Stairs to Nowhere

Not your average Cinderella story. The locked tower holds in a girl with broken things where her heart should be. And, this tower holds out a girl with a heart as hard as black ice. Smoke creeps up the stairs, and the rising flames between these two are threatening to burn everything that stands in their way. The cause of these flames? Insecurities and one boy. Good luck girls. A Fairy Godmother's wand can't fix this.


5. But it Flew Away from Her Reach

Never get mixed up with a person whose mad and sad face look the same. The mixed signals just aren't worth it.


   I managed to avoid Evelyn for the rest of the night and well on into the next day.


   Most of my time before lunch was spent in the principal's office being yelled at for "my" egging of Mr. Darren's car. And, once again, the police couldn't do anything because there was no proof.

   So Mr. Darren, in all his red-faced glory, had to be taken to the hospital because his blood pressure had spiked, causing him to faint into his desk and get a pretty good sized gash on his forehead. I was then told to get back to class so the janitors could clean up the spilled blood.

   To avoid Evelyn some more, I ended up staying in the library for lunch again. And again, I watched the dancing shadows on the spines of all the books. And again, I was snapped out of my thought process by the bell.

   And that's how I ended up in Anatomy class, thinking that I'd gotten through half the day without seeing Evelyn's wrath. But then I saw Luke; and, with one glance, I could tell that he'd absorbed some of her wrath and just barley concealed it within himself.

   When I walked over to the table and set my book down, it was like the gentle sound of it was the thunder-clap that awoke the beast.

   "Could you be more pathetic?" Luke asked. My eyes shot up from the desk to the side of his face.

   "Exscuse me?" I was surprised by the fact that he seemed more irritated with me rather than angry. He kept his eyes looking forward while he responded.

   "You skipped lunch because you were afraid of Evelyn." He scratched at the side of his nose and then crossed his arms over his chest as if to make his statement sound like the ending of a conversation rather than a beginning.

   I paused for a second, blinking, and then asked, "You noticed that I wasn't there?" In the split-seconds that followed, I watched his eyes widen and the muscles in his crossed arms bulge out as his whole body went ridged. But, it was only for a second because it seemed like I blinked and everything was back to normal. For that sliver of time though, it looked as though he had been caught saying that he dealt cocaine on the weekends for fun.

   "How was your visit with our lovely principal today?" My irritation took all other thoughts from my brain.

   "Just great. Yeah, it was really just great. You guys are getting so creative with those pranks of yours." At this point, I was still standing at the side of the lab table watching him, now mimicking his crossed arms and forward glare.

   "Just be happy it wasn't something worse."

   And with those words, I felt like a puppy who had felt all big and mighty but was then scolded by its owner and reminded of how small it really was. All of the fight inside me fled with the quickness of a fawn running from hunters.

   I sat down without saying another word, praying that the clock would somehow jump forward 40 minutes.


   Some people believe that luck is changeable, or they believe in the idea of karma, "what goes around comes around." I personally believe that good and bad things are both present in a person's life, but you're born with your luck and it never changes. Those people who run across the road and barley avoid getting hit by cars, those are the kind of people who could wing a Shakespeare test and still get an A. The people who would fail a Shakespeare test if they winged it are the kind of people who would get run over by said cars.

   I'm in that second group.

   No matter how many whispered prayers I uttered, that 40 minutes seemed to turn into 80. Then the bell rang, and I could finally stand to stretch out my cramping legs. Having such short legs forced a person to rest their feet on the upper bar of the stool, creating an uncomfortable situation if stuck there too long.

   While standing on my tip-toes, a hand gripped my shoulder with enough force to make it hurt.

   "Next time, I'd watch your sassy mouth. I'm the alpha dog here, I control this entire situation; not you. Evelyn may see things, but if she hears them from me, she doesn't need to see anything to believe it." The gravely accent was back, and it sent a shiver of terror down my spine. He was serious, and there was no debate over it. Luke would sell me to the devil for three corn chips if he got the chance.

   His fingers left red marks on my skin as he slowly drug them off of my shoulder. I tensed slightly from the pain, but soon it was gone just as quickly as it had come. Two seconds later, when I finally got the ability to move again, I turned my head sideways to look for him. But him and all the other students were gone, the door just closing from the last person that had exited.


   My step-dad fights for a ride for me in the mornings, but the forced rides don't extend to after school. It makes me an easy target for Evelyn and her friends as they drive by.

   So that's how I ended up on a sidewalk, soaking wet from the muddy water Evelyn had just sprayed on me when she drove through a puddle filled with last night's rain.

   There was laughter, but surprisingly there were no audible comments that came from them as they drove off.

   But through the only window that had been rolled down at the time, I saw Ashton. He must've been the designated camera man because right before it all happened, I heard him shout my name, and I turned to see the little red recording light on his phone start blinking.

   When he lowered the camera though, I swear I had seen the faintest look of guilt fill his eyes. Then the car was too far away for me to see if I had imagined it or not.


   Nothing got better the next day.

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