HUGE chapter guys! Big enough that I could’ve easily split it into two, but I left it as is. One big final bang for generation 8.
Warning: LANGUAGE PG
1 day left till Niki’s prom
God what slobs.
Apparently some delinquents decided to trash the school gym just for the heck of it. And the teachers decided that Tyzel and I’s detention would be to clean it all up. It was that or not going to prom (which is going to be held in the gym as it happens).
“Are you just going to pose there while I do all the work myself?” Tyzel asked with that annoyed stare.
They gave us an hour. One hour stuck in this gym with Tyzel, and the place has to be spotless by the time the teacher comes back.
“Well you are the one who got us into this mess.” I scoffed.
Tyzel bent down, grabbing some of the junk from the ground.
“Pretty sure you were the one that punched me first.” He said with that calm indifference of his.
“Because you butted in where you didn’t belong!”
“And anyway,” I said, tucking a stray piece of hair behind my ear. “We both know we wouldn’t be cleaning up this mess if you hadn’t punched me back.”
He gave me an unimpressed look. “Right now, I’m the only one cleaning up.”
“Oh stop your complaining.” I snapped as I bent down to pick up a really disgusting and sticky juice box.
I grimaced. Not only did it stink, but it felt like my fingers were permanently glued to it. Placing one hand over my nose, and making sure the juice box was far far away from me, I headed for the garbage can and dropped it in.
I wiped my hand on the wall, but it was too late. My hand was going to be sticky till we were let out of the gym.
“There. You happy?” I shot at him grumpily, keeping my hand at bay.
“I can’t believe how much of a prissy princess you are.” He grumbled, pinching his nose in a clearly condescending way.
Excuse me!? Just because I don’t appreciate having sticky disgusting fingers? Well sorry if I don’t want to be a pig.
Who is he to talk anyway? Always judging me!
“You sure like to judge for someone who was abandoned.” I snapped with a smirk.
“You were left here by the Talent Troupe right? There must be all kinds of things wrong with you if even that troupe of weirdos doesn’t want you.” I said, pretty damn proud of myself.
Looking more pissed off than I’d ever seen him, Tyzel took two strides towards me, his finger up and two inches from my face.
“You…” He forced the word out, his other hand curled into fist like it was all he could do not to punch me again. I stood still, my victory smirk not fading in the slightest. I held his angry glare until he finally back down.
“You don’t know anything about me Whitelight.” He grumbled.
“Right back at you Gallivant.” I said as it began to dawn on me what else could’ve happened. If Tyzel had decided to respond to my provocation we would’ve definitely gotten into more trouble (because I certainly wasn’t afraid to punch his face again). And more trouble meant a 99% of being banned from prom tomorrow.
At least Tyzel had the decency to not punch me again.
After that Tyzel gave me the cold shoulder for the remaining hour, cleaning up and not giving a damn on whether I was doing as much work as he was. It was practically like I was alone in the room.
Which was absolutely fine by me.
“Niko, is that you?” Pa’ called out, but I ignored him.
My feet hit the ground harshly, every step matching the rapid rhythm of my heart.
I ran. I ran like my life depended on it. And it definitely felt like it did.
I sped across the road, without checking for cars, and ran towards—somewhere. Anywhere. As it long as it wasn’t there.
The image was still fresh in my mind. That thing, that monster, hiding in our basement. The thing that had been there since I was born.
It’s foul smell, it’s large pointy teeth, it’s horns, and the way I swear it smiled when I opened that door.
There’d been a monster hiding in our basement all along. That was the mystery I’d spent so long trying to figure out.
What do I do?
I don’t know. All I knew was that I needed to keep running, to keep running until I couldn’t run anymore, until that horrible image was chased from my mind.
My run ended once I’d reached the center of the cemetery. The place with the Grim Reaper statue.
I collapsed on my knees, heaving air in and out of my burning lungs.
