Ava Elisabeth

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12/29/2020 5:20pm

Dear Diary,

"What do you mean it's worth investigating?" I shouted smacking my hands on the reporters desk and leaning over it. I had walked to the Student Newspaper's building after finding it's location on the map.

"Would you quiet down please?" Lana answered, "I am doing you favor listening to your nutty theory, would you try not embarrassing me too?"

I narrowed my eyes and yelled louder, "Embarrassing you? I'M embarrassing YOU! You are a journalist who refuses to investigate the truth!"

Other reporters in the busy newsroom were staring now. Lana's cheeks were red. She glared at me, but continued to speak in her calm, quiet voice.

"Ava, please, you have no evidence, for all I know this Dennis kid could have been playing a trick on you, "

"You would rather SUCK UP to school donors than question the status quo!"

"Your evidence is weak at best, and a conspiracy theory at worst. The Meritocracy family has never caused us any problems, why should I invest valuable resources and time into a story that you could be lying to me about?"

I scowled and lowered my voice, "Lying to you?" The attention of the office weakened and they returned to their work.

"Ava, I mean this without any disrespect, but it is not like you are the most reliable person. You skipped out on at least an entire school year to chase some conspiracy theory, how am I to believe this isn't just another self destructive stunt?"

I paused and straightened my back. I had been in a study group with Lana two years ago. She had been a good friend then. Or maybe she hadn't been.

but her comment made me feel the impact of my actions. It was far more complicated than I wanted to acknowledge in that moment.

Her face relaxed,"See, it's not like I'm trying to be the bad guy here. I'm just looking out for the newspaper. We can't look into every single thing that passes through the office and I understand how alarmed you are. I am sure that your mental health has deteriorated from all the troubles you've gotten into, but this isn't that anymore. Everything is fine now. I just hope that you can get the help you need."

She smiled a close lipped, judgmental smile with her hands clasped in front of her. So self satisfied. So petty.

"HOW DARE YOU IMPLY I AM UNTRUSTWORTHY SOURCE, BECAUSE OF MY MENTAL HEALTH!" I hollered. The entire office turned and looked.

Lana shot up like an arrow, "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" She turned to her co-workers, "I DIDN'T SAY THAT," She turned back to me, "I DIDN'T SAY THAT! You are claiming things that aren't true!

"YOU IMPLIED MY MENTAL HEALTH IS THE REASON I FIND ALARM WITH THE TREATMENT OF MY FELLOW STUDENTS! ISN'T THIS IS A NEWSPAPER FOR THE STUDENTS, BY THE STUDENTS! SHOULDN'T WE INVESTIGATE WHAT AUTHORITY WILL NOT!"

"SHE IS CRAZY!" Lana shouted to her coworker, swinging up her arm to point at me and jabbing out her pointer finger, "SOMEONE NEEDS TO GET SECURITY!"

I paused at the sight of her hand. She wore a bronze ring on her pointer finger. I squinted, the emblem matched Casey's ring.

I took a step back and raised my arms up, "I'll go, I'll go!"


Love,
Ava Elisabeth

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12/29/2020 5:20pm

Dear Diary,

"What do you mean it's worth investigating?" I shouted smacking my hands on the reporters desk and leaning over it. I had walked to the Student Newspaper's building after finding it's location on the map.

"Would you quiet down please?" Lana answered, "I am doing you favor listening to your nutty theory, would you try not embarrassing me too?"

I narrowed my eyes and yelled louder, "Embarrassing you? I'M embarrassing YOU! You are a journalist who refuses to investigate the truth!"

Other reporters in the busy newsroom were staring now. Lana's cheeks were red. She glared at me, but continued to speak in her calm, quiet voice.

"Ava, please, you have no evidence, for all I know this Dennis kid could have been playing a trick on you, "

"You would rather SUCK UP to school donors than question the status quo!"

"Your evidence is weak at best, and a conspiracy theory at worst. The Meritocracy family has never caused us any problems, why should I invest valuable resources and time into a story that you could be lying to me about?"

