Topic: Dim Light - A Twilight Parody
I know it's not Star Wars related, but I figured you might enjoy a laugh. I decided it would be fun to mess with the Twilight story... here's my twisted version:
Warning: Adult themes, mild reference to swearing and heavy sarcasm...
A Twilight Parody
I’d never really pondered dying much, but then I always figured I’d die old or go out in a blaze of glory. You know like driving a monster truck over a bunch of flaming cars and not quite making it.
Being someone’s victim really sucked. I mean where was the guy with the machine guns to take out the baddie? Oh well, reality is never as interesting as fiction. Well at least it wasn’t until recently.
I guess though if I do have to die a victim at least it’s in the place of someone I love. They just better live it up or I’ll come back and haunt them.
Perhaps stupidity had rendered my judgement less than sensible, however I couldn’t regret my decision to live in Spoons. Life had amazingly allowed me to live an outrageously good dream and like all dreams this one had to come to an end. I just hadn’t imagined it would be so soon.
The hunter smiled at me, it was the calm before the storm. Frankly I was up the creek without a paddle.
1. FIRST SIGHT
Moving from Phoenix to Spoons was going to be an interesting experience. For one I was trading a hot bustling city for a cold, damp country town. On the up side I would be less likely to get sunburned.
When my mother remarried I was rather annoyed. Gill was a nice enough bloke, if not a bit of a tosser. But hey he made my mother happy. Unfortunately to see them together was rather stomach turning for a teenage daughter. I mean who wants to watch their mother make out with a guy?
Anyway so it’s off to the airport. Mum’s driving the car like there’s no tomorrow. As a farewell gesture I’m wearing my lucky pair of panties. I haven’t actually gotten lucky in them, but they’ve brought me luck in exam times. They’re white with pink lace and a picture of a rather seductive looking kitty cat on the front.
Spoons is a rather oddly named town. It is known to have the most miserable weather in the United States of America. It’s either: cloudy, rainy, stormy or all the above. I’m not sure if the town’s people have ever actually seen the sun.
My parents lived in Spoons until the early months of my childhood. Mum packed us up and my Dad, Harley, was left to pick up the pieces.
However every year since then I’ve spent a month during summer with my father, Harley. Until the last two years, I’d been stubborn and asked Dad to visit me instead. Plus I figure he needed some sunlight. Everyone needs vitamin D after all.
So to escape my moony eyed mother and her new husband, I’d decided to exile myself in dreary Spoons. I would miss the heat and bright sunlight of Phoenix. But then Mum and Gill would be travelling all over the country side so I wouldn’t see a lot of Phoenix anyway.
“Stella,” my mum said to me, breaking me away from my train of thought, “You don’t have to do this.”
This was like the thousandth time I’d heard my mother say this. In essence I knew she was only doing it to feel less guilty. We were at the airport now and I knew there was no way she’d get a refund if I changed my mind.
I’d miss my harebrained, odd but loving mother. But she needed some time alone with Gill and I really didn’t want to think too much about it.
“I’ve got the plane ticket now, Mum. Besides I want to go,” sure it was a lie. I’d rather be going to a tropical island with Colin Farrell.
“Tell Harley I said hi,” she said as she chewed her lip.
“I’ll see you soon,” she insisted, “You can come home whenever you want. I’ll come right back as soon as you need me.” The promise was true but it would be sacrificing her well earned time alone with Gill.
“Don’t worry, mum,” I urged, “It’ll be great. Love you,” I said as I gave her a hug.
The boring monotone of the flight attendant called for boarding and I parted ways with my mother. The flight was four hours from Phoenix to Seattle, another hour in a small plane up to Port Angeles, and then an hour drive back down to Spoons.
It’d give me time to read the Mills & Boon I’d smuggled from Mum’s exhaustive collection. I didn’t dare to read it when I would be stuck in the car with Harley. I had no idea what he’d think of such fictional trash.
