Friday, September 2, 2011

Chapter 2: Vanessa Paige


I let the letter fall to the sidewalk, the scene before me blurring as my eyes filled with tears. I let myself fall into a sitting position on the stairs and propped my elbows on my knees, placing my head in my hands and letting the tears join the letter on the ground.

Why does everything have to fall apart all at once?

“Vanessa?” Jeremy's voice asked tentatively. I opened my eyes and looked up while he sat down beside me and picked the letter up off the ground. “Read it.” I said, brushing the tears off my face and breathing deeply to calm myself.

His eyes ran across the paper, his face growing darker with every word. “We're losing the bookstore, then. It's official.” He said, folding the paper and setting it beside him with a look of complete disgust.

I nodded slowly. “I shouldn't feel so bad. We've known this was coming for months. I should go tell the guys.” I started standing, but Jeremy placed a hand on my shoulder, pulling me gently back down to my seat.

“Wait. Let's give them until closing. Vanessa, just because we knew it was coming, doesn't make it hurt any less. It's that man, Harold Rodgers, and his evil business that makes the whole thing so stupid, and ridiculous. Why he couldn't just find somewhere else to put his new building is a mystery to me.”

“Can we not talk about this anymore?” I asked, putting my head in my hands again. Images ran through my mind, the fire rising up from my house, Tyler walking away, the cancer results, countless doctor appointments, my grandma's last words, the first few days at the orphanage, my first foster family, and finally, the words from the letter that sat on the sidewalk.

“What else is there to talk about right now? We both know you won't be able to think about anything else for a long time.”

“Vanessa Paige?” A deep voice asked. I looked up to find a man with a heavily scarred face and a fedora looking down at me. “That's me.” I said, standing. He put out his hand which I took and shook. “I'm Clark. If my information is correct, your father disappeared when you were young, and you still don't know where to look for him?”

“My father's dead. I'll thank you not to bring up the subject again.” I said, turning to go back into the store. Jeremy followed me, opening the door for me. “I may have information on where you might find him!”

I paused, looking the man over for a second, just a small glimmer of hope attempting to break through my emotional barriers. Then I shook my head and entered the building, unwilling to go through that emotional roller coaster again. The door closed and the bell rang, a high pitched noise. I put on a fake smile, looking around the used book store for a moment before heading behind the counter.

“So, did the letter come?” Hannah asked. I looked up at her, her eyes cheerful even in the face of failure and defeat. “Well... Yeah.” I said, unable to lie to her. She raised an eyebrow. “So?” She prompted after I didn't say anything.

I glanced at the clock and sighed. “We're losing the book store. We have to be out of here by Saturday.” I said sadly. She gasped, putting a hand to her mouth and looking shocked. “I can't... this place... I'm sorry.” She said, pulling me into a tight hug.

“It's especially hard, right after... you know, Tyler and everything.”

I felt a wave of emotion roll over me as she said his name and looked away. She gasped again. “Oh, I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have... I'm going to go help Jeremy.” She hurried out from behind the counter into the back room.

I rubbed my forehead and turned grandma's picture to face me. “I wish you were here. You would know what to do. How to save the book store.”

Silence.

I sighed and took the picture off the counter, placing it inside the cardboard box that had once held our lost and found. As I set the picture inside, there was a small sound like metal hitting glass, so I pulled the box out onto the counter and moved the picture.

Sitting at the bottom were a set of dog tags. 

They read Martin Abraham Paige.

Dad?

My eyes were now wide and I picked up the small piece of paper that had been under the dog tags. If you want to know more about how I got these, meet me in Burningham park. We can discuss it there.

I fingered the dog tags slowly, took a deep breath, then put the chain around my neck. I reached across the counter to grab my keys and my jacket, then circled the counter and headed out the door.

“Hey, Vanessa, where are you going?” I heard Jeremy ask as I walked down the front steps. “Burningham Park. Jeremy, someone knows what happened to my father. I have to find out if he's still alive, or at least what happened to him.”

Jeremy rounded on me, forcing me to stop. He put a hand on both my shoulders and leaned in to look at me. “Vanessa, your father has been gone your entire life. The last time anyone saw him, you were three. That was twenty years ago! You are setting yourself up to be disappointed, and hurt. Please don't do this to yourself.”

