Geeky (Part 1)

Plush Toys, Comiccon, Dortmund, Fair, Comic, Fig

Everything felt too surreal as Millie darted into a corner of the large venue’s main hall and tried to catch her breath. All around her, people in costumes flowed together like a happy, slow moving river. She saw some characters she recognized; Star Wars, Disney, Star Trek and was that a demon? Everyone else though, she had no idea, but it felt strange seeing such a mix of anime, manga, movies, games and TV series character brought to life.

Stalls and stands stretched out as far as Millie could see. The tables were full of so many things that it was hard to put them all into one category, yet they all connected to being geeky or nerdy. There was memorabilia, books, toys, games, posters, clothes and people sighing things. There was also so much noise that the sound blurred into one and it was hard to pick anything out from it.

‘Hey, are you okay?’ a soft, young man’s voice asked to her right.

Millie nodded, not daring herself to speak. He was cute with a soft round, friendly face and flushed pink cheeks. His eyes were very blue and his multi-coloured hair was long. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt that read Minecraft, with a creeper bursting out of a grey brick wall. There was foam sword danging with a belt around his hips and he had a green plastic backpack on.

‘Bit crazy, isn’t it?’ he added.

‘Yes,’ Millie answered.

She looked down at what she was wearing, once again feeling so out of place. This morning she had gone with white trainers, light blue jeans and a tie-dye blue and white t-shirt with a large butterfly on it and a little white cotton jacket.

‘Here, so you want some water? Always useful to carry some.’

She glanced up shyly and accept the bottle from him. She took a few mouthfuls of warmish water, but she did feel better.

‘I’m Ben by the way. What are you cosplaying as?’

‘I’m Millie, erm, I’m not…I’ve never been to one of these things before. I came with some friends, but I’ve lost them.’

‘Ah. We are in the same boat then! I’ve lost my friends too,’ Ben laughed, ‘it’s fine. To be honest, I’m glad to escape from them.’

‘Why? oh, thanks,’ Millie added and tried to hand the water bottle back to him.

He waved it away, ‘keep it. Why? because, they are all couples and I feel like a third wheel.’

‘I see…’ Millie trailed off her attention drawn away.

A huge bright yellow Pikachu bopped by, his lightening shaped tail wiggling wildly. The three main human characters from Pokemon trailed behind him, the girl laughing loudly and covering her mouth at some joke or story told by the boy wearing the red baseball cap. They all walked passed and faded into the crowd again.

Ben laughed, ‘only at a convention. Hey, are you hungry?’

Millie frowned, ‘sort of, but I should look for my friends.’

‘Okay. I’ll take you to the nearest meeting point then….Did you arrange to meet them anywhere?’

‘No. I don’t think we did,’ Millie replied slowly.

Ben shrugged his shoulders, ‘Let’s go see if they’re there. What are they cosplaying as?’

‘They’re not,’ Millie answered.

‘Guess that makes them easier to spot. Come on,’ Ben said.

They walked back into the crowd together avoiding someone fully dressed as a wolf wearing dungarees.

To Be Continued…

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Transformation

Butterfly, Swallow Tailed Butterfly, Insect, Nature

The Princess held the small jar up to the stained glass window. A small gasp rose in her throat and escaped her lips. The tinted red light flittering through into the tower made it easier for her to see the bright beautiful coloured wings of the butterfly. The creature was fluttering madly inside, panicked at being disturbed whilst still not sure of its new form.

The Princess placed the jar on the sill and waited. After a few moments, the butterfly settled down and she was able to see it more clearly. Butter yellow wings, pattern with black curving lines, blue ink smudges and red colour circles bushed against the inside walls of the glass jar. The long green body quivered alongside the ever flicking antenna as of the butterfly was cold and seeking warm.

Kneeling down in her simple shift of a white cotton dress, the Princess rested her arms on the edge of the sill and put her chin on top of her hands. She looked hard into the jar, marvelling that after all this time of giving up hope and believing the caterpillar had died, he had actually transformed into this wonder before her.

