Short Story Sunday 227: Underneath [Part 4 – Final – Interactive Story]

Short Story: Underneath (Part 4) | Interactive Story | Flash Fiction | RachelPoli.com

Did you read Parts One, TwoThree?

            Pixel picked up her school bag and swung it over one shoulder. She walked over to the front door of her house placing a hand on the doorknob. Her father stood by the front window watching her carefully.

“You need to go to the library to study now?” he asked.

Pixel nodded. “I have a lot of homework and I want to get to a good start on it.”

“It was only your first day.”

“It’s high school.”

Her father sighed. “Can you even get into the school this late at night? What’s wrong with the local library right down the street?”

“I met a couple friends and this is what they do.” Pixel replied.

“Can you trust these friends?” he wondered aloud.

Pixel sighed exasperated. “Dad.”

He threw his hands up defensively. “Alright, alright. I just want to make sure you’re safe and know what you’re doing. Sometimes people aren’t always what they seem.”

“No kidding,” Pixel cracked a smile. “I’m half-fairy, remember?”

Her father chuckled. “Fair enough. Just be home by 10, alright?”

“I promise.” Pixel said. She kissed her father on the cheek and left the house. As she walked down the walkway and onto the curb, she didn’t bother looking back. She knew her father was going to watch her from the window until she was out of sight.

Pixel knew she very well couldn’t tell her father what she was doing. However, she told him that she’d be at the high school, so it wasn’t completely lying, right? She felt guilty. She never lied to her father. But it was just one night. She had a feeling the Underneath wasn’t even going to be anything special and she’d make a couple friends out of it. It was a win-win situation for all, right?

She needed to have a couple friends in order to get through high school in a normal way. High schoolers had friends and socialized a lot, right? So this was what she needed to do.

The high school wasn’t too far away from her house. She wasn’t old enough to learn how to drive and she certainly didn’t want her father to drive her. Lucky for her it was close so her father trusted her enough to walk.

When she made it to the high school, she walked to the back of the school where the student parking lot was. Just as she rounded the corner, she noticed two figures in the shadows. She stopped for a moment, hoping it was Alvin and Miles, though it was hard to tell.

Pixel wasn’t there long when one turned around and took notice of her.

“Ah, there you are!”

Pixel recognized Alvin’s voice and let out a sigh of relief. She walked over to the two boys and smiled in greeting.

Miles curled the corner of his mouth into a smile. “I was beginning to think you wouldn’t show.”

“Sorry,” she said, “My dad thought it was strange I’d be at the school so late at night.”

“You told him?!” Miles glared at her.

Pixel took a step back. “No, no! I told him I was going to the library to study with some friends.”

Miles let out a breath. She couldn’t tell if it was out of relief or if he was still annoyed.

“No worries,” Alvin said calmly to Miles. He turned to Pixel and winked. “We’ll teach Emily to sneak around soon enough.”

“Yeah, you really are new around here, aren’t you?” Miles grunted.

“Emily?” Pixel repeated. She looked over her shoulder but no one was there.

“Em, sorry,” Alvin corrected himself.

Pixel was about to say something but then she realized she was Emily. Oh, right. She had forgotten she had lied to them too.

“Where are you from anyway?” Alvin asked.

“Uh…” she hadn’t thought that far into her back story.

“It doesn’t matter right now. We’ve already wasted enough time.” Miles interrupted. He turned away from them and led the way to a door inside the school. He took out a pair of keys and started unlocking the doors.

“How did you get keys to the school?” Pixel asked.

“His dad is a janitor here.” Alvin replied.

“And he just gave him the keys to the school?”

“Geez,” Miles chuckled, “you really are naïve, huh? I stole them from his dresser while he was in the shower.”

“He won’t notice?” Pixel asked.

“Not unless I don’t put it back by the time his shift starts tomorrow morning.” Miles replied.

They entered the school without saying anything else. Pixel didn’t appreciate how dark it was in the school. It was spooky and everything looked different – not just because of the lights but because she hadn’t gone to this part of the school before. She had no idea where they were.

Miles closed the door behind them as Alvin led the way through the school. Pixel followed him and Miles followed her, neither of them speaking. It was obvious they knew what they were doing and where they were going. She didn’t understand why she had agreed to go with them or why they even let her tag along in the first place. She figured, as long as stuck close to them and did what they told her to do, she’d be fine. They were only in the school, after all. They weren’t actually going to an Underneath place.

