Sunday, 5 October 2008
11:32:40 PM (GMT)
Okee dokee, here is chapter nine. So I'm doing this one straight-to-type, right?
If it is waaaaaaaay better/worse or has significantly more/less typos, let me know so
I can decide which way to stick with.
Oh, and it starts getting really good soon!
So... er... wow, nothing to say this time!
This chapter is dedicated to anybody who has ever received a birthday present that
they definitely did NOT want. Oh, and to anyone who's ever been hit with something
harder than a pillow, it does get better. Promise.
Chapter Nine~Two Presents Are Better Than One... Right?
This was bad. It's not like she could just go out and get something. Everything
was so busy. She could always make something, right? And perhaps she could enlist
the help of Jazzy. Either way, something had to be done in five days time.
Realizing she was still laying down, Ashley pulled herself up. Because she
usually fell asleep fairly early at sleepovers, she always did a head count to see if
she was the first one up. Amber, Jazzy, Lindsay and Claudia's sleeping bags littered
the floor, Syesha and Carly were snoozing in their beds, and Kristy had a blanket
wrapped around her on the couch. Just her head was poking out, and she looked like a
little kid. Which left Brooke. Leave it to the perpetual ball of happy to beat
"Brooke?" she called out quietly. ''You up?"
"Over here," Brooke said, giggling as she watched Ashley look all over the room.
"Behind you brilliant!"
Ashley snapped around. Brooke was sitting in a bright orange beanbag chair,
eating yogurt. "You're up early," Ashley said.
Brooke smiled. "I'm a nanny."
Ashley had to laugh at that one. It worked for her. She couldn't coun the number
of times the simple response of 'I'm a marine' had been satisfactory to her father.
Her mom loved using it, and the girl culd barely remember a day in her lfie when she
hadn't heard her say that. She herself even used it occasionally.
"Oh, well that explains it."
Smiling, Brooke asked, "do you want anything? Cause I'll just go raid Carly and
Syesha's fridge for ya."
"What's in there? Eggs, juice and potatoes?" Ashley chuckled to herself,
remembering the top twelve interviews. Ah, way back before anything out of the
ordinary ever happened. Back before her subconcious got a vocabulary. Back before
ever thought she had made her feel sick. Back before she... never mind.
Brooke smiled. "A little more than that. I'll get you a yogurt." She made a
sincere effort to step gingerly, but in the end it proved fruitless. She had almost
made it through the battle ground when she stripped over the worst possible person to
trip over: Lindsay.
Ashley slumped down and put her head in her hands. Damn.
"Wazzabigidea?" the young girl sputtered, snapping out of sleep.
"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry, Linds," Brooke said desperately. "Just, go back to
sleep, okay, hun?"
Ashley rolled her eyes. Wasn't gonna work. If her little sister was woken from
sleep, there was absolutely no chance of getting her to even shut her eyes again.
And now she was going to scream.
"Who woke me up? Hello, I'm trying to sleep! It's like, seven in the morning!"
'See,' Ashley thought to herself, 'screaming!'
Brooke tried to spit out a quick apology, but Lindsay was already so ticked off
she could wake the dead.
"What's going on?" the little girl yelled.
"I could ask the same thing," a voice said to Lindsay's left. Claudia was pulling
herself off the floor and gazing at Lindsay with a quizzical look. "What's with the
"I woke her up by accident," Brooke said apologetically. "Sorry, Lindsay," she
added, turning towards the redhead.
Lindsay made a noise that sounded like a 'hmph,' and turned her back on the other
three. Slowly, everyone began to stir, as though the disruption of peace had ruined
everyone's slumber. Ashley waved to people as they shook off their tiredness and
rubbed their eyes. Eventually, everyone had joined the land of the living except for
"Is she ever going to get up?" Amber asked impatiently. "Cause she's so boring
Laughing, Syesha said, "Kid, she won't be up before noon if we don't wake her.
Seriously, I let her sleep once. I'm not joking!"
Claudia was smirking and had a devilish look in her eyes. "You guys thinkin what
I'm thinkin?" she asked coyly, picking up the nearest pillow.
"I like the way you think," Kristy said with a smile. Everybody picked up a
pillow and gathered around Carly's bedside.
They hoisted tHE cushions above their heads, ready to strike.
