From the car that I was riding on, I gazed out of the window lazily. Foliages and trees were covering the sides and the snow was so thick that some of the townsmen were scooping them away. A few kids were playing, making angels, throwing snowballs at each other, making snowmen and a few were licking the snow. I let my mind wander off somewhere until the car was braked and the tire screeched. My body jerked forward, still being held by the safety belt. I looked up to see a black cat with its bright yellow eyes was staring at us, not budging away even though the car was honking angrily.
Black cat. I could tell that my day was going to be a terrible one.
The driver, Kurda Smahlt, sighed and he adjusted the rear-view mirror with his thin fingers, he looked at me and asked, "Are you alright?"
"Perfectly fine," I responded, staring back into the mirror to look at his blue eyes.
"This cat," He started, "is so damn annoying. It always wanders around aimlessly and stops in the middle of the road whenever a car is approaching."
The driver focused on the road again, hitting the accelerator and steered sideways, with the cat still staring at us. I met its eyes and for some reason, I felt a chill on my bones.
The shiny black car ran on the road and stopped in front of a huge gate. When I said huge, I mean enormous. Kurda rummaged through his pocket and slipped out a card, letting the red laser scan it and at once, the gate creaked open.
He pressed on the accelerator, slowly driving the car into the garden. I put both of my hands on the window, eyes opened wide and my mouth created a little gap. The garden itself was mesmerising, I was starting to wonder how it looks like inside the dormitory.
This school is a special one, I heard. Meaning, I must be pretty damn lucky to be enrolled here. I had the transfer note from my old school, no idea how I got it. I'm not smart or bright or anything, I just have an absurd interest in spiders and an extensive knowledge of it. Ask me the types of spiders and I can guarantee you a whole full list!
Well, Kurda told me that everyone in the dorm has weird interests or simply smart. So, I shouldn't be worried about it, he said.
He parked the car carefully under a snow-covered tree. He took the keys and put it inside his jacket's pocket, unbuckled the seatbelt and walked off away from the car. I opened the door, stepping my feet on the snow, getting ready on what was to come.
The first thing I saw as soon as the entrance into the dormitory was opened was a painting of two dragons, white and black. They curled, as if looking at each other's neck, the background on the black's side was storm and thunder while the white's was a celestial one. I realised that it was an implication yin and yang. Next to it was a big golden vase with flowery pattern. The wall was painted cream. The floor was covered with red carpet, just like a mansion.
Someone poked me and when I turned my head sideways, I almost scream when I saw the one who did that. Kurda foresaw this and he put his hand on my mouth while the boy put his hands up, grinning mischievously.
"You shouldn't surprise him like that, Evra."
"Sorry," He smiled, scratching his skin and a few scales dropped. Yes, scales. His skin colour was pale green and he has scales. "I should be asleep during this free time," He yawned. "You're the new student, Darren Shan? My name is Evra Von."
I calmed down when I realised that the boy meant no harm. "Von what?"
"Plain Von," He smiled. "Come, I'll show you around the school. There will be a lot of things to remember. And make sure you're not going to the toilet soon because it's quite far away from the entrance."
I nodded, bowing slightly, mumbling the word thank you to Kurda before I hurried to follow Evra.
We walked up the stairs and he pointed at the big screen TV on the wall. "This is the notice board. Well, notice television, called NTV." I gave him a weird look. This school looks like something for a wealthy student, I feel so small in here. "Be sure to check on it every day. This school is not too crowded so really, there won't be any flock of students surrounding the NTV. Here," he started, touching on the screen, "you select this and this, and then go on this. You'll be able to find your name. Click on it and it will ask for a password. You should go and make one after. Get all the works you missed out on or all the upcoming assignments, homework you haven't done and detentions you got. Practically, everything is recorded here."
"I'm lost," I whispered.
"You'll get used to it," He laughed, slapping my back. We walked around the school for a good amount of time. I learned a lot of things from him. Such as demerit points for not obeying the rules, extra points by getting high marks on tests, so on and so on. The bathroom is inside each of our rooms, and only two extra ones around. I'm going to make sure I went there before I got out of my room now.
"This is the head teacher's office," Evra started. He looked really nervous when he knocked on the door. A deep voice was audible soon after, telling us to come in. He opened the door softly and with the gentlest voice, he said,
"Excuse me. This is the new student, Darren Shan." As soon as he said that, he walked back one step, leaving me in front.
The teacher turned his chair around, staring at me from my toes to the tip of my hair. His gaze was ice cold and he emitted this really mysterious aura. "You may leave, Evra Von."
Evra bowed deep and ran off, leaving me alone with the creepy guy. "So, you are the one that they called Darren Shan."
"Y-yes," I croaked.
He stood up from the chair, opening a glass jar full of insects and threw some into a cage. A few pairs of hairy legs were visible and I can hear the munching sound it made. My eyes sparkled when I saw what it was.
It was a spider.
And it was so gorgeous. Never once I saw that species, not even in a book nor internet.
"Master Shan," He whispered and I gasped when I saw him right in front of me, standing firm with pride. "This is the key into your room and this is the password for the NTV."
"Thank you," I smiled uneasily, laying a hand on the piece of paper and the metal key, still stealing glances at the spider.
"Off you go." He said, as cold as his gaze. I turned back, mind still on the spider. What kind of species is it? What's its name? Is it poisonous? Where is it from?
All these questions jumbled up in my mind as I walked to my room. With my knowledge of spiders, I couldn't answer any questions but one.
Do I want it?
Yes, I do.