In Which Our Story Begins

In Which Our Story Begins

A Chapter by Sanantha

The beginning chapter for The Projects. We meet our main character. And Steve.


            “Bye, Mother,” I nodded to my mom as I picked up my backpack and pushed some hair behind my ear.

            “No, honey!” the tall lady huffed. She had long, un-natural blonde hair that was so straight-ironed it couldn’t move. “My name is Linda, or Lindy, for short.”-I wasn’t about to tell her that Lindy had the same amount of syllables as Linda, so it wouldn’t be short for Linda-“you’re fifteen now, and gosh knows how old people will think I am!”

            I sighed, “Mom, you’re older. That’s fine! No need to understate your age or ‘trick’”-she wasn’t fooling anybody, actually-“people into thinking you’re younger!”

            “Shh! I’m saying I’m thirty, and that’s that. Don’t push your hair back, it’s meant to stay in front. Your ears aren’t your most attractive feature, you know, El,” Mom, or…Lindy, subtly checked the mirror behind me. Her thin lips were over-coated in lipstick, her eyes stabbed with a mascara wand, and she wasn’t duping anyone with that “size reducing” nose makeup. In her low-rider jeans and a zebra top, she fit the “cougar” look perfectly.

            “Nora. People call me Nora,” I almost growled, pushing my hair back again just to egg her on.

            “Nora is such a …blah name!” Lindy insisted, using her extensive vocabulary. “When I named you Eleanora, it was planned that we would call you Ella, Ellie, or El, not Nora!

            “Dad always calls me Nora,” I mumbled, creating an awkward silence, letting the words fill the room, making her feel guilty.

            “Well...Eleanora,” she started, putting emphasis on the “nora”, “What are you wearing? Long jeans again? That’s not even a form-fitting shirt! There are no patterns, either, defiantly not in style. Maybe you could borrow something from me? Hm? I think you’re about my size. Oh, and you have no makeup on, either! Everyone can see that blackhead, girlie, you should put on some foundation…and mascara, play up those golden eyes! Some lip gloss too, maybe. Don’t you have some cherry-stuff from Aunt Sally?”

            I sighed. Some Mom’s were concerned because their daughters wear too-short miniskirts and too much makeup. My Mom was the exact opposite. “Mom, I’m fine. I like my long jeans and I don’t wear makeup because it’s used to cover up flaws, and you always tell me to embrace them.” She looked at my eyes again. I had unusual eyes. A deep gold color, which my mom had said was unlike anything she’d seen. They showed any and all emotions I had, and they were debatably my best feature. They almost seemed to glow in the dark.

            “Honey! That’s when you were little! How are you supposed to get a good man with so little makeup and such…clothing? Other daughters act too sexy and have to get talked down, but you don’t even try!”

            I was in an ornery mood and decide to let the words fill the room again.

            “Look, I’m sorry I’m so tense. I have a long day at work today, and I have to go to divorce court again tomorrow. I’ve got a date tonight too. Maybe over the weekend…well, not this weekend, but maybe next weekend…um, actually I have something planned then…Friday? Friday night we could see a movie and get mani-pedis!”

            “I have a soccer tournament,” I told her.

            “So what?! You have soccer every week!”

            “It’s a tournament and will select our fate, whether we will play for another month.”

            “Puh-lease! They can do fine without you!”

            “Remember when you missed my band recital because you had a date?”

            “…so?” She was blushing through her foundation.

            “So I can miss a mother-daughter night for a soccer game.”


            “There’s the bus. Bye.” I filled my voice with apathy and turned quickly. I grabbed my backpack, pushed my hair behind my ears and ran to the bus without a jacket, even though it was drizzling outside. After my parents had had a divorce, my mother had turned into a “cougar” and my dad had moved to Kentucky, starting a new life with his mistress.

I stepped into the run-down, shocking-yellow bus. It was filled with unruly high-school students. The back was filled with the popular people, tiny blondes in miniskirts practically giving lap dances to their muscular boyfriends.

-“Oh baby, you’re so sexy,” said a ripped quarterback with bulging biceps barely hidden by a too-tight Holister T-shirt.

