I grew up in a wonderful place with a loving family. I had a brother and a sister that I loved with all my heart and a mother and father who were caring an supportive of me in every way. I went to a nice school, had many friends, and got to experience all that life has to offer a young man still learning about the world. I had a perfect life.
At least, I think I did.
I have learned over the last year that what you think you know and what is true are not always the same thing. What I believe of my past is all strawberries and sunshine. The truth is more like haggis and hurricane betty. Neither of which are good for digestion, for different reasons of course.
My life now is a walking nightmare. That much I am absolutely certain of. My parents are gone and so are my brother and sister. There is a long tale that goes along with that but for now let is suffice to say that my psychiatrist tells me they never existed. Señorita Rosquilla, as I have affectionally styled my shrink, should be the poster girl for processed sugar products. Little Debbie needs to step aside. I wish I could disappear her in that same magic la-la land my family supposedly has been lost to but unfortunately I think she is far too fat to be sucked into the blackest of black holes. Such is the sad fate of my life.
I am told that I have created a fantasy world where I had the ideal family to compensate for the crappy life I have now. I don’t disagree with the ‘crappy life now’ part, but the rest is absolute rubbish. I did not make up my family. They existed and I am dead set on proving it. That is my goal now. It is my only goal. Homework be damned! Okay, that last part serves a dual purpose but let’s not focus on that right now.
For the longest time I had no vent for my frustration, no place to put all my confusion and anger over the entire world’s insistence on telling me that my family was just a dream. Then I met Evie. The day I saw her my whole world turned upside down. That was mainly because I was staring at her with my mouth open like she was a box full of Big Macs and I was a recent parolee from fat camp. The drool was probably not helping my cause, but that is still neither her nor there.
Either way, Evie flipped my bony frame over and gave me a rather gentle lecture, for her at least, on why staring is considered rude. I say ‘for her’ because I have come to learn how extremely painful Evie’s lectures can be. Evie, or Evelyn if you are a teacher, or her dad, or some other official sounding person who does not like abbreviating names, or you are God and have thus decreed that be thine creature’s name and thou shalt callest thine creature thus or thou shalt be struck by the holiest of lightning… I lost my train of thought. Oh, yes, Evelyn. She is a Jiu Jitsu master and the head of the cheerleading squad. An odd combination to say the least but being the most popular girl in school and someone who could wipe the floor with any member of the student body, male or female, no one has ever thought to comment outside of, “Wow, you’re pretty.” Even that can get you punched at times.
On the same day that Evie decided I needed a small lesson in manners she came to find me after school. I was ready for her this time and whipped out my brass knuckles. I was going to lay her out, Mike Tyson style, when compassion overtook me and I let her live. I swear that is what happened. Whatever else you may hear I did not see her and start running for my life like a zebra who somehow escaped the most terrifying lioness the Sahara had ever spat out only to be tracked back down by the same said lioness. There may have been urine. Again, stop focusing on the unimportant parts.
Evie finally caught me and threw me to the ground in a heap of bones an futility… I mean, I put my brass knuckles back in my bag and… either way I could tell that she did not want to hurt me this time. She helped me up and explained that her thrashing of me earlier in the day was a show she had to put on from time to time. You see, Evie is playing the ‘it’ girl for a reason. She says it has its uses. Outside of parting the hallways like Moses I do not know what this really means but she says I do not need to worry my pretty little head about it. She really did say my head is pretty. I did not make that part up. Some of the other stuff I did but I can guarantee you one hundred percent she said my head is pretty. I totally agree.
I am sure you are wondering though how it was that Evie came to help me, besides picking me up from the concrete after having turned me into a human asphalt stamp. I had transferred to Pacific High nearly five months previous and had become a bit of a legend. The official story that came along with my transfer was that I was an orphan who’s foster parents had died. I do not know where this story came from or who made it up but it is not true. I woke up one day in a house that was not the one I grew up in with police officers in my face asking me questions I could not answer. Yes, two adults were dead in that house. No, they were not my parents.
I told Evie this. She was the first person my own age I had told the true story to because every adult I told gave me the nod and smile that said, “Sure, sure, you broken little thing. Any story you want to make up to make the boo boos go away is just fine.” Adults make me want to punch something, which ultimately would not really do any damage so I should probably start saying something like, “adults make me want to make Evie punch something.” Now that would wreak some havoc. We are talking max level warrior with a wicked fire mace of righteous fury, attack +20. Total destruction. But I digress.
