Monday, December 31, 2012

Pushing Up Daisies - Part Two

Let's not even talk about how late and utterly crappy this is (it's not edited so don't kill me for mistakes)

It's still 2012 here so hey at least it's still in the same year.


Thalia lifted her eyes. A middle aged woman floated about three feet above her head. She was a pearly, swirling white color. Beatrice flashed Thalia a wicked grin.

“Hello dearie. You called?”

“I...” Thalia blinked. “I guess I did.”

“Of course you did. Of course. You know, it's been a long time since anyone's called me. I've missed scaring the pants off of anyone who says my name. It's so very entertaining. And you!” Beatrice pointed wildly at Thalia, grinning. “Your reaction, it” She faltered. “...Was unexpected.”

Thalia smiled comfortingly. “Performance issues. You're not the first ghost I've met, Trix.”

“Really? That's disappointing.”

“It happens.” Thalia shrugged.

“Yes...yes, I suppose it does.” Beatrice floated closer and narrowed her eyes. Thalia's nose filled with the smell of dust, mud, and old-lady perfume. “Say, are you the young lass who's been throwing her mind about the graveyard all day?”

Instead of answering, Thalia put her hands on her hips raised her eyebrows. “'Young lass'?”

“Well, how old are you?”

“Hmm...” Thalia began humming sarcastically and ticking off fingers. “One, two, five...eighty six,” she deadpanned, dropping her hands.

Beatrice was unfazed. “Ah, to be so young again...”

“How old are you?”

“Don't you know better than to ask a lady's age?”

“No,” Thalia chirped, then laughed.

Beatrice harrumphed and floated down a little, crossing her arms. “Well, in my day, all the young lasses would be properly trained in the art of being proper. And they would all know how rude it is to ask a lady's age. Now, what do you need help with?”

Thalia opened her mouth to laugh again, then a squeaking noise came out and she closed her mouth. She blinked. Once. Twice. Three times. “What?”

“You asked for help when you called me. What do you need help with?” Beatrice explained patiently.

Thalia looked down at Beatrice's moss-covered grave, thinking carefully. Ghost were never completely trustworthy. That was just ghost basics. There was a reason that the dead didn't leave, and because they couldn't do much themselves, they got the living to do it for them.

“I need...” Thalia said slowly, still uncertain if she should trust Beatrice, “A way into the restricted sections of the graveyard.”

There was a long silence as Beatrice stared blankly at Thalia.

Eventually, she spoke. “I thought you were cleverer than that, lass.” She shook her head slowly. “You're a mind reader. Use that mind of yours.”

With that, Beatrice floated back down into her grave, waving a cheerful goodbye.

Thalia's mouth hung open.

“God damn it.”

The man who ran the cemetery stood at the window of his office. The dull, gray haze of rain hung over the graveyard. He didn't like this weather. It made the graveyard more foreboding than it already was. The mist hung low to the ground, and when you walked along the twisting, cracked-stone paths of the cemetery, it seemed to go on forever. The dead became more agitated. If you looked close enough, you could see their shapes floating aimlessly through the headstones, could hear the scratching on the lids of coffins. It was October Twentieth. This is was not a season for the living.

It was the time of the dead.

The monster Fredrick whose name was not actually Fredrick stopped in his tracks. He tilted his head, slowly. There was something different in the air. Something smelled off. There wasn't a scent of the freshly buried overlaying the smell of rot, like there usually was in his home of three months. That worried Fredrick. It worried him very much. And monsters do not worry easily.

He was not unused to there not being new burials for a few days. He would just go somewhere else to get a meal, the round trip taking about two weeks, and by the time he got back, more people would have been buried. And he would eat them. It was a perfect system.

But there were no new burials now. No freshly dead meat for Fredrick to eat. He shifted from massive foot to massive foot, uneasily. He sniffed the air again. Living people. Rotting dead. Mud. And something else...

The graveyard was, more or less, a very large circle. The front of this circle was barred by a wrought-iron gate and a large fence. This fence then trailed off into the distance and eventually stopped, but the cemetery continued to sprawl on through the fields and hills and forests for acres. It was a very large cemetery, but it had not always been.

Originally, when the town was first settled, they hadn't buried their dead. It was during a plague, and everyone who died was burned, in large, heaping piles of people who were no longer people, were just nameless spreaders of disease. When the epidemic finally died down, the town's population had decreased by three quarters, and so the graveyard was small because there weren't many people to bury, but buried they were. Nobody knew who was buried there anymore, though. Records were not kept and the near-constant rain and wind had long ago weathered away the names.

It was this original graveyard and all the other graves over two hundred fifty years old that were the restricted section. It was surrounded by a high stone wall that looped around the hill that the section was on. It was a good-sized section, from the outside. Nobody knew what it was like on the inside, no, not even the man who ran the cemetery.. The only people who could be granted access were those who could prove their lineage to someone buried in there, which was nigh impossible. And so no one was allowed in. And, more importantly, no one was allowed out.

The stone wall was slick with rain, and the edges of the stones cut into Thalia's palms. She was not good at climbing rock walls. Never had been. But it seemed to be the only option, seeing at the gate to the restricted section was guarded by an intimidating looking man in a wife-beater (the guard hadn't been there before. Thalia suspected that the man who ran the cemetery had put him there after their conversation three days ago. He was also refusing to meet with her). She needed to do this as quietly as possible. So up and over she went.

The rain was more a mist than rain at this point, but it was chilly and got in your eyes. Thalia's arms shook as she tried to haul herself up the wall. Her boots scrabbled at the slick wall and the wind bit at her face. When she tried to reach for another handhold, her fingers slipped and slid and lost their grip. Thalia shrieked in surprise as she tumbled to the ground that was all of two feet below her. Then she rolled over onto her face and groaned.

The next second, she jackknifed to her feet.

Thalia spun around, stormy eyes darting everywhere. The mud underneath her slipped and gave way, and she fell to her knees. Thalia grunted but didn't bother getting up again. She let her mind slide away from the bubble she'd been keeping it in, threading out through the trees and gravestones, feeling for that conscience again. She didn't panic this time when she found it, even though it felt strange, some delicate mix of animal and human. She'd felt it before.


The wind whispered around her, and that was all.

She thought it this time, projecting into the other mind. 'March.'

A small, gray Maine Coon cat padded out of the woods. It wore a disgruntled look on its face as it tiptoed lightly through the mud. As it neared, its skin rippled and shimmered, and then March Pathway was standing there, frying pan and all.

