Phoenix

Peter, an average fifteen-year-old boy, must choose between life and death when he is hit by a runaway car outside his house. When he wakes up in hospital as a ghostly form of himself, he must use what little information he is given by a Raven-haired teen to make his choice. Between sinister plots, a mysterious Werecat and not knowing who he can trust, he soon learns that choosing to live, may end up killing him.

This is the first of my Journals, detailing the last few years and all their events. This particular journal is more a collective of Peter's experiences, his coming of age you could say. Though I'm obviously not Peter, I'll try to convey his thoughts as best as I can. I hope that you will read, enjoy, and understand. Understand that the world is never as it appears.

All the best,

Aegean Brahyeux White-Fang

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2. Chapter One

132 Avery’s Lane—March 23rd The sunlight was warm against my skin as it cascaded down in ribbons of light, casting shadows over the meadow. Clouds of all shapes and sizes flew by at a leisurely pace, spurred on by the gentle breeze. I could stay here forever. Just disappear and become one with the wind and go wherever I please. I had done it before in my dreams. I would be lifted and pushed about, not a care in the world. Just going where the wind lead. Nothing could keep me down. Nothing except the recognisably high pitched squeal of my alarm. Colin Radley, the radio host of the 107.3HFM morning show found his way into my dream. Still blurry with sleep and trapped in the bed sheets that I had obviously rolled around in during my dreams, I attempted to reach for my alarm to hit the snooze button. Normally I wouldn’t have a problem hitting snooze, this time was different. This time instead of my hand meeting the cold plastic of the clock in a satisfying thump, it met nothing but the cold morning air. This would have surprised me had the tittering laughter by my door not given away the secret to the missing clock. “Sarah!” I rasped, too tired to make a clean sound. “Seriously how many times have I told you to not go into my room?” Through my watery eyes, her small figure stood doubled over by the doorway, cackling like a witch while clutching the clock in her arms. I’m sure if you have had a younger sister you would know what it’s like. She walks uninvited into your room and takes your stuff without asking, bothers you when you want to watch cartoons on TV, steals any food that you’ve placed in a container with your name on it; especially if it’s cake or anything sweet, and then brings home all her girly friends who whisper behind your back and talk loudly about what boy held who’s hand and things like ‘Isn’t Jason just the cutest’; often followed by giggles. Girls are just way too annoying. Jason, by the way, is my best friend and accomplice in all things prank-wise. We met in year five and have been friends ever since, hanging out and pulling pranks on each other’s sister. Like last week, we soaked his sister’s toothbrush in vinegar. We took a video of course. When she finally figured out, brush hanging halfway in her mouth as she poised in a slow-motion scream, we had gotten in a lot of trouble and a harsh scolding from our parents. It was totally worth it. If this Sarah’s way of getting us back for her friend, it was lousy as far as revenges go; and I’ve been through a few in my lifetime. “Ha ha stupid sleepy head, good morning!” Her chirpy laughter was beginning to hurt my ears; I hope she hurries up and does whatever pitiful excuse of a revenge she has so I can go back to sleep. She didn’t stop. She continued chanting as she skipped down the hallway. “Peter Peter stupid head, got him up and out of bed!” “So what”, I called back to her, feeling a sly grin cross my face. “It means I have at least one more hours’ worth of pranks to pull on you.” The chanting stopped. I could hear her heavy footsteps crossing back towards my room. “MUM! Peter’s being mean, he says he’s going to pull pranks on me all day!” “I never said that you little snitch!” When I get my hands on her she won’t know what hit her. If there was one good thing about being woken up this early, it was being able to spend a whole day coming up with the best revenge imaginable. I wonder if I could find a frog in the backyard to put in her cereal box tomorrow, she hates frogs. Well, anything that looks slimy pretty much. I don’t exactly love them either but when it comes to revenge, I think I can manage. Light laughter echoed down the hallway as mum, dressed in her black business suit and silver earrings, picked up her coat from the closet