The Newcomer Ch.1
Hey there! This is my second posted ff. It’s set after the(SPOILER) “sacrifice Chloe” ending(SORRY). Obviously, massive spoilers included.
Matthew, a transfer student at Blackwell Academy, begins his new life at Arcadia Bay. Making new friends, finding a love interest, discovering he has strange powers… Not what he was expecting.
A scorching stinging. He could sense it on his face, rapidly rekindling his awareness. Matthew forced himself to stand up, disoriented.
What the hell?
A scorched ground, illuminated by an unfettered inferno, spanning the world.
Where am I and what’s happening?!
He was in a forest being consumed by flames. Matt hadn’t seen the place before, yet it felt palpable, real. Being trapped deep in smoke, he was unable to see a thing. The glowing red blinded his eyes, the thick smoke poisoned his lungs. It caused him to cough violently. Each effort to breathe only intensified the thorny pain rasping his throat.
Matthew Trayton began to panic, thirsting for an escape out of this hell.
A hell that was breaking loose.
In all the chaos, a rustling noise from the west raised his attention. He struggled to see through the soaring soot. As he came closer, the horrifying image became clearer.
Wild animals, running frantically, desperately seeking haven. Emerging from the backwoods, their burning bodies materialized out of nowhere, stumbling, snapping branches, crying…dying.
Matt had never been so afraid in his life.
A cracking sound from the back caused him to turn around.
A burning fir tree… that was falling, straight at him. His heart stopped, his legs froze.
Death is coming for me, he thought.
Just as the tree was on top him… he woke up.
And there he was; in the plane, the landing having jolted him from the eerie nightmare.
Drenched in sweat, he looked around. Everything was back to normal, or at least it seemed to be.
What the hell was that? Maybe… I should take a break from all the weed?
The pilot announced their landing: “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve landed in San Francisco.”
Matt’s phone vibrated, prompting him to fish it out from his pocket and at the same time reminding him he forgot to put it into airplane mode. The message was from his father, who had sent him pictures from their last alpine skiing trip to Anthony Lakes. It was just two weeks ago, yet it already felt too distant, lost in the past.
The warmth in the air pleasantly surprised him. San Francisco was a throbbing city, with vibrant culture, serving an inspiration to artists all over the world. Art is what attracted him here in the first place.
He was seeing the Everyday Hero Contest Exhibition. Photography was his passion, and knowing the winner was from Blackwell Academy, the school he’d recently transferred to, he had to go see it.
A group of visitors piled up in front of a picture, blocking off Victoria’s view. She tried to catch a glimpse of the guide, without success. Deeming the interpretation hollow, she proceeded to a different picture, hoping to eventually get to her own. All these artists, so gifted, just proving yet again that she had chosen a very competitive career field. Seeing all those perfect photographs, it sparked fear in her, thinking she’ll never be appreciated for her own work.
How can I compete with that?
She scurried her daunting thoughts by trying to analyze pictures decorating the walls, while appreciating how lucky she was Max Caulfield hadn’t submitted a picture of her own.
Victoria put on her earphones and continued forward to secretly admire most of the hung pictures, only to be interrupted by a fellow artist, as it seemed.
“Yes?” She asked, slightly bothered.
“You’re Victoria Chase, right? I saw your picture. It’s quite good, actually. I like the exposition.”
Matthew didn’t believe in love at first sight, yet now he was proved wrong.
Her alluring amber eyes were the first thing he noticed. He tended to look people straight in the eye, searching for their soul. And hers stood out. Their amber color reminded him of sweet chocolate drops melting in milk. Their soft glimmering held all the unseen emotions…how much he’d love to swim in their glazing charm. He’d wander in them all day. Matt could see they were watchful and, at first sight, daring, courageous. Only with great effort he could escape the reverie they had had him trapped deep in.
Then his attention shifted to her short hair. Dancing somewhere between honey and gold blonde, it perfectly harmonized with her elegant, classy style.
He loved it.
Victoria Chase inspected Matt thoroughly with her eyes, eventually coming with a reply.
“I try. Did you submit anything?”
“No, unfortunately. Just here to admire.”
The ensuing awkward silence prompted the girl to look for help. Her gaze fell on principal Wells, stuffing himself with complimentary food in the corner. Thankfully, the silence was soon brought to an end.
“I heard you’re from Blackwell. I just transferred there.”
“You picked the right time, I give you that.” She replied, with a hint of sarcasm in her voice.
“Why do you say that?”
“Haven’t you heard the news?”
Matt chuckled. “What news?”
“A girl got shot and died at Blackwell.”
Is she joking? “You’re kidding, right?”
She seemed genuinely sad about it, and he immediately regretted asking her that.
“Sorry. You don’t have to answer.” He barely knew her, yet it already hurt Matt to see her like this.
“Care to join me for coffee?” he proposed.
“Why not?” Victoria replied. Still better company than principal Wells.
They found a close-by Café. Unable to say no to the seductive jazz pouring out of the open doors together with the aroma of Italian food, they entered.
They talked over coffee, with a captivating view of the busy street. Matt could see the Exhibition down south, just a block away.
“So, what brings you to Blackwell?” Victoria asked the newcomer. Matthew interested her, even though she wasn’t much aware of it that time. There was something about him. He was tall, skinny, with lucid pale skin, to say the least. Matt wore his dirty blond hair in a ponytail. It was longer than hers, without doubt.
He’ll certainly be an interesting addition to Blackwell.
“Oh, well, the prestige, I guess. I want to have a go in the film industry, be it in directing, screenwriting or cinematography. I do it for the pure joy, and Blackwell seemed like the right choice. What about you, the future photographic legend?”
She let out a subtle chuckle.
“You guessed it. I’m following in the footsteps of my family.”
“Oh. So photography runs in your blood, then?”
“Yeah. My folks own the Chase Space.”
“Wow, neat. I’ve been there. Loved it. Went there again, loved it even more. No kidding. You’re lucky your parents are artists too.”
“Well, it helps. Obviously. What about your parents?”
“Dad’s a banker, mom works as a secretary. They split up.”
“Sorry to hear that.”
“So, you flew to Frisco just to see the exhibition?”
“Got a few buddies here I met on a road trip last summer. Gonna stop by and check out what’s new.”
What followed was idle chatter, mostly related to Blackwell or Arcadia Bay. The kind of small-talk he wanted to avoid. He was a wallflower, and he didn’t care. Mostly.
He just wanted to get to know her more. Matthew could tell she was a determined, talented photographer, with a serious attitude toward her passion. Just like him. Dying to explore her personality, he managed to exchange numbers with her. The idea came from her head, though, and quite spontaneously too, making him wonder whether she had everyone’s number at Blackwell.
He shifted his gaze, sighting Wells, standing outside. Matt checked his watch. An hour had passed.
“Think your boss’s hunting for you.” He said, pointing outside with his hand. She turned around to see the principal.
“Hardly my boss,” she scoffed, “more like a moronic simpleton. Still can’t believe how he landed the job.” She frowned a bit, showing a dislike of the man and simultaneously amusing Matt.
He enjoyed the violet sunset on the flight home. San Francisco’s lights were glittering in the distance, giving birth to a welcoming radiance.
He loosened up, relaxed his soul, telling himself Blackwell might not be as bad as he thought.
It’s safe to say he had no idea what was coming.
Thank you for reading. I’d really, really appreciate your reviews, opinions, criticism(constructive, I hope :D) especially from native English speakers.