An Untitled Story (Chapter 2)
Strawberry Fizzies (Google Images)
An Over View
If you are reading this and have not read it from the beginning, I suggest you do so immediately for the sake of it making sense. An Untitled Story is about a girl as she discover that something is going on at her school. I'm not sure I should tell you much more because it would ruin it. So please read from the beginning and enjoy!
Shelly knocked tentatively at the large oak door before her. She wasn’t entirely sure that what she was doing was right, but what other solution was there? Amanda’s dreams worried her and she was to the point where she needed a little bit of advice. That is what councilors gave right? Then again, no one had answered the door yet. So maybe there was still time to walk away. She had just turned to get away when the door opened to reveal a shorter man in a suit. His yellow hair was slicked back and nametag over his pocket read Rubin.
“Hello. Can I help you?” he said. He didn’t have an oily or a devilish voice, but at that moment, every instinct in Shelly’s being told her to run away as fast as she possibly could. But then she thought of Amanda’s dreams. They were the whole reason she had come here tonight and while she was here, she may as well see what he could do.
“Um, yes. I have a problem that I need to talk to you about.” She said. There was a slight tremor in her voice that was hardly noticeable, yet notice it he did. Upon hearing it he smiled.
“Please step into my office where we can talk a bit more privately.” He said and stepped aside. She slipped through, feeling like she was walking into the jaws of a very big shark as she did so. However, the room was ordinary. There was one chair facing the desk and a few pictures dotted the walls. But otherwise, the room was empty.
“Have a seat and tell me about your little problem.” He said as he sat behind the desk. Shelly slowly sank into the solitary chair, and was surprised when it was actually very comfortable.
“Okay,” she said uneasily, and began explaining about Amanda’s dreams. She told him how they always came true and explained about the various times one had. She explained that the dreams were only pictures, and that she never saw faces.
“I’ve always been worried about the dreams because they are just so unnatural, but I’ve only just now become scared because she isn’t telling me about them anymore. She’s always told me her dreams, and this morning she lied to me! She never lies! I just don’t know what to do anymore.” She finished in a rush. Throughout her entire telling, the councilor’s face hadn’t changed even a little bit as his held a blank expression. He held that same blank expression for a moment longer, thinking.
“Have you asked her why she has the dreams?” he asked quietly.
“Yes, but she doesn’t know. All she knows is that she has had them for as long as she can remember.” Shelly said tiredly, “She worries me so much, I just wish she wouldn’t have them anymore.” Rubin thought about this.
“Tell you what. If she has any more dreams, I want you to come back and tell me. Your name is Shelly Smith, and your roommate’s is Amanda Ronam, correct?”
“Yes.” Shelly said, nodding her head.
“Do you know the Soup Town Café?” he asked reaching for a pen.
“Yeah, it’s a couple blocks from my dorm. We eat there sometimes.” She said hesitantly.
“Good,” he said as he quickly wrote on a sticky pad, “Be there at five o’clock tomorrow and I can make it so she doesn’t have another dream in her long life. See you tomorrow.” He handed her the slip of paper, which had a date and time scrawled messily across its yellow surface.
“That’s it?” she asked incredulously, “I just take her to this café and her dreams will go away?”
“We’ll have a man there put something in her drink. It won’t do any damage, but it will take her dreams to another place.” He said with a smile.
“Okay.” She said slowly.
“Now if you don’t mind, I have some important business I need to attend to.” He said, ushering her from the room and closing the door in her face. She stood outside for a second, not knowing what to do. She still didn’t feel like this was completely right. But began the half an hour walk home. Back at the office, Rubin Beck was in the process of dialing a rather long number.
“Cursed number. We need an extension.” He grumbled, his happy demeanor gone. He then sat back to wait while the phone rang in his ear. He was just about to hang up when someone on the other end picked up.
“Hello.” The deep voice said.
“Dr. Hill, we have a situation.” Said the councilor seriously, “Did we lose any of the experiments from the lab?”
“No, we haven’t. Charlie wouldn’t let it happen.” Dr. Hill said, almost to himself, “What’s going on?”
“I just had a girl come to me about her roommate. She has dreams that come true, Brogan. Are you totally sure that we haven’t lost any of them?” Said Rubin as he tensely rubbed the blond stubble that covered his chin.
