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When it began I always thought it would end differently, I had thought it would end in just another day of walking home from school with my sister, but nothing could have prepared me for what I had to see that day.

“Hurry up Eleanore, the bus is leaving us!” I ran ahead of my younger sister in a rush to the bright yellow vehicle pulling away from the small hut we usually waited at on weekdays. Breathlessly, I sit in my seat pulling out the tarot cards I had snuck out of the house when my sister finally sat down in the seat across from me I begin to arrange the cards in order on the space between us.

“You left me.” She complained, “Yeah well, you were moving too slow.” I responded when She sighed and began to study the way my hands were shuffling the cards and when I handed her the cards she attempted to do the same thing but it ended with the cards flying everywhere, part of them on the floor and the other part on her lap. I laughed and scooped up most of the cards into a pile and handed them back to her.

“Now split them into three piles,” I told her but she was already splitting them and placing them back together after they were back in the original pile I set them in the spread she had chosen and closed my eyes feeling the spread and the emotions floating of the cards and after about three minutes I chose a card and opening my eyes to look at it, Death, clearing my throat and putting the cards back into their box.

“What was it?” she asked I smiled at her.

“Number nine, The Hermit, it shows wisdom and awareness, in other words, you're going to do great on your math test today.” I lied and begin to look out the window.  It was a normal bus ride up until the train track where I saw it for the first time. The painting consisted of a circle with an X through it located on the side of an old abandoned factory. Underneath the sign-in dark red letters said Join us, I hadn’t put much thought into it at the time.

“Graffiti.” I had muttered and before I could say anything else the bus was moving again. Around ten minutes later the bus stopped and opened the doors, I kissed my sister goodbye for the day as we climbed off the bus, and there they were, my only three friends since first grade all lined up waiting for me. The first person in the line was Violet Embers the weirdest person in the whole school and my best friend, next in line was Percy McCormick, the only boy other than me that's not either a jock or nerd, and finally, there was Bailey Bennet, the newest friend, and my crush since third grade. When they spotted me, they all instantly ran over and started asking all the questions in their heads, just like all the days we had spent together before winter break we walked, talked, and ate breakfast before class. We got to the History classroom right as the first bell rang, Ms. Jounan was noticeably missing from the front desk so were all the other kids, Violet and Percy said their Toodles and See Yous then departed which left me and Bailey in the classroom alone. We sat in silence for what seemed like ages.

“So how was your week?” She finally asked breaking the silence

“It was good, I spent most of it cleaning up after dad who thought it would be a good idea to paint a house that a six-year-old lives in, how about yours?”

“Well, while you were cleaning, I on the other hand was destroying the old treehouse that grandpa put up. I guess it's some kind of tradition in my family where every generation has to destroy it and put a new one up.”

“That couldn’t have been that hard since it was basically falling apart anyway, at least we don’t have to meet in that rackety tree hut anymore.” I joked another five minutes had passed before Ms. Jounan entered the room followed by the rest of the class I slightly frowned as the army of students marched in nearly a perfect line.

“Mr. Winters, Ms. Bennet, sorry for the wait, I guess you two forgot to check the board outside the door before entering the room.” The teacher sighed as she sat down and began sorting through the papers on her desk It was obvious that something has been bothering her but everyone else seemed to be completely oblivious to it, The next few seconds flew by and I suppose I was staring because she looked up and smiled, during that time Robert Brovo, the head trumpet player and school-wide bully chose to make his way over and casually lean against my table the other three kids that sat with me had left to “do their homework” but it was clear that they weren't.

“So, New how are you?” He asked the question like we were besties but I ignored that and did what I always did when he talked to me, a question for a question.

“New?” I asked trying to determine why he had called me it.

“Yeah, your name Is Nico Evan Winters right?” Then I realized why he called me new, It had never dawned on me that my initials were NEW. I laughed at his joke and started rummaging through my bag and pulling out my history homework which I was already halfway through, about two pages later he finally gave up on talking to me and winked at Bailey then walked away. I glanced up at her right as she dropped a strand of hair out of between her fingers then began studying her work which she had hardly touched normally she would have had it all done and turned into the teacher by now I opened my notebook of questions and quickly wrote, What happened between Bay and Rob?  I shut the book and put it back into my bag I finished my work shortly after that and turned it in to the teacher which had earned me “free time” till the end of the day. I chose to read but eventually, the sound of scratching pencils had lulled me to sleep.

In the dream, I saw the back of a tall figure and in front of it was the circle with the same sloppy X from the brick wall. The figure disappeared so I went to a closer look at the sign now that I was studying it up close I could tell that one line was longer than the other almost like it was a  diagonal crucifix, I traced it with one finger and then I felt someone looking over my shoulder quickly turning around from my peripheral the figure appeared again but before I could look up enough to see its face the bell rang and I woke up.

Slowly lifting my head I noticed the teacher working at her desk she looked up at me and adjusted her glasses and said one thing.

“You missed lunch.” The sigh that left my mouth was a little overdramatic.

“Thanks, Ms. Jo, Where is the class?” she pointed towards the window at all the kids outside running and laughing, I nodded and yawned walking towards the door. While walking I saw my younger sister disappear through a gap in the fence into the forest on the other side.

