It was time to go.

Simple, futile, inevitable. We always knew that, no matter where we were, it would be time to go eventually. And that time was now.

With shaking hands I stuffed a handful of my schoolbooks into a yawning garbage bag, adding to it a few notebooks and pencils and whatnot. I wasn't really paying attention; my eyes kept sailing from my work to the far corner of the room. Everyone knows that all evil things dwell in corners – dark, shadowy corners … except this corner wasn't dark, but sunny. The ripped-up remains of my English essay lay in strips on the stained rug. Despite the bitch the essay had been to write and the wicked amount of time I'd spent on it, it was hardly a terrifying sight to behold.

"Hurry, Cal," said Niko, having returned from loading the car. His side of the room was already bare, and he immediately got to work on mine. There wasn't too much of the damn stuff to pack, but I was as good as useless.

That's what it had said, the Grendel, as it sat in the sun and ripped my English essay slowly and methodically to shreds. Useless. The sheep tries to teach the monster. Our educated little monster. It's grin was half its face, the Cheshire cat's evil twin. Laughing at me. That was around the time Niko had charged forward with his sword, missing completely as the Grendel stepped through a rip in the air and was gone.

But not from my mind.

Niko tied the top of my garbage bag in a knot and slung it over his shoulder, noticing too late the two Geography books sitting on the floor next to my bed. "Carry those out with you," he said, nodding at them.

I followed him through the tiny apartment, flicking light switches as I went, darkening everything at my back, and one by one closing up that faded portion of our life. Useless. I supposed that Grendel had been a whole lot smarter than I'd ever be.