“I’m positive.” Dr. Hill said, reassuring the councilor, “This is simply a natural phenomon. However, she would be an interesting case to study. What did you tell the other girl?”
“I told her to bring her roommate to the Soup Town Café. I told her I would have a man there that could take her dreams away, but I was thinking that we should drug both of them and take them to the lab. Graduation is coming up in any case and we could tell everyone that they transferred.” Rubin said, his eyes shifting about the room. There was a sigh from the other end of the phone.
“No, I think we can wait one month for graduation. But, it would probably be a good idea to keep some tabs on the girl. Don’t have your man knock her out. Just have him put the Bugdrug into her drink.” Dr. Hill said.
“The Bugdrug, sir? I’ve heard of it, but I don’t know what that is.” said Rubin uncertainly. Dr. Hill chuckled.
“That’s because it’s new. This is just the opportunity we’ve been looking for to test it out.” Dr. Hill said humor apparent in his voice, “The Bugdrug is a tracking device that we have converted into a liquid. It has no taste, color, or smell making it undetectable by the drinker. Upon being consumed, it enters the blood stream where it stays there for about a month by multiplying every twenty-four hours. It is completely harmless, but its makeup allows us to keep a close eye on the drinker’s location. Hence, the name Bugdrug.”
“I’m impressed. I think it will do the job.” Rubin conceded.
“Of course it will.” Brogan said, his words dripping with confidence, “I will have a runner bring it to your office tomorrow morning. Just have your man add about a cup of it to her drink. Give it to her in two drinks if you have to.”
“It will be done.” Rubin said, “Thank you for the advice, sir."
“You’re welcome. Anything for Charlie’s plan.” said Dr. Hill sincerely. Rubin pulled the phone from his ear and looked at it, confused.
“Good bye, sir.” He said after placing it against his ear once more.
“Good bye.” Brogan replied, and the line went dead as he hung up. Rubin slowly placed the phone in its cradle. He sat there for a moment, his eyebrows drawn together in confusion.
“Who’s Charlie?” he asked the empty room after a time.
The minute Amanda closed her eyes that night the dreams began. They were the same as the night before; a green star, a bulky blue duffle bag, the centerpiece of a fountain, and Nick sitting on the fountain’s wall. But this time, there was one addition. An eye. It stared at her intently, watching for any move she might make.
Shortly after seeing the image of the eye, Amanda was awoken by the sound of the bedroom door quietly closing. Shelly had not been in bed when Amanda had gotten back but before she could start worrying about her roommate, she remembered that Shelly had been going to see someone. She yawned, glancing at the clock. It was about twelve in the morning.
“Who did you go see?” Amanda sleepily mumbled. Shelly jumped.
“Girl, you nearly gave me a heart attack. I thought you were asleep!” She said clutching her heart.
“Naw, you make too much noise. Who did you see?” Amanda said, slurring her words.
“Um, why don’t we talk about your conversation? It’s probably much more interesting than mine was. He was kind of cute, you know?” Shelly said raising her eyebrows and smiling.
Amanda sighed. Once Shelly got an idea into her head, there was only so much you could do to dissuade her. “Yeah, I know. His name’s Nick and he’s new. He’s a senior.”
“Maybe you two could like, hook up!” Shelly said excitedly. Amanda rolled her eyes. Shelly couldn’t even get her own relationship going and now she was trying to play matchmaker?
“Shelly, I’m not looking for a relationship! You know that very well. He’s cute, but I’m not going to hook up with him or anyone anytime soon. So don’t try anything.” She said sternly pointing a finger.
“Why not, don’t you trust me?” Shelly pouted.
“Yes and no. It depends on what you’re doing.” Amanda had found out the hard way not to trust Shelly with a credit card. “Now who did you see?” She said tiredly.
Shelly’s pout immediately disappeared and her face fell. “Promise you won’t be mad?” She said reluctantly.
“Yeah.” Amanda said. In truth she was a little scared. If Shelly was asking her not to be mad, something had definitely gone wrong.
Shelly hesitated a moment, biting her lip. “I- I talked to a councilor. About your dreams.” She stuttered, but continued in a rush. “But I only did it because I was worried about you! Mandy you’re scaring me and I didn’t know what else to do!”
Amanda stared at her friend. “You told a councilor?” She said quietly.
“Yes, I’m sorry! I know you lied this morning and you never do. I was so afraid something was happening to you, I promise. But you have no idea how hard it is trying to keep a secret like yours! I just didn’t know what to do” Shelly said franticly.
