Cracked

Laney Silvers is deemed crazy. After a run in with an armed thief, her telekinesis secret is out. Her parents -instead of being thankful they're alive- send her to Marigold Mental Institution for Troubled Teens. Laney, being the rebel of her school, is welcoming the facility with open arms. But the dark secrets at Marigold Institution may be too much for Laney. Even she doesn't have that much courage. See, something's been awakened but no one will say anything. The name 'Madeleine Farrow' makes the staff cringe. All the mirrors are cracked and windows are all boarded up. Why are there charred pictures of a child with her face scratched out? What is really going on, right under Laney and her friends' noses? Laney find herself caught up in a history far crazier than just telekinesis. She must now fight for her life because it may be the only thing she has left.

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3. Chapter 02

Chapter 2

            As people filed in, one group stood out. The Populars –in all their false glory– made their way to the largest table in the middle of the cafeteria. It was also where Camille and I were sitting.

            “Hey, freshmen, these are our seats,” one of the cheerleaders said in a semi-rude tone. She didn’t seem too bad, but annoyed was probably the word. “And before you ask, the answer to your question is no.”

            “What’s my question, oh-so-wise fortune teller?” Camille finally made a move to say something in her own defense. She levelled her glare to match the one the girl was giving us.

            “No, we will not sit with you still here,” she sighed impatiently.

            Full of yourself, are you? My thoughts were definitely laced with sarcasm. “Are you sure? I’m telling you now, if you sit here, you’ll regret it,” I warned knowingly. The bomb was placed directly over the Populars’ seats on purpose. I wanted them to have the most crickets and because they had no way to blame anyone.

            As expected, they all laughed and didn’t even bother to consider my warning. “Listen Silvers, you may fool the teachers, but you don’t fool me. Get out of here and take Huang with you,” Travis said without even looking at me.

            I shrugged and with Camille, we left.

They were really only bringing what was about to come– on themselves. “You think this is going to be good?” I looked at Camille and she answered just as enthusiastically as I asked.

            “Better. I can’t wait to see Gwendolyn’s face when the crickets get into her hair.” Camille hated the senior captain of the dance team with a pure passion. It had something to do with Camille’s own dancing abilities.

            I wasn’t one to pry and I didn’t really care either. If Camille wanted to tell me, she would.

            We went back in, but we were sitting near the corner. We were also close to one of the exits to the outside of the school and far away from the Populars. I reached into my pocket, feeling around for the button. When I felt something smooth and hard, I brought it out without showing anyone and slid it over to Camille.

            “You want to do the honours?” I looked at her, then at the button.

            “Don’t mind if I do,” she answered with ease. The button made no noise when it was pushed and the sound of the hole in the wall couldn’t be heard over the student chatter.

            It was only when the bits of dust rained on them, did they notice. One of the girls pointed at it and they all looked up. It was almost strange how they all did everything in sync. Maybe even robotic.

            “Dude, what the heck,” one of the jocks said to his friend. I was in the middle of silently laughing. This isn’t even the best part, I thought peevishly.

            When the sounds of the bugs became a bit more audible, I smiled even wider. One by one, little black bugs rained down on the Populars. As expected, the girls started shrieking as the bugs went into their clothes. But the guys were more concerned about their hair than their girlfriends for some reason.

            And even some of them were screaming, “Save the food!”

            As soon as everyone saw the Populars running out, clutching their hair, everyone else followed. I seriously thought the school was filled with lemmings. I mean, even the people who weren’t near the crickets were trying to act like to Populars.

            I didn’t care majorly about them. I was mostly focused on Travis’ expression and Camille was focused on Gwendolyn Archer’s.

            Pure anger; it made me smile.

            “How awesome was that?” I chuckled at Camille’s happiness. We were the only ones left in the cafeteria. Every single person had already cleared out. The crickets were currently deep in the dishes of the Populars’ lunches.

            “I’m so glad you talked me into this. I will never forget that look on Gwen’s face. You are the ‘bestest’ best friend ever!” Her arms flung around my shoulder and I moved away in awkwardness.

