"Ow!" I shrieked in pure agony.

An oddly strong woman pinned me down against the scorching concrete. I couldn't decide what stunned me more: the fact that my neighbors was filled with batty strangers, or that I assumed my trip towards the Fox's residence won't cause me any trouble.

I'm starting to reconsider living in this community.

"Stay down!" A woman's voice boomed against my eardrum. She wasn't far from tearing a limb.

"What are you-"

"-quiet intruder!" She shoved a gun against my head. I immediately shut my trap.

"State your name, and your intention for arrival!"

I felt a ball of fear constricting my vocals. My thoughts were spiraling of what could be considered the worst case scenario. Oh god, please help me! I have yet a full life to live! I apologize for replacing Star's shampoo with corn syrup last week-although it was completely hilarious-that's not the point! Just please spare me!

It didn't take long for the truth to waterfall out.

"K Hart. I live right next door! Sterling wanted to talk!"

Again, the woman dug her elbow into the small of my back. "Ow!"

My teeth clenches in both sheer pain and horror. The tears were beginning to burn against my eyes. Just what have I done in my last life to receive such cruelty. If so, I deeply and sincerely apologize for all the jackshit.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!' I bawl cowardly. "I don't intend to hurt anyone. Not even in exchange for my own life! I had a fish two weeks ago. His name was Nicholas Cage, and I have no idea why. Anyways, he died that day because Star- my father's hooker girlfriend- decided that gold fish was a natural remedy for back blemish and...and... I just couldn't bear to witness his departure! I just won't harm a single soul! I promise!"

I found tears streaming down my face in the midst of my nonsensical blabbering. Excuse me, anything is helpful when you're trying to fight for survival. Especially when your entire existence is flashing before you.

Man, I've lived a shitty life.

Soon enough, I felt her grip loosen. My body no longer felt the weight of hers. "Get on your feet."

My head spun over my shoulder. I sniffed wildly. "Huh?"

"I said, get on your feet, brat. I don't want to waste anymore time."

Without further delay, I happily complied. I stood upright, with my arms glued against my sides. The woman towered over me like the statue of liberty. Her platinum gold hair was brushed back into a neat bun, while the bright sun accentuated her bright features. The woman was certainly gorgeous in an exotic fashion. Yet, seemed so natural while being so fierce.

"Look, I can smell your innocence from a mile away," She begun. I honestly hope that innocence doesn't reek of Star's fragrance. "But I don't want you anywhere near this house again, understood?"

I nodded rapidly, with full consent. Although it was nearly impossible to stay clear of my very own neighbors, I certainly didn't not want to add any more fuel to the fire. It seemed best to simply comply.

The woman adjusted the dark pair of sunglasses above her pointy nose. "Now leave, before I change my mind."

The frightening woman leaned against the wall, waiting for me to drift away.

I swallow down the terror that accumulated in the length of my throat, and continued towards the opposite side of the road. There was no way...anyone can force me back into that hell hole. It read "bad omen," all over. And I wasn't about to be dragged into a venomous domain.

I made my way to my favorite diner nearby. My mother and I would take a stroll from our house and occasionally encounter Roman the Hobo along the way. She'd hand me a dollar and I'd approach Roman with a large smile, and my fingers pressed along the bridge of my nose, and he'd pat me on the head calling me "Kryptonite." I usually don't appreciate it when someone calls me something other than my name. Especially since "K" is extremely short and very difficult to miss.

But Roman was cool...he seemed high...but pretty cool.

Anyways, those were the good times- the days when my mother was by my side. Holding my tiny hands in her seemingly cold ones. I've always wondered why they were so chilly and pale, but it didn't take long for the answer to hit me like a steaming fire ball.

Now, all that's left of her is a good memory.

A weak smile pressed against my lips.

Why did fate exchange her for a psychotic stripper?!

Immediately, annoyance bubbled in the pit of my stomach. I swear, the older I get, the rustier my luck becomes. All I want is a simple, quiet, pain-free life, is that too much to ask!?

