Sarah isn't particularly happy. Her parents had sent her to her sorry excuse for a room for something that barely constituted an offense- for goodness' sake, she was only fifteen minutes late. And besides, it wasn't even her fault; her date's car had broken down.

So here she is, all alone, in the middle of her room, with a plate of carrots, beans, and steak glaring at her. Not to mention the shark fin soup, which she hates with the passion of a five million watt light bulb. If that really exists, that is. A carefree and extremely spoiled teenager, she can't possibly care less for all the new discoveries and creations of the scientific world, despite both her parents being famous and wealthy scientists. For all she knows, a teleportation device had been invented already and she just hasn't found out yet.

Grumpily, she crosses her arms and stares mutely at her walls. Thoughtful as ever, her parents had taken the power cells of her holograms- all of them. Now she couldn't even watch the latest episode of her favorite shows. Sighing loudly, she gives up her silent mourning for her holograms. They will be back tomorrow, she is sure of it. Her parents wouldn't leave their poor little girl without entertainment for too long, and if they do, they'll be sorry.

She crosses her large and very pink room to the manual power button of her holograms, as if trying once more to turn on the machine would force it to actually work. Ghostly figures flicker across her room, as if reaching desperately for the earthly plane, but are then pulled back into the projector of the holograms. Well, it was worth a try.

But as she throws herself in frustration and pure boredom onto the bed, the lights in her room flicker as well, as the hologram projections had moments before. Panicking for a moment- in this time, blackouts were unheard of- she sits up straight in her bed, somehow flipping one of her plush velvet pillows halfway across the room and then hitting her head on the headboard, but the lights then continue on as usual in their bright, happy glow.

But just as she relaxes, a claw of darkness clutches the building, and engulfs her in the oblivion of death.

~~SLN~~

November 4, 3025

The news reporter on the screen is going on and on about some mysterious gas that had gone through the air vents of one of the world's richest neighborhoods, which had killed all the inhabitants. Despite my rising worry, I ignore her incessant talking and focus on my parents' argument: my mother is for joining the first colonists to the new planet, while my father is vehemently against. I, personally, don't see either as a viable option. On the one hand, we have some psychopath running around killing people, and on the other is a permanent vacation to a planet we've never even seen before.

Oh, joy.

~~SLN~~

Kennsingr looks miserably at the brown, hairy lumps in the near-solid substance masquerading as porridge. Or maybe it is supposed to be chicken noodle soup today. It doesn't matter much- they look and taste about the same anyways.

Okay, so perhaps it is an exaggeration. But the food tastes terrible. Honestly. Try eating porridge and chicken noodle soup for the rest of your life. There is hope that he will be adopted soon, but with all the recent deaths, it isn't really a worthwhile wish.

Weak from hunger and maddened with frustration, adults see the small colony they'd built as a disastrous experiment that should never happen again. With only a handful of them left, with the majority of them killed recently in the forest fire, their sanity is on the brink of descent into madness.

Ken (what his friends would call him, if only he had any friends) knows he is better off then the adults- they have to earn their keep, along with everyone above the age of ten years old, and he gets to sit back and admire their work- or rather, despair in the lack thereof. Now, though, even children as young as seven are being sent off to help where help is needed. Sure, they are given the easiest jobs with the least possibility of death, but he is sure he remembers that back on Earth, people don't need to work until they're sixteen or so.

Whatever. He is only four at the moment; he still has three years of freedom, although with the way the colony is progressing- or not progressing- the work age will again be lowered.

Reluctantly swallowing the porridge imposter, he stands up, carrying the wooden bowl and spoon to the tanks of soapy water, and dump them into the liquid, spilling bubbles across the already-wet wooden floor.

Slipping away quietly, he makes sure that no one sees him, since they had a tendency to make children who finished their dinner early help with cleanup. Racing lithely down the surprisingly polished hallway, he is showered in the light streaming from the holes cut into the walls, in pale imitations of windows. They are placed a meter or so apart, and he is just as quickly absorbed into the shadows before once again becoming dappled in the bright glow of the planet's second and darker sun.

