Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Didn't think of that

"Amanda!" Todd called from down the hall and half-jogged towards her.

Amanda was closing her door to her apartment. After being on her blog all morning, she thought it would be a good time to get the mail.

Amanda turned and waited for him.

"That blog post," He said. He didn't sound happy.

"Yes, what about it?"

"Are you insane? You just told the world that you were going back!"

Amanda still didn't see what the problem is. "I didn't say when just that I needed to. Go re-read my post."

"You think that you, of all people, would know that every day for the next year, there will probably be a crowd waiting for you to show up?"

"People are not that stupid," Amanda said.

Todd crossed his arms, leaned up against the wall and just looked at her.

Amanda sighed. "I'm supposed to put up a 'Thank you to my Supporters' post. At the same time, I will make it clear that I don't know when I will be going, because…" Amanda trailed off, and Todd seemed to have relaxed a little.

"Because saying that I'm going is one thing. Thinking that I'm actually going to do it again, is nerve-wracking. I'm deathly afraid of going back." Amanda admitted. She turned away and hung her head. Todd was the only one she felt comfortable telling this to, but she was just as uncomfortable.

"Oh, hey," Todd stood up and took her left hand when she turned to face him, and he took his hand and placed it on each upper arm. "You will be okay. You will figure it out, and I'll be here to help you if you need it."

Amanda nodded and looked up at him. "Thanks," she said. It wasn't that she didn't trust him, but he didn't know that she'll be okay or be able to figure it out.

Todd reached for his phone and made a call, "Listen," he said, "I won't be able to get there for another hour. No, no real emergency, just a friend needs me right now." Then he hung up.

"How about coffee?" He asked.

At that moment, Amanda realized that she was not over him. Not by a long shot.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Viral

Amanda woke up in the morning to the sound of her phone ringing. It took her a moment to realize what was going on and by the time she reached for her phone, it stopped.

She checked her phone logs. She missed a call from an unknown number. It happened a few more times during the day.

"Probably, telemarketers," She thought and got up.

She had her breakfast bar and then reached for her laptop to check her messages from the previous post.

She was quite shocked to see how many comments there were. She checked her stats and followed the first Facebook link that had a substantial amount of hits.

She found that a popular paranormal Facebook page linked to her blog.

Most of the comments were quite supportive. Some, not so much.

"Wow, you are brave or stupid. Either way, good luck to you."

"I'm praying for you, may G-d help you find peace."

"Please find out because if someone actually did that to you, the jerk needs to be strung out to dry."

"I could not do what you are doing. I much rather enjoy hiding in my basement, commenting on blogs, safe and sound."

"OMG you are so brave, I don't think I would have had the courage that you have."

"I agree with what you're saying, this actually might be the only way to find more about your past."

"made me cry, the feels ;-;"

"*grabs popcorn* let the games begin"

"Haha again? Your going to be asulted, like last time…."

The comments were sorted from best to worse. So the ones that people liked or agreed with were on the top. Some were short stories on their personal experiences, including those who wished others had spoken out before the perpetrator got to them.

As she went down the list, the comments got more and more useless and annoying.

She deleted any spam selling T-shirts, "Genuine" Rolexes, make money at home schemes, and male enhancement products.

Someone took the time to make an ASCII art of a male part. Amanda deleted it. It didn't add anything to the conversation.

Finally, she answered any questions that some of the commenters had except "When" questions. She wasn't sure when and she didn't know if it would be wise to tell everyone. If she goes, she wants to be there with only one friend. Not a whole group of people who are curious.

After she had finished, she hit 'sort by time' so she can see if there were any new comments since she signed on a few hours ago. There was one.

"I know you have the key."

Amanda quickly deleted it and shut her computer off. That was enough of that for the day.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Blog Post


2015/02/27 2:00 pm

I know that I must go back to Vermont sometime. There was something there that may have triggered something other than my migraines.

I haven't had any migraines recently, so maybe it would be a good time to go back. I had avoided thinking about it for over six months now because for some reason I was afraid. I was afraid of what might be.

