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Rather Strange>> Chapter 1|| Not Quite SwedenCategory: Writing
Monday, 16 February 2009
12:19:25 AM (GMT)
Holy crap. I must have a talent for being late because I was leaving the
house twenty minutes after I was supposed to have left for the third time this week.
If I was late to school again, I was going to get a letter home, a lovely surprise
I'm sure my mother could do without. I was going to have to run for the bus, which
was turning the corner up the street towards the bus stop. I cursed rather loudly,
fumbling with my keys to try and lock the door. The lock clicked and I snatched the
keys away from the lock, thrust them into my bag and started to run. Never a fun
thing to attempt when you're wearing a skirt and slip-on shoes. My balance wasn't
exactly brilliant anyway, I could fall over on flat boards if you waited long enough.
I was always the one who held the banister on the stairs and people had to hold my
hand all the time whenever it was icy. Fortunately, today the weather was fine.
Hopefully my luck would be too.
I ran up the street as quickly as I could without falling flat on my face. My hair,
which I had previously straightened and perfected, was being tangled and messed up by
the wind whipping past me. I watched the bus waiting at the lights. I guessed I had
about ten seconds to get to the bus stop. No way I was going to make it. If only the
bus driver liked me. As it was, he had a grudge against me. I swear he is early
everyday, just to make me late. I found that rather rude to be honest, not that there
was anything I could do.
As the lights changed, I dashed across the road, praying I would make it in time. I
was almost there. If the bus would just wait for two seconds, I could get there.


