by N.K.L. Storm
[Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs, administered by Paul and Storm]
[editor’s note: this installment was found in the editor’s mailbox, along with a yellow Starburst wrapper and a note which read “Dear old guy: I guess it’s okay and stuff if you want to continue subscribing my story up on the internet , if you want. But if my mom finds out I’ll be so completely busted that it’s not even funny. k? – ‘Emily’ p.s. my name isn’t really Emily, but it would be, like, WAY creepy if you knew my real name and stuff. Not that I think your creepy or anything. It’s just, you know, whatever.”]
School was a dour visage the next day for poor, poor Emily. Even more than the usual blandishment that was her horrid school days, on this day her spirit wanted to crawl into her locker drear and DIE FOR GOOD. For there was entirely no way that her young tender heart could gaze a future where hope was something anything other than, irrevocably, gone.
“Did your stupid old weird boyfriend break up with you or something?” said stupid Ashley.
“Yeah, I bet he was all like ‘ooh, I’m gonna put my tongue in your mouth!’, and you were like ‘no way!’, and he was all like ‘bla-la-la-la!’ with his tongue and you RAN!” said lame Jessica, who knew nothing of tongues or love.
But Emily’s soul was now, like, waaay too complex to get all cranked up by her so-called friend’s missive’s. She didn’t even bother to tell them “whatever.” She just sat there, not eating, and not hungry. Nor thirsty. For she was herself a great ocean, but without blue, blue water. And no amount of water, blue or no, could refill her waters, except for very special waters indeed. And those waters had now flowed, far away, into a different mystical sea from whence they came. Or something.
On this day not even Mrs. Hately could yank her chain. Emily didn’t even know what that particular hag was even saying the WHOLE time, and she probably got an F for the day, but wasn’t sure, because that’s how much she didn’t care. AT ALL.
All the way home little springs of hope sprigged up along her path, only to be squashed away like butterflys that had been trapped, taken out of the cruel net, thrown wickedly to the ground, and trod upon, harshly. There was this guy washing his car, and for a sec Emily thought it was HIM…but it wasn’t. It was just some dude. Then she saw two other dudes, but they were also just dudes. And she thought FOR SURE that when she walked by the Softy-Cold she’d at least see Trudude, and there WAS a dude there, but, lamentably and irrevocably, it was also but a mere dude.
By the time she got home Emily couldn’t decide if she wanted to cry or die, so she decided she’d climb up onto the roof to figure it out.
“Alas, it is very high up here,” she lamented, for verily her ugly self had pitted herself against a very perilous situation. Indeed, the wuthering heights fled from her mind thoughts of decimating herself, for she realized she couldn’t bring herself to make that most penultimate of sacrifices.
“AAAAHHHHHH!” she yelled, because she fell off the roof for some reason.
And in her whirly mind’s eye a billion thoughts screeched like popping balloons in her ears, each one a memory vivid and so, so spry. She remembered special things, like blue eyes, birthdays, and pretty views. But only one view mortally mattered now, and it was all that she had, and it was the ground.
A boy is walking along, and he is not expecting that anything odd is happening at all. He’s just like “hum dee dum!” as he ambles. And he’s cute, but you don’t have to know that yet. And he’s walking down Emily’s block. And he’s kind of, I dunno, a jock or something, which is TOTALLY (suspiciously??) different from Nightfin. And he’s near Emily’s house going all “Ho-dee-do-do!” and thinking about sports or something, or maybe cars, or shooting a BB gun at cans, or pyramids (foreshadowing!)
What he is NOT thinking about is a stupid, ugly girl falling off of her roof for some reason, and yet it is happening in front of him. It is a shame, because maybe if he was paying attention he might perhaps catch her, and save her life, for which she would probably be quite grateful or petulant. But no, he is probably too busy picturing himself hitting a grand slam in the Super Bowl for him to realize it as the girl falls, falls, falls, falls, falls, falls…
Emily found herself not splatted on the ground at all, but indeed in the arms of a hunky dude who was cute.
“Oh, my!” she sighed, wondering if she would swoon to the point of fainting, and she put her hand up to her forehead. “I thought I was a total goner.”
“You’re no goner,” said the hunky dude, who had blond hair and looked to Emily like the captain of teams. “The only goner is my heart.”
Emily’s own heart pittered and pattered, and she was glad that she hadn’t eaten since last night. This boy…this man…this dude…had saved her life!
But googly goblins began chasing around the jasmine in her mind, scolding her ever so meanly! What of Nightfin? Didst you not love him? Are you so easily plucked? Are you to fall in love every time you fall off a roof?
