Author Topic: Foundation: -Introduction  (Read 261 times)

Description: Phoenix Chronicles intro!

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Offline Phoenix

Foundation: -Introduction
« on: October 11, 2019, 04:46:19 PM »
Thread updated: 17th Nov '19.

Off-Topic: show
I decided to create a new thread, with new chapters being lost and unread in the original thread. I didn't want new readers to be swamped, so here goes a new and more active one!
I'm currently reworking every single chapter. I have the original file all printed out, and I'm now retyping it all-fixing mistakes/fixing holes and adding more as I go.
In the o.f, I have up to chapter 14 complete-with a little of ch15, and currently standing just over 50k words.

I'm hoping that NaNo will be a good way to breeze through the re-write, fix-improve-update-and add to, then carry on to the finish.
Please read, and leave feedback where possible! I really need the input from others on this.

Without boring you any longer, here is my current (not so) little writing baby.




Blurb

School is challenging even at the best of times, but when drastic events happen during your last year, sometimes the only comfort is knowing that your friends are beside you going through the same thing.



Contents

Completed.

:Chapter one: You can't cheat death.
:Chapter two: Unwelcome news.


Completed edits, waiting to post up.

:Chapter three: Spreading the heartbreak.
:Chapter four: Battling authority.
:Chapter five: An uncertain future.
:Chapter six: A temporary beginning.
:Chapter seven: Supportive connections.
:Chapter eight: Remembrance.
:Chapter nine: Saying goodbye.
:Chapter ten: A new home.
:Chapter eleven: Hoping for change.



Completed original, need to edit.
:Chapter twelve: Personal nightmares.
:Chapter thirteen: Outside discussions.
:Chapter fourteen: Seeking answers.


Original draft left here. Work in progress.

:Chapter fifteen: A new trend.


Planned chapter titles, links to be added when chapters are complete.

:Chapter sixteen: Hidden secrets.
:Chapter seventeen: Endless war.
:Chapter eighteen: Broken families.
:Chapter nineteen: Hoping for an escape.
:Chapter twenty: Broken promises.
:Chapter twenty one: Deflated structure.
:Chapter twenty two: Looking for connections.
:Chapter twenty three: The start of something greater.
:Chapter twenty four: Fighting for freedom.
:Chapter twenty five: A new friend.
:Chapter twenty six: Losing the battle.
:Chapter twenty seven: Defeated, but hopeful.
:Chapter twenty eight: Defending the innocent.
:Chapter twenty nine: One last stand.
:Chapter thirty: One last year.
:Chapter thirty one: Joint partnership.
:Chapter thirty two: Searching for help.
:Chapter thirty three: Standing as one.
:Chapter thirty four: Breaking free.



All chapters are listed, but not all are complete. Please read the contents above to find out where I currently am in the story.

August 2005
DayMonTuesWedThuFriSatSun
Date8th9th10th11th12th13th14th
Chapters1-44-5-667-
Date15th16th17th18th19th20th21st
Chapters89--9-1011-1314
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 10:25:43 AM by Phoenix »


 

Offline Phoenix

:Chapter one: You can’t cheat death.
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2019, 03:16:01 PM »
Off-Topic: show
UPDATED: OCTOBER/NOVEMBER '19.
Any errors, please mention.


:Chapter one: You can’t cheat death.

   As the hours passed, the weather quickly deteriorated. Eventually, it turned the small streams nearby rivers into deadly and unforgiving ones-that roared with anger. They had now, long since burst their banks-leaving the water levels to grow increasingly higher. The endless rain had caused this to happen, and had already managed to overflow the drains in the roads.
   The deadliest part though, was the combination of the fierce winds, and unrelenting lightning. Many lines had already been knocked over or damaged by falling trees, which had left many without power-or the ability to call anyone. News and weather reports during the day had advised people to stay in their homes because of the many dangers, and had mentioned that many of the roads were blocked due to all the debris.

   Regardless, several families were determined to get to where they needed to be. Some had been out before the storm had worsened, and hadn’t realised just how bad it would get. Others just wanted to check on loved ones, to make sure that everyone they cared about were safe. One small trio summed up their risky journey on the road under both categories.
   Justin was driving carefully though the rain, as he couldn’t see properly through the window. A mixture of condensation and the rain had meant that it was getting and more dangerous to continue, but he was anxious to try and get home none-the-less.
   Gregg-his teenage son, who was sitting in the back seat behind him, had been a little unsure of whether to travel in the car to begin with. Whilst he had been waiting for his parents to get ready, he had been watching the reports and knew that the storm would be approaching at some point during their journey.
   His brilliant green eyes, just like his fathers, were mostly hidden under his light brown hair. He had tried to hide how uneasy he was feeling, by hiding his face as much as he could-especially as he didn’t want to hold them up further.
   His mother, Leia, had been able to tell however. And had wrapped her arms around him protectively before they departed that morning, lightly placing a kiss on his cheek as she did so. When Gregg bit his lip gently and turned to look at her, she then spoke so that only he would be able to hear.
   “Andi will be waiting,” she had said as softly, as she mentioned Gregg’s non-identical twin. “Try not to think about it to much, we’ll be home before you know it.”

