Tick tock, tick tock, the time bomb is waiting...
Jules took a moment to calm her breathing before she said, "Nothing. Just a bad dream." The screaming told her the dreams were getting worse.
“Every morning we go through this,” Lena said, more to herself than to Jules. She was clutching her chest trying to catch her breath. “You would think I’d know better by now that it’s just a dream instead of a murderer. I’m old and not in shape to keep running up these stairs like this!” Taking a deep breath, she calmed herself. “I think it’s time to enroll you in some therapy.”
Jules peeled her wavy auburn hair off of her cheek where it was glued from the drool of the night. Feeling like she desperately needed a shower, Jules turned and smiled apologetically at Lena. “Sorry,” she said quietly.
"Get ready for school,” Lena said, ignoring the apology. “Breakfast is almost ready.” With more quiet mumbles, Lena left Jules alone in her bedroom. Jules sighed, sitting on the edge of her bed. She felt like an idiot. Why couldn’t she dream like normal people? Instead of dreaming about hot guys in loin clothes fanning her on a beach like regular girls, she was haunted by a vision she couldn't understand. It was always the same too; she was playing in the backyard as a child when she heard yelling. Out of curiosity she went to investigate, only to see a struggle and an explosion. But now instead of the dream ending there, she watched as the people died horrific, graphic deaths. It was driving her mad.
After starting the hot water, Jules looked at herself in the mirror. Besides the many things about herself she wished she could change, now she had to deal with dark circles around her eyes. They were getting darker the worse her sleep got; soon makeup wouldn't be able to cover it.
"It's no wonder guys aren't interested in me," she thought to herself. It would be easy for her to start wallowing in self pity as she was starting to think the crazy theory wasn't such a theory, but thankfully she could feel the steam from the shower beginning to caress her skin and decided to wash the pain away.
When the mirror started steaming from the hot water, Jules climbed into the shower and washed all of her nightly imperfections away. The crusted drool was off of her face, the sweat was out of her hair, her clammy skin was clean, and the tears ran down the drain. When she emerged from the shower, Jules felt she could face another day without anyone knowing her secret. Once she was finished showering, she dried and pulled out a simple plaid dress and sweater combination. She pulled her hair back in a half pony tail and let it dry naturally; she had so many waves and some mornings it didn't pay to tame them, especially if there was weather in the forecast. As she placed the finishing touches on her makeup, she heard Lena scream up the stairs for her again. "Coming!" She yelled back. Her face in her hands, Jules shook her head. "Sometimes I wish life was different." As she descended down the stairs, she was instantly entranced by the delicious aroma of her grandmother’s famous mushroom and cheese omelets with a side of bacon, a plate of fresh fruit, a glass of orange juice, buttered toast and milk. Though it was more food than Jules could actually force down her throat, Lena expected her to eat every bit of it before school. “Without brain food, you’ll be stupid like those Kar-crapian girls,” Lena would say when Jules asked why she had to eat all of it. Jules sat down for her grandmother’s feast and was served immediately. As though she couldn’t do it herself, Lena set the plate down and began to fill it with food. It made Jules feel like a child that her grandmother didn’t let her do simple tasks such as this for herself. Often Jules felt as though she had to remind Lena she wasn’t eight years old anymore. However, Jules knew that the battle would only end up in her losing anyway, so it wasn’t worth it.
“Thanks grandma,” Jules said when Lena was finished piling food in front of her. While talking to herself under her breath, Lena ignored Jules and went back into the kitchen to clean the dishes. Jules couldn’t ignore the fact that Lena was talking to no one instead of her, making her contemplate if insanity ran in their family.
Just as she was halfway through her omelet, a car horn blasted outside. Quickly Jules got up from the table and began to collect her things to leave.
“I swear! The manners of you kids today!” Lena shouted, emerging from the kitchen with a dish towel drying her soapy hands off. “In my day down south, if any gentleman caller had honked a horn instead of meet my daddy at the door, they would’ve had their heads handed to them! What is this? He can’t come up and get you!”
“He’s not a ‘gentleman caller’,” Jules said, exaggerating the last two words as she rolled her eyes. “It’s just Sam.”
As Jules attempted to escape from the house, she heard Lena thumping behind her hastily following.
“Well whether he’s a gentleman caller or not, he should still have the decency to come to the door and escort a lady to his car!”
Grandma and her old fashioned ways, Jules thought to herself, annoyed. “Sorry grandma. I’ll tell him to come to the door tomorrow. Anyway, I have to go. I’ll see you after school!” Before Lena could protest any more, Jules took off down the stairs and headed toward the truck. "See you later!" She called behind.
