A wild tale full of faeries, elves, demons, other magical and/or weird characters.
Hello again! This is the second posting of Sanity's Edge, and I realize that it starts off a bit slow, but believe me, there is WAAAAAAAAAAAY more drama...coming up ^^. Enjoy!
I breathed in the delicious smell of tacos and nachos as we walked into the place. I glanced at…what was his name? Oh, oh, oh. So not good. Did he tell me his name, or did I just forget it? All my euphoria slipped slowly away, and I even forgot about the enticing smells that taunted my nose. Then common sense took over, and I watched as the guy took out his wallet to pay for food. Leaning as much as I dared, I managed to catch a glimpse of his driver’s license.
Adam. I breathed a sigh of relief, and then moved happily to the counter as Adam stepped aside. I ordered and then waited a few minutes for food.
When we finally sat down, I dug in. Chewing happily, I proceeded to question Adam.
“So, what’s Illusions like?”
“…Well, it’s pretty laid-back. We have lots of regulars, so we have a steady flow of customers. They come back to see my smile, or so the girls say. I found out that if you turn on a bit of charm,” he winked at me, “they tip much more than they usually would. It also helps if they’ve have a few drinks.”
I laughed. I knew from personal experience how friendly some people can be when…well, when drunk. I myself never let any alcohol pass my lips; I went to parties to dance. Speaking of dancing…
“So will I get any opportunities to dance while on shift?” I asked. Adam nodded.
“As a shot girl, you’re just gonna go around to tables and people to offer up whatever shots you make behind the bar. I’ll let you have a break every ten rounds or so. You keep all tips and give the rest to me. Typical shots are about six dollars each. But if you happen to create a new mix that the customers love, I’ll up the price a dollar or two. And by creating a new mix, I mean using whatever you can find. There’s no limit to what you can put in the shots.”
He smiled then, and I realized he probably thought I would put drugs or something into whatever shots I made. I shook my head vigorously.
“Nah, all my shots are gonna be as clean as they can be,” I said, laughing a bit as I realized what I’d said. “For alcohol, anyway.”
Adam laughed too, and we sat in silence for a few moments, finishing up our food.
After I’d taken Adam back to club and promised him that I’d be back for the eleven-thirty shift, I headed back home, eager to get on the computer and update my band’s website, Eisei.com. We had a mini tour coming up soon, and I updated the site blog every day to appease the fans all over Japan. I also had to send an e-mail to Hibiki, the drummer for the band. He’d ordered a new drum set, and it had arrived a couple days ago. I planned to bring it to practice today.
As I walked up to the front door of my mansion (paid for by Daddy dearest), I frowned. The normally white door was now…glittery, for lack of a better word. There were weird squiggles on it, as if some little kid had decided to finger-paint on my front door. I sighed and resolved to clean (ugh) it up later. Stupid person, I thought. Stupid person painted on my pretty door. I let out a puff of air and forgot about it.
I opened the front door and promptly tripped over one of my shoes. Like clockwork. I sighed again. You’d think that I’d have enough sense to put my shoes where I won’t trip on them, but nooooo, I always forget and then trip over them again later.
I heard the phone ring and kicked off my shoes, rushing to the kitchen counter to pick it up.
“Hello?” I answered it as I placed my purse on the marble-topped counter.
“Hey,” said a familiar voice. “It’s Kaede. Listen, I don’t know if I’m going to make practice tonight. My parents are really getting on my nerves with the home school stuff. It’s gay.”
“What?!?” I screeched. Kaede is my totally hot crush with a-mazing, stormy, intense dark gray eyes and silky brown hair. And the lead guitarist in the band. Oh, his beautiful eyes…
“I know, I know. But my parents have never liked the fact that I’m more interested in Eisei than I am in schoolwork and sports. I mean, sports are fun and all, but being with the band is just awesome, you know?”
“Of course I know. Can’t you…” I groped for words, trying to come up with a valid reason why he absolutely HAD to go to practice. “Can’t you sneak out or something? I haven’t seen you since last practice, and that was two weeks ago for two seconds before you ran off again!”
A rush of static answered me, and I realized that he had sighed.
“I can’t. My parents made up this test, and I have to take it today. I’m actually supposed to be studying right now, but they forgot to take away my cell phone.”
“Well, can you take the test before practice? If you ace it, they have to let you come,” I reasoned, walking to the fridge and scanning its contents. The fudge that Mimi, my cook, had put in there yesterday seemed especially tempting.
“…I don’t know. You know what, I’m not even going to try this time. I don’t want another argument.”
Another sigh from his end. I paused from unwrapping the beckoning fudge to contemplate the mood he was in.
“Okay. If that’s what you want…I don’t want to put you through more stress by forcing you to confront your parents about this.”
“Thanks,” Kaede said quietly, and I smiled.
“No problem. Just…study hard, okay? If you ace that test, which you should, ‘cause you’re amazing like that, maybe we could go to the movies on Friday. Sound good?”
“Yeah. Yeah, my parents should be okay with that. They love you,” he chuckled, and I laughed with him.
“Well…I’ll talk to you soon, okay?” I said, wondering if there was any way to prolong this conversation.
“All right. Bye.”
Stupid annoying dial tone. I realized I’d forgotten to tell him about my new job, and my thumb had dialed half his number before I stopped myself. There’d be time Friday to talk.
I got on the band site and posted a short blog, and then e-mailed Hibiki. He’d be excited to finally get a new set of drums. After all, he was always complaining that a new set would sound so much better than his second-hand set. It was worth the money it took to buy it.
Hibiki had actually suggested that I ask my dad for money, but I had flatly refused. Even though he pays for food, school, Mimi, and anything else I ask for, I prefer to let Eisei make its own money like every other band. I don’t want Ensei to be known as the band that had someone else pay their way to fame.
