vii

vii

A Chapter by TopHatGirl
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You both race out of the coffee shop, covering your heads with your jackets, laughing the entire way. He's taller and longer than you, so by default he should have been faster, but he kept slipping on the puddles and crashing to the ground. He is clumsy, he always says, which makes him all the more appealing. You both make it to the rooftop, and collapse into fits of laughter, rain staining your cheeks.

He pulls out an upside down paint bucket, and sits on it. "Okay, just try to control it. Just do a back and forth motion."

You nod, squinting to find an availible light source to pull from. "There are neon lights coming from the bar two blocks away." You got a pair of glasses a month ago, thick black ones that are too big for your face, and obnoxious to wear, so you only pull them out when you are practicing the light. Using the better sight, you can see any light source within distance. Juttin one foot out and digging your heels into the floor, you focus your concentration on the neon sign, coaxing the light out with one hand, feeling it pulse through your fingers. As soon as it comes out, it whips across the distance and lashes into your chest. You fly back, skidding across the roof and almost falling off the edge. The rain splashes on your face, and you splutter.

"The rain makes things difficult," you claim, coughing.

"Well, work around it maybe?" Tio's advice about things he doesn't know is often unhelpful. You pull yourself to your feet, and recover the lost light.

Swirling it around your fingers, you ignore the blistering heat it's giving your hand. "What do I do next?"

"Make a ball," he commands. You nod, pushing all of the light together in one orb about the size of a beach ball, and toss it up in the air before catching it again, like a game.

"Throw it somewhere?" you ask. He nods shortly, and you gulp. This is hard, you have to concentrate entirely on the aim and the impact, or else everything goes horribly wrong. You blink, and raise your arms in the air, the ball going with it, and crashing it into the satellite dish of the apartment next door. It explodes, the sparks flying through the wind and some settling on your cheek. "It's so beautiful."

"Yeah it is," Tio says, watching in disbelief at the sight of the leftover flames slowly fluttering around you all. "Let's go back inside, people are going to call the cops."

Sure enough, people scatter out of their rooms in nothing but bathrobes, gawking in disbelief at the fire alarms blaring through the building just because of a little fire. And soon, the roar of a fire engine screams through the night as firefighters get into a uniform line to defeat the immature fire.

Inside, Let pours you both a bowl of soup an puts the kettle on for hot chocolate. Red is forming on your cheeks from going from a cold outside to a warm inside. Tio goes back to hacking while the others debate on trivial things, such as the significance of DMC or something like that. You don't listen. You are writing your own comic, in your head, about a detective girl who solves a mystery of hackers trying to break into a national bank, when the hackers turn out to be the nicest people.

"Hey, a penny for your thoughts?" Cole asks, pulling out a chair and sitting next to you.

"I'm writing a story in my head," you reply, tapping your hand against your thigh in a rythmatic motion.

"That's great," Cole says. "You should have Tio illustrate it. He's quite the artist."

"He is?" Tio has never mentioned this to you before. You are slightly offended that he hasn't.

"Yeah. But he's kinda embaressed by it," Cole pushes up his glasses, which are identical to your own. Your glasses are tucked away in your drawer, the drawer you got two days after you arrived. "Nobody else knows but me, and I found out by accident. I came home from class early one day and he was doodling in a notebook. Very flustered when he caught me looking over his shoulder." He goes back to the notes he was studying for a test the next day. You watch him for a few moments.

"Cole?"

"Yes?" he hums, looking up again.

"Do you think Tio is dumb because he doesn't know about medicine and math?" It was a bold move, asking so bluntly like that. But you didn't want to go on thinking Cole would be so rude as considering Tio a lower person that he is.

"Of course not," Cole says, putting down his pencil. "He knows extensive amounts of history, and copious factoids that are interesting to a person such as myself." He studies you for a moment. "Why, does he think I think lesser of him?"

"No," you lie. "Why would he think that?"

"Well," he begins, going back to his notes. "He is a very self deprecating person. It's quite saddening, though, the way he puts himself down so. I hope he can find some esteem soon."

"Maybe you should help with that." You begin to climb up the bunk bed, opening your own notebook to jot down some ideas for your story.