March reached a hand down and pulled Thalia to her feet. Her scarlet hair blazed brightly and out of place against the gloom of the cemetery. The two looked at each other for a long time.

“You look older,” March said, finally.

Thalia laughed awkwardly, trying to break the tension. “Rude! Not all of us can look any age we want whenever we want, shape shifter!”

For probably the first time since Thalia had known her, March didn't smile at that joke.

“You age slowly, Thalia, even for a mage. It's been, what, twenty, twenty-five years since I've noticed that you aged? And now I don't see you for a year and a half, and you look older.”

There was a question hidden underneath the last sentence. Thalia heard it quietly in her mind.

'What the hell happened?'

She pursed her lips and looked away – away from the probing eyes of her friend, away from the cemetery, away from the black mud that was slowly sucking her deeper into the earth. The events of the past year flowed back out of the deep cracks of her memory, and March saw her visibly stiffen.

“That's not something I can answer now.”


Not now, March.” Thalia's eyes blazed furiously. March blinked and opened her mouth to speak, then pressed her lips together in a tight line.


Thalia nodded. “Okay.”

March let out a long breath and gazed around them. “Cheery place you've found here. Mind telling me what you were doing climbing up that wall?”

“Hmm?” Thalia tilted her head quizzically. “Oh, I was trying to climb over.”

“You always could have gone through the gate, though,” March said, raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah, but there's a guy over there. You know how I am in social situations.”

“Let me guess,” March said with a laugh, “you're doing something you're not supposed to be.”

Thalia smirked. “You know it.”

March looked to the side, and the laughter died on her lips. “Well, I hate to break it to you, but you kind of blew your cover when you called a cat out of the woods who turned into a freaking person.”

Thalia followed her gaze to the face of the young undertaker-in-training who was staring at them in shock, mouth unhinged, eyes blown wide. “Oh snaps.”

The boy, realizing he'd been caught, snapped out of his stupor and let out a little shriek, before taking off down the graveyard path, towards the gate and the guard. Thalia sprang into motion, but March was quicker. Something large and fast whizzed by her face, and she skidded to a halt, watching. There was a flurry of red feathers and then there was the undertaker, curled up on the ground, with a big, angry, crimson bird of prey pecking on his head.

Thalia nearly fell over laughing. March lifted her feathered head for a moment, blue eyes flashing proudly, before she returned to slowly pecking her victim to death. Still chortling, Thalia made her way over, and suddenly she recognized the pained face of the boy on the ground. She'd met him once before.

“Hi Billy,” she said, kneeling down next to him. Billy looked up at her in panic, whimpering. He was about a foot taller than she was and twice her girth, dressed in clothes that were way too big for him. They were supposed to be fashionable and he probably thought that they made him look cool, but they didn't. Poor kid. He had a gentle, soft face that looked utterly terrified. March gave him an extra hard peck. He winced.

“B-beggin' your pardon, miss,” he stammered out, “but how did your friend do that? Turnin' into a bird, an' all.”

“My friend is a very talented lady when it comes to such things. But you know what else she's talented in?”

Billy shook his head as best he could, eyes wide and terrified.

She smiled. “Pecking people until they bleed, Billy. Now, that can be avoided. Just tell me where you were dashing off too, and why you were spying on us, okay?”

Billy gulped. “You must believe me, miss, truly I meant no harm. I'm...I'm on your side, miss, you know! I was goin' to distract the guard, miss, so that you'd have an easier time of gettin' in! I'm tellin' you the truth!”

The lie screamed out so loudly from his mind that it tasted bitter in Thalia's mouth.

“Now Billy, I think we're a bit past trying to fool each other at this point.”

“I'm not tryin' to fool you!”

The smile dropped from her face and her eyes turned to steel. “I'm a tolerant girl, Billy, but I don't abide liars. I suggest you stop digging your own grave.”

Billy stared up at her, eyes wide. To stress the point, March pecked him in the ear violently. Satisfied, Thalia continued.

“Now, kid, you listen to me. Tell me were you were going and why you were here, and then answer any other questions I have, got it?”

“What's the second option? I didn't hear one.” She was impressed with his audacity.

“You didn't hear one because there isn't one.” Thalia rocked back onto the toes of her feet, balancing, and spread her hands with a dramatic flourish. “I have all the time in the world, Billy, and you don't. You have other places to be, and I don't. Now, let's start again. Where were you going?”

There was a pause as Billy and Thalia stared each other down. She could have easily pluck the answers from his brain, but she had a strange respect for him, so she didn't. More importantly, though, if he became scared enough to give the answers willingly, then he'd be less likely to tell anyone about this encounter. But even if she didn't show it, Thalia felt embarrassed that she had originally thought Billy would be intimidated so easily into giving her information. He was scared, yes, but he was loyal to his masters, and loyalty goes far.

But so does the stubbornness of Thalia Jane. The minutes slowly ticked by, and eventually the defiance drained from Billy's face.

“I was goin' to tell the guard that you were here, miss.”


“Because those were my orders if I saw you 'round here.”

Thalia tilted her head. “Why were you here? Surely you have better things to do with your time than stand around in the woods?”

“Because I was ordered to keep watch an' make sure that you weren't coming 'round here.”

“Why?” She tilted her head the other way.

“Dunno, miss, and that's the truth.” Billy looked at her imploringly. It was quite the feat, considering that he was still huddled on the ground with a large scarlet bird perched on his head. “It really is, this time. It ain't my place to question orders, y'know.”

Thalia nodded agreeably. He was, indeed, telling her the truth. She asked, “Who gave you those orders?”

“Mr. Winston did, miss.”

Thalia opened her mouth, then closed it. She squared her jaw. Sucked in her lips. Narrowed her eyes. Looked to the side. Looked back at Billy. Released her lips with a popping sound. Bit her tongue. Looked away and back again. Pursed her lips. Tilted her head again. Then, finally, she said, “Who?”

Billy looked at her in disbelief, raising an eyebrow. Even March, who was currently a bird, rolled her eyes, as if to say, Wow Thalia. Wow. Really dropped the ball on that one. In fact, that was precisely what she was saying. In her mind though, of course, not out loud, because she was still a bird and everyone knows that birds don't talk, that would just be weird. Thalia heard her though and pointed a finger accusingly.

