey, Chris." I said, patting his back and trying to pull away from him, "Good to see you too. I'm wet because it's raining, and I'm sitting on your front steps because you locked your door."

 "Oh." He said, his face falling. Poor Chris. He was obviously not used to taking care of anyone other than himself. At least I would only be living with him until September.

 Chris then started explaining that his friend from University got a pencil stuck in his foot and had to be rushed to the emergency room to get it surgically removed. I hadn't even thought it was possible to get a pencil wedged in your foot, but this guy has obviously found a way. I just hope that all of Chris's friends weren't like that, or this would be one long stay.

 Chris finally got the door unlocked and carried my bags inside. He tried to take my guitar case too, but I haven't trusted him with it since I was 11 and he smashed my old guitar up during a Kiss impression. So I carried it in myself.

 Chris's house is nice. And I mean nice. It's one of those 3 story town houses you always see in movies about cities and stuff. There are shiny hardwood floors and leather couches and a 52 inch flat screen TV and an awesome stereo system. You can kind of tell his girlfriend lives with him, as the place was actually clean (Chris never was) and the painting on the wall didn't involve any nudity or war.  All in all, it's pretty good for a university student's house.

 My room's awesome, too. Even though I'm only staying here for a few months and all major holidays, Chris and his girlfriend Mia really fixed it up nice for me. The walls are painted light yellow, and the carpet and bedspread were light blue. There was a Pirates of the Caribbean movie poster over top of my bed, and a big window with a window seat and a roomy closet.

 Chris just left to go pick up Mia from work. She's really nice. She and Chris have been dating for a loooong time, since they were in 9th grade or something.

 I'm starting school on September 5th. Whoopee.

Woops, I just heard Mia and Chris come in. More later.

 Later

Tonight was Gerr-ate! With a capital Ate!! It was so awesome to spend time with Mia and Chris after not seeing them for almost 2 years. Although Chris hasn't changed at all, Mia has. She cut her hair and got rid of the black streaks she used to have, and her complexion is completely clear. She looks prettier than ever, if that's possible.

 And we had my all time favourite for supper; Buffalo wings, rice, pan fried mushrooms and chocolate chip cookie dough for dessert. Don't ask me how they remembered all that, my own parents seem to think my favourite food's still alphagettis. 

 After supper, we watched Interview with a Vampire and the 5th Element, our two traditional movies. We always watch them, but never before on the same night.

 So now I'm looking at my watch and it's telling me that the time is 3:34 in the morning, and Chris is yelling up the stairs at me to go to bed. He says it's too late for me. As if! But I am kinda tired.

 Tomorrow they are taking me sight-seeing. They seem to think that if I am going to live here, I will have to know my way around. I didn't bother pointing out that I will be living just outside of London, at boarding school, as I was busy yawning at the time.

 Honestly, I thought almost sixteen year olds were supposed to be night crawlers.

 July 24/04

My room at Chris's

Still raining

 Well, that sure was an experience. Chris insisted on taking me on the 'tourist guide of the year' type thing to see the tower of London and Big Ben and all that.

 At lunch, I discovered how to order a veggie burger (as I vowed only to eat Canadian beef due to the mad-cow thing) without ketchup and fries. Veggie burger is nature burger, ketchup is tomato sauce and fries are chips. Also, they apparently don't use the phrase 'that is whacked' here either. Amazing what you can learn at a Burger Barrel.

 After lunch Mia showed me all the good places to shop and the theatres and stuff.  Then they took me to the university they go to (where Chris is studying to be an architect and Mia's studying to be an interior designer), which coincidentally is the same university that Chris's friends got a pencil stuck in his foot. I actually got to meet the friend, too. His name's Deagen and he's in all of Chris's classed. At first he seemed pretty normal, minus the walking cast that one of Chris's other friends, Carl, was busy drawing a naked woman on. Then he started telling all these lame jokes and throwing bits of eraser at all his buddies, who seemed to get quite a kick out of this and joined in (minus Chris, who I expect got the impression that me and Mia would kill him if he did anything of the sort).

 I no longer doubt that Deagen got the pencil stuck in his foot all by himself.

When we got home, I found this fat package waiting for me. At first I thought it was from my friends, which would have been pretty impressive considering I just left them two days ago. Then I though it might be some stuff I forgot that mom was sending me, like underwear or socks or something. Then I saw it was an information package from my boarding school.

