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Not Alone ( Intro )
Published Jul 18, 2012


Written By

TheRedCortina

Storyteller
17625Views4.8Rating

Page 1 / 36


“Sometimes, you feel like being watched from behind by someone.

When you turned, it's just nothing, nobody, none, or only someone who's daydreaming and staring right through you.”

― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut


“Sometimes, you feel like being watched from behind by someone.

When you turned, it's just nothing, nobody, none, or only someone who's daydreaming and staring right through you.”

― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut
When I was thirteen I was a spectator of the death of one of the only people who mattered to me in the world. In the midst of summer heat and sticky sun lotion, of happy kids and impatient mothers clutching dog-eared romances, my brother slipped under without anyone noticing. They say that time slows down in a crisis, but I disagree. In the flurry of realisation and blue-lit sirens that followed, I could only focus on one thing. That was the ladder, the ladder that had been there, and suddenly wasn’t. It had materialised again before anyone noticed, but I knew. I knew that the ladder had disappeared. And that is why my brother died.


*** Six years later

I was nineteen in the only way you can be, the day Nick knocked on my door, with my very own collection of learnings, scars, and shades of stupid. The knock on the door was unremarkable in itself, and could just have easily belonged to the pizza guy. If, of course, I had actually ordered pizza.
I was in the middle of a local article at the time, trying to work out if it was possible to prove your worth as a writer and subtly convey your own brand of personality through a piece on Mrs Jasinsky’s cats from down the road. I growled in frustration, chewing my nail. Perhaps I could take up cleaning, or walking the streets at night with a price round my neck. I clearly wasn’t cut out for journalism. This was when I heard the knock. The knock is important, because it symbolises the change from my old life to the completely unprecedented one I would soon lead, and also because it was faintly recognisable as the tune to ‘Tequila’. I sloped through the house to the door before my potentially alcoholic visitor could knock again. I didn’t need them waking my mother up right now. “Sorry, we don’t need any- hey, do I know you?” The slightly agitated man on the doorstep seemed faintly familiar. “Um. Yeah? I’m Jess’s brother. We’ve met. Numerous times. Over the last six years. Last time you were taking a shower, and I-“ I winced. “Yep, it’s okay. I remember. Trevor, right?”

“Just change all of the letters. It’s Nick.”

“Well, I was close.” I shrugged. “So, what’s up? Is Jess okay?”
It was his turn to shrug. “Probably. Look, can I talk to you for a second?”

“It depends. Are you going to sell me cut-price insurance?”

“Are you going to shut up?”

“I see you’re as cheerful as ever. But I guess you can come in.” I let him past me into the kitchen and shut the door. He tried to cover it up, but I still hadn’t missed his uneasy glance around the room. I felt my cheeks flush. I hadn’t been expected a visitor, and sometimes it was easy to forget that our house was kind of messy. If we had been a proper family, it would have been called cosy. “Your brother,” Nick said, snapping my attention back to him.

“When he died, you said something about the ladder. You kept saying the ladder was gone.”
I blinked. I hadn’t been expecting that. “How...how do you know about the ladder?”

I didn’t think I had said anything about that to anyone except my parents.
“You came to our house while they were at the hospital because you were all...crazy.” Tactful, this guy.

“So while my mom was calling your mom and Jess was getting the rollaway bed out, I made you coffee, and all you did was keep repeating was that the ladder had gone.”
I rubbed my forehead. I didn’t remember this at all. Of course, I didn’t remember a large amount from that time. Nor did I care to.

“Look, Trev-“

“Nick.”

“Right. Nick. This isn’t really something I want to talk about, if you don’t mind-“
“I get that, Kate, but you’re really just going to have to get the hell over that. This is important. Did the ladder disappear?”

I gritted my teeth. “No. I was confused. I spent an entire year going over this Nick, over and over, with dozens of doctors who are far more qualified than a grieving thirteen year old. It didn’t happen. I imagined it. Now please get out of my kitchen.”
He sighed. “Kate, a girl I went to college with died in a fire last week. She shared a flat with another girl I used to know, and when I went to see her, all she could say was the door disappeared. The door to the room this girl was in just disappeared, and she couldn’t escape. By the time it came back she was dead.”

“How do you know she didn’t imagine it?”
“Because it’s too much of a coincidence, Kate! I looked it up online, there are hundreds of cases where ladders and doors and fridges have disappeared, or where stoves and walls have suddenly appeared, and people have died.”