   She glanced nervously over at Justin-who was beside her in the car, and then at Gregg, before taking a deep breath. Her long, soft brown hair was tied neatly in a ponytail, which she ran her fingers through. She knew that it was only a matter of time before they were home now, and so she decided to break the uneasy silence by talking to them both about something that had been on her mind.
   “Me and your father are a little worried about you Gregg,” she said as she tried to raise her voice over the rain.
   “Why?” Gregg asked curiously.
   Leia thought for a moment before replying, she didn’t want to mention that Andi had gone against his brothers wishes.
   He had been adamant that he didn’t want Gregg to know that he had said anything, which had worried her more than she wanted to let on. How long had he known there was a problem? And how had she not picked up on it until it was brought up in conversation?
   “We know you haven’t been sleeping very well at the moment,” Leia said thoughtfully. She was trying to divert the topic away from how she had found out, but somehow knew that Gregg had realised. It was only a matter of time now before he asked about it.
   “Gregg sighed and took a sip of water out of the bottle beside him. There it was, the little secret he had tried to keep to himself, out in the open.

-

   Leia shifted uncomfortably in the passenger seat, watching the windscreen wipers as they tried to push the rain away. She knew she had to break the awkward pause that had occurred with a different topic, but she just couldn’t bring herself to do it. Instead she just simply waited, listening to the heavy pounding on their small car.
   The silence continued for another few minutes before Gregg finally spoke once more, although it was clear that he was still uncomfortable doing so.
   “So, what do you want to know?” he asked.
   Leia gently smiled with relief for a brief second, then turned around to face him so that they would be able to hear each other a little better.
   “How long have you had a problem sleeping?”
   “A while,” Gregg admitted. He then paused to think for a moment, leaving Leia waiting patiently. After a short while, he then continued, knowing that if he didn’t mention the small details, that she would only end up asking for them anyway. “I started having problems sleeping around the beginning of June, I thought it was down to all the school work at the time so I didn’t think it was worth mentioning.”
   “June!” Leia exclaimed. “Why didn’t you say anything?”
   “Because it wasn’t a big deal,” Gregg replied nervously. “I thought it was just a faze or something, and that it would pass over the holidays-but it’s been getting gradually worse.”
   “If you had told us, we could have taken you to see a doctor Gregg. He could have given you some sleeping pills or something to take or something. What are we supposed to do now?”
   “I don’t know!” Gregg cried out desperately. He hung his head in the dark, feeling the weight of his secret growing heavier on his shoulders as he did so.

-

   He had always hated being the one that asked for help, preferring to sort little problems out by himself so that others wouldn’t have to. Lately he was struggling though, and he was realising this more and more as the days went by.
   “Gregg, please-” Justin began. “-You may be uncomfortable talking about this, but we do need to.”
   “But why? Why now?” Gregg asked desperately.
   “Because we have been looking into places that may be able to help you, if you stay with them for al little while,” Leia said firmly. “Your father is right, this is something that we need to discuss.”
   Gregg didn’t know how to respond, so he instead folded his arms out in front of his face as he tried to find a better way to hide his emotions.
   “Gregg, we love you so much,” Leia said calmly. “We wouldn’t send you away unless we thought we really needed to.”
   “I can sort this out though” Gregg cried. “I can start sleeping better, but only at home. Please-just don’t send me away.”
   Leia and Justin then looked at each other for a moment, just long enough to mutually agree with what their son was asking them. Although they never said a word aloud, they both understood that giving Gregg time was the best thing to do.
   To give her son a little comfort, Leia then reached over, and lightly squeezed his arm-smiling gently when he looked at her.
   “Okay, we won’t send you away,” she smiled reassuringly.

-

   Gregg relaxed a little, but it was only for a few moments. The road they were on had become more perilous, and Justin was finding it hard to control the car. Taking a deep breath, he lowered his head once more into the comfort of his arms, and tried to steady himself. Usually he enjoyed the quiet periods when he travelled as it gave him an opportunity to think, but today was different. Now he just wanted to escape it all; the loud pounding of the rain, the awkwardness of the conversation that still lingered and the whole idea of being sent away.
   So many thoughts were running through his head, each one left trails of questions that he doubted would ever get answered.
   How had his parents found about his sleeping troubles? He had made sure to be so careful and not wake them. The only other person that had known before hand was Andi, and he had made him promise not to tell them. Would he really go against his brothers wishes? And what places had his parents found that they reckoned would help?