In running, however, I felt like I was missing out. I have that nagging 'what if' in the back of my mind. What if I have a family that misses me? I know that no one has come forward, but perhaps they had given me up for dead?


What if this was a crime committed against me? What if, by closing myself off to knowing my past, I'm not preventing a terrible future for someone else?

Posted by Amanda. Don't forget to Leave a comment and share

Amanda published her blog post and closed her laptop.

It's time, she thought,  to stop just existing and show a little bravery for once.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Still Alone

Amanda texted Trisha. No response. She was standing outside of Trisha's door to see if Trisha was interested in going out to the cafe. Trisha had texted her the other day that she was supposed to be home the previous night.

Amanda sighed.

"Something's the matter?" Todd's voice startled her.

"Not really," Amanda said after the initial shock wore off. "It's just that Trisha was supposed to be home and I was kind of hoping we would do some catching up. I haven't seen her in a while."

"Oh," Todd responded. He paused for a moment, "She had to pay her rent over the phone because she couldn't be here in time to pay in person like she usually does. Something about having to extend her stay."

Amanda noticed a hint of concern on Todd's face.

"My turn to ask you what's wrong," Amanda said.

"Oh, the repairs aren't going too well," Todd said then he gestured down the hall, "As a matter of fact, I have some complaints to attend to."

Amanda nodded, and Todd continued on his way.

Now, what am I going to do? Amanda thought.

Amanda followed Todd's advice about staying home for a while, but she did it for a different reason. She was concerned about bumping into Brian Lane again. There was something about him that irritated her.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Re-Read

Amanda decided it was a good time to dust. She's good at picking up after herself and basic cleaning, but when it comes to dusting, she has to make a conscience effort to do it. So she dug out her dusting wand and the disposable dusters that came with it.

She started at one corner of the apartment and worked her way to the bookshelf. It wouldn't have taken her so long if it weren't for the trouble spots on the windows. She had to grab a bottle of cleaner and some paper towels to clean some trouble spots.

Once she reached the bookshelf, she picked up a few items, including a frame with her and her foster family. She studied it for a moment, then put it back. She grabbed another object. It was the manila envelope that she set up there a few months prior.

Amanda dusted it and then set her duster down. Then she walked over to her recliner chair with the envelope and sat down.

She debated whether or not to set it down and finish dusting. She didn't have much more to do. She looked up at the shelf that she was dusting seconds before.

It was just a few more shelves; I could finish it later, she thought as she slid the edited first draft out of the envelope. She would rather read the manuscript instead of dusting anyway.

She skimmed the book until she got to the description of the alien city. She couldn't think of the city's name, so she used a random planet name generator she found online. It didn't fit. As she reread the description, she had a longing, as if she was missing something.

Amanda got up off the recliner and set the manuscript down onto the coffee table. She grabbed her laptop, which now had a thin layer of dust on the cover. Amanda grabbed her microfiber cloth and wiped it off, then took her laptop over to the coffee table and sat on the love seat. She decided to edit the manuscript and give it to Todd.

Since there were few edits she had to do, she was done just a few minutes for the electricians to show up.

When she left the cloth grocery bag hanging on the door of Todd's apartment, she had a sense that this was the beginning of something big. She wasn’t sure what it was, but she knew that her life was about to change.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Going Back

Amanda closed her laptop after a long session on a forum site. Obviously, the meteorite was a coincidence, but it did get her thinking. Perhaps it is time to go back to Vermont. She did remember a rock flying by her head. It may be what caused her concussion. If she could remember that, then perhaps she'll remember more the next time.

She decided to check to see if she could find Todd. She wanted him to go with her this time. She grabbed her phone. If she couldn't find Todd, she'll have to text him. He treats his texts like someone would treat email. He doesn't respond to his texts until he gets to his apartment.  Then he goes through them in the order in which they came.

"It's just more efficient when I have a million things to do during the day," Todd told her once.

She checked the time.  It was early enough that Todd was probably still in his apartment unless he wanted to get an early start.