Harley seemed genuinely pleased that I was coming to live with him. I guess he was sick of being alone in his bachelor pad. Either that or he figured I’d clean up after him. Yeah right, I’m the teenager and it’s the parent’s job to nag about the clean room.
I knew he’d already gotten things sorted with the local High School. He also said he was in the process of getting me my own set of wheels. I just hoped it wasn’t rusted out from the ever present rain.
It was at Port Angeles that I said farewell to the sun. The rain was drizzling down like a curtain closing off the life I’d left behind me. Welcome to your future I thought glumly as I chewed a jelly snake.
Harley was leaning on his patrol car. Ah the looks you get when being picked up by your Police Chief dad. No I’m not on my way to prison, I felt like saying to the populace. Although it was probably widely known in Spoons, being a small town, that Police Chief Raven was picking up his daughter.
I was glad Harley was getting me a car. I really didn’t want to be driven around in a cop car. Not for just the embarrassment factor, but also due to the fact that all cars seemed to slow down when they see a vehicle with red and blues on the roof.
I was a little surprised when Harley gave me a hug. He wasn’t an emotional type of guy.
I was genuinely happy to see him.
“It’s good to see you, Stella. How was the flight?” he asked as he quickly dropped his arms and stepped back.
I almost tripped over my bag as I stepped back. “It was okay. The food was rubbish as usual.”
Then came the polite question I was expecting, “So how’s Renita?”
“She’s good, Dad” I wasn’t allowed to call him Harley to his face. He started loading my bags into the car. There were only two. “She said to say hi.”
With the question out of the way his smile returned. “I’ve found you a car. It’s cheap and really good for you.”
I was a little concerned, cheap and for you meant it was probably a rusted out old tank. Harley didn’t seem to think I could drive without having an accident. What could I say? Reverse parking wasn’t my forte, besides the damn BMW should have left more space.
I had to ask, “What sort of car?”
“It’s a truck actually, an old Chevy.”
“Where did you find it?” If he said under a monster truck I’d threaten to strangle him.
“Do you remember Willy White down at Le Shove?” Le Shove is the tiny Indian reservation on the coast.
“No,” I said as I drew a blank.
“He used to go fishing with us in the summer,” Harley prompted.
This didn’t help as I do a good job of blocking painful memories. Hook in finger, serious ouchie.
“He’s in a wheelchair now,” Harley continued not seeming to worry about my lack of answer, “so he can’t drive anymore. He offered to sell me his truck cheap.”
Harley prattled on about how much work was done to it even though it was older than I was. He eventually confessed that he’d already bought it for me. I wondered if I could get the suspension converted... monster truck here I come.
I thanked him for his generosity. It would make living in Spoons more bearable. If I needed to go to an isolated place to scream out my frustration I now had transport to get me there.
Once the conversation ended we travelled in silence. The countryside was beautiful and completely different to what I was used to. For one it was green; green trees, green moss on tree trunks, green grass and green ferns. I wondered if the tranquillity promoting photos were taken from here.
The house was the same one that Harley and Renita had lived in during the early years of their marriage. Not that their marriage had progressed into anything beyond that. Renita had run off before that possibility. The house was a modest two bedroom, somewhat faded but it had homely appeal.
Out the front was my new truck. It was a metal beast that would surely tear apart any new cars that it might encounter. The possibilities of converting it were already rushing through my head. It was red and I could imagine bright yellow and orange flames painted down the side. Oh yes my father had bought me an awesome truck. Pity he had no idea what I’d like to do with it.
I got my old bedroom. The only change being that there was a second hand computer sitting on the desk ready for internet surfing. This was my mother’s requirement. Snail mail was not an acceptable means of communication as far as she was concerned.
Harley left me to get settle. He never was one to hover.
I didn’t like the prospect of starting at a new school. Especially one that was so small at only three hundred and fifty seven, well now eight. That was half the number that was in my year alone back in Phoenix.
The worst thing would be that I’d be the new kid, the freak from the big city. The other teens would have grown up knowing each other, hell their parents were probably cousins for all I knew. Ah the joys of small country towns.
