A question answered
Our town, unlike most of the small towns was not separated into four or five different categories of people. There were only two :- The Billionaires that lived in the central and surrounding area, not too far from the river, and the South’ers ‘the lower class.’
Color, race and all that jumbo didn’t matter in our town, it was all about the black cards and the Benjamins.
The older people from the South either worked for the billionaires, had something to hide or were given sanctuary for silence.
But neither of the reasons they stayed here were good. Didn’t mean the youngsters had a poverty stricken life.
It also didn’t mean we were living in trailer parks. No, this was the billionaires town.
Nobody starved, no one begged.
Our crime rate was five percent and even that was only because a few years ago, a woman named Gina Lorne was found dead.
But as I said, it was years ago.
The people that ruled our small town had since gated up our entire community of seven thousand and twenty eight. Now those unwanted people weren’t even allowed past the gate.
No matter which side of the river or which side of the hills, there was no way some foreign person was entering without THE towns knowledge. None of the founding families would allow it.
It was why our small town, just on the Hills in Good Ol’ Texas, infamously known as Liston Hills was also known by another name, a name that would shock this very foundation we once called safe, better and clean.
The name was the billionaires nest, though still a talked about myth, it was very true.
The history of our small town all started with the founding families of Liston Hills- Orniel, Bray, Stone, Hugh and Delroy, five of the worlds most richest families coming together with one goal in mind- security for their own.
Security for their children, spouses and future generations. It marked one of the biggest business transactions made in 1883. The group jointly purchased the empty Hills and surrounding land to start a life here, away from all the common people.
Liston Hills wasn’t shown on the maps, not even as a paper town, and our town was very hard to find without knowing where you’re going.
For most people, Liston Hills was a fictional place, but to us, the people that stayed here- Our town was very real.
So real that like any other town we had our public schools and our private schools. And in our schools, be it private or in our case public, we had our jocks, that was Jordon Dean Gregory the fifth and his crew- our football team.
Then of course there were the cheerleaders. We, as in most of the schools population referred to them as the ‘Demon Squad’.
‘Yup, we don’t piss off the pompom girls.’
Let us not forget our nerds- the newspaper team that sucked and the science freaks. Yes, it was harsh, but I did mention we were a public school, so name calling was tolerated, especially in my case, I was one of them.
And like all Public schools we had our riff raff rebels. But here in Liston High Public, they weren’t known as rebels. No, sorry, they were the bikers, the children and teenagers of The Sin Rider’s Motorcycle club.
Of recent years, which pains one to mention we now had our trust fund group- the rich kids that belonged on the other side of the Hills, but for some odd reason they preferred to be here.
Well not all, rumor has it that a few years back Jace Stone was abducted and just dropped out of Liston High Private and attended school here, the other side of the River. Apparently Victoria Stone, Natasha Bray and Mason Bray followed. But rumor or not they didn’t belong here, and it wasn’t long when they ran back to their private education. It did however start a chain of habit.
The trust fund kids that didn’t have much adult supervision, or weren’t controlled by their parents like us normal teens, decided to come to our school. Less rules, less work, less stress.
This year 2018 our new trust fund group was actually all related and it didn’t take long for our welcoming committee to brand them as the weird ones. From their first day, they huddled together, choosing to rather sit with themselves than socialize with the rest of the ‘down-graders’.
Not for the females lack of trying. The twin’s Dallion and Dillon Snow were a sight for a girl’s hormones and a mother’s nightmares. They were that hot and with a slight British accent it was a crime of will.
Adam Snow, the middle one always wore a black beanie and long Goth clothing which was weird but hey, there was a reason we called them weird. Well, okay I admit I am the only one who calls them weird, everyone else just calls them the Snow brothers.
Reed Snow, however, was the weirdest of the lot, he was a Dan Brown conspiracy fan. Since the first day which was a few weeks back he has had his long brown hair and glass covered eyes stuck in a Dan Brown novel, and his fingers always jotting down notes ‘weird’.