“How do we get into the basement?” Alvin asked.

“There’s a code. I think it’s 8-4-6-2.” Miles said. Then he paused.

Alvin opened the code box and punched in the number eight.

“Or was it 8-4-6-1?” Miles whispered to himself.

Pixel heard him but when she looked at Alvin he was punching in the numbers four and six. She suddenly had a bad feeling. “Wait–”

An alarm blared throughout the halls.

“Well, damn. I guess it was 8-4-6-1.” Miles muttered.

Alvin turned around with wide eyes. “What do we do?”

Pixel reached for the door and turning the knob. Of course, it was already unlocked. “Guys, in here.” She opened the door and disappeared into the basement.

“How’d you do that?” Alvin asked.

“Just run!” she exclaimed.

Alvin followed, as did Miles, closing the door behind them.

The three of them dashed down the stairs and ran through the hallways trying to find either a good spot to hide or a way out so they could get home without being detected.

“My dad is gonna kill me. He’s going to the one the alarm company calls.” Miles sighed.

“And he’s not going to have his keys to get in.” Alvin replied. “You’re definitely screwed. Em and I are fine though. As long as you don’t rat us out.”

“Gee, thanks.” Miles glared at him.

“Guys, I don’t think now is the time to bicker.” Pixel said. There were a few doors lined up down the hall but they all had signs – various storage rooms, the boiler room, and more. However, there was one door that didn’t have a sign.

“There’s nowhere for us to go.” Miles sighed.

“How about here?” Pixel pointed to the unmarked door.

The boys blinked at her. “Uh, Em? That’s a wall.” Alvin stated.

Pixel cocked her head to the side. Was it too dark for him to see the door? How could they not see it?

Without another word, Pixel grabbed the door knob and opened it revealing a bright light. Both boys gasped and Pixel grabbed them both by the arm and shoved them through the door.

Words: 1,253

Thanks for reading this 4-part short! The full novella will be posted on Wattpad in 2019. Let me know what you think will happen next in the comments below! Let me know where you think the door might lead or what The Underneath entails. Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this final part of the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 226: Underneath [Part 3 – Interactive Story]

Short Story: Underneath (Part 3) | Flash Fiction | Short Story | Interactive Story | RachelPoli.com

Did you read Parts OneTwo?

            Pixel’s mouth gaped open. She hesitated for a moment, but only just. Once she caught Miles and Alvin exchanging confused looks, she blurted out the first normal name that came to mind – even though she had planned on telling the truth.

“Em… ily…”

“Emily?” Alvin repeated. “Is Em like a nickname?”

Pixel was about to respond when Miles cut her off.

“Em it is.” He said proud as though he had named her himself.

Pixel wanted to correct them but she had no idea how to take that back. She didn’t mean to say that. She didn’t even know where the name Emily came from in her head to begin with.

“Anyway, have you heard of the Underneath before? Or were you just curious from eavesdropping on us?” Miles wondered aloud.

Pixel shrugged.

Alvin tilted his head to the side. “Why so shy all of a sudden?”

Pixel looked over her shoulder before turning back to the boys. “Uh, should we be going to class or something?”

Miles and Alvin cast neutral glances to one another before bursting out laughing.

“Dude,” Alvin said in between breaths, “first period is just about over. It’s a little late to be concerned about class now, isn’t it?”

Pixel rubbed the back of her neck in embarrassment. “Well, it’s the first day and…”

And why was she still talking to them?

“And it’s obvious you’re a freshman.” Miles retorted. “Did you want to check out the Underneath with us or not?”

Pixel was taken aback. “Wait, you’d let me tag along with you guys? We just met. How secret is this Underneath place?”

“It’s no secret, but it’s also just a myth. No one is really sure if it exists or not which is why we’re going to check t out. After school, of course. Tonight.” Alvin explained.

“Plus, we kind of have to invite you along since you already know what we’re planning. You’re not going to tell anyone, are you?” Miles added with a light glare.

Pixel shook her head.

“Good.” He smiled.

Alvin grinned. “Meet us in the student parking lot at 8 tonight?”

Words: 361

I’m writing this story with your help! Please be sure to vote in the poll above for what should happen next in the story.

