Monday, July 16, 2012

Chapter Twenty-Five - Into the Starlight

Thirteen Days Later
September 1st, 2022

Starlight Shores, California. The very name of the town summons thoughts of making it big, living the American dream, and rising to fame. All the best and brightest live in the town, from high-class magicians, singers, and acrobats to five-star actors and actresses, and those who have the potential to reach the top but at the moment are living on a day to day job trying to make ends meet.

Standing on the hillside just below the sign that marks the town, Annabelle looked out to the city with a hint of anger on her face. She thought to herself how easy it would be to get in a car and drive thirty minutes north to her home town of Sunset Valley, to get away from the person who had wronged her in the past forever. However, the longer she thought about her life with Tom, Annabelle decided that she was going to stay and try to mend a wound that was cut deep just nearly two weeks before, as much as it hurt and as much as she was angered from the pain.


"John, I just got that dance sphere thingy assembled downstairs. I am sure you're going to have to look over it a bit to make sure all the parts are put together, because this e-manual is in Swedish and I can't read Swedish. Why would they make something in Starlight Shores and make the instructions Swedish?! That makes no sense!"

"Um, Scarlett, you're looking at the instructions for the refrigerator, not the dance sphere. I built the dance sphere myself out of parts I used for that failed Inter-dimensional Device." John said, "...and the refrigerator is from a Swedish factory."

Mirabelle, Kelly, Scarlett, and John were walking around their new home in Starlight Shores, unpacking things after their big move. Scarlett, looking at the instruction manual upside down, quickly realized her mistake.

"Oh... uh, be right back." Scarlett then ran down the stairs to correct an issue. A few seconds had passed and the three in the upstairs room could hear a hammer banging, then metal falling, then Scarlett saying, "DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT!!!! STUPID PIECE OF SH-", with the rest of the colorful sentence being drowned out by a collapsing noise. "Uh, John... you're probably going to have to put this together again yourself."

 "So has anyone talked to Annabelle today? I'm worried about her lately." Kelly looked her girlfriend and said. "I mean, whatever Tom said to her at Andy's funeral thirteen days ago, she still is taking it hard."

Mirabelle nodded, "I tried calling her earlier. She's uh, she's still upset with Tom."

"Why do you say that?" John asked while taking a computer out and putting it on a desk.

Mirabelle took her phone out and called Annabelle's cell. "Uh, let me try calling her again, and I'll put it on speaker so everyone can hear." Mirabelle pressed the loudspeaker button and the three in the room listened to three rings, then Annabelle's voice-mail message popped up.

"Hello this is Annabelle Kethrin, I am not here right now so please kindly leave your message after the beep. And IF this is Thomas Caleb Jameson, please kindly take whatever phone you're using and shove it right up your-" *BEEP*

"Yeah she's still angry with Tom. And it's crazy, I can tell she wants to get back to being friends with him, but things like this phone message aren't going to help matters." John shuddered a bit then looked at Kelly. "You and Tom are the only ones who seem to be able to talk her out of her anger, maybe you can chat with her today? Maybe try to do... something."

"Actually when we get done packing I'm going down to the police station today," Kelly replied, "I need to establish a rapport with the SSPD so I can be sanctioned as a private investigator. You coming Mira?"

"Do you even have to ask that, Kel?" Mirabelle smiled, "I already told you I would go with you anywhere you do, all you need to say is 'Come on, we're going somewhere'. But if you have to be polite then you can be polite!" Mirabelle then leaned in and held Kelly's hand.

"Okay, I guess it's up to me to try and patch things up between those two. I don't think it would be too much trouble, I mean she still lives here with Tom, that has to be some kind of sign right? Right Mirabelle?" John turned around and saw Kelly and Mirabelle kissing, then said "I'll just go find Annie."


John walked around, looking his new home. He loved modern architecture and this house was the most modern he could get, one that his mother Maria Kethrin had commissioned specifically for when the family wanted to move to Starlight Shores for whatever reason. John was just glad his mother was out of town filming in France so she didn't have to see the actual reason they moved there. As John was walking around, he saw Tom leaving out the front door and smiled. "Hey Tom! How are you doing bud?!"