“I know, baby. Do you want to skip second period?” A seductive smile curved on one girls face as she spread out her spidery long legs, shook back her lavender scented red hair, and threw her $100 manicured hands around his beefy neck. She whispered something to him, her glossy lips grazing his ear.-

            In the front seats of the bus were the freshmen and the “losers”. They were the people that the burly jock would bully as he stepped off the bus, with his boney girlfriend on his arm. I belonged in the middle of the bus, the perfect medium. I massaged my temples as a headache started to spread. When I had woken up that morning I had been feeling a little woozy, but had thought it would stop if I took an Advil. Two hours later, my headache still hurt and was getting worse every moment.  I would have taken a small pain-induced nap right there if Taylor hadn’t butted next to me. I opened her eyes to see the gangly 10th grader sitting right by me.

            “Hey, Tay,” I smiled, noticing his familiar pale shade and buzz cut hair.

            “My dear Nora,” he nodded, and I giggled involuntarily. “How goes it?”

            “Very well, my captain,”


            “Quite so,” We kept on the medieval charade until the bus reached their school. I always felt like I could be weird self with Taylor.

            “So, seriously, how are you?” Taylor asked politely.

            “Well,”-I paused to stand up, my head hurting even more and my stomach starting to throb,-“other than being unprepared for my speech on World War 2, I think I’m ok. I’m getting a rather bad migraine, though.”

            “I’m sure you’ll do great,” Taylor nodded kindly. That was why we were friends. Taylor was always there to comfort or encourage me, and I was usually there to return the favor. We just…fit together, like two puzzle pieces. We had been neighbors since birth, making us almost like siblings. We had taken baths together when we were younger! He slipped his hand into mine for a second, and then took it away as he went around to the east wing and I walked to the west. Our hands lingered together as we parted ways.

            “See you at lunch!” I called as I ambled away. He waved and turned back to the east wing. By now, my head was really bothering me and my stomach hurt so much I thought I would vomit. I had an exam fourth period, and decided to hide out somewhere until then. I weaved through crowds of teenagers getting books and talking with friends, and soon, in pain-induced confusion, passed my locker. By the time I had fumbled with the lock to get the code right and searched for my books, pulling out the wrong one twice, there was only a minute before first period. Feeling incredibly sick and probably looking like it, I stumbled into the girl’s bathroom and sat down on the floor, leaning on the wall. The pain got worse, and soon my eyelids felt too heavy. I fell into a coma-like nap against the yellow linoleum.

            “WELL!! SURE IS NICE TO TAKE A NAP EVERY NOW AND THEN, AM I RIGHT, MS. ELEANORA?!” a loud voice woke me suddenly. I looked to see her English teacher standing over me, looking twice as ugly up close as she did from the back of the English room. Ms. Honna had super-sized her beehive poof, and it almost grazed the ceiling. Her plaid skirt was hiked up past her b***s, though still touched the ground. Her long black shawl looked like something from Harry Potter. She stared at me with beady eyes, her glasses teetering on the edge of her bird-like nose.

            “Ms. Honna, I’m so sorry. I’m feeling a little under the weather, and-” Ella started to apologize.

            “OH! I am SO sorry! Go right back to sleep! By all means! I’m sorry I woke you up!!” she gave me the evil eye and still stood over me, her neck blubber triggering my gag reflex. I held my breath, praying to Jesus that her god awful stench would waft away soon.

            “I’m so sorry. I’ll go to class now.” Ella mumbled.

            “Really? Are you sure that wouldn’t be a problem?”

            I grabbed my books, wiped off my face and headed out of the door. The large clock on the wall said it was 9:35, five minutes before third period, science class. As soon as my body stopped focusing on getting away from Ms. Honna, I realized that my stomach was churning rather badly and that I was going to hurl. I started sprinting to the bathroom in the other hall, hoping no one was there to reprimand me. I got to the bathroom, up-chucked, and started to relax again, when I started to feel the pain of my head, throbbing and turning to mush. I heard the familiar click of Ms. Selig’s heals and quickly bolted out of the bathroom. Ms. Selig was at least twice as mean (and fat) as Ms. Honna. The bell rang, and people started filling the halls again. I groaned and pushed my way through to the science class. It was chaos, getting through the crowds of gangly teens, but that would be least of my problems of the day.

