Phoenix buttered a slice of toast, gazing at the TV screen absentmindedly. Her mother hurried about, rushing around the living room, and then in the kitchen, only to find herself back in the living room again.
Taking a bite out of her toast, Phoenix pulled on her blazer, listening to the news.
"Mark Taylor, aged 42, was found this morning unconscious near the pub..." The news reporter droned on.
She grabbed her bag and hurried out of the house, putting on her boots. Keeping her head down, she walked briskly to school. English was first on her timetable and Phoenix gave a mental groan. It wasn't that she wasn't doing well, she just hated the lesson. The teacher spent too much time waiting for the class to shut up and Phoenix barely learnt anything. Phoenix spent the rest of the short journey mentally reciting her timetable for the day, making sure she hadn't forgotten anything.
She arrived at the school grounds just as the bell went off. Sighing in relief, she made her way to Room 12 where her English lessons were held.
She sat down in her seat at the back of the classroom, as the rest of her class came in. Phoenix pulled out her exercise book from her bag and wrote down the date and title. The lesson went on like it always did - there would be a couple of students talking about something that had nothing to do with the lesson and the teacher would stand there, waiting, refusing to carry on with the lesson until the students shut up.
French was no different - except that they had a supply teacher yet again.
"Where's Mr Jeggings?" Anna Withers had asked.
"Mr Jenkins." Her best friend, Dorothy, corrected her while the rest of the class snickered.
Phoenix doodled in the back of her book during this lesson.
The bell rand and relieved, Phoenix left the room quicker than any of the other students, She met her two best friends by the library block.
"Hi Phoenix!" Her best friend gave her a small wave. Sian was a hazel-eyed, dark haired genius, but that didn't stop her from acting like an average teenager. She wasn't even a stereotypical nerd, and wore non-prescription glasses with thick frames that she had picked up from Primark. She said she wore them 'to be ironic'. Phoenix waved back.
Nisha, Phoenix's other best friend, was also a genius. Her long black hair was tied back in her usual french plait, and she gave a manic grin as she pushed her glasses up her nose.
"Did you hear the news?" Sian's face was excited and there was a glimmer of happiness in her eyes.
"That murder?" Phoenix asked Sian.
"No not that. Apparently, a film crew are moving into the old Cast place."
"Oh. My. Gosh. I need to, like, message everyone." Nisha said mockingly, pulling out her phone and pretending to tap away to everyone on her contacts. "Fine. I won't." She put her phone away, uncomfortable from the stares she got from her friends.
Saturday came and over the past couple of days, many girls in Phoenix's year dyed their hair in shades of brown or black. There were a lot more girls were hair extensions and the girls with short hair were frantically exchanging tips on how to make their hair grow quicker.
Phoenix had gotten permission to write an article for the school newspaper and had found out as much information as possible. It seemed that the film was based on a novel. Rumours were that one of the actresses had damaged her neck. The film couldn't be delayed and a new actress was needed. Sian had camped out the night, missing a day of school, just so that she didn't have to wait in a queue.
Phoenix smiled at Sian. "You're insane. You must really want this part." Phoenix handed her a sandwich that her mother had made for Sian.
Grateful, Sian took a bite out of it. "Of course I want this part. I'm a brilliant actress. Anyway, most of these lot here have just came to see Alex."
Phoenix shook her head, while laughing. "Thanks for saving me a place in the queue."
"No problem, but when this film is released, you have to be the first person to interview me."
Phoenix smiled again.
"You know this must be the first time you smiled more than once in a day." Sian noticed. The two spent their time in the queue talking and then listening to music when they ran out of things to say. Phoenix's legs ached and she was feeling irritable. "How much longer? This is worse than maths."
"Almost at the front of the line."
Phoenix and Sian filled in a form and handed it in. They were led into a waiting room and the two waited for half an hour before they were called.
"Break a leg, Sian." Phoenix whispered to Sian, as Sian stood up. Phoenix noticed her tremble slightly. Sian was normally confident and Phoenix hoped nothing went wrong.
Phoenix stood up and was led into a room. Inside was a make-shift stage and three people sat in chairs, looking bored.
Phoenix gave her name and was handed a page of script.
"Act that out."
Phoenix read the script quickly and bit her lip, making her way to the stage. One of the people that were seated in teh chairs stood up and walked over to her. "You may start."
Phoenix's hand trembled as she read out the first line of the script. "The y-year 2032 was... terrifying. But I would g-gladly go home then this wa-war. The world h-had gone mad and as the richer countries de-devel-oped, the population of... of Africa decreased." Phoenix paused as the script told her to. "Do you think we'll ever get out here alive?"
"I don't know but the Echidnas will win. We'll make sure of that." The voice came confidently,- professional. I looked up from the script to see it was the very person that the line of girls outside wanted to meet - Alex.
"But Estelle's betrayal won't help, will it? I mean, she knew too much and being on their side isn't exactly going to give us an advantage."
"We can try though."