MALIGNANT

They never told you that the monster under your bed could have a set of beautiful forest green eyes and an angelic smile


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2. o n e

AMELIA

"Amelia..." A faint voice mumbles. I slowly open my eyes and see my mother sitting at the foot of my bed, shaking my leg lightly. "It's eight in the morning, Amelia you need to get up for school." She taps my foot once more before standing up. I groan and roll over in my bed, dreading the day. "Come on, wake up. You have half an hour." She says before walking out of my room in her robe and her hair tied in a messy ponytail. I slowly sit up and sling my feet over the side of the bed and onto the carpeted floor. I hate school and everything it has to offer.

It's the same routine every day.  When I was seventeen and the war of the Malignant ended, school was back in session. The thing is, there was no English or Math. No Science or Arts. They only teach History and Survival. I don't even remember when the school had more options. I was fourteen years old when school was normal. When it was actual school. 

I open my small closet and grab my school uniform. It consisted of a white button-up blouse, red and black crosshatch pattern tie and a kilt that matched. Along with a pair of black knee-high socks, a black blazer, and black flats. The uniform is distasteful, to say the least, but it's one of a few outfits that I have. When the world was going back to 'normal' no one was putting much effort into what they wore. The economy was so focused on safety that materials weren't very important.

And considering I've grown out of my old clothes this is one of my primary outfits that aren't sleepwear. I get changed and walk into the bathroom across the hall. I turn on the bright light and look into the mirror at my own reflection. My long brown hair is a mess and I have bags under my eyes from still being half asleep.

I brush my teeth and wash my face so I look more awake. I apply a light layer of mascara and clear lip gloss before brushing out my hair. After brushing out the tangles and finger-combing through it, I decide to leave it down in its loose natural curls like I usually do. I leave the bathroom and quickly grab my beige backpack off my bedroom floor. As I'm racing out my room and down the hall, I pass my brother Adrian's room which causes me to stop. His door was slightly cracked open, which is odd... Not one soul had entered his room for almost three years, so why would his door be open. I place my hand on the white wood and slowly push it open to see if anyone is inside. The door slowly open and a cool breeze sends goosebumps all over my skin. Adrian's bed is still left unmade and random articles of clothing still lay scattered on the ground, almost like he never left.

Not one person is in his room, so why was it open? My mom and dad refuse to go in here hence why his room is still a mess. They are still in denial that he is gone. My brother disappeared three years ago when he was nineteen in the middle of the war. He said he was going to go to the store since we were running low on food. My parents told him not to, but he snuck out and made me swear not to tell. Once he stepped out the door, we never saw him again. He was stupid enough to go outside while the Malignant were at their strongest, but he did it for us.

Part of me feels that after all this time, my parents still haven't forgiven me for letting him go and not telling them. I don't blame them, I still haven't forgiven myself for letting him go... I should have told them the second he told me he was sneaking out. I know my brother is dead; There isn't another possibility My parents refuse to accept that he is dead, they think that even after three years he will walk through the front door with the groceries he snuck out to get. I get lost in my thoughts and shut the door to Adrian's room. I pace my feet down the hallway and down the stairs to the small kitchen. My mom and dad sit at the kitchen table with coffee-filled mugs in their hands. My dad occupies himself reading the paper while my mother just stares into empty space. 

"Hi," I quietly mumble while walking toward the cupboards.

"Morning," My mom says while sipping her coffee.

"Why was Adrian's door open? Did someone go in there?" I ask while opening the cupboards, looking for something to eat.

"Amelia Joyce Adams, are you wearing makeup?" My father sternly asks as my back faces him. I quickly bring the back of my hand to my lips, wiping off the lip gloss I had on. 

"No Dad," I mumble before turning around to meet his cold eyes with mine. 

"You're too young to be wearing makeup." He strictly says while taking off his reading glasses. 

"I'm eighteen. I'm pretty much an adult." I roll my eyes and walk away from the cupboards. I've lost my appetite...

"You still live under this roof, therefore you still follow our rules young lady," He drops his newspaper and points. "Which means if I say no makeup. That means no makeup." 

"I'm gonna be late, I need to go." I huff and turn my back walking out of the kitchen and past the small living room to the door. I quickly pull on my black converse and take the strap of my backpack, slinging it over my shoulder. 

"Fix your attitude before you step back into my house!" I hear my father yell as I close the front door behind me. 