I could still see it! I could still see it lurking behind my eyes. All these years…a monster right underneath us…
“Looking pretty bad. Did you see a ghost?” Someone had crouched down in front of me, and their voice brought me back to my senses.
This whole thing started because I couldn’t see a ghost.
I pushed myself off the ground, dusting my knees as I did so.
“Sorry.” I said, clearing my raspy throat. “Ran a little more than I should’ve. Didn’t mean to bother you.”
“Oh no worries. I remember you were entertaining last time.” The woman said with a smirk.
Wait…we’ve met before?
I narrowed my eyes at her, trying to remember.
“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten. I’m insulted.”
“After all it’s only been…hmmm…” She started counting on her fingers and as she did so I spotted some faded cigarette stains.
And then it clicked.
Wasn’t she that weird gangster lady I’d met in the cemetery – right here actually – when I was a kid?
“Wait…are you that biker lady?”
She looked to me with a wide smile. “Yes! I lost my bike though. Some bad call on my part.”
“Oh. Okay.” I said, a little surprised by her sudden joy.
Wow, it’d be so long ago…and two days after I’d quickly proceeded to forget ever having met this woman. She doesn’t seem to have changed at all.
“So tell me what happened. I need some cheering up, and hearing someone else’s story should do the trick.”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” I said. But the woman simply waited, with maybe a hint of impatience. I sighed as the image flashed behind my eyes again. “It was a monster. A horrible monster.” I muttered.
My hands came up to my face as that fear gripped me again. I didn’t want to talk about it, because it only brought that basement right back to me.
“I don’t really want to talk about it…but it can help you to talk about…why you need cheering up.” I said. At the very least then I could forget about what had happened.
She seemed to have caught on to my distress.
“Seems like we both don’t really want to talk about it…but it sounds like you’re a little more lost than I am right now so I’ll feed you my story. Maybe by the end of it you’ll tell me yours.” She said.
I shifted, but nodded my agreement.
“Imagine yourself waking up in a morgue. A dark dead room with corpses as your only roommates. Imagine waking up naked under a white sheet, with a mind just as clear as the walls, with only a single black dot. And that black dot being the grim reaper.” She began, turning to face the statue of Mr.Grim himself.
“You find out later, after escaping that place, that you don’t exist. That even though you’re dead, you’ve technically never been born either. There’s no record of you anywhere, even though you can clearly remember your own name. You have no money, no identity, no family.”
“And next thing you know, you’re forced to live on the streets, with no recollection of how you ever managed to stay alive before.” She said. The finality of her tone told me there wasn’t anything else she wanted me to know.
“Wow that’s…harsh.” I mumbled. “You really don’t remember anything?”
“No I don’t. It’s been almost 20 years now. 20 years of coming here in the hopes that the Grim Reaper is going to give me back my memories.”
“How do you know he’s the one who took them?”
“Who else could it be?”
“I…I don’t know.” But isn’t that the reply to every mystery? Isn’t that how it starts? I just don’t seem to like how mysteries end…but I should’ve been prepared for anything. Even a monster in our basement.
“Well thanks for sharing I guess.” I said. “My story’s not nearly as dramatic…but I still don’t really want to talk about it. I hope you figure out your memory problem though.”
She smiled. “If you really need something to distract you, something big and exciting, thrilling even, I know of probably just the right thing for you.”
“Thrilling sounds fun! As long as it doesn’t involve anything freaky and abnormal.” I smirked.
“Well then, I suggest you pay this place a little visit tomorrow night.” She said, handing me a piece of paper with an address scribbled on it.
I glanced at it suspiciously. “Okay, thanks?”
“You’re welcome.” She replied with a wink.
And then she left, leaving me for the second time, wondering about how weird she was.
Even though I spent ten minutes building up my courage, I was still trembling slightly as I stepped into my house.
All I could think about was that monster…right over there…waiting…living…breathing…probably wanting to eat me…
I was so stressed out I couldn’t even consider telling what happened to pa’ even though he could clearly see something was wrong.
