CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 9


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Second Dates

Alexis wore a dress. She often did, but for this day she had picked her favorite, a halter white dress with pink florals and a bow tying her curls back out of her face. She looked girly, so said Tiana. Which was perfect, because it was her ideal goal. She wanted to look feminine. She wanted to be girly. She liked being girly, and as much as she liked adventure and boating and hanging out with Tiana she did not want to put on the facade she was someone else for a minute. If Nate was going to like her, she wanted to make sure he liked her

She could almost not keep her self from bouncing all over the house. She had music playing in the background of her room, something light and airy. Her mood was soaring. She was waiting by the downstairs window fifteen minutes before he said he’d arrive. He too was ten minutes early

He showed up in his early two-thousands sudan, silver, and freshly cleaned. She got in the car without him getting out to open the door, snapped the seatbelt across her waist, and commandeered the radio. He laughed.

“Where are you taking me, oh mysterious one?” She smiled to him hoping that her eyeliner had not smudged. She had rushed through it last minute and had not give her eyes the time they needed to dry before putting on her false lashes. 

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 8


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Summer Days

Alexis sat in the kitchen, reviewing her class work for preparation for the new semester. She still had months to go, but with the end of June, she had to begin her preparation. There was not much she had to do, but she wanted to review her courses and the texts being taught before she showed up to class. Her teachers were notorious for bringing up things before they were taught.

“Staying in today?” Her father’s voice startled her from where she sat.

“Are you going out?” She eyed him. He was dressed for boating but he had a bag with him.

“Your mother’s brother invited me out to his friend’s boat.” Her father smiled. “Take care of your mother.”

“I will.” Alexis assumed that her aunt was coming over that afternoon to help with the garden, along with her grandmother. Nia was out, somewhere. She had told Alexis late, that she was going out with Jim to some event. Alexis had tried to inquire more and was at a loss of what she could get out of her sister. 

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 7


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The Lake

Alexis awoke to the sound of her name. For a moment she was confused, opening her eyes and starring at her ceiling trying to get her mind to focus. The ceiling was popcorned with flaking white paint that would need to be fixed. When her name was called the second time, she leapt from her bed in a fright. A thousand thoughts went through her mind. Was something wrong? Throwing open her door, she yelled back. “Yes?”

“A boy is here.” 

The words left her confused. Not only was her father speaking in Korean, meaning he didn’t want the guest to hear, but he was yelling. Usually he would knock on her door. The situation was urgent. He wanted her to understand fast. He was surprised. They all were surprised. What time was it?

Boy

Alexis looked over to her sister’s room. Nia was starring back at Alexis with a confused look. The light wasn’t even coming through the windows yet. Alexis was certain her sister’s face mirrored her own. Complete confusion had Alexis in a fright. Quickly, Alexis threw her door shut and rushed to get ready. She pulled on a skirt, a blouse, socks and tied her hair back with a ribbon before she flew down the stairs. Jordan fucking Brooks sat in her living room drinking tea with her mother and father. 

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 6


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Music Hall

The hall was not the most beautiful one she had ever seen. She had seen the legendary halls of New York, and of Boston. She knew that she was biased. She felt bad about it but in a way she accepted it. She was not at the location for good reasons. She was dedicated to discovering whatever truths that she could, now that Nate was giving her the cold shoulder. Since their failed date he had responded with one word replies. She was not yet sure what she had brutally messed up, but she knew that it was not easily solved.

And her curiosity about the door was beginning to keep her up at night.

Jim smiled at her with his hands in his pockets as she met him. He wore a nice pair of pants and a button down shirt. His face was clean shaven and his hair was cropped short. He had recently gotten the haircut from the way his neck was a bit pink in the sun. He seemed wholesome in a way, and certainly safe. “I didn’t realize that you were interested in meeting musicians.”

“Is this improper?” Alexis asked him. She didn’t care if it were, however. She had dressed in one of her best dresses, and had made sure her hair was perfect for this impression. She needed to look like she’d put effort into the meeting, even if talking to Jim was her actual goal. She had put on makeup and taken an amount of time that made her feel nearly foolish. She knew it was an act, but she had to be thorough.

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 5


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First Date

Alexis leaned against the wall, looking up to the blue sky in the sweltering heat. Her thighs were sticky and her entire body felt as if she were melting. It was terrible. Her hair was a mess of humidity induced frizz and she was certain that whatever makeup she’d had on was gone. Sipping on her water through her straw, she thanked the heavens for ice. When Nathan tapped her shoulder, she jumped almost three feet into the air like a frightened cat, before pulling her headphones off her ears and starring at him. He had changed out of his work uniform.

“Sorry.” He apologized before Alexis could say hello. After he said the words, she did not have the heart to tell him that it was her fault and that she should have been prepared for him to appear. She had been the one to call him out and see if he wanted to go out on a date after his shift. She was the one waiting for him outside of his work place. She should have been expecting him, however she had not heard him approach. What was it with these southern boys and their frequency she could not track? She was going to have to do more to get to know the land so that she could sense when someone was approaching her.

It was going to be a date. She had framed it as a date so that there would be no confusion between the two of them. She had not known him long but she had gone on dates with less information before. Boys on dating apps were always hits or misses, and Nathan seemed like a far better option than any of them. She told him was a date when it was an information scout to learn more about the door. The date and hanging out with him was a bonus. She had asked him to show her around town, and to all of the cool music spots. He had agreed. She had told him it was a date, and had flustered him.