As she stared at her, Amanda’s blood began to boil and she didn’t feel quite as bad about the little lie she’d told. Her temperature seemed to rapidly rise and she was just about to explode when she really looked at Shelly’s face. The girl looked close to tears and her usually happy face was twisted in desperation. Instantly, Amanda’s temper cooled and she smiled weakly.
“It’s alright Shelly.” She said softly. Getting out of bed, she gave the anxious girl a hug then held her at arms length. “Just don’t make it a habit, okay?”
Shelly’s brimming eyes finally spilled over as she nodded tearfully. Amanda hugged her tightly, rocking her gently back and forth whispering softly, “It’s alright.” Closing her eyes tightly, she kept on whispering.
Sometime later after Shelly had cried herself out they’d both gone to bed. Emotionally exhausted, Shelly had fallen asleep right away; tear streaks still visible on her brown cheeks. Amanda, however, lay awake under the covers thinking. How much will this change? She wondered numbly. But no answer came, dream or otherwise, as if to say ‘only time will tell.’
Upon getting up the next morning, Amanda began making a big breakfast. Shelly deserved a little slack, especially today. She was just about to add the flour to the pancake batter she was mixing up when she remembered the dream she’d had last night. It had been the same as the night before with the addition of an eye. Her mind went into overdrive as she pondered what it could mean. Through these thoughts her hands numbly kept preparing breakfast even if they added unequal quantities and burned the toast.
When Shelly entered the kitchen that morning, Amanda was sitting in her chair, staring off into space. The table was set and the food was waiting to be eaten. Shelly smiled and sat down, digging in. It was just like Amanda to make one of her delicious meals after a night like that.
“Mandy, you are amazing.” Shelly sighed appreciatively as she spooned eggs onto her plate.
“Hm?” Amanda said, seeming to wake up for the first time, “Oh, I just thought you might need a little bit more to get you going this morning.” She smiled warmly and began dishing up her own plate.
“You always did know what was best.” Shelly laughed, “By the way, I want to take you to the Soup Town Café today to make up for last night. That was wrong of me and I shouldn’t have done it. Shall we go at five o’clock instead of doing homework?”
“Sure.” Amanda said, a grateful smile spreading across her face. Shelly smiled back and began eating. Expecting to taste heaven, it was a bit of a surprise when she forked a piece of pancake into her mouth and it tasted a little different. In fact, it was bordering on the brink of just plain nasty. A puzzled look crossed her face as she chewed.
“Mandy, did you do something different with the pancakes this morning?” she asked, “They taste a little funny.”
“I don’t think so.” Amanda said, taken aback. But then she remembered which way her thought process had gone that morning and the realization of what had happened struck her.
“On second thought, I did have my mind on other things this morning.” She confessed. Shelly looked up from her plate.
“Was it another dream?” she asked simply. Amanda looked at her for a second, weighing her options. She could tell her, reassuring that she still trusted her and risk the possibility of her telling the councilor. Or she could keep her as ignorant as possible and let it be. After all, ‘ignorance is bliss’. Something tugged at Amanda to choose the latter. Shelly shouldn’t know.
“No.” she said smiling, “By other things I mean a certain boy that likes sitting by fountains.” Which wasn’t entirely a lie. She had thought about him somewhere along the tracks that were her derailed thought process. The fact that she could see his face was still a new concept.
Shelly let out the breath she’d been holding. “Good, I was worried. Mostly because the councilor told me to report back if you had any more dreams. I don’t know if I could have though, not after last night.” She said guiltily. Amanda smiled though she was reeling inside.
“Well, since it appears that these aren’t edible,” she said, gesturing to the pile of pancakes, “I’ll just slip into the kitchen and make a new batch. And this time I’ll try keep my mind on the job.” Rising she took the plate and casually walked into the next room though it was a challenge. All she wanted to do was run from the room and cry.
Dumping the ruined pancakes into the trashcan, she set the plate in the sink and leaned again the counter. Everything had changed in a split second. There was now a wall between the two girls that hadn’t been there until recently. Amanda used to be able to trust Shelly, but now she wasn’t so sure. She sighed and wiped away a stray tear that had slid unchecked down her cheek. She would fix this, but now was not the time. She would have to figure this out without Shelly. One is the loneliest number, she thought sadly, and began to make the new batch of pancakes.