Gazing upwards, the Princess saw the window latch and suddenly knew what she had to do. Getting up, she carefully moved the jar out of the way, which caused the butterfly to flap hurriedly again and attempted to pull on the latch. Bits of paint flaked off against her skin as she pushed down on the little iron rod. Having not been open in a while the latch and window were stiff.

Her determination payed off and the latch give way with a sighing groan and the window itself swung with a shocking shriek. The Princess lent out and looked across the clearing where tower sat and into the woods beyond. Everything seemed to be blue or green and the tree tops looked like they were touching the sky and trying to kiss the sun. Despite herself, the Princess laughed and revealed in the warm touch of the fresh air and the pure light falling onto her skin.

She picked up the jar and unwrapped the piece of fabric upon the top. Tipping it a little, she watched the butterfly crawl up and over. Carefully, she let him step out on to the window ledge facing the outside world.

‘You are free now,’ she whispered, ‘go and never come back here. Go and see what lies beyond the trees. Maybe, one day I shall follow you there.’

The butterfly lifted his wings, felt the breeze and took off. He fluttered downwards then back up again and away into the trees as if he had understand the Princess’ words.
Placing the jar back down on the table with a clunk, the Princess sighed and put her elbows out on the ledge. She rested her chin in her open hands, her fingers pressing against her cheeks. She tried to look over the tree tops and through the sky, her thoughts tumbling as to what was out there. A spark of hope lit up inside of her and she knew that one day, just like the butterfly, she too would be free.

 

 

Inspired by the daily prompt from; <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/transformation/”>Transformation</a&gt;

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to follow, like and share this story and my blog. Also, find me on Twitter at: ironmaidenfan9 and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thestoryfiles/

Freedom

Butterfly, Halme, Meadow, Sunset, Insect

She felt like she was free. Free to do anything she wanted and be whoever she wanted. She marvelled in that knowledge, wondering how she’d spent so many years in the dark. The blind fold of love felt so heavy around her neck and her shoulders weighed down by the past. The turbulence of emotions threated again, but she accepted them gracefully. Now, was the time to grieve and afterwards a stronger woman would be born.

The Winter Butterfly

The traditional log cabin was in total darkness as Rachel parked in front of it. Trying to look through the thickly falling snow at the front door, she made out the numbers twenty-two and decided it was the correct one. The car headlights beamed through the dancing snowflakes and showed Rachel that the snow was fast crawling up the cabin.

With a deep sigh and flick of her mane of chestnut hair, she turned the engine off and the night gladly crept back in. Rachel reached upwards and clicked on the inside light. Outside she could hear the wind howling and whistling. The small car rocked gently. A shiver shot through her and she slipped gloved hands from the warm steering wheel.

Twisting slightly, she pulled her large blue handbag over from the passenger seat and tossed the useless map of the holiday cabins aside. She dug out her phone, woke the screen up and saw it was almost ten PM. Rachel went to her last two sets of text messages. Her reply back to Adrian glowed before her; see you then x. She scrolled up and glanced through their conventions dated today and yesterday. Most of the words had become imprinted in her mind she’d read it that many times now.

She tapped the screen, but it didn’t respond with her gloves on and she had to take the right one off with her teeth. Tapping again, she wrote; I’m here, where are you? then pressed send. The mobile beeped and your messaged can’t be sent, flashed up.  

‘Oh, what now?’ she muttered and peered closer at the screen. ‘No signal. Well that’s just great!’

Rachel shoved her phone back in her bag and whacked the steering wheel. Tingles of pain ran through both her palms. She curled her fingers around the cold plastic and threw her head back. She would’ve pressed her forehead to the wheel but her large boobs were in the way. Dragging in deep breaths of fast cooling air, she shut her eyes and took a minute.

Opening her eyes again, she gathered her handbag and the overnight bag she had stuffed in the passenger footwell. She grabbed the cabin’s key and her own keys in the other hand then went to open the door.

I could just leave, she thought, he’s clearly not here. But it’s probably too dangerous on the roads now….and a waste of money.

Rachel watched the snow falling and realised her front window was quickly being covered up. Realising, she had no choice, she got out of the car and hurried up the slippery steps to the cabin door. Juggling the keys, she fitted the right one in the door and pushed it open. The wind decided to help and the door banged loudly against the wall. Rachel walked in, snow rushing to join her.

