The Collected Accounts of June Bloomer

Across newspapers and television, seventeen year old June Bloomer is being shredded across the country for the cataclysmic events she caused in the quiet town of Johnston's creek. However months after the horror, in that forgettable village, June's only four friends are determined to tell the truth of June from the causalities they received first hand and nothing less.

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21. Entry three:

It’s my fault that ‘The clock is Ticking’ was christened with such a personal name. I didn’t even mean it; but the speaker was in my face and the cold, eye of a camera was reflecting me in my face and I panicked. I slipped out the name O’Clock by mistake, and well, they loved it. They, being the documentary crew that flooded to the Creek for a week. They filled all the vacancies in the motel, filled the café with lenses and obnoxious talk on the citizens, and then left without a trace. We thought we’d seen the last of camera crews for a while; but it turned out, the documentary was a brilliant prequel to what would unfold. It was presented by Delia Dawn, the local-ish personality, with lipstick the same colour as her tango-cherry hair. It is said that Delia Dawn herself might even be one reason – a small reason, but still a reason – that spurred June further into what she did. But enough about Delia for now, because he was really next week’s news and in fairness, I didn’t even hear about it until the next day.

For now, it starts when I was lying in bed on a Friday night, trying to write something without a plot or character or theme or really any spark of an idea that could somehow force words on a page, but the word count was a depressing 3 words, which were by Eleanor Green. I try to write everyday, as part of a happy diet thing I was on at the time. It had little to do with food and more activities during the day, like smiling at strangers and rising early from bed. In truth, all it did was define the purple under my eyes more. I guess now it’s hard to imagine when I had nothing to write about. My curtains were darkened so I could no longer make out the scattered pink flower-print, and ten minutes later I found myself watching repeats of gameshows when my phone vibrated with such shock it nearly toppled of my bedside table. I wrestled past notebooks and jewellery to reach it, before a little message symbol was waiting from me. Her name was written in the contacts, and even digitalized there was a magic to the words she chose like you could imagine her saying them.

To say I had never envied June in my life would be a lie. She was luminous. Gorgeous. Saltwater fresh and honey sweet. It was like she carried everything there was to look forward to outside of Johnson’s Creek and the people and hope you could meet when you made it out and more importantly, she was just real. To have that stamped on, the metaphor or the person, cripples a person. June Bloomer wasn’t just June Bloomer, she was a promise for the greater future. And we lost that too, I guess. Our message conversation went a little like this;

June: Looking for midnight accomplice. J.

Eleanor: filling in for robin tonight, batman gives his regards though. El x

June: Screw Batman. Are you having a cosy night in? Your bedroom light would say so. J.

Eleanor: ….

I jumped out and looked outside the window, but there wasn’t a figure in sight.

She then phoned me, made me tremble and pounce at the ringtone, and explained that if I didn’t kindly get down my righteous butt down the stairs to let her in within ten seconds, that she’d slam the door down herself. I crept down with stairs determined to give me away one obnoxious creek at a time, until at last I undid the locks with examing the blur of June behind the glass. She was dressed in a black dress and tights, with a blue jacket and her signature little daises poking from her pockets. Her lips were coated in purple gloss and her hair was plaited and straight. When I could finally let her in, I stood sheepishly in my candyfloss coloured comfort pyjamas but she looked straight past me and headed up the stairs.

Hi, I lamely managed to blurt out. She didn’t respond and instead examined my room which she found like a lighthouse lit up in the dark house. Then she fell onto the bed, looking up at the swirls in the ceiling of the old house that looked like clouds in the day and nothing in the night. Now, with the little glass-like lamp, it created Van Gogh clouds she followed the curves with her finger. Nice room, she said and I nodded. Ready? She asked. Ready? I asked back. Was she serious? I stared down at my pyjamas once more, and she sat up so rare strands fell into her face and her eyes seemed to be full of the swollen cream-like clouds themselves.

Ten minutes later, I had followed her out. She threw a black jacket at me and I’d pulled on some boots and my rucksack. Where we were going or doing, I had no idea. But that was June for you; she didn’t have time to explain. Only do. In my mind there were a billion little worries, about getting home late tonight if at all, but I pushed them away in the pursuit of being someone different. Someone cooler if not albeit foolish. We had a few streetlamps for help but there wasn’t a sound to guide another sense. For a Friday night, everyone else was already curled up in bed. I felt like we were ghosts, just roaming the empty streets or maybe that it was the town itself that was dead. She knew the road she was taking and stayed two full steps ahead in her walk, never leaving a gap for chat. Her breath showed up like cigarette smoke and she was panting a little from the speed we were going. I dragged behind, wondering the least amount of punishment I could get if my parents woke. Even the thought of an infamous lecture made the cold more appealing, and tumbling into the dark.

