If there were one place on earth that resembled a knock-off version of hell, it would be Eastport, Maine. At least, that was what Lunette Mayora thought to herself every morning as the dreadful sight of this new town peered at her through her bedroom window.
She sighed heavily as she looked out of this very aperture, now clouded over like smoky glass, to the street below. Her soft, ivory hands gripped onto the stained wooden frame that outlined the window. The outside was grey, damp, and dreary. She could hardly make out the sea through the dense fog. Her right hand instinctively rose and gripped the silver necklace that rested right past her collarbone. Her index finger traced over the triquetra knot and smoothed over the rounded triangle of obsidian that nestled securely in the middle. The metal of the necklace was warm to the touch, soothing some of her anxiety.
Suddenly, the overhead light that hung in the middle of the room switched on, causing Lunette to turn. Her pink mouth twitched to the side as she spun her head to look. The shoulder-length, brown curls that extended from the top of her head went bouncing along with her white nightshirt as if they were dancing.
“Oh! You’re awake!” A familiar voice declared with surprise. Standing at the doorway with a startled look on her face, was Lunette’s aunt, Tatiana.
Lunette turned completely to face the older woman then, shifting her weight onto one side, leaning onto the edge of her low set window like a seat. “Well, yeah,” she began, folding her arms over her chest and meeting her aunt’s gaze. “I kinda have to be, school starts in an hour.” The young brunette’s tone was bitter as she spoke.
Tatiana’s face twisted with sympathy, her dark eyebrows lowering and a weak smile forming on her pale lips. “Lunette...” she sighed and straightened herself in the doorway with her left hand still on the brass doorknob. She knew her niece was unhappy, but it was too early in the morning to start with the complaining.
“Don’t bother,” Lunette breathed out with annoyance, standing up fully as her arms swung to her thighs, “I’ll meet you downstairs. Don’t trouble yourself making me anything to eat, you’ll just make me late.”
“Alright…” Tatiana's expression was forlorn as she moved out of the room and closed the door behind her. Lunette stared at the chipped cream-colored slab of wood that separated her from everyone else.
She hated being here, and her family knew it. There was absolutely no reason to move from New Orleans to Eastport. Just the sound of the town she now resided in made her want to fall into an abyss.
She used to be happy, she used to have a small group of friends back in Louisiana. She even had a boyfriend. Lunette loved everything about her old home. From the weather to the history, she was in love. Now, she was livid here in this horrible new piece of the world she wanted no part of. The most eastern town of the United States, and the drabbest.
There was nothing particularly exciting or noteworthy in this uninteresting backwater that compelled Lunette to care about it. If anything, Eastport’s only saving grace was its rich history, which Lunette adored, but the population was roughly thirteen-hundred in a city that covered only twelve square miles. Even then, it was mostly a collection of islands, with a primary focus on its port system. The only thing that was remotely intriguing was the Old Sow Whirlpool off the coast. But even that was in Canada.
Lunette felt so confused and frustrated; out of all the places to live in the entire world, why was her family drawn here? And why did they have to drag her with them? No-man’s-land, Eastport, Maine didn’t exactly scream luxury living—or anything really. It was as grey and mundane as the fog that rolled over it, like a child lazily dragging their blanket across the floor. Nothing was going to change, however; her family had made up their minds and she knew she wouldn’t be able to sway them.
Upset, but now dressed for school, Lunette did her best to shake off her troubling thoughts and headed down the creaky stairs of the new apartment she was supposed to call ‘home’ and entered the main area. Unsurprisingly, it was still dark. The outside sun had yet to rise this early in the morning; not that it would help any with the haze that was consuming the town.
The old mahogany floors creaked as Lunette shifted her weight across them, the white thread of her socks catching on a few decaying pieces near the corner of the kitchen where the planks met the tile. She flipped up the light switch that rested on the wall separating the cooking and living areas, illuminating the space with yellow fluorescence. The living room was painted a sickly sulfur color that wasn’t the slightest bit flattering and it was chipping at the seams. The deterioration was worst near the bricked-up fireplace that resided on the far end.
The only appealing part of the area was the pressed tin ceiling which displayed an array of swirls and flower motifs—but even then, it had seen better days and was in desperate need of upkeep. Perhaps long ago, the ceiling would have been a beautiful, pristine white, but now it was a faded, unsightly taupe where the tin poked through at various places.
Ignoring the ugliness, the young girl walked into the kitchen, which appeared as though it hadn’t been renovated since the eighties. “Lunette?” A weak voice asked with a noticeable Spanish accent.
“I’m in the kitchen,” the brunette answered, shoving a lunch container into her black school bag unceremoniously. Slowly, but surely, an elderly woman walked into the room. In her frail, wrinkled hand she held a smooth wooden cane. It almost seemed fitting to have such an old woman in such an old home.
“I see,” the woman, Lunette’s grandmother, replied with a bright, playful smile—almost laughing at her own joke. Her sight had left her long ago but being blind never seemed to trouble her. Her once dark eyes were now clouded over, mimicking a pale blue. She stopped her slow hobble once in the center of the kitchen, “Will you please be careful with your locker today?” she asked politely, though, giving no explanation towards what had provoked such a request. Her curled, salt and pepper-colored hair fell to her full cheeks and moved as she smiled knowingly.
