So since the ebook verison of End of the Line is now available with the proof for the paperback in the mail I figured it was time to have an introduction of some characters! Today I will be having a Men of Ottilie so that you all can meet Aaron, the main male of the story. He is closely written to the guy that was in my nightmare that End of the Line was based on. I had a lot of fun writing him and I hope it shows!
Has a tattoo
Learned to ride a motorcycle illegally
I was never friends with Lauren. We’d had been on the same bus since kindergarten, until one of my buddies began to drive me to high school. She and I had a few classes together over the years, but Lauren was the silent one in the class, with the high stack of books, not daring to leave them in her locker because you might need one of the textbooks in class that day. She could be absolutely annoying. Was being a perfectionist really, honestly necessary? In my handbook of life—no.
After watching my parents being crushed as they tried to run for the house, I had to help when I heard her cry.
I saw it all happen as I was sitting on my window sill with my window wide open, hanging a leg out while I was thinking. I was hot and needed some air. Mom didn’t like when I sat like this, but I’d always found it relaxing. Then in the distance, there were bizarre shapes in the sky, and in a blink of an eye, scattered rocks the sizes of busses or bigger were heading toward the earth.
I closed my eyes quickly and shook my head to get the images out of my mind. I was not ready to face that. It was the first time a major feeling of guilt and horror took over me. The only family I had was killed before my eyes. They had put up with me, dealt with more than what they signed up for.
Listening closely to the air blow by, trying to make sure that no one was coming, I looked over at the six of them and I felt my heart race. Trying to calm down, I hung my head low to try and get my breathing back to normal. How did this whole mess happen? I just became an orphan for the second time in my life. The first time was miserable enough, but a second time? I just lost my all my friends. I was stuck with Lauren and her luggage. After what seemed like forever, one of the kids started to move, which made Lauren come around.
She sat up appearing like she hadn’t really slept either. Her eyelids looked heavy with dark circles, not all of which seemed to be from her make-up. Lauren rubbed her head, then stretched her limbs a little. Her jean-blue eyes met with mine and they were filled with pain, as she remembered what happened. I noticed because it shined in her eyes and I was sure she could see the same shimmer in my own.
“We should go, so wake them up and we’ll be out,” I spoke softly.
She nodded and started to wake them up gently. I remembered when my mom did that for school or if I was sleeping in too late on the weekends and she thought I wouldn’t be able to sleep that night. That would never happen again. She would tenderly rub my back until I made signs that I was alive. The two littlest ones started to stir, then got up, looking confused. Almost like they had forgotten that they fell asleep on the ground instead of their beds. That yesterday was nothing but a nightmare instead of reality.
Next, the other three woke up. We started moving, as the two little ones wondered where breakfast was. This was definitely going to be a long day, the first of many to come; I could feel it.
Lauren was walking in front with me as she held the two littlest ones by the hand. I could tell she wanted them to walk as far as they could because she wasn’t going to be able to carry both of them for too long. Meanwhile, the three in the back were quiet, but Cole gave me death glares every once in a while. I could sense his glare on the back of my head, and I would turn my head as I felt the pricking. Our eyes would meet and we’d both scowl. I still couldn’t figure out what I did to him.
“I want pancakes!” Sean pipped up, nearly skipping.
“Waffles!” Paige spoke, challenging Sean’s food choice.
“Guys, there aren’t waffles or pancakes available right now,” Lauren commented, sounding upset about them being hungry.
“But it’s time for breakfast! I woke up, so it is time for food!”
I grinned, suppressing a chuckle. I really liked the little boy’s logic. I watched as he looked up at his sister with a straight face, which made me want to laugh even more. I had a feeling that this was a normal relationship for the two of them.
“I know, but we have to wait a little longer for food.”
Those two weren’t the only ones hungry. I was starving too. I kept glancing at the two of them as they each swung from one of Lauren’s arms. Lauren seemed tall next to the two of them. She always seemed smaller at school. Was it because we were always sitting in desks, not near each other?
“We’ll walk over those hills and see if that town is up and functioning.”
Lauren agreed by nodding her head as we headed over the hills and I helped her with the two little ones when they almost fell. Once they were standing next to me, I helped Lauren by pulling her hand to give her some balance. Her hand was smaller than mine. It was strange seeing her long, clean nails against my hands. In school I never really noticed or thought of her.
