Sequel: Rocks Painted Gold
Status: As of April 14th 2013 new and improved chapters of Promise Me The Stars have begun to be published on Mibba :)

Promise Me The Stars

Falling Away From Me

Forest woke up, he didn't slowly wake up or wake with a start or anything he just...woke up. His eyes opened and he felt like he had blinked when in reality he had been dead to the world for the last three hours. His brain was programmed to wake up every three hours and take pills. He never failed to wake up, he never failed to remember. It was hard wired into his very soul that he had to take pills or chaos would ensue.

He sat up in the bed in Matt's guest room and panic started to quietly bloom in his stomach. It was three or four in the morning and he was in Matt's house. Not Zacky's but Matt's. And he didn't have his pills because he only brought a small handful for dinner and the after party. He hadn't expected to spend the night and now panic was churning in his stomach.

"I'm fine, i'm fine, i'm fine." Forest said to himself, taking a deep breath when he was done. He put his feet on the ground and stood from the bed. His feet sinking into the plush carpet that seemed to swallow his feet in their weird softness. Forest pushed his feet into his shoes that sat next to the bed and pulled the laces tight. The carpet made the sound of his footsteps virtually silent as he walked across the bedroom to the door. He put his ear against the door painted bright red and listened for a few moments to make sure the house was silent so he could leave without anyone noticing. After a moment the bedroom door opened with a soft whoosh that Forest sucked into his lungs as air. He looked down the hallway, could hear distant snoring coming from some room, and then quietly headed for the front door.

The slapping of shoes on concrete, late night traffic in the distance, the feeling of cool air hitting your face and getting pulled into your lungs as you breathed in one of the essential items of life. The darkness that enveloped you as you sprinted, just a blur running past the vacant cars and dark houses spare those few houses sporting insomniacs and early risers. He was running out of road, the gates to the private community just up ahead but he wasn't slowing down. His feet actually flew faster across the pavement when it came into view. And it all felt and sounded amazing, it was all familiar yet not. He could feel how different the air was compared to in his hometown, he could smell the salt water wafting through the air, felt it sticking to the walls of his lungs. So yes, the feeling of running was familiar as was the darkness, but other things were so different.

A yellow sedan pulled up to the gate when Forest was about a hundred feet from it. The guard and driver chatted for a minute and then the gate slid open with a rusty scraping noise that cut through the nearly silent air. Forest didn't slow down, he flew through the open gate, ignoring the sound of the yelling guard. He ran into a scene he remembered just vaguely, it sort of fogged up his mind and he would see little bursts of pictures that were indeed memories.

It was the summer before eighth grade. Forest had gone out on a limb and tried to join the baseball team at school. He didn't make it and later got shoved into some lockers for thinking he had a chance. But that didn't stop him from wanting to play. Whenever Uncle Maverix came over they would watch the game together and Forest told his uncle that he wanted to play. Maverix didn't exactly know how to play baseball correctly, but he taught Forest anyway in the backyard every time he came over.

Forest had never even played catch so he had absolutely no idea how to do anything that didn't come naturally to him. His mother turned out to be better at the sport then both Maverix and Forest combined and taught Forest how to catch, throw, bat, and run. Forest was good at running, it was maybe the only good thing he could do in the game of baseball, though he had a pretty nice fast ball.

After the whole baseball fad had passed Forest kept running. He would go running every morning before school, mostly because he didn't like school and if he wasn't home he wouldn't have to go. He got hell for it most days but he ran again if his mother threatened to take him to school so she just gave up after a while and home schooled him for the rest of ninth and tenth grade.


Forest cleared his head of the memories and kept running. He didn't realize where he was until he came to a stop in front of the gate to Zacky's house. It was like his body knew where it had to be to get the pills. And here he was.

"Everything alright Forest?" The guard leaned out of his booth that was a faded tan and stood looking at the teenager.

"Fine just needed something. Can you open the gate?" Forest asked, sucking the early morning air into his lungs as they screamed for mercy.

"Sure kid." the guard said uncertainly. He wrote something down quickly in a small yellow notebook and pressed the button that unlocked the small gate for pedestrians.

"Thanks," Forest said walking through. He glanced back and started sprinting again when the guard settled back into his chair where he was reading some magazine, despite the protests from his lungs.

Forest rocketed up the porch steps two at a time and stood breathless at the front door. If his suspicions were right the front door was locked and the security alarm was enabled.

"This is going to suck." Forest groaned and then walked over to the railing of the porch, jumping off the side to land on the ground.

"Ninja skillz." Forest sang to himself grinning like an idiot at how easily he could entertain himself.

He made his way around the house to the back where he had boosted Hazel up onto the fence. The window was cracked so little you wouldn't be able to see it if you were just passing by. But Forest could see it since he was the one that left it that way. Crouching down he slipped his index finger into the side of the window and pulled it towards himself. It slid open with ease and Forest just hoped Zacky hadn't gone all out and gotten motion sensors or something.

