Key Notes:

“Japanese talking”

“+American English talking+”

“/British English talking/”

“#Australian English talking#”

The Williams house was mostly empty. The answer phone pierced through the silence. It beeped loudly through the air.

“/Hello Katie, kids,/” Bill’s voice came through the speaker. “/I’m in Sweden. It is so boring here. The people just talk on and on about themselves. The food is terrible and there is nothing to do. I have three more weeks to go in this Hellhole place.” Darcy walked down the stairs and sat at the foot of them. She was still dressed in her pajamas. Actually, it was more like a pink camisole top and panties. Her hair was a wild mess. She was smoking a fag and didn’t really seem to care.

“/Anyway, I’ve got a meeting in twenty minutes,/” Bill went on. “/I just wanted to call and see how everyone was doing. Be good for your mum and…/” Suddenly, Darcy picked up the phone.

“/Hello dad,/” she said.

“/Darcy!/” Bill exclaimed. “/How are you? How is everyone?/”

“/Good dad,/” she said. “/Everything is good./”

“/Can I talk to your mum?/” he asked.

“/She’s still asleep dad,/” Darcy said.

“/Okay,/” Bill replied. “/Be good to her and take care of your mum, okay?/”

“/Okay,/” his daughter replied.

“/Bye love/”

“/Bye dad./” They hung up together. Darcy went into the kitchen to prepare for the day.

Things at the Williams house were still a little stretched. Katie had developed headaches and stayed in bed most of the day because of Simon’s condition. Simon himself still had a long way ahead to recover. Darcy was doing her best to manage everything.

“/Are the clothes dry yet?/” Simon asked, impatiently. “/I’m done to my emergency underwear!/” Darcy stood over the kitchen counter drying the clothes with a hair drier. She sneered at him.

“/Hey, shut up!/” the sister snapped. “/I’m doing the best that I can. It’s not my fault that the dryer’s busted. So spare me!/” Simon sat at the table in silence. Darcy went back to work.

“/Anyway,/” she said. “/I will be out today. I have left lists for you on the fridge and table. Are you sure you’re going to be fine here alone?/” Simon nodded at her.

“/Yeah,/” he said. “/I’ll manage./” Darcy turned around to him.

“/Take care of yourself, okay?/” she asked.

“/Okay,/” he said back. His sister nodded. Then, she went up stairs to get ready for class. She was going to see today.

Subject: Darcy

Hoshi School for Girls ran for six days a week. That’s six days too many for Darcy’s taste. Still, she didn’t have much of choice. Her parents put her here in hopes of straightening her out. Ha! Like that would ever work! Darcy walked straight into her art class. Sensei Mitsubishi looked at her pissed.

“You are late again, Williams-kun!” she barked. Darcy showed her no emotion.

“/So,/” she said. “/I am late./” The teacher wanted to scream out loud.

“This is the tenth time this semester!” she snapped. “Haven’t those days in detention met anything to you?” Darcy pretended to think about that for a moment. Then, she shook her head.

“/No,/” she answered. The girls in the class all giggled. Mitsubishi messed her teeth together in rage.

“Go sit down, Williams-kun!” she snapped. “I will see you after class, again!” Darcy only shrugged at her.

“/Fine, fine,/” she said. Then, the girl walked back to her seat. Mitsubishi-sensei sighed aloud.

“Anyway,” she went on. The teacher got lost into another lecture. Darcy took her usual seat in the back corner. She prepared herself to let her mind float away into nothing land. But, the teacher refused to have her on such a trip today. Mitsubishi-sensei smiled at the class.

“Class,” she announced. “As you all are aware, the finals are coming up. That means final projects are coming up.” The girls all groaned in class. Darcy didn’t look fazed. The teacher went on.

“You all will have to work in pair of my choice on how art changes the world,” she said. “You have one week to complete it.” The girls all looked up in shock. Whispers filled the whole room. Darcy didn’t even look up. Mitsubishi-sensei smiled at her class.

“Any questions?” she asked. The girls’ chatter only increased. Darcy still didn’t look fazed. “Whatever!” she thought. So, the pairings began from there. Darcy was paired up with another rebel girl in the class. Mitsubishi-san smiled at the girls.

“Good,” she said. “Now for the rest of the period, get to know each other.” The girls looked at each other wearily. Mitsubishi-sensei clapped her hands loudly.

“Come on, girls!” she said out loud. “This part of your grade. So, socialize!” The girls did so, reluctantly. Darcy turned to her partner.

“/Hey,/” she said in boredom. The other girl looked at her. She looked about Darcy’s age. Her hair was a deep brown and little bit of grey to her high part of her back. She looked like a biker chick. This girl looked as bored as Darcy did.

