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Cascade Hills 05: I’m friends with such a nerrrddd

Cascade Hills

-Cascade Hill General Hospital, Room 459-

The sound of birds chirping echoed loudly was what woke Katherine. Her eyes opened slowly, vision blurred by sleep as she tried to move her body. Her body, however, felt numb, her arms barely functioning, and the rest of her non-responsive. All she could see was bright white as she finally managed to turn over. All around her was just noise, so loud that her head was pounding in pain. Bird’s chirping, the sound of heels, beeping, everything was just too loud. She slowly curls into a ball, her covers wrapped around her like a cocoon and her pillow over her head in an attempt to block out the sounds. She clenched her teeth and eyes shut, blood pumping into her ear as she slammed her hands over her ears. However that just seemed to make things worse as it just got louder and louder, piercing, it was too much, too mu-

SHUT-UP!” She finally screamed out in desperation to just get some quiet.

“Sweetheart!?” A familiar voice called out warily.

Suddenly, it felt like she was dowsed with cold water. Every sound had just deafened down almost to a whisper, her body which had been heating up broke out in a cold sweat and she let out a long breath she didn’t even realize she was holding. It was as if a curse had been lifted as feeling rushed back to her body and she shakily pulled herself up. It was at that moment she realized she wasn’t in her room but a hospital room.

“Baby, are you okay?” The same voice called.

Katherine turned like a frightened deer to the voice but was relieved to see her mother. Olivia looked a bit worse for wear, her clothes were wrinkled and there were notable bags under her eyes. She was watching Katherine with a slightly concerned but relieved expression. There was a coffee cup on the ground in front of her with steaming coffee spilling on the ground but she paid it no attention.

“Sweetheart?” Olivia called to her again, her face looking more and more worried as she inched towards Katherine.

“Mom…” Katherine crocked out, her voice breaking at the end as she gave her mother a tired smile.

Olivia immediately rushed to her, and enveloped her in a tight hug, whispering ‘thank god’ over and over. She was so indulged in hugging Katherine that she almost didn’t hear the pained groans she let out.

“Oh god! Sweetheart I-I’m so sorry. Do you need anything? Where does it hurt? Are you-?” Olivia questioned as she released her daughter from her death grip, her voice shaking a bit.

“Too tight…” Katherine mumbled out as she rested her head on her mother’s shoulder.

Olivia just smiled widely, tears brimming her eyes. Katherine rubs her head into her mother’s neck, the familiar and comforting smell of her mother’s perfume grounded her. After a few minutes of cuddling with her mother, Katherine felt much more aware. She pulled her head back and looked around the room she was in. Pale white walls and tiled floor, single bed with a TV, some plants, and two sofa chairs.

“Wait, Mom what happened?” Katherine asked looking to her mother for answers as her brain was drawing up a blank.

“You don’t remember anything? At all?” Olivia asked, a frown on her face.

Katherine merely shook her head, nothing seemed to be jumping up at all.

“Well at the dance, you were attacked by some kind of animal.” Olivia said with a dark look on her face as she reminisced.

“Animal..?” Katherine trailed off as she started to search for anything in her mind to help her remember.

The last thing she remembered was getting to the dance with Alex. Afterward, Kristen walked up to them and then…Nathan.

“Oh god, Nathan!” Katherine shot straight up as her memories came rushing back.

“Sweetheart, what’s wrong? What about Nathan?”

“He came to help me! I-I think he chased off the thing that was attacking me but it’s kind of a blur. But is he okay? What about Alex and Kristen? Did they get hurt? Or-.” Katherine rapid-fired off question after question only to stop as a dizzy spell fell over her.

Olivia straightened her as she started to sway.

“Calm down Katherine. Nathan’s fine, he actually was the one who brought you back. Alex and Kristen are both okay too. Well, Alex is a little more shaken than Kristen. You know how he is around blood…” Olivia muttered.

Katherine nods, Alex has never been quite the same since what happened to his mother.

“How long have I..?” Katherine asked as she leaned back into the hospital bed.

“Only a few days, it’s Monday. Jean is allowing you the week off so you have time to rest up. The hospital wants to keep you for a few more days but you are cleared to leave whenever you want okay?” Olivia said as she looked at Katherine.

