I Awoke | Chapter 2.1 — A Weird Rom-Com

I Awoke | Chapter 2.1 — A Weird Rom-Com

I Awoke

by Benjamin Arandjelovic-Vaughan

This idea began as a short story but has now become a through composed novel. Chapters will be released periodically and is still being written. You can read this yourself or have TripleS read this to you in the YouTube video below. Feedback is always appreciated and enjoy the tale.


Chapter 2 - Rachel Eddings and Charlie the Pacifist

2.1 – A Weird Rom-Com

As morning broke and emotions that ran wild at dawn had now began to settle. Both of us had hardly said a word to one another but we were comfortable in simple silence. Watching the sunrise for what seemed like hours the atmosphere in the room almost spoke for itself, we were just so glad that since getting lost into our clouded vision it was nice to return to some reality and normality. Two human beings merely contemplating the coming days and what it possibly could have in store for them both, drawn together by what must be fate. For these pure, completely ordinary moments, this unlikely pair, both outcasts in their own peer groups were now, very possibly all that humanity had left, making them feel more normal than ever they had been before. Their embrace finally broke as the teen’s feeling of embarrassment began to return.

“Rachel…” she spoke, beginning conversation.

“Charles… You been in here long?”

“Haven’t left.”

Anticipating the day ahead, I became very worried for her, it was obvious that to make the most of the night we would have to venture outside, how would she react.

“I started to worry when my parents didn't call me down for dinner.” Rachel continued. “I was playing up here all day.”

“So then you found them.”

“They are not…dead are they?” Tears made their way to the corners of her eyes and I treaded carefully.

“We shouldn’t presume so, no.”

A deathly pause swept around the room as I began to think of my own parents. Out of town for the weekend and were not due back until today. I couldn’t help but wonder if they were in the same state as her parents, was the process of ‘knocking people out’ selective, I mean, do this girl and I share some traits that will be useful to our future alien masters? This girl, did we have anything in commend, any similarities? The first thing I noticed was her green eyes, the ones that forced their way through the all consuming darkness; her hair, a very messy average, almost military pigtail and her age, well, couldn’t be any older than 12 or 13. Why was she so special, a quick flick of my eyes around her room in the daylight revealed a character that was a little more detailed than my original plot-line expected. Posters, every conceivable ‘Heartthrob’ (quite normal) intermingled with pictures of weapons, actual weapons and a robust collection of manga. She may be a larger Otaku than me and that was an understatement. A bookshelf, manga, anime, collectables and more foreign game titles than I could ever imagine. Looking back at this sweet, seemingly innocent girl I also noticed her clothes, sorry, costume was almost a cosplay. A bright pink jacket with ‘magical-girl’ hearts, scuffed sparkly shoes and puffy trousers from the middle east; a bit of a mismatch but I couldn’t help thinking that another 6/7 years and I would snap her up in a heartbeat. What the hell could these aliens possibly want with two mega-otaku freaks? Assuming that this was aliens and not some bio-engineered super sleeping weapon and we only built up resistance over days of binge-watching anime?

“What are you thinking?” She broke my thought train with an emergency stop. In fact, my entire head swerved towards looking out the window once again. We both noticed that I was doing that weird thing I do and stare when concentrating, I seemed to be staring directly at her. First impressions, first impressions…

“Umm. Well. Just thinking.”

“Ok…I guess.” A slight blush appeared in her cheeks that was intermingled with the ironic ‘weirded-out’ expression. Second impressions are a thing right?? I am obviously her senior in these situations and I can’t have her thinking I am some sort of pervert, I must be the adult here.

“Sorry you had to find your parent’s like that. I’m sure there is an explanation.” Reassuring tone, CHECK. “I’ll get to the bottom of this some how or another.” Protective and caring attitude, CHECK. “So, manga then?” Hobbies and interests, CHECK. I’m so glad I read that online article on how to be socially acceptable and mentally noted the list.