            The science class room was rather beautiful. It was a large room with waxed floors, clean white walls, and shiny black desks where no one could write graffiti. The teacher, Mr. Roche, was currently on vacation with his family, and for the week we were told we were going to have a substitute. I was one of the last people to get in class, and felt subconscious. My black hair looked decently hideous from sleeping in the bathroom, my face was stressed from studying for finals, and my mouth still smelled bad, even after gurgling water. I sat near the back next to one of my friends.

            “What are we doing today?” I asked Sarah, one of the popular girls. She had short blonde hair, manicured hands, a pink halter top, and short white jeans.

            “We’re going to watch a video on the life cycle of blood cells, yeah!” Sarah cheered. Unlike some of the other popular people, Sarah was a total dork.

            “Skin cells would have been more interesting,” I noted.

            “For sure, but we take what we get.”

            A man walked into the room, no doubt our substitute. “Good morning class, my name is Steven Fish, I am your substitute teacher for the week.” Steven was a tall man, not muscular, but not fat. He had a full head of hair, but his hairline was obviously starting to recede. He wore large oval glasses, and his eyes looked special, like mine. They were a shockingly bright green, and made him look friendly. Maybe I was just paranoid, I but I swore that he gave me eye contact, like he had been waiting for me for a while, even though I had gotten to class relatively early. “As your teacher has told you, we’ll be watching a short movie on the life cycle of blood cells, and there will be a quiz at the end of class, so pay attention.” A lot of kids groaned, but Sarah and I just shrugged. Mr. Fish took off his leather jacket and turned on the computer that was hooked to the projector. The class talked amongst each other while Mr. Fish got ready, and in ten minutes the movie had started. My head hurt so much I could barely function, and I closed my eyes unwillingly.

            “Eleanora, it’s time for the quiz,” Mr. Fish told me softly.

I opened my eyes and blushed. “Sorry, I’m really tired, and-”

            “Just shut up and take the quiz,” he said, a little louder. Sarah turned for a quarter of a second, but we weren’t the closest of friends, so she turned back to her quiz and decided to let the situation unfold a little more. I saw a few other heads turn to me and back, but they were only complimentary glances, and you could tell that the people didn’t want to get any more involved.

            “What? That’s rude!” I would usually let it go when teachers got a little discourteous, but I was tired. It was as if a new force was overtaking me, overshadowing my migraine and stomach ache, and making me mad. More heads turned and this time a few of them stayed.

            “What are you going to do about it?” he laughed. Wrong move.

            I made a grunt as I jumped to the top of my chair. This time everyone’s face turned.

“Norrie, calm down,” Sarah whispered, awkwardly lifting out an arm, as if to comfort me.

“Yeah, Noooorie,” Mr. Fish mocked, “Calm down!”

“El,” said one of the guys in my class who didn’t know me too well, “Take a chill pill. Mr. Fish, just give her the test.”

He chuckled deeply, almost sinisterly. “It’s not like she’ll pa-”

I was pretty sure he was going to say pass, but I didn’t hear the whole word because I jumped from the chair and tried to grab him. He did a somersault and was on his feet halfway across the room. A boyish smile was on his face.

The room went crazy. “Woah! Dude! Nora, stop! Mr. Fish! Mr. F.! Just sit down! Stop it! How the f**k did you do that?!”

Sarah actually grabbed me this time, as she said, “Nora, this is not like you. Sit down.” Sarah was always very calm and collect.

I, however, was not me. Something else had entered my soul and was driving me into a mad rage, all of which was focused on killing Mr. Fish. I shrugged Sarah off, taking a lot of self control to not hit her. No! Nora, this isn’t you! This isn’t you! Sarah is right! Stop! Stop right now! A voice said in my head. The real Nora’s voice. And I was not going to listen.