            “Cammie, cool it.”

            “Way to ruin the moment, Silvers. I mean I go thanking you, and you start using that dreaded name.”

            “You’re welcome,” I retorted, winking. She and I had our usual banter, but we usually forgot about what we had to say ten minutes after the argument.

            We just sat there laughing as everyone else was freaking out, but our moment did have to end. The door of the cafeteria burst open and a man in a grey suit waltzed in. His stricken expression told me that someone was in trouble and judging by the fact we were in his line of sight, I’d say it was us.

            We tried to calm down and our expressions became neutral. “You ladies,” the principal barked.

            We blinked once. “Yes, Mr. Corsuis?”  

            “Are you the cause of this juvenile displaying of idiocy you teenagers call pranks?”

            Nope, you lost me. I’m from the twenty-first century, not the sixteen hundreds. Why don’t you speak with English from our decade?  I looked at him with a blank expression and forced him to repeat it again.

            “Did you or did you not grasshoppers in the school ceiling?” His brown ones met my grey ones and I smiled wickedly.

            “No, I did not put grasshoppers in the ceiling,” I answered honestly. They were crickets, not grasshoppers. Also, he could tell I wasn’t lying because there was no guilt. It was his fault though; he asked the wrong thing.

            He sighed, moving on to Camille. “Did you or–” I looked at him with a tired expression.

            “With all due respect, Principal Corsuis, why would Camille do this? We’re both model freshmen,” I said, playing the innocent card. It didn’t seem to work though.

            He looked angry again. Maybe interrupting the man who could’ve gotten me expelled was a bad thing. “Miss–”

            “Huang,” Camille supplied happily. Did she even know what he was going to ask?

            “Yes, Miss Huang. Were you the cause of all this chaos?” She looked at me defiantly and smiled. I knew she was up to something and I couldn’t help but smile too. It was a best friend thing we shared; Almost like a mind link.

            “Of course not. Why are you looking at us? Who in this school has a reputation for causing trouble?” She winked at me and I finally knew what she was planning at.

            Mr. Corsuis thought for a while before drawing to a conclusion. “Now it makes perfect sense. Full marks, Miss Huang! It was Travis Colster. Thank you and I’m terribly sorry about the accusation Miss Silvers,” he apologized looking tired again. He then went to look for Travis.

            When he left, I moved to give Camille a gigantic hug. “Dude, I wanted to get back at Travis, but this is even better! You’re the ‘awesomest’ friend ever! No wonder you can hang out with me,” I joked to lighten the mood.

            She looked at me with a smile. “Only you can manage to compliment me and yourself in the same sentence.” She shook her head in mock disappointment.

            “You know I’m just that special. But didn’t Travis get hit with the crickets too? How are we going to get out of that one?”

            “Don’t doubt me, Laney. I have a way of getting out of almost anything,” she said, smiling. And she was right–for the most part.  Her innocent oriental looks made a lot of adults believe her. But in real life, she was far from innocent and a good girl. She did hang out with me anyway.

            The corners of my mouth tugged into a disbelieving smile. The way she looked was like trying to catch a con artist in their con. I waved it off and we left the cafeteria.

            “But Sir! I didn’t do it, it was Laney,” Travis protested in a slightly scared voice. I saw just how terrified he was, but I didn’t know why. Did it make sense if I felt bad for him?

            I nudged Camille with a pale finger. She looked to where Principal Corsuis was reprimanding Travis. If it weren’t for the look on Travis’ face, I would’ve been laughing my head off. It was funny for him to finally get what he deserved, but not in this sense.

            “Do you want to face expulsion, boy? How would your parents feel about that?” The principal didn’t take notice of the fact that Travis’ face blanched at the mention of his parents. What’s going on with you? Instead of feeling sympathetic, I was much more curious.

            After all, Travis had blamed his pranks on various freshmen. This was just karma.

            Camille and I tried to move past the scene without getting caught, but Travis’ sharp eyes were much too focused on us to get by. “Laney, get over here!” He seemed so squeamish for some reason.

