The Edge of the Earth

Mallory's world is thrown out or control when her mother seemingly leaves her father in the night. Though her father seems unchanged by the absence of his wife, he moves the both of them to a new town.

In addition to coping with her mother's leaving, Mallory has to learn to live in a new place while going to a brand new school with a brand new set of people. Nevermind that she seems to have been targeted the attention of the local conspiracy theorist.

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1. 1.

 Looking out the small window gave me a bad feeling. Two days we had lived here and already Dad was acting like we never lived anywhere else. Already he had unpacked everything we brought with us, aside from my things in my bedroom. I hadn't even touched the six boxes piled in the corner. I didn't want to settle here. I wanted to go home to the place where my mother used to be. The thought of my childhood home sitting at the top of our street, dark and empty, tore a whole in my chest. Picture some other family living there didn't much help either. 

 Dad appeared in my doorway and he looked at me like he'd never seen anything like me before. I waited for him to speak, but after a while, I gave up. I went back to staring out the window into our tiny excuse for a front yard. It was just barely big enough to have a flower garden before about ten feet of yellowing grass. Mom used to say that you could tell a lot about a person by their front yard. 

"Maybe you could go to that thrift shop we saw on the way in for some clothes," Dad said, breaking the silence he had held for three days. 

"You mean since you made me leave all of my clothes behind?" I found myself grumbling. I don't know why I bothered. He only ignored me. That was the only normal thing he'd been doing since Mom left. 

"You could get something to eat while you're out." He said grabbing a box from the top of my pile. He opened it up and looked through the contents like he'd find something of his inside.

"I don't have any money." I rolled my eyes at him and put the box back in the corner. He wasn't going to unpack my things for me.

He reached into his pocket and handed me a wad of money. He didn't bother to count it. A week ago, this would seem odd. Dad never had crumpled up bills loose in his pocket. You'd never catch him giving me, or anyone, a random amount of money without knowing exactly how much it was either. 

I took it anyway and shoved it into the pocket of my hoodie. I had been thinking about wandering around town, but the thought of running into someone I didn't know made me nervous. 

"What will you eat?" I asked, even though I didn't really care. He only shrugged before he left me alone again. I watched him disappear into the dark hallway and wondered if he'd ever get back to normal. 

The town we moved to was tiny. The center of town was called Main Street, and it was where everything was located. Shops, restaurants, the fire station, the police station, and the Mayor's office were all on one side of the street. On the other side of the street was where the elementary school, the middle school, and the high school were located. Neighborhoods and old houses seemed to be built around this street. Nothing seemed to be more than a ten-minute walk to the center of town. 

The thrift shop wasn't difficult to locate. It was cleverly called 'Thrift Shop' and it was smashed right between 'Bobbie's Pizzaria' and 'Main Street Cinema'. It was the smallest shop on the street. The sign by the entrance said there was a 50% off sale on everything inside. I figured this was a good thing and went inside. 

The bell jingled as the door closed behind me and I started to look around. There was music playing through a speaker in the back corner, and I found myself bopping along to it as I looked through the racks of blue jeans and sweaters. Everything seemed to be pretty cheap. I'd get a good bundle of clothes for the wad of cash my Dad gave me. 

As I piled my arms high with used clothes, I started to wonder if anyone was even in here. I looked around for someone as I came across the shoe section. The thing about thrift shops is they never have more than one of anything, and there was a chance that if you actually found something you liked, it might not be your size. I had wide hips, thick thighs, and big feet. Thrift stores were not usually my friend. But today I found a pair of floral sneakers.

"Those are cute. Size 10 though, so they'd never fit my size 7 feet in a million years." I spun around quickly as this girl laughed at me. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you."

"No, it's okay," I said waving my hand. I looked back to the shoes and wondered if I wanted them. I didn't have a lot of shoes anymore. Just the ones I was wearing, which were old and worn out. "Um, so the sign says 50% off everything. Is that off the tag price?" 

"Oh yeah, so these shoes are actually...." She turned the tag over and shrugged, "$3 instead of $6. It's your lucky day." 

I decided to get the shoes along with a pair of boots I hoped weren't too small. I was led to the register by this girl and she shoved everything I had picked up into a huge plastic bag. Everything came out to be half of the money Dad had handed me. I still had enough to get something to eat, only I didn't feel too hungry. 

"So what else can I get with the rest of this?" I asked tossing the money on the counter. The girl grinned and snatched it all up. 

"Follow me." She walked toward the back of the shop and held out her arms, gesturing to a wall of record sleeves and bins of vinyl. There was a bin of CDs and Cassettes along side a couple walkmans and a record player with chipped red paint. "With the money you have left, you can get about ten records, CDs, or tapes, and a player if you don't already have one." I spent some time looking through the stacks of records just to kill some time. I wasn't going to buy any, but I didn't feel like going home yet. 

I went back to the counter and got everything I'd already bought. I knew the walk home wouldn't take long, so I tried to walk slow. It still only took me twenty minutes to get home. My only hope was that Dad was hiding in his room and too busy to notice me coming home. 

He was in the kitchen, and he didn't look at me once as I walked by him. 

In my room, I dropped the bag of clothes by my closet and flopped onto the bed in the corner. I stayed that way until Dad seemed to realize I'd come home. He came and stood in the doorway looking serious like he had something important to say. I only looked at him and waited. 

"You're starting at the high school tomorrow." He said like he was reminding me. He'd never mentioned it before now and I couldn't hide the shock that spread across my face. "Don't try to argue, it won't change my mind. Your mom's not here to teach you and I can't do it." 

I let out a massive groan and flopped back into the mattress. I closed my eyes and wondered how my life had come to this. 

"Unpack some, Mal," Dad sighed, "It'll help." 

I wasn't sure what it would help, but I wasn't going to do it anyway. Instead, I plugged in my alarm clock and put sheets on my bed. I might as well get some sleep if I was going to be attending the public high school tomorrow. But that was easier said than done. Sleeping in a new place was hard for me, even though we had been here for two days.  I hadn't slept at all. I'd spent all my time thinking about why my mother decided we weren't good enough to stick around for suddenly. I thought about how everything I owned was still inside that house we used to live in. I thought about how my father didn't bother to ask me if I wanted to move to some Mayberry town for no reason at all. 

I eventually fell asleep. I don't know what time it was. I didn't even remember falling asleep. I just remembered waking up to the blaring of my alarm clock at 5:30.

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