posted on 18-Jul-2002 7:02:10 PM by keep the faith
Author: Keep the Faith
Rated: Pg 13 most likely
Disclaimer: Same old, same old..I own nothing...just one screwey imagination and too much free time.
Summary: Really I don't know where I'm going with this, I guess you'll have to read it to find out.

Ready Or Not

Prologue

I have always thought of my life as some twisted game of hide-and-seek. I hide my past while they desperately seek out the secret I don't want anyone to know. 1...2...3...4... I never stay in one place very long. That's the secret of my survival -- give 'em a moving target, never let 'em corner you in one spot. 5...6...7...8... They run fast, but I run faster, one step ahead of them in everything. Maybe someday I'll find that elusive safe haven that they call "home free", but for now I'm on the move. Home... I wonder what it would be like to have a real home. 9...10...They're getting closer. I'm scared, but I can't take the time to look behind me to see how close they really are. They haven't caught me yet, and they never will if I can help it. I'll be super careful from now on, trust no one, make no friends, and keep my skin in one piece. They'll never get their paws on me again. Ready or not...Here we come! Come on then, I'm ready. You'll find I don't give in easy. Operation "Plain Sight" has commenced. Where I'm going, you'll never find me.
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As I stepped off of the bus, the first thing I noticed was the heat. It hit me like a blast out of a furnace. My body is not used to 100-degree weather. The second thing I noticed was all of the alien stuff crowded into that little town. Restaurants, museums, heck, even the signposts had the little green men on them, all staring blankly out of those weird black eyes. This place gives me the creeps, but ironically it makes me smile too. If only they knew...
I realized that I was just standing on the street corner with my mouth hanging open and all of these people were giving me weird looks. "Great," I thought to myself, "First few minutes in this place and already I look like a moron." I closed my mouth, took a firmer grip on my suitcase, and started determinedly across the street -- right in front of a car. Oh goody, this day keeps getting better and better all the time. Blushing profusely and calling back an apology, I hurried the rest of the way across the road.
The guy at the hotel desk was kind of rude, and he looked like he had just waked up in an alley somewhere. Nice friendly people in this town. I don't think I'm going to like it here. I don't think I'm going to like it at all.

Chapter 1

The time passes slowly in this place. I’ve lived here for a month now, and nothing exciting or even interesting has happened yet. I bought a cottage last week. It’s small, but I live alone, so it suits me just fine. I stay here in my own little house and everyone else stays out. I don’t talk to them and they don’t talk to me. I get lonely sometimes, but it is safer this way. Until my new persona is firmly in place, I’m going nowhere…Oh that reminds me, I should call Donny and see if my papers are finished yet. I’ll need them if I want to get a job, and I’m already getting low on cash. You’ll have to excuse me for a moment, this shouldn’t take long.

****
Donny said that FedEx sent off my papers this morning, so I should have them by tomorrow. I’ll need to buy a newspaper too, and check the want ads for some sort of job. I’ll probably end up stocking shelves at a 7-Eleven somewhere. There doesn’t really seem to be a lot to pick from in the way of work, but I’ll find something. I’ll sweep the streets if I have to, just as long as I make enough money to get by. This is my home now and I won’t be forced to leave because I’m too picky to work here…Oh yes, I also have to destroy my old papers. I can’t be carrying two sets of ID around with me. It is time for Tess Harding to cease to exist. I’m Elizabeth Parker now. Elizabeth…Beth? No…Liz? Yes, yes I like Liz. Hmm…I wonder what kind of person Liz Parker is? I guess I’ll find out.
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Next day:

I didn’t get much sleep last night. I’m excited about going out into the public again, but also scared that they’ll find me somehow. I’ve been careful, I’ve covered my tracks, but they are persistent as bloodhounds on a scent. I’m getting really good at watching my back. Okay... deep breath…I can do this.
The wind brushes against my cheeks and blows my hair as I walk down the street. The sun is already hot and it is only 9:00am. It’s going to be a scorcher. I can feel eyes on me as I walk. I hate that feeling- it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. A shiver runs down my spine. Lost in careful thought, I arrive at the street corner paper box sooner than I expected. I reach into my pocket for a quarter. Someone bumps into me from behind and I drop the coin. It does a little jingling dance on the cement sidewalk before tumbling onto its side. Heads. I pick up the coin, pop it in the slot on the box and grab a paper. The front-page article is all about some “UFO” that a farmer saw last night. I grin. Roswell New Mexico, the alien capitol of the world, you gotta love it.
I tuck the paper under my arm and turn to leave, running smack into a broad, black T-shirted chest. Black Shirt grabs my arms to keep me from falling. He smells really good. I blush and peek up at his face. I can tell that he is trying not to laugh, which makes me blush harder. He chuckles, it is a warm, friendly sound that tickles and makes me want to laugh too. Finally I give in and before long we are standing on the street corner laughing like a pair of fools. People are giving us looks, but I’m too busy admiring the way his eyes sparkle when he laughs to really care. Back under control again, he smiles at me and sticks out a tanned hand. “I’m Max, it was a pleasure to meet you.” I take his hand, trying not to notice the tingle that runs up my fingers. “L-Liz,” I manage to stutter out, “It was nice to meet you too.” He smiles at me again and bends to pick up a paper before continuing down the sidewalk. I can’t help but notice that he is just as good looking from the back. Smiling at my own foolishness, I return home, careful not to run anyone else down on the way.
***
I have the job search section open on the table in front of me, but I can’t seem to focus on the task at hand. I can’t help but remember the way Max’s eyes sparkled down into mine. I have a nagging feeling that I know him somehow. He seems remarkably familiar. Okay Liz, focus here, jobs remember? After about an hour, I have a list of things that seem promising. There are a couple that may not work, but it’s worth a try. I better get a move on. Wish me luck.