Ashley couldn't help but giggle slightly as they got ready to bear down on the
As Carly was struck with eight different-sized pillows, shouts of 'It's the end of
the world!,' 'The sky is falling!,' and 'You gotta get up NOW!' filled the air.
Carly rolled over on her side and slowly sat up. The pillow-flailing stopped
"Wakey, wakey, eggs and backey!" Kristy exlaimed loudly.
Carly rubbed her eyes and fumed under her breath. "Whoever the hell came up with
this is now going to have to bare the rath of an angry Irish woman."
Ashley shrugged her shoudlers haphazardly. "I've seen worse. Try an
uncaffeinated marine, huh, Linds?" Lindsay nodded.
Carly was really fuming now. Maniacal laughter danced across her face. "Oh,
somebody's gonna get it now!"
She jumped off the bed and dashed after Ashley, who clearly had nowhere to go in
the small apartment. Boy, somebody was in trouble this morning!
Two days later
Three days before Linsay's eleventh birthday, the Rabbs were congregated at the
dinner table eating veggie lasagna. Ashley had decided early that day that the best
she could do was make Lindsay a cool beaded necklace and give her twenty dollars.
Surely it was nothing compared to the extravagant gifts the sisters had been known to
give each other, but it was the best she could do right now givwen the allotted time
Soon enough, the dinner conversatoin joined Ashley's mind on the topic of
"So Linds," Mac began, "I know we really don't have much time to do anything about
your brithday, but if you want something small, we'll see what we can do."
Lindsay shrugged. "There's not a lot to do. I can't think of anything. It isn't
really a big deal, anyway." Ashley could say right through that lie. Lindsay had a
unique way of guilt-tripping. She didn't look or sound sad, lost, forlorn or
otherwise dejected. She honestly sounded like she couldn't care less. This was a
sure-fire way to get her mom on her side, whereas Harm took more to the displays of
emotion Ashley was known to put on. That didn't matter much,a s it was way better to
have a marine on your side.
Quick-thinking as always, though, the near-teen quickly came up with an idea.
"Why don't you have Jazzy sleep over?" she suggested. "It's their second last night,
so it might be fun."
''Yeah, Lindsay, that sounds like a good idea," Harm said.
The girl considered for a moment. "Hmm... yeah, that'd be cool. Can we get
Harm rolled his eyes. "Darling, it'll be almost midnight by the time you get home
from the after party, and you'll have eaten a gazillion pounds of unhealthy stuff.
Do you really need pizza?"
"Hey!" Mac exclaimed. "They'e kids, stickboy! They need pizza!"
"Speaking of which," Ashley interjected, "Why do we always have to have
vegetarian lasagana. Italian food is meant to be meaty!"
Harm rolled his eyes and tried to veer the subject off his odd food habits. "So,
is this a done deal or what, Lindsay?"
Her dad gave a dejected sigh. "Fine, pizza."
Twenty minutes later, Ashley sat on her bed trying to finish off this necklace.
Pink bead, yellow bead, blue bead... pink bead, yellow bead, blue bead... pink bead,
yellow bead, pink bead... Oh, dang it! She attempted to pry off the pink bead and
only the pink bead, but it did not work out that way. Great, now she had to replace
thirteen beads, just great! Rolling her eyes, she started again.
Just then, Lindsay walked in. "Watcha doin?" the younger girl asked.
"N-nothing! Just hanging out, you know! Nothing s-suspitious or anything, nope,
nothing criminal or crazy or-"
Lindsay rolled her eyes. "Whatever you say, weirdo," she said, and walked out of
the room. Thank goodness for small blessings. Now she just had to make the stupid
Tip-toeing through the hallway, the threesome tried to be as quiet as a mouse. Or
rather, three mice, but one was still better! They wanted the slumbering girl in the
room down the hall to be surprised, and if they were loud, that wouldn't happen.
they slowsly turned teh doorknob to the right, and the door swung open. She was, as
expectd, still asleep. Good! Counting each other in, they suddenly began to sing.
"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Lindsay!
Happy birthday to youuuuuuuuuu!"
Ashley winced instinctively, hoping the girl wouldn't jolt out of sleep and scream
as usual. She didn't.
"Hi, guys!" Lindsay exclaimed excitedly. "Good morning!"