“You,” she snarled, “shut up. You-” here she pointed at Billy, who had the sense to shrink back a little “-tell me who Mr. Winston is. And stop looking at me like I'm dumb, because I'm not. I'm just not good with names, is all.”

March gave a sound that very much could have been considered a snort, except that she was a bird. Thalia gave her a warning look and then turned her attention back to Billy, who started blubbering.

“N-n-no offense meant by it, m-miss, honestly, I didn't mean nothin' by it. It was just surp-p-prisin is all', y'know, I m-mean, I thought you'd know, since you've been here a-a-a while, an' all. But, ah, m-Mr. Winston is the headman here at the cemetery, y-y'know. He's the one w-who gave you the job.”

“So he does have a name,” she muttered to herself. Billy and March exchanged a look. She snapped back to attention. “I mean, yes, of course. And Billy, my friend, he may have given me the job but he is in no way helping me complete the job. It's actually all starting to make sense. Now, Billy, do you want to know why you were sent to spy on me?”

There was a moment of silence as Billy considered this. He was a well trained pet, and he was very loyal, and yet...

“Yes miss, I do.”

“Do you promise not to bolt off if my friend lets you up? Don't bother lying to me, because I'll know.”

“Yes miss, I know. I'll stay right here.”


“Promise, miss.”

“You know that we'll beat you up if you don't, right?”

“Yes miss, I know.”

“Okay, good, just making sure.” Thalia nodded to March. “Let the kid up.”

After administering one last peck, March fluttered up and then there was no longer a bird there, just another girl crouching by Thalia's side, smiling triumphantly. As Billy sat up he moved as though pushing his way through molasses, curled in on himself slightly so that he'd be ready for anything they might throw at him. By the time he had sat all the way up, March had shifted through at least five different kinds of birds back into a human, and Thalia was staring slightly off from them, frowning.

Something was trying to get into her head. Thalia knew the sensation. Normally she was on the other end of it, pulling at the unwilling minds of stubborn people, but she'd fought with other mind readers and Sensitives before, battles that were much less flashy but much more dangerous than the usual guns-and-explosions fanfare. It was a balancing act – break your opponents mind while protecting your own. Strike with everything you have but still keep everything protected. Don't stop attacking and defending even for a moment. If you do, you're as good as dead. Even the strongest thoughts can be penetrated with a well placed blow.

Luckily, this pull wasn't as strong as that. Still, Thalia drew her mind in close and brought out her mental defenses, just in case.

March nudged her with her shoulder. Thalia's eyes flickered back to them for an instant.

She rubbed her hands together. "Right, so. Mr Winston gives me a job. Well, only technically does he give it to me; I actually sort of intimidate him into it. That probably doesn't bode well with him. So, even though he knows I'm qualified for said job and know what I'm doing, he's going to be bitter about it, really bitter, so much so that even though he wants the job done, he starts to want even more to get rid of me. But he doesn't know how, because I am clever and dangerous and he knows that if he himself confronts me he'll get his ass kicked. So when I asked for access to the restricted section of the graveyard, I unwittingly gave him the perfect opening."

She said all of this very quietly and very quickly. Even though she was supposed to be talking to March and Billy, they had to strain their ears and lean closer just to catch the occasional whispered word. But when Thalia began nearing the end of her monologue, her voice began to rise in volume and pitch. March wrenched back, startled, but Billy's eyes grew wide and he leaned ever closer.

"How so, miss?"

"What?" Thalia jerked around and blinked at him owlishly, momentarily stunned from being pulled out of her thoughts. A blush began to crawl across her face as she realized she had been ignoring her audience.

You said you gave Mr. Winston the perfect opportunity to get rid of you,” Billy said slowly, as if talking to a very young child. “How?”

Because then he could deny me access to the restricted section, and I'd try to break in anyway, and then he could arrest me or have his guards beat me to hell or something like that.” She shrugged. “Easy plan to figure out, once you get some details.”

Billy bit his lip nervously. March caught the motion.

Spit it out.”

He stared at her. “What?”

What ever you're going to say, kid,” March said, “you better flipping say it now, or I'm going to bring down the wrath of the tumblr fandoms on you.”

Truly understanding this threat was not something that Billy was capable of, but he was smart enough to take seriously any threat against his person that the scary bird lady made. “It's just that, misses, and pardon me, but I don't really think you are really understandin' what's actually, y'know, livin' in the restricted section, is all. I'm thinkin' that Mr. Winston might be tryin' to protect you, really, if you catch my meanin'.”

Thalia shook her head. “Not at all. Stop blathering, kid, it's unattractive.”

Wait.” March held up a hand. “While I agree about the unattractiveness of it all, he did say something interesting.”

What'd the kid say?”

Billy was getting really tired of being referred to as 'kid.' He was fairly certain that he was older than these girls. They both looked fairly young, while he was in his early twenties. They needed to respect their elders more.

March looked him up and down slowly, judging, before turning back to Thalia. “He said...he said that there was something living in there.”

The pull at Thalia's mind grew stronger. Oh.

Oh,” she said out loud. Billy and March both looked at her, Billy in confusion, March in alertness.

Thalia sprung to her feet, muscles tense. “March.” She said it too loudly, too high, voice cracking halfway through the word. “March, get back to the Manor. Take Billy with you. Get...get someone. Apprehend Mr. Winston. Find out everything he knows. Everything. Find out all Billy knows too. If I'm not back in three days, come after me. I'll be in the restricted section.”

What? Hell no!” March jumped up, eyes flashing. She pointed wildly at her friend. “I'm not running away, Thalia Jane Circe!”

That name. Billy's eyes widened and his mouth fell open. He knew that name.

March kept shouting. “I'm going with you, you got that? Do you even know what you're facing?”

No! And that's why –”

Exactly! Neither do I! It might be able to kill you, Thalia. You'll need my help.” March's nostrils flared.

Thalia had gone pale. Her arms were shaking. There was a cataclysm in her head, something wild and volatile running rampant in her mind. There were no words, but it was calling her. Just her. She had to do this alone.

Dammit, March! I don't have time to argue with you. Just...just do what I asked, please!”

March opened her mouth to shout something back, but Thalia was gone, dashing down the gentle slope of the graveyard hill. She considered running after her, giving her a piece of her mind and tagging along on something that was clearly going to end up being very dangerous. But then March remembered the expression on Thalia's face – fear, but the kind of fear that was mixed so strongly with anger and determination that it wasn't even really fear anymore. March sighed. Three days be damned. She was getting the gang, and then they'd storm this place.

