The visual prompt:
Our main characters are:A Doppelganger ~ A shape shifter with identity issues. It can be anything but itself.
ANDA Vampire ~ This ageless teenager is popular with the ladies.
The special object in this story is:Poison Dagger ~ This dagger is so poisonous that it makes you sick.
Our story takes place in:The Sky Palace ~ The path to the heavens must be walked with a leap of faith, not a flight of fancy.
October 20, 2038 - Saturday
My name is Polly Diosk. I'm 16 years old today. I guess I should be happy that it's my birthday today, because birthdays are supposed to be happy. Only I'm not happy. I can't ever be happy on my birthday again.
I know my mother probably meant well when she got me this notebook as a present. I guess she thought it would do me good to talk to you, since I won't talk to anybody else. She says keeping diaries helped her deal with the sucky stuff as well as celebrate the happy stuff when she was my age.
I'll admit, it feels really weird using a pencil to write instead of a touchscreen. Sorry that my handwriting is so terrible... But wait, who am I apologizing to anyway? I'm not really talking to anyone except myself... Am I?
I guess if I were going to apologize to anyone, it would be to Cassie, my twin sister, as well as our father. Cas, I'm really sorry that you and Dad couldn't be here with me today, to celebrate our birthday together. I miss you both so much, more than I've ever missed anything, or anyone. I know you'll never be able to forgive me, but I hope you know how deeply sorry I am.
You see, Diary, it's my fault that they're gone. I don't care if Mom says I shouldn't keep blaming myself, because I know it's true.
I was the one who suggested we go to the Sky Palace.
This really isn't easy for me to talk about, but Mom says I've been quiet and internalizing my feelings for too long. I need to open up, even if it's only to myself. So let me start at the beginning.
It was summer break, and Mom and Dad asked us what we wanted to do or where we wanted to go for vacation. Cas wanted us to go and visit Mars, but I thought that was boring. I wanted us to go to the only collection of theme parks ever to be launched in Earth's atmosphere, Disney's Ludicrum Space Station. Ever since Cas and I were 10, we'd been asking our parents to take us there, and they always promised they'd take us next year, next year.
Cas gave them some slack and stopped asking so much, because she was the mature one (she was older than me by 5 minutes), but I never stopped begging for it, every chance I could. Well, at last our dad caved, since our sweet 16 was only a few months away, and it might be the last time we enjoyed something together as a family, before we turned into typical teenagers in high school and considered our parents embarrassing dorks. I doubt that ever would have happened anyway. Both Cas and I loved our parents.
So we went and rented a flying car for the week, a beautiful silver Ford Pegasus, put on OxySuits and we drove up to the L.S.S. Just being there was the coolest thing ever! They had a whole map of the different parks we could go to. There was Final Frontier Land, Sky Palace, Alien Kingdom, and Tomorrowland. I wanted to visit to the Sky Palace first, so that's what we bought passes for.
We went on as many rides as we could, though the lines for the really cool ones took forever. It was still fun, though. We ate Astronaut Ice Cream while we waited, and Dad even went on a couple roller coasters with us. Mom wasn't the type to go on scary rides, so she had to be super patient while she waited for us to be done.
You can't really tell what time it is in space, since it always looks like night, so when our parents said it was time to go back to our Space Hotel so we could go to sleep, Cas and I were genuinely surprised. We begged them to let us go on just one more really cool ride, and we wouldn't stop until they relented.
We wanted to go on The Dagger of Doom, which was basically this big silver and purple tower where you got strapped on and went all the way to the top really slowly, and then you were plunged down really fast, then up really fast and down again, repeatedly, like you were the handle of a dagger that was stabbing the planet. It. Looked. So. Freaking. Awesome!
Would you believe that, after all that waiting, when we got to the end of the line we found out I wasn't tall enough to go on the ride, but Cassie was? Geez, I never felt so angry at the fact that she was that one inch taller than me in my life. I was forced to stay down below with Mom while she went with Dad on the Dagger.
I can still remember Cas putting a comforting hand on my shoulder before they went on the ride.
"It's okay, Pol. We can come here again tomorrow, and we'll stuff your space boots with socks or something so you'll be taller. Then we can ride together."
I felt a little better at that idea, and didn't mind having to wait with Mom as much as I did before.
What happened next was... just terribly tragic. This is where it gets really tough for me, Diary.
I don't think anyone was ever sure what happened that day, whether it was the fault of the L.S.S employee controlling the ride or some part that came loose, or what. Mom and I watched as the Dagger of Doom came down once, twice, three times, both of us able to enjoy hearing my dad and sister's screams of delight, courtesy of the radio headsets inside our OxyHelmets.
On the fourth time the Dagger shot up, the "handle" part (where everyone was strapped in) somehow flew off the rail and was rocketed out into space at about a hundred miles an hour. I then heard my twin screaming in terror for a few seconds, before the ride with all those helpless people shot too far out of range for the headsets to pick up.
A rescue party was immediately sent out to rescue those people riding the Dagger, but they just weren't quick enough. The "handle" was too far gone for them to know exactly which direction it had flown in.
When mom heard all their sorry excuses, she pretty much flew off the handle herself. But I was too in shock to be angry.
Cas was gone.
That all happened back in July. For the last 3 months, I've had to get used to being an only child, and Mom had to get used to being a single parent. We've had to get used to it just being the two of us.
I love my mom, and I miss Dad every day. But let me tell you something, Diary.
It never gets easier. Knowing that I have lost my sister, my twin, my best friend in the world, forever. Knowing that I'm now forced to have to go through life without her living it with me. Knowing that she and Dad still might be here, if only we hadn't decided to go on the Dagger of Doom, or to the Sky Palace, or even to the Ludicrum Space Station in the first place.
