Iris Hale: HUNTER *NaNoWriMo Draft 2016*

*NaNoWriMo 2016*/
Periliares are a crafty bunch. You might know them as 'demons'. They hate that word. The idea that all of them are evil is idiotic. The same way all humans aren't evil, not all periliares are evil. Just top of the food chain. And a lot of them have superiority complexes. That's where I come in. Most of them view themselves as gods, which is fine, whatever. But the second they think they can kill more than their fill, I have an issue.
My name is Iris Hale, and I'm a hunter.
/©Molly Looby

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4. Four

They spilt us off into groups, and I could escape the girls, having taken PE as an option, unlike them. But as we were walked down to one of the spare classrooms they pretended were built for the PE block, I couldn’t take my mind off Corey.

Jess and Mia — my PE almost-friends — were quick to find me and begin the long how was your summer talk. I pretended to be interested in what they had to say, offering just enough not to be asked what was wrong.

They wouldn’t understand anyway. No one would. No one could. Not even Erin. I kept my normal human life and my hunter life separate. Only Sylvie knew about both sides of me, and I wanted to keep it that way.

But the second anything cropped up, it always set this ridiculous fear off in me that I’d been found out. Which was stupid as no one even knew about periliares. And even if they did, why would they suspect me? Who would suspect the young-looking blonde girl with a fondness for leather jackets?

It wasn’t until English when I looked at my timetable again that I realised I had to endure science with Phoebe and Beth for a second time that day.

“What?” I groaned, slamming my homework diary shut. “You have to be joking.”

“What?” Erin didn’t look up from her work.

“I have chemistry after lunch. That’s gonna be cheery.”

“You’ll have to apologise to Phoebe.”

“What?” I scoffed. “I didn’t do anything wrong. And anyway, I already said I was sorry and it came out wrong. What more can I do?”

She shrugged and looked up at me. “Just pretend you’re really into your work. She might have already forgotten about it.”

“If some new drama comes up.” I let my hair down to try and tame some of the smaller strands back into my ponytail. “This day just keeps getting better and better.”

After keeping an eye out for Corey all through lunch, I dragged my feet to chemistry, hoping something was going to cause Phoebe and Beth not to show up, like a sickness bug or a massive family drama or something. They weren’t there when I arrived, and I huffed as I took my seat from last year, busying myself with my year ten book just so I looked busy.

But to my surprise, they were chirpy as ever when they walked in, deep in conversation. I averted my eyes as they sat down, but they didn’t seem to notice me. It wasn’t that they were ignoring me exactly, just that they didn’t pay any attention to anything outside of their babbling bubble.

“Just try it,” Phoebe said. “What’s the worst that could happen?”

I leaned forward a little, still not looking at them.

“I dunno.” Beth dragged the word out.

“Come on. It’s fun.”

“Maybe. Maybe later after school.”

“I’ll be bugging you until you do it.”

Beth chuckled. “God, I know you will.”

I glanced up, and Beth smiled at me.

“Pheebs is trying to make me join Chattication.”

I felt my eyebrows come together. “What?”

“The app I was using when I met Ben,” Phoebe chimed in.

I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything.

“And she’s going to do it.” Phoebe grinned. “Right, Beth?”

“I told you, I don’t know.”

“At least download it.”

“Maybe later.” Beth was still smiling like this was all some sort of big joke.

“Is it meant for meeting people or what?” I asked. Screw it. If it was the wrong thing to say it was the wrong thing to say. I needed to know what the hell was going on around here.

“It’s just for chatting,” Phoebe said, flipping her hair. “But you can meet new people on there.”

“Right. What was it again?”

“Chattication. You should get it, Iris! We all should. We could chat on there.”

“What’s wrong with texting?”

Phoebe rolled her eyes. “Like anyone texts anymore.”

Right, silly me. Like typing words into this ChattyCrap was any different than typing them in a text message.

“Here.” Phoebe grabbed Beth’s homework diary and jotted something down in the blank space from yesterday before doing the same with mine. When she slid it back it had Princess-Pheebs-xox written in her fancy handwriting. “That’s my username so you can add me. You’ll have to download it soon if you want to get anything even close to your name.”

