A tired redhead by the age of seventeen walked back into her room from a stress filled day at school. She was just an ordinary girl. Growing up, going to school, and was soon entering adulthood. Only…. For her this would be VERY bad.
"Shit…." She cursed as she flopped face down on her bed. "Tomorrow is my eighteenth birthday and I'm almost done with school too…" In normal circumstances, this would be a dream come true for a teenager. Growing up and moving out of their parents' house… the only thing is, for Lydia, she doesn't have parents. Nor siblings or any other form of relative that would give a damn about her. Yep. That's right. Lydia is, in fact, an orphan at New Foster's Orphanage in New York. And like anyone in the system, for those who weren't ready to move out when they came of age, pretty much didn't have much choice. Either move out or be either sent to a foster home or be homeless. And that was especially true for the orphanage that she was in. For her, this orphanage was a bit… toxic. Not only were the caregivers abusive, but they had ingrained their horrible traits to the children who were more impressionable. Luckily, Lydia never fell into that type of thinking. But that only led to her getting abused and mistreated by others.
It wasn't just there. It was at school as well. She constantly got bullied and harassed by others who were the more "popular" of the school. Her teachers were at least decent towards her. But thanks to that, she was often referred to as a "Teacher's Pet." Regardless, she currently was struggling to figure out how not to end up on the streets.
"Okay…. Let's think. I've saved money over the years… but none of it could get me a decent apartment, little alone a house. And let's face it, those douchebags won't call the agency for me to temporarily stay at a foster home until I get on my feet. I COULD go to the school and… maybe I could apply for that scholarship… then I'll be able to receive some housing and insurance. Have to make sure to have the principal call the agency about it and have it approved. Maybe then I'll be able to get away from this place in peace… but then again, those "caretakers" could screw it all up by denying it for me."
UGGGGGHHHHH!!!!! WHY ME?!" She screamed in her pillow. She then heard pounding from next door on the wall.
"SHUT THE HELL UP! SOME OF US IS TRYING TO SLEEP AROUND HERE! YOU SLACKER OF A BITCH!!!" Came the all too familiar voice of one of the older children of the orphanage.
She huffed and screamed back, "WELL AT LEAST I'M NOT A CRACKHEAD WHORE THAT'S FAILING THEIR SECOND YEAR OF HIGHSCHOOL!"
There was some loud footsteps that sounded down the hallway and Lydia's doorknob jiggled violently. 'Thank God I locked it after I came in. Although I could probably take them down no prob. And with the blackmail that I have on them, they won't go to those idiots that call themselves "adults".'
"OPEN THE DAMN DOOR YOU BITCH AND FIGHT ME LIKE THE BITCH YOU ARE!" The voice of a Hispanic girl screeched at her. Her Latina accent was thick with venom.
"In your dreams Vanessa! Just go back to bed and at least act with SOME humility for once!" Lydia called back nonchalantly as if there was no care in the world. Some more screeching ensued with banging and scratches at the door till she finally gave up and stomped back to her room.
Vanessa was one the most troublesome orphans in the place and besides the adults themselves, she was the one who constantly gave her problems and the most scars during their cat fights.
'I need a distraction…' Lydia sighed tiredly as she got up and went to her computer. She logged in and clicked on her favorite game. "A Hat in Time." The PC game that came out a few years back by Gears for Breakfast. It caught a lot of attention from kids both young and older. With its graphic design, character development, and all the unique and different ways to beat bosses and complete missions. And just the overall storyline made it popular. One of the more popular characters in the game? Well there's DJ Grooves, Conductor, the Mafia Boss and his minions, the equally feared Cat Yakuza boss Empress, Mustache Girl, the second player option Bow Kid, and of course the main character Hat Kid. But one of the characters that was Lydia's personal favorite and all time fan of, The Snatcher. The purple fluffy Ghost noodle with a Jack-o'-lantern face, handsome voice, and soul stealing personality and tragic past. Pretty much anyone that played the game or knew of it, ultimately fell for him instantly. He was definitely something. And that's what Lydia fell for.
Not only were they alike in so many aspects but they had shitty relationships with all the wrong people. Especially with another character in the game. The one that he loved and now hated the most. And the one who killed him and made him who he was today, Vanessa. And yes, ironic as it is that is her name and coincidentally enough, both Vanessa's have shitty and toxic personalities.
