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Monday, July 29, 2013

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City of Keys Chapter Two

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An enormous sound crashed in his ears. Charlie jumped up instantaneously, snatching up his sweater. He waited in anticipation until yellow flooded the tunnel and a silver train thundered in, its headlights illuminating the station.

He ran a little forward as the subway fully came into view, flashing behind a row of black pillars. But as it kept roaring at full speed, manifesting an intense din that pounded in Charlie's ears, fury set in. It wasn't stopping!

Small figures created silhouettes in the illuminated windows, all sitting without him. It disappeared and silence slowly returned. Echoes of the train broke his heart. When it had briefly lit up the station it was obvious it was moving in a middle track due to the pillars. There were three pathways at this station, and not the usual two. The subway had kept his hopes up, only to skip him. Charlie felt defeated.

While the boy agonized his terrible luck faint voices floated from the right tunnel. He froze, before groping back to the entrance area. His hands glided on the slippery tiled wall while he felt his way in the dark, sure that the tracks weren't that far away. Charlie was about to pass through the bar machines when he saw them.

A group of children carried flashlights just like the policeman, and walked unafraid along the subway track. They talked at first in whispers, but then threw away their caution. There were six boys and girls, all wearing black clothes, and as they proceeded loudly their conversation carried to him.

"How much time do we have?" someone asked. "We can't get trapped in rush hour."

"It already is rush hour. It's like, almost six."

To Charlie's horror they walked towards him, but he relaxed when they kept on looking down, as though searching for something.

"We have to find it. We have to," a distinctly masculine voice declared.

Charlie didn't understand why he was still standing there, in plain sight, as though hypnotized by their voices. Part of him wondered if they would help him. The other part believed there would be certain trouble if they spotted him. His hand clutched the bar, torn between aid and flight.

A girl leapt onto the platform, agile as a cat. "We don't have to find it. Maybe it's not even here. You're lucky your dear sister even helped you in the first place. Subway tunnels are disgusting. I already ruined my new shoes." She turned away from him.

Charlie was about to slide under the bar when a boy's face pointed in his direction. "Wait, there's someone -”

The girl glanced with confusion to her right, when the boy had already lunged onto the platform and was sprinting to the left in pursuit of Charlie. He forgot all about sliding silently under the bar and went through it instead, making a noisy clank. Even though he was fast, the other boy was taller and had longer legs. Accelerating, the boy aggressively grabbed his shoulder from the back and jumped on top of him. Charlie winced from the jarring pull, and was pinned to the ground.

The group ran towards them, interested in the fight. Charlie tried to break from underneath the boy, but couldn't even though he struggled. He just wasn't strong enough.

"Let go of him, Seven. I think you're suffocating him."

It was the boy's sister again. Even though she said it forcefully, Seven (which was a really weird name), didn't listen.

"Stop being so stupid. That's why you'll never get to City League."

City League? Was that some kind of school? Charlie wondered numbly. The pain had become excruciating. Finally Seven relaxed his grip and released. But Charlie still knew he was in trouble because the kids had surrounded him in the entrance area. Two girls were blocking the stairway.

"Who are you?" asked Seven, which was in funny in a sick kind of way since that was exactly what the policeman had said.

"Charlie."

"Anything else you want to explain to us? What were you doing here, anyway? I think you could tell this place is closed, it's so dark down here," the girl stated. She had dyed her hair a kind of russet or chocolate, which looked rather nice.

"Well, I could say the same about you. Why were you all walking in the tunnels? Aren't you afraid of getting hit by subways?" Charlie said with a regain of his confidence.

"Well, we kind of know which tunnels to use," answered a kid to the back, but Seven silenced him with a look.

"I'm not asking about me, I'm asking about you," said the girl impatiently. "Will you answer us or not?"

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," challenged Charlie.

Seven gently pushed his sister away. "Listen, kid, I'm not putting up with this. Are you spying for the City or not?"

Charlie was bewildered. "What's the City?"

Seven seemed angry. "I said, stop stalling kid! You're really going to play dumb with me?"

"If he's not going to answer, he's not going to answer," reasoned the girl. "So... Do you like personal questions better?"

