Claw Marks and Corridors

Felicity saw something she shouldn't have. A dead girl in the bathroom at school. Not just any girl, Robin Cross, the head girl. Since that night all she's had in her head is images of a creature ravaging her body. But Robin was just stabbed excessively, right?

Felicity's life is shattering as she struggles to find the truth and anyone who will believe her. Even the corridors start to not feel safe anymore.

*First Draft*


Author's note

This is a first draft, meaning that a couple of the chapters are going to be changed/need serious editing at some point! Please bare this in mind.

28. Twenty-Seven


I woke to the sound of a buzzing, a familiar noise when my alarm goes off but then I remembered what happened. I wasn't in my own bed, it smelt of hospital and the buzzing wasn't my alarm, it was my phone ringing. I groggily tried to push myself up, the ache in my body making my arm shake as I threw off the cover to try to get my phone from the bedside table. It was enough to wake Ric up too who had somehow fallen asleep upright in the chair.

I fumbled for the phone still and flipped it over, seeing April's face flashing on the screen. That's when I realised that it was morning but I didn't understand why she was calling, I thought she was annoyed with me. I accepted the call, putting it to my ear.

"Where the hell are you?" she snapped before I could say anything.

"Whhaat?" It comes out slurred as I was still trying to sit up properly and shift the sleepiness.

I heard April sigh in aggravation down the phone. "History exam, it's this morning."

"Shit." I felt my chest tighten and I rushed to pull back the covers some more. Ric looked at me curiously.

"There's 15 minutes until it starts," she informed me, sounding sour, "if you actually still care about your education."

"I'll be there," I quickly said into the phone as she started to hang up on me.

I threw my phone down on the bed, and stood fully up, looking around me desperately. I cursed as my clothes weren't anywhere in sight and I knew they were ripped and bloody anyway.

"What's up?" Ric asked as he cracked his back and pushed hair lazily out of his face.

"I have an exam, in 15 minutes," I replied quickly, gripping at my hair in stress.

Ric pulled a face. "Oh... shit."

"I need clothes, Ric," I snapped but I knew it wasn't his fault I forgot. I wasn't going to school for an exam in a hospital gown.

"Um, I'll go and ask someone," he replied, unfazed by my tone. He got up quickly. "Stay there."

He rushed through the curtain and I continued to curse to myself, flicking though the couple of texts that April had sent me that morning.

Why aren't you at the revision session?

Are you coming to the exam?

Where are you?

I bit my lip as I looked at the time. Quarter to 9. I was cutting it way too fine. It started in 15 minutes and I knew it took about 30 minutes on a good day to get back to Rook Valley from Bartwell. I was going to be late for it and my whole body was sore and I didn't have clothes yet. Great. It wasn't a good day to have an exam.

Finally, after too many minutes, Ric came back through the curtain and passed me some blue jeans. "A nurse had these spare." He pulled his jumper off over his head. "And you can wear this."

I took them and nodded, looking at him a little awkwardly before he got the message and retreated backwards. He pulled the curtain shut again, with a mutter of, "I'll call a taxi."

I changed as quickly as I could but the injuries made it problematic. My body was feeling weak and shaky as I tried to bend and move properly. I suddenly had high respect for people who had permanent injuries but looked after themselves.

I grabbed my phone and pulled back the curtain again. Ric was waiting and nodded towards the end of the room where the exit door was, "lets go. The taxi will be here in five."

I swore under my breathe. "It takes over half an hour."

Ric looked sympathetic. "You'll just have to tell them you were in hospital. I mean you actually were so it's not a lie."

I nodded and looked back towards the bed, realising the knife was still laying on the beside table. "We can't leave that there."

Ric walked to it and picked it up. "Okay, you go and get discharged, I'll sort this."

I looked at him for a few seconds, wondering how he was going to transport it through a hospital, but he nodded at me in reassurance. I rushed off down the room, entering into a waiting room with a receptionist desk where a blonde lady sat behind it. She looked up at me as I approached.

"I need to go, I've got an exam," I rushed off quickly, internally cursing as I looked down at the time on my phone. "Do I need to sign out or something?"

"Name?" the receptionist asked, looking bored.

"Felicity Flemming," I replied.

She took far too long to tap at her computer. "A doctor or nurse hasn't seen you yet this morning." She tapped something again. "They haven't recommended a discharge yet."

I wanted to swear but didn't. "Well I need to leave."

"Well, the doctor hasn't recommended it yet," she replied and looked back at me with pursed lips. "You'll need to wait a bit."

"I don't have time," I exclaimed and it came out angrily.