There we stood. Me on one side of the room, Mr. Fish on the other. You could almost here the Old West music playing. High school students hooted and hollered from each side. The few who had stood up and tried to help where shot down by ferocious glances by Fish and me. One kid was even chanting “fight, fight, fight!” The room glistened perfectly, as always, in spite of the ugly situation.

Norrie, don’t do this.-my back was facing Mr. Fish, because I knew that as soon as I turned around it would be on- You can back out. You haven’t reached the point of no return. ­-ever so slowly, I took one step to the side-Nora! Stop!- and another. I was sideways­-Turn around! Don’t go through with this!- one-no!­-more-stop!­-step-Nora!  Our eyes met and I took a galloping leap toward him. The demon in me was in total control, filling me with energy and concentration. Everything was so bright! So detailed and complicated! I noticed it for only a second, as all of my attention was focused on Fish. He dashed out of the door, which was right behind him, and I followed. He was somehow faster than me, and seemed to actually be laughing about it. This just made me more mad. We ran down the high school hallway, which was fairly long, and from what I could see with my peripheral vision consisted of barriers and locks of classroom doors and quite a few middle aged men/women littered through the halls, all of them wearing scrubs and, when later investigated, bullet proof vests. No high students were in sight, which thoroughly confused me.

He grabbed on the stairway banister and took a long jump down the winding stairs, giving him a sufficient head start. Again, there was a ground of middle aged people, all of them in scrubs and heavy padding. He ran past them, and one of them pressed something on a keypad. I immediately knew it was a trap, but I was going to fast and was too close to do anything. I hit the clear air and smacked against it like it was a wall.

“Hi, Eleanora,” Mr. Fish said, and I started trying to claw the invisible wall. “Shhh. It’s ok,” he said. “You don’t have to take the quiz.” He smiled again.

            I was on such an adrenaline rush; I started to bite the metal bars, actually making dents.

            “Ok, that’s not good…” Mr. Fish noted, “Smith, if you would?”

            One of the younger scrub-wearers flashed an excited smile quickly, then -on a nearby table- pulled out a needle filled with a deep pick liquid.

            “Hello, Nora,” he said confidently, putting a gloved finger over the needle and walking toward me. I was finally calming down, but was still wary. I growled at him and showed my teeth like a mad dog. “I know,” Smith nodded slowly, and I closed my mouth. He calmly reached through the invisible wall and grabbed my jaw gently. “I know,” he said again, slowly and calmly. The needle touched my temple and I started freaking out again. I started to growl and gave Smith the stink eye. “Shh. You’re fine. Just close your eyes,” he called, and pushed on the needle to inject the contents into my brain.

            “I’m….fine….” I drooled, and everything went black.

© 2010 Sanantha

Author's Note

Ok, I have vastly improved Chapter one, and plan to do that with chapter two. Thank you, Sky, for your awesome review, I printed it out and have made changes accordingly. If anyone sees any grammar, spelling, or story errors, please commetn!

My Review

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i like it better :) but i dont get why you keep changing the name. sometimes you write ella, sometimes nora, ect.

Posted 13 Years Ago

Its very professionally written. I like the imagery and actions, very nicely described.

Some things i found:

"as filled with apathy has I grabbed my backpack," I find this construction a bit weird. Maybe its just me but i would paraphrase.

in his ear, her glossy lips grazing his ear" minor repetition.

"bully as the stepped" A small typo.

"Nora stepped in the run-down, shocking-yellow bus" The whole story is in first person and then suddenly this is in third. If its meant to be like that make some differentiation like different shrift or separate line.

"I opened her eyes" Somethings wrong here.

"That was why they were friends. " Again judging by the context this sentence stands out weirdly.

"I looked to see her " ok, I think i have a theory, the story was first in third person and you made it into first. Am i right?

Anyhow over all good. I just hope the ending is a dream cus otherwise it will be really really awkward story. Anyways i will see the next chapter later. So yeah great job, keep up the good work.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 13 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on July 1, 2010
Last Updated on July 22, 2010
Tags: The Projects, In Which Our Story Begins, Sam, Sam Srok, x-men fan fiction, fantasy, science fiction, beginning, steve, government, excitement
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Fox Point, WI

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