Busy Busy and Paragenesis

Hello Imaginary Friends,

I’m juggling multiple things at the moment. This weekend is Comiccon Holiday edition, we have another event the week after, I’m doing a bunch of other creative work and finally I have NaNoWriMo, which is kicking my butt.

So in the spirit of not wasting time here’s the first 1000 words of Paragenesis: The Copper Tarnish.

Old Cover from when I thought the book wouldn’t be part of the Aetherverse.

Enjoy and Later Days,


High School was hell. Senior year should have been my chance to rule this school. Unfortunately, in small town Northern-Ontario when you have a bad breakup everyone knows about it, and when you’re falsely accused of killing the asshole it’s even worse.

Instead of ruling with my sense of fashion and my epic culinary skills, I found myself scuttling through the halls trying to avoid all my old friends and my ex.

“Whoa… Killer Lesbian coming through,” Steve towered over most of the other students in the hallways between classes. His light brown hair, square jaw, and freckles made him look like the love interest from a bad sixties movie. Between his physique and his looks, he was hot, unfortunately he knew it.

I eyed Richard, my ex and said, “You need him to fight your battles now?” Richard lived his name, he was the stereotype of a Richie or Rich, jet black hair, tanned skin, skinny but defined, makes me drool just thinking about him. Since our breakup though his skin had become a sickly beige and his eyes were disturbingly blank.

It was hard to look into those eyes without getting a chill, and not the good kind. He looked down at my feet and said, “I have no battles to fight Helen.”

“You’re totally right bro. This Lesbo isn’t worth the trouble, let’s get the hell out of hear.” Steve walked passed me. I kept my eyes on his hips. He was a hockey player, and not a good one. His hips told me where he was planning on going. Which was to hip check me.

Swaying away from him and I casually swept my foot towards his. He was already unbalanced from the attempted hip check and tripped. Dance trumps hockey once again.

Face on the group he growled, like some sort of bear, and was about to say something but he was cut off by Mr. Smith yelling, “Miss Benson! My Office Now!” He was the only person where I can hear the capitals on each word when he’s pissed.

The bulk of a man walked around his desk, stepping over several random seeming piles of papers, and sat in his chair. He sighed, the chair squeaked, and I tried not to say anything.

“Sit down Miss Benson.”

The chair across from his desk was the only surface that wasn’t covered with papers or discarded candy bar wrappers. The office smelled of sweat and chocolate.


“No,” he interrupted. He took a swig from his disposable coffee cup. It had Benson’s Diner, written across it. “I’m not sure what’s wrong with you this year but you’ve changed. You used to be chipper, happy, and helpful. You were student body president, head of the cheer club, and I heard from Mrs. Ferris that you dropped out of dance.”

“Yes.” What else was I supposed to say. I couldn’t face Ferris Dance Academy after this summer. When your best friends turn on you, it’s hard to forgive them. Extra hard when they don’t apologize and continue to avoid you.

“Is this about the events of this summer?” He did air quotes around, event. I almost sprained something not rolling my eyes. When I didn’t answer, he said, “Everyone knows that you didn’t do anything wrong.” He should tell that to the people that cross the street to avoid me.

“I just changed my priorities this summer sir. I’m trying to concentrate on my grades.”

From the look he gave me, he didn’t believe it. Thankfully bringing up my grades distracted him from trying to find out what had happened this summer. “Your academics are ok but you’ll need extracurriculars to really stand out on a university application.”

“You’re right sir. I’ll have to find something.” I passed my hand through my hair. It was shoulder length and naturally bright red.

Furrowing his brow, he looked at me over his glasses, and tried to take another swig of his coffee but it was empty. He looked at the coffee like it had insulted his family and put the cup in the trash, which was almost empty. I wondered if I should mention that the candy wrapper could go in there. “Hm… Alright.”

“Sir, I’m going home for lunch. Did you want me to bring you back a fresh cup?” I pointed at the coffee cup.

“Um yes please. Two sugars–”

I interrupted him, “Three creams and an inch of hot water on the top.” He nodded impressed. I’m not sure why he was surprised, I’d been making his coffee for four years. One of the weird perks of working for my family’s restaurant and café, I get to learn the weird way my teachers take their coffee.

Before he remembered that he brought me in for tripping another student and that he wanted more details about what this summer, I got up and said, “I should get to my next class.”

On my way out, the new girl tried to talk to me again. She gave me a little wave and said, “Hi.” She’d been trying to get me to chat since school started. It had been a month of me ignoring her or giving her dirty looks and she still wasn’t getting the hint.

“Listen. You look sweet and all but stop trying to chat with me.”

“Why?” she asked her large blue eyes getting larger in surprise.

“I’m not a good friend. I’m not someone you want to be around. Don’t you pay attention? I’m a social piranha and hanging out with me will kill your chances as fitting in.”

Pushing back her long blonde hair, she cocked her head sideways and said, “You mean social pariah. A piranha is a small carnivorous fish, a pariah is someone who is hated. Did you know the word comes from the Indian lower castes? It’s a fascinating history.”

Her head stayed cocked to the side and she gave me a crooked smirk; this girl was weird. Her clothes would have told me that. She dressed like a beach bum, which would work in L.A. or Vancouver but in Northern-Ontario it just made her stick out. On the other hand, she certainly knew how to dress for her shape. She was pudgy but the dress was only tight around her breasts and flowed down to her knees giving my mind a lot of room to imagine. Her white dress contrasted with her naturally tanned skin. Hormones make life hard.

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