Status: Finished! Thank you so much for reading!

Won't Turn Out Right

Chapter 23

It was an unusually cold day in Huntington. The town was covered by rain clouds, threatening to spill over. The salty ocean air tricked the mind, masking the smell of on-coming rain. The ocean blended in with the abandoned gray beach and the cloudy horizon. Sidewalks were dusted with a thin layer of sand, patches of green grass peaking out between the cracks. Abandoned.

It was perfect. Beautiful, sterile, gray, perfect.

I stood at the end of the pier, looking down over the splintered railing into the deep black waters. My ears rang intensely, but I knew why this time. I let them ring.

I drank in the serenity of the sky and sea, feeling peaceful. But, even through this peace of mind, my stomach still felt heavy. It was filled with butterflies all fluttering to escape the dark, acidic pit of my stomach in many different directions. I didn't let anyone else into my... well, for lack of a better word, dream.

But, I knew I wasn't dreaming.

I finally tore myself away from the water and started to walk back towards the town. It sounded as if my footsteps were echoing off the wood and the water, bouncing off the buildings and the clouds. The silence was almost eerie. There was a slight wind blowing, but it didn't quite seem to match the poor weather conditions.

I walked for nearly an hour before I realized that I hadn't made any progress. I was still stuck near the edge of the pier. I couldn't get away from the water. I didn't let it bother me too much. I just wandered over to a bench and plopped down with a sober sigh. I clicked my teeth and my tongue a couple times. Another wave of wind washed over me and I shivered a little bit.

...Why was I naked?

I shrugged, not bothering to cover up. There was no one else there. I could care less.

I suddenly heard footsteps echoing from the front of the pier. I glanced over and saw five men walking towards me. It was rather awkward because none of them would make eye contact with me. One man, however, glanced at me very often, seemingly struggling to hold in giggles and a smile. I still didn't bother to cover myself. No shame, no problem.

One of them frowned right upon seeing me, squinting his green eyes at me while still avoiding my eyes. He didn't look angry but he certainly didn't seem happy.

The shortest of them kept glancing down at his feet, playing with his left ring finger anxiously. He would trip every now and then over nothing. He bit his lip and cracked his knuckles.

Another man looked sad. His brown eyes held many different emotions, but he seemed to be in control of them for the most part. He held a unlit cigarette in his mouth, switching it from one corner of his mouth to the other.

The fifth man looked angry, glaring at the horizon with an amazing amount of raw, fiery passion. He refused to look at me no matter how long I stared at him.

It felt like forever for them to reach me, but when they finally did, four of them sat down on the ground in front of me. They started talking with each other, all except for the mad man, who walked over to the edge of the pier where I had been standing before. He continued to glare at the ocean.

I slowly slid off of my seat and near the circle, trying to listen to what they were saying. I focused on their faces, squinting my eyes and straining my ears to hear their distant voices.

"Oh, my... You just lost." I looked at the tall man.

"Lost what?" I looked down and realized we were holding cards. Each of the four had a pile of cards face-up in front of us. Mine, however was topped with a face-down card. I went to reach for it, but the green-eyed man slapped my hand away, tsking at me.

"Now that you've lost you can't play again until we're done," The tall man said.

"But, what are you playing?" The sad man suddenly snapped at me.

"Don't worry about it, all right? Your turn, Zacky." The green-eyed man put down a card that had the picture of a bright white straight-jacket on it. I frowned.

"What are we playing?"

"No, dear, you're not playing anymore." The tall man shook his head at me. "Really, you must pay more attention." The next man, the short man, put down a card carefully. It held the picture of a beautiful woman on it, smiling brightly.

"Oh, Johnny, that means you've lost, too. You used to be so good at this game. What happened?" Zacky asked wistfully. Johnny shrugged sheepishly, staying silent. He tossed his cards into the middle of the circle.

The sad man went next, putting down a picture of a picture-perfect family. Father, mother, son, daughter, and a cute little puppy at their feet.

Finally, it was the tall man's turn, but when he put his card down, it was blank.

"But, you can't put down a blank card! You lose!" He shook his head at me.

"That is a wild card, bumble bee. I do not lose."

"But, who won?" He sighed.

"He did." He nodded his head over to the mad man.

"He never played."

"That does not matter. He did not play. Therefore, he cannot lose. This game is about not losing, bumble bee." I sniffed with disdain.

"That's ridiculous."

"That's life." I jerked my head back over to the mad man when he spoke his first words, only seeing the back of his head, however. His voice did not match his expression or demeanor. "I can't lose, bumble bee. That's what you get for playing our game. You've lost." His voice echoed, a soft melody on the wind.

I glared and frowned. I reached out quickly and knocked the cards out of everyone's hands, messing them up in the middle of the circle. I stood up and crossed my arms, challenging him.

"Take that." His eyes never met mine. He watched the storm clouds roll into the town.

"I don't have to take it. I have people to take it for me." The sad-man stood up, gripping my shoulders and pushing me back down into the circle.

"We're playing again." He started to deal out the deck, and I protested profusely. They all ignored me. "We're playing again."
♠ ♠ ♠
So, we've got a teeny tiny bit of insight on their backgrounds. We've got the mystery of where Charity is and what Charity is. And, we've kind of got the beginning of the end? Hm? Neat.

I wrote the first paragraph in November or something : ) I wasn't sure what I would use it for, but I always thought I would use it for the end. Laugh out loud.

Thank you to Miscreation, Sister Ginger, Frankie Way, SynysterXfoREVer, Sailor Meranda, and PaperLung for commenting!!! Thank you so much guys!

Midterms are completely over and we had a snow day on Thursday, a half day on Wednesday, and on Monday I got to leave at 10:00 because I only had to do one last midterm. It had gotten pushed back from last week because we had a snow day last week, too. I swear to god we have like two feet of snow outside right now.

We're supposed to get more snow this weekend and even MORE snow next week xD

I hope you guys liked the chapter! Thank you all for reading! See you next Saturday ^_^