A sigh escaped my lips. I press my palm against the cold, glass door, before pushing it open. My senses were greeted by the glorious smells of sizzling bacon, sweet french toast and pancakes...I can't forget about the pancakes. Immediately, any sense of worry washed away.

I strolled towards the counter, resting my elbows against the cold, marble table. "I'll have the special please." I said.

"On it," She quickly replies. The woman looked a bit familiar, poofy blonde hair, heavy make up and shimmery green eyes. I could've sworn I've seen her around before.

"By the way," She starts. "Tell your father that he's a good for nothing man whore and I hope for fucksake that his man parts get sliced by a spoon!"

My lips pressed together in a tight line. Right. He's my father's ex-girlfriend. The psychotic one.

Wait. What am I saying? All his partners have been completely coo coo. I only hope she doesn't unleash her wrath towards me. I've entrusted the woman with my food for crying out loud.

I observed her from across the counter as she whipped my meal together. I could've sworn she glared at me once! The lunatic could've poisoned my food for all I know!

Well, whatever. I hope Star likes pancakes.

The woman placed my meal before me, leaving with a murderous glint in her eye. It isn't just me, the lady was bat shit crazy.

Before I got a chance to even poke at my food, a voice shrieks from behind.


My head whipped in a one swift movement.

A scrawny, tall boy dressed in painfully tight jeans, a white polo and a wool scarf, waved his hands frantically. He surely earned the attention of every costumer in the diner, which was quite shameful to say the least. Soon, he approached me with the lack of humiliation.

"Oh my gosh! You've grown sooooo much!" The strange bundle of sunshine pulled me into a large embrace. "I've missed the crap out of you, girl!"

I looked both left and right for any chance of escape. Some random stranger was hugging me, and no one seemed to notice. Damn, I was one call away from the cops... and the mental facility.

"Uh...who are you?" I stiffen under his envelope.

"Stop playing around, you idiot," The stranger finally released me, and whacks my shoulder playfully. I'm not gonna lie, it kind of stung. "It's me! The cutie that ran around the neighborhood naked that one summer, and was nearly abducted by some creep in a white van?"

He beamed ecstatically. Realization hit me like a truck. I remember that day clearly and vividly! I had to fend the freak off in time to summon the cops. Damn, that was some day.

"Henry?" My eyes sprung in astonishment.

"You know it, girl."

"When did you- why did you-"

"-I moved back in with my mother," He explained. "When she found out her husband turned to the 'art' of drag queen, mom wasn't so happy."

I gnawed on my lower lip, in attempt to digest his words. As usual, I never understood the West family. Their mind works in such wondrous ways.

"Anyways, I'm so excited to be reunited with my BFF again!" A large, almost terrifying smile, crawled against his lips.

"You don't know anyone around here, do you?"

"Oh my, you know so much about me! And that's why we're best friends!" He wrapped a bony arm around my shoulder, earning him an eye roll. Well, this isn't all that bad. I missed having a good friend around. Especially someone like Henry.

But I can't help but notice that he's gotten so much more...eccentric...since he left.

Henry's arms leaves my shoulders as he reaches for his pocket. He then pulls out a phone, and continues to shuffle through his messages. He sighs in dismay."Well, I gotta dart now. Mama's worried that I may suck in the ways of my father if I stay out here too long. Same house?" He asked.

I nod briefly. "Same house."

Henry smiled softly, before he reached for a final embraced. "Ugh, I missed you so much, K! But I'll visit once in a while."

I responded with simple smile, before watching him walk from the diner. Damn, its been such a crazy day. All I want is a stack of pancakes and a good glass of orange juice. I turn towards my meal, but caught my father's ex watching uncomfortably close. My body shuddered.

Okay...maybe I'm not all that hungry after all.

"As the great saying goes, 'the best things in life are free." Someone also once told me, "the best things in life come in a tattoo of Johnny Depp's face against Fabio Lanzoni's biceps." And that's how you know your father's girlfriend had a little too much to drink."

I leaned against my chair, feeling mildly satisfied with myself. Finally, this stupid essay is written and completely done. I've spent five days trying to "collect my thoughts", which is code for procrastinating. Nonetheless, don't ask me what the given assignment was...I'm not even entirely sure.