“Yeah mom, I am feeling better but maybe just for today?”

“Okay, sweetheart. Do you need anything? I was just about to go for the day so to get freshened up before going to work.” Olivia said as she grabbed her coat which was resting on a nearby sofa chair.

“A little water would be good, but beyond that, I’m fine Mom.” Katherine said with a small smile.

“Okay, Wade will be by occasionally to check on you. If you need anything else or want me to come back just talk to him and I will be down here in a heartbeat. Also, I let Alex and Kristen know that you’re awake, they have been worried sick about you.” Olivia replied with a smile while walking to Katherine’s hospital door, and wiping the spilled coffee.

“Okay, mom.” Katherine mumbled as she got more comfortable in her bed.

“And Kat?”

Katherine looked over at her mother just in time to react to her hug. This time however Olivia held her daughter like fine china, that even the slightest wrong touch, she would break. Katherine returned her hug with as much strength as she could.

“I’m so so happy that you’re okay sweetheart. I thought…I-I lost you.” Olivia’s voice mumbled out tearfully.

“I know mom, I know.” Katherine replied, her hands rubbing small circles on her mother’s back in comfort.

For a few minutes, they just hugged before her mother pulled back. Olivia placed a kiss on Katherine’s head before finally disappearing from the room. When her mother’s footstep disappeared, Katherine asserted the damage to her body. Her legs were mostly fine, maybe a little sore, her ribs however were still definitely bruised. However, beyond that, she was okay to which she let out a sigh of relief. Katherine sunk back into her hospital bed as her eyelids grew heavy. The relief of her slight panic attack and seeing her mother tired her significantly. It only took a few more minutes for her to fall into a slightly troubled sleep.


“Is she supposed to be sleeping this long? I mean it’s been like three days already and she still sleeping! She could be dyin-.”

“Alex for god’s sake stop freaking out. And be quiet, she needs her sleep and you’re too loud.”

Katherine rolled over in her sleep, however, the voices continued.

“But seriously she could be in pain and we wouldn’t-.”

“Alex I’m not dead, chill out!” Katherine finally spoke as she sat up since there was no way she was going to get back to sleep with Alex acting the way he was.

As soon as he realized she was awake, he perked up and ran to her side. It was apparent on his face, that he had been extremely worried about her given the look of absolute relief at seeing her conscious.

“Oh thank god! I-I’m sorry Kat, I didn’t mean to freak out, and it’s just…You know there was so much bl-bloo…” Alex trailed off, his words slurring into each other due to how fast he was speaking.

“Alex! Alex!! Calm down.” Kat said placing her hands on his shoulders, halting his rambling and forcing him to look up at her. “I get it okay? I know, but I’m fine now. I’m fine alright?”

Alex nodded rapidly, giving Kat a weak smile. Relief floods his body that was wound up so tightly before. Katherine worried that he more than likely didn’t get any sleep the previous night. After giving him one more look she turned her attention to Kristen who didn’t look any better.

“Guys I’m fine, I promise you.” Katherine insisted at her two friends looking between the two of them.

They both nodded however it was obvious they were still worried.

“Anyway, anything interesting happens at school?” Katherine inquired in an attempt to defuse the tension in the room.

“Besides Sam being his usual douche self? Nope.” Alex muttered darkly with a frown.

“Alex…” Katherine said giving him an accused look.

“What? I didn’t do anything! Why are you giving me that look?!” Alex said with an annoyed expression on his face.

Katherine raised an eyebrow in question before looking at Kristen.

“He and Sam got into it today, both got detention for the next few days.” Kristen said dryly.

Alex throws her a look and mouths ‘you traitor’ to her which she simply shrugs off.

“Alex! Are you out of your mind!? I know you don’t like the guy but please try to remember that he is twice your body weight!” Katherine practically yells at Alex.

Alex just grunted and turned away from her with his arm crossed over his chest.

“Seriously Alex?” She said giving him a withering glare at his childish antics.

He mumbled something under his breath but still refused to look at her.

“Alex, I’m serious. Sam’s a dick and I don’t want you getting hurt over something stupid-.”

“You’re not my mother Kat, so stop acting like it.” Alex snarls out and throws Katherine a dark glare.

Alex’s words cut deep, he wanted it to hurt and it did. Katherine’s face paled slightly as she let out a harsh breath. The room became deadly silent, as Alex realized what he had said to her. His face morphed with a mix of guilt and regret as he mumbled “sorry” over and over before stumbling out of the room. As soon as the door slammed shut Katherine let out a deep sigh, running a hand over her forehead. The tension before was nothing to what it was now.

“Well…that happened.” Kristen finally spoke up, breaking the extremely awkward silence that had fallen over the room.

Katherine let out a sigh as she ran a hand over her forehead, she could feel Kristen’s eyes on her, waiting for an answer.

“Kat…” Kristen mumbled in annoyance when it appeared that Katherine was going to try and ignore the situation that just happened.

“Kris please, it’s not a particularly pleasant topic for me to talk about. Especially while Alex isn’t present.”

Kristen’s face fell at hearing that, a mask of indifference taking over.

“Sure, whatever you say.” Kristen said politely, not a shred of emotion in her voice.

Katherine lets out a groan, she knows that tone. That was Kristen’s “I’m mad but trying so hard to still be polite”, it never really fooled anyone especially not Katherine.

“It’s about what happened with his mother…”

Kristen’s mask fell and her eyes softened.

“No, Kat it’s fine. You don’t have to tell me.” Kristen says softly, shaking her head. “I was just…just being childish, I forget sometimes that you two have been together much longer than the three of us. I just…”

Katherine smiled lightly at Kristen, she understood where she was going. But then her face fell dark as a thought passed through her mind.

“What happened after Nathan brought me back exactly?”

“It was… hectic. The dance was about midway done and you had only been gone for a few minutes. I just thought- I should have known and-.” Kristen said, her expression looking more pained and guilty as she spoke.

“Kris.” Katherine cut her off, give her a smile. Truly she had good friends and wouldn’t trade them for anything. “It’s okay, I’m okay.”

That obviously wasn’t the case for Kristen because her face didn’t change but she did continue.

“Nathan came up from the north path, yelling to call an ambulance, you were in his arms. It was…bad. Nathan’s suit was mostly covered in dirt and blood and your dress was absolutely ruined. Everyone basically panics, your mom was the first to reach you and Nathan. She was…trying hard to keep it together.”

Katherine nodded if there was anything about her mom it was that she tried her hardest to keep a level head in even dire situations.

“I had already called my dad by the time she reached you. I wanted to make sure we got whoever attacked you.” Kristen said darkly, a look passing through her eyes too quickly for Katherine to see.

“And Alex?”

Kristen looked down at the floor with a troubled frown.

“He…didn’t take it so well.”

“Did he have a panic attack?!” Kristen asked worriedly.

“Slightly, if it wasn’t for the fact that I stepped away to call my dad, no one would have noticed given how focused everyone was on you. He had backed away from you like he was seeing a ghost. Then he slowly kneels down, wrapping his arms around himself, breathing hard. He kept whispering something but I couldn’t hear over all the commotion around us. I tried to get him to calm down but you know me, I’ve never been good with the whole comfort thing.” Kristen said giving Katherine a sheepish smile.

Katherine smiled back and Kristen continued on.

“I managed to get the attention of one of the teachers but they didn’t know what to do either. It wasn’t until your mom came over that we managed to calm him down. She raised his face up to hers, looking him directly in the eye, and told him that she needed him to be strong for you. It was like magic how quickly he managed to calm down. Are you sure you two never? Ya know?” Kristen questions with a raised eyebrow.

“No, trust me on that one. Alex and I tried to whole girlfriend-boyfriend thing and it was awkward as hell. So it was dubbed “The time that never was” and we don’t ever talk about it.” Katherine responded with a chuckle.

“Well anyway, that’s the gist of it all, for then on it was just the hospital ride and then you were in ICU for about 4-5 hours before they brought you here. And you have been asleep for about 2 days. We were really worried on the second day when you were still in deep sleep but Alex’s dad said that you need at of rest since you lost about 3 pints of blood…”

“Oh… well shit.” Katherine said, eyes wide and mouth gaping in shock.

“Hmm, shit is right my friend.” Kristen said with an amused smile.