That's why I can never be happy again on my own freaking birthday. Because all I hear is her screaming like she's been stabbed, and I’ll always feel like I’ve been stabbed too, and I'm holding the dagger that did the deed.
October 23, 2038 - Tuesday
Haven't had that much to write about during the weekend. I hardly ever go out or do anything fun anymore. I'll just stay in my room all day and play dumb HoloApp games, entertaining myself for hours. Sometimes I'll even pull out my mom's ancient iPad and play Angry Birds. Still a classic.
Monday at school was just that. A boring Monday. Nothing in particular to report.
This afternoon, however, gives me something to talk about, I guess. It's about this guy...
His name is Drake Ossum, and both Cas and I always used to admire him from afar. We both considered him to be a hot jock, with his red varsity jacket and grey hoodie, and his dreamy eyes. We would dare each other to call him, or go to his locker to talk to him, or ask him on a date, but then never go through with it.
We never said it, but I guess we'd mutually decided that if we both liked him, then neither of us had a right to him. If one of us had really dated him, it might've made the other one jealous. So we'd giggle and squeal like fangirls together if we thought we'd seen him wink at us from across the hall.
"Omg, Awesome Ossum just winked at you, Pol!"
"Nuh-uh, Cas, he totally winked at you!"
I really miss doing that with her. Naturally, there were other guys we thought were attractive that the other twin didn't, and we went on dates with them, but Drake was that guy we'd silently agreed to look at, but not touch.
Well, today Drake came up to me during lunch break. I was sitting all on my own, poking a fork at my limp salad listlessly, when I heard someone approaching. I looked up, and there was Awesome Ossum, holding a tray of food and grinning at me.
"Hey there. Polly, right?"
I nodded at him, not sure what to say.
"You mind if I sit here with you?"
Slowly I shook my head, and so Drake sat himself down right across from me. He took a big bite out of his slice of pizza, and got a little sauce on the corner of his mouth.
Cas and I always used to laugh at what a messy eater he was, at how he never licked his lips until he was all done eating. Still, he managed to look cute doing it, because he was Drake Ossum.
I allowed myself a little smile at that fond memory.
Drake smiled back at me. "So how was your weekend? Do anything cool?" he asked.
I shrugged. "No, not really. How about you?" I wonder now, Diary, why he asked me about my weekend if Monday had already passed.
"Yeah, not much myself, I guess. Did a lot of grinding on Monster Quest, hunting for rare items."
"Oh yeah? That's cool, I guess. I don't play that game. Not a big RPG fan."
We sat in silence for about a minute. He took another bite of pizza, I finally took a bite of my salad. Finally I asked him, “So why do you want to sit here and not hang out with your friends?”
Drake shrugged. “I don’t know. You just looked really lonely.”
Well, I guess that was sweet of him. “Thanks.”
He smiled. “Sure.”
We enjoyed each other’s company in silence, and then after a while he spoke again. “So Polly, I was um, just wondering. You have any plans for next weekend?”
I looked up at him. “Why?”
“Because there’s this big Halloween party at Alf Shooter’s house on Saturday, and I’m going to it.” He took a sip of soda and finally licked that pesky sauce off his lips. “I’m gonna dress as a vampire. Count Drake-ula.”
I chuckled at him. “That’s nice.”
“Yeah, and I was just wondering if uh… if you were planning on being there.”
I blinked at him in surprise. Drake Ossum was asking me out? “Um, I don’t know… I didn’t get any invitation from Shooter.”
“That’s okay. I’m inviting you,” said Drake, giving me a wink.
“Well, I haven’t thought of any costume.”
“You don’t? Well, in that case...” Drake picked up his tray and made as if he was going to get up and leave, but then he sat back down and grinned at me. “Just kidding! Don’t worry, you don’t have to get all dressed up if you don’t want to. It’s just supposed to be a pre-Halloween get together, that’s all. So, are you in?”
I looked down at my tray, deep in thought.
“What? Do you have another excuse?”
I bit my lip. “I just… I don’t know...”
He hesitated. And then, Dear Diary... then he actually reached his hand out across the table and gently touched mine. “Look, Polly? I know about what happened with your sister.”
Of course he did. Everyone in school knows about it. That’s why everybody leaves me alone, why I don’t talk to anyone, why I always eat lunch by myself now. I prefer being on my own. I’m still mourning Cassie.
“I’m really sorry that you have to go through this. I know I’ll probably never experience a loss quite like yours, since she was your twin and all… But Pol, you can still allow yourself to have a little fun. At least once in a while, right?”
I didn’t know what I could say. I was confused. I took my hand out from under his and put it in my lap, turning away from him.
He looked at me for a few seconds, then he stood up for real this time, carrying his tray. “I’ll let you think about it. Hit me up anytime, if you change your mind.” Then he was gone.
The bell rang soon after that, and so I had to get to my next class.
So Diary, I’m really not sure what I should do now. Obviously, I can barely believe that Drake Ossum, the guy Cas and I had the same crush on for forever, had straight up asked me out to a party. He could have had his pick of any of the girls at school, many of them a lot prettier than me. But he came and sat with me.
I think it would be fun to go to Alf’s party with him. I really do. I just feel conflicted for some reason, like I have this nagging feeling in the back of my mind. I guess I still don’t feel like it’s right for me to be with Drake, knowing that Cas can’t be with him. I feel like our unspoken rule should still apply, even though she’s gone.
But then again, it’s not like not being with Drake was going to bring her back. I know nothing can do that.
Diary, what should I do?