I looked into Evie’s hazel eyes and told her the truth. She looked back into my blue ones and believed me. The shock was such that I put on that same face she so disliked from earlier on in the day and I was nearly given a refresher course. Thankfully I got my mouth shut quick enough for her to huff it off. Evie explained to me then that she had experienced something similar. She had had a little brother who she loved intensely. Then one day she woke up and he was gone. Everyone tried to pretend like he had never existed but Evie knew better. She would not be lied to.
Sadly Evie had suffered an almost never-ending series of set backs in her attempts at discovering the truth about her brother. Her parents had started off gently with her, trying their best to understand why she was making up such a wild fantasy. When she persisted they made her go and see Señorita Rosquilla as well and that has oddly become another in the long list of things that tie Evie and my fates together. Who knew the skinny, brainy boy who most people think is some kind of poltergeist and/or foster parent killer would have so much in common with the Amazonian Princess of the total hotness? Life can be funny. Life is funny. Almost every moment of the day life is a gas if you choose to see it that way. Most people do not not, however, and that is really sad.
Talking with Evie I learned that she had traveled much further down the track of finding an answer than I would have even thought to go and she believes she has found the key to finding her brother. She is also convinced that, if she is correct, it will lead to finding my family too.
Evie says it was sprits that took our families.
She says it with much more convincing style. I could not convince a starving man to eat the most delicious apple on earth. This is another reason why Evie and I make such a great pair.
Evie has done a lot of research and says that there are ghosts everywhere. She claims that all humans have a spirit and that when we die our spirits move on to fulfil some other role in the world. Reincarnation is the term for it I guess but she also believes that, just like there are bad humans, there are bad spirits and they come back as all the negative things that exist in the world. Evie thinks that there is a place between living and dying and that the good spirits and the bad spirits are fighting there over the balance of the world and if the bad spirits take enough of the good spirits into their own little prison then humanity will plummet into total chaos and darkness. Evie claims that this is why humanity is continuing to lose its spark. She says this is why people can seem so mean and heartless at times.
So my family was taken because we were too bright. We were a happy family and the darkness needed to put us out. I just cannot figure out why they left me behind though. Oh, wait, yes I can. Again, you really need to lay off the unimportant details and let me tell the story.
Evie’s brother was taken because, according to Evie, he was the final piece in her family’s puzzle. As a whole they were the perfect family. Mom, dad, Evie and little brother. Four wonderful, beautiful people. Taking one out made the puzzle incomplete. The question that burns Evie and I both is why are we the only ones that remember? How is it that everyone else has simply forgotten? Evie believes we have to answer that question first and then everything else will fall into place.
Her plan of attack is, well, insane.
We go ghost hunting in our free time. That, interestingly enough, is one of the few times I have not been joking since I started this rant. We hunt ghosts. Like the Ghostbusters. Only we do not have fancy suits or laser gun things. We have backpacks with pencil cases in them, a lot of books and some courage. Okay, Evie has a lot of courage and I have none so that balances out to ‘some’ in my book. It is a terrifying job but Evie thinks it is going to help us find our lost loved ones. I just hope it does not take us off to be with them in the boogieman land that Evie describes as, ‘happy purgatory.’ She added the happy when I started to cry the first time.
Evie has become my hero. She is my light at the end of the tunnel, my guardian angel, my guru, and the person who constantly beats me senseless. Please do not pity me. I had no sense to begin with. We are travelling about hunting ghosts or rumours of ghosts and I spend most nights pretending to sleep because I cannot turn the lights off anymore, and who can sleep with the lights on?
So that is my life. Or I should say, that is my life up to now. I can only imagine how much worse it is going to get from here. At least there is a hot girl to share it with.
Please do not tell her I said that. I like all my parts where they are.
I knew Evie would grow up to be a beautiful bad-ass! =)
LikeLiked by 1 person
Of course she would.
I’m reading your Othersiders series starting at the beginning, and this first entry was refreshing! I don’t encounter much writing in first person, let alone from a child’s perspective, so I think that perspective is a nice touch. I laughed audibly at the boy’s nerdy turns of phrase, like Evie being a level 20 badass. I’m writing this comment before reading the subsequent entries, but immediately this piece made me think of a brilliant, sad little story I read a couple of years ago in a steampunk anthology. I just had to do a fair bit of Googling to find the title, but the story is called “Steam Girl,” by Dylan Horrocks.
I look forward to reading more of this series!