Dumping her bags to one side, she called out, ‘hello?’

There was only the reply of the wind.

Rachel walked out again, turned the light out in her car and locked it. She went back inside the cabin, turned on the lights and looked around. A cosy open plan living room, dining space and kitchen came to life around before her. She took off her long coat, revealing a short black dress and coal tights. Also, taking off her shoes, she went towards the open fire place. Looking inside, she saw that someone had prepared the logs, kindling and newspaper balls.

She lit the fire, feeling like she deserved it. Once the flames had gotten going and a thin wave of heat had wrapped around her, Rachel settled into the deep set sofa and hugged one of the velvet cushions. She took a deep breath of burning wood, smoke and pine, whilst her thoughts turned to Adrian. She wondered about checking her phone then seeing if he was upstairs.

I’m alone and there’s no point, she thought, typical of him not to show. I’m such a fool.

Rachel pressed the side of the head into the top of the cushion and listened to the wind howling outside and the fire crackling away. She shut her eyes, feeling tried from the difficult drive and still cold.

‘Perhaps he all ready came and left?’ she spoke allowed, ‘I’m three hours late.’

She looked around hopeful to see some sign of him, but the place was as a clean as the cleaner had left it.

‘Surely the snow storm would’ve trapped him here too,’ she concluded and settled back down.

Rachel felt the last of her excitement fade away and bitter hollowness take over. Tears welled in her eyes and she felt a burning in her throat. She fought the tears back, knowing it was useless to keep crying over him. Wiping her eyes, she got up and feed some more logs into the fire. Gratefully the flames latched on to the new wood and burned brighter.

She went into the kitchen and made herself a cup of tea. Heading back to the sofa with her hands wrapped around the mug, she tried to convince herself to stop thinking and just enjoy it. Placing the mug on the coffee table, she went to her bags and dug out a scruffy paperback of Wuthering Heights. She found a fluffy blanket on the back of the matching arm chair and took that back to the sofa with her. Settling again, she tried to read, but her thoughts came darting back to Adrian.

Her mind played the daydream she often allowed it to and she fell into that for a few minutes. She pictured him walking through the door, not the mid-thirties man he now was, but the just turned nineteen boy he had been when they had meet at university. His hair was light brown, long and unkempt around his soft thin face. Dark brown, haunted eyes that had lit up when they had spotted her. His normal clothes of too tight black jeans, an old band t-shirt and lumber jack style jacket.

Rachel let her mind play on and imaged Adrian kissing her lightly on the lips. She begged for more gently then pushed harder when he refused.

‘We shouldn’t,’ daydream Adrian said.

‘Why not? One more isn’t going to hurt,’ Rachel replied in her head.

‘It might do and I don’t want that. Let’s just talk about uni instead. Who are you still in contact with?’

‘I thought we came here to…you know and now you just want to talk?’

Daydream Adrian nodded, ‘like old times.’

Rachel heard herself sigh and stopped thinking about it. She got up and went to the window, but looking out she couldn’t see anything. She went to the door, turned the handle and found it wouldn’t open. Shoving against it did nothing. Trying again, she wondered if the snow had piled up behind it or if it was just stuck.

Glancing around, she spotted a phone next to the TV and went to dial reception. A dull dial tone echoed in her ear followed by a buzzing as she was cut off. Trying again, she realised the snow storm must have knocked out the phone lines. She checked her mobile and saw there was still no signal.

‘I’m stuck here!’ she cried, ‘this is all your fault Adrian!’

Rachel flung herself back on the sofa, tears pricking her eyes again.

‘No,’ she mumbled, ‘it’s all my fault. Why did I think I could trust him again after everything? His stood me up and cancelled so many times, why did I think this would be different?’

She rubbed her head, feeling a headache coming on. Rachel picked up her mug of tea and took a few sips then a longer drink. Cradling the cup, she let herself get everything out. She ran through all the good and bad memories, not stopping to dwell on them.

