R.E.M.: The Hidden World


The Hidden World


(Shattered Sky Series, Volume 1)



Corrie Fischer



Copyright © 2013 Corrie Fischer

All rights reserved.




Disclaimer: Despite any similarities to real persons, all characters contained within this work are entirely fictitious.









dedication to my mother Denise and my brother Kevin.




1. Party time



Roars echoed behind her as streaks of red and black flew across her face.  The wind slapped her cheeks with an abusi
ve force as her heart pounded.  The slick surface beneath threatened her stability, but still her feet drove onward.

Emily's head spun back for a mere second.  The creature entered her vision as her blood pumped faster.  Every fiber of her being was on full alert.  Every hair stood at attention as the adrenaline coursed through her veins. 

This is it.  I'm going to die...




“Mom I’m headed out.”  As she spoke the words, Emily plucked her jacket off their antique coat hanger.  She was just reaching for the front door’s handle when her mother’s voice rang out from the kitchen.

“Hold on a minute.”  Her mother was around the kitchen’s corner and into the front hallway in no time.  “I was going to bake you a cake tonight…”  Her eyes scanned up and down her daughter.  Emily was dressed in plain, skinny jeans and a black t-shirt.  A mildly excessive layer of makeup covered her face and her natural curls were smoothed out into a layer of silky hair.  “…but I guess you’re not really my little girl anymore now, are you?”  Her mother started to tear up.

“Mom, please don’t cry….I’ll always love you…and your cakes.  I just made plans to spend the night over at Carrie’s place.  A girl’s night to celebrate, ya know?”  Emily smiled brightly, hoping it would lighten her mother’s mood.

“Okay, I just…can’t believe you’re going to be eighteen tomorrow….it’s incredible how time flies.”  Her mother reached out her arms for a hug and Emily willingly embraced her.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, ok
ay?....and we can make that cake then.”

I love you sweetheart.”  Her mom released her grip.  Emily gripped the handle and slid quickly through the door, looking back to wave at her mother.

A voice rang out from the living room inside.  “You better not do anything stupid like drinkin….”  The words were those of Emily’s father and she closed the door just in time to ignore them.  Rolling her eyes, Emily approached her VW bug. 
Forget him...this is going to be the best night of my life….

Excluded from her parent’s knowledge was the fact Carrie’s family left town for vacation that very morning.  She and Carrie planned the entire thing. 

It all
started when her best friend discovered the date of her parent’s road trip.  It was the day before Emily’s birthday.  The girls immediately started preparing.  Emily was hesitant at first and felt guilty about Carrie missing the road trip.  In the end, Carrie finally convinced her.  She insisted a massive birthday party would provide far more entertainment than “quality family time”. 

As Emily now stepped into her beaten old bug, she could al
most picture the look Carrie made to convince her.  The girl drooped down her lips and squinted her eyes, imitating her great grandmother sitting in a rocking chair, crocheting.  At that point, Emily admitted her argument was valid.  Thankfully for them, the rest was easy, for the most part at least.  Emily’s boyfriend, who recently turned twenty-two, was old enough to purchase the necessary alcohol.  Carrie saved up more than enough from her restaurant tips to cover the cost, plus she received discounted catering prices. 

The most difficult hurdle was their parents.  Emily knew convincing her mother would be easy.  Her father, however, presented their first challenge.  He was a very religious, stern man.  Thankfully for them, her father, Simon, also had a habit.  Every Friday evening at precisely seven
o’clock, he sat down on the couch and watched his beloved documentary.  Conveniently enough, Emily’s birthday eve landed on a Friday night.

Presently staring down at her car’s clock, Emily knew she timed it perfe
ctly.  It was exactly 7:04 PM.  She started up the old bucket of bolts, ready to begin this magnificent night.  It was truly amazing how their plan worked out.

One challenge
previously remained in the form of Carrie’s parents.  This was the most difficult task.  It was Emily who finally concocted a plan.  It was well known Carrie was terribly allergic to cats. The night before, Emily caught the neighborhood stray she affectionately named Max.  She often snuck the kitten bowls of milk when she could get away with it, so he willingly allowed her to pick him up.  She kept him hidden in their old shed all night, distracting the kitten with milk and tuna. 

