Mysteries Kept Within (Original Group Story)

Noira, Holland, Cleo, Evie, Falcon and Clarissa are all remarkably intelligent, but very different, high schoolers from around the world, trying to find a good college and simultaneously balance life and schoolwork. When they are accepted into Callysta Creek, a university with a reputation for being highly exclusive, little do they know that there's more than meets the eye to their new school. Will they solve Callysta's mystery before it's too late?

Chapter 2

Holland Speight - Whispers

by: ArtyBoy
Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. The sound of the clock on the wall is rhythmic, methodical. It echoes through the kitchen, which is sleek and modern, and has a decidedly unwelcoming feeling. I doubt it will ever feel welcoming, though, given my family's previous track record with houses. I'm guessing that it'll be two more months, and then we'll be moving on to another house in another town.

I glance down at the piece of paper in my hands, the gold ink smudged from where I touched it - my fingertips have similar stains. I read the words again. We hope you enjoy your stay..

Suddenly, the door slams open. I stumble back a little in surprise, my hip pressing against the marble countertop. But before I can even process what's happening, I have a tiny blond fourteen-year-old wrapping his arms around me in a tight hug. "Gabe!" I yelp, a startled laugh escaping my lips.

When he pulls back, his carefully combed and gelled hair is messy and unkempt. He fixes it immediately, his fingers coming up to run through the blond locks, an automatic reflex I don't think he even knows he has. There's a huge grin on his face, as usual. His hazel eyes peer up at me, filled with curiosity and excitement. "Hollypop!" he chirps, and I smile at the nickname, "Did you get the application?"

I put on a super serious face.. and then lift up my hand to show him the letter, a grin crossing my face. He cheers in delight, and does a little victory dance around the kitchen table. "Awesome! I knew you'd get in, 'cause you're, like, super smart!"

I smile softly, watching the happiness on his face. I can't help but wonder what on earth I did to deserve to have someone as wonderful as him for a brother. Immediately, the cold voice in the back of my mind whispers, Nothing. You don't deserve him. You don't deserve anything.

It's only as he raises his hand to fix his hair again that I see the bruises on his wrist.

"Gabe." He freezes, hearing my serious tone of voice. I take his hand, examining the blue and purple marks that circle his wrist. "Are the kids at school bothering you again?"

There's a second before he responds. "Nah. I just slammed my locker door on my hand by accident. Ne t'inquiete pas, Holls. You scared 'em pretty bad that one time; they won't do anything to me, 'cause they're too afraid of making you mad."

He takes a deep breath, and then the smile is back on his face. He tugs on the sleeve of his green racing jacket, and runs his fingers through his hair yet again. "So, can I read the application?"

"Well, it doesn't say much," I reply, "but the address is on the bottom." I give it to him anyways. His eyes scan over the letter.

"Wyoming, huh? I guess you're gonna have to take a plane!" At that, I freeze. A plane? Up in the clouds? What if there's a storm?

Catching my expression, Gabe pats my elbow comfortingly. "Chillax, Hollypop. We can make sure to check the weather, so we can book a flight when there's no thunderstorms. And besides, you've got your guardian angel, right? It'll protect you."

Impulsively, my fingers go to the silver charm around my neck. A present from Gabe when he was nine years old, it's my most prized possession. A guardian angel, he'd said, it'll keep you safe. I haven't taken it off since the day I got it.

"..Yeah, I'll be fine." I reassure him. Internally, though, I'm wishing that we lived in the US, instead of Canada, so that I could have just taken a train instead.

Gabe links his arm through mine. "Well then, Holls, allons-y! Let's get you all packed up and ready to go! You've got a long plane ride ahead of you."

I sigh, and head upstairs.


::Translations::
Ne t'inquiete pas: Don't worry
Allons-y: Let's go

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