Turn Off the Stars.

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    amber-

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    Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by amber- on Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:32 am

    Turn Off the Stars.


    (photo editing and story editing credit goes to Claire)


    ...and sleep under fluorescent lights.
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    amber-

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by amber- on Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:33 am

    s.
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    amber-

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by amber- on Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:33 am

    Chapter One.
    Yearbook. It's anticipated with dread. Your picture for everyone to see, for everyone to gawk at, to be stored away on a dusty shelf or in a ragged box for a decade, only to be pulled out again to go to the high school reunion. I don't like yearbooks much.

    He has his camera, bulky and outdated, slung over his shoulder and a pad of paper in his hand. He adjusts the camera strap, gripping tighter to his crappy ballpoint pen. He finally looks up at us like he's surprised to see we're standing right in front of him, when really he targeted us fifty feet away. "The yearbook is doing a new feature this year. We ask people personal questions but the names remain anonymous."

    I stare at him. The yearbooks are arriving late this year, so the seniors are getting theirs sent in the mail. He must’ve been asking these questions just for personal amusement. He swallows uncomfortably and continues. "What is the weirdest place you've woken up at?"

    Beside me, Lea laughs. "Like after you've had sex?"

    He gives us a scornful look but doesn't leave. He's intent on getting his answer. I think about it for only a moment. "The bathtub."

    He nods, his expression serious, scribbles it down, and asks for a picture. Lea wraps an arm around my shoulder and smiles her infamous sultry grin; I don't smile. The guy finally leaves and I turn to as well, Lea following, cackling all the way. She didn't realize that my answer was not going to be used anyway. "What were you, drunk?"

    I wasn't. I just needed a safe place from that party.

    "Or high?"

    Hardly. The joint was just to take the edge off.

    "Or were you with someone?"

    In reality, there was more than a hundred people at that house. But I don't like living in reality, so I was alone. My pace quickens and soon Lea is calling out.

    "Brett, wait up!" Lea scrambles after me but I don't stop walking until we reach the parking lot. School had ended ten minutes ago but the lot’s still crammed with cars. Someone starts up a motorcycle nearby; it’s Josh, senior year's failure.

    I'm surprised Lea isn't swooning. She's had a crush on Josh since second grade. Instead her dark blue eyes travel over to where Kai is pulling out in his shiny sports car. A girl in the passenger seat laughs, the sound funneling into our ears. My blood doesn't boil and I don't spit fire. Smoke doesn't even spout from my ears. I'm only disappointed.

    "What is she doing in his car?" Lea questions.

    I shrug. "Kai is attempting cheating. But I broke up with him."

    "When?" Lea looks as astonished as she should.

    "About thirty seconds ago." This is what I tell myself, what I etch into my mind so the pain is numbed until I can deal with it. "Let's go."

    Lea doesn't ask any more questions. She's good at knowing when to stay quiet, the main reason why we are best friends. Lea's car is old and guzzles gas. The interior is covered in sparkles from all the school dances that we had been to and her older sisters before us. The radio doesn't work half the time, but we like the white noise. It's a background for our silence, or mine really. Lea's favorite pastime is talking.

    "Can you believe we're really done with school, Brett? Today was our last day. We're done. We're free."

    I half expect her to honk the car horn in excitement. "There's still college.”

    She groans. "I don't get why you're so eager for it. You're leaving two days after graduation!"

    "Art knows no limit." It was a cheesy thing to say, but it was true. Studying art in England is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I smirk because Lea can't see as she pulls out onto the road.

    "What am I going to do without you?" A whine enters her voice and we both wince. We share a mutual hatred for whining despite the fact that Lea does it often.

    "You'll survive, Lea." Our town zooms past the windows in all its finery; the supermarkets and department stores, the parks and elementary schools, the community college, and torn-down warehouses. We live in a place that is halfway between nowhere and somewhere. That’s what we, the locals, thought of ourselves. Some stayed and some left. I was leaving.

