This is an older story, and I will be (hopefully) revamping parts and expanding it as I post. Hope you like it!

Cold Town Blues

Chapter One

The world momentarily disappeared as Aiken lazily blinked at his mother. She was saying something, wasn't she? At least, her lips were moving. He didn't actually register anything she was saying, so it would have been hard for him to be absolutely certain. He absentmindedly attempted to read her lips--and her vigorously pointing finger. Oh. Bed. Yes, that would probably be a good idea. He waved a limp hand in her general direction, nodding his head as he stifled a yawn. She angrily said a few more words and stalked out of his room. Aiken zoned out for a few more minutes, staring to the right of the door. Snapping out of it, he noticed that the neighborhood was strangely quiet. No music, yelling, cars…what time was it? In search of the answer, he blearily gazed at the clock at the bottom of the computer screen.

When his mind decided that those squiggly lines were numbers and got around to interpreting them, he slowly realized that it was three. He wondered why Mom had seemed so upset. Taking a closer look at the screen, he saw the 'AM' after the 3:00. Oh.

Diverting his attention to the Word document he had been working on, he frowned in concentration as he read the last paragraph he'd written.

'Four-score and seven years after the Vikings landed in Candyland, Santa came and gave them dried seal pellets to celebrate the setting of the blood-red sun over their historic battle of Gettysburg, which gloriously ended Napoleon's reign in Australia and freed the bourgeoisie from the oppressive rule of Jack the Pumpkin King, much-feared pirate of the Baltic Sea.'

Somehow that didn't seem quite right…Aiken shook his head at the silly computer and stumbled out of the chair to his dresser, slowly shedding his clothes and putting on the first T-shirt and flannel pants he grabbed. He needed sleep. Automatically stepping over the piles of clothes and papers that covered his floor, he made his way to the bathroom. He stood in front of the door for a moment, searching for the secrets of life in its smooth black paint. Remembering that he had meant to do something when he came over to the door, he frowned in concentration. Oh, that was right--he needed to brush his teeth.

He opened the door and ducked to enter the bathroom, mechanically remembering to hate his attic bedroom, with its stupid slanted ceilings as he walked up to the sink. Brushing your teeth was important, it prevented cavities and…and stuff. He nodded sagely at his reflection in the mirror before brushing his dark hair out of his face and aggressively attacking the evil plaque with the Starship Toothbrush. That task completed, he staggered to the door and bumped into the closed surface. Holding his head as he glared at it, he tried to remember if he had closed it when he entered the bathroom. Shaking his hair out of his face and deciding he really needed to sleep, he leaned against it to open it and staggered through it towards the general direction of his bed.

He stumbled as his world wrenched to the side and bounced off the floor. "Fuck!" he yelled, quickly snapping out of his sleep-induced daze.

As he lay there in shock, a dull ache started to spread along the right half of his body. He groaned in annoyance, raising his head to glare at his side. He had a game tomorrow night! He didn't need any more bruises. The team wouldn't accept 'I fell' as an excuse to sit on the bench. Aiken groaned again and let his head fall back onto the cold floor.

The cold, smooth floor.

The cold, smooth, concrete floor that was definitely not part of his room.

"What the hell?" he asked the chilly air as he jumped to his feet in surprise, clutching his ribs as they protested the harsh treatment to his nerve endings. He looked around, his gaze quickly speeding around the room as it was pointed out to him in no small terms that this was definitely not his room. Or his house. Or, judging by the way things were going, his neighborhood.