Forest landed silently on the carpeted floor of the game room, his eyes adjusting quickly to the darkness. He jumped up on the couch and walked across that to the stairs where he pondered his next move on the arm of the couch. He could probably just stay down here until Zacky and Hazel got home. But that would literally be hours from now and he needed his pills...well now. He went through the files of his brain, the ones where he kept codes and passwords stored away. He tried to think of the one for the security alarm by the front door, on the wall just to the right, the white keypad with the small rectangular screen that glowed red in the night when the light wasn't bright enough.

He had stood there and watched Zacky type in the four, or was it five, numbers that had kept the house safe more than once. Though he was sure that there weren't any motion sensors since he had roamed the house millions of times and no cops ever showed up from tripping a silent alarm. After he pushed that worry out of his mind he proceeded to close his eyes and think for a long time.

" what's the last one?" he whispered to himself, "Four, seven, zero, eight. Four, seven, zero, eight....two? No not two; three. Not three either. It was either one or nine I think."

Forest sighed and fell back on the couch to look up at the dark ceiling he couldn't make out. The house was ridiculously quiet and it sort of unnerved him. Usually there was the hum of the fridge in the kitchen, the TV was usually left on when Zacky stayed up late, sometimes he would hear shuffling from upstairs when Zacky got up to use the bathroom or something. But then he would also hear the sounds of the house that were everywhere. Little ticks and clicks from things he had no idea the origins of. He heard a sniff and glanced to his left into the darkness. He could vaguely, just vaguely make out Shadow in the darkness. He sat on a recliner looking around in the darkness like he could see everything clearly. The only way Forest knew he was looking around was because there was a stirring in the darkness when he turned his head. The thought of it made Forest imagine some robot with its button stuck so it wouldn't stop moving.

"Shadow," Forest said quietly, as if he talked any louder the darkness would crack.

"Hmm?" Shadow asked and he sounded like he wasn't listening at all. Just saying what you had to, to get the person away from you the fastest.

"You think the air gets thicker in the darkness?"

"You high or something?" Shadow asked.

"No just thinking."

"Why don't you go upstairs into your bedroom or something?"

"I can't think of the code for the alarm system." Forest mumbled.

"Four seven zero eight seven." Shadow said with ease. Forest sat up and stared into the darkness at the chair Shadow was sitting in. He sat there staring into the darkness that was enveloping the room but couldn't find Shadow.

"Wha..." Forest trailed off looking back towards the door, "Why do you know?"

"I have nothing else to do when you're trying to smother me with medications." Shadow said and Forest thought he shrugged although he couldn't see him. It was like he could almost feel Shadow shrug through the darkness.

"Thanks." Forest finally muttered before he jumped up off the couch and basically tiptoed up the stairs.

"I'm hungry," Shadow said following Forest up the stairs and onto the main floor where the darkness lifted and light flooded from the kitchen and hallway.

"No you're not, I already told you, you can't get hungry." Forest said as he walked through the bright house towards the wall with the alarm system on it.

"You're lying, I can to get hungry." Shadow argued. He stood there with his arms crossed watching Forest try to remember the code again. Shadow rolled his eyes and sighed.

"" He said slowly, very slowly. Too slowly for Forest's liking. It was like he was mocking him that he couldn't remember five simple numbers.

"Whatever," Forest mumbled typing in the code quickly. A small beep filled the hall and then the red screen informed Forest that the house was unarmed.

"Time for you to go to sleep." Forest said taking a glance at Shadow before running for the stairs.

"You can never put me to sleep Forest!" Shadow cackled like a madman and chased Forest up the stairs, getting a face full of bedroom door that he paid no attention to.

After taking his pills, eating whatever he wanted in the house, and then sipping on some of Zacky's alcohol collection, Forest ended up falling asleep as the sun started cresting on the horizon and parts of the world started waking up for work or school or whatever it was they did.


"Forest time for lunch!" A young Forest Westfield looked up from the notebook he was writing in and gazed at his new friend.

"Can Shadow have lunch too?" Forest questioned while looking at the boy sitting on the floor next to him.

"Uh, sure honey." His mother called.

Forest was pretty old to have an imaginary friend but Vanessa Westfield didn't think too much about it. He was an odd boy to begin with, didn't have any friends so it was natural of him to become lonely. He had probably made up the boy 'Shadow' to ease the loneliness that had built in his heart.

Forest trailed into the kitchen, looking over his shoulder uncertainly at something that seemed to be following him. Vanessa knew it was 'Shadow' that he was looking at.

"Shadow says he's hungry." Forest said as his mother set two plates on the table.

"Does he want a sandwich?" She asked curiously. Forest looked over and shook his head.

"He said he doesn't like cheese." Forest pointed the the grilled cheese sandwiches Vanessa had made for lunch.

