Chapter One: Preparations

The sun rose into a cloudy sky, lighting up the recesses of suburbia. Lacey still slumbered peacefully in her bed. Her digital alarm clock was the only lit thing in the room, as heavy dark velvet curtains kept out the harsh white light of this Saturday morning.

Lacey is the name of the story, not the character's name, but what she chooses to call herself. She had decided to be Lacey when she had finalized her decision to live and alternative lifestyle.

Her alarm clock read 5:29, its green numbers glowing, lighting up a small area of the room.

Lacey lay in bed, facing away from the clock, in deep sleep, sometimes muttering incoherent words. She had actually gone to sleep earlier the night before than she had for months before.

Noises were to be heard across the house as the other members of the family arose to begin their day.

Lacey's sister Sherri had awoken and was ambling her way towards the bathroom, holding a towel in one hand and wiping the sleep from her eyes with the other. She walked in, closed the door, turned on the shower and brushe her teeth while she waited for the water to warm up.

The clock now read 5:38

In the kitchen bacon sizzled in the frying pan. A tall middle-aged man stirred the contents of the pan patiently, savoring the smell of the food.

"Sherri, Lacey, breakfast!" he bellowed just as the toasted popped several slices of bread.

The clock turned 5:41

Sherri had been taking a shower, and when she turned off the water she saw a bottle of hair dye in the corner of the tub, half concealed by the shower curtain. She tilted her head, and picked it up curiously. It was empty, she was about to place it back, but then it caught her eye-"Vivacious Violet" the bottle read.

Sherri sighed and frowned.

"She's in for it," she mumbled to herself.

5:45, and the alarm clock went off, blaring loud music, Sherri heard it from the bathroom, the sudden noise had given her a jolt and she was now definitelly in a bad mood.

Sherri growled, "LACEY TURN OFF THAT CRAP!"

Lacey sat up in her bed, reached to turn off the alarm clock but instead pushed it off the bedside table.

"Oh, shucks," she said to herself.

She yawned and rose from her bed, stretching her arms and standing on her tiptoes, stretching. She got out of bed and unplugged the alarm clock. She then walked over to the curtains and opened them to peer out the window.

It was a dreary and gloomy day, most would say, because of the abundance of clouds and lack of sunlight, not to mention the drizzle. But to Lacey it was cheerful and relaxing.

She smiled, and turned to her room, closing the curtains a bit but leaving a little slit to let a little bit of light in. She turned on the small stereo system and put in Gary Numan's Jagged, waited for the stereo to read, and skipped the first four songs. She just wanted to listen to In a Dark Place, and as soon as the song started she smiled.

She then proceeded to light a lamp with a spark and then a few scented candles, the aroma of jasmine flowers instantly soothing to her.

Satisfied with the lighting, she turned to her closet, wondering what outfit she would wear today.

She had already picked out her favorite outfit, but she debated with herself as to whether or not to dress down a bit for the family, after all, the purple hair was enough, and baseides, that is definitely what the Lady of Manners would say. She decided against checking the website, even though it was tempting, this was a decision she had to make for herself.

Finally she just chose a nice emerald blouse and balck jeans, because it was wet out, the boots were beside debating against. She came into conflict when it came to choosing between the black choker or the silver chains, so in the end she just put them both in her bag and decided she'd just choose later.

In her backpack she had placed all her good shirts and skirts, and she did not want to ruin any of her good clothes while traveling, even though it only took half a day to get to her grandma's house she didn't want to risk any damage to the little precious wardrobe that had taken so long and so much to acquire.

She then proceeded to the bathroom, and arrived just as Sherri was leaving.

Sherri gasped when she saw her sister, "Lacey, your hair!"

Lacey smirked, "I know, isn't it fabulous?"

Sherri frowned at Lacey's optimism and scurried away to dress.

Lacey shrugged.