I scowled and lowered my voice, "Lying to you?" The attention of the office weakened and they returned to their work.

"Ava, I mean this without any disrespect, but it is not like you are the most reliable person. You skipped out on at least an entire school year to chase some conspiracy theory, how am I to believe this isn't just another self destructive stunt?"

I paused and straightened my back. I had been in a study group with Lana two years ago. She had been a good friend then. Or maybe she hadn't been.

but her comment made me feel the impact of my actions. It was far more complicated than I wanted to acknowledge in that moment.

Her face relaxed,"See, it's not like I'm trying to be the bad guy here. I'm just looking out for the newspaper. We can't look into every single thing that passes through the office and I understand how alarmed you are. I am sure that your mental health has deteriorated from all the troubles you've gotten into, but this isn't that anymore. Everything is fine now. I just hope that you can get the help you need."

She smiled a close lipped, judgmental smile with her hands clasped in front of her. So self satisfied. So petty.

"HOW DARE YOU IMPLY I AM UNTRUSTWORTHY SOURCE, BECAUSE OF MY MENTAL HEALTH!" I hollered. The entire office turned and looked.

Lana shot up like an arrow, "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" She turned to her co-workers, "I DIDN'T SAY THAT," She turned back to me, "I DIDN'T SAY THAT! You are claiming things that aren't true!

"YOU IMPLIED MY MENTAL HEALTH IS THE REASON I FIND ALARM WITH THE TREATMENT OF MY FELLOW STUDENTS! ISN'T THIS IS A NEWSPAPER FOR THE STUDENTS, BY THE STUDENTS! SHOULDN'T WE INVESTIGATE WHAT AUTHORITY WILL NOT!"

"SHE IS CRAZY!" Lana shouted to her coworker, swinging up her arm to point at me and jabbing out her pointer finger, "SOMEONE NEEDS TO GET SECURITY!"

I paused at the sight of her hand. She wore a bronze ring on her pointer finger. I squinted, the emblem matched Casey's ring.

I took a step back and raised my arms up, "I'll go, I'll go!"


Love,
Ava Elisabeth

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12/29/2020 5:18pm

Dear Diary,

"What do you mean it's worth investigating?" I shouted smacking my hands on the reporters desk and leaning over it. I had walked to the Student Newspaper's building after finding it's location on the map.

"Would you quiet down please?" Lana answered, "I am doing you favor listening to your nutty theory, would you try not embarrassing me too?"

I narrowed my eyes and yelled louder, "Embarrassing you? I'M embarrassing YOU! You are a journalist who refuses to investigate the truth!"

Other reporters in the busy newsroom were staring now. Lana's cheeks were red. She glared at me, but continued to speak in her calm, quiet voice.

"Ava, please, you have no evidence, for all I know this Dennis kid could have been playing a trick on you, "

"You would rather SUCK UP to school donors than question the status quo!"

"Your evidence is weak at best, and a conspiracy theory at worst. The Meritocracy family has never caused us any problems, why should I invest valuable resources and time into a story that you could be lying to me about?"

I scowled and lowered my voice, "Lying to you?" The attention of the office weakened and they returned to their work.

"Ava, I mean this without any disrespect, but it is not like you are the most reliable person. You skipped out on at least an entire school year to chase some conspiracy theory, how am I to believe this isn't just another self destructive stunt?"

I paused and straightened my back. I had been in a study group with Lana two years ago. She had been a good friend then. Or maybe she hadn't been.

but her comment made me feel the impact of my actions. It was far more complicated than I wanted to acknowledge in that moment.

Her face relaxed,"See, it's not like I'm trying to be the bad guy here. I'm just looking out for the newspaper. We can't look into every single thing that passes through the office and I understand how alarmed you are. I am sure that your mental health has deteriorated from all the troubles you've gotten into, but this isn't that anymore. Everything is fine now. I just hope that you can get the help you need."

She smiled a close lipped, judgmental smile with her hands clasped in front of her. So self satisfied. So petty.