She turned in when the silhouette of a door grey old stumbling building came into sight. I knew it well; the black markings of the only church for miles. It had withered with age but was still bursting each week with Christians. I shivered not because of the building, but the moat of gravestones that surrounded it. They were older still, with names you could hardly read and ivy along the tall little monuments to fallen bodies. Some of the people had died from war, others old age, but together they were all here, and all our future despite being their own past. June marched own, so that her hip clacked against the metal gate and she forced herself through. Now I wasn’t so sure what we were doing, but I suppose with the thought of returning home guilty I just followed her.

Despite how aware I was of the air nipping at my skin, and the mysteries of the dark; there was so much I didn’t notice. Like how June choose her location with precise, definite steps, heading in the direction of the most recent gravestones. The path was kept clean for the Sunday goers, but the grass had long since been cut and it rose past my ankles to half way up my calf tickling along the thin coating of my bottoms. June looked half amused and fell from the path, straying deep into the grass and so from afar she looked like the angel gravestones designed to look human. She was still, as though deep in thought, and her smile dropped for a minute as she fell to the ground. I ran after her, almost screaming in fright as though she’d been possessed by a ghost. Besides, we were so close to Aubrie Sommer, little more than six feet. I knew her gravestone, simple and white, beside a couple of intertwined names I didn’t recognise, with stone petals you could feel with your hand. June had fallen between both between them and Aubrie, her face almost translucent in the moonlight.

It’s alright, she laughed eventually, relaxing her neck into the itchy blades. I winced but she grabbed my arm and pulled me down so I was laying beside her. If I closed my eyes, I told myself, it didn’t seem so bad. And when I opened them, the stars were enough to distract me from where I was and how we could possibly just be lying where the dead lay.

 I want to be a part of it, she stated and I held my breath, waiting for her explanation.

Part of what, June? I tilted my head, but she wouldn’t look back at me. Her eyes were deadpan serious, without the mischief that had dragged me down.

The absolution. I don’t want to die, but I want to be part of the dead. You’re just dead, and you just lie with all those who fell before, and every so often there’s the sweetness of flowers and the thud of others treading on your grave. But you can’t feel it, it’s just nothing. Are you religious, Eleanor? Not many people our age are. I suppose I believe in something, but I don’t think I know what it is yet. I think it might be a sample of all religions. If that makes any sense, June said and her words were a little rattling rain against a window through her teeth.

It doesn’t, I replied. Her smile glinted off the moon, small and sweet, like it was trying to fit in with the stars.

Like take Christianity for example I think I believe in hell. I’ve seen it, June said. I was speechless.

I’ve seen hell and it’s not a place like you’d think. It’s a feeling. She let the words sink in until the silence became the communication. Maybe I could have seen it them, that wilderness in her eyes. The pale blue seemed to thick and darken like an oncoming storm yet I couldn’t look away. Instead I watched in fascination at June. I did this many times I know now where June would share snippets of her life – not details, but hints – and almost look for me to find them. But I never searched; I only tried to understand the unfathomable. She wouldn’t go further, but I knew I was the first person she’d shared that with. I couldn’t reach her; I was just tired, and intrigued, and there was nothing but the heavy night to see. That and the many signs for dead people a few metres under.

No matter her fate, when you share that openness with someone, it doesn’t just vanish. And even now, I can still imagine a feebler June that the public don’t see, without a single shell to hide in. I thought she said Michael’s name but when I confronted her about it, she just shook her head. Then I realised that we’d never truly talked without Michael, or at least his presence in the conversation. They weren’t quite one entity yet, but it was clear Michael was thrilled at the prospects. It occurred to me then that was probably the root of the problem, and that the bright intensity of a love like that would make her crave the dark.

She didn’t crave the dark though, she feasted on it. Without her consent, it had become her only home, and the longer she stayed with Michael the more she thirsted for it. He was just too happy; she later said. He was too intent on making her the perfect girl.

Will you run away with me, Eleanor? Without boys, without crap. Just now, June sighed, and it didn’t feel any more real than the supposed ghosts that haunted the yard.

Of course I will, I nodded and nestled down beside her, so I could feel the rise and fall of her ribcage from her side to mine and her hand trying to pull on my hair, as though to stop herself from just floating away. I didn’t know why she loved this place, but I understood it. June didn’t have something solid for a home, the little shack she called a house would never do and tranquillity is always hard to come by. I suppose it should have been a blaring warning symbol, but I just imagined it to be her take on Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Except instead of a shining jewellery shop, it was where they buried dead people. Yeah, I know it was strange, but there was something in her eyes so chillingly bone-numb normal, I wouldn’t have noticed.

Rose's edit: I don’t remember the part when Holly Golightly became a cold-blood killer.

Eleanor's edit on Rose's edit: It’s late. I’m unoriginal.

Rose’s edit on Eleanor’s edit on Rose’s edit: There’s nothing clichéd about you Green, not anymore.

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