The game took its time in booting up and Lydia was getting impatient.
"C'mon you hunk of junk… load!" She growled out. She really needed a new computer. When it finally loaded up she almost squealed with glee. As she moved through all of her completed missions list, she went straight for the first story intro when she first met Snatcher. As Hat Kid moved through Subcon Forest and had gotten trapped in one of Snatcher's snares and then was rudely cut down to fall to the ground. Only to be met by the Spector.
"Ahahaha Fooool! You blew it! You totally screwed yourself! Nobody enters my home and leaves in one piece! Tell you what though! Hang on a minute! You get to live! That's right! Aren't you lucky? Normally I'd eat your soul and toss your body, but you're a lucky one! You won the lottery, because I just happen to be missing a brain dead servant. That's right, the old one got himself killed, his head popped off and now I need a new towel boy! So tell you what, I've got a piece of paper here. Don't worry about all the details! I just need you to sign right here at the bottom."
Lydia smiled to herself while having a goofy smile plastered on her face. "Not really sure I call myself lucky with all the shit going on. But I'm sure lucky to have you in my life." She whispered.
She signed the contract and waited for his next dialogue to come. Although, something weird happened. Snatcher took the contract and looked over the signature. As if he wanted to know Hat Kids' name.
'That didn't happen the other times I played. And I played this route frequently… maybe it's a new game development? But I didn't get a notification in my email about it… hmmm.'
Snatcher waved his clawed hand over the paper with some sort of magic, then looked it over once more.
"Lydia, huh…? Hmmmm…"
She gawked. 'THAT, was definitely not in the game…'
But just like that he went back to normal with his dialogue.
"Ahahaha! That seals the deal! We're in business! Let me just grab this real quick…"
He mischievously said as he plucked Hat Kids' soul.
"Whoops! I guess this soul belongs to me now! Don't worry though, if you finish your chores quickly, you'll have your soul back real soon! And don't you dare forget our little contract! I've put it in your Start Menu so that it'll never leave your sight!"
As she hit the "Leave Button", she couldn't help but stare in disbelief. 'What just happened…?!'
She played the game till well past midnight. And nothing else new popped up. The characters were normal and everything was in working order.
'Then what the Hell did I witness earlier?! I sure as peck wasn't imagining it!!!' she thought frantically. She then noticed the time and sighed. "Gotta get to bed. Still have school tomorrow, or technically later on today." She looked at the computer in wonder and smiled.
"Goodnight Snatcher, I'll see you soon." She closed down her computer and then snuggled into her bed.
It only felt like a few minutes before she heard pounding on a hard surface and the screams of her caretakers that, "BREAKFAST IS READY YOU BRATS!"
She sighed and begrudgingly got up. She changed her clothes and was lucky enough to be the first one to the bathroom upstairs.
After she had taken care of everything, she trudged her way downstairs to eat the more than likely disgusting breakfast.
She hated it when she was right as she finished eating the poor excuse of the product that was known as "food". She looked at her watch and noticed that she had to get going for school. All the older children set off to the sidewalk outside and waited for the cars to stop to let them pass for them to get to the school next door.
As Lydia waited with the kids, she put her earphones in and started one of her favorite songs, "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles. She was tired and was easily engrossed into the music as she shut her eyes and started to slightly drift off. That was till someone violently shoved her onto the road.
Before she could even comprehend the situation, she was suddenly struck by an oncoming speeding car. Who had pulled the brakes too late. Her body went flying several feet as all the incoming cars and the surrounding pedestrians came to a halt and started to scream and panic. With most of them calling 9-1-1, including the driver.
Lydia's consciousness kept on fading in and out but she could barely make out all the people that surrounded her. Some she recognized, some she didn't. The one that struck her kept patting her face to keep her awake as blood pooled around her. All she felt was indiscriminate pain from her front side.
'Someone… please… let it end… let the pain end…I want to live…. But not like this….' she begged to the Heavens. She could barely focus on the voices around her and she could faintly hear the sirens getting closer. But she couldn't hold on anymore. Everything went black. And all she heard while in her final moments was a familiar haunting voice that she loved.
“You still have a contract with me, Lydia…”
As quick as it came, it was over.