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Pen Your Pride

Chapter One: Welcome to Forks

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Rain poured from the midnight sky, cleansing the world of the past so it could start fresh in the morning. The sound of the precipitation outside was the only thing familiar to me, as I sat alone in the booth of a cozy diner. People were whispering, talking about me, but I ignored their voices and focused on the calming deluge instead.

Muddy hands trembling as I clutched the mug of hot water in front of me, I was unable to lift it to my lips despite the burning thirst. The smooth, hard floor was cold beneath my bare, soil-caked feet. Water dripped down my bare legs from the soaking wet dress that clung to my skin. I imagined it had once been pristine white, before it became stained by dark earth and the gruesome crimson of blood.

No more than twenty minutes ago, I had woken up in the forest without the smallest inkling of how I came to be. After wandering helplessly through the wilds, I discovered a trail out of sheer luck and followed it to this little town. A place called Forks.

I emerged out of the trees right across the street from the diner. Only a few minutes had passed since I wandered inside like a lost dog. The pretty waitress was kind enough to bring me some hot water, towels, and a fresh dinner roll. All of which sat untouched on the table in front of me.

Not a single word left my mouth through the entire process. I must have been quite a strange sight for the locals, especially in a small town where nothing really interesting happened.

Although I did my best to ignore them, their voices were too loud even when they whispered across the table to each other.

"Poor girl...do you think she's hurt?"

"She's covered in blood..."

"Do you think it's really hers?"

"Please, she's just a girl. She can't be out of high school..."

Part of me wanted to shout at them, or answer their questions out of spite, just to make them feel ashamed of their rude gossip. But there were a few problems with that. For one, I shouldn't have been able to hear them from where I was sitting, with the rain pouring so loud. The most disconcerting thing was, I knew just as much about myself as they did; nothing.

Who I was, where I had come from, and how I got there were all mysteries. Nothing made any sense. I had knowledge; I knew things, like the rain was food for plants. Judging by how lush and green the flora around town was, it must have rained quite a lot. I also knew the sky was an endless black because the stars and moon were hidden behind storm clouds.

I knew the sirens wailing in the distance were police, coming to take me in handcuffs. They must have been coming for me; it was the only thing that made a lick of sense in that dark, rainy world.

The streams of rain were illuminated with red and blue as the police cruisers screeched into the parking lot. Motionless at the table, I waited, staring down at the steam rising from my mug of hot water. I swallowed a dry lump in my throat, wishing I drank the water when I had the chance.

I felt a tentative hand on my shoulder and flinched away from the foreign touch, sending the mug crashing to the floor. The waitress gasped, her hands flying to her chest in fright before her wide blue eyes met mine. 

"I-I'm sorry, darlin'. I had to call them. They're gonna help you, okay?" she said, speaking with the most genuine of kindness. Something taken for granted by so many yet felt so foreign to me, I barely recognized it.

"Miss, don't make any sudden movements," came the voice of an officer as he entered the diner, gun drawn. Behind him, several other officers followed, sticking close by in case he needed back-up.

The waitress was distressed by the policeman's behavior. "Officer! Is that really necessary?" she cried, appalled to see him pointing a gun at me, an innocent girl in her kind eyes.

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