Hi Prominators, so writing has been a little difficult for me lately, life seems to be going at an awkward pace for me with so much happening, and my mind trying to contain all of it. I pick up my journal to write…and after three sentences I go blank, anyway…
Today I’m starting my artisodes (article episodes)- Its like my article series, I write a story but in episodes. I would publish new episodes Mondays and Fridays. This is the first episode in this series called ‘THE FREEWHEELING’ and I’m really proud of it, and I’ll be putting a lot into it so I hope you like it, if you have any opinions just leave a comment.
Thanks for your time…Here it goes…
Artisode 1-Out Of Place
“Are we there yet?! I really want to pee!” her whiny voice filled up the atmosphere, she sounded exasperated, watching the sun set outside the car window, the orange streaks seem to soothe her.
“Almost there sweetie” her mother’s voice slightly echoed, her smile forced a little pink on her pale face “when we get to the hotel you can pee…just be patient, read a book or something” Aileen rolled her eyes, focusing on the endless trees they seemed to drive past, she had stopped counting in the first five minutes. They had been driving for five hours, and no one wanted to tell her where they were headed. ‘It’s probably a birthday surprise’ she thought.
She had hoped she would celebrate her sixteenth birthday at home, with her friends and class mates, but her parents had other plans. Aileen sighed, she just wanted to pee right now.
Zandra turned to look at her husband, she placed her hand on his shoulder giving it a little rub as his grip tightened on the steering “Stanley how long till we get there? Aileen is getting anxious”
“Very soon, honey” Stanley never took his eyes off the road, but increased the speed at which he was going. In a few minutes it started drizzling, the sun had set and it was hard for them to see the road ahead.
Stanley switched on the headlights, the down pour sounded like the wailing of an angry child, it was sudden and loud and the rain made it difficult to drive.
“Mom? What just happened?” Aileen’s voice softened as she looked out the window, it had gotten darker and for some reason she could see shadows around the car, “just a weather change honey” her mum took out her phone from a black purse with the earphones attached, she handed them over to Aileen who was quick to plug them in her ears, the loud music drowned the noise of the rain accompanied by thunder and lightning. The song sounded familiar, she shrieked recognizing Timbaland’s ‘Morning After Dark’ from the guitar work she heard in the intro.
Aileen’s body swayed to the beat not paying attention to the conversation her parents seem to be having, she could just see their mouths moving. As she nodded and danced in response to the music her eyes caught a glimpse of a figure ahead, it stood still…head bent to the left, there was a red glow from its eyes, no! her eyes- it was a her, and her dark hair floated like she was being electrocuted. Aileen took out the earphones slowly and leaned forward trying to make sure it was just her imagining things, the rain fell around her, it was like the rain drops were scared of touching her.
The look on her parents’ face convinced her that she was not crazy, her dad narrowed his eyes also leaning forward. As the car approached the figure slowly lifted its its right hand still in the middle of the road, Aileen noticed she had no clothes on.
“Zandra?” Stanley started “Is that…?”
” Gleaner!!!” Zandra yelled… in a split second the car was in the air, everything seemed to slow down and Aileen could hear her heart pound, objects slowly flew around like they were in some vacuum with all the gravity sucked out of the atmosphere around her and soon everything sped up again like it never happened, adrenaline flooded Aileen’s system as she screamed. The car began to shrink, like it was being crushed, the sound of metal being squeezed seemed to be competing with the occasional thunder.
“Dad, mum…what’s going on?!” Aileen began to hyper ventilate as the car slowly turned up side down, the sound of the metal being crushed seemed to heighten her anxiousness, the strange figure had somehow gotten in front of the car again, this time she was levitating, she looked right at Aileen, the snarl on her face made Aileen’s skin crawl, her heart began to pound faster…it felt like it would fail her anytime soon.
Zandra made some hand gestures and the car doors slowly detached, the calmness in her mother’s voice when she said “It’s alright Aileen, we’ll explain later” terrified Aileen, wasn’t anyone seeing what was happening? was she dreaming? her mother grunted loudly, veins popping out of her neck, her hands forming tight fists, she suddenly pushed them outward, and the car doors flew open, without hesitation both her mum and dad jumped out.
Aileen didn’t have time to think, mid-air her mum stretched her hands at her, she felt like her whole body was wrapped and suddenly her mum threw her arm in the direction her dad stood. Aileen felt like she was yanked out of the car forcing her to fly towards her dad who caught her with ease, he put her down and turned her around as their gaze met, he could feel her whole body shaking as she tried to find words to say, “D..d-dad? W-what?”
“Hey! Hey! Listen to me, you have to get out of here…now!” Rain water dripped from his head, nose and eyelid down the rest of his face, Aileen stared at him looking for anything to distract her from what felt like a weird dream, she looked at his hair, which was curly and his chocolate skin looked like it had been oiled. Aileen felt him shake her, snapping her back to reality and forcing her to focus “Are you listening to me?!! Aileen!!”