"I should?" he asks, looking at Tio across the room, who has his noise cancelling headphones on and bobbing to some music. "Perhaps."

~*~

"Hey, Thief, want a job?" Jaxx asks you one day during your studies. "Because you need one if you want to start buying your own s**t."

You pause from your report on The Crucible, glad to have a distraction from the horrifying and bore worthy book. "Yes," you say earnestly.

"Cool, you're going to start as a lighting assistant for the community theatre on Monday," he says, putting down his book bag and yawning. You blink.

"Excuse me?"

"They asked if I knew anyone who had any experience in lighting." He rose an eyebrow. "You have experience in lighting. Well, pretty much." He hands you a rectangular ID card. "This is your ID, because you can't say your real name is Thief."

"Why not?' you ask.

"You just don't." he rolls his eyes, and you stick your tongue out at him, which you admit, was rather childish. Your picture is one you took for your library card, and the name reads," LUCY CARTWRIGHT."

“ Lucy Cartwright?” you ask, diguisted by the name. “It doesn't sound much like me.”

“How about you thank me for giving you the opprotunity to actual do something while we're working?” he snarks.

You blush, embarassed, and stare into your lap. “Thank you,” you mumble. You are actually greatful. Maybe you'll be able to learn something more about the thing you control. You hold the card in your hands, turning it over in your palm. It says you are eighteen, which is an outright lie, and the birthday date is the day they found you in the alleyway, March 24th. "But I don't know anything about light teching."

"It's alright. I got this," he said, reaching into a plastic bag coming from a bookstore, and tossed it at your face. Peering at the title, you guffawed.

"Lights for Not-So-Smart People?" Granted, you are a not so smart person, but so what? You feel slightly insulted, but that's how you always feel around Jaxx. "Thank you," you repeat. He nods.

You stay up later than usual reading through it. It talks about gels, which create colors on lights, and how to keep a spotlight steady. You chew on an apple while readin, and the juice splatters on the pages, staining it. Mizzy tries to keep up your health, since you're inside all of the time, and offers to take you jogging. You groan, but lace up your shoes, pulling on a hoodie. She has her fitness clothes on, and smiles at you. Walking outside, it's about 5AM, and only the most dedicated of the atheletes are up this early.

"Ready?" she asks, and you nod. Starting out on a steady slow pace, she begins to talk to you about run of the mill things, like she often does. "So Jaxx is starting you out on a job."

"Yes," you say, breathing in and out. Shop owners are hanging out OPEN signs, putting out today's offering. San Francisco has a lot of street vendors, and you pass by an apple peddler. This is early for some people, but on the Five's schedule, you are staying up late. Let and Cole have gone to bed before they have classes. "I want to start being more independent."

"If you feel obligated to do this, we're happy to provide for-"

"Mizzy, thank you, but I do not feel obligated. I am happy to do this. It sounds fun," you assure her. The cold is biting at your fingertips and toes, and when you breathe out you can see your breath. You turn a sharp corner, where teachers are coming into a school, preparing their lessons for the day. "I can go out and meet new people."

"But you'll be around lights all day. Are you sure that's safe?" she asks, biting her lower lip.

"Yes," you say, laughing. "I will be fine."

"Okay. I just worry, Thief," she says.

"Oh, speaking of thievery..." you mutter, and you swipe a pomegranate from a fruit stand, taking a ginormous bite, the juice dripping down your chin. You offer a bite to her, and she shakes her head. "The seeds are the best part, because you can actually eat them." You attempt to pluck five of them in between your lips, but it's difficult to manage while running, and you drop three of them.

"Why do you steal?" Mizzy asks. You shrug, not even knowing the answer yourself.

"It feels right," you reply. Your chest is constricting, and you stop to take a rest. She kneels next to you, patting your back. "Running is hard."

"You'll get the hang of it."

"I hope so."

Jaxx dropped you off at the San Francisco Community Theater at 2 o'clock PM precisely. You rubbed your eyes and yawned. You weren't used to this kind of hour to be up, it was so late. You clutched the mocha in your hand and trudged up the front steps. Opening the front door, you nearly dropped your cup.

You had never seen so many beautiful lights before.

