Hello. How are you? Well, I’m fine. Anyway this story is about a girl names Jadis Alexa Cross, a black haired, African American girl with a headstrong attitude.
At this moment she was carrying a rather bulky backpack and, from a crack in the thick trees of the forest, a woman was watching her.
Her hair fell down to her back in long, luxurious black tresses like a waterfall. Her olive skin gleamed with a newly moisturized shine and the pupils of her strangely shaded green eyes sparkled like dew on grass. Why would a beautiful woman be standing in the bushes you ask? A woman in a long in the back and short in the front dress and black high heels? A woman with a newly moisturized shine on her skin? Well it was a very weird reason and that reason was to watch the bulky-backpacked, black haired girl that walked past. Strange isn’t it? But, sadly we’re not there yet.
Jadis continued to walk though, not seeing the thin figure between the oaks, with a black cloud above her head. Her mother was a counselor and her favorite thing to talk about was Jadis.
Jadis had tried out for choir, drama, volleyball, dancing, and softball. She had got into swimming, but she couldn’t get her hair wet. All that was left was soccer, her favorite sport, but why bother? She hadn’t gotten into the other ones.
And school was, sadly, terrible as well. All of the girls she had known and loved came back prissy and snobby, with expensive clothes and even more expensive shoes. All their parents had been working together at a mining company and had discovered an oilrig and had become rich.
The boys had lost interest as well, the girls were now to pretty to get picked on for blemishes and other things and the coolest boy in school and his sister, the prettiest, had moved to Rome. School was now a black hole at the bottom of an abyss that spit out disappointments every second of everyday. Depressing isn’t it?
She sighed and walked down the quiet lonely road, crunching her feet on the fall leaves and humming quietly to herself. She passed the oak tree with the man behind it and felt a sudden rush of cold. Just a breeze she thought and walked on.
She walked into her house and saw her mother at the table drinking green tea and humming Mozart to herself. Her father was across from her, drinking Columbian coffee and reading the newspaper. She walked past them without drawing any attention, something she was awesome at, and walked into her room.
She patted the head of her knee-high ceramic kitten with ruby eyes and said, “Hi, Bartumus.” She had had that cat for years, ever since birth, and loved it like a brother.
She sat on her bed and suddenly her mother came upstairs, carrying her hot mug of tea and a strong smell of orchid perfume filled her room.
Her mother’s hair was short, curly, and choppy. Her skin was poplar-colored and always wore an over-powering orchid perfume, but no one told her how strong it really was.
She peeked in smiled and walked away, leaving Jadis coughing. So shook her head and laid down on her bed, bored as anyone could ever be.
Right now she actually wanted to go to school, something she hadn’t felt since school began three weeks ago. She pulled out her pocket watch and examined it with a genuine interest, something she always did when she was bored.
But that bored her today as well so she went over to her easel picked out dark sepia colors (different shades of browns, blacks, tans, and beige.)
It ticked and tocked and the gold sparkled a bit even though the sun was far behind the clouds and the world was sprinkled in a gray gloom that was depression inspiring.
And that was what Jadis was. Depressed. The world might as well have been in black and white. A deep darkness had spread everywhere and had drenched her town in gloom. Usually at this time the Earth was a cinnamon scented, bright day filled oranges, yellows, and reds from the fresh fall leaves and a crisp breeze drifted through every once in a while. What was so wrong with today?
Jadis just shrugged and spent almost two hours painting a scene that would’ve disturbed most and, disturbs me.
I am quite disturbed to tell you my dear reader that the painting was of an empty quad with a grand place in the background. Leaves were gently flowing across the quad and a dark moon sat over it. Two stone lions sat on pedestals at the entrance to the grand place on the steps. Dying ferns sat on either side of them and an eerie glow was slept over it.
Jadis thought it was beautiful and had no idea that the lions were real in the real place and that the moon always shined in this place and that the place was real period. Poor, poor, Jadis.
“Jadis we ordered pizza!” the high, clear voice of her mother echoed through their high-ceilinged house and Jadis was snapped out of her trance.
She bounced down the stairs and ran over to a pizza box. The aroma of jalapeños, banana peppers, roasted green peppers, She grabbed a piece and went to sit on the couch. Her mom walked over and sat next to her, much to Jadis’s dismay.
“What have you been painting?” she asked as she bit into her slice of pizza. “I saw you up there in your easel. It was a…um…beautiful landscape.” She fake smiled.
Jadis sighed, everyone thought that her paintings were creepy. She didn’t even know why she painted them she just would stand in front of her easel and then a full-fledged place or person would pop into her mind that happened to be creepy. “It’s just something that popped into my mind.” She said with a little attitude.
“Sweetheart,” said her mom. “I was cleaning your room and I saw some of your paintings. They’re a bit disturbing…especially the one with the raven. Don’t get me wrong, they’re beautiful and have intricate detail but, they are a bit depressing and frightening don’t you think?”