Tom looked at John and started to walk outside. "I don't really want to talk about it.", he said, "I'm going out to find some kind of clue to what Andy was talking about when she died."

Tom had been keeping to himself for the past two weeks, something John didn't like him doing. He already had a sister who was jaded and cynical over what happened that night and having both a sister and a best friend who acted like that was something he didn't want to stand for. "Maybe I can come along?" John shrugged, "or maybe we can go somewhere and talk. I don't have to pick Keera up from school for about three hours." He didn't want to take "no" for an answer.

"Okay, let's go to the bar." Tom replied with a depressed tone in his voice. "I need a drink." Tom and John stepped into a cab and rode it to a saloon-style bar on the other side of town. John paid for the cab ride and both of them walked inside, sitting at the bar. Tom ordered a drink, and John just asked for some water.

"So... have you found anything regarding whatever Andy told you?" John asked, "I mean, just 'Go to Starlight Shores' doesn't seem to be that much to work off of."

Tom took a drink and said "Well apparently Andy knew something that Aurora knew, that there are people in Starlight Shores who are trying to do something, and no that isn't enough to go on." He then took another drink. "I ruined it, didn't I? I ruined everything between myself and... you know. I just can't stop thinking it over. Annabelle told Andy to get out of the house and when Andy left, she died. End of story. Annabelle's jealousy killed Andy."

"There's more to it then that, Tom!" John said. "When Annabelle saw the picture of that Aurora person and thought it was Andy, I could see genuine fear on her face. She was worried about everyone, it wasn't jealousy! She was just trying to protect you! And me, and everyone who lives in that house! Don't blame Annie for what happened to Andy, it's unfair!"

"I suppose, I guess." Tom replied. "I don't know what to think. As much as I love Annabelle for who she is, I just cared so much for Andy, even in the short time I knew her. We had something there, John. I can't explain it... what would it be like if you lost Scarlett?"

John looked at the bar. "I would die. Emotionally, mentally, physically. I wouldn't want to be the kind of man who could lose someone like her and come out living. What would you do if you lost Annabelle."

"I already have. Twice. Once in an alternate dimension. You know John I never really told you what happened when I took a trip through the space/time continuum. I met a version of Annabelle who never knew any of us."

Tom took another drink, then continued. "Not you, Scarlett, Kelly, me, Keera was never born and I saw her life was just... terrible. She grew up as a straight-up party animal, living life like she had more than one. Then she almost died, I think. When I saw her like that on the floor, near death, I decided to push myself away from the Annabelle we know, so I wouldn't have to suffer the pain of losing her again, and then I met Andy, and I suffered the pain of losing her instead. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy, John. Andy died because I didn't want to lose someone close to me."

 "Tom, I didn't know anything about this." John replied.

Tom angrily stood up and walked around the empty bar. "Well I didn't exactly parade it around like it should have been common knowledge."  Tom then smirked with a depressed look on his face. "The hell of it all is about Andy. I knew everything she was saying was the truth, I knew HER. And hell, at least I did know her before she died, I got to know her personality, her smile."

"I got that chance with her that I never did with others. At least Andy didn't leave me when I didn't know her, go off on some adventure in a cursed tomb, and die in an Egyptian hospital three weeks after being cursed without ever giving me a chance to know them, or what they could have done for me as I grew up!"

"I never got a chance to know them, John. I NEVER did! And I hate the world for that! No one should ever lose their parents at such a young age!"

Then John realized it. He knew why Tom was losing control, the thought passed him by when it first happened, with everything that was going on with his own life he never made the connection. "Andy died on the anniversary of your parents' deaths, didn't she? Why didn't you remind anyone? Most of all Annabelle?! You could have told her why Andy's death hit you so hard."

"That's right, he could have." John and Tom turned around to see Annabelle walking into the bar. "He could have told me everything, but he didn't. Instead he opted to pin the blame on me for Andy's death. How friendly of him, eh?"

"Annabelle." Tom said. There was no emphasis on any words, just her name. This was one of the few times Tom and Annabelle had shared a personal space since the incident which led to Andy's death. "What do you need, Annabelle?"

"John, I need him to come with me to the market so we can pick up some food. He knows what everyone likes, so he can help me out. So let's go, John." Annabelle's voice had a flat tone to it, a sign of her new-found cynical attitude finding it's way to the surface.

