‹ Prequel: Promise Me The Stars
Status: This story is on hold right now as i'm in the process of editing the prequel Promise Me The Stars. Check it out for better chapters!

Rocks Painted Gold

It Gets Worse

The last time Forest had been in an airport his life had changed so drastically he almost couldn't believe it. And now here he was again, going back to his old home to sift through his deceased mother's belongings. It all felt way too surreal for him and he felt his stomach twist in knots as he sat among all the strangers waiting for the same flight as him.

He began to wonder why so many people were going to Colorado, then he remembered it was some tourist place. But to him it was just home, and living in California made him miss all the things in Colorado. The snow, the mountains, all the forests and plains that went together perfectly. He began getting antsy as he thought about being there again. There were so many things he wanted to do, and yet he had little to no money to even survive in Colorado for three or four days. But still, he wanted to go to the candy shop and the penny arcade they went to as children. He wanted to remember those things all over again.

Forest realized then, in a split second he realized with all his heart, that he wasn't ready to go back and face the death of his mother. He wasn't ready to do it all alone. He wanted Shadow there, he wanted his sister there, the way she was before they came here. Anyone would really do, as long as he wasn't fully alone. He sat there and wished so hard that it made his head hurt, he gripped his jeans so tightly he thought they would rip, and he tried to keep the tears back but they burned forward and threatened to fall. He angled his head down so he was staring at his lap and no one could see him. You can't be a twenty year old and just be crying in the airport, well if you're a guy anyway.

Forest drew in a deep breath and let it out, trying to calm himself.

"I knew you were scared but I didn't know you were this scared." Forest glanced over, that blue mop of hair the first thing he noticed.

"Wha...what are you doing here Shadow?" Forest asked.

"I went and saw Kylie and we went and pawned her guitar and pawned some other stuff plus two paychecks and we could afford two plane tickets to Colorado with you. Luckily some old people dropped out of your flight so we got their seats."

"Forest!" Kylie decided to run up then and tackle him in a hug. She pulled away and looked at him oddly, "Wait, were you crying?"

"Hey Kylie, where were you?" Shadow asked pulling her down next to him. Forest shot him a grateful look and smiled as his only two friends argued about the kind of water Kylie got.

"Why would you get flavored water? That is the grossest shit out there. It's like water that's gone stale and got some gross taste of rotten....flesh."

"Really Shadow? Rotten flesh?" Kylie asked, shooting him a look while raising her eyebrow.

"Yes, rotten fucking flesh." Shadow stated.

"How do you even know what rotten flesh tastes like Shadow?" Forest asked, leaning forwards to look past Kylie.

“I don’t, but I’m sure it tastes just like that water.” Shadow stated, sitting back with his arms crossed.

“Whatever Shadow.” Forest said, sighing and sitting back also.

“So…we’re going to your old house?” Kylie asked after a few moments of silence.

“Yeah, my Uncle called. He’s the one that’s been taking care of the house but he has to move now. So I get to go there and go through my mother’s things while deciding the fate of the house I grew up in. Sounds fun right?” Forest asked, glancing at the two.

“Sounds like a raging party.” Shadow stated sarcastically.

“Shadow!” Kylie hissed, pinching his arm.

“Woman!” Shadow yelled rubbing said arm that had been pinched.

“Well then stop being rude to Forest.”

“Its my nature sweetheart. Plus, he’s used to it by now. Ain’t ya Forest?” Shadow asked.

He had acquired a new position of propping his arm over the back of Kylie’s seat and twisting so he was facing Kylie and Forest, thus ignoring the man sitting next to him. Who, honestly, resembled Barney the dinosaur in a creepy perverted way.

“Yeah I’m used to it, doesn’t mean I like it though.” Forest stated as he truthfully wasn’t paying too much attention to the conversation at hand. He was thinking about all the things he had to do when he got to Colorado. Number one being finding a way to get to the actual house as it was a two and a half hour drive from the airport, give or take a few minutes. He remembered the ride vividly when they left the empty house for a final time. Having gotten a ride from their friend Kat. He hadn’t heard from her in years.

She hadn’t come to visit them ever, he didn’t remember calling her once. He didn’t even know if Hazel had kept in touch with Kat. He didn’t think so, or she’d mention it. But hell, Hazel didn’t mention a lot during those months, years, after they came to California, so it could be possible they talked.

