Chloe Writes: Chapter 2 (Someone Was Following Me)
Chloe Writes is a #GS&NS blog series featuring the work of our very own Design Assistant, Chloe Glass. From her notebook to your screen, Chloe shares her writing, photography, and art with our creative readers.
In this week's installment of Chloe Writes, we share an excerpt of Chloe's novel that's still in progress.
Briar Pierce is absolutely normal. A teenager living in a tiny town with normal friends and normal surroundings and normal problems. Normal until she begins to see a ghostly woman that only she can see. Normal until she comes home to find all the rooms mysteriously empty of her family, and something else waiting for her. Normal until she realizes that she is absolutely nothing that she thought she was.
Monday morning passed me by in a blur. I awoke in the morning to my mother’s hand shaking my shoulder and proceeded through the next forty-five minutes with my usual routine of brushing my teeth and combing my hair, winging my eyes with black liner and eating a bowl of cheerios. I was the only one up until 7:30 as my mom always went back to bed after waking me up and Layla always insisted she could get ready in twenty minutes. But today when I went into her room to wake her up she told me she felt sick, and as it was when my mom took her temperature it was at one hundred degrees. So she got away with staying home.
I was leaning up against the wall next to the front door when my mom finally emerged from Layla’s bedroom, her expression tired. She was still clad in her pink robe and her short blonde hair was unbrushed. Her head tilted when she saw me and a reluctant smile pierced through her exhaustion and spread across her face. She walked over to me slowly and rested her hand on the wall next to me.
“Looks like Layla is sick again,” she said, putting a slight emphasis on the last word.
I sighed, but smiled back at her. “Looks like it,” I responded with evident sarcasm. Though it was actually true, this time, her three digit temperature was evidence of that. Layla was a fan of using illnesses to get out of school. It has been a clever tactic of hers all her life.
“Well I suppose you better be off to school,” my mom sighed happily, atone to her next words, “and I will be off to bed.”
I looked at her pointedly in return and opened the front door, immediately feeling the room feel with cold air. I was not very excited to leave the warmth of my house. “Enjoy your day off,” I stepped outside and looked back to shut the door. “Love you,” I said.
“Love you, have a wonderful day,” she smiled and closed the door for me. It shut with a light click.
My car seemed to be miles away from me. It hurt walking the few yards of distance to the driver’’s seat door, the morning wind was so frozen and harsh. Winter was not my favorite season.
My fingers fumbled with my keys for a moment, hurrying to find the right one so that I could get into the shelter of my car. Finally I found it and turned the thing in the lock. I practically flung the door open and threw myself inside. It was still cold on the inside of my old car but at least I had escaped from the wind.
My car was a machine that first existed in the early 80’s, when it was once baby blue with shiny silver rims and an engine that emitted a suave sound. Since it had been passed down to me by my grandfather after he got his shiny new car, it had succumbed to weather and time and constant use and the elements in general. The baby blue was scarcely recognizable as it’s original color, the rims were rusted, and when I turned the key in the ignition the sound that responded sounded more as if the engine was tumbling down a rocky mountain. But I still loved the car anyways.
I was almost out of my neighborhood when I parked the car at the side of the street, and honked the horn. Not more than a few seconds afterwards the front door of the home I was parked in front of flew open and a girl came running out at full speed, long dark hair flying behind her. She was down her driveway and hopping into the passenger seat of my car in no time at all. She almost sat on my sketch book, which I’d left on the seat beside me and fortunately grabbed out of the way before she hit the seat.
“Bri!” My best friend yelled as she slammed the door shut.
“Sloane,” I greeted her in my best monotone, attempting to hold in my laughter as I swerved the car back onto the right side of the road and out of the neighborhood.
“So sorry!” she grinned, not so innocently at me, lips painted with violet lipstick spreading across her face. “I slept in late, and then had to do all of this in ten minutes,” she gestured to her perfectly made up face and sighed her most dramatic sigh. She then leaned back against the seat with the back of her hand over forehead, as if a lot had been taken out of her.
“No problem,” I told her, finally letting out a laugh. “I’m late too, though I wouldn’t be if it weren’t for having to wait for Layla’s temperature to be taken this morning.”
I was paying attention to the road in front of me, but I could sense the suspiciousness beside me. I could imagine Sloane’s dark eyebrows raising. “Sick again, huh?”
I laughed again, “Yeah, I know, but this time she did have a temperature.”
“Mhhm. Sure. Are you sure that she didn’t stick it in hot water when your mom wasn’t looking?”
“Well I definitely wouldn’t be surprised,” I muttered, turning the corner. Wakewood High School was right up ahead.
“Well,” Sloane sighed light heartedly, “how was your Sunday night?”
Immediately I responded by saying good, and asking her how her night was, but then I opened my mouth to say more, and nothing came out. When moments passed and I said nothing, Sloane stayed quiet too.
As there was no radio in my car, nothing but silence and the buzzing of the car’s heater surrounded us. Until finally I arrived at our school and parked in the student parking lot.
I pulled out my phone to look at the time, still ten minutes until the bell would ring. I glanced over at Sloane beside me, neither of us got out of the car.
“What’s up, Bri?” She asked me, the expression on her face wary, as if she were expecting mournful news.
I sighed and looked down at my hands on my lap, fingernails painted a quickly chipping dark blue. “Do you believe in ghosts?”
I wasn’t even sure she’d be able to hear my muttering, but she must have. “Well you know I… believe in the afterlife…” she hesitated when I didn’t nod or respond to her in anyway. “what exactly do you mean?”
I looked up from my hands, at Sloane’s still wary face. “I mean like real ghosts, ones that are here, not in the… afterlife.”
“Like… uh, Paranormal Activity?”
I tilted my head, thinking. “No, more like The 6th Sense I guess.”
Sloane’s green eyes widened, arching her eyebrows even higher. “The 6th Sense… like you’re Haley Joel Osment?”
“Kind of…” I trailed off, trying to think of a way to explain myself and not sound crazy.”
My best friend leaned towards me in her seat, propping her chin up on her hands. “God, girl, damn, what happened?”
“Last night, I was walking home, and I saw something. A woman. I---” Sloane hit the back of the seat as the bell rang and interrupted me mid-sentence. And it sounded very loud as the student parking lot was very small, even though we were parked all the way in the back.