Jartography: -Prologue-

Age 8.…

I glanced up at Annie Crestings, my mom, as she concentrated on putting the last little mark in the castle. "Is it done?"

"No, sweetie, not yet!" she reassured me and began to vigorously dig at the sand around her. "I could have sworn it was around here."

"What are you looking for?" I frowned and stared longingly at the sand castle. My hand twitched to pet it's detailed contours.

"The finishing touch!" she produced a pink, beautiful seashell that flickered against the fiery rays of the setting sun. "Right at the tippy top!"

My mouth opened to form a little 'o' as she pushed it on the top of the castle.

"Voila! Our little creation," a smile creased onto her pale, pink lips as she tucked a dark strand of chestnut streaked brown hair behind her ear.

I beamed with excitement. "What are we going to name it?"

"How about the Crestings' castle!" my dad, Vince Crestings sat up suddenly, plucking off his sunglasses with a flicker of zeal. "That'd be a wonderful name for such a wonderful castle!"

I frowned, "That's not creative at all." My father chortled his hazel eyes sparkling under the dark red sunburn that had formed on his face.

"How about Sunset!!" my mother exclaimed, suddenly. Her green eyes excited.

"Ooh," I awed and then grinned. "That is the best name ever!" I stared at the little sand castle in which the delicate seashell sat right on the top and basked in the fact that it was completely ours.

"Aw, Ammy, you always choose mommy's side, that wasn't that great of a name either!" Vince said dejectedly, faking a pout.

"Oh, Vince, you know that's not true," my mom chortled lightly and gazed lovingly at me. "She's an angel of course she wouldn't!" My mom winked and then laughed her tinkling laughter. My eyes were nudged back to the erupting sunset.

"Annie, you know that may or may not be true," Vince grinned and then walked up over to our sand castle. "Want to take a picture with it?"

"No," Annie said crossly. "You know that should come second."

My mind whirred as I tried to think up of a way to take this as a memory without using a camera. "How else do we, mom?"

With a quick smile, she got onto her hands and knees and crawled towards the picnic basket. She dug around the nearly empty basket and pulled out a glass jar that contained three grapes. Grinning, she approached me and poured the last three grapes into her hands. "Say ah!"

I opened my mouth and popped the few grapes in my mouth. I chewed thoughtfully as I gazed at her.

"Now watch," my mom addressed and she gently plucked a few grains of sand into the jar. Carefully, she got up, avoided stepping on the sandcastle and filled the little jar with crystal clear sea water. I watched as she pointed to the glorious sunset. It was really going out with a bang, it painted the normally, white clouds a brilliant blood red that was surrounded by fiery orange in which was closely chased with the pale purple color of dusk.

Annie propped the jar at a near 90 degree angle and just as she did this, a gentle breeze just flowed right from the sunlight. The breeze tickled my cheek, it was as if the sun just blew a kiss to us. I sat there, bemused.

She handed me the warm jar and gave me the cap. "Now just make a wish and put the lid on. It's full of the scenery of the beach, the breeze, the sunlight….Our love."

"No! It's not finished yet!" I jerked the jar over towards my mom. "Laugh into it."

She shot me a peculiar look and a gentle smile creased on her lips as she laughed the bell like laugh she had.

"Now dad!" I beamed and he smirked whilst guffawing loudly into it. "Thank you." Gently, I plucked the shell from the castle and put it into the jar. I tightly closed the lid of the jar and held it high above my head with pride. "Jartography!"

I paused and then stared up at the sky. The stars weren't out and I turned back towards the sunset, but it was completely shrouded by angry fluffy clouds now.

"It's time to go," Vince said suddenly and squinted into the horizon. "That's strange, the weather suddenly became bad.."

Annie nodded and she smiled at me as she gently picked me up. "Come on, baby. Time to go." I suddenly felt exhausted from all the day's work and smiled happily to my mom.

She gently tucked me into the backseat of the car and gave me a tiny peck on the forehead. Vince got into the front seat and he started the engine.

