Shouts echoed in the large kitchen. The smell of food drifted out of the oak doors that were sitting ajar. Klack! Klack! The sound of footsteps made the chefs closet to the doors freeze. Klack! Klack!

The door was pushed open and a girl stepped in. She was wearing a black dress that went a bit past her knees. A cloak was wrapped around her. Her dark black hair blended in with her clothes. They were all black. Her shoes, her socks. Everything. Her bangs hid her eyes with the cloak's hood pulled up. By the time she had reached where the chefs were standing, silence had fell in the kitchen.

"Two blueberry muffins please." Her voice was quiet, but it was sharp and clear. The chef who she had spoken to was a plump man. He was new here and didn't know who she was.

"Now listen here, little girl, if you want food go to the cafeteria. Go on now! Scram! You ain't supposed to be here! Only staff can come in, now get going!"
"Do you know who I am?" she asked, barely moving a finger.

"No, and I don't need to." The man replied. "Where are your parents?"

"I'm the inn keeper's daughter. And my parents are doing other stuff. Now get me a muffin. And make it quick!" She snapped. The chef backed up, bumping into a different chef.

"Sorry." The other chef said. He was a lanky man. His brown hair was messy, hidden by his white hat. "We'll make it nice and quick." The other chefs still hadn't uttered a peep. They were all staring at the girl.

"Quit staring! Hurry up and get back to work you fools!" The girl shouted. The chefs jumped slightly and then started to cook things again. But the talk was hushed and quiet and all you could hear was the sizzling pots and pans. The skinny chef handed her the muffins then ran off to keep working. She left the kitchen quickly while eating the muffin. She wolfed down the muffin and before she saw the golden doors that led outside, the muffin was gone.

She slipped the other muffin into a paper bag as she reached the doors. Two burly men pushed them open silently, not bothering to say a word. She stepped outside, a cool blast of wind hitting her face and nearly pushing her hood off. She breathed in the fresh autumn air.

The wind brushed off a few leaves that had been clinging desperately to the almost-bare tree branches. The ground was covered in all sorts of colors: red, yellow, orange, and brown. There were some inn workers who were trying their best to keep the leaves off the ground. They were frantically whipping the leaves into the grass, but not making much of a difference.

The girl walked a bit, then her hands reached up and pulled the hood back. Elegant black hair tumbled down, her dark eyes scanning the area. This was her normal routine on a typical Saturday. She breathed in the fresh air, the cold stinging her cheeks. Then she set off, towards the unknown. She went down the road and then turned right and soon disappeared from sight.

No one knows where she goes. Though everyone knows that she's the most mysterious girl in the entire city. Some don't even know her name! She was always dressed in black, no matter what. There were only few who knew why she did so, and they wouldn't tell anyone. She was known as "The Mysterious Girl in Black" and some people still call her that behind her back.

The girl didn't come back until lunch. She went to the kitchen and asked for a simple sandwich, which she ate quickly. She was about to leave the inn again, when she ran into her dad.

"There you are! We were looking for you!" her dad said when he saw her. He clamped his hand on her shoulder, a grin on his face. He had neatly trimmer brown hair and dark eyes. He was wearing a collared shirt and a simple tie.

"I'm going somewhere Dad." she replied, shaking off his huge hand.

"Alright, but first you need to go and meet someone. I got a message earlier in the day telling me that Mr. Davis's son, Takashi, is coming to the East area which is our area. He's going to be staying with us. We need to go and greet our guests. Now I have to go and change into something more... formal, go over there where your mother is, alright? You can go and run off to wherever you want to after." Her dad patted her on the back then walked off hurriedly towards the stairs that lead to their rooms.

She sighed and walked towards the large doors and saw her mom standing there patiently. She had black hair that fell past her shoulders. She was wearing a green dress and a golden necklace around her neck.

"There you are, honey! Your father's going to change. Put your hood down, silly. Mr. Davis's son will love to see your lovely face!" her mom pulled her hood down but the girl pulled it back up again.