“Forest,” Kylie was waving her hand in front of his face and then Shadow’s hand was colliding with the back of Forest’s head.

“What the hell Shadow?” Forest seethed.

“Well you weren’t listening to Kylie. Which is extremely rude in my opinion.” Shadow stated in the most nonchalant voice Forest had ever heard.

“What the hell is wrong with your personality?” Forest asked.

“It’s lovely don’t you think? I personally like…well I can’t decide which part I like the best, I like it all!” Shadow exclaimed.

“You’re an idiot.” Forest stated as he narrowed his eyes at Shadow. Kylie giggled between them and they both looked down.

“What are you giggling on about?” Shadow asked.

“It’s just so funny, watching you two interact with each other. Forest is the calm one while Shadow is the angry at the drop of a pin one. It’s really quite amusing to watch if you think about it.” Kylie stated, crossing her legs across one another as Forest and Shadow leaned in to hear her over the chatter and chaos of the airport terminal.

“Whatever you say.” Shadow said, rolling his eyes. He sat back and came face to face with Barney. Forest and Kylie could tell something was about to happen by the way they both looked. Barney was smiling like a creep, and Shadow’s upper lip twitched into a scowl.

“What the hell are you looking at pervert?” Shadow asked.

“Nothing,” the man stated, his head lowering slightly and his smile growing, “Nothing at all.”

“You’re a sick ass motherfucker.” Shadow spat, grabbing Kylie’s hand and standing up. He turned his gaze on Forest who was currently being stared at by Barney.

“Now it’s just us.” Barney stated.

“Oh fuck no!” Forest yelled, jumping up and pushing Shadow and Kylie in front of him to get them all away.

They walked to the other side of the seating area where they found a little corner to sit in and not be bothered. They sat there a moment before they looked at each other and busted out laughing.

“That guy was such a fucking creeper.” Shadow said, falling over as tears ran down his cheeks.

“Did…did you see the way he looked at Forest?” Kylie asked before snorting.

“Did you really just snort? Dork.” Shadow said, his head was in her lap so he flicked her wrist which lay on his chest.

“When did you head get in her lap?” Forest raised an eyebrow.

“When you were getting mind fucked by Barney the dinosaur.” They all looked at each other before laughing again.


They got through the flight without anymore incidents that involved crazy perverts that resembled children’s tv personal. The only exciting things that happened were that they learned that Shadow had a slight fear of heights and the flight attendant spilled a whole bucket of ice in Kylie’s lap, thus producing a scream so loud the pilots heard it and went over the loud speaker to ask who had been killed. Which then proceeded to make people think Kylie had been killed, nope just an icy lap.

“Are you alright?” Forest asked, chuckling at the scowl on Kylie’s face.

“No! The stewardess spilled a half gallon of ice on my lap!”

“We know, we were right next to you.” Shadow stated as he slung his arm across her shoulders.

“You’re kind of rude, why am I semi-dating you?”

“Because your other choice would be Forest and no one would want to go out with Forest. Semi or not.” Shadow declared.

“You do know there’s more then just you two guys in this world right?” Kylie asked, looking up at Shadow as he glanced around the expanded airport.

“Say what now? When was this decided?” Shadow inquired looking down at her. A smirk was firmly in place on his lips and it had no intentions of leaving anytime soon.

“While you were in the bathroom on the plane, had graphs and everything.”

“They fit graphs into that cramped lower class?”

“Mini graphs. Like really tiny, couldn’t even see them from where we sat. Forest and I just took what they were saying as the truth.” Kylie shrugged and quickly grabbed her bag off the luggage conveyer belt.

They stood there joking around until Shadow’s bag and Forest’s bag showed up on the black belt then they were headed out to find a way back to Forest’s house.

Hitchhiking isn’t the best idea, remember that children. But Shadow could beat up anybody that came into contact with them in an unsuitable way and Forest’s uncle wasn’t picking up his phone. Therefore they found themselves on the highway hitchhiking. This was going to end well…

“Mother fucking douche bag!” Shadow yelled at the fifth car that had someone flip them the bird.

“What if they come back Shadow? You’re just asking for a fight.” Kylie stated, rolling her eyes.

“I welcome any fight that any of these dick suckers throws at me.” Shadow stated, flipping off another car that had done the same to him.

