So. Here you are. Don't get your expectations up, I don't wanna bring them down again.
Star leant against the wall and tried, once again, to remember. She desperately attempted to focus on what had happened. But no. It just kept slipping from her grasp. She'd've probably achieved a lot more by just falling asleep and hoping to dream about it.
She should probably have gone to school today. Struggling to grab hold of the events that had disappeared out of her mind with her mind obviously wasn't working.
Did that even make sense?
Did it even matter?
Star realised her feet were tapping on the floor and started walking around in a circle to keep them occupied and to help her think. Walking always helped her think.
God, this was so boring. She was just trying to work out the best way to break into school when a person turned the corner and started walking down the otherwise deserted alleyway. Star stopped walking around in circles as she didn't want the random person to think she was mental.
Before she broke into school, she'd have to sneak home and change into her uniform. She couldn't go to school dressed in jeans, trainers and a blue hoodie. Not in England.
Why wouldn't the Santuary phone her? Surely she mus be needed to do something?
More people appeared to be following the random person. They weren't talking to each other. They were just walking together.
Then more people came round the corner. Actually, they were talking. Or rather, bickering. Whatever.
This was quite a large group of people, Star noticed. She wondered what they were doing. They were all different ages, height, builds, genders. There was no apparant reason for them all to be walking together.
One of them, a woman who could have been in her twenties, caught her eye, and she quickly flickered her gaze downwards so it didn't look like she was staring at them. Even though she had been.
Star carried on staring at the floor, trying to see equilateral triangles out of the dots of chewing gum. Then someone banged into her. Hard. She skidded a few steps then turned around and glared. She opened her mouth to protest but a fist slammed into her cheek, cutting her off.
Star kicked him, then dodged backwards to avoid a punch. Then she fell over. One of the others had tripped her up. Her hands and knees - especially her hands, the denim had padded her knees - stinging with the impact, she hurridly scrambled up again. But in the time that had taken, the people had surronded her. They all smelt pretty bad. She took a closer look at them.
Ah, so that's why she could smell rotting flesh . . .
Another one hit her, and then suddenly, they were all at it. Their punches were weak, but she'd still get a few bruises. It hurt. She tried to draw her sword but her arm didn't have enough room. They were standing back a bit, but soon they'd grow in confidence and close in further.
Amazingly, they were still bickering.
"Pink marshmellows are way, way better than white marshmellows!" she heard. "White is the colour of cushions!"
"Cushions can be pink as well!"
"No they can't! Cushions are white! Everyone knows that!"
"I think blue marshmellows are the most awesomista, actually," Star gasped out. The punching and kicking stoppped as they all stared at her in surprise.
"Look!" one of them exclaimed. "That clockwork statue is speaking!" Huh???
"Don't be ridiculous! It isn't a statue, it's a giant pillow on stilts!" Zombies ate human flesh. Why couldn't they work out what she was? A human could tell the difference between a stone carving of a yummy doughnut and a real doughnut, so why did they think she was a pillow or a statue?
"Where are your glasses? It's a clockwork statue, I'm telling you!" The zombie peered closer.
"Oh yeah," she said. "It is a statue. But how do you know it's clockwork? It could be controlled from the inside by white marshmellows. White marshmellows are eeeeeeeeeevil." Then suddenly Star knew. The ink in her blood must be distorting her smell. She probs smelt nothing much like a human to them. And she must taste horrible, too. They were only beating her up - or trying to - because their master had commanded them to do so.
"Pink marshmellows are evil! They want to take over the world, then destroy it!"
"I know it's clockwork because it was walking around in circles. If something does that, it's clockwork."
"Why would they want to destroy it if they had control over it?"
"Because they are evil!"
"No, they are clockwork!"
"It still doesn't make sense."
"Look!" one cried, pointing. "That pillow is running away!"
"It's not a pillow, it's an evil marshmellow!"
Star froze. While they were arguing she had first pulled out her sword, then attempted to slip away unnoticed.
Well, that was a fail.
"Oh look, it's stopped. It must have run out of batteries."
"Clockwork doesn't run on batteries, you idiot. Maybe it's rusted up."
"Maybe it's insides have been eaten up by evil marshmellows."
"Don't call people idiors, idiot. If you do, the whole horde will turn on you. Anyone who doesn't know that is an idiot."
"You just called someone an idiot!"
