DISCLAIMER: sadly, I don't own Thrice or U2 or Less Than Jake. I know, tragedy. Oh, and just to let you know, I DO own this, so don't steal it. I don't know why you would want to, but just in case you really suck, don't steal. duh.

Dreaming in Red
twilight zone

presented by winter

It all started because I like to draw on my hand. I get a pen - usually one of those normal bic ones, black usually, but navy blue is fine too, and just let go. You know, it's art, it's a release. Spirals and lines and rings and odd designs and triangles and lyrics. Stars and flowers. Anything. I usually start on the top of my hand and it seems to move of its own accord, up my fingers and sometimes down my arm and on my palm, but the palm ones don't last that long. The best place, the softest place is on the bottom of the wrist, but it feels sort of odd.
If I'm feeling really confident, I use one of those pilot, those liquidy ink pens. They last longer. My mom yells at me more when I use those, I think because they last longer. She thinks it's poisoning my blood. Usually I just tell her that maybe that happened in the dark ages, but as we live in a modern world, the pen company probably doesn't want to be sued.

She rolls her eyes at me.

And continues yelling.

Sigh.

I don't know why I do it so much. I just feel more comfortable when something's written on my hand. And I like writing it too. It's almost meditative.

Sometimes I like writing with sharpies on my shirts, too. Mainly lyrics and stuff. I like destroying shirts. It's another one of my outlets. I've made some cool ones, but I don't wear them out ever. I think I would feel like a poser or something. I mean, I'm not punk or goth or anything. I actually really don't have any sort of style. I wear jeans and chords and tshirts that have... random stuff on them. I really don't like those cheesy "John's Surf Shop" things, I mean, just like tennis camps I've gone to, or squash tournaments, or horseback riding stuff. Actually, mainly they're plain. I know, I'm boring. As I said, I basically just wear my new balances (not the chunky ones) and some jeans and a tee shirt and if it's cold I wear my black fleece or a hooded sweatshirt but mainly my black fleece. I feel pretty bummy because D.C. is a pretty intense place. By that I mean people mainly wear nice clothes.Ugh. My mom occasionally makes me wear ugly cardigans to go out and I absolutely hate it. Why would anyone ever wear a cardigan? They are sickening.

As I was saying, I have, okay, well, I had a pretty boring life. I mean, I go to a fine school, if not all that exciting, I get good grades (although physics absolutely kicks my butt, why the HELL did anyone let me into honors? "oh but I want you to be a scientist, Natalia" HAH! yeah RIGHT, buddy. You wish. Okay, and who the hell would want me for a scientist, anyway? I would, oh, I don't know, blow up something. okay, that's what scientists do. I would blow up something accidentally. And that would really suck. And the hair really wouldn't look good on me. At all.) and I don't drink or do drugs or even date. I'm actually fairly antisocial. I mean, it's not as if I'm an outcast or anything, in fact, I have a fair amount of friends, and it's not that I don't love them, it's just that, well, I enjoy having alone time. As in, me sitting in my house reading or writing or drawing or generally being useless and antisocial. At least this is how my family views it. Anyway, I guess I should get to the interesting part of my life.

So I was sitting at the back of the gym, on the steps, because I kind of needed to do my history homework. Well, I was trying to do my history homework. Okay, so it was a little boring, and I had my headphones on, and I was kind of zoning out. What, are you going to shoot me? Okay, so naturally, since I had a pen in my hand, I started drawing on my hand.

Now I lay here owing my life to a stranger
and i realize that empty words are not enough
i'm left here with the question of
just what have I to show except
promises I never kept
I lie here shaking under the weight of my regrets....

Slowly "empty words are not enough" wound its way across my hand and up my index finger. On the side, I wrote the artist in the ambulance and then triangles and spirals and lines and stars and dots.

I can't believe the news today
I can't close my eyes and make it go away
how long how long must we sing this song, how long, how long?

broken bottles at the children's feet
broken bodies strewn across the dead end street
but I won't heed the battle call....

sunday bloody sunday

and the battle's just begun
there's many lost
but tell me who has won?