"HOW DARE YOU IMPLY I AM UNTRUSTWORTHY SOURCE, BECAUSE OF MY MENTAL HEALTH!" I hollered. The entire office turned and looked.

Lana shot up like an arrow, "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" She turned to her co-workers, "I DIDN'T SAY THAT," She turned back to me, "I DIDN'T SAY THAT! You are claiming things that aren't true!

"YOU IMPLIED MY MENTAL HEALTH IS THE REASON I FIND ALARM WITH THE TREATMENT OF MY FELLOW STUDENTS! ISN'T THIS IS A NEWSPAPER FOR THE STUDENTS, BY THE STUDENTS! SHOULDN'T WE INVESTIGATE WHAT AUTHORITY WILL NOT!"

"SHE IS CRAZY!" Lana shouted to her coworker, swinging up her arm to point at me and jabbing out her pointer finger, "SOMEONE NEEDS TO GET SECURITY!"

I paused at the sight of her hand. She wore a bronze ring on her pointer finger. I squinted, the emblem matched Casey's ring.

I took a step back and raised my arms up, "I'll go, I'll go!"


Love,
Ava Elisabeth

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12/29/2020 4:27pm

Dear Diary,

Casey was right, I did get lost.

I tapped my left foot absentmindedly with my eyes glued to the screen above me. I was waiting for the marquee in the center of the courtyard to update to the school map. It cycled through dozens of ads, before turning to the map for only a brief moment.
This led to my predicament of waiting for the map.

I looked around at the courtyard momentarily. I had ended up here after taking the path of corridors and secret passage ways I remembered leading to the cafeteria. But things had changed since I had last been here. Either the paths changed or I forgot the path. Both very real options due to Psychic High's constantly shifting landscape and my old memories.

The courtyard was apparently the center of the brand new Psychic High Student Shopping Center. It was brightly lit with string lights and smelt obnoxiously of coconut. Pop music hummed through delicately placed speakers. Around the courtyard were shops. All of the stores were familiar chain stores. Several students mulled around in groups looking into the wintry window displays with the familiar sparkly decor, winter gollums, and fake snow.

My eyes darted back to the marquee "A little slice of paradise in the heart of campus!" the ad read, "Psychic High Student Shopping Center". A gif of a palm tree with sunglasses danced next to the words. I glanced around and noticed the tall plastic palm trees the lights were strung between. I rolled my eyes.

I saw someone coming towards me from the corner of my eye. It was grinning student in a store uniform holding a tray.
They gave me a big wave, "Hiyaa!" They called out.
I didn't turn around.
"Yoohoo!" They called.
My eyes hurt from the bright marquee, but I refused to look their way.

The person tapped my shoulder. I whipped around, "Are you serious!" I barked.

They launched into their speech without missing a beat, unbothered by my anger, "Hiya! I'm from Bath and Body Works," They tapped on the logo on their shirt, "I'm Dennis and I was wondering, if you would be interested in a sample of one of our best selling bodies,"

I opened my mouth to speak, but Dennis kept talking, "Before you say anything, I want you to know our store is just right over there," They swung their arm to point at the store, "and you are always welcome to browse our selection of premium Baths and Bodies. We have our Semi-annual sale going on, which includes a two-for-one sale today on Baths and buy two, get two half off sale on Bodies. So, would you like a sample?"

"I..."

"Before you choose, If you are looking for more of a floral vibe, I would recommend our Cultural Appropriation Bloss..."

"I'm not interested," I turned around to look back at the marquee, but Dennis grabbed my shoulder forcing me in place.

"What the hell!" I shouted pushing their hand off my shoulder and taking a step back from them, "Where do you get off, you ..!"

Dennis' smile was still wide, but their eyes looked panicked. They clenched their fingers tightly around the tray handles, before interrupting "I'm begging you, my wage is taken for my living expense, commission is the only way I can get out of my debt with the family,"

I softened, "What? What do you mean?"

