• Chapter One

    Addison hummed as she half-skipped down the sidewalks. She had just turned twenty and was ecstatic to finally have enough money to move away from her mom, (Her parents had divorced when she was fifteen), and finally get a little piece from the hustle and bustle of living with Adriana Dawn, which was her mother's name, which Addison often used when she knocked something over or forgot to do her laundry. In a way, Addison was a big sister to her mom. They had a perfect relationship, and the two often went out on the town together, watched movies, dicussed hot actors, and so on. But when Addison broke the news about moving out, her mother was awfully calm, but Addie figured she was just being brave; she'd have to visit later to ensure that she wasn't sitting on the couch with a tub of Ben Jerry's with her stuffed bear, Poopsie.

    It's not that Addison wanted to get away from her mother, but she wanted more room to grow. She had done all the growing she could under her parents' seperate roofs, so now it was time for her to take a step forward. She would have told her father, but he lived far away in Connecticut, and Addison didn't like sending big news with texts or Emails. It was just tacky. So Addison decided to wait to tell her dad and her two older brothers, who also lived outside the quiet state of Indiana.

    Addison, however, had no plans of leaving. No, this place was cozy enough. Even though her brothers complained that the weather was unpredictable, Addison liked the unpredictable. She wasn't the type to complain; she was the type that trudged onwards. But Addison could barely take another step forwards when she stopped in front of what she had assumed was once a building.

    Two windows were boarded up, shingles were missing like a fiver-year-old's teeth that beat their head against walls, and the paint looked to be three generations older than Addison herself. She looked down at her right palm, where she had written the adress, 270 Musician Drive. The place in front of Addison barely clung to the memory of ever being a building. In fact, even as she watched, she could almost see the building age. With just another moments' pause, she stepped forward, determined to enjoy her first day at 270 Musician Drive.

    It seemed, though, that the forces of Fate were determied to through everything at Addison all at once. Because watching her from the second story left window was a scraggly old woman holding a cigarette with her eyebrow raised. This I gotta see. she thought to herself as she hobbled down the steps, while Addison knocked on the door, sending a few paint chips to the ground. After a few moments of nail biting and hair twirling, a young man answered. He couldn't have been much older than Addison, although his face was starved and he had the appearence of someone who never ate until they were on the verge of fainting.

    After the two surveyed eachother, Addison sucked in the breath, and the courage, to start speaking, until she heard cursing from inside the building. The young man scurried within seconds, giving Addison the fleeting thought that he resembled a rat when he ran, how his feet skidded across the floor. Within a few dumbfounded seconds, Adddison was face-to-face with an old, however tall, woman. The woman stared at her through pale blue eyes that couldn't seem to stop moving. She took a hit off her cigarette and blew the smoke into Addison's face.

    "You got business here, little lady?", she said with a southern accent. Addison couldn't help but cough from the smoke, and her eyes began to water. She held up a shaky finger as sign to pause, though she noticed the older lady rolled her eyes and shifted her weight as Addison composed herself. Still blinking and clearing her throat, Addison lifted her head to meet the woman's eyes.

    "Y-yeah, I'm the uh-new resident? Addison Dawn? I have my papers here-", she said shakily, reaching into her purse with quivering hands, as though the woman towering above her was a suspicious member of the police force. Addison glanced up at her occasionally, wondering why she hadn't introduced herself. After two more hits of her cig, the lady sighed.

    "Ta hell with it, then. You ain't much bright, are ya child? Just stay outta my way, got it, Sweeite?", and without another word, the presence of the woman was gone, and so was some of the smoke, much to Addison's relief. She took a deep breath and picked up her suitcases, finally entering the apartment building. The floorboards creaked beneath her, but it wasn't a hounted house creak, more of a familar one.

    Addison smiled at her surroundings; Although the wallpaper was yellowed (presumably from smoke), the inside was much more comfortable, grander even, than the outside. The front lobby was adorned with old antique dressers and grandfather clocks, and all sorts of little mirrors and paintins. The room smelled of dust, but there wasn't a single bit of dust floating in the air. Addison stopped at a white board, looking to see what it was there for. On it were listed several names, hers included, and room numbers. Her number was seven, how lucky. She smiled at the irony and walked further down the narrow hall assuming it was on the first floor.

    She paused, however, when she was sure she saw motion from the corner of her eyes. To her left in the kitchen someone had darted from one side of the shadowed room to the other. Addison didn't need to look closely, though, because the person of question stepped from the shadow with a sigh of relief. It was none other than the hollow man she had met at the door. She smiled at him politely, able to better comprehend his appearence in the light. His hair was black and curly, although it was all out of his eyes as if pulled back by his fingers being run through his hair. He wore simple clothes, a black and white stiped T-shirt with gray pants, and a pair of glasses, but nothing else adorned his appearence other than baggy eyes and a solemn expression. He stuck his hand out politely for Addison to shake, although she had to set down a suitcase in order to shake it.

    "The name's Hector. You're Addison, right?" He said with a small smile, showing yellow and sharp teeth. When he noticed her quizzical expression, he scratched the back of his head and pointed at the white board. "You're name's the only new one.", he said with an awkward laugh. He was quiet for a moment, until deciding to revive the conversation, or at least, properly end it. "Room seven's down the hall on the left, first door." he said with another smiled before running a bony hand through his hair.

    Addison smiled, and with a small "Thank you, Hector", she turned and walked further down the hall, when suddenly Hector caught up to her after a moment's hesitation. "That woman you saw...Be careful, her name is Miss Belmonte. She's...A little rude." he said shakily.

    "Yeah, I figured", Addison replied, and they both laughed heartily, finally ending the awkward silence that followed Hector's sentance.