Authoress' Note:I started to revamp this story, officially, Oct 2012, I am attempting to update the references and edit out a lot of the errors. ^^ Please be patient with me while I go through this process. I have over 900 pages to read through in order to complete this rather daunting task. I hope you enjoy this story!
I was really surprised to see them at my school. Even more surprised when none of my classmates recognized them from the (semi)nightly news.
Not even the redhead!
Then again, I probably had more reason than any of my classmates to watch and record the nightly news - especially when it's about mutants.
Still, I never in my life dreamed about meeting one, let alone seven.
Then they spoke, not all at once of course, but one at a time (okay, duh right?). Anyway, the redhead was elegant, very well spoken, and had a few cute jokes in her speech. While the one with red sunglasses was uptight, I suppose would be the right word. He spoke as if he was breaking ground for to a bank. The next guy had the boy-next-door look (he was really cute), was hilarious, and definitely the comedian of the group. The dark woman with white hair was very serious, but not as starchy as the guy with the red glasses. The others were teachers from a sister school.
That's when I zoned out, or should I say when the Irish man began to talk about how wonderful a school that went all year was, I zoned out.
I guess the big guy of the show was someone a few others and I recognized from news conferences. He was Professor Savior or something along those lines and mainly talked about mutants and why we shouldn't be scared of them. Pretty nervy; how can humans not be scared of mutants when mutants are scared of themselves?
When he finished, everyone clapped, then the bell rang, and we ran to lunch. It had taken them about two hours of class, and something told me that's the real reason they had gotten the applause that they did.
Everyone at lunch buzzed about mutants, even more so when the guest speakers came into the lunch room. They seated themselves at the farthest table, in the darkest corner since the janitor hadn't replaced any of the blown out bulbs any time this year.
"Hey, ain't you the girl that knows a lot about that stuff?" John Deggs prodded, poking me in my arm because I wouldn't turn around to talk to him.
"A freak that's looking for her kind," Kris Simmons added with a smirk. I knew he smirked because he made a point of letting me see him smirk. He liked to smirk.
These were the geniuses I was forced to go to school with for most my life. I was a freak because I wasn't interested in the things almost everyone else was. Sex, drugs, art, music, and other oddities like that were boring to me. Mutants, now there was an interest worth my time.
I made it through the lunch line and huffed in frustration. The table the guest speakers took was my table. Sighing, I walked over to one of the more pleasant people I knew and sat down.
Before I could bring the first bite of food to my mouth, I felt the hair on the back of my neck rise. Swallowing air, I looked around the area for the reason I felt like a bug in a jar. Nonchalantly as I could, I glanced over to the shadowy table. Sure enough, three of them were gazing like lions studying a pack of wounded deer, while the others seemed to be playing with some sort of Ipad or something.
Just pretend they're not there, I commanded myself and shifted until my back faced them.
"Can you believe it?" Mandy Craton asked, enthused about something.
"That they," she whispered, nodding her head in the general direction of the guest speakers, "are here looking for people to come to their school."
"No. Rumors are-" Mandy looked around her, as if to make sure no one was too close. "They are looking for mutants."
Well, that made me completely lose my appetite, but Josh Goldings was more than happy to take my tray out of my way. I felt sick. I wanted to go home. School suddenly became a burden, more than it already was of course.
The bell rang and people shuffled slowly out of the cafeteria instead of sprinting like they had from the auditorium. My next class was P.E. so I took the long way to get there. On my way, I noticed the visitors had relocated and were now standing by the vending machines. The redhead was playing with the electronic pad with a very determined look on her face.
"Kerry!" someone screamed.
I turned to see Mandy. I stopped to wait for her, unfortunately and unknowingly, I paused in front of them.
Mandy ran up to me and just as she came to a stop, a shrill noise filled the air. Thankfully I didn't have any books and my hands were available to cover my ears, dulling the racket. My friend's face twisted in pain, as she threw her books down, slapping her palms over her ears.
The entire body of students within earshot did the same, eyes frantic to find the source of the noise, but before it could be found, it stopped.
The principal, Mr. Carolton, came barreling down the hall, crimson from his neck to the roots of his thinning gray hair.
"Billy Zbornak! You are in so much trouble!" Mr. Carolton exclaimed grabbing a very dazed Billy off the fire alarm handle.
Satisfied with the excuse of Billy pulling the alarm again, everyone continued to go back to their business. I would have too, but it seemed to me that the noise wasn't the fire alarm. Eyeing the visitors, I noticed one of the teachers, the blonde one in white, was on the receiving end of some very hard glares from her party. Her response was to shrug.