   Sighing, he glanced up to see that his mother had turned around, and was holding both of her arms in front of her face. Was she copying what he had been doing?
   He looked carefully at her reflection in the mirror-no she wasn’t. Her eyes and mouth were wide open with terror, and she was staring straight ahead. This wasn’t right, something was seriously wrong.

   Gregg opened his mouth and tried to speak, to see if he could find out what was going on, but found that he couldn’t hear anything. The noise of the rain had stopped- so had everything else as well. And-even though it had only been a few moments beforehand when he wished to escape the confines of the car, he now regretted it. He found that he needed to listen to what was going on, at least to get some clarification to what was happening.
   He felt the car lurch suddenly, and then swerve as Justin tried to avoid the debris. The sudden movement shocked Gregg’s brain into finally registering everything around him, and he was able to hear once more.
   He heard his mother’s ear piercing scream. His father crying out, and the grating of the front of the car being crushed by the large tree blocking the road.

-

   Gregg opened his eyes slowly and carefully, and felt his whole body ache with a dull pain. The weather was unrelenting and angry, and he cried out with intense hatred towards it. The storm, the same one that he had warned his parents about, had caused this crash to happen.
   He gingerly unfolded his arms and unclasped the seatbelt clutch from the holder. It sprung back quickly, leaving him to wince a little with pain as it caught his hand.
   “Mum, dad are you okay?” he asked quietly.
   When they didn’t reply, he quickly looked up and cried out once more-this time loud enough that they would be able to hear him.
   “Mum, dad!”
   “Leia?” Justin croaked. “Leia, please say something-”
   “-Dad are you okay?” Gregg asked loudly. Then, bracing himself slightly, he moved so that he was between the two front seats.
   Reaching out, he touched his mothers arm and quickly let go. Her head was leaning on the window, and as Gregg had tried to see if she was okay, he had seen the blood starting to trickle down her face.
   “Gregg-you need to go and get some help,” Justin said with a quiver in his voice.
   “No, no-I’m not leaving you two here!”
   “Gregg, please-your mum needs help, she needs to go to the hospital. I need you to go.”
   Gregg then managed to shift his position to speak to his father a little better, and saw that he was looking directly at him.
   “But-”
   “Gregg, just go. Please,” Justin asked firmly.

   Unable to argue with his fathers wishes any further, he nodded and turned away. As soon as he had pulled the car door open though, tears filled his eyes and threatened to fall, and he realised that he had been able to hold back from crying until that moment.
   He clambered out of the car and stood up, feeling the small amount of layers that he was wearing getting heavy and damp as his body froze on the spot. Within a few seconds though, the shock of what had just happened hit his body. He felt his legs give way, and painfully cried as he collapsed on the road.
   “Gregg!” Justin cried out. He had opened his car door just in time to see him falling to his knees, but knew that he couldn’t help him. Instead of trying to get out of the car, he tried to use the energy to call out to him, to make sure that his son was okay.
   “What just-” Gregg mumbled quietly. Groaning quietly, he then painfully stood up once more, and stumbled away to the nearest house that he could see.

-

   There were many houses down the street, but only a couple still had their lights on. Gregg rang the doorbells of three houses, banging as he did so to try and attract as much attention as he could. One of the buildings he tried had almost every window illuminated in the darkness, but nobody answered at all.
   The second and third houses he tried had no signs of life whatsoever. Were they all asleep? Trying to protect themselves from getting wet or maybe even hurt?
   He then tried to think of other tactics, other ideas to get people to answer their doors and help.
   “Please! Please help!” he cried out.
   He was knocking on the fourth door that he had managed to painfully reach, when he finally heard some movement.
   “I’m coming,” Gregg heard a man’s voice grumble from the other side. He watched as several lights were turned on, including the porch one, before the security latch was pulled back.
   A middle-aged man stared at Gregg for just a moment before reaching for the phone. When he returned, he tried to motion for him to come inside, but Gregg quickly refused.
   “No, no I can’t,” he replied as he shook his head. “It’s my mum and dad-” he began.
   “-There’s ben a crash?”
   “Yes,” Gregg cried.
   “I was wondering what that loud noise was just now,” the man replied quietly and sympathetically. He ran his hands through his receding blonde hairline and quickly keyed the emergency number into the phone. “I warned my neighbours they needed to do something about that tree,” he continued, grumbling to himself.
   “You need to phone-”
   “I’m already doing it son, are you sure you don’t want to come in and get warm?” he replied.
   “I need to go, my dad just told me to get some help-”
   “Well I’ll make sure that it’s on the way,” he said firmly. “I’ll be out with you in a minute or two once I know they’re coming.”
   Gregg then nodded weakly in acknowledgement and spun around, and started to make his way towards the car once more.