“What? no…what about you….. how? where is mum…” Aileen didn’t realized she had already been crying till she heard how thick and muffled her voice sounded, suddenly her mum flew past them and straight into a tree.
“MOM!!!” Aileen yelled she tried to move but couldn’t, it was like her body rejected the commands her brain gave it.
“Stanley get her out of here..!!” Zandra’s voice was louder and had an echo, it sounded like she wasn’t the only one talking, like a mix of different voices combined with hers as she spoke..her eyes glowed a pale pink color as she flew out of the now dented tree and headed straight for the creature.
Aileen began hyperventilating again, she clutched her father’s arm as her feet failed to hold her up”…Dad please, I’m not leaving…what if something happens? why won’t you tell me what’s going on?…What if I get lost or worst, I don’t- I can’t…I don’t even know where we are..and mum, what? how?”
Her father’s grip tightened around her shoulder…”Look at me!!” he snapped as her eyes darted around, her brain was still trying to understand what was happening “Aileen look at me! Run! Run, and no matter what don’t stop…Get out of her now, Run!” he gave her a tight, brief hug, and a soft kiss on the head and pointed at the vast ocean of trees behind him.
“Run Aileen, Run!” he yelled even louder and suddenly her legs started to work, she sped past him and into the thick swarm of trees, she sobbed softly too scared that if she cried someone or something would hear her and come after her, she kept running, the occasional lightning helped her see through the forest, her leg had an abrupt collision with a tree stump she hadn’t noticed and she tripped-
“NO!!!” Aileen yelled as she sprung up from her bed, her heart rate seemed to be out of controll, the ringing sound of her alarm snapped her back to reality.
“It’s the nightmares again, isn’t it?” Chloe’s voice came from across the room, she leaned against the glass door that lead to the balcony, her brunette hair tied up in a ponytail. She wore a black and white poca dot night gown and tiger head flipflops.
“Uhh… it’s um, it’s nothing…” Aileen stopped the alarm realizing she had a massive headache with sweat all over her body.
“Aileen, you sure?” Chloe walked towards Aileen’s bed, the light from the light bulbs reflected against the pale yellow painted walls plus her art paintings, giving the room a bohemian vibe. She sat at the edge of the bed, legs crossed at the knees. “You know you can talk to me…”
“Really? Can I? Cause last time I remember talking to you landed me with an appointment to see a shrink” Aileen blurted getting up from her bed, she took off her blue tank top revealing the black bra underneath which was now soaked with sweat.
“Okay, that was one time…and you were freaking out, talking about being followed by shadows…I got worried” Chloe got up following Aileen as she dumped the top in a laundry bag, and started to take off her baggy flower patterned pajama pants.
“Well thanks for your concern, I’m fine..” she said with a sigh
“You better be, can’t afford to go to a party with you acting all creepy” Chloe’s arms stretched out accompanied by a yawn.
“Party?” Aileen stopped at the bathroom door, she turned around her gaze back at Chloe, who looked a little startled “Uhhh…” she started “Did I say party?”
“Chloe?” Aileen crossed her arms giving her a stern look, Chloe hesitated, her eyes darted around the room like she was trying to decide if she should tell the truth or not.
She started with a sigh “Okay, okay… Ace and I had planned a surprise party for your eighteenth birthday”
“Are you kidding me?” Aileen grabbed a tooth paste nearby and threw it straight at Chloe who was quick to duck and it hit the night stand behind her.
“Yo! Chill!!” Chloe yelled as Aileen picked up a hairbrush this time.
“YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT MY BIRTHDAY!!” Aileen threw the hair brush at her also.
“Which is why we didn’t want to tell you…you didn’t celebrate your 16th and 17th birthday, and I understood why, but you’re turning 18, not everyone is lucky enough to get to see their 18th birthday…just please”
Aileen ran her fingers through her hair, her left hand on her waist, she bit her lip trying hard not to scream as she shot a deadly look at Chloe.
“Look…if you really want to get mad, get mad at your boyfriend not me, I’m just the best friend who helped…it was his idea, not mine” Chloe said casually as she walked towards the cream colored dressing table across the room.
“I just can’t believe you guys…” Aileen shook her head and walked into the bathroom slamming the door shut.
The sound of gravel being crushed beneath her feet was somewhat comforting as opposed to the cold zephyr that blew against her skin. It was times like this that Allen wish she had a jacket, she quickly ran up the stairs, the hard concrete made a click sound when it came in contact with her red peep-toe heels.