I huff and walk down the front steps of our small house and onto the broken sidewalk. I hate that I'm eighteen and still in high school. Normal teenagers would be excited about what college they applied for or having the time of their life. School came to a halt when I was finishing grade nine, then three years went by with no school. When school was back I was seventeen starting grade ten. The education system was basically giving us all the time that we lost from the war. My feet swiftly walk down the sidewalk while shuffling one hand down my backpack. I pull my small MP3 and place the white earbuds in my ears. My walk to school wasn't that long. It usually takes fifteen to eighteen minutes. I arrive at the tall fence with barbed wire wrung around the top, surrounding the school. My hands reach into the small pocket of my black blazer and pull out my student ID card. 

Two giant men dressed in black suited armor with guns in their hands, tasers and other tools hanging from their belts, stand at the tall closed gate of the school. They check my ID silently as I hold it up to the gate. The two solid men open the gate and let me pass before harshly shutting it behind me. I look up at the four watchtowers of the school. The same kind of men, same build, same suits, but with sniper rifles in their hands. I see those same stiff guys just standing there every day. It funny how when after the world went to shit, nothing changed. The Salvation said that we could all live our lives normally again. 

But what's normal about a whole SWAT team watching over your school every day? I get to the building and am confronted by security with those weapon detectors. Oh, how I hate this process... I stop in my tracks following the routine that I do every day. I drop my bag slowly and let them hover the tool around my body and one of them searches my bag.

"You're clear." The one tall man with dirty blonde hair says and lets me pass. 

"Thanks," I mumble before picking up my bag and walking down the cold hallway while people in identical clothing frantically walk to class. I have history class for two and a half hours, then lunch, then survival class for another two and a half hours. This is the never-ending routine of my 'education'. I walk straight to my class since I already have my books in my backpack. I walk into the half-full classroom of students my age. They all walk around and talk since the teacher hasn't made an appearance yet. Not really in the mood to socialize, so I'm just gonna sit. 

I sit down and lay my books out, turning up the volume to my music. I look at the clock sitting on the wall behind me. Five minutes until class starts. While I'm tapping my fingers on the desk, patiently waiting for the teacher to walk in, a short figure stands in front of me. I remove my earbuds and look up at my friend Audrey looking down at me. 

"Hey, girl how come I didn't see you at Cameron's party on Saturday?" She tucks her bright blonde hair behind her ear before sitting in the seat in front of mine.

Her heavy eyeliner and dark eyeshadow is overwhelming as usual. Her lips reflect a dark shade of purple, her ''causal'' color which matches her nails. 

"Hey, I told you I had stuff to do..." I smile while opening my binder.

Audrey had been my best friend since I was seven. We've been there for each other through thick and thin. Over the years, I've watched her change. Before the war, she was a different person. She enjoyed drawing and writing like I do. Her appearance was nothing but a natural glow, never a drop of cosmetic affliction on her face. 

Then she lost her mom

When Malignant ruled the streets, her mom hid her and her brother under the stairs in the basement when she had a gut feeling something bad was going to happen. She told Audrey and her brother to not leave their spots until she came back down to get them. A member of  Malignant busted into their home and killed their mom right in the living room. Luckily Audry never saw it, but she stayed in that basement with her little brother for hours until her neighbor came downstairs and found them. 

After that moment, Audrey changed. She was so close to her mom that losing her flipped her world upside down. She now lives with her grandparents and she enjoys breaking the rules. She cakes on all this makeup and associates with sneaking out at night past ten, which can end her up in juvenile delinquents for disobeying Salvation rules. 

"Sitting at home reading the same book you always read doesn't count as 'things to do'," She chuckles as I roll my eyes.

She knows me too well.

"Parties are stupid now anyways. They all end at like nine because everyone is too afraid of running into the Salvation past ten," I exclaim.

"That's true, but with the right connections... You can find the right secret after party past ten." She laughs. 

"You're crazy," I shake my head while looking down at my binder. 

"Not crazy, just adventurous as I like to say." She winks and turns to her desk. 

"Alright class, take your seats." Our petite female teacher walks in right after the monotone beep rings through the school, signaling class has started.

Once the class quiets down the teacher starts writing on the chalkboard. I can't see what she I writing because of her body being in the way. A couple of soft gasps from my classmates worry me as I wait to see what is written across the board. 

As soon as she moves my heart drops as I read the one word that had caused so much trouble to everyone.

M A L I G N A N T

"Today, we are going to learn about the colossal gang that invaded the world." 

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