So anyway enough about them, let’s get back to the story.
Now, while many stories start with once upon a time or a new girl in a new school, this one starts a little differently.
It all starts when Sarah West, one of the best cheerleaders to attend Liston Hills Public school since Victoria Stone, got kicked out of the squad for missing practice.
We can’t always hold life by the horns. I used to, but recently these last few weeks since tenth grade started I have been on the tale end of an aggressive bull. Today, I finally fell off and it wasn’t a pretty fall. It was the ugly type, the hard fall- where you crack a few bones, injure your back and howl in pain.
As usual, today, no different from these past few weeks I had been sociably late to every lesson in class, every practice with the squad. Meetings and outings with my soon to be new parents took a lot of time. Yup, I was the foster kid. Well, the only one that attended Liston Hills Public School.
“SARAH.” The shrill scream that came from Macy Ward, our cheerleader captain or as I love to call her our Loony Ward had me rolling my eyes.
Stretching out my legs, I held my foot to my butt with my right hand and after an insufferable minute of not answering Loony Ward I finally caved. Her eyes were currently staring daggers on my back.
The heat of her gaze, whilst welcomed as it felt like middle of winter with this cold front, I knew I was skating on thin ice.
I stopped my warm up and ignored the rest of the girls idling around and giving me their worrisome stares. The whispers weren’t really whispers as I watched Macy Ward’s chocolate complexion turn to crimson as her round eyes that have had most of the male population in our school drooling behind her since she first walked the hallways of Liston High Public, narrow on me.
“You have been late everyday these past two weeks, you are sloppy, yesterday you dropped Tiya on the floor which could’ve led to a serious injury. Now, I know you have the potential to do better but until then you are out of the squad.”
Her hands planted on her hips. Those pink painted lips pulling up in a really terrible pout was the last straw.
“You kicking me OUT?” I screeched, my fingers rolling up into tight fists, “I have worked my butt off to get where I am and you think you are just going to kick me out of the squad, I gave you power over.”
My steps drew me closer to Macy, the girls and Chad our only guy stood around watching our spectacle.
Macy vanished the rest of the distance until our chest were barely an inch or two apart, “Mr Lanco agreed, Mrs Frisco agreed, hell I bet the entire squad agrees, your squad days Sarah West are over.”
My laugh was hollow, my mind filled with thoughts of how easily it would be to just punch Macy in her face. Anger and a need for revenge filled me with mirth for Macy Ward.
“What?!!! If you think this is over Loony Macy think again, this means war.”
I bumped her shoulder as I marched past her and the rest of the squad who were clever enough to give me a wide berth to the stands.
Grabbing my blue Nike back pack I got for Christmas last year and my coke bottle I used as a water bottle, I left the sports centre as if I were on a mission.
Twenty nineteen wasn’t turning out as great as I’d hoped. It sucked in every major way. Well not every way, there was still one part of my life that proved to be a promising constant and that was my favourite book series, A Court of thorns and Roses by Sarah J.Maas. Without her books, without those stories of a strong heroine named Cerleun, I am not sure I would’ve survived Christmas and New Year. I spent it with my grandmother in Barfa.
The old witch drove me nuts. If she wasn’t drowning her ugly face in a bottle of vodka then she was dousing me with her irritant case of verbal diarrhea.
Why she found the need to torment me with the happenings of everybody else’s business was beyond me. Most of what she said anyway proved to be a bunch of bogus. It was just the pineapple vodka speaking.
Grandma Sue didn’t want me after my parents decided to hit the highway. But every holiday since my eighth birthday, the same year I entered the system, the state forced me to spend my holidays with her. For a fifty eight year old woman, she looked an easy sixty eight. Always drinking, always smoking, the woman didn’t know the word limit. She only understood limitless.