I looked up into his dark brown eyes. “Jeremy, I have to do this. What if he is alive? What kind of daughter would I be if I didn't at least give this a shot?”

“There's no proof he even knows anything about your dad.” Jeremy insisted.

“He had his dog tags.”

He frowned, pausing for a second to think that over.

“I guess we're going to burningham park then, aren't we?” He asked, running a hand through his hair. I nodded, and he released my shoulders. “I need your support here, Jeremy, whether we find that my father really is dead or not.” I said.

“You have it.” He said after only a slight hesitation.

I smiled and we started walking to my car. “Do you think we should at least tell Hannah?” He asked, opening my door for me. I slid inside the small silver car and waited for him to get in the passenger seat before answering. 

“No, she can take care of it. Besides, if we told Hannah that there was the slightest chance my father was still alive, she'd tell the whole town about how he hadn't really died and was instead in hiding, secretly protecting those he loves from all sorts of dangerous men in tan trench coats.”

Jeremy snorted. “I guess you're right.”

I pulled smoothly out of the parking space and into the stream of cars heading on their merry way. I imagined what I'd find waiting at the park, attempting to force myself not to get my hopes up anymore than necessary.

I'd only seen one picture of my dad, about two months before the fire had destroyed any other remnants of him. It had been a wedding picture, with him in his black tuxedo and my mom in her beautiful wedding gown. He'd looked handsome, and so happy that all my childhood I wished I could meet him, that I could have known him.

Nobody really knew where he had disappeared to. About eight months before mom had died in the fire, dad had gone on a trip and never came back. All mom ever got was a phone call saying that he loved her. Grandma said he sounded anxious and worried, that he sounded like someone calling as their plane crashed to the ground.

That's why no one ever went looking for him. They all assumed that he had died in a plane crash somewhere.

All except my mom.

Grandma said that mom spent every day looking for him, calling around trying to find him, that she said she would know if he had died, that a part of her would have died with him. Grandma said that until the very day she did pass away, she never stopped looking and never lost hope.

“Hey, are you okay?” Jeremy asked, breaking me out of my daydreaming. I realized that a few tears had run down my face and choked out a laugh. “I forgot how much I missed Grandma. How much we used to talk together.” I said, turning and stopping in a parking place. A signed stood high that read Burningham Park.

“Are you ready for this?” He asked. I let out a long breath and shook my head.

 “No. But I need to find the truth.” 

With those words, I opened the door and headed out to do just that.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Prologue and Chapter 1: Evelyn Pierce