    "I can't believe Kai is cheating on you again." I knew she couldn't keep it in for much longer. "I know they say once a cheater is always a cheater but still! She wasn't even that pretty. If he was going to be two-faced he could've at least made it worthwhile."

    I’m silent.

    "She's in my math class. I never liked her much."

    That's probably true. Lea doesn't like anyone in her math class.

    "Wait, shouldn't I say she used to be in my math class, since school's over now and all? Summer is going to be so lame without you, Brett. Who am I going to call to pick me up when I'm wasted and I can't drive? Or after a really bad hook up? I'm going to look like such a mess."

    At least Lea is honest. I murmur, "You'll be a hot mess."

    "That's true." She sounds thoughtful. "Who am I going to shop with?" She actually sounds horrified at the idea of shopping alone. I understand- you always need a second opinion.

    "You'll find someone," I reassure her, partly because I care and partly because I don't.

    "I know I will. But they won’t be you.”

    It felt good to hear that. That no one was me, that Lea couldn't mold a carbon copy of her best friend. She could though. I wasn't that original. My phone starts to ring. It was a normal ringtone because Lea couldn't stand to listen to my indie-rock bands, even for a measly thirty seconds. I don't even look at the screen because I know it's Kai.

    Lea glances at my phone. "It's Kai. Want me to pick it up?"

    "If you want." I continue to stare out the window.

    "You're a fucking asshole, Kai," Lea hisses into the cell's speaker. "Don't even try to grow the balls to come near Brett again. We're done with you."

    Lea and I were a package with our boyfriends. Some guys were intimidated to have a girlfriend and her best friend around all the time but Kai was an egotistical ass who loved the attention.

    "Thanks, Lea." I smile and the muscles in my face hurt.

    She grins. "No problem."

    I plan on leaving with no strings attached. When I come back Lea will be happy at the university a couple hours away, and my younger brother will hold his own at school. Dad will still read the newspaper every morning and Mom will cook dinner at six o'clock sharp. Kai will be forgotten.

    The cityscape (or rather, small-town-scape) whirrs by, one colour blurring into the next. I whisper, mostly to myself, "I'm going to miss this."

    And I wonder if I really mean it. Lea puts on her blinker, grinning. "No, you're not, Brett. As Gertrude Stein once said, "America is my country and London is my hometown."

    "That was Paris, not London, you idiot. Besides, I'm not going to be living in London."

    "But you're still going to be more than one thousand miles away."

    She finally had a valid point. For once, Lea didn't say anything more all the way home.
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    The fluorescent lights were too bright; her eyes began to water as she scrambled for a safe haven among the chaos. She followed the shadows, whether they were part of her imagination or not, they were still guiding her. If the shadows weren't real then neither were the voices, the words that haunted her head. She ascended the polished stairs and followed the shadows down the lit hallway, her light footsteps drawing no attention from anybody nearby. A door was at the end of the hall, solitary and beckoning. On the other side she found the dark shadows took shape in the form of people in a room void of lights, except for the slanting rays of moonlight escaping through the window. They were smiling and kissing and smoking and laughing.

    She took the joint that was offered to her right away, closing her eyes and pretending not to recognize any of the faces before her. It was better if they were strangers, pretty imaginary people that her mind had conjured. Breathe in, breathe out. It was easy and it was simple; breathing, that is.

    The beat reverberating from downstairs drifted into her ears, making her body sway. She put her arms into the air, eyes still squeezed shut, and let herself float. Back and forth, back and forth. She could forget who she was and who he was and who they were and everything in between. This time she would do it right; forget it all. Someone's hand brushed her arm. Her eyes opened to a cloud of smoke and soon she was choking. They were smiling and kissing and smoking and laughing. She didn't belong here, she never really did.

