Neon Gray

Ripper and Alex. Alex and Ripper. That's the way its always been. Of course, Alex is changing, wanting her own things in life. Ripper however, refuses to move on from their intwined lives and struggles to cope with independence.
Then suddenly, Ripper disappears.
There's rumours he is dead. There's rumours he's addicted to drugs. And then there's the rumour he's just plain vanished.
Alex is heartbroken. She thought she could live without Ripper. Her dad hadn't liked her being so close to a boy and wanted her to get some more girl friends. But then, Alex stumbles upon a sickening discovery.
Ripper has changed in a way which is against every law of normal.


5. Hallucinations? Tell me its a side effect of the pills.


   As I stepped out of the car, cool air brushed against my face, blowing my hair softly. I sighed. I would have gotten out of the hospital earlier if I wasn’t dreaming up reporters. They’d told me that I’d invented Fiona so that I wouldn’t feel so alone about Ripper.

  I’d told them otherwise but had to shut up when they made me watch CCTV of that day and there was no trace of the jumpy reporter.

   “Alex!” The call of my sister was impossible to ignore. I snapped out of my trance and bent down, my arms out. Sammi skipped right into them, giggling. I pulled her close. I took a deep breath of my little sister’s vanilla scent.

   “I missed you,” I told her. She hugged me tighter.

   “Missed you too, Alex.” She pulled back, grinning at me. “You make the best nuggets.”

   I rolled my eyes, smiling. I straightened up, my hand intertwining with hers. My mother got out the car and held my other hand. Helping me in. I huffed outwards. I didn’t need help. I didn’t need to be treated like an invalid. But she apparently thought I did.

   She still wasn’t speaking to me.


   Skin as pure as paper.

   Eyes as bright as lights.

   Hair as silky and dark as the night itself.

   Too far away.

   Too far.


      I woke with a start. The covers were gripped between my fingers, tight and twisted. I released them, my heart pounding. My ears strained to hear what had woke me but I couldn’t find anything. I wiped the back of my hand on my sweaty forehead.

   The buzz of my phone.

   I retrieved it from under my pillow. I tried to stay put to read the message but I couldn’t. My bed was too hot. I scrambled out from under the stuffy duvet and went to sit in my window seat. My laptop blocked my way so I shoved it out the way. The small circular power button flashed and I frowned. I thought I turned it off. I moved the mouse pad. The screen flashed up. My breath caught.

   It was just a news page. Nothing harmful. Except the story that was on my screen was the one about my missing best friend. I hadn’t even been looking on a news page. Scowling, I pressed the power button as hard as I could, switching it off. Then, I threw my laptop onto my bed. It was just my luck that it scraped the wall. Patches of the purple paint fluttered down onto my bed. I held my breath. True, my brother’s room was next to mine, not my mum’s but she had hawk ears. Once it had been five minutes and there had been no yelling, I read the message on my phone.

   Once more, it was from unknown. I sighed. Why was Vodafone so interested in my life right now?

   But when I read the message, I knew it wasn’t from a mobile network. First of all, it had nothing to do with any bargain deals or trying to sell me something. Second of all, my name was on it.

Alex, phone this number back. Please. I need to know you’re safe. Please. I need to know. R x

   I kept staring at the one letter at the end. R. It...couldn’t be Ripper...could it? My heart missed a beat, thumping in my chest unevenly.

   Then, that smidgen of hope that had begun to grow in my mind got squashed.

   My father. His name was Ray. It would just be him, phoning from the oil rig. He might have got a new phone. One tear managed to escape my lid. I gripped my phone tight. I wasn’t going to cry. Rip left me. He left without even a goodbye, or telling me where he was headed.

   Without thinking, I pressed the CALL button beside the contact.

   I held the mobile up to my ear and stared out of the window as it rang. My fingers tapped against my knee in an uneven tune. Rain began to sputter against the window, the sound comforting. I watched the droplets of water slide down the pane.


   The voice was rough and deep. I sat up straight. This was not my father.

   I held the phone with two hands. “Ripper?”

   There was a pause. “No.”

   My back slumped against the raw wood of the window seat. “Then who the hell are you to call at this stupid hour?” My words came out in nothing less than a growl.


   “Am I supposed to believe that?”

   “Yes—it would be more helpful if you did.” Another pause. “He wants to speak with you.”

   The words stuck in my throat. I coughed them up. “When? Where? When?”

   “Now. He says he will meet you at The Special Place. Does that mean anything to you?”

   Keep breathing, I told myself. “Yup.”

   “Ten minutes, he says. He can’t wait around.”

   I scowled. Who was this guy to order me around?

   “Well,” I snapped. “Tell him that he can wait around if I’m concerned. Tell him that he keeps his fat ass on the ground until I’m there.”

   There was a burst of laughter, not from the guy because he kept talking. My heart squeezed.

   “Okay. He’ll be there.” He said just as the other person said. “So stubborn. Like usual.”

   A beep told me that the call was over. I froze. Why did I say yes? It’s the middle of the god damn night. My mum would catch me.

   You said yes because it’s Ripper, A small voice told me. I secretly agreed with it.

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