She reread the text Ace had sent her, he had told her they would be having dinner together and she had to be there by seven o’ clock, thankfully he told her he had cancelled the party they were planning. She adjusted the straps of her gown, the white silk radiated beneath the dim light that shone above the entrance of the huge hall.
The little voice in Aileen’s head kept telling her how odd it was that Ace would pick this place to have dinner, as far as she knew it was where the church near her house had their seminars, but she quickly brushed the thought of realizing that was the least weirdest thing that had happened today. First it was the nightmares, she thought they had stopped…she hadn’t had any for months now- the thought of going back to therapy was not pleasant, second one was in the bathroom while she brushed her teeth she noticed her reflection seemed to flicker-it kept vanishing and returning and when she looked at her hands her body was doing the same thing…it took all the willpower she had to not scream, then on her way to work in her hurry she bumped into the newspaper guy and for a split second everything seemed to be going in slow motion, his breathing slowed down as he fell backward, and she saw every inch of muscle move as the shock he felt slowly appeared on his face….the car horns around had slowed down and lasted longer than normal, every move made by a passerby could be seen frame by frame-and then suddenly it stopped.
Just when she thought the weirdness bar could not be any higher, in dance class she had booked the room for herself and had been practicing the choreography for the showcase and today it just seemed harder to concentrate with so much going on, she was tensed and agitated, she remembered throwing the remote she had in her hand and screaming… and in that moment the mirrors exploded, like that wasn’t scary enough the shards were suspended, just floating around her, like they had been held up by invisible strings, not even one had touched the floor, so she was literally surrounded by floating broken glass and-
“Hey…” The familiar smooth baritone voice that called out to her interrupted her thoughts, she hadn’t realized Ace was right in front of her, he held her upper arms and rubbed them gently as he searched her eyes”Are you okay?”
“Yeah I am…just a little tired” she forced a smile “You look nice..” and she meant it, he had obviously gotten a haircut, his dark hair had a shine to it. He wore a black tuxedo, and was wearing the wrist watch she had gotten him, it all highlighted his light skin.
“Me? Look at you, heck we could get married right now…” his eyes lit up as he spoke, Aileen couldn’t help but laugh, she brushed a little strand of hair behind her ear.
“Yeah well… there’s a lot more to that than a pretty dress…. long way to go before we get there” she held his hand and with a smile said “um..Can we go already? Its really cold…”
“Right, right!” Ace said suddenly in a haste “sorry about that…” he seemed nervous all of a sudden, wrapping his arm around her and guiding her into the building.
It was dark, and was definitely warmer than the pavement outside. ‘Why is it so dark? and really quiet?” she stuttered as she spoke, for some reason she was getting tensed
“Calm down, I rented the place for the night…so its just us” he said reassuringly taking her deeper in to the building, suddenly he stopped and for a while there was silence. Aileen felt his hands leave her and all the lights abruptly came on accompanied by a loud echo of “SURPRISE!!!! HAPPY EIGHTEENTH BIRTHDAY AILEEN!!!!”
Confetti fell all around her and different colors of light gleamed across the hall. The whole hall had been decorated, balloons of different colors, mostly black and white- her favorite colors. There was a huge banner right in the center that read ‘HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY LEE’. Loud music blared from the speakers, it was one of her favorite bands, American Authors. Round tables were set with flowers in the middle, everyone was dressed up, in gowns and tux-okay maybe some people were a little casual. Her relatives and classmates were here, she hadn’t see some of them since graduation.
Aileen’s eyes were wide with shock ‘Ace lied to me, that devil!’ she thought turning to her side to glare at him. As she thought he had taken some steps away from her, probably trying to keep a safe distance…he mouthed the words ‘I’m sorry’ adding a pout and joining his palms together pleadingly. ‘I’m going to kill you’ she mouthed back inaudibly.
“Lee!!!” it was a shriek that Aileen knew all too well…and there was only one way to respond.
“Aunt Barbara!” She yelled back, a huge smile plastered across her face, arms wide open as the stout, light skinned lady with a bob and red dress approached her and pulled her into a tight, long hug, swaying left and right.
“Oooh my darling, happy birthday” Barbara groaned not wanting to let go” I’m so happy for you” she said letting go of her just enough to look at her face” you look so pretty…and so grown” apparently the hugging wasn’t over, Aunt Barbara held her again.
“Barb, let the girl breathe…” a husky voice called out from behind and Aileen felt a pat on her back. Thankfully her aunt let go and Aileen let out a huge sigh. She turned around and was welcomed by the smiling face of her uncle, Danny.
“Uncle Danny” she said between her teeth when he was finally close enough, still faking a smile “did you know about this?” the loudness of the music made it sound like she was whispering.
“Look chipmunk, its just for a few hours, I’m pretty sure you’ll be fine okay?” he chuckled and patted her on the shoulder, shaking her a little bit “loosen up…have fun, you deserve it, happy birthday chipmunk”
Aileen let out a sigh, maybe he was right…she needed this after the day she had. Besides what’s the worst that could happen?
