Keep Calm and Disillusion

Wondering why the world didn't end in 2012? Well it did. You just don't of know it. I
f you're reading this now, it means we've saved humanity.
Or at least you.
So who are we? We're just a couple of average Australians, hoping to save the world and win a normal future. But not just hoping - no,we're fighting.
Because in a world where rejecting reality can enslave you to invaders, we refuse to dream.

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1. Prologue and Chapter One

Keep Calm and Disillusion

By Stephanie Hood

 

 

 

Part One:

Maryette and Jacob

&

The Beginning of the End

 

 

Prologue: Yeti Foreshadows Too Much

I refuse to start this. And don’t give me the whole ‘ladies first’ business. I refuse.

                What do you mean, I just did? Just because I’m holding a pen doesn’t…. you’re filming this? Why didn’t you tell me you had a camera; and what do I have a pen for!?

                To write things as I speak. Brilliant.

                The pen’s empty anyway, so I guess we’re stuck with visual media. Happy now? Go on, you start it.

                No, Jakey, let me make one thing perfectly clear: I am not starting this story. You can go back and delete this all if you want, but I’m not starting it. How do you expect me to explain anything? Besides, you’re the leader of the group; it makes way more sense….

                True. That is true. I’d rather it wasn’t, but I guess it is. Okay, fine, how about we do this together? I’ll do one section, you can do another.

                But I’m still not starting. I mean, seriously, how do you expect me to explain the alien/matrix apocalypse that never happened? I don’t even know what to call it!

                Count me out.

 

 

Chapter One: JD’s Pitiful Introduction

I’m allowing little miss Yeti to win that little battle, simply because I know she really will muck up the whole introduction to this story. And, speaking of which, I suppose a couple of introductions would be good.

                I feel like I’m always making introductions. Half the time people don’t know who I am, even if I’ve known them for years. But they know which family I’m from, so they know my last name. My elder brother too. And they know my face. Just not me. Which, I can guarantee, you will by the end of this book… film… YouTube video. Whatever this is.

                So me – yay me, ha ha, (Yeti hates that) - Jacob Darcy, let’s skip the ‘Mr. Darcy’ jokes and cut to the chase. I take you back to the year 2012, when I was just 16 years old, and everyone still expected the world to end. I take you back to the beginning of what was going to be the longest summer camp of my life.

                Yeti, stop laughing, I’m trying to concentrate. It wasn’t even that funny.

                Right, okay. Composure is hard to gain. Especially when you’re pretty much drunk with happiness like we are.

                But we weren’t happy like that at the start of camp.

                ‘The bathrooms aren’t even attached to the cabins.’ My sullen seventeen year old brother Westley said… sullenly. (Hey, if you wanted good vocab, you should have done this. Or given me a word processor).

                Let me give you a brief run down on Westley, cos if I jump straight to my next brother you’re going to get them all confused. So Westley, right, seventeen, and he’s… tall. Sullen. Hardly ever happy, or at least completely happy. There’s always something wrong in Westley’s world. Usually annoying people and gleaning pleasure from their discontentment. Which is why he grinned when Isaac’s face fell.

                ‘Where are all the trees?’ My 18-year-old brother Isaac (the one everyone knows) said. ‘There’s no shade whatsoever!’

                ‘Apart from the buildings.’ Our youngest brother, aged 15, added.

                18 year old, popular Isaac rolled his eyes, but he was amused. ‘Yes, thank you, Thomas. You really needed to point that out.’

                ‘Just doing my job.’

                Isaac and Thomas – two very different people. Both very amusing.  But I suppose I should stop pondering that and get back to the story. (Yes, yes, Yeti, well at least I’m telling the story. Stop snickering or I’ll start calling you Mary).

We walked into our cabin and shuddered immediately. The camp had been overpriced, so there were ants everywhere, a couple of huntsman spiders, and a smashed window at the end of the room.

                ‘This is tiny.’ Isaac said, beginning to lose his cheer. ‘I don’t think we’ll fit on those beds.’