So imagine my surprise when she bought me a welcome back present. It was the first four books of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sara J. Maas and that was the only reason I didn’t chew her up when she left me alone in her three bedroom dilapidated house on Christmas day to go drinking with her friends.
My feet ate up the distance from the sports centre which was separated from the schools building to the girls bathrooms. Turning the corner of the once white now graffiti colored wall, I headed toward the side door with the fire exit sign stuck in red on the top.
Pushing the old door open, my hands, not for the first time today felt icky and had me turning toward the basement stairs right on the left as my sneaker covered feet skidded on the yellow tilled floor that was covered in gum, dirt and various other germinating materials.
The basement had the best soap to wash all the dirt off. In the girls bathroom most of the time it smelt of urine and there was hardly ever toilet paper let alone soap to wash our hands. Since I started eight grade two years back, I had secretly used the basements toilet, and soap to clean my hands.
Certain, I wasn’t the only one as more than one occasion I had caught a few of the other kids either making out or bunking class in the basement. The basement was a no teacher zone.
The one place designated safe from the preying eyes of Ms Lurns, our principal. The woman was an incarnate of Satan himself. It was also the place Mr Cam- the cleaner kept all his cleaning supplies.
I moved down the stairs until I reached the grainy door that was covered in carved letters, red pen, tip-ex and even old gum. Twisting the door nob, I wasn’t in the least surprised the room was dark except for the small exit window that brought in the dull glow from the early afternoon inside the small place.
Moving with familiarly to the side wall just past the door I switched on the small light and dropped my bag on the ground with a loud thud.
My back bent as I took a sip of water, and with it an unmistakable loud creak sounded from behind me. I turned naturally to see who I would find this time.
My bottle dangled from my fingers, as my left hand planted itself on my hip, reminding me that I had to change out of this short purple skirt and into my worn jeans if I was going to make it home in one piece.
“Hello, anyone in here.” I whisper yelled as I walked further into the basement.
It happened again, only now the creak sounded like a chair scraping the cemented floor. Treading with care, I turned the corner to where Mr Cam kept the cleaning detergents on an old metal shelves and my eyes literally bugged out.
A good couple of seconds past in a frozen state, as I stood there, looking at the figure with the brown scared eyes strapped to a chair. My coke bottle left my hand, and made a loud noise as it fell to the floor.
The hand on my hip dropped as my body shook and the unknown person bucked, begging me to help. Then I screamed, and screamed and screamed. I couldn’t stop screaming. The longer I stared at the male , the harder it became to understand that he was tied to a school chair, with duck tape over his mouth and dried blood on his face.
His head dangled to the one said as if it cost him too much energy to lift it up. Dreary swollen eyes urged me to help, but all I could do was scream.
People barged in, surrounded us by the dozens. Some of the guys opened the tied up boy, others helped the boy out of the chair.
Lots of nameless faces pushed me, bumping me as they all tried to fit in the basement and get a front row seat to the show.
My teachers waltzed in and somebody grabbed me, lifting me up, while I was still making noise. Only I didn’t know whether it was tears or shock that kept my shrills at an all time high pitch. Hushing me was not going to work and whoever carried me figured that out quickly.
Not sure who it was, but I shoved my faced in the persons chest and quieted myself. It was a really nice, hard chest that smelled very clean. Yes, clean.
I was taken to the schools nurse, and a small pill was shoved into my mouth soon after. Everything after that was a blur.
There was nobody to call for me as I was a foster kid. And there was nobody to comfort me as I also only had friends that were on the squad and like I predicted and would’ve done to them, they shunned me.
It was times like this that I really didn’t like my life.
“Yo, son, are you poppin’ in the shop after school, we can take the bikes to town, get some Mexican Mania, what do you say?” My dad’s tall broad shoulders and big belly took up my bedroom door as I slipped my blue converse on listening to his deep gruff voice.