The storm was raging outside, but the rhythm of the rain drops was slightly therapeutic. I reached over to collect the thin stack of papers I've recently completely, before proceeding to slide them into a transparent folder.

Just as I continued to get my desk organize, a loud thump was sounded from outside my window. I stiffened for a moment.

It must have been my imagination running wild once again: exhaustion at its finest. I exhaled deeply before starting towards my closet.


There it is again! My mind drew a complete blank, my heart came to a sudden halt, and my blood ran cold . Star and dad weren't home, so it couldn't have been anyone of them.

A second later, thunderous pounding came roaring from my front door. All existence of sanity completely slipped from me. My thoughts were running in completely different directions of paranoia.

The hammering grew even more insistent.

My breathing grew fierce. I was sent into a deep frenzy of panic and hysteria. Okay, what the hell would a protagonist in a horror movie do?

I mean, they've had a trend of stupid choices, which eventually leads to their death but-

More banging elicited from downstairs.

-but I've got to think fast!

My eyes scanned the room for something to wield in defense, something sharp, something easily "stab-able"

Out of the corner of my vision, an object glistened in the dark.

"Something like Star's stiletto," I muttered breathlessly. I scurried towards the shoe, tightly grasping it within my hands. Finally, Star is useful for once.

Without suspending my time any longer, I tip toed down the stairs, as quiet as a mouse. My heart was booming thunderously against its ribcage, while my fingers trembled in complete fear.

If I died tonight...please...please make sure that Star does not inherit any of my father's wealth. It is my last request here on earth.

The banging persisted, I jolted at every horrid sound. My body quivered anxiously, tightening my grasp on the body of the shoe.

I braced myself for whatever's behind that door.

I'll see you soon, mom.

Immediately, my free hand clenched its way around the knob. I pressed my back against the door, squeezing my eyes tightly. "Hello? Who is it?!" There was nothing but silence. "Hello!?"

"K!" A familiar voice shouted through the banging of the door. "It's me, Sterling! Please open your door!"

My body stiffened, in attempt to wrap my head around this plot twist. It took a minute to process the sound of his voice. Sterling? What the hell was he doing here!?

I pushed the door wide open, promptly. There, I was greeted by my soaking, shivering and exhausted next door neighbor. He looked more frightened than ever before.

"Sterling!" I took no time to drag him into my home. My hands found their way towards his shoulders. I allow myself to search the trauma in his eyes. "What happened to you?"

Sterling's lips were turning a dark shade of blue."I-I came back from my little trip at the diner, a-and attempted to make my way home. B-but b-before I knew it the media were right me... I hurried to my front door, but I left m-my house keys in... the house."

Okay, Sterling was definitely freezing. I lead him into the living room, sitting him down against the couch.

"Sterling, remove your shirt." I ordered. I thought nothing of it, at the moment.

He suddenly looked up at me with a pair of round, innocent, hazel eyes. "W-why?"


The heat rushed to my face in realization. Oh my gosh, K, can you be any less blunt? Now, he's going to think you're an absolute freak.

"W-well, why else? You're freezing to death! I'm going to fetch something warmer." I stammered. Fortunately, he made no advances what so ever. Sterling simply sat there like a scared child in need.

I sighed in exhaustion, before making my way upstairs. I scanned through my dad's closet, before grabbing a plain white shirt, and plaid pajamas.

The image of Sterling's petrified expression, pulled strings in my heart. I didn't know the boy was even capable of a soul. Let alone, being on the verge of tears.

Sterling Fox was the epitome of an enigma. He was a mystery in itself.

With that thought, I made my way down stairs.

"Sterling, I need you to change into-" my gaze rose along with the rate of my heartbeat. "-holy crap."

The clothes immediately slipped from my fingers to the floor. My jaw fell so wide, that I was not aware of the saliva accumulating in mouth.

Sterling's shirt had thrown on the floor, and he was beginning to undo the buckle of his belt.

The room grew hotter every second I feasted my eyes on his well defined figure.

My legs were already transforming into jelly. My teeth grazed against my lower lip, hungrily.

Crap, what was happening?