Novella Wednesday, continues with Chapter 2 from Skye…
Strange things are happening to Skye. Her writing has turned to something mystic she doesn’t seem able to control. But stranger things have yet to come.
I close the door to my locker and start. Ian is standing right there, his cheeks flushed and his big curly blond hair rising like sun rays. He looks odd today, unshaven and hair undone, not like him at all.
“Please let’s talk!”he says almost yelling. A few people around us raise an eyebrow.
“I have nothing to say to you,” I reply, my voice low and annoyed. I start walking towards English class and pray he doesn’t follow me but I hear him at my heels.
“I don’t understand what happened! It’s not like me to do something like that you know that!”
I sigh. “Ian, let it go. Who cares anymore…”
“I do!”he says and grabs my arm to spin me around. “I never would have hurt you, it’s not me!”
“Then who did?” I ask forcefully, annoyance has turned to sheer anger. He’s right…he is an “ass”.
He rubs his hair and his face, then inhales deeply. “My head is all blurry…I don’t… understand. I don’t recall what happened.”
I think this ought to be the biggest,saddest cheating lie on the planet. “People say you’ve been dating for three weeks!”
Strangely, he seems surprised. He frowns and gazes at the void, as if trying to remember or understand what he has just heard.
“What is wrong with you?” If I had been patient up to that point, I feel particularly angry now. “If you don’t have the guts to break up with me, at least own up the truth when it’s spat to your face!”
“Skye,” he murmurs as I’m about to enter our classroom. “I never would have done that…you know me. I’ve been crazy about you since pre-school.”
As he speaks, I remember why and how things happened. He used to be the sweetest boy, walking me home and holding my backpack. I never understood. I was too obsessed with books and stories on my mind. I talked to him a lot. I remember he listened. Until a time we grew older and apart. I didn’t know he felt that way before. We went out as an experiment. At least I did. Suddenly it seems it was different for him.
“If it wasn’t you,” I say,”then who was it?”
He swallows hard and stays silent. My eyes sting and I rush inside. I don’t want to cry. Not for a boy, not for anyone. I sit near the window and Hannah comes sit next to me.
” I saw you in the hallway,” she whispers. “Are you okay?”
I wasn’t, but I couldn’t say so. I’ve watched my aunt having her heart broken by guys times and times again, she would sob in front of the window as if hoping they would come back. She was pathetic. Boys are never going to get the better of me. I promised myself that many years ago, and today, it’s even more so.
I nod and smile, something fake, she knows it, I know it, it doesn’t matter. She is about to speak when something catches our attention and sends us a chill.
The Brothers are here.
We don’t see them very often. They’re like the Sasquatch; some say they exist but we see them so randomly it’s hard to believe they’re not just a figment of our imagination. I don’t know how it’s possible they are still here. Dixie, the little shy brunette nobody talks to, missed school one week because she went on a world trip with her family, and they returned late, the headmaster not only told off her parents but also alerted local news to make an example of her, and she was expelled for three weeks. I’m not sure I understand the logic behind this, but he certainly seemed proud of himself afterwards. So how is it possible those two creeps can come and go as they wish?
We don’t want to stare at them and yet it’s impossible for us to look away. We often call them the Halloweenies, they scare us as much as they make us laugh. Although we would never laugh right to their faces.
I think the one I like the least is Ariel. He has a piercing gaze, when his dark eyes plunge into mine I feel ill. It’s like I’m some meat he’s preying on. And when he speaks his voice has something peculiar…it’s grating on my ears. Hannah says I’m crazy, that his voice is normal just full of condescension. That too. But I know what I hear. He speaks like a dead radio channel.
People aren’t able to tell them apart. In truth they do look the same. But Michael almost never talks. He lets Ariel speak for them both. For long I thought he was mute, until once I lost my notepad and he picked it up, calling me out with a voice as low as distant thunder. He barely looked at me and left, under the watchful gaze of his brother not three feet away. I put that notepad in the bin as soon as I left school. I don’t know why but I didn’t want anything with his essence on it. Some of my aunt’s quirks have seeped through, I’m afraid. She believes people leave essences to things and places, and when they’re bad people these entities stay with you and can deter you from your path. I don’t know where she gets all this from, but a part of me believed it that day.
They sit at the back of the room, and as usual they stare in silence. They both wear black trousers with the school’s black jackets, and a white shirt. Their dark locks hang neatly beneath their ears, and are spread around their faces with light curls. Ariel looks straight into my eyes. I wince and gaze out the window. I see the yard and recall when we were children and they would stand still like craws underneath the big chestnut tree. Every recess they remained there, idle, observing us. Sometimes it felt as though they were watching me. But Hannah said I was egocentric. A word I didn’t know then and can’t take out of my mind now, because I know he is. Ariel is staring at me.
Mr Bristow arrives late, as usual, and engages in a rant about how our last essays were ‘pitiful’, ‘scary’ and ‘reaching new standards of mediocrity.’ Once he was done with the pep talk, he sighed and gave us back our papers, shouting our grades to humiliate us further. The only grade he didn’t say out loud was mine. And I should hope so as I got a 73%
Ariel and Michael having missed most of the term have no papers to look forward to, so they wait and watch as Bristow goes back to his desk.
“This can’t go on any longer,” he says gravely. “I think to understand a book you need to comprehend the process of it. Pride and Prejudice might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it certainly isn’t – and I quote – ‘the premise to the Real Housewives of Atlanta.'” He pushes his glasses away, as we all giggle silently, “whatever that means,” he mumbles.
“So,” he continues, straightening back up. “Since you make a mockery of classical writing, I gather you need to have a taste of your own medicine.” He stands and goes around his desk with a list as we hold our breath. “In the next two weeks, you are all going to be writers. Classical writing bores you …then we’ll see if you fare better. The stories will be given out to the school, and will hang in the hallways where everyone will be able to grade them and put a comment.” He waits as the news sinks in. “Strangely you’re not laughing anymore…”
He sneers and clears his throat. “But don’t worry, I’m not that much of a monster. You will be partnering with someone else to write the story. And since there are twenty-one of you, Jason will be able to tell me more about these housewives he seems to like, as he will be partnering with me.”
We all chuckle and look at Jason’s face, both livid and annoyed, probably regretting his joke more than he thought he would.
Mr Bristow starts reading out names, and Hannah crosses her fingers while holding my hand. When it’s her turn I can hear her stop breathing. “…with,” he pauses and looks at the room. “Dixie.”
Hannah sighs and rolls her eyes. “Oh F…ferret,” she says to my surprise.
“Ferret?” I ask, half sniggering.
She nods and comes closer. “My grandmother chases me around the house with a broom if I curse…force of habit.”
“She chases you?” I’m both doubtful and amused. “She’s like ninety years old!”
“She was an Olympic sprinter! She won gold three times…trust me, she can run.”
I giggle some more until I hear my name. “Skye, with…Ella,” Mr Bristow says to my relief. I’ve known Ella a while now, though we don’t talk much. She’s all right. It should be fun. “Oh, no that’s not right…not the right line. Skye with Ariel.”
The Brothers stare at me and the atmosphere grows thick, thick with dread on my behalf, and uncomfortable silence.
Copyright©2016 by Jane W King