-

   He saw his dad leaning out of the drivers side as he approached, and quickly limped over. The moment he was beside him, he collapsed on by the open door, and knelt down on the damp road.
   “Did you manage to find anyone?” Justin asked him. Gregg looked at him, then to his mother who had been moved recently and nodded. Leia was now leaning across the drivers side, and her head was resting on his father’s left shoulder.
   As Gregg looked at her, he noticed that her eyes were closed, and that she wasn’t moving at all.
   “Dad, is she-” he began. Unable to finish the question though, he simply turned his attention to his father- who was slowly nodding.
   “Yes,” he replied quietly.
   “Dad-”
   “-Gregg, it’s okay, she won’t be alone for long.”
   “Wait-what are you saying?” Gregg asked as tears threatened to fall once more. “I found someone that said he was phoning the ambulance service now, you’re going to be okay.”
   “Gregg, please-”
   “-No dad, just no! You are not leaving me!”
   “Do you really think that I want to?” Justin snapped. Gregg recoiled away from him slightly, unsure of what to say next. As he did so, he took in the full extent of his fathers injuries.
   The dashboard was sitting on top of his fathers legs, pinning him down into his seat as a result. There was no way that he was going to be able to get out of the card, without being cut out from it first, and the urgency was taken even further when Gregg spotted blood dripping onto the floor of the car.
   Shards of glass were covering his chest and arms, some had even managed to bury their way into his skin, and were shining-almost mockingly, in the light from the car door being open. The ones that had broken through, had caused tiny red rivers to form. Although they weren’t flowing any longer, it was clear that the pain was more than enough to handle.
   “I am trying to hold on,” Justin weakly sighed. Gregg took a deep breath and regained his composure slightly, and he was able to kneel next to his father once more.
   His whole body ached from the bruises from the accident, and he could feel the injuries from when he had fell, starting to take their toll as well. Only one thing was on his mind though, making sure that his dad was okay.

   He braced himself mentally, telling himself that he could do this. That he would be the one to sort this whole thing out, knowing as he did so that he wouldn’t be able to. Sighing gently, Gregg then edged closer and undid the zip of his jumper. Justin watched in confusion, staying silent as they looked at each other once more.
   Gregg’s light brown hair had become much darker due to being wet, and he moved it slightly out of the way so that he could see a little better. He had taken a lot of facial features from his father, including his kind and sensitive eyes, but had strangely pushed away the idea of being closer to him than his mum. Now, in this moment though, it had all changed.

   Gregg bit his lip gently, and tried-in vain, to remove some of the glass that was covering his dad. Most of the shards were brushed off easily, and fell without a problem. They landed gently and quietly off his clothes and skin, and were forgotten about. Others though, were a little more stubborn and tricky to remove. After failing to remove several of the larger ones, he tried desperately to pick them out with his fingers instead.
   “It’s okay-” Justin began.
   “-Can you stop saying that it’s okay!” Gregg snapped. “It isn’t okay, none of it is. I told you about the storm,” he cried out. “I told you we should have stayed put. You should have listened-”
   “-Gregg,” his dad spoke firmly, but held a small quiver. Gregg took a deep breath and looked into his eyes once more, instantly feeling the full weight of the situation in front of him.
   Justin then, carefully slid Leia off his shoulder, so that she was resting against the opposite car window once more, and turned to his son.
   “I need you to listen to me.”
   “I’m listening,” Gregg replied weakly.
   “I mean-”
   “Dad, there is no way that I’m leaving you right now. I’m not going anywhere, say what you need to say. You have my full and complete attention.”
   Justin smiled weakly, and held his arms open, to which Gregg rushed to clamber into. He heard his dad wince in pain, and was about to back away slightly-when he felt his dad squeeze him tighter.
   “It’s been a while since I gave you one of my old proper hugs hasn’t it?” Justin whispered. Gregg stayed silent, finding that he couldn’t find the words to say anything in that moment. “I need you to do something for me,” his dad continued.
   Gregg pulled away then for a moment, but didn’t fully let go. Tears were freely falling down his face, and his dad smiled gently as he wiped them away-but left his own to continue making the neck of his t-shirt damp.
   Justin then slid something into the pocket of Gregg’s wet jumper, but shook his head when he began to reach for it.
   “Later,” he chuckled gently. “I just need you to look after that for me, can you do that?”
   “Of course I can,” Gregg replied quietly.