I'm going to be completely honest with you, I have no clue why I am writing this. Maybe it's for selfish reasons, so I can go back and say. 'Look, this is what you've accomplished.' Maybe I want some sort of reassurance that in all my actions, I've done the right thing.
Maybe I'm insane.
The latter is probably the most correct, as reliving the past years of my life is going to be like repeating all the torture and difficulties I've gone through. There were good things too, however and, now that I think about it, I guess that's why I'm really writing this; To prove that the good outweighed the bad through all of this nonsense.
Whatever the reason, I will write, and I'll try to focus on all of the great experiences we all had together. But I'm doing this wrong. From the beginning, then?
Hello, my name is Evelyn Pierce and this is my story.
Chapter 1: Evelyn
I spent the entire day of my nineteenth birthday with the eery feeling that I was being watched. Throughout the day, I would glimpse a stranger staring at me, but as soon as I turned to get a better look, they'd be reading or writing.
Twice I ran into someone in the store and I'm almost certain that the man had run into me on purpose. I'm less sure about the second man, but he did give me an odd, calculating look when I apologized for bumping into him. By the time I pulled in the drive way of my home, I was ready to call the police and lock all the doors.
You're making a big deal of absolutely nothing, Evelyn. I told myself as I unloaded the groceries and brought them inside. Even the house seemed suspiciously dark and quiet. “I'm home!” I called as I put away the milk and eggs in the fridge.
Hello? Is anyone else around?” I left the cereal on the counter and entered the living room. “Evelyn, we're in here.” Grandpa called from his study. I walked to it, but stopped dead in the doorway. “Hello, Evelyn.”
Sitting in the study with my grandfather, was the second man from the store. Evelyn, I don't have any time to explain, but you need to run. Right now. That man is the leader of a very dangerous group of people, and he's here to take you to prison.
I shivered. Who are you and how did you get in my head?
Silence.
My name is Ryan. When I say go, you run. Got it? Ready, set, GO!
The man raised a pistol and pointed it at me, but Grandpa tackled him. I only glimpsed the fight briefly before I ducked out of the room and ran for my life. What about Grandpa? I questioned, I can't just abandon him. dodging the kitchen table and diving out the door onto the lawn. He'll be okay, we're sending a team in to rescue him and Spencer shouldn't be concerned with him. You're the one he was after, and if memory serves, your grandpa was a Navy Seal. I think he can handle a fight.
I scrambled to my feet and then hopped on Branden’s motorcycle, pulling the duplicate key from my pocket and speeding away. Oh, thanks. That's comforting. 'It's okay, your grandpa's going to be fine because the nut job with the pistol was only after you.' I mocked. Where do I go from here? Adrenaline shot through me when I had to swerve to avoid hitting a stray kitten.
Take the next left, then just go straight until you reach an abandoned warehouse. It will have the word Illusion written on it. Once you reach that, go inside and you'll find myself and a few of my colleagues.
I snorted. Yeah, because it's a brilliant idea for me to go by myself into an abandoned warehouse where some psychopath who has intruded in on my thoughts is waiting with a whole bunch of his friends who are probably armed and ready to kill me faster than the psychopath with a gun! How in the world am I supposed to trust you?
That's when I heard gun shots and a car behind me. At this point, I really don't think trust is the issue, the fact that you're about to die in a car chase is what you should be worried about. I swerved down the left street that I'd been told to follow and sped up. Left does look like the better option. I admitted grudgingly. Do I ditch the bike?
Not yet, this street is longer than it seems.
I nearly jumped out of my skin when a second car flew out from a small side street in front of me. Straight is no longer an option! I cried. Left or right, left or right? Only about a hundred feet until myself and the car would collide, and there were streets on either side I could take. They're both dead ends. You're going to have to jump.
Jump? Don't you have anymore brilliant plans that don't involve my death?
No answer, and the car was coming fast. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, thanked goodness for all the adrenaline pumping through me, and took the third option. At the last possible second, I jerked the bike to the left and jumped up onto the sidewalk, barely missing a telephone pole.
I look back, and smiled when I saw that both cars had stopped in order to avoid a collision. Heck yeah! Let's do that again. I said as relief poured through me. Let's not. Ryan's voice said coolly. I pulled back out onto the street, looked back one more time to give the black cars a grin and a wave.
Until I realized that they'd turned around and were back for the chase. It's okay, you're almost there and they can't come inside the warehouse. Glancing at the buildings revealed nothing, and a wall was quickly coming towards me.
None of these buildings say Illusion, and I'm about to crash into a giant wall. I told him. More gun shots resounded and one grazed my shoulder. That was way too close. Ryan, there is a wall, I have to turn. It was sixty feet away. Fifty feet. The closer I got, the more I could make out the graffiti. That's when I realized that the wall was plastered in the word Illusion.
You are insane! I'm not driving through the wall! Panic spread through me and I closed my eyes as the wall approached. Trust me, Evelyn, the wall isn't as unforgiving as it looks. Ryan said. I opened my eyes again and watched as I shot towards death.
Five feet. Collision.
Or not. The instant that the wall should have hit me, I slid straight through it and out into a giant room filled with people. I slammed on the brakes so that I wouldn't hit anyone, and instead went flying off onto the floor, sliding and bruising myself up pretty bad.
“Are you alright?” A man rushed to my side and helped me to me feet. He went to let me stand on my own, but I nearly collapsed so he stayed at my side. “Well, as fun as that car chase was, I never, ever want to relive that event.
“Welcome, Evelyn, I'm Ryan.” The same voice that had been in my head greeted cheerfully.
He was tall and had black hair and green eyes. “Oh, yeah, let's just welcome the girl who led those foolish Normals straight to us, Why don't we?” Someone asked.
Aww, shut up, Pete.” Another voice said.
The resounding sound of gunshots rang through the air, followed by a crash and an explosion, shaking the room slightly. “They can't get in, right?” I asked with a concerned look at the door. Several people laughed, and the man that was supporting me just chuckled.
“Even if they did, there's no way they'd escaped until we had complete certainty they wouldn't return, or tell anyone else about us.” A girl with a green head band said.
They're all gone now.” A girl in a dark purple T-shirt announced. “Good, so maybe now you can explain what the heck I'm doing here.” I looked around the room, searching their faces for answers. Unexpectedly, the answer came from a girl who looked to be about twelve.
Well, put in short, the explanation goes something like this: There's another universe in which people with special abilities escaped to, because they knew that they could never exist in peace while they lived with normal people. But not all of them left, and the ones who stayed are being enslaved and having all sorts of science experiments tried out on them.
Meanwhile, in the other world there's a group of people who think Specials are better than Normals. Those people are trying to find this weird, magical glowing orb-type-thing, only if they use it to make themselves stronger, it'll blow up the world. We believe that both Normals and Specials have a right to survive, so we're fighting both battles at once and we need your help to save everyone.”
She finished cheerily, having said the entire thing in one breath. I looked to Ryan with one eyebrow raised and started laughing. When no one joined me, I gave him an incredulous look. “You can't be serious, can you? Special abilities and alternate universes? Come on. I guess this is the part where you tell me that I'm the chosen one and I am unusually strong and that the weight of the world is on my shoulders.” I said mockingly, rolling my eyes. 
Silence. Then, a man with a scar on his arm stepped forward, raised his hand and a fire appeared with no other movements. What the- I thought to myself in disbelief. “You aren't the chosen one, but you are unusually strong and have an extremely rare ability. You are the only one we've seen with that ability in over twenty years, and we have come to a place where you and that ability will be needed. You can create Shields, giant, invisible, bubble-like barriers of protection. We need you, Evelyn, please help us.”
Yeah, um, I think I'm going to go take my chances with that Spencer guy. At least he'll be somewhat sane, and he won't try to convince me that he has magical powers by putting hand sanitizer in his hands and lighting it on fire.” I turned towards where I entered, but it just looked like wall now. “Evelyn, please. We need you.” The girl in the purple shirt said pleadingly.
If you leave, the lives of an entire world will be on your head.”
I stayed.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Introductions