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 4


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The Costume

When Alexis and Nia arrived at the bowling Alley, Alexis realized too quickly that she was sticking out like a sore thumb. She had pulled some of her curls back and pinned them out of her face. She had decided to go with a pink plaid shirt and blue jean shorts. Nia had thrown on a crop top with her shorts. They had thought that they would fit in. 

There were people cosplaying characters from cartoons and others dressed as fantasy races. There were people from shows she knew and more that she didn’t. Everyone was dressed up in some way and they looked at Alexis and her sister like invaders. They did not want Alexis and Nia there. They did not appreciate the two impeding on their space. The worst part was that Nia and Alexis were nerds in their own right. They deserved to be there under normal circumstances, even if they stuck out now. Walking into the hall, Alexis was bombarded with elaborate fantasy music and a scent reminiscent of a forest.

Alexis contemplated leaving for a long moment before she saw Nathan waving her down. He was dressed in a tunic and pants with what looked like chainmail. His bright smile was accented by detailed scale makeup on his face and hands, and a crown upon his hand that glimmered gold. James stood next to him in a more simple outfit with a fake lute on his back. He was dressed in brown linens and slightly elongated teeth and ears. As they got closer, Alexis noticed how he wore cat eye contacts, and his nails were painted black.

“You didn’t tell me it was a costume party!” Alexis hissed when they got close enough.

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 3


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The Diner

Alexis had an entire summer to stay in this new house and she had not even gone seventy-two hours without finding trouble for herself. She tried to ignore the itch of adventure, by organizing her entire music collection. She placed all her CDs in their racks, the records in their boxes. She organized her racks of cassettes. She checked her record player, her gramophone, her boombox and multiple radios. She organized and organized until there was nothing left to organize. Her walls were a beautiful display of musical players and her mind was no more focused.

The itch of adventure crawled at her skin telling her that it was there and it remembered. She knew that she was not supposed to remember it for some reason. Jordan? Jordan was the cause and the fault and the issue. However the door was whispering at her. come back. help me.

When her phone rang, Alexis thought for a long hard moment. She did not need to go and meet up with the man who had a mysterious long hallway that she couldn’t even remember. But she remembered the door. With each passing minute she remembered the door more. She thought of the black door that seemed to be a blackhole sucking in all light. She thought of the silver handle that was too bright to be old. She thought of the wafting smell of summer that came from under the frame and the fact that there was no keyhole. She could picture the light from the other side, a soft blue that flickered. She had felt so cold, and had wanted nothing more than to open it.

“Are you okay?” Nia asked from the doorway. Alexis’ head snapped up to her sister who was looking at Alexis walls. Alexis’ phone was no longer ringing. Her screen had returned to the image of Tiana holding her blow torch and a bike behind her. She had been fixing something in her shop, casting some sort of metal work. Alexis did not remember now. She had snapped the photo because Tiana looked cool. Nia touched Alexis’ shoulder. “Did you sleep at all? How are you already completely set up?”

Alexis did not want to admit that she had not slept. Tiana had taught Alexis to use power tools and so the installation of her shelves had been easy. She had brainless about it all. She had to focus on something else. She had to think of anything else. She needed… She opened her phone quick and then immediately shut the message. Tiana had messaged her a picture: Up all night. Go to bed. It had been accompanied by a photo of Tiana’s latest project.

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 2


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The Door

The cook out itself was nothing special. Alexis had seen all of her aunts and uncles and cousins many times before. Unlike those times, however, she had nothing to do. Most of the cousins had gotten old enough that she had not recognized them at first. They did not remember her. The amount of energy that she expanded in making small talk with them had been enough to light a whole city for a night. As she stood sipping on her orange soda, she wondered to herself if there was a way to escape. She did not even need to escape for long, just long enough.

When Alexis heard Nia calling out to her, she knew that her sister needed the same reprieve. “Do you want to go get some sparklers with me?”

“Sure.” Alexis did not ask if they were selling them this early. She did not doubt her sister. She knew that Nia had come to her for assistance and Alexis wanted the out. Excusing herself from the conversation, the two left their uncle’s house and started down the street. The closest supermarket was about a half an hour walk, but Alexis was not complaining. 

Continue reading “CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 2”

CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 1


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The House

The house was quaint in the ‘there was way too much space around the tiny house for the house to look anything other than out of place’ sort of way. It was far outside the city, and on plantation lands, which Alexis resented. It was painted white with a wrap around porch and just enough space for her and her sister when they came back from college. The yard had rows of flowers only native to Alabama, and green, green grass. There were a few trees sprinkled over the land that now belonged to her family and a long driveway that turned to gravel the closer it got to her house. 

Alexis Myung looked to her father who smiled up at the house with elation. There was enough space for them to put the boat he wanted and his truck. He had plans to use the barn in the back for his future cars and motorcycles. Alexis knew that her parents had chosen to move out to the middle of nowhere after living in New York for years, because they wanted the space. Her father was retired. He wanted to relax, was what he had told her when she had directly protested the location.

Her father did not look a day over forty, but the laugh lines at the corners of his eyes betrayed his age. He was shorter than her mother and gaining a bit of weight now that he had been retired for more than a year. She knew her father wanted a place where he could get active again with his hobbies. He had also picked the land because it was good for Alexis’ mother. 

Continue reading “CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 1”