In the kitchen their father, Wallace, had already made coffee and made scrambled eggs. He wondered if there was anything else he should make, or if it would be better not to eat much before a long drive and just snack on the road instead. He decided he'd made enough and if they wanted more they could make it, and he'd already planned on a stop on the way.

He had gotten tired of waiting for his daughters and decided to begin eating before the food became cold. He was sitting in the island in the kitchen eating his bacon/egg sandwich when Lacey walked in.

He chocked on his food and began coughing violently.

"Dad, are you alright?"

Still coughing he answered, "You... you" being unable to speak, as he was still dislodging food from his airway, he pointed at her head.

"My hair?" she asked.

He nodded, still coughing.

She smiled broadly, "Aunt Emma'll have a cow!"

She laughed at his expression.

When his coughing subsided, and then finally stopped he cleared his throat.

Lacey, are you out of your mind?"

She looked at him with wide-opened eyes, the heavy eyeliner meticulously placed, the black eyeshadow and dark blood-red lips made her look like a horror-movie corpse to him, but he said nothing of this.

His words had hung in the silence. He was not continuing and she had not responded. She sat down for a bit, looking sad and offended, and then got up and began making tea.

The silence lasted until Sherri descended the stairs and joined them.

"Hello!" She exclaimed. Getting everyone's attention, ditz, thought Lacey.

Wallace looked at his daughters, both looking at him.

Sherri's smiling glossy pink lips, bronzed skin and honeyed hair a stark contrast to Lacey's dark makeup, somberly calm expression, pale skin and violet hair.

He could not have asked for two more different daughters.

Yet he loved them both for their own way.

Sherri turned to Lacey, examining her violet hair.

"Nice touch," she began, adding, "What else are you going to do now, get a tattoo?"

"Why would I get another one?" Lacey retorted.

Sherri gasped and silence followed, but was soon broken by Lacey's laughter when she saw her father's worried expression, and he said, "You're kidding, right?"

"I am just kidding, guys, really."

Sherri looked away, towards the bacon, not the least amused by her sister's humor, "Lacey, you have the wrong sense of what a joke should be."

Lacey shrugged, unmoved.

Sherri lifted a strip of bacon and motioned towards Lacey with it, "Lacey, do you want one?"

Lacey rolled her eyes, pouring the tea into her delicate teacup, shaking her head at the dumb vegetarian joke, and I have the wrong sense of what a joke is!

Wallace looked at his watch.

"Ten minutes," he said, "ten minutes and we have to leave, go and get your things ready when you're done with breakfast." He got up and started to bring the gifts they were bringing to the family reunion into the car.

Lacey poured a bit of honey into the tea, "Do you need any help?" she asked her father as he passed by on his second way out.

"No, thank you, Lacey, I just have one more trip, but get finished in time, please."

Sherri finished her food and cleaned up after herself, and then set out to her room, grabbing a few last minute provisions like Twinkies and her cell phone charger along the way.

Lacey went back up to her room right after she was done and turned on her computer to make sure she had all her music in her iPod.

They would be staying at the family manor for a week at least, and she would die of boredom if she didn't have her music with her. She also decided to bring her sketchbook and a notebook just in case inspiration struck, and it always did at random and unexpected times, so it was always a good idea to have something to record ideas. She was going to bring her bass to practice, but then decided not to, because there was going to be plenty to do at the manor. She knew there was something she was going to forget, so she went over her list, and just as she was about to start reading it out loud to herself she realized it was too quiet, so she walked over to her CD collection and closed her eyes and picked KMFDM's Money out of the random, and put it on.

She began reading the list out loud, checking off things she had, and gathering things she needed until Sherri knocked at the door, "We're leaving Lacey!"

She already had her MP3 played stashed away in her jacket, she placed her things into the car and then remembered to bring a small photo album she kept with copies of all her favorite family and friend photos and her camera.

She sat in the backseat of the car, looking out the window at the foggy day, wondering what would be in store for her at her grandmother's mansion, her stingy wealthy grandmother, whose expression would be the one she would savor the most.


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