A women with an Bath and Body works apron peered out the store, "Dennis? What's going on?"

"Sorry, I have to go," They whispered. Dennis shoved a sample into my hand. Dennis raised their voice loud enough that the woman could hear, "Just a second, Maurice! Feel free to come by to the store anytime and mention my name for a 5% off coupon!"

Dennis rushed back to the store, disappearing back inside with an equally grinning, Maurice.

Bewildered, I looked back at the marquee.
My stomach dropped.
"Psychic High Student Shopping Center generously sponsored by the Meritocracy Family Foundation" The Ad read.

The rest of the ad was a family portrait, with a grinning Casey Meritocracy right in the middle, pink bow and all.

The scent of the coconut was feeling a lot more sinister.

Love,
Ava Elisabeth

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10/30/2020 12:03pm

Dear Diary,

My new roommate thrust a carton of Parisian goose eggs at me with a goofy smile.

“It’s just so nice to meet you!” She was a redhead wearing a big pink bow in her hair.

I took the gold covered carton reluctantly and walked into the room.

“Thanks,” I mustered.

“It’s really cool that we will be roommates!” She began to rattle on. I dropped my bag on the empty bed and grabbed my freshly purchased toothbrush and toothpaste.
“I mean I totally read your journal, well I mean,” She followed me as I walked into our bathroom,
“I didn’t actually read your journal, but my friend’s sibling read your journal and they said ‘it really showed the darkness of humanity”

I whipped around, “darkness of humanity?”

“Yeah! I mean, isn’t that what it’s about?”

“No, that’s not what it’s about,”

“What is it about then?” She asked.

I rolled my eyes and turned back around to brush my teeth, “it’s a journal,”

“Yeah, but doesn’t it mean something? Like why would spend so much time writing in it, if it didn’t mean anything?” I ignored her and she looked at me in the mirror, as I aggressively brushed my teeth.

She frowned and paused for a moment, but quickly picked up her talking, “why are you brushing your teeth? It seems a little late in the day to brush your teeth. Aren’t you only supposed to brush your teeth twice a day? Well, I guess when I had braces last year they said, I mean my orthodontist said, that I should brush three times a day but I never did that, you don’t have braces do you? If you did that would be weird since you are a junior and I don’t know any juniors who have braces still,”

I spit into the sink and pointedly avoided eye contact. She didn’t seem to notice.

“Well, I guess your aren’t actually a junior since you have to repeat your sophomore year since you skipped school so much,”

I gritted my teeth and placed the toothbrush on the counter. I brushed past her through the door frame summoning as much passive aggression as I could. Again, she hardly seemed to care and followed after me like baby chick.

“So I guess if you had braces it wouldn’t be that weird, since you are more like a sophomore, but it is still...”

I couldn’t hold up my passive aggression, “I’m brushing my teeth, because they are dirty,...” I paused realizing I didn’t know her name.

“Oh! I’m such a bad roommate,” she laughed, “I’m Casey, Head of Financial Assistance on the Student Council”

She outstretched her arm and held her hand as if she was a queen about the have her hand kissed by peasants. I noticed a gold ring with a emblem on her ring finger.

I scowled, “Head of Financial Assistance?”

She laughed, “I’m Casey Meritocracy!”

I stared back blankly.

“Wow, most people know about my family, but I guess you did skip a lot of school,”

I rose one eyebrow.

“My family basically built this country and they happen to be big fans of the arts! So, I’m head of financial assistance!”

I squinted at her, “you are on Stu-Co, because your family has money?”

“What!? No! I earned my position! I am just the best suited for it!” She smiled and skipped over to my bed. She plopped down onto with a big smile and leaned up against my bag, “Soooo? Want to do some fun roommate activities? We could hatch the goose eggs!”

I glared at her, “no,”

I walked to the bed and grabbed my bag out from underneath her. She stumbled, but was unfazed and followed me as I walked to the door.

“Oh c’mon!! It’ll be so much fun, plus I can show you around!”

