Chapter 1- Come Join Us!
Hey. I'm Tabby. I'm 16. I guess you could call me the average teenager. Gossiper, loves guys, and addicted to the internet. Too addicted. When I'm not at school, I'm on the laptop. Facebook, twitter, virtual worlds, you name it, I'm on it.
"Tabitha! Tea's ready!" Mum yells from downstairs. I click off twitter and shut the laptop lid down. "Coming!!!" I yell back. I trot down the stairs and into the kitchen to see that the table has been laid with soup, chilli, pork and bacon. I look around and see that Uncle Dave, Aunt Patricia and someone else are round. That explains the buffet. I look at poor mum, who looks exhausted, her pale forehead pink and wrinkled with frustration and exhaustion.
"Hey," I say with a smile, giving a pathetic wave to the guests. Dave just stares right past me, Patricia looks down at me from her huge platform heels, and the other person smiles and waves. The "other person" has strawberry blonde curls and looks about my age. She has large dark eyes, and rosy cheeks. Her lips are smothered in bubblegum pink lipgloss, and her eyelashes are thick with mascara and eyeliner. Mum stops for a second. "Tabitha, this is Gemma. Your uncle and auntie have adopted her." Oh. Shame for her. Adopted by Dave and Patricia. I smile. "Call me Tabby." She smiles back, but her eyes have a cold icy edge to them. I look away quickly. "Dinner?" Mum offers, stretching out an arm to the table. Pat and Dave take a seat at the table, and Gemma just stands, scanning her eyes over the food. She looks quite thin, so I assume she's quite fussy.
"Come and sit down," Dave says, pointing at the empty seat next to me. Gemma rolls her brown eyes, sits down, and nibbles at a slice of bread. This is going to be one long meal.
Once tea is over, I disappear back into my room, and click open the internet. Leah Marton wants to FaceChat with you. Accept or Ignore. I click accept, and Leah's small face pops up on the screen. "Heyyyy!" She says waving. She has sandy long hair, and a big nose, with dark eyebrows, and pale brown eyes. I look at my face, which is staring back at me on the screen. I have straight dark brown/black hair, pale, smooth skin and piercing blue eyes. I'm not bad looking, but I'm also not "drop dead gorgeous". She looks excited. "Okay, I was on facebook, right, and then there was this request from John Davidson asking if I wanted to join this virtual website called Palm City. I joined right- and it's amazeballs! Honest, JOIN IT!!!" This is new. I nod and wave goodbye, then search it up. My fingers tap in:
A long list of results licks down the page. I scan the page, then select the first option.
Welcome to Palm City, where virtuality becomes reality! Join in the fun, and hang with friends in the city where anything can happen!
If only I knew then what disasters that city would bring. If only I knew not to join. It was then that it happened. When virtuality really did become reality.