My brown chin length hair fell forward into my face, obscuring my view of my dad for a minute. Once my shoes were on I stood up from my unmade bed and slid a hand through my hair. Taking a good look at my dad in his biker jacket, which we called a cut and an old faded jeans paired with his hard iron work boots.
“Yeah, Pop, sounds like one hella plan, I’ll tell Adam, his new bike needs a good run.”
“Yeah, tell him to bring the other’s too, we can make it a guys night. I’ll get Keira to watch Clay and pick up Brei. See you after school.”
Adam and I have been good friends since the beginning of eighth grade, that was three years back when I went to visit my cousin, Diamond at the Stones Estate for her birthday.
The place was an actual Estate with only two castles. And I say castles because they were huge, like hotel huge. Adam and his older brother Reed were at the cabin on the other side of the property where Diamond’s friend threw her a party. Adam and I were the youngest teens that night and just started talking. I gave the guy my number after he promised to hook me up with another gaming controller for my PS3 and since then we have been friends.
His brothers and I also got along but anybody else- Adam and his brothers, just shunned away, and called it trust issues. So basically without really saying it, I was the reason Adam and his brothers decided to attend Liston High Public School this year. I explained to them how different and more relaxed our school was from Liston High Private and the brothers were all in.
Their sister Brei wanted to join but we all agreed that the little trouble maker should stay in the private school. With their parents never home, Reed was the one in charge and he more than agreed to come this side.
He went as far as donating a new art class for the school. It all worked out, but I was just glad to have Adam around.
I haven’t been to school as yet, since my dad recently had his gallbladder removed. I stayed at home to make sure my little brother, Clay got to school on time and the workshop got open. My mom past on seven years ago from a car accident.
My brother, only three at the time, made a big difference in his life. He was young. Though, he remembered flashbacks of her, he wasn’t crippled by her death. Not like dad and I, we both had to step up to the plate.
One minute we were expectant men. My mom was a stay at home mother, so we were never short of a home cooked meal or a damp wash cloth when we ran a fever. Or getting my room cleaned. Then she was gone. I was just ten at the time, same age as Clay is now, and all of a sudden I had a three year old brother to look after, because dad couldn’t do it and run the shop and be the Enforcer of The Sin Rider’s Motorcycle Club, then still come home and cook.
So my brother fell on me, and I never complained, it is how I got my name Bullet.
My dad left the confines of my bedroom door, I listened attentively to his retreating form until I heard the front door open and close. I walked to my messy dresser and gave myself a quick once over before I slipped my cut on.
Four months ago I finally finished my prospect time for The Sin Rider’s MC and earned my cut as one of them. I was not ranked like my dad but I was one of them not just by birth but by time served too.
“Clay, move it bud, or your gonna miss your bus.” I walked toward my brothers bedroom door which was next to mine, and watched him as he straightened his striped tie.
His brown eyes that were identical to my moms and mine stared at me in irritation which was something I was used to.
Clay was almost as bright as my genius cousin, Diamond but his strength was more in computers and software. So my dad decided to send him to a better school, rather than push him to a higher grade, which I agreed.
Two years ago my brother started attending Liston Prep Academy. It was the best Prep school in Liston Hills and on the other side of the Hills.
When my mom passed away she left us with insurance and a good size savings for my brother and I. My dad’s shop was the only Mechanic shop in Liston Hills that actually knew how to fix a car, so we weren’t hurting for cash. Didn’t mean we were going to be living on that side of the Hills, it just meant that we didn’t have the stress that a lot of the South’ers had. Not that they had much issues, I mean we weren’t living in flats or one bedroom state houses. Most of us lived in three bedroom houses and drove decent cars. The South’ers weren’t dirt poor, we just didn’t have millions let alone billions.
In Liston Hills it was the one thing that separated us. The ones on the other side of the hills called it hierarchy but like my cousin, Diamond who befriended Kylie Bray, a born Billionaire, trust fund girl, I befriended Adam Snow. The Snow family was no Bray or Delroy but they owned Airspace and one of the biggest tiling companies in the world. They were also originally from England.
