The Game

12 kids, 12 levels, who will win?

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2. Chapter 1

I spent my first ordinary day of school arranging my books in alphabetical order. It was such a good thing to calm nerves. A good old arranging session. My book shelf filled the entirety of my room. From war to dictionaries to fantasy to science fiction. I often read about fantasy, about escaping normal life, but it simply wasn’t possible.
“Alice! What are you doing, you should be in the car.” Barked my mother while dragging me by the arm towards the car. She was a terrible, rotten mother. Locked me in the basement, she did, often “forgot” to feed me as well.
I picked up my school bag, no lunch, just books. My dress was an old, ragged dress, but I insisted upon wearing it. It was my mothers, the only thing she gave me, but that was only because it was only half there. Buttons missing, patches sewn onto it. And that’s half the reason I don’t have any friends.
***
We arrived a school, my mother pushing me out the car door with a forceful shove, not a single word. I stumbled and tripped right into a puddle of mud. I heard everyone start laughing, cackling like a pack of hyenas.
I looked up to see a girl of similar age, hand held out. “Oh, dear,” she said, “let me help you.”
I took her hand slowly.
“I don’t bite,” She said. “I’m Emma Douglas, and you are?”
“Alice, Alice Porter.” I replied. How strange, I thought, this girl is talking to me.
“Delighted to meet you, Alice. Come on, we’d better get to class.” She giggled.
“Say, what class are you in?”
“There is only one class per a grade, but the ninth.” She said, confused.
“That’s just perfect, I’m in the ninth grade, too.”
She hugged me. “Good, I was afraid I’d have no friends this year.”
“As did I.”
Then we walked to class.
***
We were walking down the empty corridors after class, everyone had gone to recess by then.
“You’re really smart you know. You practically know everything we got taught in that class before the teacher even taught it.” Emma said.
I smiled. “I like to read.”
She laughed. “I can see that.”
And that’s all I remember, after that everything went black. I must’ve fainted or something like that. But it hurt much more than just fainting.

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