Katherine asked her a few more questions and by the time Kristen had finished, Alex had returned. He had the look of a small child who knew they had done something wrong and was being punished for it. Alex mumbled apologies to Katherine who took it with a smile and nod. The three friends continued to talk about everything that happened since Friday. However, as soon as the clock hit 7 pm, Katherine could feel her body’s protest for sleep. Kristen noticed it while Katherine was talking as she reclined back into her bed.

“Hey Kat, maybe you should get some sleep for now.”

“No, no I-I’m fine. Let’s keep talking.” Katherine said as she tried to push herself back upright, however, it was evident in her voice she was getting tired fast.

“No way Kat. You need your beauty sleep ok?” Alex said pushing her gently back down and pulling the covers over her.

“B-but I’ve been asleep for two days!” Katherine whined even those she could feel her eyes burning from the strain of staying awake.

“Really Kat, whining is my thing remember?” Alex jokes with a smirk.

Katherine just snorts and rolls her eyes.

“Fine, fine.”

“We’ll come by tomorrow when you get out, and I’ll even bring Serene’s ice cream.” Kristen said.

Katherine nodded, her eyes just about closed.

“Good night Kat.” Both Kristen and Alex said as they gathered their stuff.

“Good nigh…”

Katherine trails off as her body finally gives in to sleep.


Katherine’s House


“I’m sooo bored!” Katherine groaned out as she put her PS4 controller down.

Alex rolled his eyes at her antics while Kristen flipped to the next page of the book she was reading, completely ignoring Katherine.

“Kat, we’ve heard you the first 4 times you said it.” Alex said.

“I’ve been trapped in this house for days!! I want to go to school!!” Katherine continued to whine.

Alex looks at her with an expression of mixed concern and confusion.

“I’m sorry, I must have misheard you because I could have sworn you said that you want to go to school??” Alex said with a raised eyebrow.

“Um yeah, what’s wrong with that.” Katherine said with a slightly offended look, shifting around.

Alex just stared at her blankly for a while before letting out a loud groan.

“Oh god, you’re serious. Jesus, I’m friends with such a nerrrddd” Alex groaned out, covering his face with his hands.

“I AM NOT!!” Katherine yelled with a pout and an annoyed expression on her face.

Alex didn’t reply, just shook his head.

“I’m not, right Kristen?” Katherine said, turning to Kristen who for the most part had been ignoring the whole conversation next to her.

Kristen turns her head, finally returning back into the conversation. Her face was void of any emotion and just stared at Katherine. Katherine’s once smiling face fell slowly flat.

“This is the part where you agree with me Kris..” Katherine said dryly.

It is? Oh well then…no” Kristen replied bluntly, looking back at her book.

Katherine just glared at her before rolling her eyes.

“I’m not a nerd.” Katherine said firmly, looking back at Alex.

“Kat, I’m really sorry to burst your bubble but yeah you kinda are..” He replied in a matter-of-fact kind of way.

“Prove it.” Katherine replied stubbornly with her arms crossed.

“Well for one, you’re a totally teacher’s pet. I mean seriously, every teacher likes you, even Mrs. Harper. That woman hates everyone and thing.” Alex said with a frown,

“First of all, it’s not like I’m trying to get their attention or anything like that. I just do my work. And secondly, Mrs. Harper is a lovely woman, she’s just…um” Katherine trailed off as she tried to think of something nice to say.

“See? Even you can think of something nice to say about that woman.” Alex said with a triumphant smirk.

“Alex, the only reason you don’t like her is that she’s the only teacher that doesn’t put up with your shit.” Kristen piped in, her full attention still on the book that she was reading.

Alex’s head snapped in her direction with a glare. Kristen, however, was purposely ignoring him even though she could practically feel his annoyed look.

Anyway! You also have this burning desire to always be right. All the time.” Alex said with a slightly annoyed look on his face.

“I do not!” Katherine responded.

Both Alex and Kristen looked to Kat, giving her a blank stare.

“I DO NOT!” Katherine practically yelled, her head snapped back and forth between the two.

“What about in 8th grade with Mr. Donovan.” Kristen suggested with a raised eyebrow.

Katherine’s face instantly fell flat and a tight frown pulled to her face. From her face, one would assume that they were talking about urinating in public or something of equally disgusting.

“We had disagreements.” Katherine replied in a clipped tone.