    Panic crept into her chest then, snarling and ablaze like a dragon. As she turned and flung open the door, the shadows began chasing her. Or maybe that was only her imagination. One step, another step, and another. She raced back down the stairs and lost herself in the crowd. Breathe in, breathe out. It wasn't as easy anymore. The faces jeered at her, but maybe that was just paranoia talking. Stumbling for refuge she saw a door hidden away in a corner. Without a second thought, she found herself teetering down another set of stairs. There were even more shadows here. They were smiling and kissing and smoking and laughing. And there was another door.

    This time beyond the entrance there was no one but her. She shut the door behind her and locked it quick. Crumbling to the checkered tile floor, the sobs began to wrack her body. Breathe in, breathe out. He didn't love her and she didn't love him and they didn't really love each other and yet everyone loved them.

    The shadows loved them and so did her imagination. Before the voices could enter her thoughts, she crawled over to the tub and hauled herself inside. She turned the knob and allowed the cold water to pour over her body. The shower curtain was pulled so the shadows wouldn't find her. No one could find her here in the dark. Even if they were smiling and kissing and smoking and laughing. No fluorescent lights could ever illuminate her.




    A/N:: Sorry, the last bit was quite emo. Oh well, we'll all just have to deal. Anyway, I've had this in the works for a while now since Flannel is almost finished (I still haven't decided whether to post its completion or not.) I hope you somewhat enjoy this story. I'm just really playing around with different styles/angles/settings. =]


    Last edited by shatteredxlolli on Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:45 am; edited 2 times in total
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    Morgayne

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by Morgayne on Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:36 am

    love the name and the photo <3
    (& Claire, I just clicked on the link to your profile. lmao, love your GIFs)
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    chronic

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by chronic on Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:38 am

    i'd prefer to sleep under stars to be perfectly honest, but to each his own.



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    amber-

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by amber- on Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:46 am

    Thankyou, Morgs! =D

    **ignoringMir**

    Chapter one posted. =]
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    Morgayne

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by Morgayne on Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:47 am

    omg that's so long!
    & I have a huge headache from staring at the computer
    I'll read it first thing tomorrow Very Happy
    & you're welcome Smile
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    linda

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by linda on Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:39 am

    I love it Amber!
    Very detailed and I already love the characters.
    Post more soon.
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    lynsie.☮

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by lynsie.☮ on Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:12 pm

    dudeee that's awesome! like i love how you put the bathtub part at the end, like ah i just love this & the whole shadow thing ((:
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    Selina

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by Selina on Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:37 pm

    Post Flannel's ending, please? Smile

    And alskdjfa;lksjdf.
    This is AMAZING as usual, of course.

    And Kai's a hot name, despite his attitude which I don't like... ;D

    (And bathtub? loll.) <333
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    claire

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by claire on Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:00 am

    Smashing as always. LOVE the different angles/POVs, and the second part is SO poetic and skdfjksdjfa.

    (THANKS MORGS. GIFs > THE WORLD)




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    chronic

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by chronic on Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:07 am

    hi this is my new obsession
    i might even consider sleeping under flourescent lights
    dont count on it.



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    IZZY

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by IZZY on Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:26 pm

    I love this. Everything about it. asdfgmazing!
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    ibelieveinfairies

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by ibelieveinfairies on Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:56 pm

    THIS.
    This is my new favorite by you!
    I, personally, didn't think the last part was emo.
    I found it wondering why she felt that way.
    I also thought it was very poetic and I loved the last sentence.


    I love this! <3
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    sb

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by sb on Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:31 pm

    OH MY GOD.

    This is beautiful, really. You've always had a knack for that descriptive, dreamy style of writing that I've never been able to grasp. You're an illusionist of the best kind, and your characters are to die for.

    I love you, I love this, and I would love if you posted more of it<3







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    Zoe

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by Zoe on Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:36 pm

    I need to read this.
    I just love the title. :D
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    erika!

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by erika! on Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:46 pm

    I love this(=
    Post more!
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    LaurenElizabeth

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    Re: Turn Off the Stars.

    Post by LaurenElizabeth on Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:50 pm

    this is amazing:) post more soon!

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