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If she was a freak in New York, she was gonna be a freak anywhere else. Change the location all you want, the facts remain the same. 

At least that's the mentality Ivy Thorn had about herself. 

Pressing her forehead against the glass window of her parents' 1990 Cutlass, she watched the trees and general rural wasteland pass by in blending colors. 

It had been at least a day and a half's worth of time in the car since they packed up the last box and tossed away the keys to their little home in upstate New York. 

Her dad Greg Thorn was a simple sweater vest wearing man with shaggy brown hair and blue eyes, working in IT, her mom Miriam was a former Mary Kay lady, now Suzie Homemaker in standard mom clothes, wavy brown hair and brown eyes. Ivy was a 5'4 girl with hazel eyes, long hair colored black, her clothes were black, and her personality was also rather dim. 

She barely said more than a few words at a time, usually just to be polite, but if anyone ever heard the racing thoughts she had constantly, well let's just say if they were put into writing, they'd last a few series spanning over decades, if not, centuries. 

Being a 15 year old girl was hard, especially if you were perceived to be weird and freaky. 

Her mother, noticing that Ivy had been quiet but very much awake in the backseat, turned around to try and communicate with her.

"Oh honey, I know moving and starting over isn't exactly the greatest experience, but think about it! You'll have a chance to make some new friends and before you know it, you'll have your own little group. Won't that be nice?"

Her lip twitched in an effort to smile, but accompanied with a shrug, it wasn't much of a hopeful response.

She wasn't entirely thrilled with the prospect of having to start over once again at a new school, every one she had been to so far had been rather unwelcoming. Even before she started dressing in all black, kids were unusually mean to her for being so quiet. 

Miriam turned around and sighed. Her husband grabbed her hand in reassurance that all this would be okay.


"We're here!" Miriam cheered. 

Ivy focused her view on the shabby looking brick building they parked in front of. 

"Yep yep, Addison Apartments, home sweet home." Said her dad, in his perky way.

It really wasn't much to look at, but then again, it only solidified the lack of hope she had. 

Wanting to get this over with, she opened the car door and began to step out, but not before hearing her mother call out to her. 

"Ivy honey, wait, you haven't moved in a-"


Too late, the world went white. The poor girl got dizzy and face planted onto the sidewalk. She heard the sounds of her parents scrambling to her side, lifting her up. 

"Are you alright, dear?" Her mother said, coddling her child. 

"Do I have all my teeth?" Ivy said drearily, her mouth hanging open to allow her mother a cursory glance. 

"Yes, it would appear so."

"Solid." She mumbled before her head dropped. Her parents helped her onto her feet, her mother handing her a water bottle. 

"Here, why don't you head upstairs and unlock the doors for us? We'll start getting this stuff out of the car." Greg handed her the keys to their new place with a worried smile. She snagged the keys and trudged inside the building, her long flowy clothes adding a dramatic effect to her vertigo infected gait. 

"Oh thank the gods, an elevator." She slumped against the doors and pressed the door open button. She shambled into the small box and pressed the button for the 4th floor. 

'Good thing this exists, otherwise I have no idea how Greg and Miriam thought they were gonna haul all that crap up 4 flights anyway.' 

For some reason, this dizzy spell wasn't going away, her vision was still blurry, and the weird movement of the elevator wasn't helping much. 

She looked at the keys for the apartment number. 

"Pfft 404, is this some kind of IT joke, Greg?" She mumbled to herself, trying to make herself laugh. 

The machine dinged and the doors slowly opened. She was greeted by a sign on the opposing wall saying the numbers of apartments and the direction they'd be found in. 

She exited and turned left, but wasn't prepared to see a ghostly figure standing there. She shrieked and fell backwards. 

"Oh man, I'm sorry, did I scare you?" She heard a voice, a boys voice, but it had pigtails. Then it came towards her, causing her to freak out again and pass out.

"Shit! Larry!!" The boy called out. A tall, long haired boy showed up 

"I'm here, what's-whoa, what'd you do?" 

"Nothing! She just came out of the elevator and freaked out!" 

"Man, if you need help disposing a body, at least be honest about it."

"Shut up, Larry! This is serious, what if she is dead?" 

"Calm down! She's probably just unconscious." During the commotion, they didn't notice the elevator going down and coming back up to the 4th floor. 

They heard the familiar ding! and the doors starting to open. 

"Okay, now you can panic." The boys were startled by the couple freaking out over the sight, a masked blue haired individual and a tall, sleep deprived looking boy with long hair standing over their daughters knocked out body. 

"Wait wait wait, she just walked out and fainted! I swear!" The blue haired boy held up in his hands in defense, prepared for the overreaction heading their way. 

The couple both took a deep breath of weird relief, confusing the two boys. 

"I'm sorry, that's our daughter. She's terribly anemic and faints at the drop of a hat." The boys looked at the couple for a second before taking a sigh of relief themselves. 

"Thank god, I'm so sorry, she caught me off guard." Said the blue haired boy. 

"Would one of you mind helping me out with her, she insists on wearing those heavy boots everywhere?" Greg scooped his arms under her armpits while the long haired boy took her legs and they carried her towards the empty apartment. 

"Hey, are you guys moving into 404?"

"Indeed, as of today." Said Greg, struggling with carrying Ivy. 

"Well uh, welcome. I'm Sal, I live in 402, and this is my friend Larry, he lives in the basement."