"Forest honey, where is Shadow right now?" Forest pointed to the seat next to his mother and he looked at the seat as if someone was talking to him.

"Here?" She asked, pointing to the seat. Forest didn't answer for a minute and when he did Vanessa began to get a weird feeling in the pit of her stomach.

"Shadow said that's where he pointed isn't it?" Vanessa raised her eyebrows at her son. She had never heard him talk like he was now and it seemed so...unlike him.

"He said that?" She asked.

"Yes mom."

"Well that's a bit rude don't you think? Don't you think it would be nice of him to apologize to me?" Vanessa, who hoped this was just Forest hitting his rebellious streak, asked.

"He said he doesn't feel like it." Forest said folding his arms over his chest and staring at the sandwich on his plate with his eyebrows furrowed. Vanessa knew that look, Forest was confused and was probably thinking too hard about whatever it was.

"Forest," Vanessa said, about to ask if there was something he wanted to ask himself.

"I'm not hungry anymore mom, can I go back into the living room?" Vanessa sighed and nodded a bit, standing to clear the table quickly.

"Sure honey, your sister will be home in about half an hour." She said watching her son leave the room, looking back a few times like he was watching to see where 'Shadow' was. The feeling in Vanessa's stomach grew and she couldn't help but think something may be wrong with her son. She just had a feeling that Shadow wasn't an imaginary friend.

"Your mom is rude." Shadow said laying on the floor in front of the fireplace.

"Shut up," Forest mumbled sitting with his back against the couch facing Shadow. He pulled his legs up so he could prop his notebook against his thighs and keep an eye on Shadow at the same time.

"Well she is," Shadow huffed and stared at the ceiling.

"Are you real?" Forest asked after a long silence.

"Of course i'm real!" Shadow said with disgust, looking over at Forest, "Why would you think i'm not real?"

"My mom can't see you."

"Your mom is a grown up and dumb so of course she can't see me. People are dumb." he said the end more to himself and crossed his arms like he was angry.

"My mom isn't dumb!"

"Forest?" Forest looked up and studied his mother's concerned face as she peeked into the living room at the boy.

"Are you okay?" She asked softly looking into the room that only held her young son, her gaze drifted around the room and landed back on Forest.

"Yeah mom," he said looking back down at his notebook.

"I have to go pick up some stuff at the store, do you want to come with me?"

"Do I have to?" Forest asked.

"No but are you sure you can stay here alone?"

"I'm fine mom." Forest grumbled looking up at Shadow through his eyelashes. He was still laying there but his eyes were squinted like he was thinking about what Vanessa was saying.

"Okay honey," She sighed and walked over, pressing a kiss to Forest's head, "Be good and don't answer the door unless it's Uncle Maverix."

"Alright," Forest said looking up and mustering a smile to reassure his mother. She smiled back and then headed out the door, signaling that she was gone by the click of the front door closing.

After hearing the click Forest stood from the floor and walked over to the window, peeking out of the cracks in the blinds to look at his mother, who had just gotten into the car. He watched as she closed her eyes and seemed to take a deep breath, her chest rising and taking a minute to fall as she let the air out slowly. Her hands gripped the steering wheel tightly and Forest knew that look, she was on the verge of a breakdown where she would cry a lot. Forest had only seen her do that once and that was when they ran out of gas on 8th street and they had to gather all the change in the car to get a gallon of gas. She had cried for what seemed like forever, she kept apologizing and saying that they would never have to dig through the car for gas money again. And they never did. After that Vanessa worked harder than before, they weren't rich, but they weren't that poor ever again.

As Forest watched his mother collect herself in the car he realized it was his fault that she was sitting in the car about to cry. And it was probably because of Shadow too, because she was fine until Forest brought Shadow up the other night.

"It's all your fault." Forest mumbled looking over at the boy laying on the floor.

"Huh?" Shadow looked over at Forest and raised his eyebrow.

"It's all your fault that my mother is crying!" Forest yelled, chucking his notebook at the boy. Shadow laughed and rolled away before the notebook could hit him. Not that it would hurt that bad in the first place since it would probably go right through him. But Shadow thought that would be too much to put on Forest since they had just met and all.

"It's really your fault." Shadow noted, perching on the back of the chair Uncle Maverix always sat in when he was at the house. It was a gross pea green color and had a few rips and tears but it was really comfy.

"Shut up!" Forest threw the TV remote and Shadow dodged it. He dodged everything Forest threw at him and the fight lasted for nearly half an hour. The house was in shambles when Vanessa returned home with Hazel and Maverix in tow. They found Forest sitting on the kitchen counter glaring at the table where an, invisible to everyone but Forest, Shadow sat smirking with his back against the wall.
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So here's a chapter! Please comment and such!
If you see any errors with the BB coding or spelling errors please let me know!