Star started backing away slowly. One of the zombies frowned.
"Hang on, didn't our Master tell us to destroy it?"
"Yeah! Destroy the evil blue marshmellow!"
"Blueberry freak! Whoever heard of a blue pillow?"
"Did somebody spary-paint you, statue?" They were closing in again. Star thought quickly.
"No, I'm a Smurf who drank evil marshmellow juice. It made me grow." Well, it was worth a try. A lot of the zombies just stopped, frowning, but on of them, a woman in her . . .forties? looked like this made perfect sense to her.
"Ah, a Smurf! Well, why didn't you say so before? Are you still looking for big apples? Because I saw a really large one the other day."
"Nope, I found that ages ago. Now, I'm trying to work out which colour marshmellow is the most evil."
Around a third of the zombies were only too happy to oblige, and immediently began shouting out colours. Some of the words they used even appeared in a dictionary.
Unfortunately, another half of the zombies just slapped a sort-of menacing-ish expression on their faves and moved forward for the attack (the other sixth just stood their looking confuzzled).
Could she fight them all off? Well, there was only one way to find out. But Star didn't particularly want to try it. She turned and ran away.
The zombies ran after her. Stupid and marshmellow-hating they might be, they would always obey their master.
Star tore down the alleyway, flew round the corner and raced along the street. Then she stopped. There were houses nearby, and people. She had to lead the zombies away from civilisation.
There. That narrow sidestreet. That would be deserted. She ignored the strange look a passing man gave her and the zombies, and ra-
Something had smacked into her left arm. Something metal. Something that was sharp as well, and very painful. Star gasped and clutched her arm. She felt wetness. Blood.
She looked to her left and ducked as the metal . . .thing . . .was thrown at her. The zombies must've caught up with her when she'd hesitated. She swung her sword at the zombie standing next to her and he broke in half. She looked down at the dead flesh lying on the floor. Yuck.
Well, that wasn't so hard.
Then a china teapot fell on the ground beside her and smashed. The zombies were finding weapons, and using them.
Star made a dash for the sidestreet she'd seen, clutching her damaged arm and trying to ignore the pain throbbing through it. But now there were zombies coming out of it . . . The sidestreet, that is, not her arm. Star had a mad mental image of tiny zombies crawling out of the wound in her arm and paddling away. Or maybe they were even smaller, sailing the sea of her blood in boats and then falling down the miniture Niagra Falls to the floor. Not that she was bleeding enough to make a waterfall of blood.
Star shook herself and tried to focus on the situation at hand.
She turned the only non-zombie-filled way and ran. But now there were zombies ahead of her again.
How was this this possible? Where had they all come from?
Reinforcements. They must be reinforcents.
The pain was clouding her thought, making it hard to concentrate. She was certain of one thing though. There were a horde of zombies surronding her, and they were closing in.
Star looked around desparately. A zombie shuffled within sword range, and she cut it in half. But she couldn't get them all.
This was hopeless. She was going to die here. She just knew it.
Which meant she wouldn't be alive to see the world taken over and then destroyed by blue marshmellows. What a pity.
Well, if she was going to go down, she'd go down fighting. Star slashed her sword at a zombie. But her hand was shaking, and unused to supporting the weight of the sword on it's own. She ususally used two hands. Star had managed to cut the zombie, but he just clutched his stomach, and stayed, very annoyingly, alive. Welll, not alive alive, but not completely dead and umoving. Well, completely dead, but not completely unmoving. Whatever.
She tried holding her sword with both hands regardless of the pain, but it hurt too much. Right hand only, then. Good thing she wasn't left handed. She swung at another zombie and managed to make it back off a bit, but now there was one behind her . . . She turned around to deal with it, but while she was turning yet another one grabbed at her sword, knocking it out of her hand. He dropped it with a howl of pain (he'd wrapped his hand round the blade. Idiot) and Star swooped down to pick it up again.
But in her haste to reclaim her weapon she had momentarily forgotten the zombie who had been behind her. Star got a hold on her sword (the hilt, obviously. She wasn't a total moron. Whereas the blade-grabbing zombie was) and glanced upwards, just in time to see the zombie about to chuck that heavy metal thing from before on her. She shuffled backwards in terror . . . Straight into another load of zombies, who immediently grabbed tight hold of her to stop her escaping and began hitting her with their hands and whatever they had in them. Only air for the mo, but weapons were being passed through the zombies towards them.