When Nikita came back from her detention, I immediately ambushed her. Yelling something about her seriously needing to stop butting into my social life. I threw some insults around and then stormed up to my room to hide on my bed.
I wanted, no needed to tell someone, anyone, about what I’d found down there, but at the same time it was physically impossible for me to. Couldn’t it just be a dream? An illusion?
But that all too real event kept me up all night, in the corner of my bed, playing with my phone in the hopes that I could distract myself from the growls I was hearing – even though I knew I couldn’t hear them from here.
No one’s POV
At 9:30pm, the school’s gym was filled to the brink with hyperactive teenagers, all looking to have a fantastic last night as high schoolers. After this, they were all headed their own ways, down their own adult paths.
Out of all of them, a certain Nikita was probably having the most fun. Even with everything that had happened and nearly threatened to prevent her from coming tonight, she’d made it to prom. She had a gorgeous dress on, a great smile, and what was clearly the best date in the whole room.
Jace and her had only gotten closer over texts, and after this she had a feeling they’d be seeing each other a lot more often. Something she didn’t mind at all! Jace was handsome, had a great voice, could actually dance, and enjoyed making her smile.
So yes, those three combined with the fact that this weekend was the big national dance competition she’d been practicing for for weeks now – that competition that would jump start her career – she could easily fill in the spot as the happiest person in the room.
Definitely happier than a certain slightly drunk teen…
Tyzel was leaning on the wall – probably more to remind him where the wall was in this darkness and fog – when Elvis stumbled upon him.
Elvis took a cookie and plopped it in his mouth. “Hey man.” He said, and Tyzel gave him a quick nod.
“Whatchu doing in the corner dude? With a…” Elvis glanced at the bottle of alcohol at Tyzel’s feet. “Ooh can I have some?”
Tyzel shrugged, and Elvis poured himself a cup.
“What are you doing here? This isn’t your prom. You’ve still got three years of highschool left.” Tyzel noticed.
“I came here for the junkfood and the girls.” Elvis smirked. “But seriously man. What are you doing alone? Don’t you have a girlfriend or something.”
“Meh, we broke up…about half an hour ago now.” Tyzel said.
“So you decided to come to prom and get drunk in a corner.” Elvis said.
“Is that all you came here for?” Tyzel groaned, not close to as drunk as Elvis was implying.
“Okay, okay let’s not get snappy. I have an idea! You know, to celebrate the last time I’ll probably ever see your face.” Elvis smirked. “I have a dare for you.”
“I’ve never ever done one of your dares before, and for good reason at that. Why would I suddenly change my mind?”
“Because it’s nothing embarrassing, it’s the last time I’ll ever dare you, you’re just drunk enough, and I’ll give you twenty bucks for it.” Elvis said.
To that, Tyzel pushed himself off the wall. “Twenty bucks? For a dare?”
“Yep.” Elvis said, pulling out a twenty dollar bill. Before Elvis could change his mind, Tyzel snatched the 20 dollars from his hands.
“Okay let’s hear it.”
“It’s really simple. At the next slow dance, I want you to ask that girl to dance with you. Don’t worry about her date, I can distract him enough for one dance.” Elvis whispered, pointing to the girl in question.
“You’re actually really evil you know that.” Tyzel grunted.
“But I gave you twenty bucks.”
“Yeah, yeah, apparently I am drunk enough for this.”
Nikita and Jace, the sweet couple, made their way off the dance floor, a little breathless from dancing.
Jace leaned forwards and placed a quick peck on her lips. “I’ll be right back.” He said. “Just a quick bathroom break.”
“Hurry back soon. A slow song’s about to come on.” Nikita said. She really, but really wanted to slow dance, and Jace knew that.
He smiled, squeezed her hand, and made his way out of the gym.
Nikita watched her boyfriend leave, taking great liberties in appreciating the way he looked.
