Okay, I know it's long and stops in the middle of nowhere, but I just want to know how it is so far. I'm not really sure about this, so I want to know if I should go on with it or not.
A scream echoed through the lofty church.
A girl came bounding out from the little room off the side. She ran through the empty church, hoping she'd to get to the doors in time. A shadow was advancing on her. It was dark in the lonesome church and the girl tripped over a step. She scrambled to her feet and tasted blood.
The shadow laughed a mirthless laugh. It was low and unearthly. "Do you honestly think you can get away from me?" the shadow said amusedly. Its voice was male.
"You may kill me, but you'll never find them, and even if you do, they won't tell you what you want to know," the girl spat at him.
"Oh they will tell me everything I need to know," the shadow said, "And who said I wanted to kill you?"
As the shadow said this he shattered into pieces. The pieces attacked as though they were bats. The girl screamed one last plea as the shadows tore at her flesh.
"Do you think it was animal sacrifice of some sort?" John Bailey asked his friend.
"I think I'm gonna be sick," Gordon Veer answered.
The two boys were looking at a puddle of blood and pieces of flesh on the cold stone floor.
They had been the ones who found the mess. John's father was a priest in the old Roman Catholic Church. He had to come in early for a few errands. He had gone straight to his office at the back of the church, walking around it. The boys were left to entertain themselves, and thinking they'd act like they were preaching, and headed for the church itself.
When they came through the doors, the rusted iron smell of blood met their nostrils.
Then they came upon the blood and bits.
"I better go get my father," John said. "You stay here."
"If I have to stay here there'd be more bits in the puddle," Gordon said quickly.
"Okay, you go get my father," John said.
"That sounds better."
As Gordon scampered out of the church, John walked around it, looking for any sign of what could have happened.
A few moments later he heard the footsteps of Gordon and his father bounding on the path that led to the doors.
Mr. Bailey came rushing through the door. He was a tall man. People always told John that he looked nothing like his father. John was short and stubby, like his mother. He had pale green eyes and brown hair.
Mr. Bailey swept silently to the place Gordon indicated with his pudgy fingers.
John was somewhat intimidated by his father, like most people in this small town.
"Fetch the phone John," he said in his deep voice. His hair was light brown, the same as his eyes. It was swept back, exposing the spots where he was balding.
John immediately went to the side room. Something caught his eye, but he ignored it and grabbed the portable telephone, rushing back to his father.
Mr. Bailey called the police, who arrived a quarter of an hour later. They took sample of the blood and looked around a bit.
Mr. Bailey sent John and Gordon home while he talked to the police. He had asked them not to mention it to anyone, but John new that Gordon wouldn't be able to keep his mouth shut. Gordon never kept anything to himself. John looked at him. He was chubby and slow, with a mop of straw hair. Gordon was one of the only kids in their grade who was shorter than John.
"You're gonna tell your brother, aren't you?" John said, stating the obvious.
Gordon looked at his feet. "I was thinking about it."
John sighed. Gordon’s brother was the coolest guy in town. He was fifteen, the star basketball player and everyone liked him, including John's older sister. John didn't mind Greg, he was friendly enough.
John knew that Gordon wanted to tell Greg about the ordeal because nothing interesting ever happened to him. Nothing interesting ever happened in Northgale.
"Are you done with your homework yet, Abigail?" Mrs. Bailey called up the stairs. She needn't have asked, since she already knew the answer.
"Um, no," Abby called back.
"Get started then!" Mrs. Bailey yelled.
"I will, I will," Abby replied. She was in her room, reading a new book. It was an interesting one, filled with adventure, fantasy, romance, everything she lacked. The reason she lacked adventure, was that nothing ever happened in this town. The reason she lacked fantasy, is because it's just that, fantasy. The reason she lacked romance, was because her father wouldn't let her look at a boy, let alone date one.
With a sigh she placed a bookmark in the place she read last. She hated the bookmark. It was something her parents had forced onto her. A scripture of the bible was printed on it.
Before she went to sit at her desk, she looked out of the large bay window in her room.
She saw her brother and his (dorky) friend walking along the path. Her brother was usually okay, but he sided with her parents on everything, even if he knew they were wrong. He was totally captured by the bible and their father.
