Broken Strings

Who was playing that day? And why can't Eleanor forget the tune?


6. Overtone

The view that met Eleanor’s eyes as she opened the car door took her breath away. It was like something out of a book.

The school grounds were surrounded by a 3ft wall with a cobble-stone pathway leading straight up to the main school building. The building itself looked more like a palace than a school. The vast walls of Edwardian heritage were placed in the middle of various areas of sports grounds, grass areas and what appeared to be patio covered eating areas.

Eleanor stood in a stunned silence for a few minutes, staring in awe at her new school. “Well this is where I leave you Miss” the driver announced, closing the door behind her and smiling. Eleanor jumped and turned around. “But what about” she began as the driver got back in the car after handing her an envelope. “I will take your bags to your accommodation, that letter tells you everything you need to know for now” he re-assured her, gesturing at the envelope and grinning broadly. “Now I advise you make a move, they’ll be expecting you.”

As he drove off, Eleanor suddenly realised what was happening and how big it all was. Her pale legs began to shake as she took her first trembling steps into the change that awaited her. The walk up the path seemed to take hours; everywhere she looked there was a piece of beauty and wonder. “Are you alright?” a voice asked her as she stopped for what felt like the hundredth time to stare at the building. Eleanor turned around and jumped as a very short, yet beautiful girl with short jet black hair and ivory skin looked her up and down and smiled innocently. “Um... Yes thank-you, I’m just... It’s so beautiful here and... Oh I don’t suppose you could show me the,” Eleanor managed to stutter before the short girl interrupted her.
“Are you the new girl? Eleanor Bryce?” she said clearly, taking the now crumpled letter from Eleanor’s hand and reading it quickly. “Um... Yes?” Eleanor replied.
“Are you asking me or telling me?” The girl asked slightly impatiently, still reading the letter.
“I’m... Telling you?” Eleanor replied before the girl gave her a stern glance “Telling you.” She re-affirmed.  “Okay then. I’m supposed to take you to the Student Council room. Follow me.” The girl ordered, stepping in front of Eleanor and walking off with surprising speed, leaving Eleanor to follow clumsily behind.

By the time Eleanor and her guide reached the tall dark oak door that lead to the Student Council room, Eleanor was getting out of breath. “Alright, we’re here. Try to look less... Tired.” The girl sighed after looking Eleanor up and down again. Eleanor nodded and stood up straight, smoothing down her hair and taking a few deep breaths. “In you go!” the girl announced, knocking twice and pushing a startled Eleanor through the doors.

“How nice of you to finally arrive Miss Bryce.” A tall boy greeted her as she gathered herself and looked around the new space. The room appeared to be a study, with walls lined with books and expensive looking sofas and chairs in the corners of the room. “Good afternoon” she replied formally, holding out a hand to the boy and then putting it back down by her side as he stared at her with distaste. He had very neat brown hair, and everything about him seemed... Clean. His uniform was implacable, and his complexion was completely pristine. “You do realise you are late?” he inquired, taking a seat on one of the sofas and staring at Eleanor. She looked up at the clock and grimaced. “I’m awfully sorry, I guess there was traffic...” she explained, trying to ignore the fact she was only 1 minute late. “I suppose that can’t be helped. But you could have had the decency to phone ahead.” The boy suggested, picking up a file off of the coffee table in front of him and flicking through the contents. “So. Miss Eleanor Wendy Bryce. Welcome to Ingenia Academy.”

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