But first things first. She whirled around and punched Billy as hard as she could across the face.

Thalia slowed to a walk as she came up to the guard. He caught sight of her and grinned. “Well, well, if it isn't our little renegade.”

She rolled her eyes at the attempt to sound intimidating. “Oh, shut up.”

The guard scowled and lashed out. Thalia ducked expertly under his arm and grabbed him around the waist. She planted her feet, leaned back, and heaved, flipping the guard up over her body and onto his face with a sickening crunch. He flopped to the ground as Thalia straightened up, brushing off her jacket.

Ah, the wonders of having a low center of gravity,” she mused. “Thank God I'm a woman.”

The adrenaline had cleared her head for a moment. Spinning around, she bent over and deftly plucked the key ring from his belt. Then she forward and unlocked the gate.

As soon as she stepped through the gate, the noise in her head stopped. Behind it was left silence. The silence, somehow, seemed even louder and more dangerous than the yelling.

"Well," she whispered to herself, "this is gonna suck."

Across the cemetery, buried down in the cold and the wet and the dark, Beatrice looked up and smiled.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Writing at Night

Wrote this at almost one a.m. this morning. It's not really about me or anyone I know, it's just sort of a vent of a lot of ideas and emotions I've had pent up. It's not edited or anything, either. So, uh.  Enjoy.

Sometimes, late at night, when I'm no longer sure I am even awake, I am a monster, under the bed, waiting. When I am being told that it's time to go, the library's closing, please put the book away or check it out, miss, just leave, I am that insufferable question - just one more minute, please. When my hands dry out and the air becomes thick with chalk and I can no longer tell my hands from the paper in front of me, I am dust. But when I am walking through the school hallways being pushed and knocked and blocked off, I am just a girl. Just a girl. A girl. A girl who is, at the center of it all, nothing but that. That is all I am. Until. Until, until, until. Until I turn around and refuse to back down, because then I am a challenge. Until I walk out onto a busy sidewalk and throw my arms back and scream at the sliver of sky visible through the concrete jungle walls surrounding, because now I am mad and beautiful. Until a few moments each day, when I take off everything but my old torn t-shirt and shorts from memories long gone, when I turn the mirror to the setting sun and stand there, clothed but so, so naked, because then I am all the fires of time and space, of heaven and hell. And until my skin seems to glow and the colors paint wings behind my back, because then I am forgiving and I love this, and you, and everything.

Friday, August 31, 2012

I Had to Write a Poem About Myself (and it has no title)


It was for Language Arts.  It's....mfdngkvbnoidfg.  It's a poem.  We had to use this ridiculous template.  Each line started with 'I' and then some other word and we had to fill in the rest.  I felt so narcissistic writing it, and I still feel that way posting it.  I was going to switch it around a little or something, but no, I'm too lazy.  I pretty much destroyed the template anyway, so...yeah.  Read.  Maybe enjoy.  Please don't die.

I am the time traveller
Carrying history in the pockets
Of my old blue coat
I wonder about the things that no one remembers
The people who lived and died and fell out of our books
I hear them whistling as they walk away forever
Hoping that they will be okay,
But not really sure, and
I want to know their names

I am the dying declaration of François Rabelais
For I'm searching for something too big, too wild
To be anything other than a 'Perhaps'
I pretend to have my head on the ground even when
I feel my hands trying to hold the universe
I touch the words and reach for them as they fall
Cascading around me from some place too far
Where, exactly, I do not know
And, God, I wish I did
I worry about not letting anyone lose themselves to the world
I cry when another is gone
And the pain of caring shreds my lungs

I am the mad sailor, lost on stormy seas
Commander of an empty ship, a long-lost library
I understand that I am drowning in mortality
As though I'm dripping with kerosene
Waiting to be set alight
I say that talking doesn't help
That I'd like to be left alone with my words, thank you very much
I dream about watching time and space unfold
Having everything that's ever been close at hand
I try my best to
I hope that when I die, at my funeral
People will have the common decency to wear smiles
And bright colors and good stories
And remember me as I was
Because I will still be the moment collector,
The lonely sea captain,
The last words
I am a girl with a long way to go before she burns

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Study in Cinnamon - Sherlock Fanfiction, Part One

So I wrote this thing! And it's a thing! That I wrote! And it's really long!

I really hope you will all like this. It's in first person which is definitely the point of view that I'm LEAST comfortable with.  Even second person is better.  I just find it hard to give my characters a good voice with first person, which is...really weird.  So I hope Katherine has a good voice, and that all the other characters seem good too. Especially Lestrade. (This story uses the BBC Sherlock show as canon, by the way).

Okay, I'll be quiet up here now, but read at the bottom, because I have notes about things there!





I drummed my fingers idly on my desk, not loudly enough to draw attention from the teacher, but enough to get annoyed looks from my classmates. I didn't really care. It was a study hall, for God's sake. They would just have to deal.

With my other hand, I doodled random things on the back of some print-outs. A dog. Shoes with wings. Hogwarts. A bird attacking the Hulk. You know, sensible things like that.

I yawned and looked at the clock. Study hall was boring when none of your friends were in it.

Apparently, I was tapping louder than I thought, because the teacher shot me a look. “Katherine,” she said sharply. I snatched my hand back from the table and slid low in my seat, trying to avoid further attention. “Come here, please.” No such luck. I cursed under my breath and walked over to her desk. Other students looked over, some concerned, some looking for entertainment.

Mrs. Castro looked me up and down with an almost disgusted look on her pinched face. “What were you doing?”

“I was tapping my fingers?” Though it should have been a statement, it came out like a question.



“Wrong. You were not tapping your fingers. You were distracting everyone in this room. Sit down and be silent for the rest of the period.”

“Err...okay.” I spun on my heel and went back to my seat, confused. I kept my eyes down for a good while, then looked back up curiously.

We'd had this substitute for months now. Mr. Lee – both my history and homeroom teacher – had gone home one day after school and hadn't come back. Family issues, we were told. He hadn't been the best teacher, but we all still missed him, especially when we had been told that Mrs. Castro would be our teacher until he returned.

No one knew much about her, except that she hated children, which was obvious from her actions. She offered us no other information than that. She was a new substitute in our school as well – or, at least, we thought so, because no one remembered ever seeing her before. Some kids had even overheard the teachers saying that they didn't know who she was. But the principal acted as though she was an old friend and told all the students that we simply didn't remember her.

