Being normal was never a thing I was good at. Even when I was a little tot I didn't fit in with the rest of the kids at school. I don't exactly know why I was so surprised when the one day a little boy decided to play with me on the playground, a weird current of electricity shot out of my fingertips and electrocuted him. I should have expected it or something. But, who could expect something like that? Not a 6 year old; nor could a completely normal mother.
My father isn't in the picture anymore. A month or so before I was born, he was working in the lab late at night; maybe it was due to lack of sleep, I don't know, but two chemicals that weren't supposed to mix together, did, resulting in a chemical explosion. My mom doesn't like talking about it, but apparently there wasn't a body to bury. She raised me on her own. I feel terrible for her because not only did she lose her husband and had to raise a kid on her own; she had to raise ME on her own, a freak of nature. Sometimes I wish I could be normal, just for her sake.
These events led me to where I am now; the night before I head off to a 'special' high school made just for 'kids like me' called Sky High. I don't know if I should be ecstatic or frightened. But hey, what could happen, right?
"Maggie! You can't miss your first day of school!" I hear my mom holler down the hallway from the opening to the kitchen. I roll my eyes and give myself a final once over in the mirror. My thick, short, shaggy blonde hair brought out the delicate features of my oval face. The beginning of springtime brought a slight breeze in the air, so I outfitted myself in a light oversized sweater, skinny jeans, and my favorite worn combat boots. "MAGGIE," I hear my mom call again. I quickly grab my messenger bag and toss it over my head. Do they even use regular school supplies at this school?
Before I can make it out the door, my mom steps into my path and opens her arms wide. "Good luck on your first day! And remember-"
"No electrocuting people for fun. I know, mom." I forced a smile on my face as she wrapped her arms tightly around my shoulders.
"Mom. I'm going to be late." My words are muffled by her hair in my mouth.
"Oh, I'm sorry, dear! Go ahead. Have fun!" She released her hold and I ducked expertly under her arm and out the door without another word.
I trudged my way to the bus stop at the end of the street. You'd think they'd have better transportation for a school like this.
As I waited, I let my mind wander. Will people like me? Will I still be ignored, or will I be labeled a freak and cast off the island? What kind of people will be there? Do I look okay? Did I remember to put on deodorant this morning? Oh yeah I did.
My thoughts were halted by the screech of a pair of bus doors opening. A slightly chubby man in a yellow and white hat greeted me, "Morning!" I nodded my head in acknowledgement and boarded the big, yellow vehicle. As I made my way to the back of the bus, I noticed a few odd-looking characters: A kid with orange, curly hair and glasses; a girl with purple streaks in her hair; a tall guy with highlighter yellow hair and matching clothes; and a kid with a bright orange vest. Yeah. I think I'll fit in just fine.
I sat down in the very last seat as the bus began to move again. On what I assumed was our very last stop, we picked up a patriotically dressed guy and a hippie-looking girl. As they both boarded, the boy asked, " Is this the bus to Sky High?" Everyone on the bus began to murmur.
"Shhhh! What, are you crazy? I guess you want every super villain in the neighborhood to know we're here!" The driver slammed the bus doors closed.
The boy looked around frantically, "N-no sorry." He began to walk towards a few open seats, but the driver thrusted his hand in his path. "What's your name, freshman?"
"Uh. Will Stronghold." The driver gulped and breathed heavily like a fan seeing their band for the first time live.
"The son of the Commander and Jetstream?" Will nodded slowly with a small smile.
If our bus driver has a panic attack we'll never get to school on time. I heaved a sigh and watched it play out.
The man hopped up from his seat and threw his arm around Will's shoulders like they were the best of pals. "Everyone! It's Will Stronghold! Son of the Commander and Jetstream!" Murmurs from the other students echoed through the bus. "My name's Ron Wilson, Sky High Bus Driver." Ron thrust out his hand and Will took it, giving it an unsure shake. "If there's anything I can do to make your journey more comfortable, please let me know." He made a gesture towards the two kids in the first row of the bus, "You two. Up."