Abby was always more rebellious. She wasn't afraid to express her own views, although it often got her into trouble.
She looked around her room. It was fairly big and well furnished.
Abby walked over to her desk. It was strewn with papers, almost hiding her pc.
She started to shuffle through them, looking for her homework, until she heard the door being thrown open and footsteps on the wooden floor boards.
"Mom?!" she heard her brother yell. "You're not gonna believe this!"
Abby went down to hear what was going on.
"Hey," she said when she saw her brother.
"Hey," he said absentmindedly, then went on telling the story.
“I think its Satanism,” John said, right after he’d finished.
“Why?” Abby asked.
“Because we think it was animal slaughter,” John said excitedly.
“What if it was human blood,” Abby said in her mock-scary whisper.
She saw John eyes widen.
“No one would dare kill someone in a church, will they mum?” John said, obviously frightened.
“Of coarse not, Abby’s just being childish,” Mrs. Bailey said, hugging John closer to her.
She gave Abby a stern look.
“I’d better go do my homework,” she said, brushing a strand of her blonde hair aside. She wanted to get away from the conversation before her mom got too annoyed.
Abby turned to go up the stairs again. She didn’t really believe it was human blood. She wasn’t even sure she believed it was blood. One of the guys in her school could have made a practical joke. It was the sort of thing they’d do. On the other hand her mother had seemed scared, which worried her.
She was halfway up the stairs when a knock on the door disturbed her thoughts.
“I’ll get it,” she yelled. Her mother and brother were still in the kitchen, making her the closest to the door.
She hurried off the stairs and threw open the door.
“Hi,” the sexy voice of Greg Veer said.
“Hi,” Abby said weakly. She was besotted with Greg. He was the most gorgeous guy in town, not to mention the sweetest and coolest. His hair was dark brown and spiked up. His eyes a sapphire blue. His face looked like the most talented sculptor ever to grace this world chiseled it. Hardly anyone could believe that he and Gordon were brothers.
“My little brother wouldn’t happen to be here?” he asked, glancing behind her to look.
“Uh, no,” Abby said quickly, “he left a few minutes ago.”
Greg sighed. “Little brothers,” he said, looking her right in the eyes, “they always keep you busy.”
“Can’t you find him?” Abby asked with a laugh in her voice. She had the official task of looking after John, who disappeared quite often too.
“He’s probably on his way home,” he said, leaning against the doorframe. “I should probably go after him before he gets hurt.”
“Yeah,” Abby said, a little disappointedly. She wanted him to stay a little longer.
“Who’s at the door?” Mrs. Bailey’s voice called from the kitchen.
“It’s Greg,” Abby called back at her mom.
“Oh, invite him in,” Mrs. Bailey said.
“Um, would you like to come in?” Abby said feeling embarrassed.
“Sure,” he said, walking past Abby into the house. As he did, he looked her up and down, making her blush.
Abby led him through the foyer into the kitchen where her mother and brother sat at the big round table, drinking lemonade.
“Hi Mrs. Bailey,” Greg said as they walked through the door. He looked around the sparkling white kitchen.
“Hello Greg,” Mrs. Bailey answered. “Would you like some lemonade?”
“No thanks Mrs. Bailey,” he answered. All the while Abby stood against the counter watching him. She couldn’t believe Greg Veer was in her kitchen.
“Are you going to the fair this Saturday?” Mrs. Bailey asked Greg.
Abby decided to get some lemonade herself. She reached for the glass in one of the high shelves. When she poured the lemonade her hand was a bit unsteady, knowing he was watching her.
“Yeah,” he answered.
“Who’re you going with?” her mother went on.
“No one,” he said, sitting down in one of the tall kitchen chairs.
“Well, Abby’s not going with any one either, maybe you two could hang out.”
“Mom!” Abby interrupted, almost choking on her lemonade. How could her mom ask something like that?
“No it’s okay, I’d like that,” he said glancing at Abby.
“Are you sure? I - I mean you don’t have to,” Abby said quickly.
“I want to,” he said smiling at her.
Suddenly a loud crash sounded from outside, sparing Abby the embarrassment of them seeing her blush.
They all peered out of the kitchen window.
Gordon was running around outside, carrying the lid of a trash can. Old Mr. Forbes was chasing him, brandishing his stick and yelling.