Emily turned up the car’s radio and reflected on the hilarious events
.  She rigged up an old dog harness on Max.  After sending Carrie a good morning text, the second girl appeared at her bedroom window still wearing pajamas.  Carrie brashly whispered down from her second story window, asking if there was any other way they could pull this off.  Emily insisted on the solidity of their plan. Both girls knew Carrie’s mother would intermittently wake up during the night and roam the halls, ensuring the security of their home.  She was paranoid to say the least. 

The girls’ plan was the only way to even get the cat to her without risking their own capture.  Hesitantly, Carrie lowered down the rope she borrowed from her father’s tool chest.  Emily cautiously wrapped it around the kitten’s stomach and urged Carrie to be careful.  The dreary kitten was more complying
than Emily could have hoped.  He swung slightly in the harness as it moved upward and only let out a single, quiet meow.  At that moment, Emily determined the kitten would receive an appetizing reward for his cooperation. 

Carrie sniffed the cat for several seconds.  Her eyes immediately watered and she let out a massive sneeze.  Emily backed up to avoid the blast from above.  Carrie then carefully lowered the cat back down to safety into Emily’s arms. 

After untying the rope, Emily did not waste a second’s time and made it down the street with the kitten in record time.  As she rounded the corner to her car’s hidden parking spot, her phone buzzed eagerly in her pocket.  She reached in, desperately hoping it was the message that would reveal all.  It was.  Carrie confirmed the plan worked.  Her parents initially insisted they cancel the trip completely and take her to the doctor.  Carrie assured them it was just a minor cold and she would be fine staying home alone and resting.  After all, Carrie was nearly an adult herself.

As Emily presently pulled up in front of the large white house she felt a mixture of fear and joy at their plan’s success.  The scene w
as far more than she expected.  People were already pouring in and lights of a variety of colors shown through the windows of the typically peaceful home. 
Wow…she must have invited a lot of people…

It was only over the last year Emily truly started making friends again.  A tragic event five years before ruined all of that for quite some time.  Finally, she was starting to break out of he
r shell.  She owed a lot of the change to Carrie.  

The extent of Carrie's
social life was being directly displayed to Emily now.  She scanned the surrounding cars, desperately searching for her boyfriend’s sporty ride.  It was nowhere to be found. 
Ugh…I told him to be here by 7:15….
Checking her clock once again, Emily confirmed it was already 7:20.  She reached in her pocket, prepared to question Kyle for running late.  There was no phone.  Emily scanned her seats, starting to panic.  Then she remembered. 

Shit really?....ugh tonight of all nights. 
Emily reflected on her last text.  It was to Carrie, declaring she was about to leave.  Emily then set the phone down to touch up her eyeliner.  She was so excited about her makeup and the party, she left it sitting on the dresser top. 

Just as she accepted her communication defeat and stepped out of the car, a roaring red sports car pulled up.  The handsome Kyle hopped out.  “Hey babe, sorry I’m late.”  He rushed over to her with flowers in hand.  His shaggy blonde hair waved in the wind as he approached her.  Kyle’s ever changing blue-green eyes shined brilliantly this evening.  Reaching her, he leaned in for a gentle kiss then backed up, lifting the flowers into the air.  “Tada!  Don’t say I never did anything for ya.”  He smiled proudly as he held the prize.  Emily laughed at his performance.  He always knew how to make her smile.  Even though she only met him four month
s prior, the man already had her hooked.  He had from the very first day.

“Thank you….”  Emily hesitated a moment, not certain how to politely ask the next question.  “
Uhm...is this
you brought?”  The words may seem rude to anyone else, but Kyle understood her.