“Oh yeaaahh, I remember hearing about that. I think Mr. Donovan was the only teacher to date that didn’t absolutely adore you.”

“Besides him, what other instant was there?” Katherine asked, deliberately trying to move past this particular conversation.

“Well, there was Ms. Griffin.” Alex said wrinkling in his nose.

Katherine immediately stiffens at that name.

“You didn’t like her either!” Katherine said in an attempt to defend herself.

“Yeah, but you were the only one in the class actually brave enough to call her out.”

“But she was wrong! And she trying to pick on you!” Katherine responded, her voice going meek towards the end and her eyes dropped to the floor.

“Yeah, I remember. Kat, I will always love you, flaws and all. So don’t freak out.” Alex said shamelessly with a grin.

Katherine smiled back, her face slightly flushed, and shook her head.

“Jesus Alex, you can’t say stuff like that to a girl. She might get the wrong idea.” Katherine teased, wiggling her eyebrows at him.

“Ew, gross Kat! You like my older sister! And that would be really really weird!” Alex replied with a disgusted look on his face and shuddered.

“You two are such idiots.” Kristen said, rolling her eyes as she turned her attention back to her book.

“And you love us anyways Kris!” Alex said as he leaned over into Kristen who immediately pushed him off her.

“Anyway, why don’t you just ask your mom to go to work if you’re so coped up?” Kristen said turning a page in her book while keeping her hand pressed against Alex’s face to prevent him from smothering her.

“Kristen, you a genius!” Katherine said as she jumped up and ran out of the room.

“Alex I swear to god if you drool on me I’m going to fucking-”

That was all Katherine heard before it faded out as she walked downstairs. Her mother was sitting at the dinner table, looking over some police reports it would seem given that the Cascade Hill police department logo was on each one. She looked up to Katherine and then up to the ceiling as heard a loud thud.

“I swear if Alex makes Kristen break something, I’m going be very unhappy.” Olivia said looking back at her daughter with a frown.

“I’ll make sure Kristen doesn’t kill him.” Katherine said with a slight smirk.

Olivia nodded and turned back to the papers.

“Busy?” Katherine said as she walked around her mother trying to get a glance at the papers.

It seemed like a detailed report about the animal attack that occurred but that was all Katherine could read before Olivia turned the papers over and gave her a pointed look.

“What is it sweetheart?” Olivia asked with a raised eyebrow and frown.

“Oh nothing, just wanted to see what my lovely, strong, amaz-” Katherine began to list off.

“Cut the crap, Katherine, what do you want?.” Olivia responded with an amused smirk and crossed her arms over her chest.

“Can I go to work?” Katherine asked bluntly.

“Absolutely not.” Olivia replied, not missing a beat, as she turned her attention back to the papers on the table.

“Mom come on!! I’ve been stuck in the house all week. And I’m bored out of my mind!”

“No Kat, Ms. Huges lives so far out of town-”

“Yeah, I know but I will have my phone! And the Shaws and Nathan’s family live like right down the street!”

“I said no Katherine!”

“Pleeease Mom, I’ve stayed inside like you wanted all week just this once?” Katherine begged, throwing her mother her own brand of puppy dog eyes.

“Oh, so that’s how that feels…” Olivia muttered before letting out a sigh and nodding her head in defeat. “..fine you can go..”

Katherine immediately perked up and was about to hug her mom but Olivia put a hand before she got close cutting her off.

“A few conditions, however, 1. you will send me a simple text every ten minutes to ensure me you’re okay. 2. You will call me when Alex drops you off when you are getting ready to leave and finally when you are home. And lastly-

“There’s more??!” Katherine said out loud, unconsciously which rewarded her a glare from her mother. “Sorry, sorry continue.”

Finally, know that if you fail to do any of the previous conditions, I will be storming over there.” Olivia finished firmly with a stern expression.

“Yes, mom.” Katherine responded with a smile, her mother’s protective streak ran deep.

She was fortunate even to get a chance out of the house.

Olivia then waved her off to which Katherine quickly gave her a peck on the cheek and ran off upstairs. Soon it was time for Katherine’s shift to begin and by that time Kristen had returned home.

“So you remember to charge your phone right?” Alex asked, glancing over at her from his side of the car.

“For the third time, yes Alex, my phone is fully charged” Katherine snapped as she turned her head towards the window.