Being from Phoenix I should be blonde, tanned and athletic. Instead I was a pale brunette with the lack of co-ordination that others sniggered at constantly. As far as hand/eye co-ordination goes; if I manage to avoid getting hit in the head with a ball I consider myself being co-ordinated.
I wasn’t able to fit in at Phoenix, probably due to my lack of plastic surgery and fashion sense. I wondered if I’d be accepted in Spoons and decided the chances were small. I didn’t have a cousin to breed with.
I didn’t sleep well that night. I cried at my loss of the known and decent into unknown country hick territory. The constant rain also kept me awake and running for the toilet. I wondered how long it would be before Harley complained about the sudden decline in toilet roll numbers.
As usual the sky was a mass of grey clouds that seemed to press down on me. Breakfast was a quiet affair. Harley left for work before I left for school. I wasn’t able to admire my truck due to the drizzle.
The school wasn’t hard to find. It was off the highway, like anything else of importance in Spoons. I made my way to the office and declared my presence.
As soon as the clerk heard that I was Stella Raven she hurried around like an excited chicken gathering paperwork. Gossip worked faster in the country it seemed.
I made it to my first class with little difficulty. My English teacher didn’t introduce me to the class which was a blessing. Chances were everyone knew who I was anyway.
As class finished and I started to head off I was apprehended by a geek who introduced himself as Derek. He offered to help me to my next class. Not wanting to be rude I told him where my next class was and he led the way. As expected he asked how I was enjoying my first day.
I held back on my initial response of as fun as swallowing razor blades and instead said, “It’s very different to Phoenix.” I then had to explain that it only rained there three or four times a year. Apparently this was astounding to Derek.
Of course he then pointed out my lack of tan. “I’m part of a cult that abhors the sun.” My sarcasm went straight over his head.
Eventually lunch time arrived. I was starting to become familiar with a number of faces but names eluded me. My memory had always been shocking with names. Luckily I’d been welcomed to a table by a girl named Joslin.
Derek joined us and introduced another girl named Angie. It was then that I spotted them; five very pale and very beautiful people. They walked with the grace of dancers and seemed aloof to those around them.
I turned to Joslin, “Who are they?”
It only took a glance for Joslin to know who I was speaking about. “That’s the Sullens and the Pales.”
I pulled a face and she elaborated. “The blondes, Rosa and Casper are the Pales, they’re twins. Edmund, Clemet and Alison are the Sullens. But they’re not related. They’re foster children of Dr Sullen and his wife.”
With surnames like Sullen and Pale I wondered if they were part of the witness protection program. The names seemed ludicrous especially since they were pale and sullen. The group were eerily quiet and didn’t touch their lunches. I had a feeling that these people were more like predators than prey. I shook my head. I’d been watching too many Japanese horror flicks.
I took a closer look at the guys of the group. The largest was built like a brick sh*thouse with dark curly hair. Next to him sat a taller, leaner blonde. This had to be Casper. Beside him sat the most attractive of them. He was lanky, less bulky, with untidy, bronze coloured hair. He was more boyish than the others. They seemed too old to be going to High School. Perhaps they’d repeated several times. Beauty didn’t mean brains came with the package.
I switched my attention to the girls. They were complete opposites. The blonde had to be Rosa. She was tall with the sort of body that screamed do me now, big boy. I immediately turned my attention to the other girl. I really didn’t need that sort of knock to my already low self esteem.
The elf-like short girl was pretty with her black hair cropped short and pointing out in all different directions. This would be Alison, she reminded me of an anime beauty. Yep I needed to lay off the Japanese flicks, animated or film.
Despite their differences the five all looked alike. They were pale with deep shadows under their eyes. Their irises were also dark, almost black even. The thought of predators fluttered through my mind. I really did need to watch less television.