Lunette nodded but didn’t really understand what the old woman meant, “Sure,” she answered stuffing her books into her bag and putting on her long brown boots.
“Mom!” A shout erupted as Tatiana entered the room with an exasperated expression, “Will you please stop leaving your slippers around the house?! This is the hundredth time I’ve almost died on these.”
The elderly woman grinned mischievously as she leaned on her cane. Her daughter, Tatiana, towered half a foot over her, looking down to her mother’s wrinkled features. “Oh, but how can I when I can’t see?” She teased, her accent thick as she annunciated every word. Tatiana threw her hands into the air with a groan, completely unappreciative of her mother’s humor.
The elderly woman then returned her attention back to her granddaughter, “Have a good day! Your choices are very important.” she reminded the young brunette as she was making her way to leave.
“Thanks, grandma Dalia.” Lunette replied, forcing a weak smile. Then, after quick hugs to her family and an exchange of goodbyes, she headed to the exit that rested a few steps past her aunt and grandmother.
Lunette opened the cream-colored door with a heavy tug and was greeted with a small entranceway and another set of stairs that led down into the shop her family ran. A shop that served as their only source of income. She yanked the door shut behind her and readjusted the bookbag on her shoulders as she walked down the freshly painted, chestnut stairs. The steps led her into a storage area at the back of the store that held miscellaneous supplies not ready to be placed out on the shelves.
Her family ran an organic product shop that used natural materials. Primarily, the shelves were filled with an array of soaps, candles, lotions, and hair washes that were made from the various herbs her family grew in their home. Some of the herbs and plants were even grown right in the back-room Lunette dragged herself away from. It was still too early for the shop to be open though, and it looked like Tatiana was in the middle of organizing a few extra shelves of amenities as there were various items strewn about. Even so, without any customers, the area felt exceptionally stale and stagnant.
Lunette expertly moved past the clutter and towards the fogged front door, all the while staring down at her phone. A soft chime rang as she exited her prison and an involuntary shiver traveled up her spine. It had rained the previous night and the air was left frigid and unwelcoming as the young girl sucked in an icy breath.
Just then, a strong gust of November wind shoved past Lunette and into the shop as she let the door close behind her. She shivered once more and pressed her arms close to her chest as she read through the messages on her phone.
Or rather, lack thereof.
He still hasn’t replied, she thought to herself, disappointed. She didn’t know what she should have expected. Nevertheless, it still caused her to heave out a sigh, her breath forming the shape of a small cloud as it left her lips.
Lunette’s mood soured even more, and she pulled her hands and phone into the pockets of her jacket for warmth and began her trek north towards her new high school. There would be no bus to pick her up and drive her to and from her house like in Louisiana. Another of the many reminders that she was no longer living in paradise. Walking to school wasn’t so bad, though. The trip took only minutes on foot, she could practically see the bland building from her apartment; one more ominous eyesore looming over her.
As Lunette dragged her feet along, she was accompanied by a few other teenagers who took the same route. However, they walked on the other side of the street, chatting amongst themselves. Purposely putting distance between herself and the others, Lunette groggily continued on the farthest sidewalk. The teens made no advancements to join or beckon her to come over. Lunette was something they learned to ignore since her arrival. She was adamant about remaining friendless in Eastport; her own form of internal protest towards her family and the city itself.
She just wanted to go home, her real home. There was no point in getting close to anyone. Lunette was a senior in high school. She planned to move back to Louisiana as soon as she graduated and then attend some university in the area. That way she could be with her real friends. And maybe even him...
Lunette squeezed her eyes shut and reopened them, scolding herself for thinking about her now ex-boyfriend. She couldn’t help it though. Back in Louisiana, she had finally met a boy she liked. He was sweet to her, humorous, and the two were able to confide with one another about anything.
The last time Lunette had seen him, she was telling him of the sudden move her family decided to make. She remembered his freshly cut hair that formed very tight rings, rich dark skin, and onyx eyes, like her. She always felt she could get lost in those dark pools, especially when they used to express happiness at seeing her, creasing softly in the corners every time he smiled.
Lunette was a year and a half older than Caleb despite being in the same grade, but he never seemed to mind. Lunette’s frail health at a young age left her falling behind in academics. Even so, she more than made up for the bad start with the dedication to her studies and extra credit. Yet, while Lunette attempted to achieve the best grades possible to recover from the lost time, Caleb wasn’t particularly interested in academics. Instead, he was fixated on different forms of media and games, often sharing his hobbies with her. They didn’t date for long, but it was still enough to be compelled to want him. Lunette was certain Caleb was her first love. She had never met anyone that connected with her the way she did with him. Despite this, their relationship had moved from romantic back to platonic as soon as Lunette confessed her family’s plan to move.
It wasn’t fair, and it never would be fair. Lunette had spent nights fighting with her aunt and grandmother, trying to convince them not to uproot her whole life on such a whim, but it had been decided by Dalia. And Lunette had to obey her. Even though she was eighteen, Lunette was dependent on her family, and it wouldn’t have been smart to try anything until graduation.
Groaning inwardly as the reality of her situation truly began to set in, Lunette approached the front doors of her school, Eastport High. A predictable name for such a predictably monotonous town.