close to my room. “Now you two do we have to start this so early in the morning?” “Mum she took my clock and woke me up, can you ground her or something?” She paused to let out a long sigh while giving me the look. You know, that look that every mother gives that says ‘you behave and be nice to your sister’. I hate that look. “Well, it’s good to see you up early for once.” A small smile crossed her face as she continued down the hall calling. “Does your hair always look that bad in the morning? Now get dressed and have some breakfast I need to talk to you both before I go to work.” Well since I was up I might as well make the most of the day. Luckily Sarah had left my phone intact so I could call Jason. Jason picked up after a minute or so. “Whoever you are, do you know what time it is?” As you could tell, Jason much like me or any boy of our age had been fast asleep when I called. If my mum thought it was hard to get me up in the morning she would probably give up if she had to wake him up, that guy could sleep through World War Three if he wanted to. “It’s Peter, you want to come over to my place for the day?” His groaning lessened but he still didn’t seem amused at the thought of getting up. “Like seriously, do you have a clock? When the big hands on the twelve and the little hand is on the six, that means it’s--” “Yeah I know what that means Jason, I can tell the time. And by the way, I have a digital clock. well, I used to until my sister decided she would run away with it” “Sisters huh, what are they good for?" There was some mumbling and groaning on his end before a dejected sigh. "Alright, I can get up but you better have that PlayStation set up on the big TV or I’m not going to be happy.” He hung up with a groan. Jason may have liked to sleep a lot but he would usually get up without a fuss for me. Like I said, we were best friends, I would do anything for him and he would do anything for me. I finally made it out of bed and to the kitchen, having just thrown on whatever passed the sniff test. I only bothered for a second to roughly run my hand through my hair so it stuck up at the front. It wasn’t exactly how I would look if any of mum’s friends were coming over or if we were going out, but it was better than what I did look like first thing in the morning. Sarah was still clutching my clock when I entered the kitchen. Mum was busy putting away the cutlery and dishes from the dishwasher. She turned around to scowl at me for my appearance but then smiled kindly as she handed me a plate of toast with jam on the side as she did every morning no matter what time I got out of bed. “Did I hear you on the phone, is Jason coming over today?” I nodded, crunching slices of toast dipped in jam, much to my sister's disgust and my delight. “That’s good. I need at least one responsible person in this house.” I looked at her with mock outrage as she laughed. “I am insulted that you wouldn’t think I’m responsible, I am fifteen after all.” “And that’s what worries me, Peter, you are fifteen. Still a boy who fights with his sister.” She pinched my cheeks like a grandmother and laughed. “well so is Jason mum”, I protested. “I’m just kidding honey. I’m sure you are responsible when you want to be.” Avoiding my glare, she continued. “I have to go to work today and will be a little longer than usual. I know it’s Saturday but I’ve been called in for a big case and I can’t get Alice to come in because she’s on holiday”. “Mum I’ve told you before, I’m old enough to not need a babysitter.” Despite my various complaints, she insisted that whenever she needed to go out and leave us at home we had to have someone there to look after us. I tried to justify in my mind that the babysitter was for Sarah and not me. It’s not like we had any relatives close to where we lived, so it was the only option. She was cool. Last time she came she brought a new game that had just come out and said I could play it if I didn’t bother Sarah. “Now don’t go on about this again Alice is a nice girl who’s been kind enough to come in whenever we need her. She’s on holiday so it’s time for you to prove how mature you really are ok?” “You mean we don’t have to have a babysitter?” Finally, today was looking better and better. “If you and your sister swear to a truce until I get back.” Clearly Jess didn’t like the idea of being looked after by me and I didn’t like it much either, but when mum asked as to do something we did it so we both nodded cautiously. “Thank you. Now, I’m off, wish me luck.” We both did and watched her car down the driveway and around the corner. She stopped for a second to quickly talk to Jason who just walked