Amanda’s day went just as smoothly as it always did despite her dejected mood. She pasted a smile on her face that was as sincere as she could possibly make it and tried to act normal. She made it through school, and was just pulling out her books to do homework when Shelly grabbed the books and tossed them onto the bed.
"Nope. You can't do homework because we are going to Soup Town. Remember?" She said and tugged her out the door. It was a ten-minute walk to the little cafe and the girls covered the distance in no time, Shelly chattering on about nothing the whole way
When the girls reached the front door of the comfortable little cafe, delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen assaulted their senses. The Soup Town Cafe was famous for its soups and sandwiches for a good reason.
A tinkling bell sounded as they pushed the doors open and took their seats near the back of the room. Soup Town was a homey little establishment that made you relax upon entry. Old copper pots and canning bottles lined the shelves and the tables had a worn beaten look to them. Flower boxes hung out the windows and on the counter was half of a chocolate cake covered by a glass lid along with an apple pie that had been baked just that morning. A disheveled waitress quickly came to the table and took their orders, which just happened to be Strawberry Fizzies. She jotted it down on her little note pad and hurried away again.
Shelly was still chattering away, and Amanda realized just how distant she must seem to the other girl. She'd hardly said a word the entire day, but who could blame her? She'd had a lot of things on her mind lately. Thinking back, she tried to remember the last time she had actually listened to what Shelly was saying. A day she hadn't been worrying about something else at the same time. It had been about two days earlier when they were talking about Mr. Brine and Brad. She'd been meaning to ask about Shelly and Brad and there was no time like the present.
"Hey Shelly, how have things been going between you and Brad?" she said interrupting her friend mid sentence.
"What about Brad?" Shelly said, her attention now fully on Amanda.
"How have things been going? I seem to miss a lot now days." Amanda said with a laugh.
"Things are cool," she said nodding. Amanda looked at her and raised an eyebrow, "Okay, I lied. Things aren't cool. They're not even freezing! I still haven't said a word to him and he still doesn't know I exist." She sighed and set her chin in her hands.
"I'm sorry Shelly. I've been so blind, but I have an idea. Since you so conveniently disappeared when I was with my 'boy', why don't I help you meet yours?" she said with a smile.
"How on earth were you planning to that?" she said unhappily. An impish grin spread across Amanda's face.
"Let's just say that I will make it happen." she said. Shelly looked at her friend apprehensively.
"Amanda, what are you planning?" she said.
"I don't know. Should I tell you?" Amanda teased. Shelly rolled her eyes.
"Well duh. I might do something stupid and screw up the whole plan if you don't." Shelly said half seriously. Amanda laughed and scooted forward in her chair.
"Okay," she began but never quite got there because a man had come to their table with a tray.
"Hello ladies," He said with a smile, "Drinks are on the house today. You get your drink and I'll be back to give you a refill." he carefully set one in front of Amanda and Shelly second then made his way back through the maze of tables to the counter. Shelly eagerly began sipping her drink but Amanda held back. Fizzy drinks always gave her the hiccups and they didn't go away for a couple of hours, but she began sipping hers anyway. Fizzies were just too good to pass up. This one was no different and soon they were both tipping their mugs to get the last drop.
"Mmm," Shelly moaned appreciatively, "that hit the spot, don't you think Mandy?" Amanda nodded and involuntarily hiccupped. She covered her mouth and laughed which was interrupted by yet another hiccup.
"Maybe another one -hic- will make them go away." Amanda said laughing.
"Okay. Sounds good." Shelly laughed, and called to the counter. The waiter had soon returned, his smile as big as before, and took their mugs. A moment later he was back with the refills and again first set a mug before Amanda then Shelly. Shelly raised her eyebrows and smiled as she watched him make his way back to the counter. She was about to comment that she thought someone was sweet on Amanda when she remembered their whole reason for coming to this place. Her smile disappeared and her guilt came back in full force. Did I do the right thing? She wondered as she sipped her Fizzy. Even if it wasn't right, there's not much I can do now, she thought as she watched Amanda drain her cup and firmly set it on the table. She too finished her mug and gently set it on the table. She tossed a couple of bucks on the table and stood up.
"Do you still want to do homework or do you just want to go to the gym?" She asked Amanda with much less enthusiasm. Amanda sighed.