Like Kylie Bray, the Snow brothers were down to earth. They didn’t care about ‘hierarchy’ they cared about trust and loyalty.
After getting my brother on the bus, I finally took my motorbike and got to school.
Yesterday, Adam called and said that he had to see me today. My initial plan was to get back to school tomorrow but since the call, I changed my mind.
I parked my bike next to Dallion’s black Dodge. Most of the students were still in the parking lot talking in their groups. Some screamed as they laughed and argued, whilst others jumped off the hoods of some peoples cars.
A few of the students were on their skateboards doing monkey flips around the rest of us. All in all, it was just another normal day at Liston High Public. It was good to be back.
I grabbed my back pack out of my carry and threw it mid-air, caught it with my hand and slid the black object straight up my arm until it was over my shoulder. My eyes squinting in the bright light. I didn’t need to know the girls were all gawking at me, when I did that. It was a smooth move my dad taught me. He said girls dug that move, it was how he got my mom, just wished I had my glasses.
Last fall, a few months before our year end school party, I got in a bit of a fight with some prick and my glasses were smashed, since then I had been too proud to let my dad know I damaged my lenses.
Yes, I was a biker who wore glasses.
“Bullet, my man, where the hell have you been? I thought we were going to have to hunt your ass down this weekend.” Turning around slowly I seated myself casually on my bike and looked at the guy in front of me with a small one eyed open stare. His buggy blue eyes and black spiked hair and small beard, reminded me of a pixie with a beard, never seized to amaze me.
He was so tiny.
“Kenny my man, why you still sporting that kitty beard?” I lifted my hand out for him to shake, he took it giving me a brotherly hug with a pat on my back,
“One eyed man, leave the beard alone. Why is everyone after my man hair.” He rubbed his bearded chin as his grin grew bigger at whoever he stared at behind me.
“So I heard Moonshine is joining us this year,” I announced with a secret smile of my own. Moonshine was the daughter of our club president, Shoelace.
The girl was home schooled her entire life and nobody believed that her dad finally let her out of his sight to attend school. I, myself was shocked by this very new, and sudden information.
“Who do you think I’m looking at right now?” He smiled, licked his lips and still looked beyond me.
Turning my head, I stared over my shoulder and finally spotted the girl he was so engrossed in.
Man, my dad was going to rip me to shreds if he saw me looking at her with the thoughts playing in my head. Moonshine was a boys dream and a girl’s enemy.
She skilfully straightened her leg back, slipping it over the black and silver Harley with a finesse only mastered by a person who was one with the bike they rode.
Moonshine was Shoelaces only kid, he taught her how to ride a bike when she was like four, well maybe eight. I remember when she turned ten, and her dad brought her to see her Aunt Jen.
She was already riding her dads Harley up Hill side. Now, she was all grown up. I wonder if sending her here was her dad’s idea.
Her golden hair fell in waves to her waist, as she flung her satchel over her left shoulder.
Her ripped check shirt skewed to the left and a small piece of flesh was made visible. More than a few people stopped to watch her.
“Her dad will kill us if he knew we were staring.” Kenny whisper yelled, and it was the truth. A huge reason to drop my eyes and get to class, but I still stood and drooled.
Her dad had been gunning for me since they first moved to Liston Hills, that was three years ago.
The club needed a President so our Mother Chapter in Los Angeles sent Shoelace since the guys we had weren’t so thrilled with the choices. Shoelace was the Vice President in L.A, and spent most of his time here visiting family anyway.
So, no one lifted an eyebrow when he joined and was voted President by the main members.
Moonshine spotted us as Jaden Newt did a double flip with his skateboard. Not long after, she faced us and waved. I waved back, no point ignoring her.
She wasted no time walking toward us. Kenny nudged me, whispering ‘stay cool, stay cool.’
Not sure whether he was talking to himself or me.