"Click it, or ticket!" Vince said cheerfully from the front and I heard both my parents click their belts. I clicked my seat belt in and I curled around the jar, slowly nodding off into a light doze.

The sound of raindrops pattered on the top of the car. "Wah, it's raining?"

"Stupid weather change," my mom said disapprovingly. "But at least we got the best of the good weather."

"Thanks, mom…thanks dad," I murmur quietly to them and fell into a shallow sleep. The ride was quiet, the only sound was the slight buzzing of the radio and the gentle humming engine of our car. My mind swirled with the relaxing sounds and my body relaxed.

"V-VINCE!" a shriek broke the silence. A sharp piercing scream came from the lips of my frightened mother.

"SHIT," my father's curse hung in the air and I was suddenly thrown against the car door to my right as the car took a sharp turn.

"No! No! Watch out! Vince, you're in the wrong--" Annie's cry pierced me again. Everything seemed to happen in the slowest motion I have ever felt. My mom's eyes widened from fear and the headlights glinted off her green eyes as it darted back towards me. I grimaced as the car swerved insanely along the road that seemed solid and never ending. From my angle, I saw it; the monstrous truck looming towards our tiny little car, it's bright, cold headlights glared through the window.

It was going to hit. It was too late to do anything. The roads were slick, the rain was pounding. It really was too late.

"Amethyst!" Annie screamed and she hurled herself on top of me. Her slender frame wrapping protectively against mines. She buried her face into the hair that looked almost exactly like hers; even through my hair, I could feel the scared expression she had on. She was sacrificing herself.

"M-mom, no! Don't!" I tried to push her off of me so that maybe I could hug her, maybe I could pat her on the cheek and just whisper quickly that everything was going to be alright. For once, maybe I could have comforted her…

The truck hit. The world around me seemed to crumple like a piece of drawing paper. The kinds I'd always squeeze into my hands and toss into the waste bin. Everything shook, it was like an earthquake, except it jarred me through to the bones. Even through this crumpling mess, my mom wouldn't let go, but finally, with one last collision I couldn't see, it sent her flying. I reached out mortified to her flailing hands as her head slammed into the window.

The glass shattered and sprinkled all around me like glass tears. It dribbled into my hair and scratched me just at my cheekbone where warm blood flowed down my damp cheeks.

"M-mom," I screamed, but my voice was loss in all the roaring and crunching of metal. With another horrid screech, the car seemed to tumble like marbles being thrown. Finally, we slammed into a tree and all was still. Tears dribbled down my face as I sat there, shivering.

"H-help," I whimpered and felt convulsions of fear make its way up my spine. "Dad…d-d.." I looked up desperately and can only see the back of my dad's head. It was slumped over and he was pinned behind the steering wheel. The rain was able to come into the car now, and it got everything wet. Cold and wet.

I let out a soft cry as I saw my mom, her head through the window and her body sprawled in the most awkward position. She wasn't moving and blood was everywhere. My nose filled with the metallic scent of fresh blood, it was everywhere; it was dizzying.

"HELP! PLEASE," I shrieked as the blood of my own mother dripped onto my fingers and I felt bile make its way up my throat. They're dead. they're dead, they're dead. THEY'RE DEAD..

I didn't know how to process things, all I could do was close my eyes and wish so hard, so hard that all of this was just some horrible nightmare. A nightmare I was going to wake up from and see my mom again. See her aging face, smiling at me, with a cup of warm milk and a hug; see her alive.

Maybe, just maybe. I clenched my eyes shut.

"Wake up….Ammy…wake up," I chanted and chanted. I ignored the soft pattering of the rain and chanted it like it was a spell. I ignored the slight hissing of the car, I ignored the sirens that soon filled the air. I just wanted to wake up; wake up and get out of this horrible dream.

"DAN! There's a child in here! HURRY, bring the jaws!" I heard a voice call. "She's alive."