I hope you enjoyed part one of the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 225: Underneath [Part 2 – Interactive Story]

Short Story: Underneath (Part 2) | Flash Fiction | Short Story | Interactive Story | RachelPoli.com

Did you read Part One?

            Pixel turned around to walk away. She could hear the two boys chatting away about this “Underneath” thing, their voices getting softer the more she distanced herself from them. She had barely made it around the corner of the corridor before she twisted her heels right back around continuing to walk at her usual pace but back toward the boys again.

“Hello?” she called to them immediately flinching. That greeting didn’t sound convincing at all.

Still, it got their attention. Both boys immediately stopped speaking, frozen, eyes wide.

Pixel stopped once she was a few feet apart from them. “Uh, hi.” She said again.

“Hi?” Alvin responded. His eyes shifted toward Miles, who kept a steady gaze on Pixel.

“Can we help you with something?” Miles asked. He stood taller folding his arms across his chest, his muscles flexing in the process. Pixel took a step back. Was he going to try to fight her or something?

“Probably not,” Pizel said shaking her head. “I mean, you probably shouldn’t. I really came over here to talk to you because I’m nosy. Sorry. I didn’t want to interrupt. In fact, I walked away… but then I decided to come back for… some reason…” she began to chuckle. It was the kind of laugh that escaped your lips when you were really nervous or embarrassed – and she was definitely feeling both emotions.

Miles dropped his arms by his side. He sighed. “So, you heard us talking, then?”

Pixel hesitated to answer. She wasn’t sure what the right answer was. If she told them the truth that she was eavesdropping, they might get mad. Then again, it seemed as though they already knew she overheard them. So, if she lied, they might get mad at her for being a liar.

“I’m a freshman, new here, I don’t know where my class is. Help?” she blurted quickly and immediately regretted it.

Alvin burst out laughing. In fact, he nearly doubled over in he was laughing so hard. Pixel couldn’t tell, but it seemed as though there were tears coming out of his eyes. Miles, on the other hand, just looked confused.

“Listen, Lady,” Alvin said in between breaths, “while I believe that, I think it’s pretty obvious why you’re talking to us right now.”

Pixel felt herself blush.

“You wanna know about the Underneath too, huh?” Miles said with a smirk.

Pixel found herself nodding. She didn’t know why either. She didn’t want to be attending high school. She wanted to keep a low profile. Whatever these boys were thinking or planning, it must have been against school rules. So why was she trying to get involved in it?

Miles stretched out a hand. “Miles, as you might have heard. I’m a sophomore here.”

As Pixel shook Miles’s hand she noticed Alvin waving behind him. “I’m Alvin. I’m a freshman too, though I’m supposed to be a sophomore. I stayed back.”

Pixel nodded. She had no idea what that meant though she had a guess. She certainly didn’t want to repeat any high school years. Talking to these boys probably wasn’t the best decision she’s made… and she’s only been in high school for about an hour.

“So, you’re a freahman, new here, apparently.” Miles prompted. “What’s your name?”

Pixel opened her mouth and then froze. Pixel wasn’t a normal name. She was to keep a low profile here and she knew with a name like Pixel people would ask questions.

Words: 591

I’m writing this story with your help! Please be sure to vote in the poll above for what should happen next in the story.

I hope you enjoyed part one of the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 224: Underneath [Part 1 – Interactive Story]

Short Story: "Underneath (Part 1)" | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

It was Pixel’s first day of high school. In her world, children could decide whether they wanted to go to high school or if they wanted to stop their schooling and go to work. Pixel’s parents had both stopped going to school which was why her father was pressuring her to go to high school.

It was bad enough that she had to go to public school against her will, but to start high school with a name such as Pixel? It was embarrassing.

“Now remember,” her father had told her, “If anyone asks, your mother is away on business and the hospital got your name wrong on your birth certificate.”

Pixel had rolled her eyes, like she did all the time, and reluctantly agreed as she took her brown paper bag lunch from her father’s hands.

It was hard for Pixel to take this whole high school thing seriously when ever her father was nervous and slightly embarrassed for her. It didn’t make her feel a whole lot better despite his forced smiles and words of, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine,” and, “it’s all going to be alright.” Or, her favorite, “The year will be over before you know it!” Right. Then she’ll have three more years to go….