Yet for all their obvious differences, they were unbelievably good looking. It was like five supermodels had decided to come to Spoons to do some slumming. It was hard to decide which one was the biggest hottie. The blonde girl or the bronze haired guy, since I was heterosexual I was most definitely inclined to say the guy.
I turned back to Joslin, “They’re very... nice looking.”
She let out a sigh, “Totally doable aren’t they. They are all together though. Clemet and Rosa, and Casper and Alison, I mean. And they live together.” Her tone suggested that such a situation was outrageous. Perhaps I would fit in without needing a relative as my lover.
“So have they always lived in Spoons?” I said as I bit into my apple.
Joslin shook her head, “No they arrived about two years ago from Alaska. You’d think they’d have some sort of tan by now even in this cloudy town.”
Derek spoke up, “Maybe they’re members of that cult you’re part of, Stella.”
Joslin looked confused as I frowned, “Cult?”
“Apparently Derek doesn’t understand sarcasm,” I explained.
Joslin smirked, “Oh he does, but only if it’s in Vulcan.”
“Trekkie?” I asked.
Joslin nodded, “Yep, Trekkie.”
That explained a lot. I turned my attention back to the Sullens and Pales, “So which one is single?”
With a brief nod in the direction of the bronze haired one, “That’d be Edmund. He’s gorgeous of course. But he doesn’t date. Apparently none of the girls here are good-looking enough for him.”
I saw the slightest smile tug at Edmund’s lips as if he heard what Joslin had just said. He didn’t look our way so I had to assume that one of his table mates had said something amusing.
“So he turned you down cold?” I asked Joslin already knowing the answer.
Joslin’s nose wrinkled like she smelt something bad, “Yeah, bastard. I can only hope he has herpes or something horrible.”
I laughed as I cast a quick gaze at Edmund who had lost his smile. It was at that moment he turned and looked at me with a puzzled look on his face.
I returned my attention back to Joslin feeling slightly embarrassed. Though chances were Edmund would have no idea I was laughing at him.
The bell rang and it was time to leave. I walked with Angie to Biology and hoped that I’d be able to sit with her. Before I had the chance I introduced myself to the teacher, Mr Tanner, who pointed me to the only spare seat in the class – beside Edmund Sullen.
Joslin’s comments went through my mind and I smiled apologetically to Edmund. His obsidian eyes watched me with a disturbing intensity. Before I could say anything he covered his mouth and nose with his hand as he visibly heaved.
I was certain I’d put deodorant on that morning. I didn’t eat any onion or garlic for lunch. My only other assumption was that I’d possibly stood in dog poo. I quickly checked my shoes before sitting down.
As I arranged my books I discretely sniffed my armpits. No stench that I could detect. Perhaps he ate something that didn’t agree with him. That thought was put to bed as he shifted as far away as possible from me.
I shrugged, perhaps someone nearby had farted and I’d thankfully missed smelling it. I tried to focus on the lesson but my attention kept wandering back to Edmund and his hostile glares.
On the odd occasion when he wasn’t glaring at me I noticed that he wasn’t nearly as slight as I’d first thought. His pale arms were lean but hard. He was built like an Olympic swimmer and I found myself wondering if he looked as good without his clothes.
My train of thought was derailed as his fist tightened and his jaw clenched. I was starting to wonder if Joslin’s bitter opinion of him had merit to it. This guy was seriously giving me the cold shoulder. I chanced another look and was greeted with a stare of revulsion. I could tell we were going to be great friends... not.
It seemed to take forever for class to end. When it did Edmund was on his feet, he was much taller than I thought, and out the door before I could blink. I let out a breath I hadn’t realised I’d been holding.
I felt my temper building. Edmund had been so mean without provocation. I could feel my eyes watering up much to my annoyance. Whenever I get angry the waterworks comes with it. Worst thing is that nobody ever takes an angry crier seriously.
My boiling temper was disrupted as a male voice penetrated my darkening mood. “Are you Stella Raven?”
I looked up to see a friendly face, much to my relief. “Yes I’m Stella.”