“I…I don’t know what to say,” said Emily, who wanted to stay safe in her new dude-cradle forever and ever, though she knew she musn’t!
“I’m sorry,” said the guy. “I can be a dumb blockhead sometimes, though my heart is stout. I don’t even know your name.”
“Emily,” said Emily. “I guess I should thank you, um…”
“Billy. Billy Tutt,” said Billy Tutt. “But you can just call me Tutt.”
“Well, thank you, Tutt,” said Emily, who only then realized that she pretty much had a complete wedgie. “You can set me down now.”
But before Tutt could even begin to move his big arms, a voice called out clear and forthright.
“Unhand her this instant!” shouted an entirely familiar voice–a voice with the power of odd places and sexy, gothic miasma. Nightfin’s voice. “Or you shall face forces twixt which shall unrender you!”
“I will release her,” said Tutt, who was blasé in his own way. “But only because it was her wish, which it is a sweet yet sorrowful pleasure to obey.” And he didst release Emily to the ground.
For a very long time sexy Nightfin and hunky Tutt stared at each other, and Emily thought for sure that the deal would go down. And she looked at one, then the other, then both, and her heart did even more battle than the two of them might have been doing, if their eyes had swords or guns. And Emily knew that only she could sway them and keep them from kicking each other in the junk.
“Boys, no! Stop! Nay!” shouted Emily, standing between them and waving her arms or something. “Don’t fight over me! I’m just some stupid girl!”
Both Nightfin and Tutt looked like they’d just been slapped, or dunked in milk.
“Emily Smithingtonson,” said Nightfin. Sexy. “In many ages have I seen many stupid things. And my heart has felt stupid things. And my eyes have seen stupid things. And stupid things have brushed up against these garments I wear.” And Nightfin’s clothes were wafted by an unborne breeze. “So when I say you are no stupid girl, you can–no, MUST–believe it.”
Nightfin’s clothing was all flapping around with magic, and he was like a dark, brooding peacock strutting on the edge of a knife, standing still.
Tutt looked unnerved, and he too spoke.
“Well, um…Emily…I think I’ve seen old things–no, wait!” he said. “What I mean is if I’m stupid, then you’re stupid. Shoot! That didn’t come out right. Dang!”
And Tutt ran away.
Nightfin gazed down at Emily, who maybe kind of thought she might not be entirely stupid after all. Maybe. And Emily looked past her shame in order to look back into Nighfin’s salvation eyes, which once more were hers to jump into, like a stupid younger brother might jump into a ball pit. After perhaps a mental fortnight, Nightfin spoke words from his mouth, though they’d already written together an entire trilogy, plus an extra book, with their collected eyes.
“Go put on some blasé clothes, Emily Smithingtonson, and meet me at the old roller rink after you have dinner,” he said.
Oh, no! thought Emily. My clothes are all completely LAME!
She had to tell him that she didn’t have anything that didn’t make her look like a total DOG, and she looked up at Nightfin to tell him, but she didn’t really, because he wasn’t there anymore.
Emily walked into her house only to find her dorky younger brother, who we’re meeting right now.
“I’m telling! I’m telling!” said the little twerp, who everyone knew was a total accident, but who always got whatever he wanted anyway, because he was annoying and whiny and STUPID.
“Shut up, Randy!” said Emily, who was just not in the mood. “And so what? Mom and dad won’t care. They never care about ANYTHING. And so what if boys like me?”
“Boys don’t like you! You’re ugly and stupid!” said Randy, who stuck out his tongue and ate a candy bar.
“I am not!” said Emily, for the first time in her life. I mean, it was the first time she’d ever not agreed that she was ugly and stupid. “As a matter of fact, TWO boys like me. So you can go ahead and tell.”
“Well, I’m also going to tell that one of them’s a vampyre,” said Randy as he shoved another candy bar into his stupid face. Emily felt like she was tumbling down from the roof again, but it was only a roof in her mind.
“How did you know?” asked Emily.
Randy shrugged. “Kids can see vampyres. Duh! Now if you don’t buy me a cool video game for my stupid Nintendo thingy, I’m telling.”
“Fine,” said Emily, who really didn’t need this grief. And she made her brother swear on his retarded Pokemon collection, and he didn’t tell on her at dinner, which was lucky for him, because she would have KILLED him.
So her mom said it was fine to go out, because it was with charmy-charming Charlie Bannister, who she loved, which is totally too bad for her because vampyres DO NOT like moms.
And as Emily walked to her room, her countenance furrowed deep. For her heart’s head was now in a guillotine, and the executioner was her closet and all of its stupid, dorky clothes…
END OF PART 4