Vivienne and the Cursed Countess

It's a new day in a new town, but when you bite off more than you can chew for some extra money, you might just get bitten right back...

Chapter 1

Vivienne's Morning

"I thought things would be different,' she thought to herself, 'when sis and I started our new lives out here."

She put her head in her hands as she sat at a small, old vanity. Her locks fell around her shoulders and face like a red velvet cloak, hiding her stress from the world.

"But here we are; just two ordinary girls in a boring English town, the only difference being we left our family and everything we knew behind.' She sighed heavily, And being Americans makes us stick out like sore thumbs."

She sat back up and pushed her hair back and pondered for a moment, she was worried this was a huge mistake, but on the other hand, she sensed that maybe she belonged here. Like something was nagging at her soul.

"Why must I feel so strange?"

On the bright side, their new home was nice enough, and she had a shelf full of her favorite books. Even if she had read them all numerous times. Perhaps it was time to check out the local bookstore.

Suddenly, a loud bang came from downstairs, the kind that suggested that the kitchen may very well be in flames! She jumped to her feet, "Amelia?!"

Running down the narrow steps she found thick smoke filling the kitchen and spilling into the other rooms. Frantically she held her breath and ran to the nearest window, tossing it upwards to let some fresh air inside. After a few deep breaths she saw Amelia near the corner, coughing and clutching her chest, she managed a thumbs up, though.

Meekly she composed herself, "I'm trying to get this whole living on our own thing down but it's not working out like I'd hoped." She pulled a shoulder length piece of hair out of her face, "It was supposed to be a breakfast making robot that flips eggs without busting the yolk while also making toast and bacon."

"Poor sis," she thought"demanding perfection of herself yet again." It was amazing the house was still standing, considering this sort of thing wasn't uncommon and they'd been living there for almost four years now.

"By the way, shouldn't you be headed to school soon, Vivienne?" Amelia asked,

"You want me to go looking like a hot mess and smelling of smoke?" She shrugged, "Ah, I guess there's time to change." She turned and stepped lightly to her room.

Quickly she decided a V-neck black t-shirt dress would do the job, paired with her sharktooth necklace and her Army green waist length jacket. It was sharp and uncomplicated looking, unlike the rest of her life.

"If I hurry, I can still make it to the bookstore!" She thought, hurrying out the door. But not a block later she found herself nearly falling down as both she and a boy named Charlie Harrison smashed into each other.

"Uhh,' he grumbled, "Howdy, Pilgrim! Heh, John Wayne, get it? Because you're American? Sorry. Not just for that but for running into you as well."

"I don't actually sound anything like that, but it's okay, cowboys are cool. Happy trails!" She said with a laugh, and turned to go on her way.

"Wait!' He said, 'You look nice today, thought I'd say so. If you put more effort into looking so nice you'd be hot enough to go out with, yeah?"

Until now, she didn't have much opinion of Charlie.

Of course, that was then, and this is now. "You pig. You absolute pig. You know what? I actually have places to be, none of them here. Maybe you should just get out of my way!"

He stepped aside reluctantly, looking like a scalded dog. Vivienne brushed past without a second thought, adamant to make it to the bookstore on time. But after a moment he jogged up and started keeping pace. "Hey, Vivienne. Wait, just let me walk you to class."

"Oh here he comes with a just-let-me line. What a creep. He obviously doesn't understand rejection." She thought.

"You're breaking my heart over here, Vivienne." He said, desperately trying to tug at a heartstring.

But without even a word she walked around him and continued on her way, leaving him dumbfounded on the path. Behind her he stood, pouting with his arms crossed. Her brisk pace took her to the storefront, and she wondered if Beth had anything new in stock.

"Welcome back, Viv!" Said Beth,

"Good morning!" Vivienne replied,

"How's your sister?" Beth asked,

"Oh, the usual. She still can't cook!' She said with a chuckle, 'but I think she's working on something secret that's keeping her distracted. Because of that, I need a new book! How else will I survive the weekend?

"Ah! Sounds like you do!' She said, but her smile faded somewhat as she glanced outside, 'that Charlie Harrison is outside. You know he vandalized my storefront before?"

"Seriously? Wow. Do you know how I might get rid of him?" Vivienne asked,

Beth thought about it a moment, "Eventually he'll go bother someone else, as long as you don't let him push you around. Be firm."

Vivienne nodded. Then Beth said, "Now, what type of book can I help you find?"

"Well, I really prefer adventure.' Answered Vivienne, 'Twists, turns, the stuff of legend and all that."

"I have a nice little book that happens to be based around a local legend, about the 'Cursed Countess'. Some say it's completely true, might give you the kick you're looking for." Beth said,

"Some say it's true; are you part of the 'some'?" Asked Vivienne,

"To tell the truth, I doubt the story highly. But it's definitely a good read. Here, borrow it. Enjoy!" Beth said happily, and with that Vivienne thanked her and hurried to class.

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