If things went well, she was hoping she and Jace could continue the party just the two of them, somewhere a little more private.
Nikita’s daydream was cut short as a familiar male appeared before her, leaning on the wall and in consequence imprisoning her.
“Let’s dance.” He said over the music, just as a slow song switched on.
Nikita’s eyes widened in confusion. She thought she smelled a little bit of alcohol on Tyzel’s breath, but he didn’t seem drunk at all. (and she would know what drunk looked like with an aunt like Erin).
Did he actually secretly have a crush on her? Or was this an elaborate plot to embarrass her by making her trip on the dance floor or something?
She was betting on the latter.
“Yeah no.” She replied shortly.
“Come on, just one song.” He insisted with a nasty smirk. Nikita was just hoping with all her might that he wasn’t going to start sniffling right there with his nose so close to her face. She didn’t know if she’d be able to handler her own disgust.
“What’s with the sudden demand and insistence? Like hell I’m going to dance with you.”
“It’s okay, you know, I get it. I’m completely out of your league.” He said with a shrug.
“You don’t think you deserve to dance with someone as good looking as me.”
There was that rage boiling inside her again. Always, always, Tyzel was ruining her fun.
Nikita pushed Tyzel’s leaning arm off the wall, and stepped into his personal space, making him lean backwards in reflex.
“Out of your league?” She asked, poking him in the chest. “Mister you’ve got it all backwards. But I’ll humor you, since you’re practically begging for it.”
The surprise on his face just confirmed her suspicions. He hadn’t actually expected her to accept, but she would, and as a last goodbye to this annoying jackass she was going to be the one to embarrass him on the dance floor.
“Enough time wasted nerd.” She said, grabbing his arm and heading for the dance floor.
Among the smoke, and surrounded by the slow music, the two teens had a small nervous hiccup. They’d both realized exactly what they’d agreed to – dancing with their absolute sworn enemy.
But it was a little too late to back out now. Tyzel placed his hand on her waist and she placed hers on his shoulder.
Hand touching seemed to be a little more difficult. Nikita hesitated, not quite sure yet how she was going to embarrass the holy hell out of this guy.
“Chickening out already?” Tyzel mocked.
“Just afraid of your probably sweaty clammy disgusting hands.” She shot back. She grasped his hand anyway as he rolled his eyes.
Okay well she had to admit they were pretty normal.
The worst part was probably the fact that his dancing skills were actually acceptable – which just made it that much harder to find a way to make him fail without it backlashing on her.
“Don’t worry, I’m hating this as much as you are.” He said with a forced smile.
“Then what was the point of all this?”
“Elvis dared me.”
“A dare!?” Nikita exclaimed in annoyance. With an exasperated sigh, she made to leave the dance floor, but Tyzel held her back.
“Woah, woah, there’s a time limit to this dare.” He said with a small sniffle.
Nikita had to unfortunately admit that Tyzel really could dance, and well…after all she hadn’t embarrassed him yet, which was the whole point of accepting anyway. “Fine, twirl me then.”
Tyzel obeyed and twirled her in a way that profoundly annoyed Nikita because she couldn’t find any errors in it.
“Dance, butterfly, dance.” Tyzel chuckled along to the slow music. “Your lifespan is so short after all.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Nikita immediately asked, expecting the worst.
“This prissy bossy queen stuff of yours, it’s all over after tonight.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Nikita demanded to know as the slow song ended.
“You might’ve managed to make yourself queen of the school, and made sure that everyone likes you, but after this is the real world. It amuses me to imagine how much your spoiled self is going to fail.”
“Ha, you think I’m going to fail? You’re the loner with no friends. And hell, I’m going to be incredibly surprised if anyone even hires you after an interview, especially with your little sniffle problem.” Nikita snapped.
“Huh, does it make you feel better to pick on me?”
“Bullying won’t get you far in the world. Oh but wait, I almost forgot, you’ll probably just sleep your way to the top of whatever job you find.” Tyzel said.
