‹ 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

Encounters of the Shadowed Kind

Mark was gone. Not dead, just leaving the state.

He had called that detective back and told them he was mistaken, that he was just trying to get even with a friend for something or other.

But now that it was done it looked like I had to go back into Forest’s fun land of a brain. But how was that fair? I mean, I took care of the kid whenever he got beat up or something. The least he could do was let me have a day off and just be a normal person ya know?

I could do it if I wanted, I always went back willingly after the fight, I really don’t know why. But I knew I had a three day max on how long I could be out, I’ve tried it before.

Forest and his little family didn’t like it in the least. I have no idea why, that snake that I found was a pretty damn cool centerpiece for the dining table.

Ah the young age of fourteen was so fun.

“Forest!” That voice again.

“Yes Kylie?” I asked, not looking back as I walked down the street.

“Can we talk? About last night?” I shrugged.

“Sure why not. Lets go talk in that park.” I said, motioning towards the park we were next to.

The ‘talk’ ended up being a make out session on the playground equipment. Oh how I loved being real!

“This is what I wanted to talk to you about Forest.” Kylie grumbled as I pulled away from her lips.

“Don’t grumble, it’s unattractive.” I said, running my finger along her bottom lip.

She laughed and I loved it. I loved knowing that I was the one that caused it, not Forest. Damn I was becoming a pussy. A pussy with a real body that can kiss girls that is.

“Forest, you can’t just kiss me and then expect to kiss me all the time now.” She said, pushing me off her and sitting up.

“Of course not, three days I say.”

“What?” she asked, looking down at me as I stared at the sky from where I lay on the playground equipment.

“Three days. We can kiss for three days. After that, I won’t know what the fuck is going on.”

“Forest…”

“It’s Shadow. Call me Shadow okay? And I know what you’re going to ask. And I really don’t want to explain it, but I will. As long as you promise to laugh really hard about it. And then believe me.”

“You’re acting weird….maybe I should go.” She went to stand and leave, but I grabbed her arm and pulled her down onto my lap, making her scream.

“I’m acting weird because I’m not me….I’m not…Forest. Just let me explain. And if you think I’m insane, which I assure you I am, then you can leave and never talk to me again.”

She sat there a moment, staring at me and thinking. Then she moved to sit next to me and nodded.

“Go ahead and explain then. I’ll laugh my ass off, I promise.”

I knew there was a reason I liked this girl.


Hazel sat on Matt’s couch Val next to her as she cried. They had lost Forest again, Detective Rowley called back and said the tip was a bust, but that he’d look into it a little more anyways. He had apologized a lot and Hazel knew that he wouldn’t find anything. Forest probably knew they were looking for him by now, and he had probably ran, again.

“Hazel honey, it’s going to be okay. We’ll find Forest this time.” Val said, trying to soothe the younger girl.

“B…But what if he doesn’t w…want to be found?” she stammered, it felt like she was losing her brother for a second time even though they hadn’t found him.

“We’ll still find him anyway honey. I promise.”

“Thank you Val.” she said, hugging the woman that had pretty much been her mother since she had come here.


“Y…you’re a different person? A guy named Shadow?” Kylie asked, her back up against the metal bars that formed a railing for the playground.

“Yep.” I said, a few feet away from her with my eyes on the ground.

The laughing had worn out and the fear, the seriousness, all those other emotions came into play. That’s when we had acquired the positions we were in now. Her as far away from me as she could be without making it obvious she was scared to death of me. And me, with my eyes on the ground as I felt myself losing the only friend besides Forest I had ever had. If I could even count her as a friend, she’s never known of me. Is this what Forest felt like when he told someone about me? Must be...

“And you can only come out when Forest lets you? So..you’re like a split personality?”

I shrugged and put my elbows on my knees.

“I don’t think split personalities know about each other…do they?” I questioned, looking up at her.

“I don’t know…” she murmured, taking her turn at looking at the ground.

“And yea…I can only come out when Forest lets me. It’s usually to beat someone up or save his ass from something.”

We sat there in silence for a little while, both drowning in our own thoughts. I began to wonder what Forest was doing, I never bothered to ask him what happened when I was in control. Did he end up like me, just following the other around like an imaginary friend? Did he go somewhere? Or did he just black out until I gave the control back?