There was a sound of crunching metal. That horrible sound, I shuddered and suppressed a scream. The door scraped open and clunked to the wet pavement outside.

"P-please, help me. Help me!" I sputtered, grabbing their sleeve frantically. "Save my mom! My dad! WAKE ME UP!"

"T-they're going to fine," the policeman lied, I could see the sweat that formed along his brow. I knew he wasn't going to do anything. He plucked me from the wreckage and walked me towards the blinking cars. The cold rain dripped onto my cheeks.

"Help them," I whispered as he set me down onto the gurney, gently pressing some gauze to my cheek..

"We'll try."

I sobbed and cried, but nobody heard me. "Save them." I'd sob, all they could do was nod at me. Why wasn't anybody answering me? Why won't anybody tell me they were alright? Why did they take my mom and dad away from me?… From that point, everything went completely dark.

I blinked awake, tears streaming heavily from my eyes. I was in a completely white room, surrounded by machines and noises that filled my ears.

"Mom! Dad!" I screamed and tried to sit up, but I couldn't, I was just too exhausted. I scanned the room desperately and saw a nurse in the corner looking at some charts. "Nurse! Nurse!" It felt weird.

She didn't turn around. I frowned and wondered why, I screamed awake, shouldn't she turn around and respond to me? I needed to know where my parents were, I needed to know where I was!

"Oh! You're awake!" the chubby nurse turned around, a strained smile plastered on her round, moon-like face. "How are you doing, sweetie?"

"My parents," I said solemnly and glared up at the lady, "Where are they?"

"Pardon me?" the nurse's strained smile disappeared, replaced with a panicked and confused face. "What's wrong? Can you breathe?"

"Answer my QUESTION!" I half shrieked, my mind spinning wildly. Suddenly, I was out of breath, I reached up and gripped at my chest, panting for air as I leaned back into the pillow. What's wrong with me?

"Doctor Cardigan! Help!" the nurse fluttered from the room to retrieve the stoic doctor who's arms were full of charts. "What's w-wrong with her?"

"What do you mean?" I growled angrily, getting frustrated with the nurse. I began to cry. "Just…a-answer me."

"See? She keeps doing that!" she whispered fiercely to the doctor. "I-it's like she's trying to say something, but can't!"

The doctor placed his hand on my throat and closed his eyes. "Talk for me."

I just hummed and I stared up at the doctor, my eyes wide with panic. I was talking just now wasn't I?

"It's not vibrating," the doctor mumbled as he felt around my neck some more. "Try again."

I did the same thing, except this time, I tried to make it louder. Was all of that just in my head?!

"Amethyst, are you sure you're trying to speak?" Dr. Cardigan asked me seriously, his dark brown eyes trained on my frantic ones.

I nodded fiercely and then tried again, but this time, even I couldn't hear my hum. What's wrong with me?

"Her vocal chords were not damaged in the accident, we've done many scans and she escaped with a few minor scrapes and bruises," Dr. Cardigan mumbled to himself as he overlooked some charts. "Must be psychological trauma." He walked towards the door without another word.

"S-sweetie, you'll be just fine," the nurse murmured to me, patting me reassuringly on the arm. "You'll be just fine…"

She was lying again. Everybody was lying. Why? I watched intently as both the adults exited the room.

"It is psychological trauma. Her vocal chords were not vibrating at all, but they were there and most likely functioning," I heard the doctor's brisk tone explain to the nurse.

"I don't blame the poor dear, she witnessed the death of both her parents," the moon-faced nurse murmured quietly. My veins went cold as I heard this new information. They were dead? My parents were dead?

It was all my fault. All my fault. My mom wanted to save me, I could never see her bright smile anymore, I could never hear my dad's reassuring voice again. I killed them both. Why did I have to ask them to go to the beach? Why did I? Why couldn't I just stay home and shut up.

I killed them. I killed them.

A/n: Thanks for reading. I am trying to do something here, so this is experimental. Review, thanks. Constructive reviews are welcomed. (: