By only breath
I smiled and closed my eyes.
I gasped as the whole universe suddenly grew a hundred times clearer.
I bet this is what it's like to be a queen.
Smells. Everywhere. Rotting bananas sitting in lockers, the BO of guys coming from Gym class, the expensive perfume of the Tripod of Skank. I panted, trying to catch up with the sudden change in how I perceived my entire surroundings. I was leaning into my locker, being reckless. Seeing if I could flare in such a risky place.
My golden eyes pierced the darkness of the locker. I saw all the cracks in the metal, the ants that scurried along beside my History books. The noisy chatter that echoed slightly in the hallway was magnified way too much, and it was deafening. I cringed with the pain.
Quick as a fly, I slipped on my reflective shades and turned around.
No one gasped. No pointed, screaming. I was safe. I could flare while casually walking around the school. Wow.
I felt superior. The canine instincts inside me... Nobody else had that.
Except for the other Virals, of course.
I took a tentative step forward. Felt fine.
To the toilet, I go!
I fast-walked into the ladies' bathroom, taking off my shades and leaning over the sink. My skin had a healthy pink tinge to it and my hair was slightly messy. But, of course, the most striking thing about my appearance was the golden irises that stared back at me.
The door flung open, Madison in the doorway with her phone in her hand. She abruptly stopped talking when she saw my reflection – I hastily reached for my shades, but she had seen it. Bright and clear. My heart pounded.
"You bitch!" she hissed at me, snapping her phone shut.
And then she launched herself at me.
I needed to stop flaring – right now. But I couldn't.
We toppled to the ground, my head hitting the tiles. I groaned as my head got woozy.
"I have been worrying my ass off, thinking that there was something wrong with me," she spat in my face. I glared up at her and stood up with such ferocity that she was knocked backwards, her body slamming into the wall.
"You won't tell anyone, unless you have a death wish," I threatened.
Her eyes narrowed and she shakily took a step forward.
I leaned into my mind. Immediately saw myself, Coop and Ben. Only Ben. He was flaring.
I yanked on the glowing cord that bound us and shouted into his head.
Girls' bathroom. HELP.
I could tell he was clutching his head with the pain of me shouting in his head. Madison had her hands on my throat. Her eyes were scarily dark, and I could tell that anger was making her act like an entirely different person.
"There are more like me," I continued in a raspy voice, not even bothering to take her hands off my throat. Ben was coming. "A whole group."
"I don't care. I'll kill you, I swear!" she screamed hysterically. Madison had gone full loco.
The door burst open. Ben rushed in, his eyes covered by shades. He grabbed Madison's shoulder and flung her away as though she were simply an ant.
Oh yeah, this was definitely what it was like to be royalty.
"Are you all right?" he asked concernedly, inspecting my neck.
"Fine," I gasped. I didn't feel much pain in my neck, thanks to the strength the flare gave me, but my raspy voice proved that Madison had really been pressing hard against my neck. She was slumped on the wall, her head lolling to one side and her eyes closed.
She wasn't dead. I could see the slow rise and fall of her chest. She was just unconscious.
"That was really out-of-character for Madison," Ben remarked, his brow furrowed. He inspected my neck again.
"I'm fine, Ben," I said, waving away his hands.
"She tried to choke you. To kill you. What if I hadn't been flaring at the time?" Ben said sternly.
"I was flaring. I easily could have pushed her off. I just didn't bother."
"Are you sure you're all right?" Ben's eyes were full of care.
"Of course," I whispered.
He didn't move his eyes from mine. I was suddenly aware of how close we were standing. I could smell him – pinewood and mint. His lips were slightly tilted upwards.
He leaned closer.
OH MY GOD.
He was going to kiss me.
I wanted my first kiss with him to be experienced as a totally normal human, with my normal senses.
His lips were tantalisingly close.
If I'm a queen, then you'll be my king–
And then he blocked access to his mouth by munching on a granola bar. He smiled at me cheekily before saying, "See you later," and walking out of the bathroom.
For: 5, 10, 20, 50, 70, 100 Fandoms Challenge (Virals)
Author's Notes: Not sure what I was thinking while writing this. Lame title, eh?