Afterwards, Rachel abandoned the rest of her cold tea and checked the time. Seeing it was a few minutes to midnight, she got up and dug a small bottle of champagne from her overnight bag. She got a glass from the kitchen and placed both on the coffee table. She put some more logs on the fire before curling back on the sofa.

The numbers flash double zeros and Rachel popped open the champagne and poured a glass. Toasting she whispered, ‘happy new year,’ and drank the whole lot in one go.

She poured another and drank that one too. Then abandoning the glass, she grabbed the bottle and hugged it in between her boobs. The fire crackled merrily to itself, casting off a cheerful glow as Rachel finally give into her tears.

 

The loud continuous knocking just about woke Rachel from a drunken sleep. She rubbed her eyes and face whilst one part of her urged her back to sleep and the other pulled her awake to figure out the source of the noise. She swung her legs off the sofa and her feet hit the empty champagne bottle. Kicking it away, she got up, pulled her dress down and went to the door.

With a sharp pull, she opened the stuck door and looked blurrily out.

‘Rachel! Are you okay?’

‘Adrian?’

‘I can’t believe you risked it, you crazy thing. Sorry, but my car was too snowed in.’

Rachel yawed and peered out at him. He was still a head shorter than her and dressed in a woollen coat, hat and gloves. His famous boyish smile lit up his face and she almost melted into his arms.

‘Can I come in?’ he asked with a slight bounce.

She nodded and held the door for him.

‘I was worried about you. I really didn’t think you were going to come.’

‘Are you grateful that I did?’ she asked, closing the door.

Adrian turned at the tone of her voice, hat and gloves in his hands, ‘of course.’

‘I’m surprised you came.’

‘Why?’ he asked, putting down his things.

‘Because of all the other times you’ve not bothered,’ Rachel snapped back.

‘Aww, come on, Rach don’t be like that…’

She shook her head and stormed passed him to the sofa. She began gathering her things and tidying up.

‘What are doing? We’ve still got time,’ Adrian pointed out.

‘I don’t care,’ she called over her shoulder, ‘I’m sick and tired of this.’

‘Well, you’re the one who keeps pretending we’re together.’

She spun at his raised voice, clutching her mobile phone and book, ‘only because you make me believe it!’

‘That’s so not true!’ Adrian half shouted, ‘you’ve kept this up since uni and I’m sorry about what happened. It was my fault and I took the blame for that. I shouldn’t have let you believe I loved you. And I’ve tried, Rach, I really have, but you won’t let it drop.’

‘I’ve tried too!’ she yelled, ‘but you keep dragging me back! Well guess what? This time I’m officially over it. Goodbye, Adrian.’

Rachel shoved her things in her handbag and put on her shoes. She grabbed her coat, keeping her back to him and put it on.

‘Wait,’ Adrian spoke.

She paused. No! Don’t do it, don’t turn around and look into his sad eyes, she told herself, you’ve lived long enough chasing his shadow.

‘I’m sorry. Rachel. Please, let’s talking about this…I still want to be your friend.’

She dropped her head, bit her lip then picked up her bags.

‘I mean it this time,’ Adrian concluded.

Rachel shook her head a little and went to the door, ‘no more excuses,’ she muttered then called over her shoulder, ‘I mean it this time too.’

She opened the cabin door and stepped out. The sun was shining brightly off the iced over snow, casting the first day of the new year in a golden glow.

Water Stain

The water stain was coffee colored and looked like a small butterfly. There were four clearly marked wing points, which seemed to be symmetrical. The bottom wings even looked scalloped at the edges, like on some of the fancier butterflies. When you moved it came to life, almost fluttering those wings. However, if you moved too much the water stain no longer took that form and instead became a squashed up love heart. The further you move and the harder you look, the more that emerges.

Death of a Butterfly

Purple Butterflies - butterflies Wallpaper

I enter the cemetery holding the jar tightly to my chest. The large gate swings shut as I slowly walk up the path. Bring my protecting wards around, I mutter Latin words under my breath. The cemetery is quiet, but that doesn’t mean it’s empty, the Dead are always here.

Stepping off the path, I feel the loss of its security. The grass wet with morning dew, soaks through my trainers. I weave through the rows of headstones, listening to the birds singing in the weeping trees and trying to ignore the almost faded voices calling out to me.

