Into the Gray- Chapter One
Fading orange fluorescent lights met my eyes as I walked up to Rachel’s house. People were dancing ,spilling liquor all over her perfect lawn. Rachel’s house was huge compared to my little shack of a home. It was a single family home that could fit five kids each with their own room, and two adults. Her parents were top personnel in the navy which made money not really an issue for her. Ha, Queen B would be so jealous of her house.
Boys tried to cajole a few girls into letting them get their drinks. Trust no one at parties. This lesson was one that those girls would learn after the boys managed to drop a little blue pill that would fizzle into their cup.
Rachel as intoxicated as she was walked over and wrapped her arm around me. “ Oh man, the Mary Jane that Danny has tonight is soo good. You have to try it, Alana. “ The stench of booze was causing me to almost get a contact buzz from her.
“ Where is he?” People were staggering out of her front door or trying to slide inside the house like little snakes while we walked the outskirts of the house to get to the backyard. A giant pool spanned out from her backyard that looked as if it was a natural pond that got decorated. A couple was making out in the pool, and a few others were just driving in, and out of the water. The crowd had yet to take over this scenic spot that reminded me of when we were kids trying to shove Danielle into the pool in the middle of winter. His body when he got out of the water was shivering so we had to make him burnt hot chocolate.
“ I think he said to meet him outside the shed.” Rachel’s right foot twisted causing her to stagger as she walked next to me in tight black cowboy boots.Wafts of alcohol struck my nose as if inviting me to be like the rest of the crowd. An odd mixture of pizza and throw up permeated the air. What was she supposed to be for Halloween? Certainly not a mix of a country cowgirl, and a pirate? We meandered toward the pool crunching dead leaves as the party goers dove sloshing water onto the ground. A small cooler that looked dark blue in the slivers of light was opened by the fellow party goers around us. A clear bottle rested in the corner with its cap still attached. I grabbed the bottle swiftly taking a swig of warm liquid.
“Remember when we burned the bible?” Laughter escaped between our lips. The night we burned the book during a pact ritual was the same night Daniel confessed his feelings for Rachel.
We used our feet to cut over the grassy bush that was in our way, and ended up facing an ominous building.The shed was a two-story building painted with dark green paint so that it looked almost black in the dead of night, and the stairs were crumbling to the point that they had holes on the side of each step. The roof of the shed was only half there, and birds had taken the inside of their own home. Anyone in their right mind would have run thinking that the place was haunted. But we were the only haunts there.
Rachel clung to my shoulder using me like a clutch to keep her drunken self from stumbling into a pile of dirt. Daniel sat cross-legged on one of the broken steps. His outfit for the night was a large black Dracula cape, fangs, and black pants. At least his was obvious. A white piece of rolled up paper was in his mouth lit up. I’m pretty sure his eyes displayed that he was higher than the moon at the moment.
“ DANIEL SWEETIE.” Rachel stumbled over to him, nearly tripping over a nonexistent twig on the ground.
“ Hey, Alana, come get your hit before it goes out.” I took the paper out of his mouth and touched it to mine tasting a powdery substance, inhaling plumes of swirling air, and breathing it out into the chill fall air. He smelt like jasmine, ocean, and slight tastes of weed which was unfamiliar to me. Not the usual scent of roses, and fruits that would linger over from Rachel. It was odd. Another woman? He couldn’t be traversing in cheating could he?
“ Daniel , we need to start reconstructing this shed. Maybe, we can make our own little house someday.” I tried to maintain a typical conversation as warm liquid sloshed down the aftertaste of Mary Jane.
“ With pretty little pictures, and a tiger rug?”
“ No. Definitely not the tiger rug.” He wrapped his arms around Rachel acting like normal while small drops of blood trickled down from his fingertips. She plunged her head into his lap as if hiding from the circles going around in her head. I couldn’t figure out the feeling of an oddity in the meeting. He had succumbed to the beast again, but she hardly cared.
I took another hit off the joint filled with poison trying to give myself the illusion that I didn’t sleep with the king of the lions last night, but the flashback was so perfect. His tan arms wrapped around my stomach as he thrusts within me. It was a satisfying flashback with no regrets for the person who would consider us cheating against her.
“ Did I ever tell you this story about my father cheating?” Daniel’s hands were shaking as if the drug was overtaking his entire being. Rachel shook her head, and I puffed some swirling smoke into the air as an answer.
“ I was five. My father was full on fucking some white broad with big tits, and a nice round ass. I mean...Rachel ...even you would have called her a cow compared to my mother. The sound of her moans were like a lion’s roar. I peeked in the shattered windows to see him holding her down with all of his might. He saw me. I knew he saw me. But I couldn’t take my eyes off the act.”
“ is this why your sister is paler than a ghost even though she’s supposed to be full blown Asian?” Rachel retorted the words as if forming a sentence was getting lost in her drunken haze. He patted her head trying to soothe her.
“ Maybe, but dad forced me to keep my mouth shut in fear of a thousand whippings.”
“ I would like a thousand whippings for being a bad girl.” Rachel huffed back. But I couldn’t help but wonder if that was why Daniel saved me all those years back. I remembered being seven and my father was walking me past the forest talking about how I’d been a bad girl to mommy, and that he should of let the boy who had raped me with a gun shoot me. I was worthless...nothing but a canvas to be torn apart. He proceeded to lead me to this shed and then began to hit me like I was a punching bag. Daniel had seen the incident and came in hands swinging same age as me and scared him off. Four years later, and my father would be in jail, and my mother would be taking up two jobs.
“ Oh, I’ll whip you just right. “ Sarcasm drenched from Daniel’s lips bringing me out of my wretched memory and pulling me back to reality. Rachel giggled too distracted by her drunken state to realize that there were loud sirens heading straight for her house. The flashing blue and red fluorescent lights danced in the forest as the raging vehicles traversed to her home to break up the illegal activities of teenagers dancing like tigers, vomiting on the ground, fighting, and sleeping.