                ‘Nonsense, Beanstalk.’ Westley replied, perking up a little, as he always does when someone else begins to die inside. ‘We’ll fit. Only you won’t.’

                Isaac glanced down at his feet as if wondering how much leg to remove before bed each night. His consensus must have been a lot, for he didn’t look too pleased when he eyed me next.

                ‘Worst summer camp ever.’ I said in agreement with what he had not yet said. ‘Don’t know why they picked this place. Usually do so much better.’

                ‘And they put us all in together.’ Thomas piped up. ‘That’s pretty shocking. I mean, who puts brothers in the same cabin? I want to be with my friends.’

                ‘Oh wait,’ Westley interrupted, and I called out Isaac’s name so he wouldn’t hear what came next. ‘We don’t have any friends.’

                Then I sighed in relief, because Isaac hadn’t heard. I hated it when he rubbed our faces in how many friends he had when we said we had none.

                ‘I’m pretty sure we will this year.’ Thomas said optimistically, making Isaac wonder what he was talking about. ‘Remember those people we met?’

                ‘The Evans?’ Westley returned, but he was blushing, so I knew he was thinking about the Hughs.

                ‘Yeah, the Hughs.’ Thomas teased, obviously picking up on Westley’s extra redness. Between the heat and the embarrassment, he was as red as a tomato.

                Isaac still didn’t know what we were talking about, but he did know who we were talking about. Grinning evilly he said, ‘I’ll have to meet these Hughs…’

                ‘They’re South African.’ Thomas said, but I was distracted by my older brother.

                ‘No!’ Westley cried, and I wished he’d just stayed quiet. That has got to be the worst way of claiming not to like somebody ever.

                Isaac only raised his eyebrows teasingly before leaving his cabin to go and find his friends.

                After a long pause, Thomas sighed.

                ‘So, brothers, a week of this, or shall we up and look for friends?’

                ‘Let’s look for friends.’ I answered. ‘The Evans are pretty friendly, if they’re here we should be fine.’

                ‘The Hughs are nice too.’ Westley put in, but we ignored him.

                We made our way to the main building, trying not to get burnt in the hot Australian sun, all the while keeping our eyes open for the Evans. Or, in Westley’s case, the Hughs.

                As Westley busily scanned the crowd trying to find his supposed ‘not crush’, I was busy taking in my surroundings and figuring out where the bathrooms were in relation to the cabins; trying to plot the shortest route there in my mind (which was useless, seeing as they were in the middle of the circle of cabins). I also made a mental note of where the girls’ cabins were, not because I cared about their occupants, but because I didn’t want to accidentally walk into them. That sort of behaviour could get you kicked off camp. But I wasn’t too worried about doing such a dumb thing, cos they were obviously separate from the boys’ cabins.

                ‘Darcy’s!’ A shrill voice cried, and I think I jumped about three inches. Turning around, I saw Justin Hughs. He forced me to stop observing the campsite, and instead observe him, jumping up and down like a madman.

So, Justin, I hear you ask. What’s he like? 13, small, arguably cute. Not in my opinion, but he is funny. Big hazel eyes, short brown hair… lots of freckles that dance across his face and seem to move. Probably because he never stops.

                ‘Hughs!’ Thomas cried, feigning excitement, whereas Westley only smiled, feigning disinterest.

                ‘Hey.’ Another, more melodious voice greeted us, and I smirked at the odd smile that came over my brother’s face (and you should be able to guess which one). This was 15 year old Nikki Hughs, who I’d never really warmed to. I figured Westley made up for me.

                ‘Hey, Nikki.’ I greeted her, followed closely by Thomas. Westley said hey too, but she either didn’t hear him or acknowledge him. That wiped a little of the grin off his face, not that it made me happy.

                ‘Westley says hi too.’ I said jokingly.

                ‘Hey.’ She said, glancing quickly up at him. He perked up again.

                I don’t like describing girls, so I’m going to leave that job up to Yeti. And – uh – she can describe me, he he he.