"Like what?" asked Charlie.

"Like... Where do you live? Where's your family?"

"I live here, or at least I think," Charlie said to the girl. "And as for my family... I'm an orphan."

"Aren't we all?" muttered a boy.

"You think you live here?" scoffed Seven.

Charlie was getting angered by all of this. "Okay, I was warning that you weren't going to believe me, and it turns out that I was right. Now should I tell you my story? Because I'm definitely not waiting for you."

Seven looked like he wanted to say something, but his sister silenced him. "Shut up for once." He glanced away.

"Well..." Charlie began, but paused. "I don't...really know how to start, but I do know this: I woke up last night in a different world. Your world."

A girl giggled to his far right. "Now he's really gone crazy."

"Go on," the girl with the dyed hair nodded, but Charlie noticed she had a frown.

"And, I... Oh yeah! And now I have no idea how to get back. I woke up in my apartment. But the whole place is going to be demolished. I go outside, meet a police guy who tells me I broke some kind of curfew that definitely doesn't exist, and then he tries to kill me!"

"Wait," the girl interrupted. "Kill you?"

"Yes! He tried to shoot me! And he would have if I didn't run away!"

Now everyone was hysterically laughing. Charlie's face burned. No way was that stupid or funny.

"So tell me, Charlie. That's your name, right?" a girl with curly black hair asked rudely.

"Yeah," he mumbled.

"Did he take out a gun? Or something that resembled a small Memory Rifle?" she probed.

"Okay, I have no complete idea what that is, and I don't know how you all expect me to know it! I already told you, I just woke up in your disturbing world yesterday!"

She was about to say more when leopards began pouring out of the tunnel.

Charlie spotted glinting eyes in the darkness, and was about to warn the others but they had already noticed. They swung their flashlights around defiantly and shone them into the leopards’' faces. There were three of them in total, but the strangest part was that each of their left eyes was violet. They snarled, agitated from the intense light, but didn't advance.

The girl with the dyed hair whispered to everyone. "We're going to break the light eventually, since we can't stay here forever. On a count of three, we're going to make a 4B2 formation for the edge of the platform. There are underground stairs leading to the other side, for those of you who don't remember."

Charlie leaned in, confused. "Why aren't they attacking when we shine the light at them?"

She replied curtly, "They're blinded. One, two, three!"

"Wait -" Charlie protested, but everyone started to move at once. A few of the children sprinted into the darkness of the platform's end, but Seven and another mature-looking kid stayed behind, shinning several flashlights at the leopards that the others handed to them. Charlie noticed the boys were slowly retreating to the stairs as well, but backwards, since they had to keep their eyes on the vicious cats.

"Uh," Charlie muttered. "What am I supposed to do?"

Seven glanced at him for a brief second. "RUN!"

"I thought so," Charlie mumbled, then sprinted after the others, afraid that at any second a leopard was going to mangle him. Deeply regretting he didn't have a mini flashlight in his pocket, he stumbled in the dark. How would he know when he reached the stairs? When he fell in?

He relaxed when he saw Seven's sister accompanied by the girl with curly hair, each sharing the only flashlight that wasn't donated to the boys fending off the leopards. Charlie could see a faint vision of stairs behind them.

"What are you doing here?" the rude girl drawled. "I thought you had already run away."

"Well, I -"

Seven's sister interrupted. "Go downstairs. We don't have time for this, and we can't have you interfering in our plans."

They walked past him without looking back, and Charlie felt resentful. He wasn't messing up anything! He was just confused because no one had cared to see if he understood what a 4B2 formation was. He was about to pad down the stairs blind when he heard a high-pitched scream. The boy whipped around.

In the distance something had gone terribly wrong. The girl with the curly black hair was being attacked by a leopard, and the two others surrounded Seven, his sister, and the other tall kid, dishing out blows. The scream continued.

Without a moment's hesitation Charlie ran into the fray. All he knew was that several fallen flashlights were laying down in the subway tracks, the screaming girl was laying on her back while the leopard loomed over her, Seven and the other kid sure knew how to wrestle animals, and -

The leopard broke away from the girl with the curly hair and faced Charlie's direction, interested in its new prey. Its cruel face snarled at him, making sure to show all his teeth. His heart pounded in his chest again, afraid that the leopard knew he was scared. It growled once more before it lunged.

