A/N First of all, serious props to Suzanne Collins and her success in the greatest story ever written (or at least in my mind) and a motivation boost for my own literary achievements. Going to be my first fan-fiction so throw what you've got at me, the truth or not I WANT REVIEWS! enjoy!
Scratch scratch scratch—The slightest sound of a fight on the floor brought Gregor out of his dream. He swung his legs onto the floor and sat in discontent; he was having a good dream, the first dream in a longtime where he wasn't in the underland which made him feel like a normal boy. It was 3 years, 5 months, and 4 days ago since he was last in the underland, like anyone was keeping track, and he'd seen the underland for his last time. "I could've been delusional" He thought to himself, it all happened 3 and a half years ago, but the scars and nightmares were all too real.
His attention was brought back to reality when the scratching on the floor resumed, and a beam of light from the window illuminated a chase on the floor, a large brown menace in pursuit of a white ball of fur. The rat eventually caught up to the mouse and climbed on top of it, pawing at whatever was in its jaws. The sight brought the vivid memories back: hundreds of nibblers crying and hissing at the queen only trying to defend their litter from the oncoming gas, Twitchtip tortured in a stone pit with fellow rats leaping around the edge like a pack of wild hyenas, but mostly a vicious reenactment of the Bane on top of him, pawing relentlessly at Gregor just as the rat is doing to the mouse. When Gregor came to, he was on his feet and had both the gnawer and nibbler in his hands, with a tight fist clenched around each one. He felt the rager blood seeping through his veins into his hands, wanting to crush, wanting to kill, but the two creatures looked so innocent now like the Bane looked when he was first rescued by Gregor.
Gregor tossed the two crushed bodies into the trash.
Gregor had developed a new occupation to keep his rager feelings controlled. Now whenever he felt the onset coming, he would sit down with a piece of paper and pencil and draw. He never knew what he was drawing but he would just draw, line after line, circle after circle, but a picture always came out in the end. In the three and a half years gregor has been out of the underland, only once has he lost his rager senses; luckily it was in the comfort of his own home and only resulted in a fist sized hole in the wall. But since he has discovered drawing he has kept his mind in a steel trap. The blood on his hands smeared the pencil lines and soaked through the paper but that was the furthest thing from his mind. 30 minutes later when his therapy session had finished he set down the very dull pencil and looked at his final masterpiece. It was Luxa. . . Not only Luxa but Luxa crouched with a sword wielded surrounded by a ring of rats, and all the blood from his hands had smeared Luxas image. He crumpled the image and threw it under his bed where it bounced off a mountain of crumpled sheets of paper back onto the floor. In fact, his entire bedroom was littered with these sheets of paper: they were coming out from under his bed, falling off his desk, the corners of his room unnoticeable by these wads of paper.
Gregor went back to lay down on his bed, glancing at his alarm clock it was only 4:30. He knew he wouldn't be able to fall asleep so he didn't try, but just layed on his bed reliving his days in the underland. Not the fights and wars he's been through but the happy times: the nursery where the baby children played with the baby mice, Lizzie playing with ripred on their off-time from deciphering the code of claw, and that moment Gregor would kill to relive, the moment when he first kissed Luxa in the prophecy room.
Soon enough Gregors thoughts were broken by the beeping of the alarm clock and the flashing of 6:30. The idea of playing sick today crossed his mind, the events that just occurred couldn't possibly in any way affect his schooling for the better. But when he recalled that this would be the third time this week he's fallen ill of a mysterious sickness, he better act like nothing ever happened if he wants to keep whatever is left of his fading mothers faith.
The sound of cereal bouncing into a ceramic bowl reached his ears before he even saw the kitchen. Lizzie seemed like the only one who left the underworld with any sense of sanity. She was also the only member of the family who really saw a future in the overland: good grades, good health, and good friends, lucky for her she had escaped from the underland mentally unscathed. Then came boots, we call her Marge short for Margaret now, she grew out of the name boots shortly after we had left the underland. The cute days of puddle boots and improper pronunciation were over. Now she's a converse wearing pre-teen whose room is filled with hip-hop star posters and plays obnoxious music all the time.
"Ugh cereal again, tell mom I'm tired of cheerios and want something else!" Marge complained loudly, obviously unscathed by the 6:30 wake-up.
Gregor just sat there and stared at the bowl of cheerios softening in the milk, stirring the cheerios in circles with his spoon.
"Boots, mom has already left for work so if you really want you can make something yourself but this is all we've got." Lizzie the mother replied affectionately to boots. Finishing her bowl of cereal and emptying it in the sink. "I'm off, Marge, make sure you don't miss your bus again this time! And Gregor, do you think you're feeling well enough to go to school today?" She has picked up on my streak of mysterious illness, but I just nodded that I will. "Well then, I'm off to the library to get some studying in" Lizzie kissed the head of Gregor and Boots.
"What does she even need to study for?" Gregor thought in his head, "She's only going into the seventh grade!" Obviously whatever she was doing was better than what Gregor was, his grades scraped by passing, averaging 2.5 GPA on a good semester. High school had hit Gregor like the Bane hit him in the underworld. But he had overcome the Bane, so he can overcome school to he thought again in his head.
Gregor left the untouched bowl of cereal to get ready for school, Marge was big enough to get dressed by herself and get onto the bus these days so he didn't give her a second thought. But ever since the underland Gregor had changed. Not only acting strangely but nowadays he wears dark and baggy clothing to school, just to deter people from interacting with him. When he reached his room his alarm clock was already flashing 7:15 so in a mad dash, he threw his clothes on to make the bus.