“I better go,” Greg said, watching his little brother run around.
“Bye,” the Baileys chorused.
He rushed out into the street. They watched him grab Gordon and apologize to Mr. Forbes.
Once he and his brother had rounded the corner, Abby turned on her mom.
“How could you ask something like that?” She yelled, coursing with rage.
“I just thought-“ her mother started, but Abby didn’t give her time to finish.
“He’s probably thinking about how sucky it’ll be to go to the fair with me,” she went on.
“But he said he’d like-“ Mrs. Bailey tried again.
“Yeah but what else would he say in front of you?” she yelled, throwing up her hands in exasperation. How could they not get this? She thought.
“What if he really wants-“
“Ugh, you don’t understand!” she said running out of the kitchen and up to her room, stomping as hard as she can.
“What was that all about?” John asked his mother as they heard her door slam. He knew his sister very well and she’d never react like that normally.
“Teenagers,” sighed her mom, looking at John and winking.
The annual fair took place at the church. It was a carnival type of thing, with ponies and candyfloss and small rides and stuff. For older kids there was an old movie on display and boat rides on the little creak running along the church. Adults bring dishes of food and pack them out on a long buffet table. When it gets dark, people can start eating and have picnics on the grass beside the creek.
As the fair drew nearer, Abby found herself wishing her mother had never made the proposition. She didn’t know how to act around boys, especially one as cute as Greg.
It was summer in the little town, school was drawing to an end and all the kids in town couldn’t wait for the fair.
“What does one wear to a church fair?” Abby’s best friend asked her. They were in Abby’s room, talking, like so many others about the Summer Fair.
“Nothing to revealing,” Abby answered, knowing all to well that Brooke had been planning to wear something of the sort. She was always out to get the attention of guys.
“Why not?” she asked, pulling a face. She was sitting at Abby’s desk, looking through her things. Abby was used to this, because Brooke was also very curious. She didn’t really know anyone well (except for Abby), but she always knew the juiciest gossip on everyone.
“It’s almost like going to church, except they don’t preach,” Abby said, then added, “that much.” Someone always preached in this town, be it the preacher to the people or the grandmother to the grandson.
“Fine, will a jean and a top be okay?” Brooke asked, looking over her shoulder at Abby.
“Yeah,” Abby said.
“What’re you going to wear?” Brooke spun around in the chair.
“I think I’m also going to wear a jean and my London-top,” Abby said. She loved her London-top; it was white on the back with a union jack with ‘London’ printed diagonally on the front. It fit her perfectly.
“Ah,” Brooke said slyly, her eyes narrowed and she came to a stop to watch Abby carefully, looking for a sign of weakness. “Who are you trying to impress?”
“No one,” Abby answered, trying to sound innocent, but knowing it was impossible to lie to Brooke. She could smell a secret a mile away.
“Come on, you never wear that top, unless it’s to impress someone,” she said. “Someone who’s name starts with a G maybe?”
“Okay it is Greg, but you can’t tell anyone,” Abby said.
Brooke giggled. Abby couldn’t understand how Brooke had come to know her so well after only a year. Brooke and her father had moved there from New York the previous year. Abby didn’t really trust her, she couldn’t explain why. They had been friends since the move, but Abby was always wary around Brooke. Okay, she tried to be wary.
“So, are you guys just gonna hang out, or is it a …” she started, deliberately pausing so Abby would fill in the gap.
“Date?” Abby said doubtfully. “We’re just gonna hang out.” Though she wished it was a date.
“Right,” Brooke said sarcastically.
Abby threw a pillow at her. She knew Brooke also had a slight crush on Greg. She tried to seduce him more than once, but he wouldn’t bite, a fact that made Abby very happy.
“Just joking,” Brooke said, throwing the pillow back at her.
“What am I supposed to do while you two hang out,” she said.
“I don’t know,” Abby said, “You could hang out with Isabelle.”
“Assuming Isabelle comes,” Brooke said, opening a drawer.
“Why wouldn’t she?” Abby asked. Everyone always went to the fair.
“She’s been kinda distracted lately,” Brooke said, picking up a magazine and flipping through it.
“What do you mean?” Abby asked, sitting up and looking at Brooke.
“She hasn’t been answering my calls and stuff like that. She’s also so paranoid lately, always looking over her shoulder to see if someone’s there,” Brooke said.