“How dare you! You’re such an ass Gallivant!” Nikita shrieked, pulling her hand back to slap him.
Tyzel saw the move coming however, and he grabbed her wrist before she could connect with his face. He pushed her arm back towards her, making her stumble a few steps backwards.
She charged forwards and shoved at him, and he shoved back. Just as Nikita was grabbing his shirt to either shove him again or punch him, a teacher’s hand appeared on both their shoulders.
Without any hesitation, the two teens were kicked and banned from coming back inside.
Elvis smirked to himself as the video he’d just recorded saved itself. This inevitable little show was going to please a lot of people on his channel.
Twenty dollars well spent indeed.
“Ugh, you bastard! Look at what you’ve done!”
“Me!? Don’t pin this on me!”
“It’s entirely your fault! It’s ALWAYS your fault!” Nikita yelled.
“You’re the one with the b*tch attitude!”
“You’ve made my entire school life experience SUCK!” Nikita shouted.
“I’ve? I’ve – you’re the one who’s been nitpicking at everything I do, always finding a way to have people beat me up. You’re the one who’s made it miserable for me!” Tyzel shouted.
“I was only responding to your stupid assery and you know it!”
“No I don’t! I always keep to myself, but you still insist on trying to make my life hell!”
“Shut up! Just shut the f*ck up!” Nikita screeched. “I can’t take hearing your annoying voice!”
“If you don’t, I swear I’m going to punch you again!”
“I think I can take one of your weak punches.”
To that Nikita took a swing, but Tyzel easily dodged it.
“F*ck you!” She spat, turning on her heels and marching off.
“I hope never seen your stupid face again Gallivant.” She said, shouting one last insult.
“Never is still too soon Whitelight.” He snapped back.
And with a final angry groan, Nikita marched off into the night, smoke practically spewing out of her ears.
Really her life would be all the more better if she truly never saw his face again.
Nikita released her fists in an attempt to calm herself. He was so not worth it. Just an annoying speck of dust in her life that starting tomorrow she was officially going to get rid of. An annoying speck that had managed to ruin her prom night!
“Hey! Look at what we have here guys.” A group of male teenagers stood up from where they’d been chilling out – since clearly they were too cool for prom, but not too cool for hanging out on school grounds.
The guy who’d spoken jumped up and leaned on the fence.
Nikita waved him off impatiently. It was that group of guys. The delinquents who trashed the gym, and the one group of people Nikita never tried to befriend because she knew they were all a bunch of jerks.
“Aw don’t be like that.” The fiery red-headed leader said as he hopped onto the ledge. “You’re always rejecting us. Don’t we get some smoochy time too?” His friends laughed behind him, a few leaning over the fence too and reaching out to touch Niki.
She swatted their hands away.
“Really not the time assholes. You’re not worth my time.”
“Oh did you guys here that? We’re not worth her time.” The guy teased. He reached out and grabbed her arm. “And people say you’re so nice.”
Angry as hell, she roughly pulled her arm away. The momentum combined with her heels had her stumbling backwards…
Right into the street.
The group of guys laughed as Nikita fell on the ground.
Blushing with embarrassment she pushed herself up back onto her heels.
She hadn’t had any time to react. The front of a car crashed into her legs and sent her sprawling on the ground as the car skidded to a halt.
The driver came out in a panic only to receive accusations from the group of teens. “Oh my god he actually ran her over.” “He’s so busted.”
Out of his mind, the driver climbed back into the car, and made a swift get away.
Leaving Nikita sprawled on the ground.
“Is she dead?”
“Let’s get out of here guys!”
Nikolas’ mind was a total mess.
He’d spent the entire day at school just dreading having to come home. Countless people had asked him during the day what was wrong, but not once did he manage to utter it: a monster.
When he got home and his parents seemed ready to sit him down to talk, he declared he was going to go prom with Nikita – who just played along.