"Kerry! We're going to be late!"
I'll never know if anyone else fumbled with the idea that Billy was an innocent victim to some other 'force' like, oh I don't know, maybe our speakers?
I emerged from the girl's locker room after changing into my P.E. clothes, and what was the first thing my eyes landed on?
If I were the paranoid type I would have sworn they were following me. However, they had Mandy caught up in a discussion of sorts and paid no mind to anyone else. I snorted at the unknown insult they handed me.
Mandy didn't care or know a thing about the world around her if it didn't deal with the latest fashion or a sale at Currey's. Why they were talking to her was beyond me and flatly none of my business.
I turned and quickly got annoyed by the swishing sound my pants made when they rubbed together as I walked. Sweat started to surface on my face, I didn't really know why, but I guessed it was because I was wearing a thick long-sleeved turtleneck in the middle of April. Greg called me over to play basketball with some others and the whole weird them and Mandy thing faded away.
The game was a great distraction. Mandy even joined in although she promptly thumped the ball on her foot, and sent it rolling across the gym floor in the visitors' direction. I blinked back a confused thought, was the air around the ball a bit—blurred or was it just me?
"Go get it!" one of the seniors fumed. He pointed at me and then to the ball in the hands of the funny guy of the visitors.
"No way," I mouthed.
"You're the closest, just go get it," Misty demanded tartly.
I turned on my heels and slowly made my away across the gym floor. Butterflies were doing the hokey-pokey in my stomach as I drew closer. The man in the wheelchair, Professor something or another, held the little electronic pad in one of his hands. The funny-man of the group still had the ball, smiled, and held it up.
I raised my hands to indicate I was ready for the ball; he threw it in my general direction. Instead of throwing it to me, it sailed over my head, and back to the part of the gym where we were playing.
I watched as the game resumed. Glaring back at the man, I marched back to the game; my face burning with embarrassment. As soon as my sneaker touched the game area the orange ball flew toward me. I panicked, my mind had been busily mulling over how much I suddenly disliked the clown in the corner, who had taken my seat at lunch, and made me miss my art class because of the assembly. Thankfully my first reaction was to guard my face, which led to me catching the ball instead of being pounded by it.
"Pass it! I'm open!" the same thickheaded senior who told me to get the ball screamed. Without even thinking, I shoved the ball away from my chest, and sent it hurling through the air at him.
The senior, who I think is named Darwin, was sprawled out on the floor. His head slammed into the thickly padded area of the concrete wall of the gym (which he had been standing a good three feet from) as his hands tightly gripped the ball.
"Wow." I heard someone whisper behind me, the closeness made me jump.
"That's some arm," Darwin wheezed out, as he was assisted to his feet. He smiled at me and chunked the ball toward another person. Getting a sick feeling all over, I walked to the bleachers, and climbed to the top seat, hoping no one wanted to sit up there as well.
The middle of my back itched suddenly. Reaching underneath my shirt (effectively choking me because as I said before was a turtleneck) I dug my fingers into the itchiness. I felt my spine; it had something wrong with it. Examining the area with my fingers, I felt several small and large bumps along my back bone.
"Oh, man," I whispered as I pulled my hand out from under my shirt, and brought it to my face. Dark blood covered the entire length of my trembling hand. The blood was enough to kick my brain into 'freak-out' mode.
Thinking quickly, I dashed down the bleachers, into the locker room, and then into a bathroom stall. With shaking hands I stripped off the thick turtleneck. It took a second to realize it was already drenched in the sticky blood.
"Oh man, ohmanohman..." I repeated over and over as tears of fear slipped down my face.
What was wrong with me? I grabbed my already ruined shirt and started to touch it to my bleeding back. Pulling it back to examine it, I felt my breakfast lurch up my throat.
Pale bloody skin was taken off of my back as well as more blood. As if on cue, I heard a sick plop on the floor. My tear-filled eyes looked down and saw the same nasty mess which was on my shirt had fallen on the floor — just in a bigger chunk of blood and skin. Poking my head out of the stall to check the room, I made sure no one was around. Thank goodness. I had sworn I had heard someone walk in after me.
Creeping out of the stall, I walked (hunched over) to the full-length mirrors on the parallel wall to the main door. As I turned to look at the repulsive mess on my back, the door swung open.
I couldn't catch Mandy in time; she started to scream and fled from the locker room.