***
Okay! First place I tried and I got a job! I am now the newest waitress at this wacky little restaurant. This place is hokey. It’s called the Crashdown. Yeah, It’s as bad as it sounds. Anyway, the food’s good, but you wouldn’t know that to hear the names of the stuff they serve. Saturn Rings, Galaxy subs, Will Smith burgers, this place is nuts. And the whole place is decorated with these cheesy alien murals. The uniforms are even worse than the décor. We have to wear horrid little turquoise dresses and silver aprons that look like alien heads. We even have to wear shiny little antennae. Despite all of that, I don’t think that I’ll mind working there. The people who run it are really nice, and one of the waitresses, Maria? Yeah, I think that’s it, she’s just so bubbly and happy and so full of really sarcastic humor that you can’t help but love her. If I was here under any different circumstances, we might even be friends. But friends are not allowed anymore. That’s how people get careless and carelessness makes bad things happen. I can’t deal with that again. So yeah, I have a job. I start Monday.
Saturday and Sunday pass fast enough, I have plenty of things to occupy my mind. Wash the drapes and hang them again, fall off the ladder three times while trying to hang them, recover from multiple bruises, abrasions and scrapes and lay down with a killer headache. Make supper; clean the floor, read, and sleep, the usual things. Monday morning arrives very quickly. I am lying awake in bed, it’s only 4:00 am, but I can’t go back to sleep. I just had the strangest dream. I saw Max in my dream, along with two other people, one is the surly hotel clerk, the really scruffy guy, and the other is this knockout blonde. I can see where having Max and the hotel guy in my dreams could come from, but who’s the girl? She seems familiar, but I can’t remember if and where I ever met her. Still, some nagging feeling buzzes at the back of my brain that I know her from some other time, some other place. They were all looking for someone in the dream, and they were all scared. The kind of fear I know well, the fear of being discovered. What can it mean? I never take dreams lightly, too many have come true, but this one makes me uneasy. Why? I couldn’t tell you, but I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach that says I don’t really want to find out. This could get dangerous.

The feeling of uneasiness follows me for the rest of the week. I can’t shake it no matter how hard I try. I mess up at work because of it, creating bad first impressions for my boss. I lost count of how many times I dropped plates and screwed up orders. The boss understands as this is my first week, but I can’t continue to do that. Then, on Friday, I see the girl from my dream. She is far away, and I can’t be positive that it is she, but I am pretty sure that it is. It was like I recognized her energy or something, long before I saw her face. It was weird…but then again, I’m used to weird stuff happening. I can only wonder how much stranger it is going to get.

******************************************Alrighty guys...let me know what you think and whether or not I should continue writing it....I realize that it is a little confusing to begin with.*wink*
Karen

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 11-Aug-2002 6:50:46 PM ]
posted on 19-Jul-2002 3:04:53 PM by keep the faith
A/N Thanks to both my readers for responding...I won't be able to post the next part for at least two weeks...but I'll try to make it a really good chapter....I'm just not sure what I'm doing, If you have any Ideas, let me know.
Thanks Again!
Karen
posted on 11-Aug-2002 6:49:48 PM by keep the faith
Author: Keep the Faith
Rated: Pg 13 most likely
Disclaimer: Same old, same old..I own nothing...just one screwey imagination and too much free time.
Summary: Really I don't know where I'm going with this, I guess you'll have to read it to find out.

Chapter 2

Monday morning I wake up panting for breath. My body is soaked in sweat as if I had run for miles. I had been dreaming…again. It was still Max, the girl, and the hotel guy, but it was different…older somehow. It felt like I had been there before. I am sure that I knew them from some other time, some other place. From everything that has happened, I am beginning to suspect that those three are “different.” Different like me. I’m thinking that we are all going to get to know each other…REAL well. I have only met Max once, and I’ve seen the girl at a distance, and I’m sure that they don’t know me. All the same, I feel some – I don’t know, recognition in the energy. Listen to me! Could I possibly sound any more “Use the Force Luke”? All bad clichés aside, they know I’m here. They don’t know who I am, but they definitely know I’m here. I love the power of anonymity. This is where it gets a little more fun.