The beat up red Ford truck was idling loudly outside on the side of the road waiting for Jules to get in. The car had probably been beautiful in its prime, but now the clunker looked and sounded as though it had just escaped from the junkyard. Sam was grinning like a fool at her as she climbed in, placed her bag between her feet and buckled up. “Good morning,” she said.
“Morning,” Sam said entirely too happily. Jules noticed his black rectangular glasses were slightly crooked on his face; his black hair looked unkempt and in need of a serious haircut; it was almost touching his ears, which was always a no-go for him. He was in a band t-shirt, another Indie band that she had never heard of she presumed, and ripped jeans. But to prove the uniqueness that was Sam, he was wearing flip flops on this entirely too cold day.
“Flip flops? Really?” Jules questioned with a smile.
“Hey, don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it. My feet aren’t ready to go into hibernation yet, just because the calendar says it’s time to.”
“Aren’t you awfully chipper for a day that ends in Y,” Jules joked. Sam threw his head back with a fake cackling laughter. “You’re such a funny one,” he said, gently punching her in the arm. Jules noticed his hand lingered for a moment too long. Casually Sam pulled away and shifted the car into drive. Like usual, the car didn’t move.
“I keep telling my dad that one day the engine is gonna fall right out from under this thing. But does he listen? Nope.”
“Hey, at least you have a car,” Jules said. “Grandma won’t even let me get my permit.”
“Yeah, that sucks. Then again, with me around to drive you everywhere, you really don’t need it, now do you?”
“Speaking of driving,” Jules said as the car finally shifted into gear and began to take off. “Grandma isn’t keen on you honking the horn to pick me up in the morning. She thinks you should meet me at the door.”
“Be a gentleman, you mean? Bleh,” Sam said. “That’s not my style. If I start treating you like a lady, you might get used to it and start liking me. We can’t have that, now can we?” Jules could hear the hint of sarcasm in his voice. Sam always joked about being a ladies man, when in reality he sat at home on Friday and Saturday nights playing World of Warcraft in his bedroom. She smiled at his remark, just like all of the others.
Before long Sam was pulling his obnoxiously loud metal death trap into the school’s student parking lot. Hawthorne Academy never failed to impress Jules upon her morning arrival; it was one of the few places she found beautiful in this odd little town. The architecture held the essence of the history it had once encompassed; the English Baroque style building had been built as a school dedicated to students who wished to be writers like Nathaniel Hawthorne, for whom the building was named for, but as fewer and fewer people attended, the town bought it and turned it into the public high school, Hawthorne Academy. “Oh good,” Sam said, slinging his bag over his shoulder. “Another day of learning useless information I’ll never use.”
“That’s staying on the positive side,” Jules joked.
“So m’lady, may I escort you inside?”
“Isn’t that a little contradictory to your earlier argument about not being a gentleman?” She countered.
“Perhaps your grandmother is right,” he said. “Maybe I should act more…manly.”
“Or, you could just be Sam and leave it at that.” Jules pulled herself out of his grasp and began to head for the front door. Sam was acting entirely weird this morning, and that was a lot for him since he was always weird. But as they walked up to the school and headed for their lockers, Jules could feel an awkward tension that had never been there before. It was radiating off of Sam, and though she couldn’t pinpoint what was different about him this morning, she could definitely tell something was going on.
Sam followed Jules to her locker, talking her ear off on the way about an epic move he made on his video game the night before. She liked when he relaxed around her; there were times that he tried to get mushy, which made her feel weird. The rest of the time though, she enjoyed his company.
After a few minutes the morning bell rang and they went their separate ways, Sam to math and Jules to English. They planned to meet up for lunch later that day.
Jules went into the English classroom where three of her enemies were already giggling too loudly for the morning. Jules often wished for Harry Potter's invisibility cloak when she was around them because before long she was destined to be the object of their conversation. And it all started because one day in middle school, Jules had made the mistake of tripping over her own feet and knocking into Candace Winters who was carrying a full tray of food and spilled it all over herself. Everyday that they shared a class since, Candace was sure to make Jules's life unbearable. “Excuse me,” a voice interrupted Jules’s thoughts. Jules had been busy reminiscing in her notebook when out of nowhere someone was talking to her. At first she didn’t realize anyone was speaking to her, since no one usually did, but when she looked up she saw an unfamiliar face was staring down at her. He was a tall boy, really tall in fact, with shoulder length brown hair that was rumpled. His body was lean and muscular; she could tell by the way his black t-shirt clung to his torso and his jacket showed off his the defined muscles in his arms. His face was expressionless like a statue. But what captivated her most were his eyes: they were so dark that it was difficult to differentiate between the black pupil and the gray iris. It reminded her of dark chocolate, only much more fierce.