“Mmm,” Abby said. She and Isabelle didn’t get along that well. Since they were little, they had been competing at almost everything. Isabelle couldn’t stand to lose anything.
“It’s weird you know,” Brooke went on, “I haven’t seen her these past few days, her parents left her home alone again.”
“Where did her parents go this time?” Abby asked. It was a widely known fact that Isabelle’s parents were hardly ever home. Abby secretly wished her parents would trust her enough to let her spend a weekend or something alone at home.
“I think they went on their fourth honeymoon, or something,” Brooke said. “I bet Isabelle wouldn’t believe Greg’s interested in you, I hardly believe it myself.” This kind of struck a nerve in Abby. “God, I love this magazine,” Brooke went on, still flipping through it. It was her favorite, because it had lots of gossip about stars and make-up tips and things like that. Conceited mean cool-girly things, things Abby never really liked. She hated that magazine, but her mom always bought it for her.
She got up off her bed, walked to her desk, emptied out her magazine shelf, and gave them all to Brooke.
“Take them,” she said, “they fit you.”
The day of the fair, Abby’s nerves were all screwed up. She really wanted to impress Greg, but didn’t know how to do it.
Greg called and asked if they could meet at the carnival. Abby was glad about this, she figured it would be uncomfortable to sit in a car and try to get something to talk about.
She watched her mother making some tuna dish. It was awful, but no one wanted to tell Mrs. Bailey that. Abby always tried to skip this dish, but her mother somehow always made sure she ladled her plate with it.
By the time they were ready to go, John was teasing Abby to pieces. He only laid off when Mrs. Bailey scowled at him.
“Have fun,” Mrs. Bailey called after them as they climbed out of the car.
“Whatever,” Abby mumbled. She was still mad at her mom for forcing Greg to go with her, although she thought she might have over-reacted a bit the other day.
“What’re we going to do first?” John asked Abby excitedly. Up until now, Abby and John had always spent the fair together.
“What do you mean ‘we’?” She asked rather coldly, looking around for Greg.
John looked at her in a hurt sort of way. She sighed.
“Haven’t you noticed that mom forced Greg to hang out with me?” she asked, looking at John.
“Oh yeah, you have a date!” he said, pointing at her and laughing.
“It’s not a date midget,” She said running her hand through her short ponytail.
“Abby and Greg, sitting in a tree,” he started.
“Shut-up,” Abby said. She looked around to see if anyone was looking. This was so embarrassing.
“K-I-S-S-I-N-G,” he went on, with a little jug of his head at every letter.
“What are you, four?” she said angrily.
“First comes love,” he said in a fake mushy voice.
“Ugh, I wish,” Abby said, starting to tickle John.
“You wish what?” a voice asked behind her. She froze, mid-tickle. It was Greg.
“I wish,” Abby said, trying to think fast, “they had more rides.”
“Oh, yeah I know what you mean,” he said, glancing at the little kiddy-rides. There were loads of clowns and polka dots and bright colors.
“Hi,” Abby said shyly.
“Hi,” he replied, putting up his hand in a little wave, which Abby thought was extremely cute.
“Um, what do you want to do?” Abby asked. She glanced around the churchyard. It was like the towns park; full of flowers, green grass, benches, and stuff.
“Well, my mom made me take Gordon with me, so I have to take him on the rides and stuff,” he said, sounding annoyed at this. Who wouldn’t?
“Oh,” Abby said. She tried not too sound disappointed. Admittedly she was nervous, spending the fair with Greg, but it was the kind of nervousness you get before you’re about to do something great.
“But I’d love some company,” he said quickly, smiling at her.
“Great,” she said, “John and Gordon will probably go on the rides together.”
“Yeah,” he said, looking at John for the first time.
“Hey bud,” he said.
“Hey,” John said, giving him a high-five. Abby smiled, thinking that Greg was the sweetest guy she ever saw.
“Where is Gordon?” Abby said.
Greg looked around him suddenly.
“He was here a second ago,” he said, looking around for Gordon.
Abby looked around too, and then spotted him trying to climb one of the towers on the jumping-castle.
“There he is,” she said, pointing too the jumping castle.
“Why does he always do that?” he said, starting to walk.