But tell me who has won? was written in flowing capitals down my pinky with interlocking circles and lines on the other fingers. I was bent over my hand and concentrating so hard that I didn't notice that there was a little crowd gathering around me.

My hand was completely covered, so I pulled my sleeve down. Just then, the song changed and just before I heard

Johnny Quest he thinks we're WHAT?

I heard something scrape on the stone behind me. I'm a little paranoid sometimes, so the "freak out" nerve kicked in and I sort of whirled around (the best one can whirl when sitting on a granite step) and came face to face with probably one of the last people that I would have expected. Actually not, because who else would be outside the lunchroom at this point? Okay, so scratch the first thought, one of the last people that I wanted to see. I must have looked a little scared and wide eyed and all that stuff as I sort of looked around to the bunch of people standing, well, nonchalantly around in semicircle. Most of them had their eyebrows up a little, looking pretty amused. Sigh.

So, of course, true to form, I turned a lovely shade of red (which, I must say, looks absolutely fabulous with my almost translucent white skin and sort of nondescript colored hair. Fabulous, indeed). I actually think I handled it pretty well considering.

Considering I had possibly the scariest, oh, ten people in the entire school. The one beside me being the scariest of all. Well, almost. Anyway, the boy beside me was... okay, so I'll just say it: he's a punk or goth -ish type, and probably your parents' worst nightmare. I mean, he wasn't all that hardcore, just, I don't know, I guess it's the aura. He had sort of lankily curly dark brown hair that came down to about the middle of his neck, and was wearing an odd sweatband type thing around his head. And eyeshadow. And all black. Ripped and black, with some unidentifiable band name on the front. And black nailpolish. In fact, they were all wearing black, and lots of makeup, and unbrushed hair. You may think the sweatband looked retarded, and on anyone else, it probably would have. But with the little sparkle of his probably ten earrings, he just looked.... dangerous.

"Do you need something?" I asked, shockingly calmly.

"Drawing something interesting?" he asked with a smirk, as the rest of the gang sort of chuckled.

I thought I was in the twilight zone.

" Not exactly."

"You looked pretty interested in it."

Is there something funny about this, or are these kids completely insane? Did I just ask that? of COURSE they're insane.

"So I like drawing on my hand," I said. "Shoot me."

He just looked at me expectantly.

I held out my hand.

"Who are you abusing this time, Z?" the voice came from the back, and the whole group turned.

"Oh, so he shows up, after all. Fabulous of you to make it, Konstantine."

"Isn't it just." I saw him as he walked up.

Definately scarier than Z.

He was sort of normal when you first saw him. Sort of. But then he was really, really pale. Black hair, straight, just sort of falling where it would. He was the only one wearing a color- a red tee shirt. Black pants. He looked like a vampire. His eyes were scary, dark and sort of... intense. No piercings. No makeup. Just as intense. He wasn't as tall as Z (did I mention he was tall?), I could see that when they were standing next to each other, but he seemed like it. He was strong but not grossly muscled (I hate that) and his face was all angular and strong. Z's was a little more rounded, but don't get me wrong, still attractive. In a grungy way, I mean. But with Konstantine, I almost had to turn around. Blinding. Unreal.

"Don't worry," he said, and I almost didn't realize he was talking to me, "He's just jealous because he sucks at drawing," I must have looked skeptical, because he tried to make his face look serious. "No, seriously, he can barely draw a stick figure." He turned a little so that he was looking more at the group of people around us. "Now, guys, what did I tell you about Z? He's unbalanced, don't encourage him." They laughed, and seemed to relax a little bit. "Now, you can go back to whatever you were doing - no, I don't want to know - and don't bother my friend here," he gestured to me, "and you'll be fine." They sort of stood looking at him oddly. "Go, go."

They started to disperse slowly, and he put his arm around me and steered me the opposite direction.

"Sorry about that. Z just likes freaking people out sometimes. And they don't like it when people come out there. It's their space. According to them, anyway." I thought it was a bit odd that he called them "them" and not "us", but I didn't want to push it. The boy's arm was around my shoulder, after all, what's a girl to do?

"So can I see that hand, or what?"

Okay, so I thought it was the twilight zone before. Now, I'm really here. Didn't think it'd look like this.