"Why don't we just go to the gym? I don't want to do homework right now. It's just one of those days, you know?" Amanda said and Shelly smiled.
"Honey, everyday is like that for me." She said with a laugh that was so contagious it was soon passed to Amanda. Still laughing, they walked out the door and down the street on their way to the gym. They did their usual workout and by the time they emerged into the evening air, it was already dark. Taking the usual route home, the two girls were once again walking through the park at a lazy stroll when they turned the corner and Amanda saw Nick a little way down the path.
He was sitting by the fountain again and the only addition to the picture was a book resting in his lap. Just the sight of him raised her spirits and made her smile.
“Shelly, I think I’d like to be on my own for a little while.” She said glancing at her friend and back to Nick. Shelly had seen him too and her sly little smile had returned.
“Gotcha,” She said with a wink, “I need to study for finals anyway, so I’ll be at the dorm.” She increased her pace and quickly passed the reading boy. Amanda however took her time.
“Back again are we?” she said as she came to a stop before him. Looking up from his book, he smiled.
“Yeah, I just decided this is too nice a spot to abandon. Even if it is disturbed by pretty girls.” He said as he marked his page and closed the book. His eyes twinkled mischievously and a little half smile had climbed its way up his cheeks.
“You know, I wouldn’t have interrupted you if you hadn’t look so interested in that book.” She teased, “It’s kind of scary when a boy likes to read.”
“The Scarlet Letter,” He sighed reading the spine, “I wish I liked it. It might be a little more interesting if I did.” Amanda laughed.
“It’s for Mrs. Rovira, isn’t it.” She stated more than questioned. He nodded forlornly and dropped the book on the bag at his feet. “And I’ll bet that you decided to come here because your roommate had a couple of friends over and they were being louder than you could think.” She continued jovially.
“Nope,” he said, “you are wrong on that account.”
“No? Well if you don’t mind my asking, why are you here? This makes two nights that I’ve seen you at this fountain.” She said, but quickly added, “Not that it’s a bad thing. I just wondered why it was that you chose to sit here of all the beautiful places in the park.”
“It’s alright, I’ve actually come to this place ever since I got here.” he said, and looked up into the trees. His eyes took on a faraway look as he continued, “But I’m waiting.”
“For what?” she whispered unconsciously, not wanting to interrupt his thoughts. He sighed, snapping back to reality.
“You tell me.” He said tiredly throwing up his hands. Amanda’s thoughts began whirring at this statement. She knew it was just another phrase for I-don’t-know, but to her it meant something different. Something was definitely going on. The councilor Shelly had talked to had asked her to come back if Amanda had another dream. Why would a councilor be so interested in dreams when he was supposed to be counseling? Maybe it’s up to me, she thought. I need to figure this out so Nick can stop waiting… Nick. Just then she remembered whom she had been talking to. Glancing up, she found Nick looking at her uncertainly.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“Yeah, I was just thinking about what you said. It’s also getting late and I get a little unresponsive when I’m tired.” She said glancing at her watch.
“Hm.” He mused, “Maybe I should let you go. I mean it’s probably not that fun to have a conversation with yourself.”
“I can only imagine.” Amanda said, glad that he understood, “So I’ll see you here tomorrow?”
“Most likely.” He said with a laugh, “Good night.”
“Good night.” She called as she started down the path. Almost immediately, her thoughts took over again.
Unconsciously, she exited the park as usual and began winding her way through the dark buildings that made up the dormatory complexes. She was only a block or so away from her room when she suddenly felt the hairs on the back of her neck raise. Pausing in her tracks, she turned around in time to see the shadows shift in a doorway off to her right. She kept her eyes focused on that point for a moment but began walking again when she saw nothing. Her heart began to pound as the realization that someone was following her became real.
Perhaps this was more proof that something was going on. Either that or she was one unlucky girl on a dark street with a mysterious shadow following her every move. As she hurried between street lights, she heard the occasional crunch of gravel underfoot but she couldn’t have been sure if it was her own feet or another’s.
It was a welcome sight when she finally saw her room number one block later. She inserted her key and opened the door, flooding the street with light. Taking one last look out into the night, she glimpsed the figure of a man darting behind the corner. Shivering, she quickly entered the dorm room and locked the door behind her.
“Shelly,” she said mostly to herself as she walked into the kitchen, “I hope you’re here, because the front door isn’t coming open until morning.”