The Daisy Killer

Briar Rowan, city girl and foster daughter. Who new life could be so exciting? When her supposed 'Birth parents' call her high school, her and her best friend Thyme uncover many mysteries of the past, and at the same time making a discovery that will change their lives forever.

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1. The Phone Call

 

 

“Are you listening to me, Briar? Brair! BRIAR! Do you want a detention?” (Mr Daye, Lesson 1)

“BRIAR! LISTEN! HELLO? UGH, TEENAGERS! NO RESPECT!” (Miss Zennife, Lesson 2)

“I hope you are listening Briar, beca- Briar? BRAIR! EVERYTIME!” (Mrs Rose, Lesson 3)

“Thyme, do your work. You to, Briar. Briar. BRAIR!” (Mr Kenly, Lesson 3 [Assistant])

“Well Briar, how tall is mount everes- Briar? BRIAR GET UP AND LISTEN!”  (Mr Wood, Lesson 4)

“I hope you are awake and ready to learn Bri- Briar? BRIAR! DETENTION!” (Miss Loveday, Lesson 5)

“So, A fir tree is how wide in diameter? Hands down if you’ve already answered. Briar, please. BRIAR!” (Mr Lennit, Lesson 6)

“Good afternoon, class. Sorry for disturbing the lesson, Mrs Glek. I have a message for Briar. Briar? B-r-i-a-r... Wake up dear, WAKE UP- I have a message for you.” (Nurse, Lesson 6) Wait- Nurse?

“I’m sorry, Nurse. Young people think they can do whatever they want.” Mrs Annoy-Your-Face-Off primly replied. I lazily blinked open my cloudy eyes and grimaced. The whole form of 30 boff-ish people were staring at me. Thank you, oblivious teachers, just what I want. To be laughed at. Really, do adults-pretending-to-know-what-they’re-talking-about have feelings? I gave Mrs Glek a hard stare, which she returned, poorly.  

“Well, go with the Nurse then!” She barked, getting flustered and flapping her twiggy arms around, doing a perfect impression of someone that was trying to do the funky chicken. “I expect you’ll be back in a few minutes. The headmistress never takes long when telling people off and signing those pink detention forms.”

Oh. How nice. Automatically assuming that I have done a level 5. (Pink detention slip{put in isolation for 30 mins}) Of course, I do have a record of going to the Mistress’ office 8 times in one day. (The 8th wonder of the world- It's also a wonder we haven't been expelled yet,) Thyme has yet to beat it. But anyway, I hadn’t done anything that bad today...

You could of course count when I stood in the middle of the yuck-yellow toilets with Thyme. We had charred sticks in our hands, pretending to smoke as we watched all of the mini first formers scuttle out whispering things like,

“The year 10’s!”

“I bet that’s Briar Rowan.”

“Yeah, And that’s Thyme Hawthorn!”

“Should we tell a teacher?”

“No, we would be classed as snitches!”

“But Mrs Zennife said we need to report any people smoking-”

“No way! Anny’s right. No one likes a snitch.”

Me and Thyme had waited until they had all stumbled out the door before cracking up. “That... was.. The most HILARIOUS THING EVER!” She gasped in between fits of giggles. I myself had tears of laughter dripping down my cheeks as I tossed my ‘Cigarette’ in the sink. “Totally. We need to do that more often!” I agreed. (Headmistress’ office visit No 1)

 

Or the time when I had barged into the staff room wearing a fake wig and awful floral dress that I had nicked from the drama room. Thyme had on a huge French moustache and bow tie. We had enthusiastically kicked open the fancy door, stormed in, and started doing a smexy tango that should have been on Strictly Come Dancing. (Headmistress’ office No 2)

I could go on, but that would be pointless considering I was trying to convince myself that I hadn’t done anything worthy of going to the Mistress’ office a 5th- or was it a 6th? Time today. Thyme shot me a look- we had never done anything ‘Bad’ without each other. I shot back a just as confused look, which relaxed her slightly. “What did you do?” She hissed at me, befuddled. I shook my head. “I don’t kn-”