“You were beating up Mark yesterday.” I looked up at the sudden noise, “You weren’t playing some stupid game. Forest let you out to beat him up. Why?”

I stared at her, not wanting to give any more secrets away then I already had. I mean, Forest’s personal business was his own business. I wasn’t about to tell Kylie he had run away three years ago and Mark found out. That would be too much.

“Don’t know. Wasn’t really paying attention. I just remember them arguing and then I was getting pulled into control as he fell out.” I shrugged, “Hated the guy anyway so it was fun.”

Kyle stared at me for awhile and then she sighed.

“This is really weird Fore…Shadow….” She rubbed her head like Forest’s mom used to do when she got headaches all the time. A nerve in my heart tugged and I winced.

“Don’t I know it.” I mumbled.


After crying for about an hour Hazel left the house just wanting to get away from everyone.

“Where are you heading off to?” A voice from behind her asked. She turned and faced Jimmy, his hands stuffed into his pockets.

“Keep a secret?” she asked. He nodded eagerly, a spark of excitement flashing through his eyes.

“I’m going to check out where Detective Rowley said Forest lived. I called a cab to pick me up on the next block.” she said, motioning down the street by moving her head.

“Hey! I wanted to do that! Let’s go!” he yelled, jumping up and down before running past down the block. Hazel sighed but laughed before running after him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The cab pulled up to the apartment building and Hazel stared out the window, taking in the grungy place in front of her.

“Are you sure this is the right place?” Hazel asked as they stepped out of the cab and it drove away.

“Positive. The Detective told me because I begged him to. He advised me ‘not to interfere’” Jimmy said, puffing out his chest and mimicking Detective Rowley almost to a T, “But he still gave the address to me. Nice guy.”

Hazel sighed and looked around again. Dirty paths and trash cans knocked over covered the ally in front of them. The grass in front of the building was dead and overgrown with weeds, along with the little things laying around on it. A bike missing a tire, a flat basketball, a shoe that was missing its laces. In the parking lot there were the crappiest cars Hazel had ever seen, two had their hoods open and some sketchy looking characters were looking under one. It was crazy that this place was so different from her own home and yet it wasn’t that far from it.

“Lets go.” Jimmy said, grabbing her arm and pulling her towards the door of the apartment building.

They walked inside and Jimmy walked over to the sign that said all the names of the tenants.

“Can I help you?” a voice asked from the left of them. Hazel turned and faced a large man. He had the whole gangster look and Hazel felt herself stepping back next to Jimmy. The guy raised his eyebrow at her and chewed his gum a little harder.

“We’re looking for Forest Baker his name doesn’t seem to be on the tenant list though.” Hazel said, pointing to the sign on the wall.

“Is Chewy Rodriguez on there?” he asked. Hazel turned and looked at the list before turning back and shaking her head.

“That’s the point, haven’t updated that thing in fifty years.”

“You’re Chewy?” Jimmy asked. The guy nodded and crossed his arms over his chest before leaning against the wall.

“Forest Baker ain’t here. Forest Westfield on the other hand, that kid’s my neighbor. Why you looking for him?”

“He’s my nephew and her brother. Just wanted to stop by.” Jimmy said, crossing his arms like Chewy. Hazel stifled a laugh at the site and took a deep breath.

“Ain’t here. Best bet’s he’s at work.”

“Where’s he work?”

“Told me not to tell anyone. Ever since that detective came hanging around.” Chewy stated looking away to glance at the stairwell door that opened. A guy who’s face was littered with cuts and bruises came stumbling out of the doorway with a box in his arms.

“Hey Mark, leaving so soon?” Chewy asked as he smirked.

“Y…you leave me alone Chewy. And tell F….Forest no one’s going to bother him anymore…” he stuttered as he shrank away from Chewy and nearly sprinted out the door.

“What was he talking about?” Hazel asked, taking a step forward. Chewy looked back at her, his eyes taking in her body for half a second.

“Something happened last night. Saw Mark with that ugly smirk of his holding a paper right before Forest got home. After that I heard yelling, looked out and Mark was running down the hallway, funniest look of fear I’ve ever seen on his face. Went back to watching TV after that, whatever he got, he deserved.”

“Forest hurt him?” Jimmy asked. Chewy looked at them, studying them like they were aliens. It make Hazel squirm.