 Let me explain a bit of what I found out about my new school, apart from the fact that I had to take an initiation test and pay two thousand dollars a semester (American, not Canadian or English). It's called Ebony Fields Boarding school for Young Boys and Men, made co-ed in 1953, and is named after the town it resides in. As one of the many brochures stated, and I quote, 'Ebony Fields is a prestigious and original school, perfect for bringing out the best in your son/daughter. Our goal is to help bring out the best in your son/daughter by helping bring out their creative abilities, whether they be artistic, musical, involving sports or purely academic. The students will be placed in one of three separate families, carefully chosen to suit your child's needs, of which they will eat, sleep and take classes with. Students in separate families are encouraged to interact with each other freely, and many classes and extra curricular activities will be taken with other families. Students will not, in any way, be judged by what family they are placed in, whether it be by peers or staff members. Thank you for choosing Ebony Fields Boarding School.'

 And then, in extremely small print at the bottom of the page, was the words 'this school is not meant to be used as a punishment'.

 But, obviously, the school was not aware that the only reason I was being sent to the little hell-hole they call Ebony Fields was God's way of punishing me for my bad taste in guys. It all has to do with karma, or something like that.

 Anyway, the rest was mostly info about classes and holidays and stuff like that. It also gave the address for the school store, where us lucky Ebony Fielders get to buy all the things for our classes. Joy joy.

July 27/04

Chris's kitchen

Cloudy, but for once not raining

Pretty boring. No, scratch that, really boring. I finally got unpacked. I've been playing my guitar for the past three days straight. The only highlight was when Chris and his friends (including Deagen Pencil-Foot and his walking cast) took me to a rugby game. It's sorta like football without padding and complicated rules, only here football's really what they call soccer, and if they ever refer to our football (as in Canadian/American football), they either call it American football (or rugby), or the wussy sport.

 Other than that, nothing happened.

 I miss my friends.

July 31/04

Front porch

Finally sunny out

I got a letter from Cerise today.

Dear Karri,

 How are you? It's pretty boring here without you. I'm getting so sick of Brent constantly talking, especially since you were the only one who understood him. I swear to god I'm gonna murder him in his sleep one of these days if he doesn't stop talking like a textbook.

 Guess what? Brandon's not a punk any more. He's Goth. It's really quite scary. One day he was running around with his blue and red hair and all his 'god save the queen' pins, and the next he shows up wearing all black and talking about the apocalypse. At least he'll probably be out of this phase by the time school starts. I hope.

 By the way, how's England? Do you have an accent now? Does everyone there think you have a Canadian accent? It's really hot down here. I hope it's not as bad in London. I can't wait until boarding season starts.

                         Adios,

                                Cerise

PS: Aiden says hi and that the Roughriders are doing great. He also said to say that we kicked Winnipeg's butt last game, and all the bomber fans went home as blue as their face paint. Whatever that means.

August 3/04

London Underground

Too early in the morning to care about the weather

Yawn. We're going to the Ebony Fields store today. What fun. Chris woke me up waaaaaaaay too early. I mean, come on; we're on the subway right now, and its only eight o'clock in the morning. I wonder what I'll have to buy. Probably some textbooks or something lame like that.

Later

Big news. Lots of it. But first, being the optimist I am, I'll start with the bad news.

 And really, it is bad news.

 We have to wear uniforms.

 Yes, that's right. UNIFORMS! And I have to wear a skirt!! A skirt!!! That is so sexist. Plus, they look like something straight out of Harry Potter.  I mean, for our winter uniforms we have to wear these grey sweaters with v-necks so everyone can see the tops of our ties, thick grey pleated skirts and knee-high socks. The ties and lines on the necks of our sweaters are decorated with the colors for our families. (I finally finished reading my information package. The three houses are called Kaladius, Roxios and Dumina. Apparently they each mean something in some other language, but I didn't really pay that much attention to the details. And it turns out that the initiation test I took before coming here decided that I'm in the Kaladius family, so my colors are deep purple and royal blue. Roxios's are yellow and orange and Dumina's are brown, green and black.)

 For warm weather, we have to wear light pleated skirts with a plaid design in our family colors, a button up business shirt and tie, and socks (knee-highs are optional).  Do we get the option to wear boy's uniforms? No. Do we even get the option of wearing pants? No.