Abby and John followed.
“Hey Gordon,” Abby said, looking up at the chubby boy. He was halfway up the blue tower, clutching it for dear life, although he was only a few feet off the ground.
“Hi,” he puffed, still struggling to climb the tower.
“Gordon you’re going to get hurt,” Greg said.
“No I’m not,” Gordon said, glancing at him, almost losing grip.
“Just get down please,” Greg begged.
“Why should I?” Gordon said. He was always this cheeky with everyone, yet he normally has respect for his older brother.
“Because if you do, I’ll buy you some cotton candy,” Greg bribed.
“Okay,” Gordon said, letting go of the tower. His chubby body bounced on the jumping-castle. He jumped his way off the thing, and landed next to John with a thud.
“Hi,” he said. John and Gordon exchanged dorky handshakes.
“How old are you guys?” Abby laughed.
“We’re almost nine,” Gordon said, not catching the sarcasm.
The rest of the evening went by okay. Gordon and John went on all the rides, boring Abby and Greg to death.
“Maybe we could ditch them later,” Greg said to Abby as their brothers went on yet another ride. This one was yellow with little boats they could ride in. It was growing dark by now.
“We’re about to eat soon, and they always get tired and sleepy after they eat,” Abby said.
“Then we’d be able to watch the movie,” Greg said, looking at his watch. It was red with blue illuminated hands.
“Let’s hope so,” she replied. The movie was a highlight of the fair. They always showed extremely old movies, which were almost always romances. Abby knew the movie was unsupervised, and that kids often went to make-out while it shows.
When they finished the ride, a quirky horn sounded, signaling the start of the buffet.
The horn was part of fair tradition. It was elaborately decorated with yellow and pink ribbons and flowers. It was supposed to bring good luck for the summer to come.
They walked to the long buffet table. It was craning under the weight of all the dishes stacked on it.
“Try to avoid the dish in that large glass bowl,” Abby whispered to Greg as they passed by the salads, pointing at a large green glass bowl at the end of the table.
“The tuna one?” he asked.
“Yeah, it sorta tastes like raw fish,” Abby said, sampling some potato salad.
“Hmm, sushi,” Greg joked, taking a slice of turkey that his mom had brought.
“Hey guys,” Mrs. Bailey was suddenly next to them. She was busy handing out cutlery.
“Hi Mrs. Bailey,” Greg said.
Mrs. Bailey glanced at Abby’s plate.
“Aren’t going to eat some of my Tuna Surprise?” Mrs. Bailey said, looking at Abby in an almost hurt way.
“I was just about to take some,” Abby lied quickly.
She took the spoon next to the bowl, hesitated, and ladled a little bit onto her plate.
“A little more,” Mrs. Bailey said sweetly.
Abby took another spoonful, pulling a face at Greg so that her mother wouldn’t see.
“You know, fish is really good for you,” Mrs. Bailey said, smiling and moving on to John to make him take some too.
Abby and Greg finished loading up their plates and went to find a place to eat. Choosing a bench near the edge of the little creek, they sat down and started talking. They chatted and made jokes while they ate. Abby couldn’t believe how easy it was, talking to Greg.
“Do you want to go watch the movie now?” he asked her as they finished their plates.
“Oh, yeah,” Abby said, remembering the old movie.
“Do you want some popcorn or something?” he asked glancing at the little popcorn machine in front of the entrance to the tent where the movie would be showing.
“Please,” Abby said, watching Greg stand up. He extended a hand to help her to her feet. As Abby took it, she felt a chill go up her spine.
They walked over to the popcorn stall. As they walked, Abby noticed people looking at them. She didn’t know if se was embarrassed or proud. Then she thought they might be thinking the same as Brooke.
They bought popcorn from the little stall. The vendor winked at Greg for some reason. Abby peeked inside the tent. Loads of couples sat side by side. The geeks all sat in one corner, while the popular kids sat in another.
They walked along to the back of the rows as the lights went off. It was the first time Abby ever came to the movie. The seats were just normal chairs put in rows. It was kind of uncomfortable, but the movie was mostly worth it.
“What movie’s showing?” Abby heard the guy in front of them ask his girlfriend.
“I think its Tarzan or something,” she said. Abby could hear the smack of her mouth as she chewed a wad of gum.