She opened the door to go out into the hallway, and there was Todd with his fist in the air.

"Well!" Amanda said, thinking that this was an odd coincidence. "I was just about to look for you!"

"Yeah, well," Todd said as he held up a tablet, "It's actually business related. I came here to let you know that the electricians will be here this afternoon to replace the fluorescent lights with LEDs. Your apartment is 5th on the list. If they don't get to it today, they will get to it tomorrow early."

Amanda nodded. Todd had made a lot of improvements to the building. It didn't look like the run-down apartment complex that she moved into anymore.

"Now that I'm here," Todd said after he poked at his screen, "What can I do for you?"

"Well, you seem busy," Amanda was getting cold feet. Perhaps she could wait to tell him later.

Todd just waited. Amanda sighed nervously.

"I want to go back to Vermont."

"Really?" Todd said, leaning up against the door frame. "Are you sure? After what happened?"

"I know there's something there that might help with the memories." Amanda took another deep breath. "I remember a rock flying at my head when I was there with Trisha. Before my migraine started."

Todd stood up straight. "You remembered that and told no one?"

"Well, my mind was occupied at the moment, with the unconsciousness and all. After we got home and there was a period when I couldn't talk to you and Trisha was busy." Amanda stopped when she saw the disapproving look on Todd's face.

"No," Todd said emphatically. "It's too soon. It could cause another catastrophe. It's not likely you'll be bothered again, but your migraines…"

"Have been few and far between since," Amanda said. "As a matter of fact, I don't think I've had one since then. Look, I would like you to come with me, but I will go on my own if I have to. I felt like I was close to a breakthrough. I don't want to give up."

Amanda shuttered. She noticed that the room temperature dropped. Maybe it's a draft coming from the hallway, Amanda thought. She saw that Todd was looking past her for a moment as if to think it over.

Todd leaned back onto the door frame and sighed. "Okay, just don't do anything yet, I may get be able to get us there for cheap. I have a few favors to call in."

Relieved, Amanda smiled and said, "Thank you."

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Stats

After the encounter with Todd, Amanda realized that she wasn't tired and it wasn't likely she was going back to sleep anytime soon. So she decided it was a good time to check her stats on her blog.

She noticed that one of the links came from the infamous forum site's paranormal thread. She sighed and followed the link.

"Omg!" the original post exclaimed, "I didn't notice this coincidence before. Maybe she was abducted. That would explain why she has no memory. Check this link!" 

"Oh come off it," another posted, "She's a Russian sleeper. They're just waiting for the right moment to wake her. They landed her there by Lake Champlain to keep us off the trail. After all, nothing significant comes from the Northeast, except stupid libtards. The reason why the government hasn't said anything is because it's still being run by the libtards."

Amanda groaned, there's always that person who does his/her best to turn a thread into a political war. Sure enough, there were hundreds of replies. She skipped those. It was like watching a car wreck. No one likes it when it happens, but when it does, unless you force yourself to look the other way, you will be there for hours, staring at the destruction.

"*Gets popcorn, watches tinfoil hat wearers circle jerk themselves to death*" One of the posts said. This one seemed to be for the previous post that was deleted, but it was just as relevant for the whole thread.

"Think about it. If you read her PHP books, she is really smart. She's probably a sleeper cell hacker."

"Well, that's probably more of a possibility than a UFO. If they have been on this particular site and read the posts, it's likely that any life with some intelligence will run in the opposite direction, then set up a blockade so that no other race with any intelligence would be infected with our stupidity."

"LOL, no intelligent life here, move on!"

"Hot or not?"

"I rest my case."

"6/10, wuld still bang dat hoe."

"6/10?! Why?!" Amanda exclaimed then facepalmed. I will not get sucked in; I will NOT get sucked in, she thought.

Amanda took a deep breath and decided to skip the responses to the last post and clicked the link to the original post.

It was a website dedicated to UFOs.

