Conformation

I followed my sister deep into the tall grass, running as fast as my little legs could carry me.
“Kaitlin, where are you going?” I asked my older sister as she hopped the barbed-wire fence to the outside world. She looked around us, making sure we were alone.
“I’ll be back soon Tommy, don’t worry. I’m just gonna go hang out with some friends for awhile, okay?” she smiled back at me.
“But mommy says we’re not allowed to cross the fence. It dangerous.”
“Gosh, Tommy, stop being such a little brat. I told you, I’ll be safe,” she rolled her eyes at me. But I knew something she didn’t know; that she wouldn’t be safe. Not out there.

-Based on a dream I had xx

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2. CHAPTER ONE

 

“I don’t know if I can do it Phoenix. What if he doesn’t really find me attractive?” I tugged at my uniform skirt as I confided in my best friend as we walked from our third class of the day.

“Cecelia, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to charming boys. In fact, you have nothing to worry about at all! Unlike me,” she laughed, her curly blonde hair bouncing.

“What do you mean?”

“I have a doctor’s appointment today. The last time I went, they thought I would need some weird tests.”

“Phoenix!” I yelled, almost dropping my books. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because I feel fine! Anyways, they’re not totally sure yet and that’s why I’m going again today. But don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll do fine,” she brushed off the subject.

“I surely hope so,” I shrugged worriedly.

“Hey, Cecelia. Look who’s walking this way,” she elbowed me in the side. My eyes quickly glanced up to see Lewis Ray, the boy I was severely crushing on, walking towards us with an enormous grin on his face.

“Hey Cecelia. Hi Phoenix,” he greeted us casually.

Phoenix gave me a devilish smirk.

“I’d love to stay and chat, but I’m going to be late for my appointment,” Phoenix announced as she quickly scurried off, leaving Lewis and I alone.

“Well that was easy,” he laughed.

“Ha, yeah.”

“So, Cecelia, would you mind grabbing some lunch with me?”

“No, of course not.”

 

~O~

 

Lewis and I stopped by a nearby pastry shoppe, quickly grabbing croissants to munch on before our next class.

“So what made you interested in the medical field, Lewis?” I inquired.

“Well, my father is a doctor, as was his father. It only seems the appropriate thing to do. How about you?”

“Hmm…” I thought aloud. “I guess I feel the need to help the general public.”

“That’s very noble of you, Cecelia,” Lewis looked at me with his analytical blue eyes.

“Thank you,” I blushed.

 

As we were entering the second hall in the main building, a piercing scream ripped through the air.

“What on earth is going on?” Lewis asked, looking around the halls at other bewildered students. But before anyone could reply, his answer came barreling down the hallway.

“Step back,” Lewis demanded, shielding me behind him. Seconds later, a screech erupted and the sound of heavy footsteps became louder. Everyone around us was trampling over one another as I stood still in confusion and could only watch as the scene unfolded before me.

“She’s gone mad!” I heard one voice yell.

“She’ll try to kill us!” Another shouted. I attempted to peer over Lewis’s shoulder only to see the previous figure tackling countless students and assaulting them violently. As the figure closed the distance between us, I noticed the girlish figure of the student. How familiar she looked. It ran by us, and in that split second I thought to myself, Mother of God…it’s Phoenix!

“Phoenix? Phoenix! What are you doing?” I yelled.

“Stay back Cecelia. She’s insane,” Lewis warned.

“No she’s not. She’s my friend. Phoenix,” I coaxed her, “I thought you were at the doctor’s office.”

With that, she hissed at me, bearing ugly yellowish teeth which she hadn’t had before. Then began running down another corridor.

“I have to follow her!” I stepped out from behind Lewis.

“You can’t!” he grabbed my arm.

“I have to! She could get hurt,” I removed his grip on my sleeve. I ran after Phoenix as fast as I could. My skirt and hair billowing behind me, I jogged down the hallway. I followed around corners and stairs, but the distance between us grew larger and larger.

It felt like forever before I came upon the heart of the school. Looking down every hallway, I couldn’t see my desperate comrade.

“Phoenix?” I called into the emptiness. As I was turning back, a blood-curdling scream emanated from up the stairs. I followed the sound, careful to watch my step as I took them two by two. As I reached the top, there Phoenix stood, the librarian’s throat to her mouth.

“Phoenix, are you alright?” I approached her. Her head snapped up instantaneously, examining me with scrutiny. I felt little under her glare, which in itself was something I’d never seen before.

“Fee, are you alright?” I asked, using her old nickname. Something in her eyes dimmed, and a sense of normality seemed to settle there.  She shook her head, tearing up in the slightest bit.

“Why don’t I take you to the nurse’s office? Can we do that?” Unfortunately, my sentence held no meaning as the shattering of glass brought upon the untimely death of my friend. Her blood painted my clothes and spattered my face. I stood, eyes widened as I watched the life drain from hers.

“Thank goodness you’re okay,” Lewis tugged my away from the crumpled body that lie on the linoleum floor. I couldn’t tell him I was okay. I couldn’t say anything.

Everything around me blurred as my mind refused to register what had happened. Pointless sentences jumbled together, swirling around in front of my eyes.

“Cecelia, are you feeling okay?” Lewis’s voice floated through my head. What kind of ridiculous question was that? Of course I’m not feeling okay!

My anger was the only thing that stilled my spinning vision and I looked down upon Phoenix’s lifeless body. It was so lifeless and unmoving; the sight was unreal.

“She…she was so young,” I sniffled, “she was about to graduate.”

“I know. It’s tragic,” Lewis embraced me, patting my back. Surprisingly, I felt nothing.

“What am I—“ sob, “going to do without her?”

He examined me critically, something seemingly cold about his composure.

“Come with me,” Lewis took me by the hand without hesitation, “let’s get out of here.”

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