“Briar please can you get your bags, as time is of the essence. Your parents have called and have asked to spend some time with you.” The Nurse snapped, impatiently. Teachers these days. “What? Why?” I replied. Thyme looked at the Nurse with her grey eyes, so similar to mine, like she was nutty- it was nice to have someone on you side for once. “I’m not sure dear, they just called in, spontaneously.” The Nurse admitted, getting more agitated by the second. It was comical. When I stopped laughing over the Nurse's antsy fidgeting, what she said registered in my absent mind. It was kinda weird, thinking about it. The only time my anti-social foster parents went out with me was... well, never. I knew that if my real parents hadn’t dropped me off on the doorstep to St Elizabeths hospital like dumping rubbish to a tip, things would’ve gone differently. I slowly picked up my tattered leather bag, not caring when bits of old chewing gum wrapper and crumpled work spilled onto the weird itchy carpet. “What do you think happened? family crisis? The house blew down?” Thyme murmured to me, grinning. I added my own cheese to the moment, wondering if they had had a family crisis. But no, they didn’t have any family to speak of- I think they all ran off to China or something. Thyme didn't have any family at the moment either, as her parents disappeared a few months ago, leaving her thinking that they couldn’t be bothered with her any more. Things didn’t quite add up though, as her parents had adored her. They also had been slightly over protective, always freaking out when Thyme asked to have Briar round.  “The house blew down option is looking extremely realistic, if you ask me.” I replied, smirking. On cue, she laughed.

“I always knew your shed was unstable.” She grinned. I shook my head, smiling and stood up, facing the Nurse.

“So, you really don’t know what my fruit cake foster parents want?” I questioned. This brought snickers from around the cramped room, earning a hard stare from Thyme. We always had been inseparable since the day her parents went missing. She talked to me because she knew that I would understand what she was going through.

“No dear, I didn’t mean your foster parents. I meant your birth parents. Your father- what’s his name? Bob? Bobbington? Bill? Oh yes, Ben called the school today, gave us an address and asked us to relay it to you so you could ‘go round’. I thought you did this as a regular thing. I also asked why, but he- Ben wouldn’t say.” The Nurse babbled. Um. Uh... Um. I sincerely hope she still has at least  a few marbles left in the sane jar.

“Miss,” I said warmly with a charming smile that usually gave me a detention because it made the teachers suspicious. Talking over her consistent babbling, I continued. “My parents haven’t actually contacted me since the day I was born, where they dumped me on a doorstep to a hospital. Evidently, I highly doubt that they called me today. Why don’t you have a lie down on  the couch in the staff room? I’m sure some good samaritan will offer you a pillow.” My classmates- Or enemies, if you wanted to get technical- that already knew this burst out laughing, but the rest who didn’t know looked stricken and started shooting sympathetic looks my way. I shot back about 18 especially dirty looks to said people. I didn’t want sympathy. I wanted respect, and if they started treating me like I five year old, I was literally going to freak. I checked back on the nurse, and as expected she looked hurt but totally and utterly oblivious to our exchange. Rolling my eyes, I began to say something equally as patronizing but Mrs Glek beat me to it. “Um, yes nurse. surprisingly, very surprisingly, for once  I agree with... With Briar. This ONCE! So, I advise you lie down for a bit. You are looking rather pale, dear.” This time even I couldn’t choke back a laugh, and ended up with half a hiccup half a snort. Soooo ungraceful. To someone who cares. I, personally, don’t, but apparently, the Nurse did, and so she frowned daintily, and made a small comment to laugh like a lady or not at all. Preferably not at all. Wonderfull. Thyme nudged me and mimicked the Nurses face;

“Laugh like a lady or not at all, Briar. Naughty girl! How disgraceful. I shall have a word with your ‘Fruitcake’  Foster parents.”