What in the world?’

Casually making my way over to the opening, I scanned the field to make sure nobody was looking in my direction. I slipped into the forest following my sister's tracks. Her deep footprints and my six months of being a boy scout made it easy to tell that she was running which made tracking her easier said than done. Soon enough the only thing in sight was trees, stopping and catching my breath I saw her running, laughing, and shouting at somebody then she disappeared once again, only this time a tall thin figure followed her into the brush. Gritting my teeth I set off after them, clearing through the thicket It seemed like forever when I finally got to the clearing to find my sister in front of the man, no, not Man, It was a Thing, nearly seven feet tall and it was kneeling in front of Eleanore like she was queen of the world. Walking quietly closer to them, there were no more than five feet between us when a stick broke under my foot and she looked up and smiled.

“Nico!” She exclaimed, cursing silently under my breath and putting on a fake smile I noticed a drawing of three stick figures Me, Her, and the figure it was tall and slender as it rose to one knee then to its feet, my mouth opened to yell at Eleanore but nothing came out it was almost like my body was encased in a tomb of silence its blank face was staring at me it didn’t need eyes for my to feel the way it stared into my soul, then what happened next was out of pure terror I grabbed the nearest stick and quickly struck its neck the blow should have knocked it over but it just stood there, I could just feel it’s smile, amused as if I had just given it a freshly made quesadilla.

“What are you?!” Yeah, I know, not the best thing to yell at somebody you just whacked with a stick but it was the only thing I could think of opening my mouth to yell again but before I could say anything a voice filled my head and said one thing.

“Find Us.”

Just like the wind they vanished, for a moment my senses went wacko I could see farther than normal and the bell that was atleast five miles away on the school rang which told me that I should get back, but I passed out into a black abyss that swallowed me whole. Static, loud static like a television tuned to a channel for which there is no nearby broadcaster.

“He’s waking up,” The voice sounded distant but I could tell it was close

“Mom?” I asked hoping I was right instead the voice responded.

“Oh, I’m so sorry baby.”  The static slowly began to dissipate cautiously opening one eye. I braced for the brightness of the room to flood my mind instead all I saw was a nurse and my father, his face was torn between grief and disbelief, he looked up and said the worst things I had ever heard.

“Your mom is dead and your sister is missing.” Then he got up and left me alone in the room with the nurse, Then pain shot up my arm, I writhed in agony, lashing out every time the nurse came near me with a needle, and once again, just like everything else, it stopped suddenly. Sweat dripped down my forehead from the intensity of the thrashing, I closed my eyes and relaxed until the sound of footsteps left the room. After I was sure that nobody was left in with me my eyes shot back open and instantly glanced to my left arm. There was a burn mark just like graffiti I saw earlier on the wall and when I brushed my finger against it the wound was still warm but there was no pain.

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Te (talk) 12:22, 18 February 2022 (UTC)[]

Good day. I've arrived to provide a bit of feedback on your story.

First off, it was a pretty neat concept. I liked the more subtle side of things. We don't know who is behind these events, and wants Nico to join them. The dream premonition trope is an old and overused one, but I think you handled it relatively well. Instead of it coming across as an obvious futuristic telling, it seemed as though it was more of a "warning".

The first thing I picked up on, is there's a few instances of peculiar tense switches. The first line, for example:

"When it began I always thought it would end differently, I had thought it would end in just another day of walking home from school with my sister, but nothing could have prepared me for what I had to see that day."

You have a strange mash of present and past tense in there. It could use a bit of a tweak. That same sentence also has a bit of an awkward wording issue: "I always thought it would end differently, I had thought" comes across as a bit repetitive, bordering on redundant. Not a huge deal, but it could come across more smoothly with a rewording (and possibly separating them into individual sentences).

The story contains a massive amount of run-on sentences (and some improper capitalization). There are many points where it's obvious that you knew you needed a period, because you capitalized the first word of what would be the next sentence. Perhaps you had just forgotten, here and there. It helps to read your story out loud. When you feel as though you need a breath, or a full pause, you probably need to end/begin a new sentence, or conjoin the two separate clauses with a comma.

There are a few sentences that are generally worded a bit awkwardly. With more proofreading / editing you will easily be able to fix those up.

The creature that led Nico's sister into the forest sounds suspiciously like Slenderman. I truly and deeply hope that it is not, for a few reasons. The first reason being that it would qualify this story as a spinoff, rooted in someone else's intellectual property. You wouldn't be allowed to post it here (and if you did, it would be deleted). The second reason ties into the first. It's just not original. How many crappy Slenderman spinoffs/ripoffs are out there? Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands? How many are worth reading? Probably not many, if any at all. How many Nico Evan Winters stories are there? None as far as I know. Creativity is the truest spice of life.

Getting back to what I liked about this story, you used some excellent descriptive sentences. It painted a vivid picture of the situation or scenario. In particular, I really liked the line "I chose to read but eventually, the sound of scratching pencils had lulled me to sleep." It felt very organic, and relatable. But perhaps I just spent too much time snoozing in school, myself. Haha!

All in all, there's some good material here to work with. Always focus on being fresh and original, and never stop going back to edit and check your work. I look forward to the story being fixed up, finished, and appropriately posted on the wiki!