"Excuse me? Miss?"
I awoke with a start, and squeaked in terror at the sight of someone stood over me.
"It's the end of the line, miss. You need to get off the bus."
Shit. I'd fallen asleep. The one time I actually caught the bus on time and I'd
fallen asleep. I couldn't believe it. I'd unwittingly dug myself into a rather deep
hole and had to somehow find my way out.
It was only at this point I realized that the bus driver was not only still stood
unnervingly close to me, but he was also dressed in rather strange attire. In place
of the usual white shirt and navy tie was a purple tuxedo. On his head was a violet
top hat and he was wearing gloves a delicate shade of ivory. He was much taller than
I remembered and had acquired a short, neat beard since I last saw him. I blinked. I
couldn't have been paying attention when I got on the bus. It was probably a
fund-raiser event or 'Fancy Friday' at the bus station. Only it was Thursday. Odd.
The bus driver was still looking at me, now with a slightly worried expression, as
though he were afraid I might be deaf, or merely insane. People often questioned the
latter, to the point where I began to believe I must be insane, but I remembered my
name and where I was from. If I was insane, I was only so far along.
"Miss? This is the end of the line, miss."
"Yes. Okay." I said, sounding strangely nonchalant considering the position I was in.
I didn't even know where the bus route ended, I could be miles away from my school.
I got off my seat a little shakily, swinging my bag onto my back. The bus driver
stepped aside to let me past, then followed me to the door. I wondered if he was
making sure that I left.
I stepped out of the bus onto a street I didn't recognise. The houses were huge and
old, with bay windows, iron gates and gargoyles. I had no idea where I was. I was
sure I had never been to this part of town before. Panic rising, I turned around to
query the bus driver on my whereabouts, but as I did so, the doors of the bus closed
and the vehicle drove away. I watched it disappear, an acute sense of vulnerability
building. I glanced around wildly, as though a helpful stranger was going to emerge
from one of the towering houses and tell me where I was. Of course, no such thing
happened. I was completely alone.
Common sense struck me like a bell ringing on the hour. I had my phone, all I needed
to do was to ring my mother. She would be angry, but hopefully would remember how
wonderfully precious I was to her and come and pick me up. Well, possibly. I dug in
my bag until I found my phone. No reception. Oh, what a lovely day.
Resisting the temptation to throw it through one of the ridiculously large Victorian
windows of the nearby houses, I pocketed my phone and started to walk aimlessly down
the street. Maybe once I got to the end of the road, I could find out the street
name. Also, there was bound to be somewhere around here where I could get signal. I'd
just have to keep walking. Unfortunately, I didn't have the best sense of direction.
The last thing I needed was to get myself more lost and find out that I'd crossed the
border into Sweden by accident. However, I reassured myself that I would probably
notice if I passed into Sweden, as there was a rather large stretch of ocean between
Sweden and Britain. Although I wasn't one hundred percent sure I was in Britain, that
bus could have gone anywhere while I was asleep.
I'd reached the end of the road by now. The street sign read 'Eleven'. Helpful. I
didn't know we named streets after numbers in England. I'm sure that would go down
well when I called my mother. She wouldn't know where I was either and her
navigational were no better than mine. She would think I was making up a fake place
and pretending to be lost when actually I was skiving school with those
'inappropriate' friends of mine. They weren't inappropriate. They were just a little
bit more 'out there' than others. I frequently failed to convince my mother of this.
But never mind my mother, I was lost. And what's more, I still had no signal on my
phone. I looked up the street that I had reached. More Victorian houses. More wrought
iron gates. Still devoid of human life. No cars. Not even the sound of birds. It was
so quiet and still that I thought perhaps I was still asleep on the bus. I hoped so,
I didn't like this place.
This street took me left and was so long I couldn't see where it lead to. Seeing as I
had nowhere else to be going, I started to make my way up this road, which was
labelled 'Ten'. As I walked, I noticed that there were other streets like the one the
bus had deposited me on branching off of Ten. These went up each one I passed. I had
been on Eleven and I steadily passed Twelve, Thirteen and Fourteen. There was some
sort of theme going on here and it was just increasing the 'where the fuck?!'
thoughts. Strangely, I was still fairly calm. It was all rather odd, yet I was cool
with it, apparently. The rational part of me that was screaming at me to panic was
being squashed by an unusual urge to sing at the top of my voice. A vaguely familiar
tune was playing in my mind and words that flowed to the rhythm were pouring out of
my mouth before I could stop them. I wasn't even sure I knew this song. In fact, come
to think of it, I didn't even know if this was a song. It was nice to hear
something other than my footsteps though and as there was no one around to hear me
wailing, I carried on singing.
So I'm sure you can imagine, it gave me quite shock to hear another voice joining my
own in the song. I managed to take note of how beautifully our voices harmonized
together; mine a high soprano and the stranger's a lower baritone. This time, the
rational part of me overpowered the curiously relaxed side and I shrieked like a
banshee. The other voice stopped immediately. I span around wildly, searching for the
source of the voice. It was standing behind me, in the form of a boy. He staring at
me rather like the bus driver had: with the same uncertainty of my sanity. This time,
I was fairly sure he was the insane one. 
"Were you following me?" I demanded, staring furiously at him. He looked a little
older than me, maybe seventeen. He was wearing a white shirt with the sleeves rolled
up and black trousers with braces holding them up. His apprehensive expression
changed to indignation on my accusation and he defended himself quickly.
"No! I was sat on that wall over there and I heard you singing. I was going to ask
you why, but I recognized the song. So I thought I'd sing along." As he explained
this, he gestured to a wall surrounding the front of one of the enormous houses on
the other side of the road.
"So why were you singing?" He carried on conversationally.
"Erm, I'm not sure." I replied vaguely. "Listen, where are we? Because I fell asleep
on the bus and I don't know where I am and I need to be at school because my mum is
going to kill me."
He looked at me like I was stupid.
"Can't you read? We're on Street Ten."
I sighed. Just my luck that the one person who I ran into would be the most
"Yes. Street Ten of where?"
"Of here."
"Oh for crying out loud, be more helpful!" I shouted, waving my hands uselessly. "I'm
lost and I need to be somewhere and I can't call my mum and tell her to pick me up if
I don't know where I am!"
He replied in a similar volume with similar exasperation.
"I don't know where we are either! I don't think anyone does! I've been walking
around here for six hours and I've run into four people! None of them know!"
I regarded him warily, trying to decide whether he was pulling some stupid joke or
was merely insane. He returned my gaze defiantly. I sighed. Whether he was insane or
stupid, we were still both lost.
"Where are the other four people?" I asked wearily.
"Dunno. They walked off. Told me I was being stupid like you did. I think they had
only just got here as well."
"And you really have no idea where we are?"
"Not a flying fruitcake, hun. Shall we walk this way?" He indicated the way I had
already been walking.
His casual attitude irritated me, but I much preferred this to being alone. At least
this way if I was killed, there was someone to phone the police. If there were police
here at all.
"It's Alex by the way." I said, as he fell into step beside me.
"Nice to meet you, Alex." He said. "Although the circumstances aren't quite so
pleasant. I'm Flynn."
He continued to chatter as we walked down the unfamiliar road. I was only half
listening. The nonchalant part of my brain had taken over again and I found that I no
longer cared about the punishment that awaited me when I finally got home. It wasn't
often that this sort of thing happened and in any way that I could, I was going to
enjoy it.
Last edited: 16 February 2009

‹KATIEParade› says :   16 February 2009   382783  

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