Amusement: A Greek, Group-to-Solo Adapted Story

In memory of one of my best friends on Quibblo, now retired, I will be taking up her group story titled Amusement and adapting it into a solo POV story, which tells the story of the children of the Nine Muses on an adventure to protect Olympus from a being that threatens to overthrow their rule. My character was Nix Aranmore. If you want to read the group story, which was sadly left unfinished, you can find it here:

http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/iNw428t/Amusement-A-Greek-Group-Story

Chapter 2

Caught In The Middle

(Author's Note: This chapter is directly taken from Chapter 8 of the original group story with minor alterations.)

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"So guys, can we try to have a non-lethal conversation?" The one with the red hair suggested. I didn't know what had just transpired, but the idea of nobody dying sounded like a good one. Judging by the crowd, nobody looked dangerous. At least, that's what I thought. None of them, save the one on the stairs. He stared at me with a shifty gaze, the kind that was questionable. I made a mental note to keep an eye on him.

I tried to recall how I got myself in that situation in the first place. All good stories need a beginning, right? I got up out of bed, brushed my teeth, had breakfast... then I played hookey. In other words, I ditched school. Go read some Tom Sawyer or something. Anyways, quite simply, I couldn't be bothered. Parents didn't really care. I didn't either. You could say it was a case of bad parenting - personally, I like to think they just knew what I want and what I wanted was a bit of a break every now and then.

For all the time I was "absent" from school, during which nobody would notice, I just roamed the streets. Just so nobody got suspicious of why a fifteen year old wasn't in school, I pulled my black hoodie over my head. It helped to keep a low profile. Hoping to spend a day in the town, I had snatched a bit of money from my mum's purse, looking to spend it on whatever I could. For the first two hours, from around 8:30 to 10:30, all my usual activities seemed normal enough. Snacking at my favourite bar, playing ding-dong-ditch, giving the locals grief... that kind of thing. Come on, what was a delinquent teenage boy supposed to do for fun? Memorise every single word in the dictionary?

Following all that, I went on a little stroll, stretching the old legs. Rather than take my normal route around town, I decided to spice it up a little. I checked a map stuck on a bulletin board, hoping to determine a new route. A few moments of planning it out and I was set. Off I went to explore. Of course, I had never been to any of the places I had set for myself before; little did I know to expect what, or who, lay in store for me.

As I went further along the way, I noticed that the atmosphere around me had become so... lonely. I wasn't used to solitude. I always hated being sent to the naughty corner when I was in kindergarten. I turned my head in every possible direction I could look. Nothing. Nobody. Nowhere. It was odd... New York was generally a very busy place. How could one area be completely null and void of inhabitants? The thought sent a chill down my spine. Regardless, I saw opportunity for exploration. Going against all my judgement, I pressed on.

The air surrounding me was cold. I no longer felt like I was in New York, but somewhere else altogether. Maybe nobody just wanted to be around me? To be fair, I wouldn't blame them. I wouldn't want to befriend me myself. In seriousness, the solitude was intensifying. Badly. Never before had I ever felt so isolated in my life. Something was very wrong and a sort of resolution drove me to determine what exactly.

The buildings in New York were generally very tall, but this particular area seemed to pale in comparison. No stone was unturned in the development of the city; I couldn't reason out why this place felt so... empty. This void, seemingly unnoticed, in a chaotic mass of skyscrapers and establishments was so compelling though... I don't know why I kept on walking. It felt like a walk in the park. Dark, damp alleyways littered the streets; it's those corridors of shadow that keep me on my guard. I kept my right hand in my pocket and the other free in the event someone, or something, made a move against me.

As I turned a corner, my attention diverted to the largest object sitting in the middle of the street. It wasn't the most interesting thing but its size, still minuscule compared to the rest of New York, stood out as something worth inspecting. It was a large grey building. That was all I could tell from this distance. But there was something different about it, other than the size, that pulled me in. Lulled with a sense of security, I walked towards the monolith.

As I approached, not much else was different. I tried to get a look inside through one of the windows, but I was met with my own reflection. I admit, I reacted with... surprise. Who me, scared? Nah. I couldn't get any perception of what was inside; the windows shone with a silvery tint, reflecting the light off their seamless surface. For all I knew, they could've been mirrors. I went over to the door. It was a simple double door, painted blue. I tried opening it. Locked. Then I tried pulling it. Nope, nothing. From the outside, this seemed like any ordinary building. But it was odd... somewhere inside, something called to me. Screamed, even. A secret begging to be looked at. But with no possible way in, I pushed aside my instincts and left. There was nothing I could do.

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School had finished and I found myself longing. I knew exactly what for, but I wasn't sure if I should've. I was concerned I'd find myself in a similar predicament, that nothing would change. Would it really have been worth it? But as the saying goes, you never know if you never try. Besides, I think would've gotten a headache from being "called" to it.