"Not now." she mumbled quietly. Her mom sighed.

"Alright, but you have to pull it down for respect. His father is an extremely rich and powerful man."

"Fine." They stood there for a while, waiting in silence. Her mom rocked on her heels nervously.

"There you are! He should be here soon!" said her mom when her dad appeared wearing a suit and tie. "You look wonderful, honey!"

"And you look as dazzling as ever!" her dad smiled. The girl turned to face the entrance as her parents gave each other a disgusting kiss. Her dad glanced at his wrist watch. "Oh dear, he should be here."

The girl followed her parents out of the inn. A sleek black limo drove in smoothly. Her dad grinned, but anyone could have noticed how distressed he looked. The chaffuer came out wearing black sunglasses and a suit. He popped the door open and a young man climbed out. He was wearing a simple white shirt and black pants. His black hair spiked up as if gelled, but it wasn't.

"It's nice to meet you, sir." he said stretching out his hand towards the girl's dad.

"Nice to meet you too, sir. I'm Frederick Parker, the inn keeper. It's a pleasure to be in your presence." her dad replied, shaking the young man's hand vigrously.

"I'm Takashi. I think you got a message about my arrival right?" Takashi asked, smiling. "Well, probably since you're out here waiting. And you must be...?" Takashi turned to the girl's mom who was returning Takashi's smile pleasantly.

"I'm Coraline Parker, Frederick's wife. Nice to meet you, Takashi. I can call you Takashi, right?" Mrs. Parker asked cautiously as they shook hands.

"Of course, of course." Takashi replied.

"Okay, we're all done being chummy to each other. So I'm going." The girl said quickly. She started walking the usual way when her mom caught her arm.

"Now, now. Be polite. It's only a bit longer, then you can rush off to wherever you wish." Mrs. Parker pulled the girl back.

"My apologies, Takashi. Our daughter is very shy. Pull down your hood now." Mrs. Parker gently pulled the hood off of the girl. If it hadn't been the deadly glare that the girl was giving Takashi, then she would have looked gorgoeus. Her hands were balled up into two tight fists.

"Nice to meet you." Takashi grinned, a curious expression on his face. He was taller than her by quite a bit. "What's your name?"
"None of your business. And it's not nice to meet you. In fact, it's horrible!" she replied while continuing to glower at him. "And I'm leaving!" She wrenched herself from her mom's grip then stormed off in a terrible mood. Nobody tried to stop her and nobody bothered to ask her where she was going. Nobody except...

"Where's she going?" Takashi asked after stopping Mr. and Mrs. Parker's rush of apologies.

"Oh, well nobody really knows." Mr. Parker tried his best to just throw the fact out there. "We've been wondering of course, but we're always so busy."

"She's fine though. Grew up in the East area. She knows how to get home." Mrs. Parker offered. "We trust her. Would you care for a tour of the inn?" Mrs. Parker led Takashi around the inn with Mr. Parker tailing behind. Soon the odd girl was forgotten by Takashi.

The girl didn't appear again until dinner came. She knew better then to go through the main doors so she slipped in from some staff only doors. She knew lots of short cuts and soon found herself in front of the kitchen. She asked for something simple and ate it as quickly as she could, though slower than usual.

She started down the hall, heading towards the stairs so she could go to her room. However, along the way she met someone she absolutely wished not to.

"Hey! Can I talk to you for a second?" Takashi asked.

"No." she replied simply, continuing to walk.

"Come on! It'll be quick. It won't take long, then you can go and do whatever you want."

"Don't talk like your my mom!" she snapped, whirling around. "You can't boss me around. If I want to talk to you, then I will. And right now, talking to you is the last thing I want to do!"

"I talked to your parents. I asked if I could talk to you quickly and they said 'Sure, if you can catch her that is.' I've asked lots of people. They say you're like a ghost. Not a lot of people see you." She stopped in her tracks.