That was highly doubtful. I narrowed my eyes and tried to make some deductions.

She didn't sleep well last night. Her graying hair was a little greasy and drawn back into a bun, like she hadn't had time to shower in the morning due to sleeping in, and there were more lines than usual under her eyes. Working? No, Mrs. Castro didn't care about her students. Stress? Maybe, but...


Was she scared about something? More importantly, where had that thought come from? I shook my head and looked down at the printed-out blogposts I had been drawing on. Perhaps I was just reading too much of the Blog of Dr. John H. Watson. Trying to deduce things like Sherlock, and all that. I tried to focus on my reading again, but I kept glancing over at Mrs. Castro.

Now that I thought about it, she did look a little antsy. Her eyes kept straying from her computer over to the clock, then to the door, like she was expecting someone. She kept tugging on the sleeve of her out of season Christmas sweater.

Suddenly she sat straight up and looked around the room. I ducked my head and began reading the blogposts furiously. Close call.

My neck prickled as her eyes stopped on me. My hands started to sweat, which they did under almost any slightly stressful circumstance. It was a little gross.

Basically, I needed to stop pretending I was a detective and not stare creepily at people. It wasn't the first time I'd done it.





No one was talking. We used to, when Mr. Lee was our teacher. But there was zero tolerance for any kind of noise in Mrs. Castro's classroom. The clock was the loudest thing in the room. Eyes kept straying to it as people began quietly, discreetly shoving their things into their bags, ready to make their escapes.

Any second now...

The bell rang, and everyone scrambled for the door.

“Order!” Mrs. Castro shouted. “Everyone, get back inside and walk out in a line like civilized human beings!

Too late. While some people dutifully trudged back to the classroom, most of my classmates and I were already halfway down the hall. Another escape well done. I nodded my approval. A couple of freshmen hurried out of my way, presumably because it looked like I had nodded at nothing and was crazy.

I smiled and winked at them, then slipped inside my science class.

Mr. Gilmore was drawing stick figures on the whiteboard, humming sixties rock tunes to himself, per usual. It seemed that today was a day that the citizens of Stick Figure Land went to war with each other on a chessboard, holding fruit as weapons. I stifled a giggle.

We simply could not have a better science teacher.

“Good afternoon, Miss Bonny!” Mr. Gilmore called.

“Hello, sir,” I responded, then dropped into my seat by the window and watched as he gave all the stick figures party hats.

Connor flew into his seat just as the second bell rang, looking winded and rather confused. I opened my mouth, but he held up a hand to stop me.

“Need...” Gasp. “...Air...” Gasp. “...Not...” Gasp. “Questions.”

I cupped my hand and held it out to him. “Here. Have some air.”

He punched me in the side, lightly, and I laughed. Mr. Gilmore was still drawing, apparently not aware that class was supposed to start now. I waited for my companion to regain his breath.

“We were in the media center for study hall and the librarian held us back because some people were talking,” Connor said eventually, running a hand through his hair. “I had to sprint to get here on time.”

“You needn't have,” I said, amused, gesturing at our teacher.

“Well, I see that now. But –”

“Okay, class!” Mr. Gilmore clapped his hands and grinned cheerily. “We will be continuing the forensics unit we started at the beginning of the year. Today, we're learning which part of the body bleeds the most!”

Thirty minutes later, my hands were still tinted pink with pig blood. I picked at the blood under my fingernails unconsciously. Connor looked traumatized.

“That was awful,” he muttered, rubbing his arms in an attempt to comfort himself.

I looked at him out of the corner of my eye. “Pansy.”

“Shut up.”

I smiled and patted his arm comfortingly. We were sitting back in Mrs. Castro's room, ready for history, our last class of the day. We only dared to talk because the teacher was temporarily out of the room.

The students nearest the door suddenly flipped open their notebooks and looked down at the table. There was flurry of movement as everyone scrambled for their things. Connor's elbow caught me in the face while he reached for his textbook, and I kicked him back under the table.

As predicted, Mrs. Castro huffed and puffed her way into the classroom in her usual cloud of anger. “Quiet!” she shouted, even though by this point, everyone was already silent. I suspected that she just liked shouting.

She walked up to the front of the room and tapped the chalkboard impatiently. “Read pages four forty through four forty-nine in your textbook, and answer the questions at the end in your notebooks.” I frowned. She looked tired and, yes, anxious. She wasn't even shouting anymore, instead opting to sigh and shake her head. “I will check them tomorrow at the end of class, but they won't be graded.” Then she walked straight back out of the room.

Connor looked over at me, and I stared back at him, just as bewildered. That was not how history class normally started. Normally, we were treated to more yelling. And normally, we had lectures the whole period and were expected to take notes. We never did work from the book, and nothing was left ungraded.

Murmurs started up around the room as people discussed this strange phenomena and asked each other questions about the work. No one talked loudly, though. Everyone knew better than that. Mrs. Castro had a habit of popping back in the room randomly whenever she left, trying to catch us not working.

I paged through my book absently, my mind wandering. I was slightly aware of Connor talking to me, but I waved him off. Something was obviously off, and I wanted to find out what. The question was, did I dare?

I snapped back into focus when something hit me hard in the head. “Ow! What? Huh? Ow!”

Connor looked at me levelly, still holding his history textbook aloft, prepared to smack me again if needed.

“NASA to Katherine. NASA to Katherine. Do you copy? I repeat, do you copy?”

I scowled at him. “What?”

“You were really spacing out there.” He tilted his head slowly as he spoke, as if changing the angle of his view would help him to understand my thoughts better. “You doing alright?”

I was tempted to lie to him, but even if Connor wasn't an exceptionally perceptive person, he knew me well enough to call me out on things like that. I knew I would tell him the truth. But that didn't stop me from pursing my lips in pretend contemplation and looking him over.

His forehead was furrowed. Concern? Irritation? His lips were pressed slightly, as sign I knew well. Definitely irritation. But his foot was bouncing slightly. Connor was not a twitchy person. That meant anxiety. And anxiety means concern. Concern, and irritation.

Concerned about my answer. Irritated that I hadn't given it yet.

“I think something may be wrong with Mrs. Castro,” I said softly, watching carefully for Connor's reaction. His eyebrows drew a little closer together, but I didn't take the time to read what that meant, because he nodded for me to continue.