The truth was, Pixel’s mother was not away on business. She was dead. She had died a long time ago in an effort to protect Pixel. Which was why she was in the human world and not where she originally came from, The Forest.

Her father was human and her mother was a Fairy. Fairies were magical beings and they had a lot of skills and properties built into them. Her mother had tricked her father into thinking she was human. They married, had Pixel, and when the doctor’s were baffled at Pixel’s one-inch size when she was born, her mother had run away with her.

She kept in touch with her husband, of course, but they couldn’t expose the fairy world. According to Pixel’s father, that would be bad. Don’t ask Pixel how or why. Her father never finished explaining.

When Pixel was young, something happened in The Forest. Her mother had given her life to save Pixel and thus now she was living as a human with her father.

She loved her father dearly and she was sure she would have loved her mother if she had gotten to know her. Still, Pixel couldn’t help but feeling bitter about her life. Why couldn’t she have been full fairy or full human? Why did she have to go to high school like this?

Pixel had researched high school on the Internet. It didn’t look pretty and it didn’t sound like a lot of fun. In fact, Pixel was afraid to go. Yet, her father dropped her off at the front with a big encouraging smile. He gave her a kiss goodbye, wished her luck, and then he was on his way.

Pixel waved as the car vroomed out of sight. As much as she resented this idea, her biggest fear was screwing up. She didn’t want to disappoint her father. Or her mother.

A loud noise rang through the courtyard and Pixel assumed that must have been the bell. From what her father told her, the bell meant Pixel had to get to her class. That was another weird thing about high school. Why did everyone base their schedule upon an inanimate object? Shouldn’t they go where they want or wait for the teachers to let them go? It was just weird to her.

Pixel entered the front door, among many other people, and she looked around in awe. The lobby was huge and bright. It looked much nicer than some pictures she had seen on the Internet.

It was crowded though so she couldn’t see much other than the large chandelier hanging overhead. And even though the bell had already rung, there were still a lot of students hanging around chatting with one another.

“How was your summer vacation?”

“Oh, it’s so nice to see you!”

“Wow, you lost a lot of weight! Good for you!”

Pixel flinched at each and every word. She was able to shift into a human and round out her pointed ears, but being part fairy, her hearing was still much better than the average human. That was something she couldn’t turn off and she was beginning to get a headache at all the noise. If this was just the beginning of high school, what was the rest of the day going to be like? What was the rest of the year going to be like?

Before she knew it, Pixel found herself running. She was bumping into people (and it seemed as though she knocked someone to the ground, but she didn’t stop to check) and she finally made it into another room. It was quieter there, though she could still hear the gossip and conversations from the lobby.

The bell rang again overhead and she knew she was supposed to get to class, but she didn’t know where she was supposed to go. Maybe she could find a teacher and they would be able to help.

She walked further into the room admiring all the many tables and chairs. This was a huge classroom! Then she got a whiff of pancakes, bacon, and fresh bagels. She licked her lips and noticed to her left was a kitchen. Wow, did all the classrooms have a kitchen like this? Maybe they had a refrigerator for her to put her lunch in.

Pixel was just about to go into the kitchen and ask one of the workers when something else caught her attention.

“Have you heard about the Underneath?” a male asked.

“No, what are you talking about?” another male responded.

Intrigued, Pixel headed over to where the two boys were talking. There were standing in the hallway on the other side of the large classroom. She poked her head around the wall and watched the two of them.

Both of them were tall, one tan with a stocky body. The other had darker skin with muscles bulging from his sleeves.

“The Underneath is hidden under the school.”

“No kidding, Alvin… That’s what underneath means.” The sports guy replied bluntly.

“You know what I mean, Miles! There’s treasure or something under the school. Our high school, can you believe it?” Alvin said rubbing his thick arms. Though Pixel didn’t think they were thick with muscles.

“Treasure? Who said treasure?”

“Well… I’m just assuming. I mean, what else could the Underneath mean?”

“Oh, I don’t know… A basement, maybe?” Miles said rolling his eyes.

Pixel couldn’t help but snicker to herself. Lucky for them, they didn’t seem to hear her. Still, this Underneath thing seemed interesting. It would certainly make high school a lot more interesting. She just needed to learn more about it.

But she was new at school. And she was supposed to lay low because of the whole fairy business. Pixel wasn’t sure what to do, but her curiosity was getting to her.