"UFO is an initialism that stands for Unidentified Flying Object. It may mean that the object is not of this world, but it doesn't always mean a flying saucer or a space ship from another planet. It just means that the object has been officially unidentified. This site is dedicated to being a repository of images taken of such objects."

Maybe a reasonable site, Amanda thought.

She checked the page of the meteorite seen in Vermont. As it turns out, there were a few who posted videos of a bright streak going across the sky and landing behind the mountains. One showed the same meteorite falling behind the trees. One was from a dash cam that caught the same streak as they were driving. The driver and passenger were going berserk.

One person, who was living on the lake, recorded the meteorite landing with splash. The shaky video ran through his house and onto his deck. The person on the video was yelling obscenities that he bleeped out. The camera panned up to the dusk sky, then you can see the waves on the water.

 "Holy, *bleep*! It landed in the water." There was a lot of rustling sounds as the person holding the camera tried to keep it steady.

Someone in the distant background exclaimed, "Did you get that on camera?!"

"I don't… Yeah, I think I got it." The cameraman said breathlessly. "I-I'm not… sure, but I think I got it."

The page continued. The Government denies that there was any meteorite at all. The videos were hoaxes. There's no official record of a meteorite in that area. There was no news report either, which is interesting. Something like this would definitely make the news.

She did, after all.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Ballistic

Amanda knocked on Todd's door. She heard some rustling, but there was no answer. She waited a moment before knocking on the door again. Finally, Todd opened the door.

"Amanda," Todd said, "You know what time it is?" He didn't seem angry, but he was surprised.

"Yes," Amanda said, "It's close to four, which guarantees that you will be where I look for you."

Todd scoffed a little, then he opened the door and stepped aside to let her in.

"You wouldn't believe who paid me a visit at the coffee shop today," Amanda said to him as she walked past, then she turned to face him. "He wanted to apologize."

Amanda saw the confusion on his face. He obviously couldn't guess.

"Brian Lane."

"Brian Lane?" Todd echoed. Amanda could see him working to remember where he heard that name before. She waited as he went from confusion to trying to figure it out, to realization.

"Brian Lane." He said. Amanda nodded. "The guy that…" He didn't finish his sentence. Amanda was still nodding.

Amanda thought she saw the one lamp that was on in his apartment dim slightly. It seemed that there was always a problem with the electricity in the apartments.

Todd let out a string of expletives. Amanda was shocked and somewhat frightened. She has never seen Todd lose it like that.

"How dare he show up like that!" Todd exclaimed as he paced the apartment, "He has no clue on how much damage he could do. That arrogant bastard never had. It was bad enough that he triggered your migraines like that," Todd pointed at Amanda to emphasize the point, "and to stalk you that whole time, only to try to what? See if you have the key? Hasn't he done enough damage already? What did he say Amn…" He stopped and looked at Amanda who's eyes were wide with fright.

"He said he wanted to apologize," Amanda said meekly.

Todd took a deep breath. He was cool and collected Todd again. "I'm not angry with you. You do understand that, right?"

"But you are angry!" Amanda's eyes were wide. She was still trying to process what happened.

 "Yes," Todd sighed and walked over to Amanda and hugged her. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have abandoned you like that."

"Not difficult to do when I shut you out," Amanda sighed, and she buried her face in his neck.

"Just understand," Todd said as he pulled back to look at her, "There are some issues I have to attend to before we can have an intimate relationship. You'll have to trust me."

"I understand," Amanda said, "and I do trust you."  She realized that there might have been some problems he doesn't want to drag into a serious relationship. It's not like she was free of problems.

"Listen, " Todd said, "Do not go out alone. Take Trisha with you when she gets back. If your migraines come back and you pass out again, someone will be there to help you."

Amanda nodded. She hadn't had a migraine again, and it didn't trigger this time, but she knew Todd wanted her to err on the side of caution.

Amanda left feeling like a huge weight was lifted off her shoulder. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Surreal

Amanda noticed someone trying to come after her. She knew that it wasn't a problem, she could handle it, but she didn't want to. So instead, she ran away and hid and waited for a chance to get onto her laptop.