Moving on, I quickly snapped out of it, and I helped the two girls. I really needed to learn the rest of their names. I doubted they would want to be referred by numbers. Cole didn’t want any help, so I let him stumble over the rocks on the slant.
“Aaron, we have a problem,” Lauren said.
I stared at her, confused, as I climbed the rest of the way to the top where she turned to look at me. My eyes went wide and my jaw dropped, not believing what I was seeing. Only a couple of feet below us, water covered everything with only a few things sticking above the new water line. I thought I saw someone’s satellite dish poking out. This was definitely not looking good. I turned right and left, seeing that the water stopped along the hills, but this couldn’t stay forever. We had to move before it rained or something. It looked like the ocean had found its way to us.
“Aaron, does this mean the ocean was hit with one of the asteroids?” Lauren asked in a murmur near my ear.
I couldn’t speak, so I just stood there, shaking my head and shrugging my shoulders in disbelief. This couldn’t be happening. This was getting more awful by the second. Just when I didn’t think things could become stickier, they did.
“Hey! Look, Paige. The beach came to us!” shrieked the little boy at Lauren’s side, his hands shooting up into the air.
He was about to run over to the water, but I was able to grab him by the back of the shirt before he could make his leap. My heart almost leapt out of my chest. I wasn’t sure how Lauren would react to see her brother dive into the wet unknown. Lauren grabbed him from me and held him close to her with her eyes closed tightly.
“Lauren, I can’t breathe. You’re hugging me too tight.” The little boy squirmed in her embrace, using his small arms to try to push his sister away from him.
I smiled at the little guy as I picked up the little girl with dark red hair (who must’ve been Paige) just in case she tried what he had failed doing. We really didn’t need to any more attempts.
“Sean, you can’t do that. You don’t know how to swim. Stay by my side and don’t leave me.” She nearly cried, her hold on him didn’t seem to loosen.
I was a bit taken aback by this. I had never seen anyone that caring over a sibling. I was adopted and didn’t have siblings. I watched her practically killing her brother with her hug because the fear of losing him was too much to bear. I was resentful of them.
“Lauren, we should probably keep going,” I said quietly, trying not to sound bitter and attempting to push those feeling deep inside of me.
We headed down the hill slowly, trying not to kill ourselves from the tilt. I kept a close eye on Lauren carrying her brother. Once we were on our way again, we changed our direction so we were heading west.
“Lauren, what are everyone’s names?” I asked, kind of embarrassed it took me so long to even ask.
She grinned. “This is my brother, Sean, and the one you are holding is his best friend Paige... Both are six. The one that has black hair a little shorter than her shoulders is Jill, and the other girl with very short brown hair is Mandy. Then there’s Cole, and you know me from school.”
“What are the others’ ages?”
“Cole is sixteen, Jill is fifteen, and Mandy is nine.”
Nine wasn’t too young, so the only ones we really had to worry about were Sean and Paige. They would need the most help and attention.
“So, oh dear saviour, what is plan B?” called out a voice reeking of bitter sarcasm.
I turned to glare at Cole, stopping everyone in our little group.
“Listen to me you little piece of—”
Lauren slapped me on the back of the head. I felt so stupid, as I stood there in shock with my mouth left wide open. She hit me!
“Listen, you two! We have to get along if there’s any chance for us to stay alive. One person alone can’t survive out here, so we have to work together and stop fighting with each other. We don’t know what’s out there, so come on, please get it together. Furthermore, no cursing! There are little kids around us!” Lauren ordered. I almost felt like I was back at school with her scolding us.
I looked at the quiet book worm who was now bossing me around and I couldn’t believe I was desperate enough to save her. I knew that was horrible to think, but I could tell this was definitely going to be harder than I thought with this group. She marched ahead of Cole and me with the other two girls, as I stood there with the little girl in my arms. She glanced up at me with big, brown apprehensive eyes, almost desperate for any comfort she could get. I was not known for my reassuring traits or my child-caring skills; I didn’t know what to do. I had to listen and work with the geek if we had any chance for all of us to survive.
End of the Line
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