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Rated: E · Critique · Mystery · #2165951
First part of a larger story I'm outlining. Looking for feedback on plot and characters.
Rain lashed against the passenger window as Olivia stared at her own pitiful reflection. Her hair was a mess of ginger curls, held back by a simple green headband. Her brown eyes were tinged red, and puffy from crying. She instinctively fixed the collar of her turtleneck to cover up the large birthmark on her neck.
         Beyond the window was the gray sky, full of dark clouds that trapped the sunlight. The rain fell upon the miles of empty fields as the car slipped further away from civilization. Olivia shifted, displacing the seatbelt that was making her shoulder uncomfortable. Speaking of uncomfortable...
         Olivia's Aunt sat in the driver's seat, squinting into the darkness. They hadn't said a word to each other since the journey began, and Olivia was loathe to break the silence. Instead she tugged at the sweaty collar of her turtleneck. The heat was blasting from the vents. Maybe her aunt wouldn't notice if she reached for the dial?
         "Don't touch that Olivia." The woman smacked her hand away. "I know you have trouble keeping still. But please try and behave yourself."
         "I wouldn't have to behave if I was home right now." Olivia sunk into her seat and fumbled with the earbuds in her pocket. Her phone sat in the cupholder, as cold and lifeless as the view outside.
         "We've talked about this, you staying at home will only cause trouble. More trouble than you're worth."
         Olivia turned away from her aunt to face her reflection. There was nothing wrong with her.
         The Aunt glanced over at her niece and sighed. "Didn't Dr. Avslage tell you to keep a diary? Have you done that today?"
         "It's not a diary, it's a journal." Olivia picked at a stray thread on the leather interior. "She said I only have to do it if I want to, which I don't." Her aunt made to speak, but decided against it, leaving Olivia in her own world.
         The field outside had given way to a dense forest and the rain calmed to a gentle babble as it passed through the trees. Shadows darted in between the dark oak trunks. They were probably just bushes. Olivia closed her eyes, resting her face against the cold glass. She swore she could hear voices in the rain. Whispering to her, warning her. If only she could understand them.
         Olivia opened her eyes when she got the strong urge to scratch her nose. Finding a large moth resting on it. She jerked back, slamming into the headrest.
         "Olivia?" Her Aunt, only slightly concerned, kept her eyes on the road.
         "H-how did that get in here?" The moth had taken off in a panic and settled on the dashboard.
         "There's nothing there." Her aunt didn't even have to look.
         "I'm telling you! I felt it on my..." Olivia reached out to touch the creature but her fingers only felt the rough surface of the dashboard as the moth vanished. She felt a lump building in her throat.
         "Thank goodness, we're finally here!" Olivia's Aunt smiled as they pulled up to the gates of The Crowcliff Institute of Learning.
         Olivia shrunk away from the driver's side as her aunt rolled down the window, letting in gusts of wind and rain as she showed the gate attendant a piece of paper. He pressed a switch and waved the car along.
         Olivia's Aunt had a huge grin on her face as they pulled through the intricate iron gates. Which made Olivia sick to her stomach. She could at least be a bit less obvious.
         From what Olivia could see the campus was huge. She hadn't bothered to look at any of the brochures her aunt had nonchalantly left out for her mother to find. So she had no clue what services the school offered. Only that it was designed to suit Olivia's "unique needs," as her aunt would put it.
         As the car pulled around to the school entrance a woman holding a clear umbrella ran up to greet them. She seemed to be severely underdressed and quivering in the cold drizzle. She bent down to wave into the driver's side window, her smile was wide and soaked in nervousness. Her aunt made no move to return the favor, instead gesturing for Olivia to get out.
         More than happy to get out of the stuffy vehicle, Olivia obliged. Stepping out into the misty darkness she remembered at the last minute to grab her phone. The cool air felt nice against her skin. And Olivia had to give in to the urge to stretch her stiff limbs.
         "Uhmm, w-welcome to Crowcliff. Are you... Olivia Brunte?" The woman's tender voice was almost inaudible in the mix of rainfall.
         Olivia jumped a bit when she realized the woman had been standing there watching her. "Hi.. I'm Olivia." She walked around the front of the car to meet the woman.
         "Yes, right, we're... uh, happy to have you..." The woman smiled, her body shaking in her thin blouse and pencil skirt. "Now if your parent or guardian would just..." The woman turned back to the window, tapping on the glass fervently. Olivia's Aunt had apparently given in, as the window slid down.
         "Hello! We're so happy to-" The woman began her speech again.
         "Is there a problem?"
         "Uhm, problem? No no, we're excited to have Olivia. There's just some paperwork we'd like you to-"
         "I'm not her guardian. I was told by your staff that all of her paperwork had been taken care of."
         "Yes, well, I'm sorry that you were given wrong information... Wait, did you say you aren't her guardian? I'm afraid only a parent or guardian can drop off a student."
         "That's not my problem, I was told differently. You can talk to her mother. Her phone number is on file." Olivia's aunt began to roll up the window.
         "Well, you see, that's not... I'm afraid you can't just..."
         But her Aunt was having none of it. The school woman chased after her as the car fled around the circular driveway, taking her aunt out of Olivia's life, hopefully for good.

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