The moment came, and Amanda quickly got onto her laptop and clicked onto some forums and played some music kitten videos loudly. It confused the ones trying to chase her, and this gave her an opportunity to find Todd. She ran through the halls of the apartment, which was really a maze of doors. She knew at that moment, she needed to find Todd to fix a light, but she couldn't find him in the apartment complex.

Amanda saw Trisha and tried to explain this to her, but Trisha refused to turn around.

It must because the light needs to be fixed, Amanda thought.

Amanda decided to look in the coffee shop. She entered through the front door, which went underground. Amanda walked into the coffee shop and saw a familiar open vault. She walked over and peered inside. Rows and rows of small flat glass-like objects lined the walls. There were other items, but she couldn't quite make them out. They were distorted objects not resembling anything she has seen before.

She looked down at her pendant. A hand that is not hers reached out for it.

"We must protect these secrets at any cost," A familiar voice said.

Amanda looked up, and there was Brian Lane.

"The Creator wills!" Amanda yelled as she jumped out of bed. She couldn't believe what she just said, or maybe it was part of the dream. Amanda was in a complete panic, and her heart raced. She knew she wasn't in the right mindset.

Amanda checked the clock. It was a few minutes before four. She didn't care anymore about being rude. She knew she had to do something before she goes crazy.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Re-Hash

Amanda tried to find Todd. It was odd that before his last visit he was where she looked for him. Now it seemed that she could not find him anywhere.

She finally gave up and went to her apartment. She closed the door and leaned up against it.

Amanda recounted the encounter with Brian. She was usually good at reading people, but for some reason, she couldn't read him at all. He seemed sincere, but she really couldn't tell.

Perhaps, I second guess myself too much, she thought.

She needed to tell someone what happened.

Amanda grabbed her phone, pulled up her contact for Trisha and texted, "Guess who paid me a visit today?" She was about to send it, then hesitated.

Trisha was going to be back in a few days. At the moment, she was probably chatting up a few potential buyers. If she forgot to turn off the sound of her phone, it could be a problem. Trisha may have been not so friendly lately, but that doesn't mean Amanda could be rude.

Amanda let her phone save the message to draft and pulled out her laptop. She set it on the table, opened it, and loaded her browser. Amanda thought about browsing, but her mind kept going back to her meeting with Brian. She could have sworn she had seen him before.

Of course, I've seen him before, Amanda thought, countless of times at the coffee shop.  That wasn't it, and she knew it. She had a déjà vu moment.

She sighed and went onto her one of her social media accounts. She tried to find a way to get her mind off the meeting.

She clicked on a sponsored slideshow site of "50 photos of people behaving badly, " but instead of looking at the pictures, she mindlessly hit next. She had too many questions. How was it possible that he was able to convince whoever was in charge that it was okay to approach his victim? Why was he back in California? Wasn't he tried in Vermont?

That last question was somewhat stupid. Amanda knew that she could have looked up the details of the case and see what happened; Or maybe not. She vaguely remembered Trisha mentioning something about the CIA.

The CIA?

Amanda blinked. She was already reading a new article called "10 CIA Secrets Declassified." She's seen this one. Heart attack gun, Mk-Ultra, the plans to Execute Hitler when he was caught, among other similar conspiracies that may or may not have been accurate. It was the internet after all.

My brain is playing tricks on me, She thought, and she clicked on a video site to see if she can find any real distractions.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mr. Businessman

Amanda was so focused on researching for ideas for an app that she didn't hear a man clearing his throat to get her attention.

Finally, he spoke up, "Uh, excuse me?"

Amanda looked over her laptop monitor. It was Mr. Businessman. It took her a moment to recognize him. Unlike his clean-shaven, business look she was used to seeing, he was dressed casually and had a well-trimmed beard. She wasn't sure what to make of the moment. She could yell at him to leave, but what would happen then? So she just sat there and waited to see what he would do next.

She didn't know what to do so she just sat there, waiting to see what he was going to do next.