“She seemed really...overwrought, I suppose, in study hall, and kept looking at the door as though she was expecting someone, but was nervous about it. I think it was like those times when you both really want something to happen, so you can get it over with, but at the same time just want it to never happen. It was like she was scared of something.”

Connor kept his eyes on mine the whole time. His face was blank, and it was kind of intense, so I started to panic and blubber, my composure slipping. “I don't know if that makes sense, coming from me, or if it just makes me sound crazy. But, yeah, I mean...yeah,” I finished lamely.

For a while, he said nothing, but he did stop staring at me. I took the opportunity to jump on my work. I had just finished the reading when Connor finally spoke.

“You deduced those things?” He looked down at his work, not at me, even though I had turned to him.

I nodded, wondering where he was going with that question, because, let's face it, it was kind of obvious that I had.

“Were you reading the blog again earlier?”

That question threw me off completely, and I let it show through my facial expression. Part of me wanted to punch him for the exasperated way he had said it. The other part was wondering what John Watson's blog had to do with our history teacher.

“Yeah, so?”

Connor sighed and finally looked at me. Relieved? “Well, that clears everything up.”

“Wait, what? No, it doesn't.”

“It kind of does, actually.”

I lifted my hands in the universal signal of confusion. “What are you talking about?”

“K, you've been on a crime story kick all year. And the blog – which, don't get me wrong, is intensely cool – has started you on a deductions kick. Which is also very cool, but sometimes you read too far into things. It happens to the best of us, and it's probably what happened today.” He smiled hesitantly, like he was afraid I was going to hit him.

I still wanted to, a bit, but he was making sense again. That was the thing with Connor; nearly everything he says makes sense, which makes it very hard to argue with him. Hadn't I been telling myself that I was over thinking everything earlier? Connor was probably right.


“I still think something is going on,” I told him. He shrugged and smiled wider.

“I didn't expect you not to. Just wanted to give you another possibility to think about.” I rolled my eyes.

“There are better ways to do that.”

“Mm. Whatever you say.”

We went back to working, our conversation concluded. I breezed through the work without really absorbing what I was reading or writing, my mind still preoccupied. Connor didn't really believe me. A blow to my confidence, yes, but not an especially large one. He always erred on the side of doubt, making it near impossible to get him to believe anything without hard evidence. It was annoying a lot of the time, but as much as I hated to admit it, it could be refreshing.

“Look alive, K.” Connor nudged me with his elbow, keeping his head down. “Mrs. Castro's back.”

I glanced up quickly, then curled closer around my work, a defense move I tended to take whenever a teacher was in a hostile mood. It didn't actually help, but it did make me feel a little safer. Connor tried to cover his Doctor Who hair. He failed miserably.

Mrs. Castro looked even more disgruntled than usual. She looked around the room, presumably for someone to yell at. Then she just sat down at her desk and looked at her hands. Her shoulders sagged. She was deflated. Something, obviously, had gone wrong.

Connor glanced at me out of the corner of his eye, then reached over and scribbled something on my notebook:

'Alright, you could be right. Something might be going on. But I still don't totally believe you.'

I smirked and wrote back:

'You will.'

There were three minutes left in the period when the man walked in.

Connor was the first to notice. I would have felt embarrassed for not being more observant if he didn't always watch the door during the end of class.

'Look up. Don't do anything stupid,' was what he wrote to me.

I, along with everyone else in the room, gawked at the newcomer. He was dressed sharper than anyone else you would see in our school, save the principal. A suit and tie, no less. What was it with adult men and suits in late spring anyway? Were they just heat resistant or something?

He glared around the room before stalking up to Mrs. Castro, bending down to whisper in her ear. I watched her face carefully, but it betrayed nothing. Very unlike earlier.


I wanted to completely prove Connor wrong. I wanted some adventure. But that involved taking risks.

The bell was going to ring in about thirty seconds. I made my decision. What I was about to do would get me in a boatload of trouble if I got caught. It was a terrifying plan of action, one that I had no real reason to follow through on. But it seemed that my inner detective was impossible to suppress, because I was about to blatantly ignore Connor's note.

The last bell rung, and during the commotion, I grabbed my things and threw my pencil halfway across the room, behind the computer cart. As I started after it, Connor stared at me.

“Whoops,” I told him. “It fell.”

I dove behind the cart before he could say anything else and blow my cover. Having no other choice, he filed out of the room with our classmates. I knew he would be furious, especially if I didn't find out anything. I was sorry for not giving him more of a warning, but that wasn't enough to stop me.

Then it was just me, Mrs. Castro, and the newcomer.

I tried to breathe as quietly as possible.

“What is it that you want, Mr. Roland?” I heard Mrs. Castro ask. I couldn't see what was happening – the cart had wedged me into a corner. Great for not being seen, but not for seeing.

Mr. Roland answered the question with a question. “Are you aware that there is a police officer here almost every day?”

“Yes, of course, but I don't see what –”

“You did not inform us of this.”

There was a pause.

“He's a blundering fool, that policeman. He poses no threat.” Mrs. Castro sounded like a person who was trying to convince herself of that fact.

“Did it ever occur to you that perhaps he is trained to come off as so, considering that he works in a school? Did we not specifically tell you to inform us about anything that could compromise us? It has been five months, Melinda. When did you plan on telling us?”

Mr. Roland began to pace. His footsteps were louder, sharper than Mrs. Castro's. His pacing took him very close to where I was crouched. My heart, which was already beating very fast, became an Olympic sprinter and won the bronze medal. We were all so proud.

“I...” Mrs. Castro very clearly did not know what to say. “I, um, well, I...”

“Oh, never mind.” Mr. Roland snapped. “It doesn't matter anymore. It will happen today.”

There was a sharp gasp. “But isn't that being too hasty? Are we ready for this?”

“Do not question me.” He stopped pacing next to the computer cart and began drumming his fingers on the top. I could see the back of his head.

Forget the bronze medal. My heart was taking home the gold. My mind raced, but there was no suitable excuse. Tears started pricking at my eyes, and I stuffed my fist into my mouth. If I started sniffling, it would be over without a doubt.

“We are already set,” Mr. Roland said. “Be ready.” I expected him to turn around and see me crouched there. But then he moved away, and my tears turned from tears of fear to ones of relief. I listened closely to his footsteps. He was headed towards the door.