The lady looked back at me with the same annoyed expression. "I'm sorry, you really should wait."

"I can come back, speak to them," I suggested, gripping at my phone, checking the time again. Minutes were going away drastically fast.

"I'm sorry, it's not really how it works," she replied.

I ran a hand through my hair and it snagged between my fingers. "Surely, I can just walk out if I want? You can't stop me."

The lady looked at me weirdly. "Yes, but it's medically advised for a doctor to comment on a patients release."

I stopped leaning on the desk and sighed angrily. "I'm just going to go." I turned around. "I have to."

She didn't call after me as I turned and started to navigate my way out of the hospital. Ric ran along the corridor to catch up, holding presumably the knife, wrapped in some toilet paper so that it didn't appear he was carrying a weapon around. It was hard to walk, my legs still sore from the cuts, and I had this kind of limp as I tried to go faster. Fabulous.

Eventually we reached the entrance to the hospital and Ric pointed over to a taxi waiting near the front of the car-park. We rushed over and clambered in, asking the driver to get there as fast as he could. I knew he wouldn't break speed limits but there was 8 minutes until the exam started. We needed to make a about 30 minute drive in less than half that time. I was definitely and certainly going to be late.

I knew I had viable reasons for being late. I was attacked, I was in hospital, I was still in pain, but I felt like I needed to get to that exam, to show some kind of commitment still for my education. Mainly because April had mentioned it. I didn't want to let her down. I was in no fit state but I wanted to try to do the exam, if they'd even let me in the exam hall that late.

We didn't speak as we drove along and I kept focused on my phone and the minutes going past. My legs were shaking and I knew I definitely needed painkillers as the injuries were still stinging a lot. Yet I had to go and do an two hour exam which required me to use my brain. A brain which was preoccupied with pain and confusion about what had happened, and this overwhelming urge to understand.

Finally, we reached the school and I was of course well over twenty minutes late. Ric wished me good luck but I just looked back at him with a grimace as I knew it was going to go badly already. I hobbled my way inside and to the doors of the sports hall where the exam was. I pushed the door open slowly and an invigilator was immediately on my case.

I whispered off my explanation to them and they looked at me with narrowed eyes for a few seconds, checked with the invigilator at the front and then finally led me to my seat. I saw people look up from their papers and stare at me, spotting April looking at me like she wanted to run across the room and slap me. I sat down in my chair, wincing as my back made contact with the hard plastic back.

The invigilator whispered to me the usual exam spiel and passed me a pen. I flipped over the paper and tried to focus on the words on the page, the resource booklet pictures, but everything was too much. I couldn't think properly. I couldn't focus even though I had tried so hard to get here for it, I didn't want to do it. The words confused me, no matter how many times I read the question. My hand writing was poor as I tried to start the essay question but my mind was not bringing much information to mind.

Maybe April was right, I'd been so fixated on the monster and solving the whole mystery of Robin's death, that I had let other things slide. Revision and friendships.

For the first time ever, I actually sat and cried in an exam. It wasn't just the fact that I was in pain, I felt awful too. I should have been prepared for this exam but instead I was in a field last night, waiting for monsters to come out. And the only monsters which had, were a rook. Albeit a rook which had attacked me.

I tried to finish the big essay question at least, dabbing at my eyes. Everyone else left the hall, their exam finished and filled the corridor outside with babble and talk of the paper, the invigilators shouting at them to be quiet and move away from the doors. I knew I wouldn't be finishing the paper so it didn't really matter. I still had an hour to try and do something more though.

After the time was up, I'd completed about half of the exam and I knew it was all absolute waffle in terrible hand writing. I collected my phone, limped my way out of the hall and instantly made my way up the stairs to a bathroom where I locked myself in a cubicle and sat on the closed toilet lid. I'd definitely failed that paper. I'd definitely screwed it up. And I knew I had screwed up several things lately. My friendship with April was a big one. The way she had looked at me across the hall actually hurt, but I had hurt her.

Everything hurt and I just felt terrible. I sat and cried there for some more minutes before my phone buzzed. I checked it to see a message from April: Headteacher wants to see you. It's important.

I frowned and replied: Why?

There was a few seconds silence in which I tried to clear my tears before her reply came through. I don't know. He just spotted me and asked whether I knew where you were.

I slowly got up, readying myself to leave the bathroom and trying to steady my breathing. Today wasn't turning into a good day. I was in pain, I was late to an exam I'd forgot about, I'd probably failed it too and now the head wanted to see me. I was worried why and it seemed trivial in comparison to monsters being out there and vicious birds, but I had a horrible feeling about it all.

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