“/Sup?/” the other girl asked. Both were silent. Mitsubishi-sensei noticed the girls not talking. She hurried right over to them.

“Girls!” she called in a sing-songy voice. “No sitting around, talk!” Darcy kept no emotion on her face as she turned to the other girl.

“/Fine,/” she replied. “/What is your name?/”

“/Nadine,/” the girl replied. Mitsubishi-sensei nodded.

“Okay,” she said. “Tell us about yourself, Nadine.” The girl rolled her eyes.

“/I hate this f*****g shite hole,/” she said, bluntly. All of the girls looked up at her in shock. Darcy grinned at her. Mitsubishi-sensei looked red with alarm.

“Nadine!!!” she yelled. “That is inappropriate!” The girl didn’t seem to care at all.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” she said sarcastically. “I hate this f*****g lame shite hole!” Darcy giggled. Mitsubishi-sensei was now pissed!

“That’s it!” she snapped. “You’re staying after!”

“/Oh, no I’m not!/” Nadine informed her.

“Yes, you are!”

“/No, I’m not!/”

“YES, YOU ARE!!!!” Then, the bell rang for lunch. Nadine sat back smiling.

“/Oh well,/” she said. “/Time’s up!/” The teacher glared at her in anger. Darcy smile at her new potential party pal. Well, what do you know? This project was going to be good after all!

Lunch time glided in. Darcy ate her bento outside to avoid hearing Mitsubishi-sensei’s mouth during the whole hour. (Not that she’s cared or anything.) Darcy looked down at her food. Not much of a happy meal to look upon. She made it herself from what was left over in the fridge. Lucky for the girl, she wasn’t really a bad cook. At least what she had today was edible. As Darcy was eating, a large crowd up ahead caught her attention. Curious, she walked over for a better look. She peeked over a couple of kids. Nadine stood in the middle of the crowd with a table before. She was shuffling around cards for a trick.

“/Okay!/” Nadine said to the girls. “/Step right up ladies and find the Red Queen./” Some of the girls looked closely at the cards. Nadine smirked at her victims.

“/Where is the Red Queen?/” she asked. “/Anybody want to take a guess? Anyone?/” She looked into the crowd.

“/Come on people,/” she said. “/Don’t make me draft someone!/”

“/I’ll take a whack at it!/” Darcy spoke as she walked forward. Nadine looked at her, impressed.

“/Okay then,/” she said. “/Find the Red Queen./” Darcy didn’t even have to look to spot the scam.

“/She’s not there,/” she said. Nadine raised an eyebrow at her.

“/What are you talking about?/” she questioned. “/Sure she is!/”

“/No, it isn’t,/” Darcy replied.

“/Yeah, she’s is!/” Nadine insisted. The other English girl folded her arms.

“/Okay then,/” she said. “/Show us the cards!/” Nadine did her best to keep her nervous down.

“/I can’t,/” she lied.

“/Because it’s not there?/” Darcy asked. The other girl went red in the face.

“/Shut up!/” she yelled. “/She is there!/”

“Show her to us!” a girl from the crowd yelled. Nadine looked up at the shouting.

“Show us the queen!”

“Yeah, show us the queen!”

“Show us the queen!”

“Show us the queen!”

“Show us the queen!” Nadine looked pretty nervous.

“/Uh…/” she said. “Shite!” the girl thought. If only there was some way to…

“What’s going on here?” a voice asked the crowd. Everyone looked up and saw the headmistress walking towards them. She looked around at the setting.

“Nadine Ashcroft!” she yelled. “What on earth is going on here?!?”

“/What does it look like?/” the girl challenged her.

“You’re gambling!” the headmistress cried. Nadine shrugged.

“/Well then,/” she said. “/That’s what I’m doing!/” The other girls laughed. Darcy only smirked at her. This girl might make a good use after all.

The rest of the day went on without anymore incident. Darcy had to stay two hours extra for being tardy. Or, at least that was the original plan. The girl was starting on her homework when she heard a tap on the door. Darcy looked up and saw Nadine looking in at her. Curious, the other English girl walked over to her. She pushed open the door.

“/Yes?/” Darcy asked.

“/Ready to go?/” Nadine asked. The other girl didn’t blink.

“/Why?/” she asked. Nadine looked at her in a playful-stern way.

“/Because,/” she said. “/You owe me./”

“/Owe you?/” Darcy questioned with an eyebrow raised.

“/You cost me most of my customers with the cards,/” Nadine replied. “/So now, you are leading me around to all of the best places for a good night./” Darcy only shrugged.

“/Whatever,/” she mumbled. “/Sure beats staying around here./”

“/Lead the way!/” Nadine said. The girls walked away just like that.