At a row of new graves, I find a white headstone with his name on it. His plain stone seems lost in a sea of bigger ones which are adorned with flowers and ornaments. I balance the jar on top of the grave and slowly unscrew the lid. I’ve come here to show him the results of his teaching. I speak to him softly in my head, telling him the things we all say to the departed and I let my heart whisper what I cannot say. I set the jar down and watch the small, dark purple butterflies flutter out for their first flight.   Watching them disappear, I recall the first time we meet.

*

I walked through the woods, listening to the soft movements of nature on the ground and the trees. It was early spring and the air was shaking with an eagerness to burst into life. I stepped into a field and saw him kneeing by a bench, chasing something with his fingers. Seeing him alone, I crossed the field and went to sit on the other side of the bench.

He looked up at me and I saw the faded outline of a bruise on his cheek. His face was puzzled and there was a slight fear in the corners of his eyes. He couldn’t have been much older than myself, thirteen and on the cusp of teenage-hood.

‘Hi, what do you have there?’ I asked, nodding my head at his cupped hands.

‘You wouldn’t like it,’ he mumbled.

‘How do you know?’

Slowly, he opened his hands and I saw a spider resting in his palm.

‘Aren’t you scared?’ he inquired after a few seconds, ‘I thought all girls were scared of spiders.’

‘Well, not me,’ I replied.

He set the spider free and we watched it crawl under the bench.

‘I’m Becky,’ I told him.

‘Louie,’ he answered.

‘What do you have there?’ I pointed to the two jars at his feet.

He looked down as if they had just appeared beside him almost the rubbish. The jars were the same size and had paper lids punctured with holes.

‘A frog,’ he said slowly, picking up the first jar and letting me see the small brown frog floating in some dirty water.

‘What’re you going to do with him?’ I probed.

‘Take him home and put him in a tank.’

‘Why?’

He shrugged, ‘I like watching them…..My granddad taught me…..’

I frowned and put my defences up. I had a feeling Louis’s granddad was no longer here and I wasn’t in the mood to be haunted by restless spirits wanting to pass messages on.

‘He was a bug collector and he liked studying them. He built a special room in the attic.’

‘Well….that’s nice….I should get home,’ I said quickly and jumped off the bench.

‘Me too,’ he breathed.

‘Bye then.’

I smiled and walked away before the pressure of ghost voices broke through. As I headed for home, I had a strange thought. Louie was unlucky to have lost his granddad as he’d been protecting him.

*

Over that summer, Louie and I found a strange friendship in each other. He, like me, was an outcast, someone the other children thought too weird. So, we found delight and security in each other’s company and Louie taught me about his world.

He was sat by the small pond with a homemade fishing rod and a large hat on his head.

‘Hi, Louie,’ I called and ran to his side, ‘have you caught anything?’

He turned his head away and didn’t reply.

‘What’s wrong?’ I asked, kneeling down beside him.

‘Nothing. Go away.’

I sat back and watched the water ripple in the middle of the pond. He started sniffing. I glanced and saw his face. There was another large purple and yellow bruise under his right eye and across his cheek.

‘What happened to your face?’ I gasped, ‘Did you fall down the stairs again?’

‘Yes….do you want to see my fish now?’

From a small wicker basket beside him, he drew out a large jar, which was half filled with water and had small stones and pond weed at the bottom.

‘He’s a tiddler,’ Louie said proudly, holding the jar up to the light.

I saw a small fish darting around inside, the sun just bouncing off his scales.

‘He’s very nice, but Louie you have to start being more careful!’

Louie placed the jar back, ‘I’ll try,’ he sighed as he reeled in his line, where a dead worm dangled at the end of a small hook.

‘Do you want to come to my house?’ he said swiftly, ‘I can show you my collection!’

I pulled a face….houses were worse than people. All that energy absorbed over time meant that voices and images come more clearly into my mind.

‘It’s all right my dad won’t be there,’ Louie concluded. He stood up, smiling and holding his hand out to me.

‘Well…just for a little while,’ I resorted and took his hand…..