That death she was speaking about earlier? It was here now. Shame. She'd've liked to've remembered her life before it ended.
Then suddenly Star saw a flash of red out of the corner of her eye. She looked in the direction she'd seen it and saw a load of dead zombies lying on the ground. Well, zombies can't technically die, but they were dead, and they had been zombies, so they were dead zombies.
Plus Star saw their killer. Well, she was sort of their killer. You can't kill something that's already dead, but she put an end to their existence and their annoyzigness. Their existence-ender, then. Ender for short. So, you don't kill zombies, you end them. Well, at least that was sorted.
Right. The ender. She had red hair and a red glowing thing in her hand, but Star couldn't see more than that. The rest of the zombies who were unended looked as surprised as Star did to see her.
Which meant that, for the moment, they had stopped attacking.
Star, once she realised her opportunity, seized it. She dived through the blur of colours that was the zombies, slashing and chopping as she went. Funny, the colours thing. You usually associated zombies with gloomier stuff. She headed towards the person who was helping her. Strength in numbers and all that lot.
Star reached her just as the stunned zombies started becoming less stunned and tried to fight back. The girl held a long curved sword that was glowing red with purple flecks. Star wondered about it for a bit, then gave up. She looked a couple of years older than Star and her ice blue eyes burned with hatred - fortunately directed at the zombies she was destroying, not Star. Well, she might hate Star, for some complicated conspirital unknown reason, or she might hate Star in the future, but, right now, she didn't seem to-
Star made an effort to stop her thoughts rambling off track again. And, a few moments later, failed miserably.
Robin hadn't known who the person was they were attacking was, but it didn't matter - she needed help and zombies were an enemy always. Without thinking about it, she ran towards them and began chopping as many of their heads off as fast as she could. When they saw her they often froze in terror and one of them even yelled something about the arrival of the wrath of the Smurfs, whatever a Smurf was.
Then someone tapped her on the shoulder and Robin swung round, katana already aiming to make the zombie even deader than it already was.
"Hey!" Star yelped, jumping back, then stumbling as she landed on the remains of a zombie. "I'm alive! I mean, I'm not a zombie!"
Robin gave a nod and sheathed her weapon. "Sorry."
Then before they could say anything else, a load more zombies lept on Star , who yelped as pressure was put on her injured arm. Robin quickly ended them.br />
"Thanks," gasped Star breathlessly.
"Hey, Smurf," a zombie girl yelled. "You do know there's such thing as vanilla marshmellows, right? They're yellow and they have to be the most evil coz they're the same colour as custard. Custard is horrible, it's all lumpy and it's-"
Star took a leaf from Robin's book and chopped it's head off, instead off cutting it in half like she had previously.
"We have to move out," she panted. "There are too many of them. We'll never get them all."
Robin frowned. "Are you suggesting we just give up?"
"Retreating isn't giving up," Star argued. "If it was giving up, it'd be called giving up, but it isn't, it's called retreating. There are tons of them and only two of us. if you want, you can always have a rematch later."
Robin couldn't really think of anything to counter this that would win, and besides, the other girl did look like she was in quite a bit of pain. They could always pick the arguement up when they were out of the danger zone. "All right. We'll retreat."
Robin made a mad dash for the edge of the crowd, and Star followed suit as quickly as she could. The zombies were actively fighting them now, and it was all Star could do to stay alive. She'd lost sight of the girl she was following, but that was only to be expected as Star wasn't really looking. She could only pay attention to one thing at a time.
The zombies were pulling, tugging, ripping, tearing, in front, behind, screaming, begging, threatening, pushing, shoving, fighting, and incredibly annoying. Robin was holding back to help Star now, who was finding it tough going. And it wasn't exactly easy for Robin either. She had to be constantly moving, never letting her guard down, and it took up a lot of her energy.
Finally, they were out. Once the way ahead was clear of obstacles (even after the zombies, there'd been all these boxes outside someone's house for some unknown reason - maybe they were cleaning the house and chucking a load of stuff out?) Star and Robin broke into a run. Star fumbled with her sword, slipping it back into it's sheath - it'd slow her down if she was holding it - but Robin kept her katana in her hand. It was still glowing, but not as strongly as before.
They stopped, panting.
"I think we've lost them," Robin said. Her weapon stopped glowing and she put it away.