 It turns out that's pretty much all the store is. Uniforms. Of course, there's textbooks and school supplies too. Joy.

 But something relatively good did happen. I was waiting for the lady who worked there to get my ties from the back room, and of course complaining to Chris about- surprise surprise - the uniforms.

 "This is so unfair!" I exclaimed, slamming my pack of Fusion pens against the table of textbooks Chris was leaning against.

 "Mmmm." Chris mumbled, flipping through one of my brochures to see if they had mentioned anything about uniforms.

 "And our uniforms are so sexist! How do we girls expect to be treated equally if we're forced to flounce around in skirts? We don't even get the option of wearing pants, for god's sake!"

 "Mmm."

"We can't exercise our creative abilities like this! How are we supposed to express ourselves?! This school's forcing all of us into the binds of conformity! This is such a conspiracy."

 Chris decided not to answer. Typical.

 "I totally agree." a voice said from behind me.

 I had whipped around faster than you could say 'Harry Potter uniforms' to see who could possibly have shared my point of view. The first thing I noticed was that it was a boy, and he was wearing a concert tee shirt for the Salads. Now, most people I know have never even heard of the Salads, let alone actually like them. Also, I noticed right away that he was a fair bit taller than me, which is pretty good considering that I'm sort of very very tall.

 The second thing I noticed, after the Salads shirt and his height, was his shockingly bright reddish-orange hair, which would have looked unnatural if his eyebrows weren't the same color. And even then, he could have dyed those too, although most people I know who have actually dyed their eyebrows have been girls, and slightly freakish ones, too. Like, one was this girl who stuck gum behind her ear and got it wedged in her hair every month, and wore bunny slippers to school. I mean, I'm all for originality, but that's just plain weird. Anyways, the point is his hair was obviously natural, and on the longish side, too. His eyes were this vibrant green, almost as bright as his hair, and seemed to have these little flecks of yellow in them. A boyish grin (you know, sort of a playful I-know-something-you-don't-know half smile) was plastered across his fairly good looking face.

 Now, first of all, I better explain something. Considering that all of my life the majority of my friends have been boys, I should not have been all that uncomfortable around this guy. I mean, he was good looking and all, but the first thing that ran through my head when meeting a guy who seemed to share an opinion and an interest in the Salads with me was not, as most girl's would have been, that he would be good boyfriend material. Generally, when I run into guys who seem to have something in common with me, I thought something along the lines of 'gee, I could get to be friends with this guy'. It'd be sort of like if you ran into a pretty girl who happened to agree with you and liked the same band as you. You'd be able to admit she was pretty (unless, of course, you're one of those people who can't stand anyone looking better than them), but you most probably wouldn't be attracted to them, unless of course you were gay (which there's so nothing wrong with). See? That's just the way I work. Hot guy + the same opinions as me + a Salads tee shirt = me wanting to be friends.

 "Sorry to interrupt." He said, in what I managed to make out as an Irish accent. "I'm Coren Shepherd."

 "Hi." I said, shaking his outstretched hand. "Karri Greene. I mean, I'm Karri Greene. Well, really I'm Caroline Greene, but everyone calls me Karri. Nice to meet you." What can I say? I'm about as smooth as a gravel road. 

 Coren smiled again. "You're new around here, right?"

 "Yeah, I just moved here." I replied. "Uh, you go to this school? Ebony Fields?"

 He laughed. "Unfortunately. I've been going there for three years. I'm just here to get a new tie." He then looked me up and down, from my brown hair with the pink streaks at the front and bottom to my 'If the music's too loud, you're too old' tee shirt to my spiked bracelets to my jeans that I'd doodled stars on one of the legs and my awesome retro Addidas shoes with the mismatched shoelaces, one black with pink stars and one red plaid. "Let me guess, you're in Kaladius. Am I right?"

 I nodded, momentarily speechless.

 "Thought so." He continued, "I'm a Kaladius too. All the creative people are in Kaladius. You know, artists, actors, musicians. And you're…" he stopped, sizing me up again, "Either a singer or artist, right?"

 "I play guitar." I replied, smiling. "But how'd you know I was in Kaladius?"

 "Cool." Coren replied, smiling again. "You didn't look like a jock or prep, which is all Roxios is, and you didn't seem evil or disturbed like most Duminas are."

  We continued talking about school as he showed me all the textbooks and supplies I'd need. Just when we started talking about Toronto (I used to live there, he vacationed there and saw the Salads in concert), Chris came up.