There was the creaking of a chair, and Mrs. Castro's distinctive footfalls started after him. When I heard the door swing shut, I counted to five. Then I peaked over the cart. The room was empty. I scrambled out from my hiding spot and hurried to the door. Sticking my head into the hallway, I saw that it was also devoid of people. There weren't any lockers here. I counted to five again. Then I made a mad dash out of the room and around the corner.

The next hall was full of students, but I was so relieved to be alive that I danced all the way down it anyway. People edged out of my way. Some of the cliquey people laughed at me. But I didn't care. I boogied all the way to my locker, where Connor was waiting, his irritated expression quickly changing to a bemused one.

“Uh,” he said.

I threw my arms around him in a bear hug. “I'm alive!”

“Did you hear anything?” he asked as he hugged me back, a little awkwardly.

I pulled back and stared at him. “Connor, darling, I heard everything.”

We meandered out of the building. It took the students ages to leave anyway, so my little escapade had not put us in danger of getting yelled at. I'd finished recounting my story a couple minutes ago. Connor has been silent since then. Thinking.

He stopped walking. Turned to me. Opened his mouth. The closed it and shook his head. The meaning behind this was clear.

'There are no words to describe how incredibly stupid and awe-inspiring I find you at the same time.'

I nodded. “I know, kid. Me too.”

Connor sighed and looked at me tiredly. “What does it mean?”

“No idea.”

“But you're going to find out, aren't you?”

“I'm going to try.”

“Katherine...” His voice was full of warning, and I held up my hands in defense.

“I won't do anything stupid, I swear!”

Connor scowled. “The two of us define 'stupid' very differently, Katherine.”

I sighed. “Connor, look, it sounded pretty serious and, honestly, kind of shady. I can't just not do anything.”

“Then do something by telling someone! You're only seventeen.”

“And who, might I ask, is going to listen to a seventeen year-old?” I snapped, planting my hands on my hips.

His scowled deepened. “You're reliable, though, so I'm pretty sure that a lot of people will at least hear you out. Besides, you could be overreacting. Ever considered that? I mean, it wouldn't be the first time! Remember the haunted house last Halloween?”

That hit home. My mouth fell open. Connor's eye widened, as if he'd just realized what he'd said. He knew I was touchy about that. I did not like to be reminded that I had given myself a concussion because a fake spider freaked me out too much. I closed the distance between us and glared up at him, my hands shaking. “You complete–”

Connor never got to find out what I was going to call him. My tongue lashing was cut short by a loud call of, “Oh, hello you two!”

We jumped apart and spun to face Officer Reginald, known as Reg to the students, and another man we didn't know. Reg was friendly enough, always greeting me in the halls, but he didn't tolerate fights. His eyes were narrowed slightly, like he knew that I had been about to sock Connor in the mouth.

“Not fighting here, are we?” Reg joked, but his eyes were still serious. The unnamed man looked between us. Because to my experiences earlier with Mr. Roland, I was wary of him.

Connor panicked. “No, sir! We...we were just...having a lively debate”

I can't honestly say I felt sorry for him, but I jumped to his rescue anyway. Old habits die hard.

“About the legality of pomegranates in Romania.” I nodded wisely, even though I didn't know where this crap was coming from. “It's a very serious issue. Five ducks have been admitted to mental hospitals because of how the riots are affecting the, um, frog population.”

All three of the Y-chromosomes stared at me.

“It's a very serious issue,” I repeated.

“...Alright.” Reg seemed to accept my explanation. “Well, I don't want to hold you two up, but I just thought I would introduce you to my old friend, Detective Inspector Lestrade.” He gestured to his companion.

“How you do?” Connor asked pleasantly, holding out his hand. Lestrade shook it.

“Fine, thank you.” He sounded English.

“Hi,” I said eloquently. Lestrade nodded at me, still obviously questioning my sanity.

There was a moment of awkward silence. Then we all started walking towards the front door again, me leading the way, because really, what else do you do in the presence of a person you're mad at and two policemen? Other students were still streaming past us, but no one bothered us.

I wasn't sure why the policemen were still with us. I guess Reg didn't really believe my story about pomegranates in Romania. Lestrade was just following Reg.

I took another breath, as was dictated by my natural instincts, and started gagging uncontrollably. Everyone stopped behind me, but no one else seemed to be dying. I clamped my hands over my nose. The smell was spicy and sweet and way too overpowering.

“Is that...cinnamon?” Connor muttered. It did, in fact, smell like cinnamon. Way too much cinnamon.

Help me, my inner actress cried. I am drowning in a scent sea of cinnamon. Where art thou, Febreze?

It was a good thing that I stuck to stage crew.

“Where could that be coming from?” Reg wondered.

A hand was placed on my shoulder, and I jumped, glaring up at Connor. “Katherine, do you know?” he asked. “It looks like it's stronger for you.”

“I see right though your passive-aggressive taunts, mister,” I hissed at him. At least, I thought he was taunting me. He looked sad when I said that, though. Sad and really sorry. I felt bad, but I couldn't very well make a heartfelt apology right then. Besides, I was still smarting over what he said earlier.

Instead, I sniffed the air through my hands while turning in a slow circle. I stopped facing a supply closet and frowned.

“I think it's coming from there.” My voice sounded higher than usual and muffled. “Which is extremely odd. Someone open it.”

The adult males exchanged a look, then Reg shrugged. “Why not? It seems interesting enough.” He walked over and yanked open the door.

Reg jumped back. Students stopped walking. I shrieked in surprise, and, forgetting that I was mad at him, grabbed Connor at the same time he grabbed me. Someone else screamed.

Someone had fallen out of the supply closet.

Mr. Lee.


Whoops. It's only part one and I've already damaged a friendship, sort of revealed the reason for the title, and killed someone :O

Okay, notes!
1) Pushing Up Daisies, my SP fanfiction, IS STILL A THING THAT IS HAPPENING!  I promise.  I've just not had a lot of inspiration lately.  But I will get the next part done soon.
2) Because school ends on Thursday (WOO HOO!), I'm going to try to upload a piece of writing, hmm...every two weeks or so.  Don't kill me if I don't!  It's just something I will try to do.  I can't promise that it will be a story, or that it will be long, but I will try.
3) I'm going to read a lot of books this summer.  Just though you might like to know.

Stay awesome, bloggers

Sunday, May 20, 2012

New Story Thing?