I grabbed the door knob and she stepped in front of it.

“I already have gone here, I’m older than you,” I said.

“But you haven’t been here for like a year! You have been like skipping school. I bet you don’t even know how to get around anymore!”

“I wasn’t skipping school and I know how to get around my own school,”

“What were you doing then?”

I scowled at her, “get out of my way,”

She stepped to the side and tsked, as I walked out the door.

I charged down the hall, but she still
managed to call after to me, “well, I hope you won’t get lost then, because I’m not going to...”

I rolled my eyes and burst through the double doors out into the courtyard filled with cold autumn air.

Love, Ava Elisabeth


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4/28/2020 6:18am

I am feeling joy again. Joy sounds like such a novel thing until you get around to experiencing it again.
It is like when you tense up your shoulders and you don't realize you were holding them like that until someone mentions it.
"Are you okay? You look tense," They might say.
You are startled at first, but then you look around.
And you see that what made you tense your shoulders up in the first place, isn't there anymore. The storm has passed.
And you wonder, "How long have I had my shoulders like that?"
I think, I maybe forever.
When torrential rain has poured on you since birth, you sometimes can't notice when it stops. It seems counter-intuitive, but the rain just falls on your back over and over. You curl up into a ball and lie in the mud to protect yourself. But even when the rain stops, the nerves on your back still feel the phantom pain of the rain hitting against your back.
Happiness is too nebulous. Everyone describes it differently.
Some say the secret is dying for god, other's say it is dying for capitalism, but I think it has set an odd standard. You don't need to feel happy in every moment. It is okay to be sad and scared and lonely and lost. It is okay to be angry and irritable and stuck and broken down. It hurts a lot, but it isn't wrong. It is okay to not be okay.
At least for now, I think I care more about joy.
Joy! What a lovely idea
Two soft warm hands holding each other
A song with such a catchy tune you can't help but sing along
The pure sanctification of perfectly buttered toast
The perfect pitter patter of light spring rain and the describable perfume that follows it
I think we have a tendency to make everything about big things.
Big achievements, Big houses, Big money, Big cars,
Love, Death, Happiness, Romance,
But those are not the majority of life. Big things happen and they leave a big mark, but tiny things make up those big things. Most of your life is probably not the climax of a movie with a sweeping cinematic score setting the mood. The small things are probably what most of your life is. The things you do everyday to live and survive, and consciously or unconsciously find joy.
I am feeling joy. I am finding joy.
I don't want to capture joy, I want to befriend joy.
I hope they want me to be their friend too.

Ava Elisabeth

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4/15/2020 11:54pm

i crouched in the smoke.
the battle had been going on for hours.
i couldn't tell who had won.
tavin? us?

i felt a hand at my shoulder
"Caroline?" i barely coughed.
i looked up and tears welled in my eyes, not from the smoke, but because it was him.

no hair anywhere. pastel purple skin. bright, deep brown eyes. soft smile.
the indigo god.

he smiled. i knife clutched in his hand.
"i am home," he crouched down to me. he seemed unbothered by the thick, gray smoke, "but you are not home,"

i nodded.

"you can stay, but this will be over soon. you don't need to stay here."

i nodded looking down at the ground.

"we love you. She loves you, but we don't need you. your home needs you,"

i smiled and his skinny purple limbs wrapped me into a hug.

then stood and galloped out into the smoke.


forgive my poor writing. i have been gone so long. i haven't spoken in so long.
but soon i will come home.

i am coming home.

i am coming home.

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12/28/2019 2:32pm

the empty empty empty
that picked at the edge of my skin
is replaced now
with the fire of revenge

sticky hands of a greedy child
hands full of honey
eyes wild
the first time they tasted, they wanted more
pastel clad and armored with war
the We stole me from my child
my hair, my mind they broke and wore

yet i am my own creator, so
i have freed with my own breath
the curse laid upon my land
will soon be over swept

tell my children i am coming
let them hear my voice
soon their god is coming
blazing as an indigo star

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10/20/2019 12:43am

Dear Diary,

I miss a warm bed. I miss Psychic High. It's been so long. I've been gone so long. It's probably longer than it feels. I don't think I was supposed to be in Mercurial for so long.