“Why are they showing an animated movie?” he said, with an ugly puzzled look on his face. He and his girlfriend had their heads turned to the side, so Abby could see what they looked like. She was surprised to recognize them as two of the most popular people in town. Without noticing it, Greg had steered her straight into cool kid territory. Now that she new this, she noticed some of the girls throwing jealous looks at her. They sat sulkily next their boyfriends.
“This movie is animated?” Greg asked her, also looking puzzled. From what Abby had heard, they never showed animated movies, and it was supposed to be an old movie, mostly black and white.
“I think it’s probably the old Tarzan, you know, the one released in 1932,” Abby said, almost tripping over something lying on the floor. A loud cry sounded as she straightened up.
“Watch where you’re going Mary,” a voice called up from somewhere near her feet. When she glanced down she saw that she’d tripped over someone’s face.
“My name’s Abby,” she said, looking down at the guy.
He sat up, revealing his identity.
He was Greg’s best friend Bobby. He had curly blonde-brown hair, looking something like Bright in Everwood.
“Hey Bobby,” Greg said, sitting down. “What’re you doing on the floor?”
Suddenly a girl sat up beside him.
“Just having some fun,” he said with a grin at Greg, then put an arm around the girl. He looked up at Abby. “See you’ve got a new girl.”
“We’re just hanging out,” Abby said quickly. She didn’t want to embarrass Greg.
“Sure you are Mary,” Bobby said, standing up and taking a seat next to Greg.
“The name’s Abby,” she said in a nervous voice.
She took the other seat next to Greg, and the girl went to sit next Bobby.
The tent suddenly quieted down as the movie started. It was being screened on a white sail in the front of the tent.
A while into the movie Abby could sense her comrades were bored. They yawned and whispered. The movie was silent, which made it even more boring.
“Dude, this blows,” Bobby whispered.
“Let’s go in the church,” his girlfriend suggested.
“Why do you want to go in the church?” Abby asked. Now one was allowed in there while the fair was on. Her father had caught her in there once. She was very little at the time and tired after the day’s excitement. He blew a gasket and gave her a severe hiding.
“Let’s just say it’s not to pray Mary,” Bobby said laughingly.
“Let’s go,” Greg said, looking at her expectantly.
“I don’t know,” Abby said slowly. “We’re not allowed in there.”
“That’s the whole point,” Bobby said smiling.
“Come on Abby,” Greg said to me, his adorable eyes staring into mine. “It’s not that big of a deal is it?”
Abby saw Bobby take out a bottle from his rucksack. Her eyes widened when she saw the contents. It was beer.
“Want a sip?” Bobby said, seeing her watching him.
Suddenly a shadow behind the tent caught Abby’s eye. She looked at it, seeing the silhouettes of two short people. One was chubby.
Oh no, she thought.
She saw Gordon’s hand coming closer to the tent. They started crawling nearer. Gordon was close to one of the tent pens. Abby knew what would happen.
She tapped Greg on the shoulder and pointed to their brother’s silhouettes.
Greg shook his head as Gordon crept closer. His foot caught the tent pen, bringing down the front of the tent. The kids at the front scampered to the back and some of the girls screamed. Abby just shook her head and hid her face. Why was her brother such an embarrassment?
Everyone in the tent rushed out too see the two boys struggling around beneath the tent. The whole thing had collapsed now, cloaking Gordon and John. When they finally freed themselves from the toils of the ruined tent, they stood up and looked around.
All the kids looked at Abby. Everyone knew John was her brother. She blushed and marched over to John.
“What the hell were you doing?” she asked through clenched teeth. She was boiling mad.
“I was looking for you, mom wants you, she said it’s time to go home,” he said.
The other kids laughed at this.
“Mary has to go to bed before she gets too tiwed,” One of the guys called out. The kids laughed again.
“Tell mom she wanted me to hang out with Greg so bad, so that’s what I’m doing,” she told John, even more angrily. She turned around and walked toward the church.
“You’re not allowed in there Abby,” John called after her.
“See if I care!” she yelled back at him, grabbing the beer bottle from Bobby and taking a few gulps.
“All right Mary,” Bobby said. Greg, bobby and his girlfriend followed her to the back of the church were the adults won’t see them go in.