The party had gone smoothly so far, the food was great, although she couldn’t drink anything, cause someone thought it was a good idea to spike the drinks, yet everyone seemed to be having fun, and she was all caught up on the lives of most of here classmates. People danced and played games and did all sorts of stuff. Aileen glanced at her wrist watch…it was already a few minutes past nine, and her mind kept replaying the events of the day, the only person she could talk to was her uncle. She got up from her chair and went to find him, she spotted him at a corner leaning against a wall talking to some men Aileen recognized as his friends from work, she quickened her pace.
“Uncle” she tapped him lightly on his shoulder.
“yes, little chipmunk…what’s up?”he said louder than he had meant to.
“when are you going to stop calling me that? I’m not a six year old anymore…”
“I decide when I want to stop, heck in my grave I’ll be singing the chipmunk song” he yelled and added a little laughter, Aileen could tell he wasn’t sober-maybe tipsy…well at least he wouldn’t think she’s crazy.
“Uncle I need to talk to you about something..” she played with her fingers nervously, not able to look at him.
“Well spit it out already…” he said now sounding a little more serious.
“I’ve been having these weird changes , like I don’t know what’s going on with me…I’ve been feeling different and…” she spoke slowly trying not to stutter.
“changes?… how do you mean? changes like what…” he shook his head like he was trying to process what she was saying.
“well..yeah…. like today in the bathroom I-”
“Ooohh…changes!!!” he interrupted her, his eyes widening-giving him this scared look.
“Exactly..” Aileen yelled, a bit relieved and surprised that he understood her.
“Umm…Lee trust me I would love to help, but this is not my specialty…this girl issues…” he held his chest as he spoke trying his best not to look grossed out.
“No, no, uncle you don’t understand…” she shook her head realizing he had missed the whole point.
“Oh trust me I do, I understand that you need to talk to your aunt Barbara, or Ms Stanford… I think I saw her talking to the DJ” he said pushing her away
“Uncle please listen” she whined and turned back to look at him but he was gone. She looked around and he was nowhere to be found. So she decided to find her aunt.
She walked towards the DJ section but stopped when she felt someone grab her arm.
“Hey there cute stuff…” Charlie said pulling her towards him, she could tell he was pretty much drunk and she didn’t have time for his craziness, she still had to deal with hers.
“Look Charlie, I don’t have time for this..I’m looking for someone” she said trying to pull away from him.
“Come on, don’t you want a present?” he had a mischievous smile, as his left hand found its way to her waist. She smacked it away, still trying to pull away.
“Let go of me Charlie…” she was getting agitated, his grip had gotten tighter, now he was pulling her. “Let go of me!!!” she yelled, and it was like a huge force had hit Charlie that suddenly sent him flying across the room and straight to the wall behind him, everyone gasped, and all movements stopped, now all eyes were on her.
Ace ran towards her but stopped just before he was close enough, he looked scared and confused, Aileen took a step towards him “Ace”, he took a step back.
“What’s up with you, Lee?” his eyes were directed at her arms, her body was vanishing and reappearing, like she was a hologram. The lights in the building began to flicker at the same time, causing momentary darkness before turning on and then repeating.
“I don’t..I don’t know..” she looked at her hands, everyone stared at her wide eyed and began to murmur among each other, some even pointed.
With the corner of her eyes, Aileen noticed a figure drop, she turned around, it was her classmate Ursula, she heard another thud, this time it was the DJ, and like dominoes people dropped one by one, and a sudden uproar started, everyone went into chaos trying to run out of the hall.
Aileen looked around, she scanned the hall for Chloe, or her aunt or uncle or anyone….the lights still flickered, her body refused to remain stable and Charlie was still unconscious, even though more than half of the people here were unconscious. The screams were deafening, but the louder people yelled, the more distant it sounded, her vision began to blur like everything was fading, and it felt like her head was spinning. She approached a wall, and leaned on it trying to stop her eyes from shutting. She could hear her heart beat really fast, she needed to get out of there so she propped herself up into a standing position, she had barely taken a few steps and she found herself on the floor…the floor vibrated as people scrambled around, the vibrations gave her a slight headache.
As her eyes closed shut, her mind wandered, drifting from one thought to another, she saw two sets of feet approach her, they had black pairs of Timberland on, she felt herself being lifted….Aileen laughed, it was so ironic and sort of funny cause on the week of her 16th birthday she had been listening to Timbaland’s song… well at least now Ace would listen to her when she says she doesn’t want to celebrate her birthday. Where was Ace anyway?…
So that’s it for today, if you like it then click the like button, leave a comment, and the next episode will be up by Friday, have an awesome week!!