   Justin then pulled his son into a hug once more, and squeezed him gently one last time. The pain from the pressure in his legs and injuries hurt him more than he was letting on, but knew that Gregg couldn’t see that-or know how much. Right now, being here with his son was the most important thing to him, so he found himself blocking out the increasing level of pain he was in and focusing on that instead.
   “I am so proud of you, do you know that?” Justin spoke once more, his voice breaking as more tears fell. “I was so worried that I wouldn’t be a good father to you three, that I would do something wrong-”
   “-You were always my hero dad, and nothing will ever change that,” Gregg whispered into his ear.
   Silence followed shortly after, as they both relished and savoured each second with each other. They had both been independent, preferring to sort their own problems and do things on their own. Although it was useful, it also mean that spending time with family was missed out on many occasions, especially as the tasks took longer to complete.
   “Gregg,” Justin quietly spoke once more.
   “Yes? I’m still listening dad,” Gregg replied quietly.
   “I need you to look out for your brother for me. You two need to stay together, you were always a team from the start. Without us around, and Adalyn abroad, I’m really afraid of what will happen to you both.”
   “I promise,” he whispered. “I won’t let anything happen to Andi.”
   Justin quickly squeezed his son once more, realising as he did so that the energy he had at the start was quickly draining. Taking a deep breath, he then whispered five more words-knowing as he did so that they would be his last.
   “I love you so much.”
   “I love you too,” Gregg cried back quietly.

   Moments, that was all it took. Mere seconds after Gregg replied, Justin smiled once more and closed his eyes. He remembered the day at the hospital where he had first held his daughter, and then again when his two sons were born. He wondered often what kind of father he would be, and only hoped that he had done and taught them all enough.
   His mind raced through so many memories, all in short bursts, and he peacefully watched everyone in turn.
   When Gregg had been ill on holiday that one year. When Andi had dressed up as a pirate for a school play. When Adalyn had attended her end of school prom, and had showed off her dress with a beaming smile upon her face.
   So many memories, all filled with joy, laughter and-most important; love.
   The last image that he saw, and the one he focused his mind on, was one of Leia.
   “I’ll be with you soon my love,” he thought smiling, as he took his last breath.



EDIT: 17th Sept
So, I just spotted that the version I initially posted on this thread wasn't the most updated.  :shrug: Um... My bad.
Now it is the most recent version from my NaNo file, and has been updated to include more important information and fillers which I initially missed out.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 11:13:58 AM by Phoenix »
 
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Offline Phoenix

:Chapter two: Unwelcome news.
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2019, 11:16:10 AM »
Off-Topic: show
UPDATED: OCTOBER/NOVEMBER '19.
Any errors, please mention.


:Chapter two: Unwelcome news.

   Andi awoke with a start, and ran his hands through his short brown hair. The room was cool, and was almost calming despite the heavy rain falling outside, but he could tell that something was wrong.
   He pulled his knees up to his chest, and reached for his phone in the darkness. Gregg and parents were already several hours late arriving back already, and he was starting to get really nervous.
   “How much longer are you going to be?” he mumbled aloud to himself.
   After a few minutes of sitting in silence, Andi shuffled off the pull-out bed he had been sleeping on, and left the comfort of his friend’s bedroom.

   It had been his idea to stay with Mike, whilst his own family had to go away for the weekend. Homework was strictly not allowed to be completed though, as even though it was nearing the end of the summer holidays, it was also their last year in secondary school.
   Instead of worrying about their upcoming exams and studying, the aim was to relax and to think about where the future would take them.

-

   Andi nervously bit his lip, and started twiddling his fingers around. The hallway was lighter than Mike’s bedroom, but only because a light was illuminating the bottom half of the staircase. Outside the moon and all of the starts were shrouded in darkness, as clouds covered their natural shine.
   He made his way down the stairs quietly and slowly, wondering who else would be awake at this hour as he did so.
   The sitting room was quiet, and there was a cool breeze was drifting through the open door and up the stairs. Halfway down, Andi paused as he began to wonder if he should just try and go back to sleep. It certainly wasn’t the first time, that he could recall, where his imagination and paranoia had left him feeling rather silly.
   He stood, standing in the same place, for only a minute before the light was blocked. He then glanced down to the door, to see Mike’s mother, Jennifer looking directly at him.
   “Andi, you should be sleeping,” she said in a somewhat worried tone. Although almost straight away, she ushered him inside the room that she was on the verge of leaving herself.