into view. With a nod, she continued and Jason climbed the steps to the front door. “I hear you’re on a truce.” It was a bashful comment but I could see a smile forming on his face. “Suppose that doesn’t apply to me now, does it? How about I play referee if needed?” “That’s probably a good idea, she woke me up then took my alarm this morning so we’re not exactly on good terms.” He smiled and took off his shoes, vintage-style black converse. Well, when I say vintage I mean they had been worn so often you would think that he found them in a graveyard. “So I heard.” He turned to Sarah. “Nice one!” They high-fived. “Hey, I thought you were on my side?” I knew there was a reason for that off-handed look. “Sorry, referee remember? Your mum’s orders.” I can’t believe she was serious when she said that having Jason around would mean there would be someone responsible. Even still, I can’t believe she would think that I would break my word and the truce with my sister. Sometimes I’m pulled between being annoyed and amazed at my mum’s ability to judge what I’m going to do before I do it. Next time then, after the truce is over. Jason unpacked his backpack, taking out a plastic bag of games. He also took out what looked like a doll wrapped in pink cellophane with a note clumsily attached to it. “My sister asked me to give this to you, said you wanted it or something like that. Honestly, I don’t know why girls these days play around with those sorts of dolls when they could be hanging out with actual people.” “Facebook isn’t real people Jason”, I said smugly. “Touché shorty.” I hate it when he calls me that. Just because we can’t all be as tall as NBA players. Sarah had finally managed to free the doll from its cage of cellophane and enough sticky tape to piece together a small house. Inside was a boy doll wearing khaki shorts and a blue polo top which didn’t button up until halfway down its’ chest. Seriously those doll makers should rethink who they’re selling these to. “I’m going to name him…” She looked around as if trying to find a name in thin air before her eyes rested on the gift-bearer. “Jason.” She giggled, swinging the doll in her arms. Jason didn’t exactly look thrilled with the idea. “I’m not sure whether to be flattered or entirely creeped out.” My money is on being creeped out. But that’s just me. “Why don’t you go play with…that while I keep your brother busy so he doesn’t annoy you?” I was about to protest thought better of it. “Thanks, Jay!” She continued giggling as she skipped down the hall to her own room, talking to herself or the doll; I couldn’t exactly tell. “Thanks, Jay!” I mimicked. “Why don’t you come play with me as well, we could play family?” His face contorted into disgust. “Why does she always call me Jay? Does she like me or something?” “Yuck! She’s probably just trying to be like all those girls at school, always hanging around the older boys.” “Well you never know; how do you know she’s not my type?” “Jason, you wouldn’t know your type if it was tattooed on your wrist.” He inspected his wrist closely. “And I suppose the great Peter Baker knows his type oh yes!” “Of course I do. Girls are my type. Doesn’t matter what type of girls, just girls in general.” “Well, some people just don’t think about girls all the time Peter.” Jason looked a little weird like he was uncomfortable or as if someone had just pinched him. “Anyway, I thought I told you the conditions of me getting up? I don’t see a PlayStation set up anywhere “Sorry, forgot. I’ll set it up now. Mum’s not home till much later so we’ve got a whole day of nothing, just the way I like it.” I set up the PlayStation on the big TV in the living room while Jason sifted through games to pick the first one he wanted to play. “I suppose then you forgot the homework Mr Morgan gave us? Remember? The chapter to read for English.” I had remembered, but I had all of tomorrow to finish it off before Monday’s lesson. “No I remembered, just haven’t done it yet. What was the chapter again?”. Jason was one of those people that did his homework the moment it was given and got good marks for it too. I usually got good marks but if there was a chance of slacking off I preferred doing that. After all, six hours a day during the week is enough, let alone needing to do school work outside of school in my own time. I’d rather be reading, hanging out with Jason or playing games. “It’s the first chapter of Wind in the Willows. We need to read it and comment on the use of anthropomorphism. I’ll summarise the chapter for you but you have to answer the questions yourself.” “Yeah okay, thanks.”
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