"Listen," he said. He appeared to be nervous. "My name is Brian Lane and… and I want to apologize. I was being harassed by this man, and he threatened the life of some of my close friends. I didn't know what else to do at the time."

Somewhat relieved that he wasn't here to finish the job, whatever that was, Amanda tried to respond. He raised his hand.

"Please," Brian said, "Let me finish."

Amanda gave a slight nod.

"It's not an excuse," he continued. "I did have the opportunity to call the authorities before it got out of hand, but I didn't, and for that, I'm sorry." He gripped the chair opposite of Amanda as if to keep himself from fidgeting too much. "In hindsight, that was what I should have done. I was stupid."

Amanda noticed a stern-looking man watching them. Brian followed her gaze. He looked back at her and said, "That is my parole officer. It took a lot of convincing to get over here to apologize. He was completely against it."

Amanda nodded and took a deep breath. She wanted to tell him about how he triggered the migraines and possibly the hallucinations. This man was the reason why Amanda stopped trusting people. What's more, she was now angry that he had thought that whatever problem he had, it came second to someone else's safety.

Instead of going off on him, however, she closed her laptop and stood up. He did make an effort to apologize. Perhaps he was sincerely sorry.

"I have enough problems in life right now to dwell on the past." She sighed. "And it's difficult to make good decisions when you are afraid."

"So you forgive me, then?" Brian asked sounding hopeful.

"Maybe later," Amanda sullenly said as she put her laptop into her bag, "I really don't want to see you… Right now at least."

She saw the parole officer step forward to intervene, but Amanda put her hand up to stop him.

"I wish you luck," she said to Brian as she pulled the strap of her bag onto her shoulder. "Maybe if our paths cross again I would have already moved past it."

Brian nodded understandingly and stepped aside to let her pass.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

From the Author: A slight change of plans.

I won't be posting "From the Author" here anymore. I know this is only the fourth time, but I had been very reluctant to post on what is supposed to be a story and everything about this story - not my personal life.

So if you notice missing posts or maybe you are just curios what I'm doing next, follow me on Patreon.

Most posts will be open to the public. However, there will be hints, and side stories for subscribers.

Hope to see you there.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Unknown

Amanda closed up her blog and checked her stats. Views were going down, and with it the revenues those views generated.

It's been almost six months since she was attacked in Vermont and it's been four years since she was found. She did have a small surge of visitors on that anniversary, mostly likely curious to see what she was up to, but a number of visitors had steadily dropped.

Amanda wasn't surprised. She had planned on making an app to make up for the revenue, but every idea she came up with she would find in a search.

So instead, she browsed meaningless websites, including a popular image site. After a few hours of doing that, she decided to try a popular anonymous site. She clicked on the link and then closed the lid of her laptop.

What am I doing? She thought. After a few minutes, she realized she was trying to fill her mind with noise, any noise. It's been lonely lately - lonely and quiet.

Amanda had a hard time finding Todd. He was busy making improvements to the apartment complex, and he was doing an excellent job at it. Recently, the walls in the hallways got a fresh coat of paint, and daylight LEDs replaced the old flickering fluorescents.

Trisha was hardly around anymore. They did hang out when she wasn't running around the country with her artwork. They usually talked business, however, and Trisha went out of her way to not mention Vermont or their trip.

The Burly neighbors next door didn't seem to fight anymore, at least not when Amanda was around. The last time Amanda saw them, they appeared to be in a hurry to go somewhere.

She hasn't had any hallucinations for a while, nor did she have any crazy dreams to occupy her mind. As a matter of fact, Amanda realized that she couldn't recall most dreams. The ones she could remember were vague and random and made no sense.

It almost like the life that she had was not hers. Every time she thought of what happened, it was as if she imagined it.

She decided to go to the coffee shop. At least it was noisy.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

From the Author: So it begins - again

I have a new post scheduled for tomorrow. Ready to see it?

While I hadn't done as much as I would like with my book, I have been working on a little extra for this blog.

Sorry, no spoilers.