"Oh, sorry," She said, moving over so he could sit next to her. Once sitting, she felt awkward having someone there. Normally she sat by herself, worked with no one, and preferred it that way. But now she had a partner. It was weird.
"Ew, you don't have to sit next to her," one of Candace's cronies said. "You can come sit next to me. I don't carry any kind of diseases." The girls giggled at the comment as if it was clever. Jules felt the heat radiating in her body; she hated those girls more than anything.
"It's okay," the boy said. "I'm fine here." The girls, obviously annoyed, turned back around and began whispering loudly among themselves again.
“Okay class,” Mr. Roberts said before anything more could take place. “Today we’re going to wrap up our Dracula unit. I want you to pair up with someone and answer the questions on these sheets. We will go over them as a class in a little while.” Immediately everyone began to choose a partner, but like usual Jules sat by herself and began answering the questions on the sheet, even though they were supposed to be discussion questions.
“Aren’t we supposed to be working together on this?” For the second time someone was talking to Jules without her realizing it. She looked up from her paper and turned to see Alexavier staring at her with an annoyed expression. Jules looked around and saw everyone else was already paired up and working, or at least doing their best to appear like they were working, and she and Alexavier were the only people left.
“Um, yeah, I guess,” she said awkwardly. No one usually wanted to work with her, but then again this kid didn’t know any different yet. Jules turned her desk so they were facing each other and read off the first question. “What are the motifs of Dracula?”
“Blood, science, superstition, religion, symbols, The Weird Sisters, the stake in Lucy’s heart, and the Czarina Catherine. Next question.”
Jules looked up at her partner in disbelief. How had he rambled those off so quickly without even reading the book? She had figured out blood and religion, but the rest were past her. “Huh?” was all she managed to say.
“Motifs are things that reoccur throughout the book,” he said. “If you pay close enough attention to Stoker’s writing style, you can easily see all of these show up repeatedly.”
“I take it you’ve read Dracula before,” she said. It was lame, but it was all she could come up with in her stunned state.
“Once or twice,” he said indifferently. “Next question: what role does sexuality play in this novel?” He scoffed at the question. “These are so simple. What kind of challenge are they supposed to be?”
“They’re supposed to start a discussion,” Jules said, giving him the same attitude he was giving her. “Not everyone is a nineteenth century literary guru like you.” She didn’t know who this guy was or what his problem was, but already she didn’t like him.
“Excuse me for not being challenged by the simplicity of these questions.” His voice was rising in time with hers; the tension was growing between them. Jules had never met anyone so aggravating. She was just about to get up and leave when she heard Candace’s voice yell across the room.
“Ooh, is she bothering you, Alexavier? You shouldn’t work with her anyway since she radiates stupidity.” The girls in her group began to laugh at her lame joke.
Alexavier’s head popped up and he looked over in Candace’s direction. “Actually, she’s smart as hell. But you wouldn’t know that because your head is so far up your ass you can’t see anything else.”
Jules didn’t know who was more shocked; Candace for having to take it rather than dish it, or herself for the fact that Alexavier had just stuck up for her even though they were arguing only a second before. Other than Sam, no one ever stuck up for her; especially someone she had only just met.
Daggers were being shot Jules’s way again, as though she were the one who had just told Candace off. Even though it felt good to see someone shut Candace’s big mouth up, Jules knew the repercussions were going to be horrific. She could only imagine what Candace would do to her now.
“Well, with a name like Alexavier, you must be a freak just like her. No wonder you’re working over there. Together you two could start a circus!”
“My name is Alex,” He growled; he sounded like a ticking bomb waiting to explode. A tense energy overcame the classroom. No one dared to break the silence; eyes darted in every direction waiting to see who would be the first. Sitting so close to him, Jules could feel an intense heat radiating from his body. She didn’t know what this kid’s deal was, but he needed to stop. “Alex, calm down,” she said, cautiously placing her hand on his arm. He winced at first, as though her touch burned, but like an invisible transfer had taken place Alex’s face relaxed and his whole mannerism softened. Alex turned and looked at Jules, a curious expression on his face. Jules could still feel the tension in the other’s bodies, but the now soft brown eyes that were staring at her made her almost forget there were other people in the room. “Excuse me.” Immediately Alex broke the gaze and tore out of the classroom. He moved quickly, sending a whirlwind of papers flying off of desks. The door opened and then slammed, allowing everything to resettle. Jules turned and looked at his desk; all of his things were gone, as though he had never existed. To Be Continued...
Thanks for reading! Since you've all be soo great, I've uploaded both Alex and Jules's characters for you to download! Visit my page to do so. Stay tuned; there will definitely be more where that came from! Hope you enjoyed!
The Time Keepers ::Chapter One::
Jun 23, 2011 by redbubblez8
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