So I'm starting a short story to break up writing the trilogy. I think I'm gunna post a bit now and again online, so watch out for the next part! :)
The rain poured down onto the village of Garton. It pattered off the roofs of the brick houses, giving the grey tiles a wet sheen. Tina sighed and watched the droplets run down her bedroom window, longing to be outside. It was days like today that Tina hated her life the most; at heart she was a fun-loving, adventurous, normal teenager. . .but her mind held her heart a prisoner. When the weather was glorious and the sun beat down in a hot yellow hue, she could at least imagine herself as a sociable person, taking trips to the beach with friends that didn't really exist or going shopping with her sister.
Sadly, Tina could never make her fantasies happen. She suffered terribly from acute agoraphobia, and had therefore been house-bound for most of her life. Never did a foot cross the threshold of her parent's semi-detached house, not even for all the treasures in the world could she be coaxed. Tina had no idea why she had this problem, all she knew was the thought of abandoning the safety of her home and entering so much openness made her sick to the stomach; and any attempt left her in a sweaty, shaking mess. This had not always been the case, as she could remember, vaguely, shopping on Garton high street with her mother when she was little, skipping freely alongside her sister's pram. Then the fear came, and memories turned into nightmares; twisted faces of strange people and burning buildings.
Tina shuddered and turned away from the window, forcing the image out of her head. She slumped onto her bed, pulling her laptop in front of her crossed legs and powered it up. As the fans begun to whir, she heard the front door open and slam shut, then the rapid sound of footsteps on the staircase. Here we go again. Her little sister, Lucy, burst through her bedroom door, panting from running and soaking wet. Her long blonde hair was plastered to her cheeks, which were a rosy red, and water dripped from her body onto the carpet.
"It's crazy out there!" Lucy puffed, "I'm drenched!"
Tina snorted, "Crazy like me, you mean." She hated the term 'crazy'.
"Oh." Lucy rolled her eyes, "You're in one of those moods." She spun on her heel and squelched out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
I suppose that was a bit too mean.
Tina shrugged to herself and went back to her laptop, which was now flashing software update advice at her. Ignoring it, she opened an internet browser and went about her daily rounds of the online phobia forums. Her favourite was 'CompromiseChat'. The people on there were the least judgmental and were always so welcoming in a non-condescending way. Other forums were littered with wannabe therapists and immature 'normal' people throwing abuse about for their idea of fun.
She responded to a couple of posts; one was a girl who must of been about her own age, who was terrified of being touched by strangers; and an older gentleman who hated crowds. Their fears were different to her own, but she could certainly sympathise. Tina told them both to start a diary, and write down every moment their phobias kicked in and how they felt. It was probably rubbish advice, but that's what her therapist had told her to do. Tina looked over at her diary, sat smugly between Little Women and Great Expectations on her bookshelf. It was empty. Since she hadn't tried to go outside recently, she hadn't felt scared, so didn't have anything to write in it.
She clicked into the forum menu. There was a new post from a username she didn't recognise. Selecting the 'read' tab, Tina waited for the page to load. Nothing. The post was blank. Well that's a bit pointless. She clicked on the user avatar, taking her to the profile. It was rather plain, no picture, no details. Just a short description, under where the profile picture should be. The font was small, and it simply read: I want to die.
Astonished, Tina hit the option to send a private message. Never had she seen such a drastic sentence on this forum, and she felt it wasn't just a cry for attention.