“/So, where to start?/” Nadine asked.

“/Just anywhere,/” Darcy replied.

“/Okay,/” Nadine said with a shrug. “/I’ll go with you, because you know where the parties and shite are./” They came to Freedom Grove. Darcy led Nadine up to house #271. She rang the doorbell. The door opened up creek. An eye peeked out. A smile came onto the face.

“Darcy!” the host cheered as he opened the door wide. “You made it after all.”

“/Yeah, Saji,/” Darcy replied. “/I made it to your party after all./” Saji grinned at his crush. He looked over and saw Nadine smoking a fresh fag. He grinned.

“And you brought a hot friend with you!” Saji announced. “It’s my lucky day!” Nadine rolled her eyes.

“/Yeah, yeah,/” she mumbled. Saji stepped aside and the girls walked inside. The party took place downstairs. Most of the kids from the junior schools were there. Nadine and Darcy looked around as if they were incepting a building. Saji turned to them.

“Enjoy your night, ladies!” he said. Then, the host disappeared into the crowd. Nadine snubbed out her cigarette.

“/Well,/” she said. “/You heard the boy./” Darcy said nothing. The girls didn’t really do at first. Saji was a good boy trying to be bad in order to impress the popular girls. But in reality he was just a mommy’s boy. Darcy felt bored just by being here. However, Nadine nudged her in the rib cage. She looked out of the corner of her eye at her new friend. Nadine grinned as she pulled out a small bottle of vodka.

“/Good thing I always bring back-up,/” she yelled over the music. Darcy smirked at her.

“/Nice,/” she replied. Nadine opened the bottle and handed it to her. Darcy takes drink. Nadine took a drink as well. They took a moment to let the alcohol to set in.

“/Better?/” Nadine asked. Darcy nodded. The girls knew what was to come next. They headed out onto the dance floor for a good time. Darcy and Nadine spent the night dancing, drinking, and making out with boys. Right in the middle of the high party, Darcy leaned in close to her friend.

“/Want to get out of here?/” she asked.

“/And go where?/” Nadine asked. Darcy grinned at her.

“/Follow me,/” she said. Then, the girl broke through the crowd. Nadine shrugged and followed behind her. They came back outside into the city. Darcy led Nadine to a bridge. They looked out at the view of the city. Nadine pulled out a fresh cigarette and lit up.

“/Nice,/” she said. Darcy lit up a joint for herself and took a puff.

“/I come here to be alone,/” she said.

“/Mmm…/” Nadine replied. Both girls stood on the bridge, smoking. Nadine looked around and noticed something down the road.

“/Hey Darcy,/” she spoke up. “/Who is that?/”

“/Hm?/” the girl asked as she looked up. Casper stood down the road. Curious, Darcy walked over to her brother’s girlfriend. Nadine looked confused.

“/Darcy?/” she asked.

“/Just stay there!/” the other girl yelled. Nadine looked on as she smoked her cigarette. Darcy slowly walked over to Casper. The hippie happened to look up and see the younger girl. She looked like she had been crying for hours. Casper quickly tried to wipe away her tears.

“/Darcy?/” she asked. “/What are you doing out here?/”

“/I could ask you the same thing,/” the girl replied. Casper looked down at her feet.

“/I can’t go home anymore,/” she murmured. “/Not while he’s there./” Darcy could only guess that Casper was talking about her new step-father. Both girls stayed silent. Casper looked up at the younger girl.

“/How is Simon?/” she asked. Darcy nodded.

“/Good,/” she said. “/He misses you./” The hippie looked at her in surprise.

“/He does?/” she asked. Darcy turned to leave. Before leaving, she looked over her shoulder at the hippie.

“/You should go see him sometime,/” she said. Casper didn’t say anything. Darcy walked away back to Nadine. Her friend looked at her confused.

“/What was that all about?/” she asked. Darcy glance over at her for a quick second.

“/Long story,/” she said. “/Don’t want to talk about now./” Then, Darcy started walking home. Nadine looked at her oddly.

“/Okay…/” she muttered to herself. Then, the girl followed after her friend. In the end, Darcy and Nadine went back home. Darcy unlocked her first door and went inside.

“/How was your night?/” a voice asked her in the dark. Darcy didn’t even bother to pause.

“/Good, Simon,/” she said. “/How was your day?/” Her older brother nodded.

“/Good, I guess,/” he said. Silence for a brief moment.

“/She misses you, you know,/” Darcy spoke. Simon looked at her slightly confused.

“/Casper?/” he asked. His sister nodded.

“/Yeah,/” she said. Then, the girl went upstairs to bed. Simon looked at her puzzled and to the tiniest extent, happy.

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