I tried to find my way back to the building, getting lost once or twice on the way. I was particularly annoyed because I had completely bypassed the place once. One of the walls in the street where the building was had a piece of fresh graffiti on it. That wasn't there in the morning... considering the fact this place was completely empty, it struck me as a mystery as to who could've placed it there. In my confusion, I had walked by in ignorance.

Eventually, I found the stupid place. Why not mark the entire thing in graffiti? As I walked up to the door, I heard voices.
"Why should we? We have as much right to it as you do." A girl said from inside. She sounded annoyed, as if she were arguing. On the bright side, it removed any doubt from my mind as to the place's occupancy. My knack for trouble only served to further my curiosity, as I inspected the door. Upon closer examination, I noticed a small keyhole. Looking back, why didn't I think of that before?

I peered through the keyhole of the door to get a look. It was surprisingly large, giving me a wide view of the area. The room was large, there were objects covered by dusty tarps and various rugs and cloth and at the very back was a large, dirty desk. I'd hate to have been the one pushing that. To one side was a door with a steel bar on it, surprisingly clean for the state of the place, and near it were... people - people of my age. What were they doing in there? More importantly, how on earth did they get in? It didn't really matter to me. What I really wanted to know was: who were they?

One of the guys had red scruffy hair and a smile that made me feel relatively. uncomfortable. Good. He looked like the mischievous sort; a kindred spirit. The other boy had messy black hair, reminding me of my own. Which reminded me: I needed a shower. Yes, I frequently shower I'll have you know. The girl had brown, long hair and was pretty short. The one thing they all had in common was that they were staring at something. I wanted to know what.

As I continued gazing like a peeping Tom, I lost my balance. How I did that, I have no idea. I ended up crashing through the door, gaining the attention of all pairs of eyes in the room. This door hated me, I swear. As I regained my balance, I looked to see another three people, in addition to the other three, in the room with me. Faction war or something? Would I have to pick a side? Thankfully, that wasn't the case.

And here we are, back at the beginning which is not quite the start of the whole story. Everyone here had their own tale. Everyone who was yet to appear their own story. Then there's me, who was changed forever at this significant moment in time of my life. You're hearing only my version of events. I'll return to this in a moment.

"So guys, can we try to have a non-lethal talk?" The one with the red hair suggested. There I was, awkward and clueless me. I wasn't quite keen for a long silence, so I spoke up.
"Um... hi. I'm Nix. It's nice to meet you all." I gave a sheepish little wave. For the first time in forever, I felt vulnerable. For a while, nobody spoke. So much for not wanting a silence, I think I made one. Eventually, to my relief, a meek little girl with sandy brown hair near the stairs raised her voice.

"Hi there. I'm Lark. Lark Clara." She muttered. She gave a shy little smile and I figured it was only natural to smile back. I felt a bit intimidating with my hood on so it was a miracle I made a good first impression on her.
"Odette." The girl next to her proclaimed. No last name then. She was a lot taller than Lark and gave off a sort of cold fearlessness. That attitude didn't sit so well with me. In turn, the three people I noticed in the keyhole introduced themselves as well.
"Asher Jones. Nice way to crash a party. Might've saved it." The red haired boy states. Party? Wasn't exactly a nice place to hold festivities, what with all the dust. That last statement might've related to the first thing I heard him say.
"Devon. I might tell you my last name. That's a might, you hear?" The black haired boy cheekily cooed. He was... serious, but not serious. I'm unsure how to explain it and to this day I still can't.
"Antigone. People call me Anna, last name Willows. It's... unexpected, meeting you." Likewise, Miss Willows. Tumbling face first into a door isn't the best way to introduce oneself. Wait... Antigone is a name I've heard before. In one of my history classes. I have a love-hate relationship with my teacher; I'm sort of her personal living hell but I make up for that by getting top marks in the class.

Then there was the one on the stairs. He resembled Devon from a distance but on close inspection it clearly wasn't him. He simply stared me down, a cold gaze fixed on my person alone.
"So, Mr. Silence, care to tell us your name?" I asked, trying not to sound rude.
"Yeah? Shut your trap, I don't answer to you." He exclaimed. So much for trying to be polite. As polite as sarcasm can be. There was an air of authority surrounding him. I enjoyed dabbling with authority. I figured he should've been blown off his cloud.
"Shutyertrap Idontansertoyou? Lovely name, really. Suits you. Can I call you Hothead?" I mocked. I didn't care, I was enjoying myself. If he was getting angry, all the better. The reaction was what was best.
"Think you're funny, funny man?" He pulled out a pen knife from his pocket. Fiery. I liked and disliked this guy. "Make a joke now." Secretly, my heart skipped a beat. But I was only too eager to accept the challenge.
"Ooh, be careful with that. Blade's sharp, might cut yourself. Tongue's sharper, might talk me to death."

Suddenly, he charged at me. It's safe to say, I was genuinely scared.

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