Large ones, tiny ones, spotlights, colorful ones, one that could make stars. Your fingertips almost tingled in anticipation. You could control them all...

No. Jaxx said it was entirely off limits to practice your power here. You could be figured out, and be resorted to a life of being poked and prodded by studious scientists in a dusty lab. No way. You wondered if you were too early to rehearsals today, when a man in a black collared shirt comes out from behind the stage and smiled at you, tapping his clipboard.

“You look like you know a thing or two about lights,” he says, stretching his hand out. “Ash, I'm the head light director here. Nice to have you aboard Lucy.”

Lucy Cartwright.

It sounded pompous when rolled off the tongue, which didn't suit you one bit. But still, you smile back and shake his hand.

He looks to be about fourty or so, and has the same color of hair as yours, except whiter in areas. He gives you a tour of the lighting world, with catwalks and spots and such. You pay attention with minute interest, nodding at everything he said. Your hands are itching to get ahold of the massive amounts of energy, but you resist.

“Is this the new girl?” a man asks, sticking his chest out in an arrogant manner and holding his pinky up above his shoulder. He has golden brown hair and flashing emerald eyes that glare at you as he leans down to meet your level. “You better not put a green light on me, girl. Makes me look sickly.”

You nod once, looking over at Ash. He gestures his hands towards the man, introducing, “This is William-”

Sir William Alexander the V to you,” Sir William Alexander the V says, crossing his arms. “That is unacceptable to call me by any other name except that which was given to me on a summer's morn, a high brow society of honey dew drops of bravery running down your brow in utter triumph. That, girl, is what we call a real man of the theatre,” he finishes, clearing his throat. Your mouth runs dry, and you don't speak for a few moments. He takes the opportunity to speak more. “See, Sir William Alexander the IV died after chocking on his beloved four pig product sandwich. The funeral was a bleak affair, and no refreshments were served. Sir William Alexander the III was enjoying a nice game of cards with his compatriots, when suddenly, grief abashed him and he lost all of his money. Out of horror, he killed himself. The funeral was mediocre. Sir William Alexander the II was having a lovely walk with his fiancee, a fourteen year old who happened to be his cousin. She was also pregnant with the noble Sir William Alexander the III, but you have already heard of him. Anyways, a horse carriage came tumbling through, the driver was probably a drunken fool, and crushed Sir William Alexander the II into the dirt, all of his organs laid out for the commoners to see. It was such a tragedy, the beautiful peasants of the day had thrown their bodies over the coffin, sobbing such mournful tears.” He pauses, taking a long breath. You blink twice, opening your mouth and shutting it again.

“What happened to William Alexander the First?” you asks, and Sir William Alexander the Fifth fumes, eyes darkening.

We do not speak of him,” Sir William Alexander V whispers, and gallantly strides off.

Ash shrugs. “Don't mind him, he's the lead of the play. Kind of pompous, but we're just here for the lights.” You nod. The rest of the working day is uneventful. You are assigned a mentor, a rainbow haired girl named Sarah, who points to the light board, and simply says,"Figure it out." You spend the rest of the afternoon staring at the buttons, watching what each switch controls, and writing it down in a red notebook you found in one of the cabinets. Everyone else are working out the spotlight cues, so you are left alone in the booth, playing and fiddling. Ash comes to you at the end of the day, nodding at the quick work you made, which was creating files for different cues and light colors.

"Nice," he says, leaning over to look over at the computer connected to the light board. "You're one of those technologically advanced types, aren't you?" You guess so. "That's great. The rest of us are just old geezers who think a mouse is just a rodent." he scratches his white stubble, turning off the audience lights and getting his coat off of the rack. "Good work today. Come back tomorrow at two."



© 2011 TopHatGirl


Author's Note

TopHatGirl
I really want this scene to stay in the final draft, probably only because of Sir William Alexander V, but with the serious tone I plan to take with this book, it probably won't.

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Added on December 2, 2011
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TopHatGirl
TopHatGirl

[Redacted], NV



About
Hi, I'm TopHatGirl! If you're here about my character lessons or to get some advice, email me instead of messaging at [email protected] This is because I don't go on this site as much anym.. more..

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A Chapter by TopHatGirl


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A Chapter by TopHatGirl