It was a New York November, not really snowy outside but just cold, wet, and windy. Luckily the bus ride was short, and the school was somewhat welcoming, a way to get his mind off the underland and the madness going on in his home. He was a zombie in school, doing the same routine he had done the last 4 months of school and will do the next 4 months also: Empty the contents of his backpack in his locker, all the while staring at nothing but the ground, then walking to his first period class which was math. Luckily it was math, Gregor liked math, it was a class where it didn't matter who you were or where or how you grew up, math wasnt subjective, math didn't have favorites. Math was just numbers, big numbers, numbers you can get lost in and that's what Gregor liked about it.
The bell rung and Gregor was already at his seat, drawing another picture in his notebook as late students filed in and protested their excuses for being late - Gregor didn't care. Too bad today was matrices, a particularly simple subject Gregor didn't enjoy since he could breeze through it from the start. After finishing the concept quiz early he went back to his drawing, not out of therapy for his uncontrollable bloodthirst but this time just out of boredom. His little world of lines and circles was cut short when he felt a tap on his shoulder.
His heart-rate spiked up and he gripped his pencil in his fist in case someone had decided to attack him while his back was turned, but a familiar voice changed his attitude in a fraction of a second.
"Hey, do you know how to do this? I am totally lost." A voice asked from behind him, a voice he hadn't heard in three and a half years. Gregor turned wide-eyed but was slightly dismayed when it wasn't who he thought it was.
"Uhhhh, yeah, you see all you have to do is…."
"GREGOR, LUZANNE!" mr. Dangle cut Gregors explanation off mid-sentence, "Cheating on a quiz, that's going to be a 0 for both of you for today!"
Gregor felt ashamed, this was his only class he did well in and that his mother was proud of him for. But the thought was short lived when he saw who he was talking to. The girl, Luzanne which sounds a lot like Luxa, looked a lot like Luxa. The pasty skin bordered by snow-white hair with a set of almost shaped eyes embedded in the middle, although the eyes were a misty gray, not violet. Even her face and jaw resembled that of Luxas.
When the bell rang Gregor was the first one out of the class, leaving his large anatomical drawing of a gnawer with each weak spot labeled and notes on how they use their claws, tail, and teeth. Gregor thought about doubling back to reclaim his picture but left it, not worth the chance to confront Luzanne again. The next two classes of Gregors were terribly the longest in his life, world history which he manages to sit in the corner, never the back because the back is where the trouble-makers are and trouble attracts attention. You always want to be on the furthest side of a classroom to elude a teachers attention. But after that was gym which he never enjoyed since he never partook in it. Last week he had to sit out because he 'sprained his wrist' but this week he was thinking more along the lines of food poisoning, he did look a little pale from the lack of sleep.
Then lunch, the worst period of all, a time of day when rumors fly and gossip is told. In fact, more lies are probably consumed about people than sandwiches are consumed in that 35 minute period. Nobody sat with Gregor, and Gregor sat with nobody, that's the way it always has been and always will be for Gregor. But Gregor was excited for this lunch period for a change, he wanted to know more about Luzanne, why she was here all of a sudden and how she looks so much like an underlander. Fortunately she too was new to the school so she sat by herself, giving Gregor a good view from a table diagonal.
After twenty minutes into the lunch period, four people walked over to her table with not kind intentions.
"What's wrong paper skin? Scared the sun's going to bite ya?" Said the first girl, a big girl who took the seat right next to her.
"You've got hair grayer then my grandparents must run in the family." Said another big boy who sat down at the table across from her, taking her cookie and eating it himself. Luzanne seemed not to move at all, fearless and bravery Gregor thought at first, but at second glance she had her eyes closed and her head down with her lips moving, as if she were praying they'd go away.
Gregor felt a rager sensation jolt down his spine through his legs ready to attack, but tore his eyes away from the scene, frantically searching his pockets for a paper and pencil but found none. Then he noticed the lunch tray he had in his hands had been crushed by his own hands while he was watching the scene ahead of him, he had to get his rager feelings under control! So he clenched his eyes close to not further invigorate his uncontrollable hate to the bullies.
"What are you stupid or something!" Another voice shouted out which he knew was directed towards Luzanne.
Gregor was on his feet.
Fighting every nerve not to spring forth and rip the throats out of every kid in the cafeteria he pried his eyes open slowly just in time to see a hand swipe lunchtray, lunchbox, and all of the contents on it onto the floor and the four upper-classmen stand up laughing, Luzanne still in her concentrated state of prayer.
Gregor felt his body being take control of, unable to fight what was in his blood Gregor blacked-out for a second. For the second time that day, when he came to the entire cafeteria had gone silent as a graveyard and all eyes were focused on one person, Gregor. After glancing around he saw the boy who had taken her cookie sprawled on a table two tables front were he stood and the other two bullies mangled together at his feet, blood flowing from their noses and limbs intertwined with one another. Then he noticed the girl was still in his hand grasped by the back of her shirt, her eyes stared huge and dumbfound at him, so Gregor just tossed her aside. Luzanne hadn't moved a centimeter, head still tilted forward and eyes sealed shut, it was then all hell broke loose as the fire alarm went off and sprinklers drenched the cafeteria.
Screams could be heard echoing throughout the neighborhood as everyone from the school rushed out. Gregor too joined the wit less crowd, moving with the stream of bodies he caught several elbows in the stomach but the adrenaline in his system denied him the pain. Once he reached the street though he kept on moving. Onlookers paid no attention to the single kid walking calmly down the street when a mob had formed a few yards from him and their sounds could be heard around the block. By the way, Gregor was skilled in the art of not being noticed.
He had to get out, not just out of the school, out of New York City. He didn't belong here, in fact he didn't belong anywhere, not in this world at least. The overland was over, he can't be known as Gregor here no longer, the only place that will ever truly know and accept Gregor for who he is is the Underland, and that was exactly where he was headed.