Jadis didn’t think so. She thought they were cool, especially the raven. It was a picture of a raven sitting on a branch in a orset full of trees with no leaves. It was a close-up picture and the raven’s eyes seemed to glow with mischief and a knowingness that gnawed at Jadis’s insides.
She finished her pizza and got up. She saw it was already nine o’clock and went to close her window. She absentmindedly looked out of it onto a tree across the street. And as the sun set behind the hills, she saw a stark black raven fly onto the branch across from her.
It turned its head toward her and she froze. She cocked her head and so did it. She turned it the other way and it followed like a feathered robot. She kept her eyes on it as she slowly pulled down her 0into her bed and turned her easel away from her.
She went to bed that night with coldness in her soul and a unsettling feeling in her stomach.
Jadis trudged through the hallways with a air of boredom and a feeling of “I don’t want to be here.” And, by the look on the other kids’ faces, they felt the same. School was just boring like that now that the blondes had invaded and the popular had moved away.
As she walked into her history class, she felt another rush of cold. Wow she said.
She passed Mrs. Merrill’s desk and her elderly teacher stood up “Hello, class. Today we will be learning about Greek mythology. Who knows who Echidna is?”
Jadis’s hand shot up. “She is the mother of all monsters. Goddess of plague, rot, and sea slims. She gave birth to Hydra, Chimera, Cerberus, and other monsters.”
“Very good,” said Mrs. Merrill. “Anyone else?” She looked around the classroom knowing no one else knew the answer. “No? Oh well then. Um Jadis can I talk to you after class?”
Jadis sighed. She reluctantly got up as her classmates swarmed out the door like bored cockroaches, dragging their book bags filled with expensive books across the ground. Hasn’t anyone heard the recession?
“Yes, Mrs. Merrill?” asked Jadis, nervously twiddling with her watch.
“Oh,” reassured Mrs. Merrill. “You aren’t in trouble. I just wanted to know how you knew about that goddess. Not a lot of people know about Greek gods and goddesses, well nota lot of kids anyone. And if they do, probably not about a rarely mentioned goddess such as Echidna.
“Well,” said Jadis, relieved. “My mom and dad used to tell me about those stories before I went to bed when I was little. They told me about all the gods and goddesses and everything else. They also gave me book. I still have it and look through it sometimes.
“Oh,” she said. “That’s very interesting. Who are your parents again? Mr. and Mrs. Cross? Well, you can leave now Do you mind bringing that book tomorrow?”
Jadis froze. “Uh sure.” She said. She had never thought that school would be so interesting.
She joined her best friend Preston and they walked down the sidewalk together.
“Hey,” he said. He pulled on his coat. Her friend had light tan skin, short black hair in a small Mohawk, and braces, like her.
“Hey,” she said. “My mom wanted to know if your mom knew wheer my dad’s lawnmower was.”
“She probably has no idea,” he said. “Anyway as I was saying, we have a new neighbor.”
“What?” asked Jadis as they walked into the forest, a shortcut only they knew about.
“Yeah,” he said. “My mom told me about her. She said her name is Mrs. Relis. She’s like, really old or something. She moved in this morning just kind of out of the blue. My mom didn’t even know we had a house for sale, especially in our area of the subdivision.”
“I didn’t either,” said Jadis. “You said she’s beside me?” He nodded. A confused/scared look appeared on her face. “We liv e in the back of cul-de-sac. And you and Mrs. Jenkins are right beside me. That’s impossible no one can move out in a day. And she would’ve told my mom. This whole Mrs. Relis thing is starting to freak me out.”
Preston nodded again and they continued down the road to her house.
When they walked into her house her mother was there again, stationed at the table with a cup stationed in her hand. “Hello, Preston!” She exclaimed as she got up. “It’s always a pleasure to see you here.”
Jadis snickered. Preston always got in trouble at school. Always. He was the kind of person that your mother told you to stay away from, but you don’t listen and talk to him and end up in the priciipal’s with your mom saying she told you so and wagging her finger and telling you the minute you get home your X-box is gone.
But Preston just said, “Thank you,” and they went over to the couch.
“Mom?” said Jadis. “Do you know about our new neighbor Mrs. Relis?”
“Why, yes,” answered her mom as she took a sip of tea. “Moved in this morning and Mrs. Jenkins moved out. I talked to her actually. She has a dog named Harry. Adorable thing, he is. So cute and bite-size. I believe he’s an Tibetan terrier.”
“Excuse me, ma’am,” said Preston. “Don’t you think it’s a bit strange, maybe even impossible, for Mrs. Jenkins to have moved out so quickly. I mean, she lived here yesterday.”
“It was a family emergency back in Mexico,” said Mrs. Cross. “She had to leave in a hurry. She just had to leave. She had to hurry, but moving out in one day can be done.” She smiled and went upstairs.
“I still don’t think this is right,”