I stripped and plopped into bed to take a nap. Practice usually ran late, so I’d probably head straight to Illusions afterwards. I yawned, and remembered Adam saying that I’d be working from eleven-thirty until six in the morning. That was enough incentive for me to sleep, so I nodded off.
I sighed as I hung up the phone. I hated lying to her. I hated lying to anybody. But I had no choice. I stared again at my palms. A strange mark covered each, and I closed my fists to hide the sight.
My parents had been gone for a month now. Something about a second honeymoon. Well, at least I knew they had the resources to vacation for a month. Kyra and I were both born into wealthy families, and both of us have neglectful parents. We are both the only child in our family. We’d met through our parents; apparently, my parents and Kyra’s parents are very close.
Whatever. We’d met, connected, and then started a band. I know her like the back of my hand…well, I used to. My hands are now covered with these stupid markings, and I wouldn’t admit it to anybody for a million bucks, but I’m scared.
Things like this are supposed to happen to other people, or rather, to characters in those fantasy books that Ryuu, the other guitarist for Eisei, reads. He’s a fantasy buff. Or so he says, I wouldn’t know. I’m not a big fan of books.
As for the home schooling thing, my parents finished that up before they left for vacation. I am eighteen after all, and the seniors at Takahiro High, where Kyra, Hibiki, and Ryuu go, will have its graduation in a few months. Spring Break is coming up for them, and that’s when Eisei has its tour.
I opened my fists again to study the marks. It’s so…strange. They had just shown up overnight, and it was by pure luck that my parents had left the day before. All I had to do to hide was wait for the house cook, Ramon, to prepare the meals that I could finish cooking myself. It wasn’t hard, since he always came in at the crack of dawn. The cleaning ladies only came once a week, on Mondays, so I just took walks while they busied themselves with the little cleaning they had to do. The mansion is huge, but I don’t use every single room, and my parents are gone, so there’s really not a lot to be done.
I had offered to do it myself, but Sherrie, the head maid, had insisted on coming as per schedule. I think she just wants to catch me in the nude again. Now that was embarrassing. Can’t a guy take a shower in peace?
The inky black marks will not go away. I had tried scrubbing, and then scrubbing with lye soap and scalding hot water, and even using some antiseptic stuff. Nothing worked. I have to keep it secret. I can’t let anybody see these marks…
I think it’s spreading. A couple of days ago there were just a tiny bit of spidery vine-looking things on the backs of my hands, but now it’s reached my wrist. I briefly considered going for the Goth-y look; I did have some fingerless black gloves and some black long-sleeved shirts somewhere. I suppose it’s a good thing the tattoos haven’t gone to my fingers. Playing guitar is kind of hard when you’re wearing gloves, and I hate using picks. I always lose them anyway.
Perhaps I could pull off the fingerless gloves. Sometimes Hibiki falls into that trend of blended goth, punk, and…what is it? Emo. Some new concept that has spread from America. Apparently all emos are gay, wear girl jeans, and cut themselves and cry a lot. I don’t know. Some weird stuff comes from the free country.
A faint ringing reached my ears, and I picked up the alarm clock and threw it at the wall. A piece of plastic flew off, but the ringing didn’t stop. I woke up very slowly, trying to figure what the annoying sound was and how to kill it.
PHONE! My mind screeched. Oh. OH! I threw the covers off and ran downstairs, where I’d left the phone on the counter.
“Hello?” I asked, rubbing sleep from my eyes as I tried to catch my breath.
“Hola, seniorita! Como esta?” came Ryuu’s voice. Ugh. So…awake. My mind was not functioning properly, and his voice was waaaaay too loud.
“Calm down, burrito,” I mumbled. “I just woke up. No Spanish.”
“Burrito? No one’s ever called me that. Does it mean you want to eat me because you’ve dreamed that I’m a giant, cheesy and meaty burrito? Mexican food is pretty good.”
“No dreams,” I muttered, tugging at my hair. WAKE UP! Sooooooo groggy…
“No? Well, I hope you got some good sleep then, ‘cause you’re late for practice.”
A few seconds passed in silence, and then my brain finally woke up enough for me to be able to scream: “WHAT?!?”
“Yup. Kaede already called and said he couldn’t make it, so we’re waiting on you, o divine singer of Eisei!” he intoned. I rolled my eyes and headed back upstairs to my room. I listened to Ryuu babble on randomly as I looked at the clothes that were strewn all across the floor. I shrugged to myself as I picked up my pajama pants and a tank top.
No one cares what I look like at Ryuu’s house. His dad is always holed up in the study during band practice anyway, grading papers and whatnot. He’s a teacher at Takahiro High. Ryuu’s mom died a few years back. It persuaded Ryuu to join Eisei in the first place, as we’re basically his only friends, and he’s a total bookworm. Not that he’s boring; quite the opposite. He’s cute in a boyish way, and he’s always happy (hyper is a better word) about something. He’s a good listener too, when he stops talking anyway. Why am I rambling? I should be listening to Ryuu.
I walked into the bathroom and decided to wash my face. Ryuu wouldn’t care; besides, he’s off in his own little world. It’s actually really amusing: you could be doing anything while Ryuu’s talking to you and he wouldn’t even notice. Once, I gave him a cool haircut while he just babbled on. He has these awesome curls in his hair that are just fascinating, even though he usually straightens the jet black locks. I had even managed to add some vibrant fire-engine red to his bangs. Oh, the look on his face when he finally realized what I was doing with the shiny scissors.
Five minutes later, I was applying mascara, and Ryuu was still talking. Something about the new book he was reading. I interrupted smoothly.
“Hey, I’m gonna leave now. I’ll see you in a few, okay?”
“Okay,” Ryuu said amiably. See what I mean? Not a clue.