Written for 100 drabbles of summer 2012
A set of Ashton and Ariella prompts from their time on Earth before they were kidnapped.
I laid back, spongy grass cushioning me. I sigh escaped my lips, this place was unreal. So many stars, so clear in the sky. It was never like this in Cornwall, all the streetlights blocked this out.
Ash laid down beside me. "First time in the countryside like this?" he asked, looking up at the stars. "This is probably the only place in England you can see so many, but I've heard other countries have even better views."
"There's so many," I whispered, scared of chasing them away. "Do you know any of the constellations?"
He raised his hand, pointing.
67) Four children around a campfire
"So why are you living with my cousin now?" asked a gangly boy who hadn't grown into his teeth yet as he poked a marshmallow into the campfire. "Well?" he prompted when I didn't speak.
What was I supposed to say? How about:
My whole family died, they took me in? nope, too pitiful.
I let my siblings die, they all got washed away. It felt true, but the psychologist kept telling me it wasn't my fault.
"I just am," I shrugged.
Who's stupid idea was it to come on this stupid thing and dump me with stupid strangers anyway?
Ash counted the pennies out onto the counter. The clerk tapped his foot impatiently, looking pointedly at the queue forming behind the boy.
"Thirty five, thirty seven, hang on, I've got a couple more here," rushed Ashton, patting his pockets. "Please, I just need three pence, my sister's too hot in this weather."
"Not my problem," replied the shopkeeper, "If you can't pay get out of my shop so my customers can get served."
Three pence dropped over Ash's shoulder, "There, problem sorted. You're a good brother to her."
Ash looked up at the old man behind him. "Thank you!"
"In an abandoned house, haunted by the ghost of an axe murderer, sit two children," whispered Ash, holding a candle under his face, lighting garish patterns in the dark. "They were left alone in the house, nobody to protect them, when, Bam! The power went out! The murderer rose from the grave!"
"Oh, please Ash, is that the best you can do?" I said into the dark, trying to hide my fear as we sat hidden under the stairs.
He lifted the candle closer to his face, shadows shifting as he breathed. Something rattled outside.
I looked up from painting my toenails, one eyebrow cocked. "I wasn't aware it was random question day."
Ash lifted a large old book I'd never seen before onto the table next to my foot. "This was my Grandpa's Atlas, he wanted to explore every corner of the world." Ash eased the pages over to a yellowed world map, small pen marks across it. "This is what he accomplished."
"What's there?" I asked, pointing to dots in the middle of the ocean.
"Tropical islands. I'll show you some day," he promised.
"What do you think?" I asked, strutting into my bedroom, low cut sequined dress and high heels rippling around me. I paraded around the room.
"Wow," sighed Ashley, leaning on an elbow. "You'll be stealing all the boys at the dance tonight!"
"Yeah," chimed in Charley, "we won't stand a chance."
I laughed, carefully sitting down between the two girls, wobbling slightly in my shoes. I slid one off, rubbing the ball of my foot. "They're a killer on the feet though, this had better be worth it. There's something to say for a comfy pair of trainers!"