                I’m not describing you for the life of me, and if you won’t do me, then I guess the viewer will just have to watch my face very closely. And if this is in book form, then they’ll all know it was your fault, Mary. They’ll all know….

                Fine, I’ll do it later.

I’ll admit that I was studying Nikki’s face, but I couldn’t be bothered watching Westley’s interaction with her, so I went off to find the Evans. I much preferred the Evans, primarily because I knew them better – or didn’t see them so often. Maybe both.

                Actually, I probably shouldn’t have said that. The Evans family consists of two girls…

                Wow, that’s awkward.

                ‘Jacob!’ Came a sweet voice, and I knew my mission had been successful. Smiling back at the bubbly 13 year old I replied as eagerly as I dared.

                ‘Madeleine!’

                She threw her arms around me, and I tried not to let it throw me out this time, because it always did, which doesn’t even make sense. I think I did an all right job though, because I managed to touch her instead of completely recoiling.

                ‘Mr. Darcy.’ Another voice came, and I beamed instantly.

                ‘Maryette!’

                Probably the only person who could get away with calling me Mr. Darcy, and only recently at that.

                Maryette never hugged me, though I wasn’t entirely sure if I wanted her to or not. So instead we always settled for the somewhat stupid grin at one another, as we stood wondering whether or not to shake hands or something.

                She gave me a fist smash, so she must have felt excited at the prospect of the week long camp.

                ‘Don’t be too excited.’ I said, my eyes glinting playfully, despite the fact that I was about to dash all her hopes cruelly. ‘This place is awful.’

                ‘Oh well.’ She replied, with an air that told me she’d already noticed. ‘At least we can suffer with some cool people.’

                As I laughed, she walked off to say hi to some other folks.

                There were more campers to say hi to of course, because – even when you’re friendless; in fact, especially when you’re friendless – you have to say hi to people you recognise. Otherwise you run the risk of making yourself look friendless too, and that’s just dumb. But when it comes down to it, you always end up with the same group of friends, so our small dinner table was pretty crowded.

                Keep in mind that no-one ever asks to sit at our table. When they do, it’s kind of shocking. In fact, I still get a little shocked each time one of the Evans or the Hughs ask to sit with my brothers. That’s why I looked up instantly when I heard the shocking question: ‘can I sit here too?’

                I was surprised there wasn’t a collective gasp, but, rather, a couple of groans. I understood why as soon as I saw Isaac.

                ‘Go away.’ Westley mumbled, trying to be subtle. But Isaac just ignored him.

                ‘Bean!’ Maddy cried, having picked up the nickname from her sister, who had picked it off a sci-fi book that only a couple of us had read. She liked to argue it was simply a shortening of the nickname we’d already given him (Beanstalk), but we knew better.

                ‘Hello.’ Isaac replied, sitting down. Then he frowned. ‘I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten your name.’ Then another frown. ‘Actually, I don’t think I ever knew your name.’

                ‘I’m Maddy.’ The girl replied, completely unfased by the fact that Isaac hadn’t even noticed she was alive until five seconds ago.

                Maryette chuckled at her sister’s cluelessness, and Isaac turned welcomingly to her.

                ‘How’s it going, Mary?’

                Mary winced at that name – she hated it, though she’d only ever told a few special people - like me – and smiled back at my brother.

                ‘Good thanks. How’s it going with you?’

                ‘Up, of course.’ Westley muttered, his eyes lighting up in spite of himself. ‘He’s always going up.’

                ‘I’ve stopped growing.’ Isaac replied, but we all knew he was lying.

                We continued as normal, which I guess was a little awkward for Yeti. See, the thing is, because most of us loathe his very presence, she pretty much always ends up having to talk to Bean. They get along swimmingly – it just looks bad – and even though none of us do anything about it, we really do feel kind of sorry for her. Or annoyed at Bean. We don’t really like it when he talks to her.

                Not that I don’t like my brother. No, the brother I don’t like is Westley…and what happened next on that camp gave me reason to loathe him all the more.

                But I’ll leave that exciting tale to Yeti. 

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