“Shadow calm down and try to look nice so people will pick us up.”

“How in the hell am I supposed to do that?” Shadow asked crossing his arms over his chest.

“How about you try and smile,” Kylie suggested. Shadow proceeded to do so and Kylie made a face, “Okay, don’t do that it makes you look like Barney.”

Shadow growled and threw his arms into the air out of frustration.

“I don’t think this is going to work Forest.” Kylie sighed and sat down on her bag.

“Me either, but I don’t know what else to do. We don’t have money to get a cab, or rent a car. And my uncle won’t pick up his phone.” Forest sighed in defeat and looked off to the right into some fields.

“Guys…” he trailed off.

“What?” They both asked at the same time. Shadow followed Forest’s eye and looked to the right. Kylie caught on after a minute and looked also.

“It’s a field. What are we supposed to do with a field?” Shadow asked looking at Forest like he was an idiot.

“This highway goes around this field since there's a lake in it and stuff. Thus taking twenty minutes longer then you would if you just went through the field. I say if we walk through it we should get all the way across in…half an hour. As apposed to nearly an hour and a half walking on the highway where people will probably aim for us as walking targets. So, I suggest we go through the field.” Forest stated, pointing out into the knee high prairie grass that covered the valley in between them and a couple miles distance of his house.

“What if there’s snakes?” Kylie asked biting her lip and looking out into the field.

“Don’t worry babe, I‘ll save them from you.” Shadow said, winking down at Kylie.

“Wow Shadow, you can acknowledge her as your girlfriend in a way.” Forest stated, earning a dirty look from his counterpart.

“Even though we’re not officially dating even.” Kylie said, pinching Shadow’s leg as he stood next to her.

“Yeah well, it’s been, what? Three days since I’ve gotten this body.” Shadow said, picking up his bag, which was really just a backpack, and slinging it over his shoulder.

“So we are going through the field, just to make sure.” Kylie asked.

“Yes, we ARE going through the field. Now come on.” Forest said as he grabbed his own bag and hiked down into the ditch where the fence started.

“Careful you slip a lot.” Forest called up.

“Yeah we watched you go down Sherlock. Looked like you were on ice.” Shadow said, mimicking him in an awful way. He looked more like a monkey then anything. Kylie giggled and covered her mouth so Forest wouldn’t see.

“You look like a monkey dumb ass. Slide Kylie’s suitcase down.” He called up the ditch, which was more like a hill then a ditch.

A moment later her purple duffel bag came sliding down and landed at Forest’s feet. He grabbed it and placed it on the other side of the fence where his own bag sat.

“Hold my hand.” Shadow said, holding out his hand to Kylie. Forest looked up and watched a blush creep across his cheeks as Kylie looked at him weirdly.

“Oh my god you look so cute when you blush!” Kylie gushed, pinching his cheek and pulling him into a tight hug.

Forest let out a small laugh and turned right before Shadow noticed he had seen what had just happened.

“I just said it so you didn’t fall okay?!”

“I know, and it was really sweet. So, lets hold hands down the scary embankment!” Kylie said just as Forest turned again.

Kylie had grabbed his hand tightly and started down the hill. They slipped and slid down and finally they were standing by Forest, an amused expression on his face.

“What’s with the face Forest?” Shadow asked, a threatening feel to his words.

“I just think it’s funny how nice you really are.” Forest shrugged and turned to the fence, “Always thought you hated the world and everything in it. But that’s not true, I see it now."

Forest said all that while he climbed through the barbwire fence. Then he stepped on the bottom row and pulled at the one above it as to let Kylie and Shadow pass through without getting caught on the painful barbs.

He noticed that Shadow hadn't commented back on what he had said, but as he passed through the fence he witnessed a strange look on his face. A face so contorted in thought and confusion that he couldn't think of him as Shadow anymore for some unholy reason. With that look he could tell that the old Shadow was slowly growing and changing into a different person, a person that wasn't just angry at everything, a person that understood more things about the world then anyone else did. The true things that people overlooked, that's what Shadow knew.

"So which way do we go?" Kylie asked.

"Straight up that ridge and we should be on the highway again. But there's this bridge that you can cross and you're practically in town."

"Great!" Kylie exclaimed, grabbing her heavy bag.

"Here." Shadow muttered, switching her bag with his lighter backpack.