“Oh dam. Nobody was ever meant to come in my room. In fact you are the first ever boy I’ve brought in here.”

‘And I won’t be the last’, I thought, sniggering at my inappropriate judgments.

“What do you mean?”

Shit, SHIT? Why the hell did I actually say that out loud.

“Well… *Cough* … I’m sure if more people knew about your extensive… collections then… Yeh…”

“Oh, I see what you mean. You into manga?”


“Yeh, I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur of these kind of things.”

But she’s 12, I can’t really talk about the series that I’m expert in! I was about to run though a couple of plotlines and characters that I particularly admired but she was already up and busily sorting through a couple of books. I let her get on with it for a few minutes and noticed she seemed to be packing a bag and filling it with comics.

“Going somewhere?”

“Yes actually, meaning as you are here you should probably take me to the other survivors and your secret base. I mean, you do have a secret base, don’t you?”

“I was meaning to talk to you about that…”

“What, you haven’t established a base and further communication with the outside world?”

“Nope, that's what I was meaning to...”

“Oh come on Charlie, don’t you know the rules?”

After wincing at her calling me Charlie I noticed that she grabbed a familiar looking book from the shelf and flicked through it vigorously, the pages flapping about almost as if under some magic searching spell.

“It’s right here under section one. Rule No.3. – Find good shelter, think about permanent places. This should be a public place where survivors can gather and use as a base. Have you not heard about survival techniques Charlie boy?”

That book, it was the same as my Zombie Survival Bible, a miracle. My mouth almost gaped a bit due to the strangeness of the situation; a girl, manga, gaming, weaponry, female, anime, zombie guide, lady; Was it possible that I have an illegitimate sibling in this girl? Moving my hand towards my jacket pocket to grab my own guide was somehow seen as an act of aggression. A throwing star, out of nowhere, pinned my arm to the wall.

“One false move and I won’t miss next time.”

The aggression, the confidence, the good looks…Maybe not my sister after all. Panicked and confused I stuttered.

“I was just…getting out my…guide. God sake!”

“Oh, why didn’t you say so?” As my arm was currently out of commission she reached in and took my book. Flashing both in front of me with a childish grin gave me the creeps. “Guide Buddies Charlie!”

“I guess, and it’s Charles.”

“Well to me your Charlie.” She spoke tapping the side of her nose as if this was some sort of secret.

Getting back to our original train of thought I suggested the following: “Strange coincidence though, what if the alien masters somehow wrote this book and it is the key to everything!” Spoken like a true maniac, damn.

“Aliens? Really? Have you seen any?”

“No, but…” She seemed disappointed. “I’m sure if this is all caused by aliens we can meet them soon.”

“Yay! Are your bags packed?” She swiftly changed the subject.

“Yes, leaving so soon?” I grew concerned not for her sudden brave qualities but the fact that I may not be able to keep up with her.

“Well, there is only so many hours of sun in a day. We must find shelter for tonight, it’s like we are on an adventure.”

“Ok then, grab your stuff, I think I have found the perfect place for a secret base.”

“Lead the way Charlie…Charlie, I’m glad I met you.”

Beneath her chirpy exterior I couldn’t help but notice her underlying dread and fear. So young and she is thrust into a survival situation like this, basically burying her parents ritually downstairs; it wasn’t fair. Somehow, I was now in the situation where I also had to make sure that she was safe and looked after, I mean, I haven’t even babysat my cousins.

After clipping in a custom made back sheathe for her rather impressive double edged scimitars she put on her backpack and made her way downstairs, making sure to blow out one of the candles I missed on the way up. I decided to query the reason why a 12-year-old owned weapons such as these but this was definitely for a later date. As I made for the door, I noted that she followed behind, obviously had gone to say goodbye to her parents. This ‘Adventure’, almost something out of some sick minded fairy tale we were going to have to make the best of. We walked outside not knowing what the world may have in store for us but with the understanding that we now could face it together.



Benjamin Arandjelovic-Vaughan


Next Chapter coming very soon.

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