Words: 1,251

I’m writing this story with your help! Please be sure to vote in the poll above for what should happen next in the story.

I hope you enjoyed part one of the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 172: Special (Part One)

Short Story, "Special" [Part One] | Flash Fiction

“Special” is an interactive story! I hope you enjoy this first part and, when you get to the end, please vote on what you think should happen next!

“It’s a special kind of paper. Use it wisely.”

Meredith took the one-subject spiral bound notebook into her own hands. She eyed her professor with caution before drifting her gaze down to the shiny, purple cover. She rubbed the palm of her hand along the top while it balanced on top of her other palm.

“So… Now what?” she asked.

Professor Hobbs pointed to the notebook as though egging her on to do something with it, despite his warning to use its power wisely. Meredith, of course, took that as a sense of danger. So she didn’t want anything to do with the paper. At least not now.

Meredith raised an eyebrow at his grin. He was starting to make her feel a bit uncomfortable. The smile wasn’t going away from his face and he was way too happy about whatever this paper was capable of doing.

But it was just paper. It wasn’t capable of doing anything, right?

She opened the cover of the notebook revealing the first, blank page. She stared at it and then looked back up at Professor Hobbs. His smile grew and Meredith could have sworn she heard his voice squeak in excitement.

“I still don’t get it.” She deadpanned. She was confused and getting annoyed by her teacher’s behavior.

She had thought she was in some sort of trouble when he had called her into his office. She had assumed she got a bad remark on the last essay she had to turn in. Instead, when she entered his office, he was ecstatic to see that she had heeded his request.

Now that he had given her a blank notebook that supposedly held “special paper,” Meredith didn’t know whether to be flattered or assume that her professor was cracked up.

“You won’t understand its full potential until you actually use it.” Professor Hobbs said, his tone quick and sharp with excitement. His hands were out as though he was going to use them as he spoke, but his fingers only flittered and fidgeted together. Meredith had never seen him speak like this in any of his lectures. Was he drunk or something?

“Use it? You mean write in it.” Meredith corrected.

“Or draw in it,”

“I’m not a very good artist.” She shook her head.

“Ah, yes, you’re right. Maybe it would be best if you stayed away from doodling in that notebook. It could prove to be disastrous.” Professor Hobbs stroked his chin with his thumb and index finger deep in thought.

Meredith closed the notebook without saying anything else. She had a feeling this notebook was just going to lead to more trouble than it was worth. And she felt silly for thinking such a thing, because how could a notebook cause trouble in any way?

“Use the notebook, Meredith. You’re a wonderful writer and a beautiful person.” Professor Hobbs said. He looked around the room as though he was making sure that the two of them were alone. Then he lowered his voice and continued, “I believe you will be able to do great things with that notebook. Just think before you use it, okay?”

“I still have no idea what you’re talking about.” Meredith said in her normal tone of voice. She tucked the notebook underneath her arm without even thinking about it, but she noticed Professor Hobbs watch her tuck it away as though his heart shattered.

“Be gentle with it, take care of it,” He said, his fingers dancing in midair again. “You’ll know when it comes time to use it.”

Meredith cocked her head to the side, but didn’t bother to say anything else. She had a feeling the conversation would just continue to run in circles.

Professor Hobbs flicked his wrists as though he was shooing her away. “Off you go now. And please do not tell anyone about that notebook. Hide it. Keep it safe.”

Meredith nodded her head as she turned to walk out the door. “Uh, thank you, Professor. I’ll see you tomorrow in class, then?”

“Yes, yes,” he replied in barely a whisper.

Meredith walked through the long, dark hallway. It was well past curfew at this point. Apparently since this notebook was supposed to be a secret, she now understood why Professor Hobbs wanted to talk to her in private after school hours.

She continued on, her mind racing with various questions about the paper, but she tried to push them out of her mind. It was late after all and she had a test in the morning. She needed to get some sleep.

Yet, when Meredith made it back to her room, she tip-toed over to her desk. She tried to be quiet as her dorm mate slept on the other side of the room. Meredith turned on her lamp with a faint click and turned the head so that the light was away from her sleeping friend.

Then she opened the notebook to the first page.

I hope you enjoyed this first part. Please vote below on what Meredith should do with the notebook! Check back next week to read the next part and see what happens.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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