{~}

   Gregg opened his eyes slowly, as he sat curled up on his fathers lap, but otherwise didn’t move any further. Several uneventful minutes followed, where he used the time to listen to what was going on around him.
   An ambulance was on its way, the sirens were quickly approaching-which both surprised and saddened him. The roads were still a dangerous place to be after all, the accident that he had just been involved in had proved that.
   “The ambulance should be here shortly,” somebody said as they approached.
   Gregg then turned around, to see the man that he had spoken to kneeling beside the opened car door. The rain was still pounding everything that it could touch, drenching it within moments. This even included the stranger next to him, regardless of the fact that he was wearing a thick coat.
   Then, he turned around once more and focused on his parents. He held his breath and braced himself for pain as he reached across to his mother. It didn’t work though, and he ended up wincing and closing his eyes the further he reached out.
   The necklace his mother wore, was a beautiful butterfly design-which was decorated with several different coloured gems that were placed inside the wings. Andi had chosen it for her birthday several years before, and had saved up over half of the money to buy it for her.
   The only other jewellery that she always wore, were her wedding and engagement rings, which were covered in a variety of flowers and a range of different sized diamonds. Gregg removed them all carefully, and slid the bands onto the chain with the pendant, and glanced at her one last time.
   When he was done, he then moved back to where he had been, and did the same thing with his father. His necklace and ring were simpler design, rather than delicate and detailed. They matched in colour, and shimmered in the faint light.
   Although it was cramped, Gregg finished the task relatively easily, and slowly started to slide out from the car one last time.
   “What’s going to happen to all of our suitcases?” he asked tentatively.
   “I can put them inside my car?” the stranger offered.
   “I guess that would be okay,” Gregg struggled to say. “What’s your name?”
   “Mitch,” he replied.
   “Nice to meet you Mitch,” Gregg said as he stopped on the verge of standing. Moving out from the car was far more painful than he had first thought, and the injuries that he had sustained were starting to show-now the shock was passing. “My name-” he continued moving, and took a deep breath as he stood up.
   As he did so, he felt the rest of the bruising and damage that he had suffered catch up to him then-and he was then able to feel the full impact of what had just happened.
   Mitch dived in front of Gregg as he fell, and watched in horror as his legs bucked and gave way. Though his quick actions were able to catch Gregg’s chest and head before they hit the floor, the support that he was able to give wasn’t enough.

   As the seconds drew on, Gregg felt his head and body become colder as it was placed onto the middle of the road. It was in that moment that he realised that the dampness of the rain no longer bothered him, which both surprised and amused him. He opened his eyes for a few moments, and saw that Mitch was kneeling beside him with a concerned expression on his face.
   “Where does it hurt?” he asked Gregg, slightly louder than he had first intended.
   After a few seconds of silence, Gregg closed his eyes, and tried to focus.
   “My leg,” he cried out in reply.
   He had found that, now all of the distractions had disappeared, the aftermath of the collision was starting to take its toll. Adrenaline was wearing off, enabling him to feel the pain from all the injuries all over his body. He immediately sat upright, and cradled his right leg with his arms, burying his head as he did so.
   “What’s wrong?” Mitch asked, panic now starting to show in his voice.
   “My leg-” Gregg began. “-It feels like it’s on fire.”
   “It may be fractured, does it hurt anywhere else?”
   “Everywhere,” he sighed. “It hurts everywhere-” he continued in a quieter tone, though Mitch was able to hear him. “Ugh! This isn’t fair!”
   Mitch stood up slowly and looked around cautiously, several houses that Gregg had knocked on were now showing signs of life. Many families were peering out of their windows, others had opened their doors to see what had occurred-but no one was willing to help and leave the safety of their homes.
   After a few moments of disbelief, Mitch then placed his hand on Gregg’s shoulder briefly.
   “I’ll be back in a second,” he assured the teenager. Then, reluctantly, he turned and rushed back to his home.

   The ambulance was getting closer with every second, even with the road blocks hindering the progress, Gregg could tell that it would arrive shortly. He instead focused his attention on lifting his head slightly to see what was going on around him.
   “Are you okay?” someone asked as they approached. Their voice was different-feminine and soft, and came from the direction of the first house that he had approached.
   He looked up to see someone nearing, with an umbrella raised above their head. She stepped into the light as much as she could, and immediately inspected the car. “Oh-oh gosh-” she stammered.
   Taking a few steps back, she then turned around and rushed over to Gregg, placing a large coat over his shoulders without another word.
   Her light brown hair had turned darker in patches where the rain had managed to hit it, and several damp patches had managed to cling to her face-refusing to break away. It had been pulled back neatly in a plait, which was resting over her left shoulder. Without another word, she leant down next to Gregg and tried her best to keep him dry.
   “Sherry,” Mitch called out in acknowledgement as he approached once more.
   “I didn’t realise, I heard someone knocking on the door and-”
   “Don’t.” Gregg cut in, his eyes now fixed on her brilliant blue. “Please- just don’t. I don’t want to know why you didn’t answer, how you could have helped-it’s to late now.”
   He then turned away, unable to say anything more, and instead gazed around at the many houses that were now showing signs of life.
   “Why aren’t they helping?” Mitch growled lightly to himself. Sighing, he then tried to wipe the rain off his face and hair, and knelt down beside Gregg once more. He was tall, towering over him with both build and height. A complete contrast to his friend opposite him, who was hesitant to bend down further in case the rain hit her any further.
   “Are the people in the car your mum and dad?” Sherry asked.
   Gregg took a deep breath and nodded. His voice had now threatened to never return, along with his strength, as he sat in the middle of the road. Torn between wanting to be taken away from the situation in front of him, and wanting to stay with his parents-unwilling to leave them with strangers.