"Oh, so you boys are our new neighbors?" Piped up Miriam, trying to be polite. 

"As of today! I'm sorry it had to start out like this." 

"It's okay, we just got done with a long drive and she's probably extra dizzy from the trip." 

"That's gotta be a pain." 

"We learn to live with it, just make sure she doesn't do anything too strenuous and eats." 

"I see. So, is your daughter in high school?"

"Yes! She's getting ready to start at Nockfell High School, are you boys students there as well?"

"Yes ma'am." Said Larry, the long haired boy.

"Oh perfect!" Miriam clapped her hands together excitedly.

"Hey, I hate to impose but would you boys mind helping us unload the rest of our stuff? I'd be more than happy to pay you for your trouble."

Sal and Larry looked at each other and shrugged in agreement. 

"No payment necessary, we're always happy to help new Addison tenants."


An hour had passed before the last box was brought up, during the whole event, Ivy had been sitting in her new empty bedroom, laying her head and arms across the window sill, trying to get some air. 

"Well, that should do it." Larry said, wiping his hands on his pants.

"I'm curious, are you boys doing a project or something?" Said Greg, trying to make conversation. 

"What do you mean?" 

"Well, you have the mask and I was wondering if you were filming a little movie or something." He gestured to the blue haired boy. 

"Oh. Well uh.. Thing is, it's a prosthetic."


"Yeah, I had a bit of an accident when I was a kid so.." Greg went pale as he realized how insensitive he sounded, Miriam jumped in to cover.

"You poor dear, I'm so sorry." 

"It's okay, I know it catches people by surprise, it's no big deal." 

"I won't lie, I thought you might have been into horror movies or something, our daughter loves those like crazy!" Miriam playfully tapped her husband on the arm. 

"Well don't worry, we like horror movies in this building as well, so your daughter's in good company." Said Sal.

"Actually, about that. I was wondering if I could ask you boys another favor." 

"Okay, but only if the payment is pizza." Chuckled Larry. 

"You got it!" Said Greg with a thumbs up, making Larry hold his hands up in jest.

"Whoa whoa, I was joking! Again, no payment necessary." 

"Please, I insist. You boys have been so helpful and nice." 

Sal and Larry looked at each other once again before Sal spoke up. 

"What's the favor?"

"Well, you see.." Miriam spoke in a hushed whisper before gesturing all four of them go out into the building hallway, making sure that Ivy couldn't hear them. 

"Our daughter, she's a little shy. A bit of a wallflower. She's had trouble making friends due to her.. unique appearance and her quiet personality. Do you think you boys could be dears and show her around school when it starts?"

"Normally, I'm a bit of a welcome wagon anyway, so it's no problem, really." Sal shrugged, trying to be nonchalant about the ordeal.

"Really? You guys would do that for us?" Miriam had a glimmer of hope in her eyes. 

"You guys seem like nice people, and I'm sure your daughter is once she opens up."

"What do you boys want on that pizza?" Greg said, holding his new cell phone in hand, ready to dial. 





I can't believe those two conned those poor boys into carrying all that shit for them.

Then again, since they are nice people and bought them pizza, I can't even say conned. I'm just cynical. 

I spent a good while staring out the window. Being on the fourth floor has it's advantages, like being able to see the entire wasteland that is the town of Nockfell. I could see the downtown area, but I knew that was still a bit of a drive, as far as someone without a license could tell anyway. 

And a church down the road, lovely. 

What the hell kind of IT company is all the way out here anyway?

My thoughts were interrupted however by two boys chatting away down on the sidewalk. 

Wait, those are the boys who helped bring all our stuff in. Does that one boy have a mask? I didn't even really look at him. 

I got up and went to confer with my parents. 

"Hey, did a ghost help carry all our stuff?" That wasn't exactly what I wanted to say but my mouth has yet to catch up with my brain.

"You mean that sweet boy in the mask? Poor dear, apparently he had an accident and he has to wear that thing." Geez..

"Yeah, I asked him if it was some kind of Halloween thing, thought you two might have some things in common. And that other guy, what's his name, Larry? I thought he was a grown man, he was so tall." Oh Dad. 

"Before I forget, those boys go to the new school you'll be attending. Isn't that great? You already have some friends!" 

"Whoa whoa, slow down. What did you do to those poor guys?"

"Well, with a little of the Gregory Thorn charm and a pepperoni pizza.." My dad, such a goofy guy. It's hard to say no to him. 

"You'd make a killing at FBI interrogation, dad." 

"Oh honey, I'm so excited for you, you're just gonna love it here!" Mom shook her little fists in such glee, I know she was trying to get me amped up with her, but I couldn't share the same sentiment with her. 

Still, not wanting to disappoint, I have her a small "Yayyy.." I watched her big smile fade to a sad one. I'm sorry ma, that's the best I could do. 

Now I just feel terrible. 

"Well, if it's alright with you guys, I'm gonna go to bed."

"Oh but don't you wanna eat pizza with your new friends? It should be here any moment." You're really trying to force that, huh?

"Sorry, but I'm still not feeling very well."

"Do you want your dad to help you set up the bed?"

"Mattress on the floor will do just fine for now, not any different from camping. Goodnight guys." I scuttled off hurriedly before they could try and trap me in more conversation. 

I didn't like doing that to them, but I was just getting more and more uncomfortable. I know they try their best for me to have a normal life, but that would require me to be normal first. 

Still, I'll do my best. For Greg and Miriam.