I've basically been slaving away trying desperately to climb a mountain of coursework so if this appears a little rushed and there are various mistakes, it's because I'm exhausted and this was extremely hurried! I just wanted to get it up on time. Thanks ever so much to all the reviewers and followers and especially to Meggi, you're brilliant as always, I shall reply to your PM ASAP. Don't I look cool there, two mnemonics in a row! Written from Isla's point of view.
Disclaimer: I don't own much at all, only really Isla (and a box of Rice Krispies I won at a raffle yesterday) so no infringement intended! I also don't own 'Fools Girl' it's a book by Celia Rees.
For Meggi and a little girl called Libby who became an angel four years ago today.
I keep my head down and slip into a seat in the back corner. I slide my backpack off my back and quietly remove my pencil case, notepad and Fools Girl, the book I'm currently reading. I place them on my desk and flick my dark fringe over my eyes, slouching a little in my seat so as to make myself as small as I can. I watch as various other children come in, greeting one another no doubt glad to be back with their friends after six weeks away.
But I have no-one to greet. And even as the classroom fills up and I realise almost thirty odd children have piled into the classroom, I find myself remaining alone on a desk meant to seat four children but currently only seating one. It hits me just how alone I am, despite being in a crowded room full of children my age. I watch as the teacher comes in, welcoming the children back and introducing herself. She then makes an announcement that causes my heart to stop for a minute.
'And you may not have realised but we have a new girl with us today' she says, a bright beaming verging on sickly smile upon her face, spreading from ear to ear. Everyone looks around, trying to locate the 'new girl'. Their eyes eventually rest on my and I feel myself turning red. I slouch a little more and try to cover my face even more with my fringe but everyone still stares at me. 'Would you like to come up to the front?' she asks only I know it's not a question, she's telling me to go to the front. Slowly, I push myself up out of my seat and thirty pairs of eyes seem to move with me. I tentatively begin to weave through the desks and I can feel the eyes of the class resting upon me, watching my every move as if scrutinizing who I am, trying to get a handle on me. I look up at the teacher and she gives me what I think is meant to be an encouraging grin but only makes me feel even more sick.
'Would you like to tell us all your name?' she says, pulling me up to her and spinning me around to face the class. Another statement disguised as a question I think to myself. Yet another instruction she dresses up as a friendly question. I give her a withering look and pull my arm out of her grasp, stepping away. She looks a little taken aback and for some reason this gives me confidence. I flick my fringe back out of my eyes and for the first time today allow myself to face forwards as opposed to keeping my eyes firmly on the ground.
'Isla Rippon' I say in response to her question and she nods with an apprehensive look on her face, evidently thrown by the fact I wasn't taken in by her sickly sweet act. I look out into the sea of faces and almost thirty faces look back at me, each almost as shocked as the teacher. And though I can't quite put my finger on why, this only adds to my rising confidence. 'What did you say your name was again Miss?' I ask, because I genuinely don't know her name; I wasn't listening when she told us.
'Mrs Haines' she says, almost snapping. She then recomposes herself, her sickly smile reiterating itself upon her face and her voice returning to it's initial patronizing tone. 'Now Isla, would you like to tell us all three things about yourself?' I sigh at yet another fake question, another order trying to sound like a choice, trying to make it seem like I have an option. She obviously spots my momentary lapse as I pause for thought about what exactly I should tell them. 'Something interesting' she says. My lack of response tells her I'm still stuck for what to say so she decides to tell me exactly what I should tell everyone. 'Do you have any brothers or sisters then?' she asks me.
I still don't respond. Do I tell them I have a sister who's over twenty years older than me? Or do I lie? Suddenly I feel a pang through my body as I remember something I'd tried to forget, something I'd attempted to blank out. I keel over in pain and fall to my knees, clutching my ears, shaking my head and sobbing, trying to block the world out. I feel an arm on my back but it feels like my dad's arm, the arm of the man who's hurt me more than anyone. 'Get off' I scream, kneeling up and whacking the hand away from my back. I slowly lean back, rocking on my knees, my sobs clogging up my throat and the tears pouring down my cheeks. I can't hear anything that's going on; all I can hear are screams and sobs, sounds of pain and horror, the sounds I used to have to endure hearing every night.
The screams go on for what feels like eternity but could in reality just be minutes. They only begin to quiet when I hear Yvonne's soothing voice and see her pale hands take mine; feel her wrap her arms around me protectively, shushing me and gently running her fingers through my hair. I clutch onto her, my sobs now calming into gentle cries and the words I've been trying to say are finally able come out.
'We need to go get Sylvie, we need to find her, we need to save her'
Sylvie is possibly named after the journalist in Inspector Morse Infernal Serpent… but who is she in my story? All will be revealed next Thursday! Please R&R and favourite or follow if you like it enough to do so! Thanks!