-

   As the minutes drew on, the sirens grew even louder, until the lights could be seen in the darkness. Mitch and Sherry continued to stay beside Gregg, regardless of the fact that they didn’t know his name, to offer support and keep him company.
   The only time anyone moved, was when Mitch waved to the ambulance to show them where to go. Even then, he returned to his previous position-beside Gregg, as soon as he was able to.
   Gregg watched as the paramedics rushed over to the three of them, and saw as they understood the situation in front of them. The scene was a tragic one, with the unwelcome essence of loss thick in the air.

   The two paramedic’s quickly assessed Gregg’s parents in the car, and tried to get them to speak. After quickly checking their vital signs, the two of them then made their way to the middle of the road with their unused equipment in tow.
   Henry was the first to approach, and sit down next to Gregg on the floor. A father of three, he immediately felt for the teenager beside him. He brushed his own shoulder length damp hair from his eyes, and called out for his partner to bring the kit that he needed.
   Sarah handed him the box, then motioned for Mitch to step aside so that she could help. She was a mother of two herself, and had initially wanted to stay home with her family and watch films on the television. Upon seeing the devastation in front of her, she regretted ever thinking or hoping to do such a thing.
   “Hello sweetie,” she said softly.
   The rain had eased up upon their arrival, enough so that the moonlight could now be seen as the dark clouds had moved on. It was now shining enough light to show the full extent of the accident that had occurred, and the sheer size of the tree that had been struck and fallen over-which was now blocking the entire road.
   “What’s your name?” Henry asked.
   “Gregg,” he replied as he paused for a minute. “Are they really gone?” he asked. Not knowing where to look, he gazed at the car that he had been reluctant to travel in that day.
   “I’m afraid so,” Sarah replied. “Are they your-”
   “-Parents?” Yes, my mum and dad,” he said sadly. “My brother! We were supposed to be home by now, he doesn’t know what’s happened,” Gregg continued suddenly alarmed.
   “It’s okay Gregg,” Sarah tried to reassure him. “We can let him know, he can meet you at the hospital.”
   “No,” he paused once more. “No, I need to tell him about mum and dad, he can’t hear that they-” He bit his lip gently and closed his eyes as tears split down his face. “He needs to hear it from family, not from a stranger.”
   Sarah and Henry nodded in understanding, and instead tried to focus their attention on his injuries.

   After checking that the rain had completely passed, Sherry moved out of the way and collapsed her umbrella. As she did so, she noticed that other families had started to make their way over, which made the guilt that she felt grow. Why hadn’t she opened the door to the boy who clearly needed help? Was she afraid? Selfish? Lazy maybe?
   She had heard the crash, and had even looked over to see what had happened. It had also only been two days since she had spoken to the house opposite, to advise them to cut the trees in case they caused any accidents.
   Clearly they hadn’t heard or paid any attention to what she had warned them about though. Even as she looked back at her driveway, she could see branches and leaves invading it from the once tallest tree on the street.
   The whole situation in front of her now seemed so unreal, and she didn’t know what to do. So she just stood on the sidelines, as she watched as Sarah and Henry ran through all the usual medical questions to Gregg.

   In each of his hands, Gregg clutched the necklaces and rings that he had removed from his parents. As he sat on the floor, he placed each one around his own neck slowly. Henry disappeared momentarily as he did so, which left Sarah wondering what Gregg was thinking.
   He had only answered their questions about his injuries so far, and seemed to be unable or willing to tell them anything further.
   It was obvious that he wanted to keep the jewellery safe, and only hoped that they would be kept together when Gregg’s belongings were taken and placed in storage when he stayed in hospital.
   “We need to get you inside the ambulance now,” Sarah said to him. “Do you think you can stand?”
   “No,” Gregg replied as he shook his head. “The pains getting worse,” he explained.
   “I’m on it,” Henry called out, as he opened the drivers side door. After a few minutes, he had started the engine up once more, and reversed slowly down the road. Once he had parked up, this time a little closer, he stepped out and opened the back doors.
   As he pulled the stretcher out to meet them, Gregg glanced at Mitch once more.
   “Mitch?” he called out weakly.
   “I’m here,” he replied rather quickly. Within moments he had rushed over to the three of them, and patiently waited until he was lying down on the soft portable bed.
   “Our suitcases, in the car-”
   “-I remember,” Mitch paused. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of them.”
   Gregg instantly relaxed and lay down properly, watching his surroundings carefully as he was pulled inside. He had managed to compose himself, managed to hold back the tears-somewhat successfully- and fear that had threatened to escape until that point. Now though, as the doors closed shut, the panic was starting to show.