Even though he knew his friend Elvis was crashing the senior prom, Niko had no intention of going there.
Something Salandra still wasn’t understanding. “Please Niko?”
“But it would be so much fun!” She insisted. Even though they’d had a little fight, Salandra had followed Nikolas around at school like she did usually, determined to prove she wanted to be friends with him not just because Nikita wanted that too.
“You really don’t need to follow me.” Nikolas said, sticking his hands in his pockets.
“But you always do fun stuff Niko. And maybe you’ll eventually change your mind about going to your sister’s prom.” Salandra chirped. “Where are you going?”
Nikolas considered telling Salandra to just leave him alone, but she was working pretty well as a distraction. Her chirpy voice was chasing away the dreadful growling noises.
He pulled out the small crumpled piece of paper and handed it to her. She stared at the address scribbled on it.
“Right over there.” He said, pointing at a building two blocks down.
“Why do you need to go to a-”
Niko shrugged. “Someone told me something interesting was going to happen there. And well if nothing does, I needed to go there this week anyway.”
Nikolas and Salandra arrived at the bank, and Salandra nearly jumped on the opportunity to open the door for him, which made him cringe.
“Geez Salandra you don’t need to do that. Look, I get it, you don’t just want to be friends with me because of Niki. No need for the extra services.”
Salandra grinned and kept the door open for him. There was just all kinds of wrong in having a girl open the door for a guy, but Niko conceded and went inside anyway.
“I’m not seeing anything interesting happening…” Salandra said, taking a quick look around the bank. And she was right too. The place was pretty empty apart from the employees and one or two other customers. The employees kept glancing at the clock – only minutes left before they could start to close.
Nikolas shrugged. “Probably came here at the wrong time. Whatever.”
Niko made his way over to one of the machines to deposit some money he’d earned doing chores at Erin’s house. Salandra watched what he was doing with mild interest, and he had to shoo her away so she didn’t peek at his PIN.
“So what about now? Feel like crashing prom?” Salandra asked as the door opened with new customers.
“No, no really not. Why would you even want to go? We have our own prom in a few years.” Niko pointed out as he put his bank cards away. Salandra’s eyes suddenly widened in surprise as she saw who had entered the bank.
Three people clad in black from head to toe, and each holding a gun.
“Everybody down on the floor now.” The tallest of the three shouted after shooting one bullet into the air.
Screams instantly filled the area, one of them coming from Salandra. The two teens didn’t need to be told twice. They both dropped to the ground, hands protectively covering their head.
“Oh god, what’s happening?” Salandra asked with a trembling voice.
Nikolas watched with wide eyes as two of the newcomers made their way to the counter with bags, while the third, the smallest, stayed back to close the door and watch the entrance.
“Niko, I’m scared.” Salandra whimpered beside him.
“They’re robbing the bank Sal. This is a bank robbery.” Niko said, his curious eyes observing the scene before him.
A pair of odd looking shoes appeared in front of Niko, and his eyes drifted up to see the smallest of the robbers…and the barrel of a gun staring down at him.
“And that means you’re expendable hostages, so I’d shut the f*ck up if I were you.” A female voice snapped at him. Salandra closed her eyes as she started to tremble.
Niko on the other hand…
Even though she had a gun and a glare pointed in his direction, he couldn’t quite keep himself from wondering: What’s behind that mask of yours? Why are you even robbing this bank?
If it’s because you’re poor…those eyebrows and eyelashes look they were done by a professional. So that’s doubtful. What’s the reason then?
Maybe he should’ve been more focused on the imminent danger on his life.
But to be honest, somehow this seemed less intimidating than the monster he’d found in the basement – especially since he figured the female robber was probably around his age.
That weird biker lady was right in sending him here.
Oh boy was this going to be a nice distraction.
Niko is so going to get himself shot with that attitude
DONE OMG GUYS LAST CHAPTER DONE
It’s like some sort of weird dream come true WHATEVER
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