Charlie rolled away and jumped into the track, which was something he never did before. It was as deep as him, and realized he would have a problem climbing out should a danger strike. He reached for a glowing flashlight since the others had broken in the fall, when the leopard leapt in after him. Charlie froze, not sure what to do.

He didn't know much about leopards. He knew they didn't attack people that much, which implied these weren't...normal. They were probably trained to eat human flesh or something. But he did know never to stare into a wild animal's eyes, because they took that as a challenge. So he cautioned not to do that.

Soft growls resounded in his right ear, which meant the feline was close. He didn't bend over for the flashlight since the leopard would seize that chance to sink its claws into his back. Charlie remained frozen, dreading the moment the cat would finally decide to attack.

A subway rumbled in the distance and his stomach dropped. The ears of the leopard twitched. Seven's sister peered down into the track, herself battling feral leopards with a single knife. "It's alright!" she reassured when his panicked eyes met hers. "There are only subways going through the middle." A clawed paw swiped at her, and she moved away. "I can't help you! I have my own problems."

Now that Charlie understood he was on his own, a crazy idea strengthened under the noise of the incoming train and the snarls of the advancing cat. But would it work?

Charlie ran into the middle track without anything more than a second's decision, hoping that the leopard was stupid enough to chase him. He slipped past a pillar just as headlights blinded him and the rumbling, just like thunder, became unbearable. He was never as scared as he was then, terrified of the impeding subway and the leopard that was now preparing to jump onto him, but he ran, never faltering, over the track even as the subway was a foot from his fragile crushable body, and when he reached the other side the train roared behind him.

Charlie swung around as he heard a sickening impact when the subway collided with the leopard following him. He stepped away from the middle track, afraid of what he would witness when the subway rode away and uncovered the broken body. He felt his way until he touched the wall of the underground track, surprised when he actually saw it when he opened his eyes. Two girls, most likely twin sisters, huddled around a forbidden flashlight that Charlie knew they shouldn't have had. His anger overflowed.

"So, you hide a flashlight when your friends are dying over there on the other side, just so you can watch the fight like watching T.V.?"

"What's T.V. anyway?" One of the girls laughed breathlessly.

The other sister completely ignored Charlie. "Wow! That was amazing! You really killed the leopard! They're, like, impossible to kill. Here!" She handed him the flashlight. "Go and see!"

His insides twisted in apprehension of the ugly sight lying on the tracks, and the realization that he had to help the others immediately. He jumped back into the tracks, pointing the flashlight through the pillars to illuminate the other side, instead of swinging it at the dead cat. It had gone strangely silent in the station, wiped clean of the yells and snarls of the battle. A very bad sign.

"Hey! What are you doing?" One of the twins protested. "It's mine!"

Charlie didn't answer but struggled to spot the four kids and the two other leopards on the loose. Misgivings crawled all over him while he shifted carefully to the right, so as to not step on the carcass. He brushed through the pillars. Fears of a reentering subway taunted him.

"Look!" A distant feminine voice yelled. "They're coming back!"

Charlie scrambled back to his previous track way and jumped onto the platform, cautious not to drop the flashlight. He ran to the stairway, furious that he was lagging behind the idiotic twins. Charlie caught up just in time to see the girl with the curly hair, looking exceptionally grim bearing crisscrossing wounds on her arms. Her eyes flashed to his face as though accusing him of everything that had happened.


The other battle scarred kid followed, looking around him nervously. His shirt was ripped on the front and blemished with blood. And right after came slow hesitant footsteps, announcing the arrival of Seven. He seemed strained under the weight of carrying his sister, but held her gently as her legs hung out limp from underneath his muscular arms. Charlie took one look at her and his eyes widened. Her face was slashed open.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

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Scanned Objects

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Can you believe I scanned these objects to produce these photographs? Give it a try!

 I didn't even make this... The scanner made it for me! Mysterious.