It has been a week since Tavin lit fire to the Capricious Canoe.

I miss the mysteries of distant, foreboding winds. I miss the malaise. I miss the discontentment.

Caroline and I hide in the rubble of Mary Sue's Bed and Breakfast.

Every once and a while, we hear Tavin's Officers chanting through the streets, "You are the last holdouts, no one else survives. Give up now or fall to the mercy of our judgement. You are unworthy to live in Mercurial," Plays on repeat from speakers around Mercurial."

Caroline sits on a piece of stone foundation. Her dress is in tatters. Her hair is tied up with a dirty ribbon. She wraps her arms around her knees and rest her head on them.

I walk over to her and rub her back.

"I was sure of it," She cries softly, "I was sure of it,"

"It's okay, it's okay," I hug her, "You couldn't have known,"

"I should have listened to you,"

"It was us or her," I stiffen my voice to keep it from wavering, "She wouldn't have wanted us to come back in,"

"We shouldn't have had to make that choice,"

I looked up at the debris creating our makeshift roof. The odd, both Victorian and modern building was now the same as the dirt beneath our feet.
The cold wind whistled through the shambling rubble.

I began to hum softly. The tune was nothing against our backdrop, but I continued into a soft, whisper-y song.

"Deep within the woods, and behind the hamlet, a path traveled by none, but one you will not forget. step by step, we're walking, hand by hand, we see. step by step, we're walking, we feel. step by step, we're walking, hand by hand, we..." I paused.

"I don't remember the rest of the words,"

Caroline lifted her head, "That's so sweet. Where did you learn that?"

"I... I don't know," I looked up back up the roof.

Caroline placed her second hand over the one that held her's. I looked back to her. We smiled.

"I love it," Caroline said.


Ava Elisabeth.

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10/20/2019 12:11am

Dear Diary,

Caroline shakes me awake, "AVA, AVA," She yells. I blink my eyes awake and immediately feel it. Caroline holds her shirt over her mouth. The air is dense with smoke. I can't even speak. The smoke stings my eyes and lungs.
Caroline pulls me up, takes my hand in a death grip and yells, "HOLD MY HAND,".
We crawl along the floor of diner.
"THE BACK,"
She pulls me behind the counter. We make our way to the back door. Caroline presses her hand against the handle and nods.
"THE BARRICADE, PUSH INTO THE DOOR."
I nod.
"ONE! TWO! THREE!"
We push with all our body weight onto the door. With a sharp crack, we tumble outside. Caroline pulls me to my feet immediately. She tears into the barricade. Our hands bloody, as we tear the wood and metal away. The crackle of the fire tells us clearly, "now or never". I can hear the megaphone on the other side of the diner.
Caroline grabs my arm. We've made a gap big enough in the barricade to barely squeeze through. We push through the gap. Caroline's night gown tears on the jagged edges of what was once a diner table. As we reach the other side, Caroline holds firm grasp of my arm and pulls me to a run.

The danger of the fire has been lifted, but my stomach flops.

"Caroline!" My voice is hoarse and cracked.
She continues to run.
"CAROLINE!" I yell.
She looks over her shoulder.
"Achava,"
She stops, but still holds my hand. She looks back to the building and back at me. Her chest heaves.
"I'll go back,"
"No, you won't, Ava"
"She isn't well enough,"
"She will be okay,"
I pull my hand from Caroline's, "We have to go back!"
"No, I promise. She will survive,"
We hear the footsteps of officers coming our way.
"I can't tell you why," Caroline looks into my eyes, "I need you to trust me, Ava,"
"OVER HERE!" An officer shouts.
"Ava, it is now or never,"
I look back at the Capricious Canoe up in flames.
I nod.
"Okay,"
I take Caroline's hand.

And we run.

Ava Elisabeth

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