Saint Whitley's Academy

*This came from a dream so it's a little scattered right now. Please bare with me <3
Jael has lived her life with a handful of things that were precious to her, one of them being her mother. But when Charles Benson comes into their lives, things change. He's rich and powerful and after a short time, marries Jael's mother, Andrea. When the idea of sending Jael to boarding school is brought to the table, Andrea cannot do anything but accept fearing that she and Jael will be back on the street.

The boarding school is just like any other, huge and terrifying. Will Jael be accepted? Or will the eat her alive? She doesn't know. All that she's been told is that Halloween is the biggest holiday because it's the only one that the whole school celebrates together. Her new roommate, Angela tells her how the school goes on complete lockdown - it's like a giant horror house with holograms of ghosts and other disturbing sights. But what if they aren't all holograms? What if some of them...are real?

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2. The Academy

 

St. Whitley’s Academy was bigger than it looked in pictures. I had obsessed over the website for weeks wondering which window would be the one that I would look out of after a long day of classes.  But now all I could think about was how I was going to find my way through the maze of so called hallways. It looked like a castle and maybe was one at some point, I don’t know, I didn’t research that much of it.

“Are you nervous,” Charles asked me handing my backpack over.

It was the same question my mother asked me the night before but she was nervous, Charles was confident, excited even. And why shouldn’t he be? He was finally going to get my mother all to himself. Something bothered me about that. Maybe it was because she had been mine all these years and now I had to deal with her being someone else’s. At least I wasn’t going to see it every day.

“No,” I said hiding any sense of anxiety. “I’m ready for this.”

I held my head up high and walked past him. My heart was pumping so hard in my chest that I was afraid my necklace would move as well and give me away. I wasn’t trying to be rude, but I had this strange feeling that he wanted to see me a little vulnerable. It’s what he did, he felt people out to see how far he could push them. I’d spent years getting pushed around, it wasn’t going to happen anymore.

Inside, it smelled like a mix of musty books (although there were none in sight) and a hint of lavender. Our footsteps echoed as we made our way in. I couldn’t help but notice all the portraits of former faulty from St. Whitley’s. Most of them were old and bald.

“You must be Jael,” said a woman behind a large desk. I’m surprised she could see me over it.

“I am,” I told her.

“Hello Anne,” Charles said from behind me.

Oh? He knew her on a first name basis. Either he had children I didn’t know about it that attended the same boarding school or he had planned this sooner than he let on.

“Mr. Benson!” Anne was on her feet and it didn’t make much of a difference. She was a petite woman heels did nothing for her. “Such a pleasant surprise. You’re such a busy man, I didn’t expect to see you.”

He wasn’t that busy of a man…. He had his “people” to do most of his errands and business for him. There had been days where he would roam around the house like a gazelle in the grasslands.

“I wanted to make sure Jael felt comfortable, had someone with her that she knew.”

I snorted but forced any amusement off my face.

“Rest assured Mr. Benson. I have Jael’s roommate ready to show her around.” Anne looked behind her annoyed that whoever was my roommate hadn’t come over on cue.

There was only one girl in the room other than myself and she was sitting on a leather couch with her feet up and crossed and a set of head phones in her ears. Her head bobbed back and forth to whatever she was listening to tossing her blonde hair back and forth.

Anne walked over swiftly then tapped the girl on her shoulder. The blonde straightened herself up and walked over following close behind Anne.

“This is Angela,” Anne introduced us. “She’ll be your roommate and we’ve matched all your classes together so you won’t have to worry about getting lost.”

I nodded my head thankfully. Angela and I exchanged a quick smile and head nod.

Charles clasped his hands together. “Looks like everything here is under control. I better get going.”

Anne tapped Angela on the shoulder and waved for her to give Charles and me some space to say goodbye. I turned towards him not expecting much and I was right. He held out his hand for me to shake and when I took his hand, he patted me on the shoulder with the other. I think that was his way of hugging me. Whatever.

“If you need anything, anything at all, just call home.”

I almost laughed at the word “home.” Where he lived wasn’t my home. It was solely a house that had a room where I could stay. I didn’t think I would truly ever have a “home.”

All I could muster was, “Thank you.”

“Are you ready for Angela to show you around?”

My eyes were on Charles, watching as he walked away. I sort of understood his behavior but I wondered how biological parents felt when dropping off their children at a boarding school where they wouldn’t see them or yell at them for long amounts of time. It made me wonder why people bothered having kids if they were going to send them away.

The door slammed shut cutting off my view of Charles. I spun around on my heel. “I’m ready,” I said looking at Angela. The nervousness I had felt only minutes before had vanished. What could I possibly have to be nervous about?

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