“ Hey, I think we're being raided.” Rachel just laughed, and Daniel was nodding out from the effects of the other drug. These two were certainly not up for the challenge of fighting the cops. Rather than jump a mile to help make the swarm of teenagers leave, I decided to just remain on the shed’s steps.
Morning came all too soon. Saturday. Half of the participants from last night got arrested, and the other half were either lying naked on the ground or had called an uber for a ride home too scared to face their parents. Rachel had managed to spew orange liquid all over Daniel before he carried her back to her room.
I managed to make it to her parent's decorated room and lock the door before collapsing between soft sheets of white. I could feel the glare of the sun’s beams through the red draperies that represented Rachel’s parents love life. The air smelled like a mix of puke and freshly cleaned sheets. My bare feet hit the floor and nearly slid due to an unwelcome substance staining the floor.
“ Alana “ A knock on the door alerted me that Daniel was wide awake. I moved towards the door withholding the need to let chunks fly out of my mouth.
“ Rachel said she may have gotten knocked up by me.” Chuckles passed through my lips as I swung the door open.
“ Is that saying you're a beast in bed?” The rest of our day was spent cleaning the house bare. Vomit, sex stains, and other promiscuous scents were wiped cleaned. Her parents would never uncover the secrets here.
Monday could not come soon enough. I managed to scoot onto the bright yellow bus and slid into the last seat. School buses were like a prison. It was habitual for me to take the back seat on the bus cause no one really wanted to make Rachel mad considering she was a drug connect for most the school. Sweat oozed into my nose forcing me to shove the window down. Fresh air that tasted like fall wafted around the bus.
The bus ride itself was fairly typical, but as I stepped onto our newly cut school lawn an eerie silence greeted me. Students were standing around the bulletin board lining the side of a faded red brick building. A girl who I barely recognized held her thin coffee like hands to her face trying to hide the clear tears slipping down her face. If I remember correctly, her name is Brianna, and she was always following Queen B around like a puppy dog. No one would ever have the balls to insult a Queen B follower. My feet meandered to the board in curiosity. Plastered on the board in big bold letters was a flyer.
Date Missing: 10/31/ 2011
Lives in Norwich, CT . Last seen at a Halloween party. Please call 1-855-Amanda or www.helpfindAmanda.com
I blinked twice at the flyer in disbelief. Queen B up and disappeared? This had to be some freak of nature mistake? Who else would I shove into the fountain to get wet, or see Rachel spit right into her mouth? Who else would treat me with such hostility? I could feel hot stringy pieces of poison slipping down my face. It couldn’t be sadness. Our friendship in middle school ended so sorely when her boyfriend Daniel cheated on her with Rachel.
“ Hey,” A hushed voice whispered in my ears as strong arms caressed my shoulder.
“ No babe, the sexy one that rocked your world the other night. “ His slick words tended to fall out of his lips like loose change. I had the urge to shove fifty cents into his mouth for such a cheap line.
“ Aaron really? Your flipping GIRLFRIEND IS GONE, and you're trying to have your way with me again?” His laughter emanated through the walkway as passersby were already whispering words of venom through the grapevine.
“ Well, I didn’t talk to her at all that night. “
“ What? Did she-cat fight with you about how she won’t quit Alcohol?”
“ Nope. I was just too busy being an actual student to take up her offer to bomb Rachel’s party. Which is really too bad cause I wanted to yank your body into me. So tragic really.” His sarcasm slinked its way out forming a dawning realization. Amanda disappeared at Rachel’s place? We didn’t even see a girl in said costume.
“ I didn’t see her at the party.”
“ Do you think she could've disappeared before then?” His warm fingers wiped the poison from my eyes, and mutters resounded around us. I had forgotten for a second that he still belonged to the Queen B even if she couldn’t witness it.
“ Was she having family issues again?” I spoke the words as his lips touched my neck before he backed up.
“ Not sure. Hey , Cody.” A fist of broship passed between Cody, and him, before they scurried off to the side as if what just happened, didn’t occur. Oh, yes, due to my inevitability to find someone who wasn’t taken, I am stuck in the middle of a sticky situation.
“ hahaha, did not take long for the It crowd to find their new hostess of hate.” Rachel pounded her palm against my shoulder as I noticed Eleni trying to order around a group of skimpily dressed cheerleaders.
“ But, Eleni doesn’t have the balls to insult anyone.”
“ I’m sure she’ll threaten me with being a murderer. Let the assumptions fly,”
“ Hopefully, the very idea will scare them off. “ Rachel looked beat with her hair a mess, and shoes torn at the toe.
“ What happened to your shoes?”
“ Oh, a dog ate the corner of my toe while I was walking to get the newspaper.” I was not sure if this was some sort of cruel joke, or if she actually ran into a violent dog. Chances were the first not the later.
The official school bell rang throughout the courtyard. It sounded kind of sad as if it was mourning for the missing student. I sauntered to my home room which would be obviously missing a seat at this point. An odd smell of uncleaned clothes, and freshly put on perfume swept the room. Our teacher was always clean shaven but dressed to kill with a Calvin Klein blue suit. How he managed to survive the spring and summer was beyond me.
The Television went into the daily school news which immediately started with our old female president. She spoke about the tragedy, and how little the police knew, any information of the whereabouts for Amanda should be taken right to her. Great.
The rest of the school day went by, and then soon enough it was Amanda’s vigil. My family had decided to take it upon themselves to try and keep Queen B in their heart by making a vigil at the school for her disappearance.
Any advice, or critiques are welcome. Here are some songs to along with my inspiration for the story. Thank you again.