            The principal gave us pointed looks. “Well, do you have anything to say about the incident in the lunch room?”

            I was floored. I could either take the fall or let Travis take it. There’d be consequences either way. I grabbed his long arm and dragged him to the other end of the hallway. Camille was left stalling Mr. Corsuis.

            “Talk,” I snarled.

            He sighed, running a hand through his dark brown hair. “My parents told me they’d disown me if I pulled one more prank. And since I’m turning eighteen in less than six months, I’m dead if something happens. I don’t have anywhere to go and this time I really didn’t pull the prank.”

            “I know you didn’t. I did. But you do know being pinned is just karma for what you’ve done to other people.”

            “Of course it was you. Only someone so cheesy and unoriginal would do something like that,” he snapped. “Are you going to help me or not?”

            I gave him an incredulous expression. “Seriously? I’ll make sure he doesn’t expel you, but consider the punishments already having the name Colster on them.”

            He suddenly laughed throatily. There was something I wasn’t in on about. What was up his sleeve? “I hoped I didn’t have to resort to this, but you won’t cooperate.” Before I could ask about what he meant, he marched right back to the principal. He was laughing with Camille about some joke and they looked like best friends. The only thing that was out of place was their age.

            “Mr. Corsuis! Laney told me she’s the one who did it,” he tattled snottily.

            “And I suppose you have some proof of that accusation?” He tried to back me up which I admired, but I still didn’t know what he was going on about.

            He brought out a small rectangular device out. I thought it was a camera before he pressed a few buttons and some sound played out. Oh, heck no, I thought angrily. Did he record me? I was seriously going to kill him. But you do know you deserve to get in trouble, the honest voice in my head chanted. True, I deserved to get in trouble, but he deserved payback for pinning his pranks on people too.

            This time I really didn’t pull the prank, the recording of Travis said.

            I cringed internally, remembering what I said in response to that. I promised I wouldn’t start using my ability for any specific reason, but this seemed to be a good one. I couldn’t afford getting expelled. This prank was amazingly genius, but it had its consequences.

             I thought about the recording device shattering to the ground and easily enough, it slipped by Travis’ finger. It hit the floor with a loud impact and Travis looked startled. “I-I didn’t. Y-you’ve got to b-believe me!”

            I turned around and with my pin straight hair in my face, I grinned wickedly. “No, Mr. Corsuis. You are innocent. But for what you’ve done countless times in the past, you have detention every day for two weeks. Excluding weekends.”

            I looked at the principal wearing a smug smile. “How’d you know?” My voice seemed a bit too curious for my liking, but I was kind of shocked.

            The principal only chuckled lowly in return. “For a sneaky student, you aren’t exactly quiet in your conversations. I heard the entire thing. And speaking of which, you’ll be joining Mr. Colster in detention. You will have three weeks though,” he explained with a smile on his face. I could tell he was enjoying my irritation.

            I gritted my teeth as I left. “You didn’t, did you?” Camille looked anxious with my answer.

            “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I lied nonchalantly.

            She lowered her voice so that no one except me could hear her. “I know you used telekinesis to make Travis drop the recorder,” she commented knowingly.

            Camille was the only person who knew about the ability of mine. It was only because she was at the right place, and the right time. Her lips were sealed with my secret and she swore she’d never tell another living soul.

            “Yeah, so? I was trying to get myself out of trouble. I’m not like you who got out nice and clean. And it doesn’t even matter. I messed it up even before I realized it.” I sighed before walking off slowly.

            Camille matched my stride. “It isn’t about who got what. If it’s punishment you want out of, I’ll take it for you. It’s about you using your powers for things you shouldn’t!”

            “Gee, thanks for the lecture, mom.

            “Don’t call me that,” she snapped, but I could tell she was far from joking. “Do you remember what happened to Carlos?” Her steely gaze was probing me to remember what happened to my telekinetic brother.

            I didn’t even look at her before walking away. Camille may have been my best friend but mentioning my brother was going too far.

          

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