“All right, all right.” Beth shut her homework diary. “I’ll do it after school.”

She was true to her word. I got an old-fashioned text from Beth as Erin and I climbed onto the bus.

I gave in. My username is Bethany-x-Blossom. Add me if you get peer pressured into it! x

“What the hell is this?” I muttered more to myself than to Erin as we sat down. “Does it have to be alliteration?”

“What are you mumbling about now?” Erin peered over my shoulder, and I showed her my phone.

“Phoebe convinced Beth to get the stupid app she’s using.”

“So?”

I clenched my phone tighter. “Well…” I couldn’t think of anything, so I huffed.

Erin leant back on the seat. “You let everything bother you. So what they’re both using that app? What does it matter to you?”

I ignored that. “It’s called Chattication, or some crap like that. Have you heard of it?”

“No, but I’m sure she’ll tell me all about it.”

“You’ll be lucky if you don’t get a message tonight. Listen to this, Phoebe’s calling herself Princess Pheebs and Beth’s gone for Bethany Blossom. I mean, why?”

Erin chuckled. “Sounds like the email addresses we used to use in year eight. What was yours?”

“I still use mine because it didn’t have a stupid name. I just used my name like a sane person.”

Erin smirked. “Of course you did. Mine was something like Erin Elephant.”

“Again with the alliteration. What is that about? If Phoebe wants me to get this app so bad, I might call myself Irritated Iris.”

“You should do that just to see the look on her face. Icy Idiotic Ignorant Iris.”

“More like Intelligent Illusive Ingenious Iris.”

“No wait, I’ve got the best one. Ironic Iris.”

I grinned. “That pretty much sums it up.”

I glanced out the window at all the kids milling around for no reason. A pair of eyes caught mine. Corey.

“Erin!” I grabbed her arm. Too hard.

“Ow! What the hell?”

I didn’t turn away. “Corey’s looking at me again.”

“For God’s sake. You’re just as bad as Phoebe.”

I ignored her, Iris Ignoring, and stared Corey down, refusing to break eye contact. He only laughed and shook his head before making his way out of the school grounds. Craning my head around, I tried to work out where he was going, but the bus pulled out of the car park, leaving my question unanswered.

“What does he want?” Even to my ears it sounded moany.

“Nothing.” Erin’s phone chimed.

“Is that from Phoebe?”

“No, it’s from Dad. He made soda bread.”

“Is that all he says?”

“No.” She rolled her eyes. “Do you want to come round? We can read over our history books again and do that maths homework?”

“That sounds riveting.”

“Or we can just bitch about Phoebe and Beth and Corey until you give up and go home.” Her words were sharp, but her face twitched with a smile.

“Shut your soda bread hole.”

She laughed. “You coming or not?”

“Lemme check with Sylv.”

“She sounds old when you say it like that.”

“Well, like some others of us here present, she was blessed with an old lady’s name,” I said as I typed. “Why she continued the curse with me, I’m still not sure.”

“You’re bringing it back. Anyway, I’ve heard it so many times that I don’t connect it with old anymore. Both of you. Iris just suits you.”

“Thanks. Maybe I’ll have that put on my headstone. Iris Evanthia Hale, it suited her, I swear.” My phone buzzed in my hand.

We’re going to Grandma and Grandad’s. Didn’t I tell you that this morning? xxx

“Oh damn. No soda bread for me.” I made an exaggerated frowning face. “Sylvie Silver Sylv forgot to mention we’re going to my grandparents’ tonight.”

“Silver?”

“It’s what people used to call her.”

Erin smirked. “At least that sounds more Sylvie Hale.”

“God.” I put my hand to my forehead. “She’s becoming a thing all of her own.”

Becoming? I think we’re long past that.”

“You know she carries a paintbrush in her bag at all times?”

“You never know when inspiration will strike.”

I pressed my lips together to stop laughing too loud. “I have heard her say that.”

“Me too.” She giggled. “She’s great. Leave her alone.”

“Hey, you’re supposed to be my friend. I don’t tell you how much I love your mum all the time.”

“If my mum was anything like Sylvie, maybe I’d let you.”

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