“What are you getting at here?”
“I don’t know. I really don’t. It’s just that you’re the only other person I know who has experienced this and...I thought you could help me find out. I don’t know why. I’ll just go, if you want.”

I looked away, still trying to process all of this. He made as if to go, but I stopped him. “Wait. Show me.” He looked at me, not understanding. “Show me these other reports”

***


I showed him to my room, where my laptop lay waiting. There was just enough room left in my head to feel self-conscious that there was a full-grown man in my room, something that had never happened before.

As he sat down on the chair, I quickly unhooked the bra hanging on my wardrobe door and kicked it under the bed, along with yesterday’s jeans and packets of crisps. It would also have helped if I hadn't had an empty fish bowl. He probably thought I had eaten it. With fava beans and a nice chianti.

Still, there were more important things to worry about.
“Nice wallpaper,” Nick commented on seeing my laptop screen.

“For your information, I admire him greatly as an actor.”

“That’ll be why he’s shirtless and soaking wet. I think I’m scarred.”

“He functions best in cool, wet conditions.”
We spent an hour scrolling through the reports he had referred. I read in silence, and he let me. I would rather not repeat what I found out then. Too many stories similar to my brother’s, too much of a coincidence to ignore, too much evidence in favour of his argument. Too many memories.

“What do you think?” Nick finally asked, sliding his eyes over to me.
“I think...that you need to go.”

He sighed. “Fine. It was worth a shot.”

He paused before walking out the door. “Andrew was my friend, you know.”

I had never thought about that. It made sense, they had been the same age and lived a few streets away from each other, just like Jess and I. But it didn’t change anything, and I let him go.

***
I spent the evening alone, as usual. Thinking of my brother. The problem with him being the child to die instead of me is that he was always the one to hold things together. I knew that if I had drowned that day instead, my parents would have been upset, but they could have carried on. He was the one who could have kept my father from working so often, and having clichéd personal ‘lunches’ with his secretary, who could have given my mother a reason to get up in the morning.

I was loved, probably. But I was no one’s reason to do anything.
What if Nick was right? What if there was some greater cause of Andrew’s death? What if someone had designed all these accidents?

What if there was someone who I could make pay for all of this?
I swiped my phone up from the bedside table and dialled Jess’s number.

“Heya, Kate, you’ll never guess what Mr Whiskerson just did!”

“I’m sure I won’t. Listen, Jess, can you do me a favour?”

“Sure, shoot.”
“Can I talk to your brother?”

“My brother?” I could almost see her crinkling her nose in confusion.

“Yeah...tell him I need to consult him about his taste in unfortunately coloured jackets”

She laughed and I waited to be passed over.
“Kate?”

“Hey. Um. I just wanted to say I’m in. I’ll help you.”

“Really? Great! Good. Yeah.”

“Yep. Er. Okay. G’bye.”
“Bye. Oh, and Kate? Before you criticise my taste in excellently coloured jackets, you should probably take a look at McChuck’s Cheese shirt you have on.”

He hung up, and I scowled.
I didn’t know it at the time, but we were only a road trip away from finding out not only what happened to my brother, but the reason behind our entire world.

And that is why that knock on the door was important.
End of intro...

Thanks for reading! Part One will hopefully be out in a few days.

Credits - Kate is based on a sim by Diamondbbyx3 on the Exchange, and any CC content you see either came with her, or is from the store. If you're into sims video series, you should try her series "Anon".

The story, other characters and screenshots all belong to me. Thanks to google for the non-sim pics.

***

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6 Comment(s) so far


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#1HumorMehJul 19, 2012

This was weird...in a completely AWESOME way! Any-who, this story show and tells very interestingly, and I like what you did with the pics. Okay, (fun fact\:\) whose got two opposable thumbs, eight other digits, and will be on the lookout for the next installment of "Not Alone?" Me, I do, and I will be!

#2keishafellerJul 20, 2012

Your screenshots are really amazing, and your lead character is original.

#3fruitopiaVIPJul 20, 2012

I liked this line "He probably thought I had eaten it. With fava beans and a nice chianti." It made me chuckle.

#4CatiarpJul 20, 2012

Wow, I swear this is one of the most mysterious stories I've ever read! Looking forward for more \;\)

#5AA02Jul 20, 2012

i can't wait for the rest!

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