I hitch my school bag up higher and push through the front door of the school. The baron halls stand still, not a sound to be heard. My footsteps echo through the old, empty building. I reach my locker, unlock it and shove my bag in. I lock it again and leave towards the library. It’s half past seven in the morning. I’m an hour and a half early, like always. I like to get to school early to study the classes I have during the day. Today, I find myself making my way to the history department. Once I reach the rows filled with historic books, audio CD’s and computers and such with history written all over it, I search the rows until I find books about Chernobyl. I grab out a stack and make my way over to a table. I silently place the books on the table and take a seat in front of them, grabbing on and pulling it open in the process. I continue my studies from the marker I left last time I used the book. No one ever bothered with the library so I could pretty much mark what I wanted in books and no one would take them out. I like to call myself Queen of Library. Like a take-off of “King of The Jungle” but not ‘King’ because I’m a girl and not ‘jungle’ because jungles have thriving plants and thick undergrowth and all my library contains is books.
With the book placed in front of me, I tend to lose myself in the worlds and I feel myself being transported into the book but I’m ripped out when I hear an agonized scream filling the halls.
“Hello?’ I call out into the once again silent halls. I push myself out of my chair and head towards the library entrance. I hear not a sound. “Are- are you alright?” I call again. Still, I receive no reply.
I reach the door and slowly push it open, stepping into the hallway. The hallway feels eerie and I can’t shake the feeling that something is completely wrong. I step completely into the open, away from the safety of my kingdom.
Another scream bounces off of the walls; the echoes giving no clear indication of where the sound is coming from.
The locker doors start opening and closing, the noise sounding like a ritualistic drum beat. Howls and screeches and screams and whispers bounce of the walls and get thrown around by the doors opening and closing.
I hear another scream, like the first one. It’s much closer this time.
“W-what’s going on?!” I shakily say. I tiptoe towards the end of the hall and poke my head around the corner. I see a boy sprawled on the floor, shaking violently. He’s lying in a pool of crimson blood and whimpering. A black shape rans past him and the boy screams again and the pool of blood quickly spreads across the floor. The boy goes back to shaking and whimpering.
The shape I assume is a man flies past him again, I see him raise a blade and slam into the boy’s chest.
At that, I scream and the man turns to face me. He comes at me. Fast. His blade in his hand, covered and dripping blood. His black arm pushes me against the locker with such force that I struggle for breath.
He grins; yellow pointed teeth stare back at me. He speaks. Unlike any voice I’d ever heard. It sounds like thousands of voice talking in sync. Thousands of deep voice talking in sync with an evil force.
“Every thousand years, the gods demand a virgin be sacrificed to keep their power. And every other thousand years, a demon demands a social outcast be sacrificed so the power is never lost.”
He pushes me up against the lockers again and I hit my head, and slide down the wall, blood trickles down after me.
Before I fall unconscious, I see the lights flicker back on and the banging stops, along with an outburst of laughter.
I fall under.
I wake up to a hand gently pressing a wet cloth to my forehead. I groan and try to push myself up but those gentle hands push me down again; definitely male hands. A woman’s hands wouldn’t have that much force in them. I open my eyes to be blinded by the piercing white glow of the nurses’ office lights. I see a silhouette of someone standing over me; a head of curly hair with bits sticking up everywhere.
“Ease up. Just stay down. We’re waiting for you parents to come get you. It’s all okay.” He says. Okay, it’s definitely a male. He has a deep, raspy voice that sends shivers down my spine.
I groan again and I feel another damp cloth placed onto my forehead. He holds it there for a few minutes until it’s not cold and I try to sit up again. This time, he doesn’t try to stop me. My eyes flick open and take a minute or so to adjust to the lighting in here.
I see a hand outstretched and I take it.
“Hi, I’m Harry,” the boy says. By now, my eyes are adjusted to the lighting and I see that he has a dimple in each cheek. I nod my head.
“Lainley,” I say simply. He nods his head, understanding me.
“Do they always do this sort of stuff to you?” Harry asks me, no longer smiling.
“Hmm?” I question. I’m completely lost and my head is killing me.
“All the other kids at the school. Do they always play pranks on you and treat you like complete crap?” I look up at him and see concern in his green eyes as he speaks.
“Oh... uhm... Yeah, pretty much; although, the last few weeks, it stopped. Should’ve known better,” I slap my arm, silently telling myself to stop telling this stranger things. He gives me a confused glance and I shrug my shoulders.
“So... what did you say about my parents earlier?” I ask, curiously.
“Oh, just that the nurse contacted them earlier and that they’ll come around to get you as soon as they can. They made it quite clear that they can’t attend to you right at the minute- I just sounded so rude just then, please forgive me,” he speaks.
It completely shocks me. And it shocks him too.
“I... uh. Um. Uh...” I mumble awkwardly.
He stares at me.
Great, I messed up again, yay, I think.
Then he starts laughing. “Lainley, I like you. Ha- ha. You’ve a good sense of humour. I wish everyone wasn’t so mean to you though, it really sucks.” He says.
I stopped listening after he said he likes me. A friend? No, it’s got to be a prank. It really does.