"My parents said that? Well good for them and good for you. Go and bother someone else or go and ask some poor maid to shine your shoes." She started walking again.

"I just want to know why you hate me so much!"

She swallowed. "Fine. I hate you because-"

"Not here! There's a load of people here! And before she finds me."


"This girl. She's so obsessed! I swear, she's got a million eyes all over the place. Her and her friends keep following me. Let's go to my room. She can't bother me there cause-"

"Cause there are huge guards there?" The girl guessed. Takashi smiled.

"Wrong. Cause she doesn't know where it is. I asked your parents to put me in a simple room. I didn't want something too fancy."

"So that crazy girls wouldn't be able to find you?"

"No, I don't need a luxurious room to enjoy my stay. Hurry, before she finishes eating and finds out I'm gone." Reluctantly, the girl followed Takashi up a flight of stairs and done never-ending hallways.

The room was small and had two beds. A fire was blazing away. There were two arm chairs facing the roaring fire. The girl pulled her hood down.

"Here, sit down." Takashi plopped down on one of the arm chairs. The girl hesitated before sitting down, feeling uncomfortable.

"So why did you drag me up here for?" she asked.

"Why don't you like me?" he replied.

"Oh, so all you want is for me to like you?" she shot him another deadly glare.

"No, I want to know why you hate me."

"I hate everyone like you. Not just you. All you rich people, carrying loads of money in your pocket while people are starving right in your faces. Screaming at poor servants who have done nothing at all. Even if one of them just simply trips but doesn't fall or land on something or break anything, they get fired. It's absurd, stupid, and unfair. Who even created money? Why can't we all live equally without having to shake in fear when someone with a lot of power is right in front of them? It's moronic, that's what it is. I hate it when people cower behind guards or tell servants to do tedious tasks. I hate all those rich snobby people who think they're better than anyone else, when yet, that person's maid could be a much kinder and lovable person."

Takashi sat there quietly, listening to her words. He found her voice soft and soothing, even though she was dissing a lot of people including him.

"So you hate me cause you think I'm like them?" he said after a while of silence. She nodded.

"Then, where do you go? I heard that you just disappear and pop up for meals."

"That's none of your business."
"Says who? My father told me before I left to get acquainted with the inn keeper's family."
"I guess your father doesn't know that I'm part of the inn keeper's family. And if you are going to get acquainted with the family, good luck with that. You might get to know my parents, but you won't be able to get acquainted with me."

"Oh really?"

"Where's your father anyway? You talk about him quite a lot. Is he coming to the East area?"
"He died." Takashi said jokingly. Her face softened and Takashi thought his eyes were playing tricks. Earlier she had been glowering at Takashi to her heart's content, but now she looked at her feet, a understanding look on her face.

"I see. I know how you feel."

"You know someone who's died?" Takashi was shocked. He had known there must have been a reason why she always wore black and was so harsh to everyone. But he never would have thought that she knew someone who died. "It was just joking though."

Her face hardened and she looked up. "Joking? Joking about someone's death? See? This is why I can't stand people like you!" She leaped to her feet and headed towards the door.

"Wait! Look, I'm sorry okay? I didn't think you were... Were so sensitive-" It was the wrong thing to say. Takashi knew that the moment he saw the look on her face.

"Sensitive? You don't get it! You never would ! I knew it! You're the same as all those old ladys who think they look more beautiful compared to models!" Her hand was on the doorknob know.

"Okay! Okay! I said the wrong thing! Sorry! Look, can't you-"

"I don't want to talk to you again! Never again! I don't like it when people joke about deaths! They don't understand what it feels like- what it feels like to..." Her voice faltered then trailed away. Takashi thought he saw tears in her eyes. He shook his head and looked again. They were gone. She turned the door knob and Takashi knew he had one chance left.

"Wait! Before you go, what's your name?" Takashi asked from half-way across the room. She glared at him.

"Melissa. Melissa Parker." Then she vanished behind the oak door.