Hello and welcome to the insanity! ^.-

I suppose I should explain the reason this is called Nobody's Corner. At the beginning of this last school year, instead of introducing myself as my real name, I introduced myself as follows. "I'm Nobody, because Nobody's perfect." And ever since then, my friends and I make all sorts of ridiculous puns from it.
So, this is Nobody's Corner.

Now, the purpose of this blog is to present my 2010 NaNo Novel to my friends who have asked me to share it. It took me this long, but I am taking this opportunity to give myself a good kick in the butt to get the novel edited and ready to be joined by two more novels in the trilogy. I am freaking out right now about sharing it with everyone, but I figure I'll never get anywhere with my writing if I won't even let my friends read it.
And so, here we are. =)
One more thing I should explain is how this novel came to be. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a once a year challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. That's about 1,667 words a day. I've attempted it three times now, but officially reached the goal last November.
Heading on to the actual writing, I'll go ahead and give you an excerpt from it and a short summary:
This story follows two teenage girls with similar, but also very different life situations who are thrown into the chaos of another world. Vanessa has been an orphan since she was nine, and enters the world of Specials, Illusion, in an attempt to find her mother and discover what happened to her father.
Evelyn is from a strict military home, and is soon brought to Illusion by Ryan. He convinces her to come by telling her that she must save the world. What he forgets to mention, is the price that she must pay to do it.
Excerpt from Earth and Illusion: The Defenders. =)

“What do you mean, only the people who are here will live?” I asked, trying to keep up with Ryan's strides.

He stopped, turning to me. “Look, Evelyn, the reason you are here is not to save everyone. No one could do that. You are here to save this island. You will have to put a giant bubble around the entire thing and hope it sticks. That’s why you’re here. That’s why we are training you. That's why you're the only one who could do it, because no one else is strong enough. You are our last hope."

I shook my head. "Yeah, I've heard all that before. I still don't understand what you are so worked up about."
"Evelyn, if you choose to save everyone, you will die."