In her rage she forgot all about the blood and bits. It came flooding back again when they entered the silent church. To Abby it felt foreboding and sinister. A chill swept through the church as they walked through the isle.
The church was one of the oldest buildings in the town. Built in the 1800’s, the church was built in gothic style. Abby always thought it was kind of scary. When she was little she refused to go near it at night.
Bobby and Jenna (as Abby found out her name was) headed for one of the choir benches. Abby didn’t know if she should try and keep them from knowing about the blood, or if she should just tell them about it. She decided to try and keep it from them, how she didn’t know.
The blood was still there, but the church was so dark you could barely see it. From where Abby was standing it just looked like a piece of cloth or something. She shivered when she looked at the dark pool.
“Are you okay?” Greg asked her. He walked over to her.
“Yeah,” she said quickly, “It’s just cold in here.”
“Here, take my jacket,” Greg said, taking it off and handing it to her. She smiled at him, thinking again for a moment of how sweet he was.
No matter where she looked, the dark stain at the front of the church caught her eye. What she had said to her brother before suddenly echoed in her mind.
“What if it’s human blood?” she remembered. The thought made her queasy, and she asked Greg if they could go.
“Sure,” he said, heading for the room right off the nave of the church. Abby followed, feeling extremely freaked out.
Once inside she switched on the light. I was still uneasy and went to sit in the chair at the desk. I threw my jacket over the side of the chair.
“Someone will see us,” Greg said.
“What makes you think I care?” she asked distractedly.
Greg raised his eyebrows. At seeing how cute he looked she felt better.
“Angelic little Abby isn’t afraid of getting caught?” he asked teasingly. He moved closer to her. To her surprise she panicked, but stood still.
“I think I proved that before,” she said, staring into his blue eyes as he came still closer.
“I’d say,” he said softly. He was barely a foot away from me now.
O god he’s gonna kiss me, she thought, what do I do?
He leaned in, his lips drawing ever closer. However, just before they met her's, something in the small room caught her eye, and she drew away.
“What’s that?” she asked, walking over to a completely black rose. She was in this room almost everyday of her life, and never before noticed this rose. No one had entered the room since before they discovered the bits.
Greg turned, looking a bit disgruntled. He came to stand next to Abby, also looking at the mysterious rose.
“Maybe it’s made of paper, or a prank or something,” he suggested. “What does it matter anyway?”
“No one’s been in here since-“ she stopped, suddenly remembering it was supposed to be kept a secret.
“Since?” he prompted.
“Since yesterday,” she lied quickly, “And I was the last to leave, but I never saw this rose.”
He sighed and picked up the rose.
“It’s real,” he said, glancing down at it. “I’ve never seen a black flower before.”
He looked up at Abby again, a cute grin spread across his face. She smiled, but her attention got drawn back to the rose again.
Suddenly a black and red spider crept out of the bud of the rose. Greg didn’t notice it. Abby started to point but it was too late. With the amazing speed the spider scampered between the rotten leaves and thorns to Greg’s nearest finger.
Greg swore as the spider bit him, letting the rose drop to the ground. Abby rushed forward to examine his finger.
“Damn thorns,” he said, grinning up at her sheepishly.
“It was a spider,” She said, puzzled.
He looked at her, confusion showing on his face. “What spider?” he asked.
“The spider that came out of the rose,” she said.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” he asked, looking at her in a funny way.
“I guess I’m imagining things,” she said with a nervous laugh.
He raised his hand to brush a strand of hair from her face. Just as he did the door burst open.
“What’s going on here?” an angry voice asked from the doorway.
Greg let his hand drop and stepped back quickly and Abby spun around to face the infuriated image of her father.
“Dad!” she said, trying to think of an excuse. “I was just showing Greg around.” she could’ve slapped myself for the lame excuse.
“You know you’re not supposed to be in here,” he said dangerously.
“I’d better go,” Greg said quickly. He waved a small goodbye and crossed to the door.
Rev. Bailey gave him a look to kill. Abby could almost imagine Greg cowering, but he stood his ground, keeping her father’s eye contact. After a moment he stepped to the side to let Greg pass.
When he was gone REv. Bailey turned on Abby. Such a verbal thrashing she'd never experienced before. She was close to tears by the time his voice was hoarse. Things like ‘I never would’ve expected this from you,’ and ‘You knew this was wrong and still…’
She really didn’t know what the big deal was, but Rev. Bailey had obviously not wanted anyone here.