He was a cute baby-faced blonde with hair spiked with gel. “I’m Mick.”
“Hi Mick,” I said politely as I gathered my books.
“Do you need any help finding your next class?” he asked.
“I’m headed to the gym. I think I can find it.” I tried to hide my shudder of repulsion. I was bound to be shunned once my true inability to play sports shined through.
“That’s my next class too,” he seemed thrilled. I couldn’t comprehend why. But then he didn’t know of the catastrophe that would come.
Mick was a chatterbox. He made most of the conversation as we headed to the gym. Turned out he’d originally come from California and understood my mourning of the sunlight.
Then the conversation took a new path. “So what did you do to Edmund Sullen? I figured you must have stabbed him with a pencil or something. I’ve never seen him act like that.”
I explained my theory of someone farting nearby and Edmund blaming me. “I never got to ask him what his problem was.”
“He looked like he was in pain. I’m guessing someone must have dropped a clanger.” Mick said as he scratched the back of his neck.
“I guess so,” I muttered.
“He’s a weird guy. If I’d been lucky enough to sit next to you, I would have talked to you.” He said as he lingered longer than he needed to.
His comment warmed me. So far Mick had been the nicest person I’d met all day. We parted as I headed for the girl’s change room. I still felt irritated by my encounter with Edmund.
The gym teacher, Coach Flapp, found me a uniform, but I didn’t need to change into it for that particular lesson. I was thankful as it smelt like it had been soaking in a bucket full of sweat for an indeterminable amount of time. If I’d been wearing this around Edmund Sullen I could have understood his distaste for my presence.
Four separate games of volleyball were being played and I swallowed the lump that rose in my throat. There was going to be pain today. Whether I received it or inflicted it was yet to be known. The Gods of Chaos immediately greeted me with a fist to the head as someone mistakenly thought it was the volleyball.
After a thousand apologies and a cold pack later, the bell finally rang. It was time to hand my paperwork back to the office chick. As I arrived there a familiar figure stood at the desk quietly arguing, with an attractive voice, about changing classes.
It only took a moment for me to realise that Edmund Sullen was trying to get out of our Biology class. I couldn’t accept that the reason was due to me or the phantom fart. Surely this guy wasn’t that bigger drama queen.
The door behind me opened as a lady dropped in her paperwork, the wind gusted in at her entrance. Edmund suddenly became aware of my presence and threw me yet another glare before storming off in a huff.
“What’s his problem?” I asked the receptionist.
She shrugged as she took a sip from her coffee mug, “Who knows, probably broke up with his girlfriend and can’t possibly be in the same class as her. Typical teenage gripe, build a bridge and get over it already.”
My lip twitched into a slight grin. Obviously this woman had been jaded by too many years working at a high school. I handed her my paperwork and headed for my truck.
I sank into the vinyl seat with heavy relief. The truck was my haven. I turned the key and let out a sigh as I headed home. What a fabulous first day.
2. OPEN BOOK
The next day was better in some respects, worse in others.
Better because the rain had stopped, though the clouds were eternally present as always. A routine was starting to fall into place and I seemed to have befriended a nice enough group of people. Amazingly they seemed to accept my awkward and gloomy presence.
The gloominess was due to my lack of sleep. The wind and the rain continued to keep me awake. The constant howling allowed my imagination to run at full speed, even though I’d stopped watching Japanese horror movies.
I was doomed to remain in PE for the rest of my school life. Unfortunately the subject was mandatory throughout the corresponding years. Joy oh joy.
It was also worse because Edmund Sullen wasn’t at school. I knew I should have been pleased but there was this part of me that had to know why he’d taken such a dislike to me. It seemed so unnatural to hate someone so instantaneously.
I had been mulling over what I would say to him. However I discovered his absence at lunch when I saw that there were only four figures at the Sullen and Pale table. Maybe he had contracted a stomach bug. That would explain the heaving. Somehow I doubted the idea as it crossed my mind.
He was also absent in Biology. I kept sniffing the air every so often to see if the phantom farter had struck again, no luck. My curiosity only increased with his absence.