He can’t seriously like me. I’m a wreck. Did he not just see what the school did to me? If he got caught hanging around with me, well, he’d be socially dead. Just like me. I don’t want that to happen. This has got to be a prank because the school can’t leave me alone at needing stitches. AGAIN. Oh no. Oh no, he’s staring.
I shake my head and look at him again. “Uh, I’m sorry. What where you saying?”
He smiles at me, his dimples showing again. “I was just saying that you’re cool and I think you’re funny and I wish people weren’t mean to you. I’m sorry if I was too forward, though,” Harry says.
I hear the bell go off and look at my watch. 9:00am. Great. I’ve officially ruined my hundred percent attendance.
“Harry, shouldn’t you be getting to class? I mean it’s nine and all. You don’t want to get into trouble.”
“Oh, no. I’m the VIP of the day and the office ladies asked me to stay here to make sure no one tries anything else.” He says.
He sounds genuine, But how can I be sure? Ugh. I’ll just ignore him. I’ll pretend to be asleep or something. I don’t know. But I know that he’s playing something with me. I don’t quite know what it is but I will find the hell out of it. I just have to make sure I don’t say anything about myself. Okay, Lainley. Pay attention to what he says and does. You can do this. Yes. I can do this.
“Oh, that makes sense. When I was the VIP of the day, I got pelted with eggs.”
Shit. Keep it together, Lain.
I sit up straighter and make myself comfortable. Harry stares at me with those big green eyes that glow in the fluorescent light. I look away as soon as I can before I lose myself as if I were back in my kingdom.
Despite my best efforts, Harry doesn’t leave my side until my parents arrive, both freshly showered and trying to look normal. I could tell by the distant look in my mother’s eye that the urgent work didn’t go to plan. I just look up to her and wrap my arms around her neck. My mother pulls away and leads me out of the nurses office while my Dad stays back to shake Harry’s hand. I wish he wouldn’t be so punctual because now Harry’s going to tell everyone about how my parents are weird or how they put their work before their daughter, not that I care about that of course but it will give them leverage. Harry could also talk about how I got pelted with eggs. I made a huge mistake blabbering to him but I couldn’t help it. Oh my god, what’s wrong with me?
My mother signs a few notes at the front office and leads me out to the car and proceeds to drive me to the hospital for more stitches. Again. If I got a dollar for the amount of times that that school has put me in here, I wouldn’t have to pay anymore. I don’t know what it is but I always end up in here.
We reach the hospital and I get out of the car. My father soon follows and wraps his arm around my waste to help me up the stairs. I don’t need help though. I have a sore head, not sore legs but nevertheless, I let the man help me because I love him. I turn around and see my mother trying to find a parking space. Eventually, I think she gives up and goes to park in the employee parking lot. I don’t know why she didn’t think of that earlier. She drives out of view just as I enter the building so she won’t be too far behind us.
Rows of chairs filled with the sick and injured line the walls and run down the middle of the room. I feel each of their eyes upon me as I enter the sullen room. I follow my Dad up to the counter and we get buzzed in when he shows his ID to the woman. I walk towards the door and feel a hundred eyeballs glaring holes into my sole. Great, now everyone at the hospital hates me too. Terrific.
Dad grabs my hand and pulls me through the door and closes it behind me. I can’t feel their eyes on me anymore but I know they’re still staring.
Nurses and Doctors roam the halls, pushing beds and trolleys with medicine or food for the sick and elderly. It smells strongly of disinfectant and lemon. It must be hospital grade because the amount of chemicals is sickening. Dad drops me off at a nurse’s station and tells me to stay put until he comes back. I stand there, with my back up against the desk. Men and woman in different coloured scrubs wonder past me and ask if I’m okay or if I’m lost and I answer every one of their questions with “I’m fine”. They don’t seem to mind too much. They just smile and carry on with their jobs. Soon, I feel a tap on my shoulder and turn to see my dad in green scrubs; he takes my hand and leads me to a room with IV drips and things placed around the bed.
“You aren’t going to use those on me, are you Dad?” I ask, slightly shaky.
He laughs and shakes his head. “No Dear. All you need to do is suck on the green whistle,” he smiles. He white teeth beaming as he hands me the green whistle.
My dad’s proud of what he does. Proud of helping people. Proud of accomplishing at life and I think that half of the time, he won’t be proud of me unless I copy his life exactly. Anyway, I take the green whistle and suck on it until I feel light and I don’t feel the pain anymore.
“Okay, darling. I need you to sit still. I have a needle near your brain and I don’t want you to accidentally hurt yourself, okay?” He says behind me.
“Yea,” I say, out of it.
I don’t even feel the stitches going into my head. I don’t really remember much after he did the first one. I think I passed out. I don’t know. All I know is that I woke up in my bed, with a white bandage around my head and a mother with her arms wrapped around me like a wing.
“Hey there, Mum. Hey Dad.” I smile. The two smile at me and both kiss me on the forehead.
“We love you, Lainley,” and with that, the pair walk out of the room. Leaving me as confused as ever. The close my door as I leave which I silently thank them for. I grab my phone which is sitting on my bedside table and log onto my Facebook to pass a little bit of time. I have a few notifications and...
And a friend request.