When his voice had become but a rasp, he ordered her to get her things and go to the car. He swept out of the room, leading the way. Abby turned back to get Greg's jacket, her eyes on the ground.
As she turned to go to the door, she noticed something weird. The black rose was nowhere to be seen. In the place where it had fallen, was just a small bundle of ash.
Weird, she thought as she walked out the door and through the church, ready to face her mother’s speech.
On the car ride home everyone was silent. It was extremely uncomfortable, and Abby sat staring at her shoes the whole way home.
Once there, she was forced to sit in the living room as her parents talked about her behavior. John was sent to bed.
After a while they came out. Her father disappeared off to his study, while her mother gave me the death stare. Her speech included something about gallivanting off with boys and what the other council mothers would think.
After while she dismissed Abby off to her room, grounding her for a week. No television, magazines (hardly a loss), and no friends (particularly boys) were allowed to come over.
If it weren’t for her private phone line she wouldn’t have made it.
On the first day of her sentence Brooke called. Abby spoke to her in a whisper, telling her about the night before. She remembered with a start about the almost-kiss, feeling suddenly that everything she'd gone through had been worth it. Brooke gasped at this part, but gave a disappointed moan when Abby told her about her distraction.
“You were so close!” she exclaimed. Abby decided to leave out the part about the imaginary spider.
That night she dreamt about Greg. She felt great when she woke up, thinking nervously about seeing him at school.
She dressed with utmost care. Her mother was surprised to see her so preppy when she went down for breakfast, but said nothing as she reached for her favorite waffles.
She looked for him at school, but couldn’t find him. When she passed Bobby in the hallway he started clapping hands. The other kids who had been at the fair joined in. Did everyone know about this? she thought.
“Way to go,” he said as the kids walked on. “The virgin Mary isn’t so innocent anymore.”
“Hi,” she said cautiously. This was the first time she talked to Bobby at school.
“Hi,” he said, leaning back against his locker, looking her up and down. She had the distinct feeling he was checking her out.
“Where’s Jenna?” she asked, hoping he’d stop.
“Oh, she’s off somewhere, cheerleader practice probably,” he said.
“Where’s Greg then?” she asked cutting straight to the point.
“Oh he’s not here today,” he said, stepping away from the locker towards her.
“Is he okay?” she asked, taking a slight step back and bumping into someone.
“Watch where you’re going,” Mr. Morgan said irritably. He was one of the most infamous teachers at this school, yet he and her parents were close friends. She never got along with him, for some reason she always felt uncomfortable around him.
“Sorry sir,” she said quickly, but he’d already started walking again.
She turned back to Bobby, looking at him expectantly.
“Oh yeah he’s fine,” he said, “just doesn’t really feel great.”
“Oh,” she said. Bobby stepped toward her again just as the bell sounded for first period. Saved by the bell, she thought as she hurried to get my books and make it on time.
When she got home she was searching for her brother. She found him in his room, pouring over a microscope.
“Hey,” she said. He jumped and spun around. She laughed at the glasses he wore. They were geeky and magnified his eyes. She knew he didn’t need to wear it, he had almost perfect sight, but he loved wearing it to make him seem smarter.
“Don’t do that!” he said. “You wouldn’t sneak up on Madam Curie would you?”
“Sorry,” she said, as she stepped into his room. “I just wanted to now if you could give me the Veer’s number?”
“Why?” he asked, looking at her tauntingly.
“Because I want to ask Gordon out,” she said sarcastically. “Greg wasn’t at school today; I just want to find out how he feels.”
“Keeping tabs on him already?” he said with a smirk.
“Do you have the number or not?” she snapped.
He stood up and grabbed a pen and paper lying on his desk, scribbled fiercely and handed it to her.
“Thanks,” she said. She looked down at the number. Beneath it he had scribbled something else.
First comes love,
Then comes marriage …
She turned around and gave him a slap on the arm. He laughed and turned back to the microscope.
“What are you inspecting there anyway?” she asked, walking over to the microscope. He moved away so she could peer through it. Just before she could actually put her eye to it, he answered her question.
“It’s snot,” he said simply.