She did such a perfect mimicke I giggled and earned a disdainful glance from Mrs Glek, who had continued her lecture about how yellow submarines ‘Breathe’ underwater. Because we care, for crying out loud. Like any of us are going to be singing ‘we all live in a yellow submarine,’ when we’re bunking out with our partners beneath the waves. Or when I become a toilet plunger, and meet the, oh so high expectations of the majority of my teachers. Have I missed the part where I need to know how a submarines engine goes ‘choo choo’? Nuh uh, I don’t think so. For that matter, neither did Thyme as she kept miming banging a saucepan on Mrs head whenever her back was turned. Finally, the annoying bell squealed in my sensitive ear, yes, sensitive ear, and started of a migraine. Great. Groaning, I picked up my stuff and stumbled out the door with Thyme on my tail.

 

               I walked aimlessly down the corridors, earning funny looks from passers by as they all knew I had a reputation for stalking and banging into people who got in my way. Thyme caught up with me, looking slightly amused by my show.

"Don't you think it's weird though?" I began, squinting at the sun that glared at me through the glass double doors. Thyme, copying my expression, replied immiediatly.

"Well, yeah, but...you know the nurse... Always a bit of a dits and so on..."

"I know Thyme, but she didn't actually LOOK ill. I was just saying because... Well... It's just too good to be true. You know? And even if they did, why now? Why not when I was say, 6 or something? And WHY, I ask, did Mrs Glek agree with me? Ok, she did stress that it was this ONCE and so on, but still. We all know the Nurse is soft and totally a wet blanket, but she looked like she was being straight with me. Well, as normal as she CAN be." I huffed, and Thyme sighed. "Look Briar, I get what you're saying... And I understand. We'll know if it was a sick joke if they don't call again tomorrow, alright?" After a while of thinking, I nodded slowly, and walked out the school doors. We had taken a while, and everyone else had already gone home to their normal lives, where there only worries was the English assignment due next week.

 

Which I will never do. Ever. Ever!

 

  After hollering a goodbye to Thyme, who lived on the opposite side of the school to me, I rubbed my eyes and bent down to tie my worn shoelaces. Standing up, I then began the 30 minute walk home.

 

          Busting through the door with sore ankles and a bad migraine, I banged up stairs making as much noise as physically possible for a 14 year old girl.

"BRIAR ROWAN! SHUT THE HELL UP!" Came an angry voice from the tiny bedroom on my right. I was never called Briar Connors, as their last name was, but Briar Rowan, as said the piece of paper in my baby bundle of self pity. When my parents dropped me off, they left me in a brown cloth dress, a bedraggled blanket and a small scrap of paper with the name Briar Quinn Rowan written in cursive on the front. My foster parents neglection to call me by their last name just showed how much they wanted me. Oh wait, sorry, they don't. They only have me for the money, which they're supposed to use for my food and clothes, but instead use it for alcohol and spend the majority of the day hung over in bed. I stomp around the house especially for them, just for my own sense of judgement. Their reaction was key in my little punishment, hence the shouting. Grinning, My quest completed, I exaggerated old spy tiptoeing by their open door to meet the ugly glare of Miranda And Jackson Connors. "What?" I asked, innocently, blinking my freakishly large grey eyes at them, my eyelashes brushing my high cheek bones.

"Don't give me that young lady." Miranda snarled at me, her already wrinkly face wrinkling so badly I though it was just one giant wrinkle.

"Give you what? I was just quietly walking up to my bedroom, quiet as a mouse, all tip toe tip toe so I wouldn't disturb your hangover slumber. Just as I have the day before, and the day before, and the day befor-"

"How dare you! We give you food, clothes, shelter, and all we ask for in return is a bit of respect!" Connor grumbled at me. I could barely see his minuscule head over his huge stomach. Oh wait, yes I could, just a small tuft of hair RIGHT THERE... Oh, no, it's belly hair. gro-OSS.

"Respect?" I asked, Incredulously. "RESPECT? You give me NOTHING that is worthy of respect. Sure, I'll give you respect when you EARN it. But then again, you've never EARNED anything in your LIFE, HAVE YOU? Neither of you have worked a day in the period of 40 years!"