These wave-like ripples were created by moving them while in the process of scanning!






Friday, July 19, 2013

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Newest Fish in the Sea

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I am the latest conrtibuutor of Blog for Joy: I'm Abbie and I am fourteen years of age. I blog over at Abigail's Wonderland and I am really excited to share new things with you all. I plan on posting here maybe two - three times a weeks as I have my other blog and loads of things going on right now.
  My passions include music and writing. I've been playing the piano for seven - eight years and music has been a MASSIVE part of my life as far I can remember. I can't go a day without listening to some music and I adore all sorts of music such as pop/indie/r&b/acoustic. I write short stories in my free time, but they never turn out good and I just get rid of them. I write on a day-to-day basis and I've always dreamt of being involved with writing, maybe journalism. I am very shy and quiet.
 I am honoured to be here and I really hope that I enjoy my blogging journey here.
Lots of love, Abbie. (P.S - you can click here to see my bio over at the 'About the Contributor' page and my one is the very last bio).xxx

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The City of Keys Chapter One

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Hey everyone! I am writing a book. Here is chapter one. I hope you enjoy!


CHAPTER ONE

Charlie woke up on the floor of an empty room.

As he sat up, the faint streetlight from the window overhead illuminated the hair sliding over his eyes. His sweater caught one of the nails sticking up from a floor board, and felt foolish when his sleeve snagged it. He pulled and the thread broke loose. 
 
This was not possible.
 
He should be sleeping in his bed, not waking up in the middle of the night on the floor. Fear almost swallowed him. Charlie stepped gingerly over the gaps in the floor, noting that this area was the same size of his own room. It was incredibly dark. Feeling his way for the door, his outstretched hand finally made contact and pushed it with a creak.

Shadows slid over his clothes, while panic began settling in. Where was he? Where were his parents? His brother? Charlie shut his eyes and opened them again, hoping that somehow his surroundings changed, but the same bleak expanse surrounded him. And he just couldn't deny it. It was his apartment alright, where the identical kitchen entrance opened to the right, and the living room yawned beyond him... But he had to be mistaken. There wasn't a single piece of furniture in sight. There was no way that his family was evicted just yesterday.

The dim hallway stretched beyond him, where he supposed the doors lining it were also unlocked, and the apartments disused. The darkness deepened even more down the stairs, where the blackness had become so complete that his eyes saw nothing. Was there another way to get down? He didn't think so, unless he was going to jump out the window. More out of memory than sight, he took one unsteady step at a time, blinded.

His sneakers tread on the soft dust carpeting the lobby and by accident kicked up a cloud into his face. He braced for it and violently sneezed. Charlie tried to guess where the entrance door could be, but it just was not possible when it was pitch black. And not only that, but what if it was boarded up and he would never get out, and just die in this place?

He became incredibly frustrated. How could he have been living a normal life just yesterday, and now he was shut up in this vacant apartment building, a place where he until recently been living with his family and doing his geometry homework for Tuesday?

An explosion cracked the air and completely shocked Charlie. His heart beat wildly in his chest, and in the silence that later prevailed he was able to hear it. Horrible scenarios raced through his mind. What if there was someone with a gun here, alerted that there was a boy who had intruded -

Charlie sprinted towards the adjacent wall, feeling the rough texture for the door. He shuffled numbly to the left alongside it, until, there was... a handle!

He pushed it with a strong impact from his shoulders and it just barely opened. He tried it again and it moved with a loud groan. He had just stepped quickly through when it closed with a crash. Charlie winced. While proceeding into the night he gasped.

This was not his neighborhood.

It was dark on the sidewalk, just as it had been in the building but this time it was intentional. All the street lamps were off. Because of the partial darkness the stars were visible, glittering coldly overhead. But he also noticed that there were no lights gleaming in the windows of the neighborhood, which only meant one thing.

Everyone was asleep.