I have this…gift, if you will. Some people call what I do “warping the mind”. I call it sending a message. I never use it a lot because it uses a huge amount of energy, and I always end up with a splitting headache afterwards. I usually sleep for an entire day too. But I think that my cause today is important enough to risk it. And I know exactly how I’m going to do it too. If those three are whom I suspect, then they will all recognize one thing above all others. The Royal Crest of Antar. But I can’t send it by itself. I want them to seek me out, so I don’t have to find them and have them distrust me forever. It is so tiresome to be distrusted. I will still be distrusted some, you can be sure of that, and they’ll most likely devise a series of tests, but it will still be ever so much faster this way. So, I’ll transmit an image of myself too, but what is the best way to go about this? I don’t want them to know where my home is in case they aren’t who I think, but I still want them to be able to find me easily. Oh I know! The Crashdown is a pretty neutral spot, and the uniforms are easily recognized, I’ll send a picture of myself in uniform. That’ll do nicely. I give them until tomorrow morning to be sitting in one of those tacky booths, staring at me. Now that all of that’s out of the way, I had better get cracking.

The principle behind sending these “messages” is really quite simple. I channel my energy to the people I wish to contact by picturing them in my mind. Then, I transmit audio or visual images. It’s not that different from email, or even radio. The trick is being able to hold the stream of energy steady enough, and long enough to send a clear message. I send the message twice, just to make sure and then I let the energy re-meld with my body mass. Like usual, My head feels like it is cracking open. My body is exhausted too. I think I am going to go to bed and stay until Monday no longer exists. But first, I think I would like a cup of steaming hot Tabasco hot chocolate. That always makes me feel better. Just when the kettle is beginning to whistle I remember something. I have a shift today. Stupid Liz! Stupid! Ouch, my head hurts.

I managed to drag my pitiful carcass to work. I feel horrible, just for the record. Maria was leaving just as I arrived, and she told me I look “like hell.” Thanks Maria, really. What would I do without your helpful little hints? Goodness knows I’d like to try. So yeah, I’m working. I’ve been here for three hours. My shift is over in 45 minutes, and I have never seen a clock move so slowly. I have also never seen this restaurant more deserted. There have been a total of 5 people in here the entire afternoon. I have refilled the ketchup bottles already, and the sugar jars. I have refolded the napkins twice, swept the floor three times, and tried several times, unsuccessfully to begin a conversation with mister nameless cook. Needless to say, I am bored stiff at this moment. Could this day get any worse? The tinkle of the bell over the door lifts my spirits a little. And then I see who came in the door. Do you want to guess? I’ll give you three guesses. Yeah, got it in one. It’s Max. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, he is nice on the eyes, but still, I don’t want to deal with him now. It’s not likely that he has just come in for a burger fries. He has that look. You know the one that says, “I don’t trust you.” Being distrusted is soooo tiresome. I think I mentioned that already, didn’t I?

I walk over to his table. I am supposed to greet customers with a smile and I am trying really hard, I swear I am, still I have the feeling that it looks more like a grimace. “Hi, I’m Liz and I will be your friendly waitress for today. Can I get you something to drink, or are you ready to order?” It’s the standard spiel – one I hate very much at this moment. Max smiles at me. If I wasn’t watching him so closely I probably wouldn’t have noticed that his smile didn’t rid his eyes of their suspicious gleam, but I did. Still, he pretends like nothing is wrong, and I pretend too. “Hi Liz. It’s been a while since I ran into you.” Great, he’s teasing me. I can feel myself blushing. I hate it when I blush and I do it a lot. He grins at my red face. “Nice color on you.” I blush harder and I guess he decides to take pity on me, because he changes the subject and orders a cherry coke. I bring him the glass and someone else walks in, so I go to take her order. As I am walking away I notice him dumping Tabasco sauce in his drink. Interesting.

By the time the other girl is finished her plate of fries my shift is over and Janice has come in to take over. Max is still sitting in the corner booth. I push open the door to the break room. I can smell freedom waiting for me. I step into the back room, and then my arm is grabbed from behind. “Wait Liz, can I talk to you?” It’s Max. Big surprise. “Sure Max, just give me a sec, okay?” he nods and I slip into the change room to take off my uniform and pull on my jeans and red crew neck tee-shirt. When I step back into the break room, Max has made himself quite at home on one of the three tacky vinyl couches and motions for me to join him. He fidgets with a long thread on the armrest and wont look me in the eye when I sit next to him. Wondering what exactly is going on, I am somewhat surprised when he all of a sudden blurts “Liz will you go out with me? To dinner? Tonight?” Okay, time to review the facts. I feel like crap. I’ve had a bad day. A very cute guy has just asked me out. No brainer. “Sure,” I say, “I’d love to.” he looks slightly pleased, but even more nervous. “Is seven good?” I nod. “Where can I pick you up?” ooh, I have to think about that one. Where CAN he pick me up? Not at my home for sure. “Umm…how about I meet you there?” he frowns but says nothing. “Or, I could meet you right here.” still frowning lightly he nods his agreement. “Great!” I bubble, “I’ll be here.”

I’ve got a date. So tell me why I’m not more excited?
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Okay guys, tell me what you think. I can't promise the next part will be out soon, but I'll try. It's going to focus on their date, so look for it
Karen