“Crap. Right….hold on, I’ll be right back.”  He rushed back to his car, opening the door and nearly dropping the bagged bottles of Gin, Vodka, and Rum.  He was undoubtedly a bit of a goofball
, but Emily loved it.  He always seemed aglow with a simple happiness she almost envied.  “Ok, now we’re ready to party!”  He joyfully declared the words as he re-approached her side.  Looking toward the house, Emily felt a knot forming in her stomach.  She invited only a few close friends and the realization most of these people were total strangers was not a comforting one. 
Here goes nothing.
  Emily took in a deep breath. 

As though reading her mind, Kyle immediately reassured her.  “It’ll be ok….besides, you’ve got me.”  There was his goofy smile again.  Someh
ow, oddly enough, that was all she needed.  Still struggling to hold all the bagged bottles, he stretched out the corner of his arm toward her, offering it as a resting place.  Emily wrapped her arm around it and they proceeded toward the entrance.  Well aware there was no need to knock, Emily grasped the handle, glancing back at Kyle for strength.  Looking at his face, she felt a calming wave rush over her and she bravely turned the handle.

Stepping through the door, the panic ensued once again.  Carrie was standing over by a DJ table with a microphone in hand.  She was clearly prepared for the arrival.  “Everyone, listen up, the birthday girl, Emily, has just arrived.  Let’s all give her a huge shout out.”  Carrie’s words echoed through the entire house.  Cheers sounded from every corner and all eyes turned toward Emily.  She blushed severely. 
I wish I could crawl into a corner about now…

Kyle seemed to pick up on her mood change and determined it was time to step in.  “So who’s ready to drink?”  He waved one of the bottles in the air and an immediate mass of people crowded him, giving Emily a chance to slip through the grouping.

She made her way to the DJ table where Carrie still stood.  “Wow, you really went all out, huh?”  Emily practically yelled the words over the beating sound of music.  She couldn’t help but wonder how her best friend pulled all of this off in such a short time.  As she scanned the entire first floor, its marvel fascinated her.  There were streamers dangling all over the ceiling with glow sticks tied to them.  Hanging above the entryway was a banner that displayed “Happy 18
Birthday Emily.”  All of the regular light fixtures were turned off.  In their place, several circulating globes of light spun, emitting a spectrum of colors across the house.  People started crowding around her like sardines.  Most of whom she barely even recognized from their school halls.  The music blared loudly through five speakers that had been set up all around them. 

“Anything for my bestie,” Carrie reached out for a hug.  Lifting her eyebrows, she firmly stated: “Now come on birthday girl, we need to get some alcohol in you…”  Carrie clearly picked up on Emily’s rigid posture and uncomfortable demeanor.  Emily was certainly not used to this kind of attention. 

As they made their way back to Kyle and the quickly vanishing table of shot glasses, Emily was bombarded.  People approached from every side to greet her and Carrie.  Many of them were introducing themselves to Emily for the first time. 

As they walked away from meeting a particularly odd character, Carrie pulled her friend in close.  “That was Joey….he’s a bit of an odd one….truthfully, I only invited him ‘cause he’s Mikey’s younger brother.”  She then pointed to the football jock standing on the other side of the room, giggling as she did so.  Emily knew the name immediately without Carrie’s directions.  Her best friend was crushing on the guy all year; yet barely said a few words to him.  To be such a socialite, Carrie certainly had her own fears in regards to those she truly liked.

              “Why don’t you go talk to him?”  Emily insisted on the idea.  She knew how long Carrie wanted him without vocalizing her honest opinion to the guy.  Plus, on the more selfish side of things, Emily adored her friend, but she wouldn’t mind having some space from all of her greeting guests.

“I don’t know….you really think I should….”  Carrie's hesitancy was obvious.  Massive insecurities were one thing both girls could always relate to.  Without verbally responding, Emily gently pushed her friend his direction.  Carrie started to proceed, looking back at her friend with a huge smile. 

Emily finally made her way to the promised land of alcohol.  She poured herself three shots right off the bat and took them in a row without hesitation.  She then felt a slight nudge behind her.  “Slow down there tiger…”  As Emily turned, Kyle chuckled and gave her a hilariously sarcastic look.  He lifted up his own beer in a cheer-like fashion.  Emily tapped her shot glass along his bottle and quickly ingested the substance.

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