At the end of the hallway is the spiral staircase that leads up to the dorms. He leaps up the steps two at a time, almost slipping halfway up, but catching himself just before the inevitable tumble down into the waiting petals of death. The petals I refer to now are not the beautiful, delicate ones of a rose, but the wild, murderous ones of a flesh-eating Venus fly trap. Use your imagination.

Of course, the horrifying fantasy is now very real indeed on this new planet, but you aren't expected to know that.

When he makes it up to the dorm, very much alive but not quite yet safe, he once again casts his eyes around the room, filled with unmade bedrolls and sheets strewn about by the violent nightmares of the children, looking for a prowling adult waiting to catch the children too stricken by grief for dead parents to eat a proper meal. With an all-clear result, he slips into his own blue bedroll, thrown into the glow of the setting second sun. Over himself, he carefully draped his sheets, stained with questionable brownish red stains that looked very much liked dried blood, and snuggled into the comforting warmth of the cotton.

As he lies in wait for sleep, he fiddles with a little sheet of paper- a picture of his parents' wedding day, on Earth. He'd found it in their cabin in his desperate attempt to hide from the strange men telling him that his parents were gone and that he was being taken to the orphanage. It is stained and torn, but still a beloved possession he never intended to let go of. It gave him the hope that they would one day return. After all, who was he to believe his parents dead due to the accounts of strangers?

At this moment, he accidently drops the picture, which is lifted by a wind he didn't even know was there. He catches wildly at the fluttering photograph, finding his hands catching air, but still stubbornly trying to retrieve the paper that had fallen in a crack between the floorboards.

Pawing desperately at the ground, he suddenly stops, due to a strange, tingling kind of feeling beside him. Oh yes, now he remembers. This was why he'd dropped it. He had felt it before, lingering beside him, waiting for acknowledgement.

As he turns to face it, he jumps, not having actually expecting to come face to face with a teenage girl, with beautiful blond hairs in gentle waves and kind, blue eyes which seemed to eternally water with sadness. He is rather young, and immediately accepts her to be part of reality, instead of suspecting a hallucination. However, he is rather suspicious of her, having been yanked rather harshly into silent watchfulness and dubiety of everything he is told by his parents' demise. This was also due in part to his abnormally high IQ, but in the suffering society, nobody had time to test the children's intelligence, or, for that matter, bother at all with education.

"Hello?" the apparition asks, tentatively, hardly believing that the little boy could actually see her. Then she backs off slightly, realizing that she may be a bit too close; it has never been a problem before, since everyone else seems to ignore her.

Ken, as mentioned before, is a strangely bright child, and with his wits sharpened by the tragedy of his life, he is beyond the normal functions of a three year old. Despite never having actually said a word since his parents' deaths, he has been watching the language of others around him and can talk very well.

Carefully composing himself, he says, "Good evening." His voice cracks, heavy with disuse, but the message is transferred quite well, and the girl is taken aback by the formality.

"Um… can you see me?" she tries, tentative and cautious.

"Obviously," he says dryly.

Then he smiles. He can see the beginnings of his first friendship. How, I'm not sure. But apparently, he is correct. Too correct.

Similar thoughts run through the ghost's- Sarah's- head. But hers are far more sinister.

~~~SLN~~~

Tredecember 35, 2026

Some boy went missing today- a three-year-old named Kennsingr. While this should not be too surprising considering our current positions, it has brought upon the reality of the horror we are facing. I told my parents it was a terrible idea. Honestly. As surprisingly similar this planet is to Earth, it doesn't mean that there are no unknown dangers lurking behind the tall trees that seem to grow everywhere. Their willowy shadows could hide many horrors we have yet to even imagine.


Obviously, I haven't been on here in a while.

I apologize.

But the amount of time I have until finals seems to be inversely proportional to the amount of time spent procrastinating/writing, so I'm back.

After finals, though, I'll probably disappear again, as there are just so many non-academic things I will then have time to do.

I know there are many other stories that I started a while ago, and should probably be working on. But... I'll do that later.