Big mistake! I saw a flash of white light and images poured into me, speeding by as if someone had hit the fast forward button. My head pounded with a migraine and things that shouldn’t have made sense appeared to unravel; laying the future bare of me to see.

I snatched my hand back and Louis stared down into his palm.

‘What was that?’ he muttered.

‘Nothing,’ I cried, ‘so your house then?’

I learned the hard way not to tell people once before. It’s not just ghosts that come to me, sometimes the future will come too. And that future is unchangeable. Sometimes, I hate having a gift that lets the dead whisper to me and shows the future fate via one touch.

He walked down the path, which was hidden in the grass and drew a key from under a statue of a Jack Russell dog. He went up to the house and unlocked the door, I felt goosebumps run across my arms and something seemed to warn me against entering.

‘Do you want to come in?’ Louie called, when I didn’t follow.

‘I….’

‘Its’ okay, no one’s here.’

‘Okay, but I have to go home soon.’

I stepped into the tight hallway and he shut the door. There was a room to my left and then a flight of stairs. The hallway was empty, the wallpaper faded and peeling at the top.

‘Follow me,’ he said.

We went upstairs and I threw my protective energy field out in preparation for any arriving ghosts. At the top, Louie turned and went to the farthest door. He opened it and turned on the light. The room was painted a sickly green colour and there was a low bed with a cupboard next to it, a scattering of toys and a scruffy teddy bear sit on the floor.

‘Is this your room?’ I whispered, stepping in behind him.

‘Yes, but I…..don’t really use it. This is my room,’ he said, nodding towards a door he had just opened in the joining wall.

I looked up the steps, but couldn’t see where they led to. He went up and I followed him.

‘Oh, it’s an attic!’ I cried, reaching the last step.

‘My granddad made it. Remember?’ he said, switching on the light.

I stepped into the small room and saw that there was a range of tables and shelves. Two covered windows let in thin trickles of light and dust was dancing close by them.

I felt a shiver run up my spine as I looked up at the shelves and saw a range of dead bugs in glass boxes. On the largest of desks was Louie collection. There were two large tanks and some large jars. I went closer as he drew the jar, which contained the baby fish he had caught, out of the basket.

‘This is my fish tank,’ he said pointing to a tank filled with light grey water. ‘The frog is in there.’

The frog who was sitting on a rock jutting out from the water, give a croak and jumped down with a large plodding noise. Louie giggled and taking the lid off the jar, he lowered it into the water and set the fish free into the tank. We stood and watched the fish swim around in circles.

‘I should go,’ I said softly.

He nodded, ‘Alright, but you have to come again.’

*

  The last time I met the bug boy it was late autumn. Winter was trailing his icy fingers across the air, making his presence felt on still warm skin from the long summer. I knew I had to be there in the woods that day….

It was raining and he was sheltering under some trees. I hurried over to join him, but he moved away when he saw me coming and I paused just under the branches.

‘What happened to your arm?’ I questioned.

He frowned and half raised his arm that was in a sling tied around his neck.

‘Nothing….’

‘And your face! There’s more bruises!’

‘I…fell over… on the street,’ he answered.

‘Really?’ I scowled.

He nodded.

‘Louie….’

‘You’re not going to tell are you, Becky? Oh, please don’t!’

‘But, someone has to do something!’

He shook his head and sniffed, ‘It’ll only cause more trouble….look….I caught a butterfly.’

He lifted up a jar and inside there was a large white butterfly, its wings were tapping against the glass.

‘Oh…’

‘I…have to go now….’ he said and dived out from under the trees.

It happened that night. I woke up with a sudden sense that something was wrong. I immediately thought about Louie and dressed quickly in the pressing darkness. I didn’t think about it as I left and walked to Louie’s……I just knew that I had to go there.

The rain started falling as I reached the house. I listened on the doorstep, but I didn’t hear anything and none of the lights were on. I took the hidden key and let myself in. I knew where he would be; in the attic amongst the smashed bug display boxes. I crept up there, the attic light was on and his small body was crumbled across the floor.

My face became a wash with tears and I went to kneel down beside him. I picked up his cold hand and held it tightly .