"I was having drinks with Tom, Annie."

Annabelle grabbed John's glass of water and drank it herself, then said. "Well you're done now. Please come along, I need your help. Kelly said I need your help."

John realized exactly what she meant by that, then nodded before starting to walk outside the bar. "I'll be in the car if you need me Annie."

Annabelle nodded, and stood in front of Tom. "So. Tommy. How long have you been searching for clues today? I take since you're already drinking at, eh... noon, that you've found tons of information."

"What do you care Annabelle?" Tom said. "You never believed a word Andy said, so what do you even care what I'm doing on her last wishes." Tom then sat down for another drink. "Besides, I can't find anything. I'm going to give up."

"Give up?" Annabelle couldn't believe her ears. "You know I would have probably believed Andy's words if she had told you and I the truth about her true nature from the damn beginning, Tom. She didn't, and I had to confront her about it."

"Yeah, and you acted wrong when you confronted us. You were jealous, you were jealous of her from the moment I brought her into the house."

"Yes, I was. And that NEVER crossed your mind as to WHY I was jealous? I notice you never sat down to think 'hmmm, maybe this person I've known my entire life LIKES me as more than just a friend! Maybe I should talk to her about this. Nah  I'll just make her more jealous'. Great plan Buddy-boy!"

"What does it matter? She's dead, you're alive. Isn't that how you wanted it?"

"I never wanted her dead." Annabelle angrily said, "And you disrespect her memory by even saying that. You disrespect her memory by doing what you're doing right now. You're sitting here, giving up on her last words, and you have the GALL to say that to me? You came to Starlight Shores because Andy told you to, Tom. You claimed those were her last words, to find something important, and you're just giving up on looking for anything after just a week of searching?! I don't believe this! You blamed me for her dying, Tom. You shunned me at her funeral when I poured my heart out trying to get you to forgive me. Well now the shoe's on the other foot!! I'm blaming you for shaming her memory by giving up so quickly."

 Annabelle started to walk out of the bar, then turned around once more. "And by the way, she died protecting you Tom. Her self-sacrifice is the reason you still have a heart beat, and it was going to happen eventually, maybe not that night but maybe the night after. It was destiny that she died, Tom, and when you blame someone for something that was destined to happen, then I... I'm ashamed of you." Then Annabelle left the bar, leaving him at the table.

Tom sat in silence.


"Don't you think you're being a little hard on Tom? I mean he did lose someone he cared about, that's tough to get over."

John and Annabelle were walking outside the market looking at the vegetables and fruits on the stands. John had noticed that Annabelle was angry when she climbed into the car after talking with Tom.

"I know he lost someone, John." Annabelle replied, "I'm upset with him because he pinned the entirety of the blame on me. Andy could have died any time, it was just that night and the circumstances that led to her death that made him say that to me. I'm not going to relent until he apologizes for saying what he did at the funeral, and I don't see that happening."

"Well, make him apologize quickly please." John chuckled a bit, trying to lighten the mood. "Scarlett and I told you we are putting off the wedding until you two patch things up, and I REALLY want to get married."

"You don't have to do that, John." Annabelle said. "But I kinda appreciate you doing it."

"Kinda?" John chuckled.

"Yeah." Annabelle smiled for what seemed like the first time in a while. "You know, things could look up for us all, John. Relationships are a tricky thing, hard to build, easy to destroy. Once you tear something down it could take years to get it back to the way it was. I personally hope it doesn't take too long for me and Tom to be friends again, we both want to but we're both stubborn I guess."

"So how do you think you will get back to being friends?" John asked.

"I do not know." Annabelle replied. Then they continued walking. Right as they did Annabelle turned and clocked heads with another woman coming out of the market place. Both of them fell back a bit but Annabelle  quickly regained her composure.

"I am so sorry!" The other woman said while looking around for something, "I am just getting used to these glasses, they fogged up and I thought I was walking towards a grape stand and... I... I..." The woman looked at Annabelle and said "I'm so sorry."

Annabelle, still a bit dazed, said "It's okay, I was distracted talking to my brother here. Are you alright?"