School ended with another disastrous PE class. I’d swung my arm out to deflect a wayward volleyball and slapped someone in the face, which in turn had them fall back and land on someone else. I’d picked up the whispered nickname Tornado.
After school I did a grocery shop. I’d decided that I preferred edible food, something Harley could only provide if he’d ordered it from a menu. Cooking wasn’t one of Harley’s strengths. Thankfully it was something I could do. Somehow I had gained finesse in the kitchen.
After leaving the chicken to cook in the oven I decided it best to check my email. I found that my mother had written to me numerous times, growing more impatient for a reply with each one.
To keep her happy I sent a short reply letting her know that all was well and that I was settling into Spoons okay. I let her know that there hadn’t been a lot to write about. The weather was constantly the same. My highlight was the truck. Once I finished, I sent the email and closed the computer down.
Harley arrived home as I started to read the assigned novel for English. I swear I heard his tummy rumble as he lifted his head to sniff the mouth-watering scent of roast chicken.
“I decided to cook,” I told him as he wandered into the kitchen.
“It smells pretty good,” he commented as he looked through the oven door.
“I just hope it tastes as good as it smells.” I replied as I retrieved the oven mitts.
Dinner was a quiet affair. We ate in a comfortable silence. He broke it after a while, “So how was school?”
“It was okay.” I said as I smeared my chicken with gravy.
“Have you made any friends?” he asked casually.
I nodded, “There’s a few nice people.” I listed off Mick, Joslin, Angie and Derek.
Harley seemed to know of them and approved of their friendships. I finished chewing and asked the question I’d been holding back. “So what do you think of the Sullens?”
Harley looked angry, “Dr Sullen is the best doctor to ever grace this town. So many folk questioned why such a great surgeon would come here. The rumour mill went crazy for a while. Especially about them having so many foster children, people really shouldn’t be so harsh. I’ve had no problems with any of their kids.”
I decided to side with Harley, “Yeah they seem nice enough, but they keep to themselves. They are very attractive.”
Harley laughed, “You should see Dr Sullen. Every female in that hospital seems to make a pass at him.”
I mulled over what Harley said as we washed up.
The next few days were Edmund Sullen free. I was beginning to wonder if the phantom fart had killed him. I checked the local obituaries but I was fairly certain I would have heard something if he had kicked the bucket. News like that would have been the juiciest since my arrival.
The week passed and I grew more comfortable. No Edmund meant that I didn’t have anyone glaring daggers at me. I relaxed and got into the groove. The weekend was pretty uneventful.
After my first class on Monday we were greeted by snow. Mick seemed enraptured by the sight. I soon discovered why. It seemed he was the snowball king.
By lunchtime the snow had melted away. For this I was thankful as I’d somehow managed not to get into a snowball fight. The idea of snow down my back was not a pleasant one. As we walked into the cafeteria, I glance at the Sullen and Pale table and was stunned to see that there were five occupants today.
I realised that Joslin had said something to me and I blinked blankly at her. “I said what are you going to get to eat?”
With butterflies in my stomach I hardly felt hungry but decided it was best to eat something. I grabbed blueberry pie and bottle of water. I figured the sugar would keep me going.
As we sat down at our usual table I glanced over at the Sullen and Pale table. I didn’t receive the death glare from Edmund I was expecting. Instead they were busy laughing and chatting. The boys had dripping wet hair. It seemed they’d been enjoying the snowball fights too.
“What are you staring at, Stella?” Joslin asked as she looked my way.
At that moment Edmund turned to look at me. I quickly looked away, noticing that he didn’t give me the look of death.
“I see that the Brady Bunch were not immune to the snow fighting,” I said quickly.
Joslin chuckled and looked over my shoulder. “Edmund Sullen is staring at you.”
“He’s probably intending to sacrifice me to the Gods at dawn,” I said drily.
Joslin’s brow furrowed, “Why would he do that?”