After much debate, Will and his friend traveled to one of the middle rows to sit next to their friend, the guy who looked like a living, breathing highlighter. They all seemed nice enough, but I doubt I'd fit in with that crowd. They all seem a bit too… perfect. I guess that's what happens when superheroes have children. Perfection.
The rest of the ride went rather smoothly; up until we started heading towards the end of an unfinished bridge. Before I had enough time to bat an eyelash, seatbelts and handrails seemingly magically appeared, strapping each student securely into their seat. Ohhh no… This can't be good. The bus hurtled off the end of the bridge. Screams and cries filled the bus. My stomach tossed and turned and my fingertips sparked. All I could do was close my eyes and hope we didn't all die due to the idiocy of Ron Wilson, bus driver.
The screams eventually died down and the bus evened out. Curious as to what exactly happened; I slowly raised my eyelids and spotted wings on either side of the vehicle. Well. Better transportation than I had originally thought. A soft, short laugh escaped my lips as I gazed out the window into the open blue sky. My eyes grew to the size of melons when I spotted our destination.
Ordinary couldn't even begin to describe it. Perched atop a floating mound of earth was a beautiful school campus. A rather large staircase led to multiple white pillars and the archway of the main building. The grass, a perfect shade of green, was dotted with several oak trees. Gorgeous, yet intimidating.
Our ride gracelessly landed on its designated parking spot as Ron let out a, "Sorrryy!" The doors screeched open and we started filing off. "A word of advice: Don't miss the bus. Cause the bus waits for no one. Except for you, Will Stronghold! You ever running late, or early, or you just need to talk," he handed Will what looked to be a business card, "Give me a call!"
I hopped off the last step and onto the pavement, gazing at my surroundings in awe. Woahhh…
Kids were arriving on multiple school buses, jet packs, and even just flying in by their own powers. My body tickled with electricity. Okay, Mags. Calm down. You'll do fine. Just don't draw attention to yourself.
As I was about to split off from the group of freshmen I was with, what felt like a whirlwind ran around the group, corralling us inside. What NOW? The wind slowed down, revealing it wasn't wind at all, but a chubby dude.
"Hey, freshman!" He called, "Your attention please!" Is this some kind of welcoming committee? I just want to go find where my class is…
A guy who seemed to be made out of pure elastic slinked down the stairs and next to his chubby friend, looking at us like we were a pile of meat. "I'm Lash, this is Speed, and as representatives of the Sky High welcoming committee-"
"We'd be happy to collect that fifteen dollar new student fee!" Lash stretched out his hand to us. I might not have read the handbook, but I don't think there's a new student fee…
"Uh… There was nothing about a new student fee in the handbook…" A kid in a bright orange vest stated.
I nodded my head to myself in agreement. Yeah, I was right. Now please let us go. I can't be late. My fingertips sparked from my anxiety.
"Okay, guys. Very funny. I'll take over from here." A popular-looking, pretty brunette girl walks gracefully up to the group, all smiles. "Hey everybody, I'm Gwen Grayson, your Student Body President. I know you're all going to love it here at Sky High…"
This is all fine and dandy, but if I'm late to my class people will look at me funny when I walk in and I will be an awkward freak for the rest of the year. My arms and legs started to ache with electricity. Come on, Mags. You can do this. Calm down. No need to fry everyone here. I filled my lungs and expelled the air once, twice, three times. The ache in my limbs lessened and I returned my attention to the perfect princess up front.
"If you can just remember those few simple rules," Gwen flashed a smile, "I promise you will not fall off the edge of the school."
Wait, what? Did she actually say something important?
"Now, just follow me inside for orientation."
Apparently I wasn't the only one who wasn't paying attention, because the Will kid looked just as confused as I was. "Rules? What rules?" He stammered, looking desperately at his hippie friend.
"Weren't you paying attention?" She asked incredulously.
I think as long as I don't get near the edges of the school I'll be okay... At least I hope so.