“I’m just making sure Kat. I don’t want anything to happen to you.” Alex said, mumbling the last part as he watched the road solemnly.

“I know, trust me I get it Alex, it’s just I’ve been itching to get out of the house. Kind of built up, I guess?” Katherine responded with a sigh.

“Yeah, well I don’t blame your mom, you were in pretty bad shape. I-I thought you were gonna..” Alex trails off, his voice getting caught in his throat. His hands gripped the steering wheel tightly.

“Alex..” Katherine reached over and put a hand on his shoulder making him turn to her. “I’m fine, okay? I’m alive.”

Alex nodded and gave her a weak smile, the rest of the car ride was filled with idle chatter. Katherine was trying her best to get Alex’s mind off her near-death experience. Throughout the car ride, he slowly relaxed. When they finally reached Ms. Huges’ house the sun was just starting to set. Alex waited until Katherine was at Ms. Huges’s door before pulling off. Luckily this time around Katherine was better prepared and brought a thick coat for the October cool breeze. Everything seemed normal that was until Katherine tried to take a step onto the porch. A jolt ripped through her, it was a quick and sharp pain that caused her to stumble backward away from the porch.

Ouch!” Katherine hissed as she almost tripped backward.

Blue lightning was dancing in front of her, twisting around the porch like a snake. However, as quickly as it appeared, it was gone when the door opened. Ms. Huges stood in the doorway, giving Katherine a rather intrigued look as if she were some rare creature.

“What are you doing Katherine?” She asked, looking at her as if Katherine was transparent.

A shiver ran up her spine, Katherine stared at Ms. Huges for a few seconds. Something was tugging at the back of her mind, whether the feeling was good or bad, Katherine honestly couldn’t tell. But something… was off about this.

“Ther-there was blue lighting- I just-..” Katherine tried to explain, tripping over her words.

Ms. Huges raised an eyebrow and tilted her head slightly, her eyes still gleaming piercingly down at Katherine.

“No-nothing nevermind. I just.. saw something strange.” Katherine said, straightening up and walking over to the porch once again.

This time, however, nothing happened, maybe it was just her imagination? Everything appeared the same but something, deep within her felt off. Something in this shop was off.

 She tried to ignore the feeling for as long as humanly possible but about halfway through her shift, the feeling had become unbearable. Like energy being trapped inside too small of a box.

“Um, Ms Hughes?” Katherine finally spoke.

“What is it?” Ms. Huges replied, her focus, however, was on a leather-bound book that she had in front of her on the main counter.

“Um, is there something… new in the shop?” Katherine asked as she walked around with a broom in hand.

Silence greeted her for a bit which wasn’t unusual for Ms. Huges however when it lasted for 5 full minutes Katherine finally turned to her. Ms. Huges had been watching her, staring at her much like she did when Katherine first arrived but this time, however, her gaze seemed colder.

“Why do you think so?”

Even though it seemed like such a simple question, the way she worded it. Dread filled the pit of Katherine’s stomach very slowly as she looked back at Ms. Huges. Ms. Huges isn’t usually an intimidating person in any sense, however, something about her was making Katherine’s hair stand up. Katherine’s brain was racing, she couldn’t fully understand what was going on, why was she scared? Was she in danger? What was going on? What was going on?!-

“Katherine?” Ms. Huges called to her breaking her a rather frantic train of thought.

Ms. Huges’s expression wasn’t as cold as it once was, her eyebrows were scrunched together in concern.

“I-I don’t know- I just thought there was something different.” Katherine blurted out quickly.

Ms. Huges merely watched her for a few more seconds, before raising up the leather-bound book in her hand.

“I recently got this book from an old friend.” She answered simply.

“O-oh.” Katherine breathed out and nodded before going back to cleaning.

She could feel Ms. Huge’s gaze on her but she refused to look back. The rest of her shift was in awkward silence until finally, it was ready to go. Fortunately for her, Alex was already waiting for her outside when her shift ended. She rushed to the car, ignoring both his concerned look and questions. As they pulled off, Ms. Huges watched with her arms crossed leaning against her door. When Alex’s car disappeared over the hills towards town she looked down at her porch. Blue lightning was faintly sparking over the steps which made a deep and rather ominous frown appear on her face.

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