Chapter 1: I No Longer Like Free Stuff

"El. Are you sure you want to go in there? I mean, it's an antique shop," Jen said. If she didn't let go of my arm right now, I would bite it off. I mean, I could always tell the police I'd thought that she was gonna rape me right?

Hm. Should I be thinking about my best friend that way? I shrugged off the thought, once again taking another step towards the poorly lit shop with a faded purple sign in front - Antiques Of The Ages - before I was once again dragged back in the snow by my best friend.

I scowled.

"Which is exactly why we should go in!" I protested, tugging myself free of her grip on my arm. Well, trying to anyway. This is what happens when your best friend's been taking gymnastics for eight freaking years, people.

"Everyone knows that you should never go into an antique shop!" Jen protested, gazing at me with a serious glint in her eyes.

I snorted. "You've been reading too many Twilight fanfictions Nugget. I just wanna have a look around! Besides, it's cold here outside."

Jen sighed, her breath turning to mist in the cold winter air. "Fine. Promise you won't buy anything?"

I nodded quickly, crossing my fingers in my head. Because Jen would have totally seen me crossing my fingers. Which would thus destroy the purpose of the lie, and would end with me biting her arm off.

Which I didn't really want to do; I don't think biting your best friend's arm off is included in the "how to be a good best friend" list.

"Promise."

"Fine," Jen grumbled, letting go off my arm. I shot out of arm's reach before she changed her mind and slammed through the wooden door, nearly smacking her in the face when it shut behind me.

Whoops.

I stopped short, ignoring Jen's complaints as she entered the shop, and used my greedy little eyes to take in the scene. The whole place was bathed in this warmish yellow light, bouncing off of the old china and teasets placed oh-so-carefully in cabinets (better stay far away from them; I'd probably end up breaking the entire cabinet). Dolls (Jen would not like that), old furniture, some stuff that looked like they came from the sixties or older were scattered around. I sidestepped a rocking horse, making my way to the counter at the front of the shop.

"Geez," Jen mumbled, staring at a porcelain doll in a white dress. "this place is creepy."

I couldn't really blame her. The doll did look creepy. Plus, Jen hated dolls.

"Whaddya think the odds are of that thing coming alive and strangling us?" I asked. "Ooohhh, or stabbing us to death with one of these things!" I pointed to a collection of those fancy shmancy looking forks.

Jen shot me a flat look. "Not funny El."

"There's no one here," I mumbled, peering behind the marble counter. "I don't see anyone."

"Great, now let's get out of he-"

"Well, hello girls. Are you going to buy something?"

I have to admit it— I screamed.

Whirling around to face the goblin blobber who dared to sneak up on me, I came face to face with a middle aged looking woman who raised an eyebrow, her dark eyes skimming over Jen before landing on me.

"You. What's your name?"

"I don't think I should be telling you that lady." especially after you sneaked up on me. Hmph.

She stared at me for a moment before suddenly thrusting something… shiny in front of my face. It took a second before I realized it was a charm bracelet. With a metallic flower charm dangling from it.

Oooohhhh. Shiny!

"I'm having a giveaway today for the first five people to walk into this shop, and you're the fifth! Here's your prize!"

"Free stuff? I like free stuff!"

"El, you're not seriously thinking abou-"

"I'll take it!" I chirped, grinning widely and expectantly holding out my hand.

I heard Jen's exasperated sigh from beside me. She was going to kill me.

The lady dropped the bracelet into my hand, smiling brilliantly. "Great! Thank you for shopping in Antiques Of The Ages, and I hope to see you back here!"

"Bye!" Jen forced a smile before practically dragging me out the door.

-This is a line break named Spriggy -

"Technically, I didn't buy anything."

Jen huffed. "Don't say I didn't warn you when you find out that bracelet's cursed."

I snorted. "Yeah, right. And we'll finally agree on something about Eddie the ice block. In other words: impossible." we took a turn, emerging from the narrow street into an open road.

Jen stopped in indignation, narrowing her eyes and folding her arms. I continued on my happy way. "I wish I never showed you the books. I created an Anti."

"It's your fault for forcing me into it," I chirped, already crossing the icy road and leaving her behind on the pavement. "I mean, I didn't want to read it but you kept telling me that I'd love Twilight. And Ellen the snarky reader was born!"

That was when it happened.

To be fair, the roads were really slick that day. Ice on the roads and everything. But really, that driver should have known to drive slower when the roads look like Elsa'd been having another of her magical frosty musicals.

A car came skidding down the road, spinning apparently out of control - well duh - heading straight for me.

And I couldn't move. Literally.

My shiny new charm bracelet was glowing. Emenating an odd, pulsing yellow glow on my wrist. And it struck me that the glowing thing on my wrist was the one preventing me from moving.

I heard Jen scream, felt the car hit my poor body, probably crushing a hundred bones, and my last thought before everything went black was: well damn. It is cursed.