"Good morning to you, too, birthday girl. How ya doing?" Mac asked, equally
Lindsay grinned ear-to-ear as she began to speak. "Tired. But otherwise good.
So, what's-oh my God! Who the heck got all those presents!" Apparently her eyes had
drifted over to the overflowing pile of gifts on her night table. There were large
and small packages and giftbags, all adressed to her.
"Looks like the idols have a soft spot for you, kid," Harm said, rolling his
"So can I open them?"
"Can she?" Ashley asked eagerly.
"Go ahead," replied Mac.
The newly eleven-year-old girl leapt out of bed and grabbed the first present,
knocking over the rest. Apparently, exceptions were made for cleaning stuff up on
"Okay," she began, "this one's from Brooke. That card says, 'Hope you have a
super-dooper-amazing day. Happy birthday, Lindsay. Love from Brooke.' Tearing
open the wrapping paper, her eyes lit up as she saw three books fall out of their
wrappings: The Giver, Gathering Blue and The Messenger.
"Oh my God, I love these books!" she exclaimed. She had borrowed them all from
the library at some point or another, but never got around to actually buying any of
Smiling, Mac passed her another one, a blue packaged covered in yellow and silver
stars. "This one's from David Cook," she said. "Don't forget to read the card
Rolling her eyes, Lindsay pulled out the card and looked it over, laughing to
herself. Whatever it said, it was probably something twisted that Cook, Ashley and
Lindsay would find funny, unlike most people. Too bad Ashley didn't know what it
said. Next, Lindsay pulled out another book-shaped object covered in tissue paper.
Discarding the bag, she pulled out the book and read the title aloud.
" 'World Domination for Beginners'... Awesome!!!!"
"Give me that," Harm said, looking at the book with disgust.
Lindsay yelled, "No! My book!" She shot him a maniacal look that screamed 'world
domination.' Harm just rolled his eyes and mouttered something about 'weird rocker
people.' The girl ignored him.
Half an hour later, Lindsay had opened Avil Lavigne's 'The Best Damn Thing' form
Kristy Lee (which she was not actually allowed to have, but a few minutes of begging
and Harm and Mac relented), a giftbag full of candy and change from Michael, ten
dollars, gum and a copy of 'Song of the Sparrow', (which looked very good) from Carly
and a fifty-dollar bill from Syesha. When she opened Jason's gift, it turned out to
be a CD of meditative sounds.
"So that's where he gets the druggie effect," Ashley wondered aloud.
Mac glared at her. "Don't be rude, Zash!"
Ashley folded her arms over her chest, muttering something that sounded like,
'well, it's true.' Mac chose to ignore it.
Not couting the present Jazzy had said she would bring tonight, that left her
parents', Ashley's and the rest of the Archuleta's. Lindsay chose to open the small
box from the Archuletas first.
She enthusiastically read the card, saying, " 'Happy birthday, Linds! Hope you
have a great one, and we hope you like the present. Much love; Jeff, Lupe, Claudia,
David, Daniel and Amber.' "
"Kay, let's open the present now!" Ashley exclaimed. She was dying to see what
was inside the teeny-tiny box.
Lindsay calmy ripped off the paper and pried open what looked like a jewellary
box. Inside was a diamond ring that looked like it would fit Lindsay perfectly. She
handed it to Mac, who read the inscription.
"Someone is always watching... Aw, how sweet! That's beautiful, Lindsay!"
"Is it real?" the tween asked.
Mac galred at her qwith piercing eyes. "That's not polite, Lindsay."
Lindsay gazed at her with puppy-dog eyes. "But you did a diamond thing. You can
"I refuse to tell you," Mac said smugly. Admittedly, she was acting like a child,
but she didn't care.
Lindsay crossed her arms and mock-pouted. "OKay, so what did you guys get me?"
"Hmm," Harm said, "I think you can wait til tonight to get the ones from us and
Zash. You've already opened eight."
"Yeah, I think Dad's right," Ashley agreed with a broad smirk. "That's enough for
Lindsay rolled her eyes, but hugged her parents anyways and asked when breakfast
was ready. God, sometimes it seemed like nothing out of the ordinary had ever
Sorry if that last bit was kinda rushed. Did it in about ten minutes, freehand, so
yeah. Bye-bye now! Must go.