Her ripped jeans that fit loose were covered in tip-ex and red marker pens. Knowing her friends probably wrote some stuff on them as good luck, I thought it looked cool. It was our thing in The Sin Rider’s MC, whenever one of the youngsters had something important happening, we’d write either on the skin or clothes.
“Bullet and Kenny, I knew I’d be seeing you guys, but not this early in the morning. I heard Travis and Beans were supposed to give me the run down. If I knew you two were actually going to arrive on time I would have liked to have the option.”
“Next time Moonshine.” I said to her, and tried hard not to stare when her brown eyes lit up with interest.
I liked my President’s daughter and I knew she crushed on me too, but the thought of how much her father’s fist would be liking on my face and other parts of my anatomy made me stay away.
Moonshine was more than eager to go where I didn’t think we should be going. But like all rebels I couldn’t say no to a girl as pretty as her. Not for long anyway.
Kenny cleared his throat, opening his legs slightly.
I think he thought it looked cool, but I told the brother that it made him look weird when he did it, and then the hunched back.
He copied that from Adam, it looked good when Adam did it because he was Six foot two, Kenny was five foot four.
So when Kenny did it, he resembled the skinny version of an ogre, “Yeah, I don’t think your dad would be cool with you havin’ options Shine. Beans and Travis are your cousins hence why your daddy said you should get the tour from them.”
I grimaced and turned my head to the side as I watched Moonshine’s smiling face redden in anger at Kenny’s words.
Moonshine hated it when someone pointed out the obvious, ‘DADDY CALLS THE SHOTS’. She hated it more when it was the truth.
“I am just going to ignore what you just said and save my knuckles for when I have a worthy opponent.”
I chuckled at her comeback knowing what she meant.
Last spring, we were all up at the local pool club when Kenny gave mouth to Vice, Moonshine’s best friend. Vice was also The Sin Rider’s road captain, Kingpin’s daughter. She’s half the size of Moonshine and knocked Kenny out with a punch to his sternum.
It was the most hilarious thing I have ever seen.
Principle Lurn’s voice echoed through the speakers around our school, to get to class. It was a recorded message, one of the many things our principle did that made us groan.
The three of us walked toward the school doors, following the crowd of other students. Moonshine stepped in next to me and I should have said something about it, I didn’t.
“Have you heard that the school is under investigation?” Moonshine asked me as we reached the old glass doors,
“Ah no. It’s my first day back, remember!” I replied as I walked toward the male lockers.
Moonshine on my heel whilst Kenny disappeared in the crowd of on goers.
“Word is, three days ago someone found a boy tied up in the basement.” She stated with a little bit of eagerness that if it was anyone else, I would be worried, but when Moonshine said it like that I just couldn’t help but wince. Most likely, they were going to look at the rebels, which was the bikers, meaning us.
“Have you gotten a name of the boy who was tortured?.” I asked her as I reached my locker and started keying in the code.
“Nope, but I’m sure I can get one, see you later,” She mused and I didn’t stop my eyes as they looked deep into her hazel depths with a secret promise that I couldn’t keep.
“Go to class Moonshine.”
She chuckled, shaking her head, before she finally saluted me, then turned on her heel and left me standing by my locker.
Watching her go as her legs got further across the hallway I didn’t stop the rational thought embedded in my brain.
Yeah, I am going to hell.
You know her
Three days are already gone since the mysterious abduction and torture of Percy Daniels- the nerd everyone hated.
Including me, well not particularly hate, more like can’t stand. The whole school could’ve been guilty, even the teachers. But, like any mystery, there was always the most probable suspect. It seemed as if life just didn’t want me to catch a break.
This will be my first official book co written with Kady Co. To all of you, there will be an awesome Shock Me Twice Game coming soon. All paperback purchasers who tag me on a social media post with a picture of you holding a paperback copy of Shock Me Twice will automatically be entered to our big giveaway hamper worth $300.Shock Me Twice is out June 20th 2019