Uh. This won't be continued, but....yeah?  I wrote this to put off homework.  It's in second person because this one line "Your name is Thalia Circe, and you're the best there is." popped into my head and wouldn't get out.  And...well.  Thalia seems to die a lot in situations like these, and I wanted her to not die for once :P So I tried my hand at writing second-person action. Not the best, but hey, it's something to post.

Thal's brother is so crazy.  I may be rewriting Pushing Up Daisies, but Finn is still the same psycho.

You dive into the drivers seat, shove the key in the ignition, and floor it.

You can't remember the last time you drove a car, and you are certain you've never driven something this modern or fancy. But that doesn't matter right now. You know the big wheel in front of you makes it turn, and that's all you need to know.

One thing you have to give your brothers hit men credit for is that they are excellent drivers with good taste in cars. You've played countless hours of Mario Kart Wii with March and Mirtil, but as you nearly roll over rounding a corner, you realize that it's not the same thing at all.

Someone leans out of the car in front of you, holding something in his hand. You frown, trying to make out what it is. Then there's three bangs in quick succession, and you scream and duck as the bullets shatter the windshield. You wrench the steering wheel to the side and start zigzagging across the road. Curses fly out of your mouth. The man looks slightly stunned.

If the car didn't belong to your psychotic brother, you would be sorry about the windshield. But it does and you're not.

You suddenly realize where the van in front of you is going. You've been on this road so many times that you didn't even take the time to look at your surroundings. Your hands clench tighter on the wheel, your knuckles going white. You don't know what prompted the random attack from your brother, you don't know why his consorts are going this way and if there are some already there, and you don't have time to think about it because all you can think is The Manor, the Manor, the Manor and your heart goes into overdrive.

You slide down in your seat as the man fires at your head again. You fumbled with the glove box with one hand, trying to pull it open. Finally the latch comes undone and you see that your hunch was right. You grab the steering wheel and pull the car straight, right behind the other one. Then you grab the revolver and start shooting.

You've never been the best shot, preferring to fight with your hands and sword. Trying to drive and shoot at the same time is only making your aim worse. But against all odds, one of your bullets hits the man's hand just as he fires again, and he drops the gun, howling in pain. There's a burning in your shoulder and you're very aware of the blood soaking your shirt and jacket, but you can't feel the pain. A hysterical laugh escapes your lips because a bullet just grazed you and there's glass lodged in your arm and you don't care. Adrenaline does funny things with nerves.

You're getting close to Elysium Asylum now. Apparently, the hit men notice too, because they accelerate. You push the car as harder, and the distance is closing, but you won't be able to swerve around and get next to the other car. The gates are visible now, and you're so panicked and confused and high on adrenaline that you just say screw it to the world and crash the cars.

Everything after that – at least how you will remember it – is like a slow motion action shot in a movie. You fling open the door and half roll, half fall out of it. A wheel just barely misses your head. There's a bang and a screech. You look around just as the mess that used to be two cars skids into a tree and something catches fire. A very wounded looking man drags himself from the wreckage and starts hobbling away as fast as he can go.

Another thing you're obliged to give the hit men credit for – they are incredibly durable.

This close to the manor you can hear that there's already a fight going on, but your side is winning easily. You're probably going to fall over soon, you know it, but you feel the need to finish your part. Somehow, your sword is still in your hand. You don't question it, and instead push yourself to your feet, swaying.

Someone calls your name and you start running – in the opposite direction. Your footsteps are heavier than usual, and for the first time the man notices that you're there. He lets out a strangled squeak and starts limping faster. Even if you catch up to him, you know you won't have the energy to take him down in hand-to-hand fight, no matter how wounded he is. He's just too big, and you're just too tired. So you skid to a halt, pull your sword out of it's sheath, and throw it like a frisbee.

The sword spins wildly through the air, and for one terrible moment, you think that you've missed. But then your weapon sticks in his back, and he drops to the ground, dead, you think, or as good as.

You turn around and start limping back to the Manor, suddenly feeling very drained. The gates are open now, and you know that the fight in there is over, too. Some of your friends are standing there, battered and bloody, but nothing too serious, which you're glad to see.

They're all staring at you like you just tried to eat your foot. Even though you're half soaked in your own blood and you're about to topple over, you still manage to feel proud enough of yourself to give them a lopsided grin and a jaunty salute.

Your name is Thalia Circe, and you're the best there is.


I have no idea how you drive a car, to be honest, or why there was an attack on Elysium Asylum.  There just was :P


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Harry Potter Poem

Tell me it isn't true.  Tell me it hasn't been two months since I posted some writing.  Tell me it hasn't been almost five months since I uploaded a decent sized story.

Uggghhh ;__; I am so ashamed of myself.  I have no idea what happened and I have no excuse.  I've been aware of this, but it hasn't really...hit me until right about now.  So naturally, I flailed around with my documents for a while before realizing a few things: 1) The next part of Pushing Up Daisies is nowhere near done, 2) My Sherlock fanfiction is not ready for posting, and 3) This is the only semi-decent thing I have to post.  It's a whole poem based off ONE LINE in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban where Hermione indicates that she doesn't like to fly, from Hermione's perspective.  I wrote it for school.  It's...not a good poem.  But I hope you take it anyway and allow me just a little more time to get my head together and whip up some fanfiction for you all.

I really, really don't like flying
But I do suppose it's better than dying
Oh God, Harry, it doesn't matter, we're going to die
Why does getting places involve having to fly?

The stars are spinning, can this really be possible?
Does flying always feel this way? It's so improbable!
I'm holding on so tight, I'm surprised you're still breathing
This is terrifying, my chest is heaving

Has it been seconds? Hours? Everything has slowed down!
I can't remember what it's like to have my feet on the ground
But I'd be lying if I said this isn't at least a little fun
I'm quite tired, and it's almost over and done

We've cheated time, broken the rules once again
I wouldn't have done it if you weren't my friend
We're saving two innocent souls from death row
Is this how every school year is going to go?

Harry, you should know, I'm no longer sure of my stomach contents
Can we please now begin our descent?
The world is starting to look like a bunch of slurred paint
My dizziness is showing no constraint

Is Buckbeak going to be able to hold the three of us?
I know there's no time to worry, though, escape is a must!
The adrenaline is rushing, we're all jacked up so high
How can I call myself a witch if I'm afraid to fly?

Stay awesome, bloggers <3