"Um . . . Thanks," said Star. "For, um, you know . . . Helping me."
"I hate zombies," Robin replied.
"What's your name?" asked Star.
"Robin Snowscar," Robin answered. "I'm a Fire Sworn, one of the Originals. Pleased to meet you.
"Um . . . Right," Star said, pretending she knew what the hell a swore or whatever it was was. "I'm Star. Star Inkbright." Then she added, polietly, "It's nice to meet you too." Yes, being saved from zombies was nice, but needing to be saved from them in the first place certainly wasn't. So, really, the actual meeting was not nice, although the fact that they had met was very very nice indeed, for Star at least.
"Your arm's bleeding," Robin noted.
"I had realised that," said Star, trying hard not to sound annoyed. "It is my arm. And it kills."
"What does it kill?"
"Um . . . I dunno . . . Evil blue marshmellows?"
"Evil blue marshmellows?" Robin frowned.
"Yeah. They're evil. And they're blue. And they're marshmellows. Which is why they're called evil blue marshmellows. I'm not sure they actually exist though. Oh, and it's also going to have killed me soon. It hurts."
"It's not that bad. You'll live," Robin told her hardly. Can you say something hardly? Well, never mind. So long as people can sort of know what you're saying, you can use whatever words you want. That was what Star believed, anyway.
"I will? Yippee." Star considored quoting Ice Age 2, but when she did that not many people knew what she was going on about, so she decided against it.
"Why were they attacking you?" Robin adked, deciding ro let the sarcasm pass. Just this once.
"I have no idea," Star said. Robin raised an eyebrow sceptically. Star didn't blame her. It didn't sound very believable. Most people who were attacked by an army of zombies knew why they were being attacked. Not Star. But then, she had had The Incident.
Star tried again.
"I'm serious. There I was, doing my own thing, and then suddenny, out of the blue, a bunch of zombies just came up and attacked me. Really, honestly and truly." Yeah,well done Star, that was real convincing. Full marks.
"Are you sure?" asked Robin.
"Yes," answered Star defiantly.
"Have you annoyed anyone, ever, who might possibly have an army of zombies at their disposal?"
Star racked her memory. "Erm . . . I don't think so . . . I'm not sure! I'm really rubbish at remembering stuff-" (she always had been, even before The Incident) "-but I don't think I've annoyed anyone like that . . ." But, seriously! How on earth did people expect her to remember this stuff? As if having a crap memory wasn't bad enough without having a chunk of your life disappear! And, anyway - well, how was she meant to know and remember who had an army of zombies at their disposal? And if they had the motivation to use it? And if she had annoyed them or not? Star didn't usually try to be annoying, so when she did, it was often without realising it - SO HOW WAS SHE MEANT TO KNOW IF SHE'D ANNOYED PEOPLE IF SHE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW SHE WAS BEING ANNOYING??? Seriously! If people wanted her to pay attention to this stuff, THEY'D HAVE TO LEARN TO ASK HER BEFOREHAND!
Part of the reason she was panicking was because of The Incident, but she didn't like discussing that with anyone, especially not total strangers. Even if the total stranger had saved her life.
"Sorry. I really, really, really don't know," Star said, her memory rant over. Hopefully it would be a while before it was triggered again, but, very likilily, it wouldn't. Not with The Incident still clouded in shadows.
Likilily. Another nonsensical word to add to the metaphorical list.
"No-one springs to mind?" Robin was watching her carefully. Those ice-blue eyes were creeping Star out a little.
"Nope. But, like I said, my memory is awful. In some ways. In others, it's a very good memory. In the way I'm trying to use it now, it's rubbishio though."
Ha. Rubbishio. This brought her metaphorical list of nonsensical words up to . . .
. . . A number. Star could never actually be bothered to count.
'Well, if you can't remember them, then they aren't likely to remember you, unless they are a revenge-seeking person who holds grudges over little things."
"Or just have a better memory than I do." Or could remember everything that had happened in The Incident. It was this that scared Star most. She was so afraid of the Incident, what it was, what had happened.
"Or that." Or, Star could be lying. This was the most likely option, and the option Robin chose to believe. People weren't attacked like that for no reason, and the whole bad memory story was very unlikely. There was something Star wasn't telling her. Robin kept this to herself and planned to be wary of Star and watch her very closely. Very closely indeed.
SO! That's chapter one! Hope you liked it!