 "Karri, we should get going." He said, handing me my ties without giving Coren a second glance. Honestly, he can be so clueless at times. I shot him a look that could have easily made a volcano freeze over, and he go the point.

  "Um, we're getting some lunch next door." He said to Coren.  "Err, you could come with us, if you like."

 Coren gave this casual little shrug and smiled. "Sure, thanks."

 Chris then shoved some money into my hand and left us to pay for our stuff.

 "He your brother?" Coren asked once Chris was well out of ear-shot.

"Sort of." I said, paying for my things, "He's my cousin. But he's the closest thing to a brother I've ever had."

 Then we went next door to the diner, which was a total greasy spoon. The only thing that looked edible to me as Coren and I went to order our food were the fries, and even then I smothered them in ketchup and vinegar once I got them, in an attempt to hide the funky taste.

 But Coren apparently didn't mind the taste, considering the cheeseburger, corn muffin, bowl of chilli and extra large order of 'chips' her ordered. Honestly, I've been hanging around guys since I was a little kid, and the amount of food they can inhale still amazes me.

 Anyway, while Chris was up ordering his food, a girl and a posse of look-a-like followers decided to pay us a little visit. Not just any girl either, she was nasty. It didn't take the green, black and brown tie around her neck in a feeble Avril attempt to tell me she was a Dumina. This chick was giving off enough bad vibes to knock out a hippie. And she obviously wasn't all that serious about the whole I'm-an-alternative-rocker-chick-hear-me-roar thing either. The sparkly pink tank top, denim mini skirt and pom-pom earrings sorta gave her away.

 She gave her long hair a toss, which probably used to be a shade of dark brown or black, but was now an off color of orange in an obviously bad blonde dye job.

 "Hello, Coren." She said snottily.

 "Hey Marissa." Coren said. "Someone forget to bring you breakfast in bed today?"

 The girl, who I'm guessing was named Marissa, narrowed her heavily eye-lined eyes. "Still your miserable little self, aren't you? Some things never change." She gave me a quick once over, and judging by the look on her face, I didn't quite meet her standards. "Where'd you find her, a thrift store?"

 Marissa's little posse, who had up to that moment been silent, burst out laughing. "Or maybe the dump!" One of the girls, who was also wearing a tie (this one red and black plaid) said, laughing.

 "Coren, Coren, Coren. When will you ever learn?" Marissa said, tossing her hair yet again.

 "Step off, Marissa." Coren said passively, before taking a bite of his cheeseburger.

"Well, I can see I'm not wanted here." Marissa said.

 I guess both me and Coren were thinking something along the lines of 'that statement was too stupid to deserve a reply', as neither of us said anything. Obviously, this bugged her, but she didn't show it. She just tossed her hair, again (her hair-tossing habit was really starting to get on my nerves) and smirked.

 "Fine then." Marissa said oh-so-wittily, and walked away, her entourage close behind. It took me a moment to realise that one small girl had stayed behind. She didn't look a thing like the others, with her slightly too big sweat pants, hello kitty tee shirt, and black hair pulled back into a ponytail. She couldn't have been older than 13 or 14.

 "Hey Coren." She said nicely, coming up to our table. "Still going to tutor me in history this year?"

 Coren smiled. "Yep. Learn anything over the summer?"

 She smiled. "What do you think? Of course not."

 Coren laughed. "Karri, this is Amy, Marissa's little sister."

 "Hi." Amy said, before adding "Don't lose any sleep over her, she's always like that. I swear decency skips a beat in our family, we have an older sister and she's perfectly fine."

 "It must be her way of coping with being a middle child, all that nastiness." Coren added.

 I smiled. "I heard most serial killers are middle children"

 They both laughed.

 "Well, I've gotta go catch up with them, or else Marissa will leave me on the subway again." Amy said. "Nice meeting you Karri. Bye!"

 After she left, Chris came back with his meal. We all had a pretty good time, despite the grossness of the food and state of the cutlery. Then Coren and me exchanged phone numbers, and we left.

 So, apart from the whole Ebony Fields store thing, I guess the day wasn't a total waste of time. I met a friends, found out who to watch out for once school starts and found a really cool guitar pick at a music store on our way home, with this skull and a whole bunch of fire airbrushed onto it. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go throw my uniform into the back of my closet and forget about it.