One scream at a time

The world did not end with a bang or a whisper but rather one scream at a time.
Lila hates missions to the outside world, for two main reasons: 1) The outside world is dangerous and filled with scary things. 2) she would much rather be curled by the artificially generated fire with a good book. So why does she go to one of the most prestigious schools for missions in The Dome?
Will she ever get together with the beautiful Genevieve? and when handed information important for the survival of the human race should she pass it on or let humans peacefully die out?
.... what? I'm not going to tell you now. I'm not going to spoil it for you, you've got to find out for yourself


6. And everything began to fall apart...

First lesson: Training, when do we not do training? Other schools in the city have more varied lessons like cooking and farming. But here, everyone’s focused on getting into the Light Brigade. You might be wondering why Lila hasn’t moved schools yet if she’s constantly in last place, well she’s tried. She’s tried every method in the book to persuade her mother to let her move schools, but let me just say, you don’t become commander of the light brigade without having a will of steel.

Lila enters the classroom and checks her phone 10 minutes before the lesson begins, it’s weird to see the training dome empty. The training room is circular, with white washed walls, the room has a cold-hearted technology vibe. Computers line most of the walls, making occasional beeping noises and different lights flash colours as they complete complicated calculations to randomise todays simulations. On the ceiling are frame after frame, spiralling up to the very top of the ceiling, pictures of previous Light brigade members. Maria’s face glares down at her, hi mum. Across the room are the lines of benches where students sit, a few students are already sitting there complacently. When they see Lila, they stop talking, exchange pointed stares. She pays no attention, I wonder what new ‘hilarious’ joke has been posted about me this time. After a moment of silence, the talking resumes but it is more rushed then before. Lila slumps onto the backrow. Hopefully, here she will be left alone.

The rest of the class begin to filter in, noticeably: Guinevere, “Even the hate in her eyes makes her beautiful” says Lila’s mind. Thanks for the insight Lila’s mind! Finally, after even the fashionable late has arrived the class begins. Miss Haunters off sick, they have a supply who is about to tell them her name when… “Can I borrow Lila miss?” The deputy head Mrs Maise pops her head around the door. What have I done this time? Lila stands up about to leave her row when “Take your bag too dear.” Dear? She doesn’t question it too much and does as she’s told.

Mutters of “They’re finally getting rid of her.” And “Cya, Lila.”  Circulate around the classroom. Lila doesn’t even hear them, they were converted to white noise long ago. In silence, she follows Mrs Maise back along the corridor. This is weird, don’t they normally try and small talk with you? I must have done something really bad this time. But what could it be? Her speculations carry her all the way to the headteachers office, mums room.

The atmosphere is a weird one as Lila enters the room. The normally wide-open curtains are shut tightly and candles flicker on the window sill. The room is a tight square, Maria never cared about the size of her room. She was always too impatient to spend time picking a room, she just wanted to get on with teaching. As a result, this is the first room she saw, so she used it. There are bigger and more majestic rooms in the school, but this one was always hers. Several certificates scatter the walls and a spewing bucket of lost property is leaning against a wall near the door giving off a faint odour.

The thing of most note is the brown mahogany desk in the centre, one of Maria’s most prised possessions. Draws stuffed full of her personal notes and diaries over the years. When Maria sat behind that desk she properly felt like headteacher. Gathered in the room seems to be most of the teaching staff and surprisingly Felicity Gladstone. Most peculiarly of all, Maria’s photo (on her desk) is covered with a black lace cloth.

Once Lila is in the room no one seems quite sure what to do. They all stand there awkwardly staring at each other. Naturally, Felicity takes the lead. Taking a step towards Lila she says, “Lila dear, we have some horrendous news.” She sniffs for effect.

Lila mind works triple time, what is it? Before Felicity utters another syllable, it clicks. It all clicks into place: all the whispers that passed her ears deathly, the sympathy in the teacher’s eyes, the dark lace cloth. Now she understands, but she can’t hear it. If she hears it its real. Time could just stop right now, and Lila would be happy.

But it’s doesn’t, they’ve kind of been busy with surviving, so they didn’t get around to inventing time bending technology. She could run and hide, then they’d never have to tell her. I could definitely live in my cave for a few days. She’s seriously considering this when... “Your mum had an unfortunate accident on her mission.” And everything begins to fall apart.

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