"Thank you Shadow." Kylie said, smiling brightly up at him.

Forest noticed how much taller Shadow was then Kylie, how much taller he was then himself too.

"Why do you keep staring at me Forest?" Shadow asked as they started walking.

"I'm just noticing things about you that i've never noticed before. Like how much taller then Kylie and I you are." Forest stated, shrugging it off as he kept the pace with the other two.

"Well I am older then both of you. Therefore I've had more time to grow." Shadow shrugged and watched the ground intently, his mind off in some other world, Forest wondered if it was Byte City.

They walked in silence most of the time, making small talk here and there, but they didn't talk too much. Everyone was lost in their own thoughts, thinking about their own problems or memories.

"Forest?" he was dragged out of his thoughts rapidly and he blinked at Kylie for a few seconds, trying to process what was going on.

"What?" He asked.

"What's that?" Kylie pointed off to the left of them.

His gaze drifted over and he saw what she was talking about. A slender black figure making its way through the prairie grass quickly and silently, not a noise could be heard from it and it was getting increasingly closer.

"That...is a sign to run." Shadow stated, before grabbing Kylie's arm and shoving Forest ahead of him.

"What do you suppose it is?" Forest asked nonchalantly. Like they weren't getting chased by some dark figure that was moving at a high rate of speed.

"Don't know, but it can run pretty fucking fast." Shadow commented, glancing back at the thing that had caught up to them a considerable amount. He couldn't very well make out any features of the thing. Just that it was black and seemed to have a humanoid shape.

"Can we stop talking like we're sitting in a diner and take notice that the thing is chasing us?!" Kylie screeched, jumping over a large rock and clearing it by a few inches.

"Wow Kylie, did you take track in high school?" Forest asked.

"Yeah I-" She screamed at Forest and started running faster.

"Your girlfriend really doesn't handle getting chased under pressure well." Forest commented, looking back to see the...thing gaining.

"Hey, she wasn't in Byte City with us and didn't get chased daily by the nightmares that festered in all our brains. That thing back there kinda looks like one of them actually."

"But that's not possible. This is the real world Shadow, nightmares just can't come shooting out of our mind." Forest argued.

They were nearing the hill that they had to climb to get up to the road and Kylie was already there and struggling to haul Shadow's backpack up the hill with her.

"I came out of your mind didn't I? This world has way more things that aren't explainable then you think. Way more weird little bumps in the night that we don't notice or pass as something that's not there. When in reality it's always there, always watching. Nightmares are real sometimes Forest. Don't forget that."

Forest stared at Shadow, which caused him not to see a root from some plant sticking out of the ground. His foot caught, the root twisted itself around his ankle, and he went falling to the ground.

"Forest!" Kylie screamed, she had made it up the hill but she was starting back down when she saw him fall.

"GO! I'll get him." Shadow yelled up, tossing her luggage as far up the hill as he could.

She turned and ran up, slipping through the fence and disappearing from his sight. Now it was just Shadow, Forest, and the thing that was running up pretty fast.

"Forest, get your foot untangled and go with Kylie."

"Shadow I-"

"Shut it Forest. You go protect my girlfriend from all the other shit in the world that's trying to bring us down. I can handle this one little thing." Shadow said, pointing his chin towards the black cloaked figure. Forest got his foot undone and pulled himself up, looking at the figure that had stopped a few yards away from them.

"What do you-"

"Don't question Forest, just go. Go to Kylie and get to your house, i'll meet up with you later."


"Forest! Don't argue with me here!" Shadow yelled, shoving him toward the hill.

"Be careful." Forest said, running towards the hill.

Shadow waited until he had grabbed Kylie's suitcase and was throwing them over the fence to turn back to the thing.

"Time to party?" He asked, just as the thing charged.
♠ ♠ ♠
So there's weird things in the real world after. Who would've guessed? (Note the sarcasm.)

Thinking of updating every Thursday and Monday since I don't have school and I have NOTHING else to do anyway....well except study for my GED and crap. But that can fall on every other day so..whatever.

Aw Shadow called her his girlfriend for real this time. It so sweet that he's not a mean ass guy.

Oh and just a little hint, something happened before Shadow and Kylie went to the airport. Just saying people. So expect that on Monday!

And thanks to
for the comment. The only comment -_- my work is hated!
Oh well, I still enjoy writing this so you can all go read something else!