{~}

   Andi sat beside Jennifer in front of the sitting room window as they waited; both hopeful and nervous. It was getting increasingly dark outside even though it had stopped raining, and it was making them both worried.
   “I’m sure they’re both okay,” Jennifer said softly.
   Andi took a deep breath, unable to say anything in reply. A sickening pit had formed in his stomach, one that refused to go away. In the back of his mind, he could tell that something was seriously wrong, but what was it? And where were his family?
   Jennifer immediately sat upright as she noticed a pair of headlights nearing her home.
   “Maybe that’s them?” she offered. Andi only shook his head, noticing the police car markings as he did so.
   He sighed weakly and stared at the car as it slowed, it was definitely parking somewhere nearby.
   “Where do you think they’re going?” Jennifer asked, unable to take her eyes off the moving vehicle.
   “Hopefully not here,” Andi said struggling.
   “I doubt they would be Andi,” she said pausing to look at him. He was becoming increasingly afraid and worried with every second that passed, and it was beginning to show. “They’re probably just making sure that the roads are safe.”
   Andi took another deep breath and forced himself to look away. The unwelcome feeling in his stomach was growing wider and further, and he was now struggling to catch his breath and breathe properly.
   There was only reason that he knew of, in which police made house calls apart from arrests, and that was to notify the residents of a death in the family. He covered his face with his hands, and took a few seconds as he tried to recollect his thoughts and think clearly once more.
   Just then, the phone began to ring-cutting the deadly and unnerving silence with a loud screech that faded and increased in volume every few seconds.
   Andi immediately had the urge to answer it, finding that a sudden urge to find out if it was his parents finally explaining what was taking them so long to get home. As he was staying at someone else’s home though, he held his composure the best he could, and waited anxiously for Jennifer to answer it and return.
   To pass the time for a few moments, he instead tried to see where the police car had disappeared to, only to find that it had already passed the house.

-

   Andi waited silently, and found himself clutching onto a nearby pillow as the minutes drew on. The situation he was in was so surreal to him, nothing like this had ever happened before.
   After a little while, slight noises out in the hall caught his attention, and he looked up expectantly with his eyes wide with hope. Only to find that it was Mike, not Jennifer, who entered the room.
   “What’s going on?” Mike asked him. He rubbed his eyes as he made his way inside and sat down, clearly still half asleep.
   “I’m not sure,” Andi replied. “My parents aren’t back yet, and it’s really late.”
   Mike shook his head briefly, as he tried to rid himself of the tiredness that threatened to overpower his body once more, and then looked to Andi. He had clearly just woken up, as his light brown hair was sticking up at odd angles, and his eyelids were drooping over his brilliant green eyes.
   He also knew that this wasn’t the time to leave his friend, and so tried to stay awake the best that he could. It certainly was late after all, his bedside clock had shown that it was fast approaching two in the morning. Just how long had Andi and his mum been awake?

   Jennifer walked into the room once more, as she dreaded what was about to happen. She was visibly distraught, and avoided eye contact with both of them as she sat down.

   Andi and Mike then looked to each other in alarm, unable to say anything or move, they simply sat and waited for news they were both sure they didn’t want to hear.
   “What’s going on?” Andi asked, suddenly alarmed.
   “Mum?”
   “We need to go to the hospital,” Jennifer said slowly.
   “Why? What’s happened?” Andi cried out. “Are mum and dad okay?”
   “I’m-” she began. “I’m not sure dear, they wouldn’t tell me everything over the phone. She just said to head down right away, so you had best get changed. I’ll drive you down as soon as we’re all ready,” she continued. After a few minutes of silence, she then made her way over to Andi, and wrapped her arms around her. The hug though, was more for her benefit than his, she noted as she did so.
   She was shaking with anxiety, and was worried about her friends and family. The news, whatever it was, would surely change all their lives forever.



This is by far the most polished version of Foundation that I have so far! Please give feedback where possible. This story has been my life for so long, and I really need people to read and let me know what they think.

I have been going through gradually, and have fixed all the errors in the in the most updated file that I had as I've been writing NaNo. I've corrected and changed out so much that I didn't spot initially. Where speech doesn't end, where I've written in the wrong character somewhere and not intended, where I've fixed names and other minor details that didn't 'fit' or make sense.
   I've also added more detail, more emotion, more history. This has taken months to get to the stage that it's at, and I really need you; the reader, to enjoy it as much as I have loved writing it.