I shrugged, “No idea, the guy seems to hate me.”
Joslin nodded, “Yeah Mick told me about your phantom fart theory. Edmund seems overly harsh. Maybe it’s a prank that’s been pulled on him too many times.”
“Does he look angry at me?” I asked.
Joslin’s mouth twitched, “No not really, more curious if anything. I wouldn’t worry about him. The Sullens don’t like anybody.”
I got the distinct impression that Joslin’s opinion was tainted by her rejection.
Lunch finished and I headed to Biology. As I reached my desk I decided to scribble on the cover of my notebook. A microscope and slides were places on the table as Edmund slid into the seat beside me. I had decided to ignore him.
Apparently he had other ideas, “Hi,” he said quietly with a very pleasant voice.
I tilted my head to study him, there was no hostile glaring. “So you’re talking to me today.”
He looked stung, “Sorry about that. I wasn’t feeling well.”
It seemed a pretty lame excuse but at least he was apologising. I picked up the slides.
“I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself,” he continued, “I’m Edmund Sullen.”
I continued to look at the slide, “I’m Stella Raven.”
Nothing more was said as Mr Tanner let us know what the practical was. Turned out we had to put the slides in order. The object was onion root and the slides were various stages of mitosis. Worst was the fact that we had to work in pairs.
Edmund pushed the microscope my way, “Ladies first, partner.”
I stopped myself from rolling my eyes. Fabulous I had a lab partner that was ditching the work on me. I let out a sigh as I looked at the first slide.
“I could start if you wish,” he volunteered.
I shook my head and focussed the lens. I’d done this prac before, “Prophase.”
“Mind if I have a look?” he asked as I began to remove the slide. His hand reached out to stop my motions and I froze. His fingers were ice cold. I wondered if he’d found a stray snowdrift prior to class, hence the chilly hands.
His touch made me jump but it wasn’t from the cold. I could have sworn and electric current ran through me due to his contact. Had to be a static shock, I thought to myself.
“I’m sorry,” he said as he moved his hands away.
I pushed the microscope towards him. I shrugged casually, but my heart was beating faster. “No problem. Your hands are cold.”
He studied me for a moment before shifting his attention to the microscope, “Yep, prophase.” He filled in our worksheet accordingly.
He switched slides and proclaimed, “Anaphase.”
As he moved to write it down I angled for the microscope, “May I?”
Edmund smirked, “Of course,” he said as he pushed the microscope towards me.
I didn’t have any chance of gloating. He was right. I gave a nod of approval as he wrote down the answer.
We continued on and I noticed that he seemed to try and avoid touching me. I decided this was a good thing. We finished before everyone else and sat in silence. I started scribbling on my notebook again.
He cleared his throat and I looked up. My eyes narrowed as I realised something was different about him. I blinked, “Did you get contacts?”
He shook his head, “No.”
I pointed to his eyes with the end of my pencil, “Your eyes are a different colour. They were black last time I saw you. Now they’re almost golden.”
He shrugged but looked uncomfortable, “Must be the light.”
I frowned as he looked away. I noticed his hands clench into fists. The guy needed to wear a mood ring. His mood swings were worse than a woman going through menopause.
Mr Tanner came over to see why we weren’t working. I was offended when he assumed that Edmund had done all the work. I was getting ready to lay it into him when Edmund came to my defence.
“Actually Stella identified three of the five.”
Mr Tanner looked sceptical. “Have you done this prac before, Stella?”
I felt insulted, did he honestly think that doing it twice was the only way I could know what I was doing? I grit my teeth and replied politely, “Yes sir.”
He nodded, “Were you in an advanced class in Phoenix?”
My ire was subsiding, “Yes I was.”
“Well, I guess it’s good that the two of you are partners then.” Satisfied, Mr Tanner walked off to patronise someone else.
I glared daggers at his back.
“It’s a shame the snow melted,” Edmund commented.