"WATCH YOUR MOUTH!" Miranda screamed at me. "GO TO YOUR BEDROOM RIGHT NOW!" With one last disgusted glance as my foster parents, I climbed the stairs and slammed my flimsy door, encouraging outraged swear words directed at me. I rolled my eyes and flopped on my bed, and stared at the crumbly ceiling, willing myself to fall asleep.

 

Obviously, it didn’t work, as it seemed that only five minutes had past when I heard Miranda’s harsh voice hit me in the face like a bad smell.

"BRIAR ROWAN! GET THE    >^{!~{*}!}   ?-&@-€\+      DOWN HERE RIGHT   ?-&-))"!-*% NOW! YOU ARE   ;£&,;..&*<.     LATE!"

“Now now, Mirry dear. We’ve been over this! Only swear at your anger managment teacher. Remember?” I call, my tone sickeningly patronizing. This only roused more abuse from her swollen lips, so I rolled my eyes and grabbed my bag and hair brush from the awkward doorway.

Plugging in my earphones, I walked in to the kitchen, that looked as if it desperately needed a makeover and had been waiting for one for years. I sat down at my usual place at the lopsided counter and reached over it to the cupboard that stored my cereal, milk (Unfortunately, the Connors don’t believe in fridges) bowl and spoon. Munching away at the strange, hard objects in my bowl that had gone way past being stale, I sighed and listened to Lana Del Ray sing about how we were all born to die. Yeah, I know the feeling. Suddenly, I could hear my heartbeat above the song, and it was in time with the rythm, slowing down and speeding up... Wth?

Dismissing it as my own imagination, I slid my bowl along the counter, wondering idly if it would still be there after school or if the Connor’s would put in any effort to keep their tip tidy. However, putting one bowl in the sink wouldn’t exactly make a difference, as there is at least 500,000 more. Don’t get me started on the spoons. I picked a few up, and started to drum on all the bowls and glasses in. An odd rythm, knowing that the Connors would greatly appreciate a banging headache. If they ever decided to get up, that is.

Slamming the front door as hard as I could, I slowly stepped outside and counted in seconds how long the door rattled.

1.... 2.... 3.... 4.... 5.... 6.... 7.... (New record!) 8.... 9...........

Shaking my head at myself, I turned around and started walking to school. Oh great, I guess it’s just another day of geography for me.

 

“You’re late.” My prim Form Tutor snapped.

“No Miss, I’m early.” I reply sarcastically, earning a grin from Thyme as I dropped my bag onto the itchy floor and slumped in my graffitied plastic chair.

“Where’ve you been?” Thyme hissed at me. “Miss here was almost on the verge of a breakdown had I not offered to call the police. Oh wait... that was before...”

“Ha,” I smiled, as Miss started calling the register. Once we had all been set down as here, late, over there, ill, and whatever else there is, we began walking to our first class.

“What have you got?” I questioned Thyme, as I did every morning.

“We, have got double Geography, break, then History, Maths, lunch, then English and CPSHE. Why do they add on C? It’s just... never made sense to me...” Thyme chattered as we walked down the buzzing corridor the Humanities building.

“Citizenship...” I murmured back to Thyme, who had long been into the subject of Geography and how we are never going to use it.

“Sorry?” She asked, stopping mid-sentence.

“CPSHE. Citizenship, Personal, Social, Health, Education.” I laughed.

“Woah, when did you become a walking dictionary,” She chuckled.

I rolled my eyes as the door of our Geography lesson came into view. Out of the corner of my mind, I noticed Thyme was groaning about how we had Mr Wood and this day couldn’t get any worse. I, however, was still jumbled up in my own thoughts. What if they called again? The people that said they were my parents? What if.... what if, what if, what if! Nothing was making sense. Sitting down in my usual place at the back, I let my eyes glaze over while Mr Wood began his lecture about how prime numbers are amazing and have helped the world with so many things.Yeah- like what exactly? And how does that relate to Geography?

“BRIAR! GET UP NOW, AND LISTEN!”

Ouch.

 

 

 

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