What time was it? He glanced at his watch but to his horror all of the hands were motionless. Alone on the sidewalk he felt exposed. All the cars were parked now by the curb and not a single one was riding down the street, which caused an eerie silence that lingered in the cold air. Charlie walked slowly to the right, on the lookout for signs of where he could possibly be. Part of the skyline created by contrasting buildings against the bright starry night seemed familiar, but he needed more evidence. He tried to notice any familiar landmarks such as stores, but without their neon signs it was impossible to tell. The lack of luminance in this neighborhood was really irritating.

As he turned the corner a light blinded him. It was so harsh after impenetrable darkness that it took him a moment to realize that it was an orange flashlight shining in his eyes. He closed them momentarily because spots danced across his vision. When he opened them again what he saw horrified him.

"Who are you?"

The husky voice startled him. A burly policeman observed him with disgust. "You broke the curfew. Do you know that? And don't you remember the consequences for that?"

"What do you mean?" Charlie said, surprised that his question came out so shaky.

The man stared at him without answering. He was wearing the strangest uniform Charlie had ever seen: a collared maroon jacket with green accents, a striped tie, and pants and gloves both navy. While carefully holding the large flashlight, he reached into his pocket and took out a familiar weapon ... and shot it.
 
It receded into empty space because Charlie had already ran when the man wasn't looking. His hands grew cold from the sound of the gun blast. He had almost made to it a subway station entrance webbed with caution tape, when the phony police officer let out an angry yell.

"You're not allowed down there!"

"I don't care!" retorted Charlie and jumped down an entire flight of stairs without a moment's hesitation. Pain and shock overwhelmed him as he landed just as a second flight began, crushing his right arm, and his heart stopped as he hurtled towards the floor headfirst.

He somehow managed to slow himself down by holding onto the first step with the tips of his shoes for a moment, before plunging into the darkness. He reacted by throwing out his arms to break his fall at the bottom. He crashed into a disoriented heap.

Out of fear of pursuit, Charlie leapt to his feet and crawled to the side just as light blazed the stairs. The boy began moving silently to the side, but was blocked suddenly by a gate. He froze as the impact of his body on the chain links made a shuddering sound.

But the flashlight went out, plunging Charlie into darkness again. He waited for a few minutes to make sure that man was not coming back, then groped his way in the dark.

When entering a subway station people first slide their cards, then pay a fee. There are only one way entrances. They can leave the subway without paying anything, but they certainly can't get back in. But Charlie wondered: Were there bar entrances in use where he could just crawl under, or the impassable revolving gates?

He walked past the stairs and outstretched his hands, noting the sleek touch of freezing metal. The bars. Charlie slid under without thinking and entered the subway platform. In this blackness he couldn't tell where the tracks were, so he dared not to move further for fear of falling over the edge. He sat down, confused and unhappy.

Questions had been burning though his head all this time. Where was he? Why was he here? And... This one troubled Charlie the most, because he wasn't sure if there was even an answer.

How was he to get back to his own world?

He closed his eyes as distress bothered him. There was no way he could go back aboveground, where the man was waiting for him like a hawk. First he would see if any subways stopped here. If not - which was a fearful possibility he did not want to admit - he would try going up again during the daytime, when there was no curfew.

Charlie had a plan, if not a stupid idea. If this indeed was his neighborhood and his subway as well, then he would take it to see his uncle down in Brooklyn.

Charlie stared out into the blackness for a long time, hopeful for a subway, but when none came he had to admit defeat. Tiredness suddenly swallowed him up like an ocean. He remembered it was the middle of the night. The boy curled up on the disgusting floor, recoiling at the urine-like odor. He took off his sweater and placed it behind his head on the wall, trying to sleep upright instead. At first troubling thoughts kept him awake but exhaustion finally won out.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

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Announcement(:

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I'm going to comment back on the commenter's latest post for every comment on my blog(:

Test out my new system by commenting on http://awkwarddonkey.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/recipe-for-lush-peanut-butter-cupcakes.html (: 

Hehe, have fun!!!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

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Art that is out of this world

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This is the craziest most brilliant piece of artwork I have ever seen. Watch the video and let your eyes be amazed!

What d'ya think?
x

Friday, July 5, 2013

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Park Pics

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here are some pics of my local park :)
(oooo how artistic lol) about half are black and white :P
and also about 90% plants...






















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