Special Thanks to @Ari11 for the cover art! Thank you so much!
Series Summary (Contains blurb, genres, and content warnings)
Chapter 1: I Believe This May Call for a Proper Introduction
It was a beautiful day outside. The baby blue skies were scattered with fluffy clouds. The sun shined brightly, and a gentle breeze could be felt. The trees rustled as birds hopped from branch to branch, belting out their harmonious melodies.
There was a daisy sprouting close to a road. The little flower had just bloomed a couple of days ago, earlier than the unopened buds that surrounded it. The breeze made it sway even closer to the road...
...where it was immediately crushed by an oncoming car.
The car in question had an unreasonable amount of bumper stickers and was blasting music that was 20 years too late.
The driver was none other than Keith. After a lovely Monday afternoon brunch with good friends, he was driving back to his apartment; he was one of those weird people who weren't completely drained after social interaction.
He got home and unlocked the door, where he immediately heard a little meow. His black cat Lucy trotted over to him. He closed the door and bent down to pet her between the ears. “Aww, hello Lucy!” He said.
Keith walked over to his bedroom. He looked at himself in a large standing mirror, which had a rainbow organizing cart next to it. He was known for his colorful and quirky style, inspired by street fashion found in Harajuku, Japan. No matter where he went, he always had to have many layers of bright clothing, plastic hair clips, bracelets, and even fake glasses or face stickers depending on the day. Today, his outfit had a warm color scheme.
He started by taking out all of the barrettes in his hair one by one. He had bangs, which made it easier to clip them on. They were all varying shades of red, orange, and yellow, and he put each one in the drawer of the corresponding color. Some were themed after fruit, some were themed after characters, and some were simply just filled with glitter.
Next, he moved on to his bracelets. He had made all of them using plastic beads. He was mostly wearing simple ones that could be made in minutes, but he was also wearing a couple of more complex ones that took hours or even days. He stored all of them in one of the bottom drawers. Here, they were not sorted by color, but by complexity.
Finally, he changed out of his overalls and into some Simpsons sleep joggers. He flopped onto his bed with a sigh. He would have the rest of the day to just relax.
With another adorable meow, Lucy came into the room. She crouched, getting ready to jump onto the bed.
She landed right on Keith’s stomach.
He immediately sat up, pushing Lucy off and clutching his stomach. “Ugh, why did you have to do that?” He asked her.
“Meow,” she answered, looking up at him with big innocent yellow eyes.
Keith sighed. It was hard to stay mad at something so adorable.
From another room, he heard the faint sound of a computer notification. He rushed over to his home office, hoping it was what he thought it was.
Sure enough, there was a little notification box in the bottom corner of his screen:
You have one (1) new email.
He clicked it, and it immediately opened to an e-mail he had sent a couple of weeks ago:
Dear Ms. Sullivan,
I am a photographer and historian in the Mayday City area. I travel around, documenting and preserving the history of abandoned buildings and structures. I was in your area when I noticed the factory at 555 Aardvark Lane. I was hoping you'd be willing to let me take photos of the property, and I am happy to share them with you if you'd like. Some of my past work can be viewed here. I am looking forward to your reply.
Below that was the recipient’s reply.
Dear Mr. Wiggins,
I am delighted that you have taken an interest in my property. You are more than welcome to photograph it, but the entrance is locked and I will need to come unlock it. Is this Thursday an acceptable date? I look forward to your reply.
Keith was utterly ecstatic. He exclaimed “Yes!” While jumping around the room. He tripped over a wire, though, and landed in a mesh waste basket.
Just then, Lucy walked in. She meowed at him, almost as if to ask, What’s all this ruckus for?
Keith laughed and picked himself up out of the bin. “Oh, Lucy, you’ll never believe what happened!” He said, pacing around the room as he talked. “I’ve found this really awesome abandoned place that I want to take pictures of, and the lady who owns it said yes!”
Lucy tilted her head to the side, and Keith realized that he was talking to a cat.
But who could blame him? It had been so long since he felt the subtle caving-in of weak floorboards under his feet or the humid, musty atmosphere on his skin.
Exploring abandoned buildings was a strange hobby, and one that was not easily explained or understood by others. Why would anyone willingly go to places like that? They could be full of venomous snakes or toxic paint fumes, or might have weak ceilings that could collapse at any moment.
But Keith saw past all the dangers. He saw beauty in decaying old buildings. They are moments frozen in time, refusing to move on like the rest of the world. They are glimpses into the past, fragments of history that are just waiting to be rediscovered. The way light filters through cracked windows and casts shadows onto rusted metal is a sight that you can’t get anywhere else. He could just go on and on about this subject for hours.
The one he was planning to explore was the Sullivan Steel Factory. In its glory days (A.K.A, a very long time ago), it was built and owned by Harrison Sullivan. However, it shut down for reasons unknown to this day, and the place has been abandoned since. The property was now owned by Gabriella Sullivan, a direct descendant of Harrison.
He flopped down onto a chaise lounge. It was the kind that therapists always had. He sighed. This was going to be a great week.
[Okay I’m gonna be honest, the drawing I made doesn’t really do him justice; just imagine this but with more clips / bracelets]
Next: Chapter 2