The woman kept staring at Annabelle. "Uh, yeah. I'm good. Great, I've hit my head a few times before, I'm rather used to it, though I think I'm seeing things."

"Why do you say that?" Annabelle asked.

"Oh... nothing. Nothing. I'm trying to think things over... my name's Cassie, you are... what's your name?"

 "My name's Annabelle Kethrin, this my brother John. What did you mean you thought you saw a grape stand when you came out of there?"

"Uh, nothing. Nothing at all." Cassie replied, flustered. "Just these dang glasses, they fog up and I can't tell a lime from a plum unless I'm holding it."

"I really uh, gotta get these perishables home, hopefully I'll see you two around, Annabelle and John? Brother and... sister? I dunno. Bye." Cassie walked fast down the sidewalk to her waiting car, and then climbed in and drove off.

"She seems nice." John said. "A bit clumsy but nice altogether."

"Yeah, but there's something about the way she looked at me that I either didn't like, or liked a lot." Annabelle replied while watching her drive away. "I think she saw me for who I am."


A couple hours passed and John and Annabelle were sitting outside the school waiting for Keera to get out. It was her first real day in school and they wanted to see how it went. As the bell rang, Keera walked out and smiled at them. "Hey mom, uncle John! I love this school!"

"Really? First day at a new school I half expected you to hate it!" John said with a cheery attitude. "So what did you learn?"

"I uh, didn't learn anything much. First day and all." Keera replied, "I didn't have much to do in my classes so my teachers said I could go to the library and read. I checked out a few books regarding legends and stuff. You know a couple legends take place right here in Starlight Shores!"

"Keera," Annabelle said with worry, "did anyone say anything about your... your eye patch and scar?"

"No, I didn't talk to too many people, just teachers and stuff and a student who shares classes with me named Michael Lien. In fact Michael wants to show me around school tomorrow so I can get used to it. Aside from all that no, no one mentioned anything about my scar. I did tell each of my classes about what happened at the movie studio when they started. Now come on! I'm hungry! I tried eating some food at school and that didn't work out too well. Can we stop at the diner on the way home please please please?!'"

Annabelle chuckled. She started to remember when she was a teenager like Keera... she remembered that Tom was always there for her, no matter what she needed. She remembered Tom comforting her after the explosion that injured them both, and him rescuing her after she was kidnapped by Jack Toomes, and she remembered when Tom gave her the potion she used to defeat Nightmare on the beach.

Annabelle remembered all the good things Tom had done for her. She thought of all these on the way to the diner. When John, Keera, and her walked up to the restaurant, Annabelle nodded to them. "Go on ahead, I need to do something." Keera and John smiled then walked into the diner, leaving Annabelle outside. Annabelle then took out her phone and pressed a button to record a new voice-mail message.

"Hello this is Annabelle Kethrin, I'm not here right now so please leave your message after the beep. And if this is Tom Jameson... ... we need to talk." Annabelle pressed the button to save her message, then put her phone away before walking into the diner.


"Hey bro!" Cassie, the woman Annabelle and John had met at the market earlier in the day, stepped into her house and looked around for her brother. She thought to herself that it was a modest home, smaller than she was used to, but it worked for being her first owned house. She walked into the living room and saw the television was on, and her brother was sitting on the couch watching it.

"Come on! Uncle Peter didn't bring you here from that hospital just so you could lay around all day!" Cassie said, partially annoyed.

"What do you expect me to do? Run a marathon? I told you I am injured, disabled. I can't do anything right now." Her brother replied. "Besides, I'm just sitting here doing what I want. Isn't that a good thing to do?"

"No. Now help me get these groceries inside please. I'm still wigging out about what I saw today. I saw this woman who was very... odd."

"Going to the bad parts of town will do that Cass." The brother said.

"No, I mean... she was green, with purple and black hair. Her brother was normal looking but he wore all black. An odd family there."

The brother turned off the television and stood up. "What? A green skinned-woman? You saw her today? Here in town? As in Starlight Shores?!"


"Was her name Annabelle Kethrin?" 


  1. I so did not see that coming. o.o

  2. O.O OMfreakingG! xD I totally was like "Oh, no!" When I saw that Cassie was in this town... and then was like "NO WAY!!!!" At the end xD Nice chapter!