“Either that or someone else.” Chewy pointed his chin to the doorway where Mark disappeared, “He went up to the roof I think, Forest followed. Who knows what happened after that.” A sinister smile formed on his lips and he pulled a cigarette and lighter out of his pocket. He held the cancer stick between his lips and cupped his hand around the end before lighting it, smoke billowing from the end as he sucked in the nicotine.

He stood there a moment, his head leaning against the wall, before he spoke again. Smoke trailing out from between his lips as he did so.

“I’m not saying he did it, just because, the kid’s nearly as small as you chicka. I AM saying, someone beat the shit out of Mark, and that bastard deserved it so no one should feel sympathy for him.” Chewy said, looking up as the door behind Hazel and Jimmy squealed as it opened.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the infamous Forest. These people are looking for you kid.” Hazel and Jimmy both turned and were shocked to see the boy standing in the doorway. Aviators covered his eyes but he had frozen in shock, leaving his mouth in a weird half open state.

Forest recovered from the shock quickly and put a grin on his face.

“Well look who finally caught up with little ol’ me.” he stated, walking past them

“Forest can we talk?” Hazel asked taking off after him, Jimmy not far behind her.

“Sure if you really want to. What’s there to talk about though?” he asked as he made his way up the stairs towards his apartment.

“Forest!” Hazel yelled, anger in her words at how Forest was being.

Forest stopped and turned on the landing, as Hazel stomped up to him. Jimmy stood back a little, wondering what the girl was going to do.

“Will you stop calling me that? It’s Shadow honey, and Forest isn’t here right now, can I take a message?” he sneered, smiling an evil grin at her.

Hazel gasped and took a step back, Jimmy’s eyes widened and he stepped forward to grab Hazel’s hand. Forest, well Shadow, scoffed at the actions.

“It’s not like I’m going to flat out murder you or something, calm your gallbladders. Besides, I’m much too busy to bother with you two.” he said, waving his hand around to dismiss the subject.

“How…how did you get control?” Hazel asked.

“It was pretty easy. You see, Mark, I’m sure you saw him he ran out right before I walked in. What a pussy he is. Anyway, Mark was being a bitch to my boy Forest and Forest was kind of loopy from working and such, so he kinda just fell outta control and bam, here I am.” Shadow said, shrugging, “It’s not rocket science.”

“Well…where’s Forest?” Hazel asked, her face paling when Shadow shrugged.

“Never bothered to ask him. I will once he comes back.” Shadow said, turning and walking away.

“Shadow!” Hazel yelled, yanking her arm out of Jimmy’s grasp and running to him. Shadow stopped again, groaning in the process.

“What now?” he asked, looking down at the girl he was two years older then, technically. But Shadow didn’t think they got too technical when they were talking about some guy that lived in another’s head.

“Are you…..well is Forest. Are you two doing okay?” she asked, finally finding the right words.

Shadow sighed and shrugged.

“I guess so. It’s not ideal, and I bet we’re homeless rats to you in your little designer clothes.” he sneered, looking at her clothes, “But he’s doing fine. Don’t worry.”

Shadow turned then and headed towards the apartment that he was thinking there was no way they could afford anymore.

“Will you have him call me?!” she yelled down the hallway. Shadow turned and looked at the piece of paper in her outstretched hand, “We still live in the same place too, so maybe you…he, could stop by or something.”

Shadow shrugged and nodded to a guy as he walked past.

“Can’t promise you anything, he does have a mind of his own and he’s the one that decided to run away in the first place. But I will give him the message, just leave the number in his mailbox.” Shadow said, turning and walking into the apartment and slamming the door.

Hazel sighed and turned to walk towards the stairwell again, she had found her brother, but it wasn’t really him at the moment, and that scared Hazel on who her brother was now.
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So they've finally made contact! Took long enough...okay it's like four chapters in or something but that's too long for me. I'm a fast paced gal what can I say?

So what do you all think of this ridiculous chapter that i've spewed out for you? Like it? I do only because I love writing as Shadow.

Anyone notice how he's the only one in first person POV hmmm??? o.O
Could mean something in the future.......SO REMEMBER IT!!

And now i've been thinking of writing a zombie apocalypse story only because i've been waiting for The Walking Dead premiere. Anyone watch that? No? Alrighty then moving on.

So comment, subscribe, and recommend please!

(Since there's no preview some crap may be messed up. Sorry on my part! But i'll fix it quickly.)