I wondered if he was like most guys and missed the opportunity to write his name in the snow. I didn’t understand why guys seemed so preoccupied with the notion. “Not really,” I replied as I continued to scribble.
“You don’t like the cold?” he asked, apparent fascination in his tone.
I laid down my pencil. “Not particularly. I don’t like the wet either.”
“Spoons must be a difficult place for you to live,” he mused.
I considered saying sh*t happens but opted for, “You have no idea.”
His fascination seemed to grow with my comment. I tried not to look at his handsome face anymore than I needed to. I didn’t want to embarrass myself by staring.
“Why did you come here then?”
He was the first person to ask me straight out. I considered my reply for a moment. The sarcastic part of me wanted to say aliens abducted me and decided to experiment on me by sending me to the crappiest place on the earth. But since he lived here I figured it wouldn’t go down well. I decided to stick to the truth.
“My mother remarried,” simple and true.
Edmund’s eyes roamed my face for a moment, “So you don’t like your new stepfather?”
I’d never really thought of Gill as a stepfather, merely my mother’s new play thing... I mean husband. “Gill’s okay.”
Apparently this didn’t quench Edmund’s thirst for answers. “So why didn’t you stay with them?”
“The walls are too thin in Gill’s house,” I said and watched as a light tint flushed Edmund’s cheeks.
“Oh,” he said seeming a little lost for words, “That’ll do it.”
I smiled smugly. “Yeah it certainly will. Plus Gill travels a lot and my mum wanted to go with him.”
This seemed to be more comfortable territory for Edmund and the flushed cheeks went back to pale whiteness. “So your mother sent you here while they travel?”
I shook my head, “No, I volunteered.”
This seemed to confuse him even more, “I don’t understand.”
I sighed, “I get my jollies being a martyr.” I said unwilling to explain my situation to a complete stranger who may or may not hate my guts. “So why does it matter to you?”
Very quietly he replied, “That’s a very good question.” I wasn’t sure if he was talking to me or more to himself.
I turned my attention to the front of the room. The posters on the wall suddenly became very interesting.
“Am I annoying you?”
I chewed my bottom lip, “I guess not. I’m just used to people assuming to know what I’m thinking. My mother says I’m an open book.”
He gave me a curious look, “On the contrary, I find you very difficult to read.” He sounded like he really meant it.
The idea seemed foreign to me. Every expression on my face gave away my thoughts in general. It took a lot of effort for me to hide my feelings. “Perhaps you haven’t looked close enough.”
Before Edmund could comment the bell rang. He was out of his seat and out of the door as fast as the last time. Hot as he was, he really was a weird one.
I was packing up when I heard Mick’s familiar voice. “That was a hard, you’re lucky you had Sullen for a lab partner.”
I smiled at Mick. At least his moods were consistent and easy to forecast: dreary with a change of enthusiasm for the afternoon.
“It wasn’t so bad, I’d done it before.” I said hoping that I wouldn’t hurt his feelings.
“Sullen seemed friendly enough today,” Mick commented clearly not happy with the idea.
I tried to sound indifferent, “I don’t know what his problem was on Monday. I forgot to ask him about the phantom farter.”
Mick chuckled, “I’ve been trying to suss that out for you, but no luck.”
“Would you own up to it if it were you?” I said with a cheeky grin.
“Damn straight, I’d like my victims to know the power of my stench. Don’t cross me or I’ll gas you!” he said as he puffed out his chest mimicking a superhero.
My mood soured as we reached the gym. Mick was on my team and valiantly protected me from incoming balls. He was a sweetheart. I’m sure the others thought so too, there was no whispering of Tornado.
The rain had turned to mist by the time school finished for the day. The warmth of my truck’s cab was comforting. I noticed a white figure watching me as he stood beside a silver Volvo. I smirked; trust Edmund Sullen to be a damn Volvo driver.
I nearly backed into a rusted out Toyota Corolla while inwardly laughing. In turn Edmund openly laughed at me, bloody karma.
It was like thousands of voices cried out for a sequel and were suddenly silenced...