How do you spell panacea again? I was at my wits end.

Tiredly, I noticed another red squiggle under a spelling error on the screen. It had always been like this. With a groan of frustration, I slammed the book shut. That is it for the day. I've had enough.

Light tinkling chimes from the grandfather clock downstairs signaled that it is already eight. EIGHT?

I'm late! I'm late! I'm Terribly late! Shoot! I do not want to get another 'wonderful behavior correctional activity' from our elfin headmaster. Which reminds me, I have cafeteria duty today.

I tried to pack all my stuff but loose papers that were fluttering around seem to hinder my movements. Approaching the stairs of 'doom', I wonder what method I am going to use this time to force my legs to move. Now seriously who builds a glass staircase so every morning of your life you'd have to go through a living nightmare? The stairs continued to be my only issue on this house. It's magnificent and all that but my stay here would really be less painful it someone just cemented the whole thing.

Here goes nothing. If life had been a cliché or a storybook waiting to be unfurled, now's the time for my past life story to be flashing in front of my eyes to make me see the wrong I've done before so I'll repent in the short time I fall from the stairs and have that one extra good thing on my list so whomever's guarding the door- or gateway- to heaven would have an extra reason to let me in. Unfortunately, it isn't.

I'm falling; tumbling, actually.

Amazingly after what seemed like too long a while, I was at the bottom of the stairs with only the mother of bruises on my arm, which I landed on in case you're wondering, to show and I'm still conscious to boot.

"Hurry up, Xel! I don't have all day! The ladies are waitin' for moi and they're getting wilder by the second so tick-tock time's running," James hollered. He opened the front door and heaved his messenger bag, that seemed suspiciously bloated, into the car.

The engine roared into life and I thought he was going to vroom away when, " Xel I need the keys to the steering wheel." It was Kate's idea to entrust the keys to me so that he couldn't drive off without me. Which comes to my second dilemma of the day, where are the keys?

"You kept it on that necklace of yours, remember?" he was aggravated. "Come on doofus get on with it! I'm going to get detention which means less time on the field and even less time impressin'. So get your scrawny ass here right now!" He was babbling on. For a second there, I felt as if Kate had possessed James's body.

I'm late. I was standing just outside the classroom; staring at the quasi-grey door. To enter or not to enter that's the question. Maybe I should wait a little longer but then again I'll get another detention slip. What am I saying? I'll get a detention slip no matter how much time I waste standing here anyway. My heart pounded madly in my chest as I creaked open the door.

Laughter froze mid-air and some students scrambled to their seats. There wasn't a teacher in sight. I quickly sat in my assigned seat and said a quick but thankful prayer. As soon as they, my classmates, noticed that I was not a teacher, they resumed their cacophonous chattering.

The door opened with a swing and a rather bird-like creature walked into the room. She was wearing a floral dress that didn't do much for her figure. Her hair looked like it was dropped into a mud pool and then electrified until it stood on the tips. On top of that, she had thick-glasses that only emphasize the wrinkles near her eyes. The only saving grace she had was her lips and pearly whites that were now on display in the form of an easy smile.

The noise died down for the second time that day.

"Good morning. Good morning." Good morning to you, good morning, good morning and how do you do? All of a sudden, I remembered an old nursery rhyme. "I'm happy to inform that the principle had just proposed the annual 'kick-off the year' trip to commence next week so, everyone is expected to join in the fun. Now you can do whatever you like since it's a free period but please, please, please, don't make too much noise. Okay?"

Unfortunately, the noise suddenly became it's normal volume again. It's like someone has a mute button somewhere. One moment they are loud; the next you can hear a person breathing from across the room. If only they'd remain silent for the rest of the period, my headache would then go away.

Heavy footsteps echoed through the entire hallway. It's fifteen minutes before the time girls would either stare at the food being served and sigh as the scent of cheesy fries wafts to their noses then spear their rabbit food consisting of fruits, carrots and salad leafs or talk in loud obnoxious voices just to attract attention.

The one good thing about being sentenced to cafeteria duty, as I have found out, was that I get to skive fifteen minutes of long boring lectures almost daily.

"First of all y'all must all be here 20 minutes before all the students are all here. Then y'all can have your food first. It's all packed and all ready to be eaten up. Next, you just stand by that kiosk there and serve! Any questions? I thought not. Go and have fun. If y'all have any questions just holler. I'll be right there to help." She talks as if she's giving instructions on how to make cheese sandwich and in a very cheery way with a thick Texan accent.

True to her heritage, we all had beef steak with lots of mashed potatoes on the side. In fact, I think that the beef was afraid of the potatoes and that was why I tried my best to separate them in case a fight breaks out. The beef was tender and the potatoes were… What can you describe a mashed potato as? potatoey? Is 'potatoey' even a word?

Another wallop of 'potatoey' mashed potato landed on my plate, and out of fright my half eaten steak leaped off the plate and landed on the cold grey cement floor.

That beef is such a chicken.

"Hey, guess you're stuck with me for your first recess. It's actually nice tasting. Ooops! Did your steak drop? No worries we'll just eat after recess again. Isn't Clarine nice? Usually after recess, she'll- Hey Mandy! Come sit here!" he waved his hands and his eyes were twinkling.

Weakly, Mandy waved back and she sat down beside me. Her hands were folded demurely on her lap. Her breaths were quiet and if I didn't just seen her move, I would've thought that she was a statue. Her spine was a straight, and possibly stiff, as a rod but nothing showed that she was a snob. In fact, she seemed like a friendly person. I remembered the first time I step foot into an etiquette school in London. They absolutely do not condone jeans and sneakers. Everyone was forced into corsets and big puffy dresses that were once normally worn in the Victorian Era. At that time, everyone looked like they were scion of some wealthy family or at least an overripe plum and I resented the first two weeks that I was there.

Who cares if my pinkie wasn't up in the air when I drink? Who cares if I laugh like a donkey as compared to the 'tinkling' bell-like giggle that sounds plain irritating if you ask me? And who bloody well cares if I like to watch animated movies like Cinderella and Anastasia? It's a free world and I have my own rights, ya' know?

"Anyway, I was just telling Xelerine, what a mouthful, that Clarine always, always, always makes the best, best, best French fries after recess to celebrate another successful day of feeding the starved people of this school." He was actually drooling.

"What if it isn't a successful day?" I wondered out loud

"Well umm… ahh… Good question." Drew scratched his head.

"We'll wallow in self despair that we couldn't feed everyone and have a dollop of ice-cream on the side." Mandy had that kind of whispery voice that could send chills up your arms.

"One steak, salad ,just a quarter, potatoes, as much as I'm allowed to have."

"Salad only and without the dressing."

"Uh- Whadya' got?"


These are the most common phrases that I heard throughout the entire lunch time. Some of the people do greet you nicely and have revised through their please and thank you handy-dandy booklet somewhere; Most of them probably have no idea what please or thank you even means. That or they're too hungry to bother; the poor starving things.

"Xel! How's school?"


"Classmates, are they friendly?"


"Is the food okay?"


"Isn't the weather great?"


"You're having mathematics next, right?"


By this time I had already turned into autopilot and I was nodding my head or answering in monosyllabic words. Which is an unfortunate thing, for me, because I don't know what I've just gotten myself into. An impish glint entered James' eyes and a large grin spread across.

"Perfect! Remember it's at the library second table on your left ,10 minutes after break. Don't worry, Mr. Homer won't even notice that you're gone. I heard that there's a substitute and-"

"Stop hogging the line! Other people need food too, your high and mightiness. So get your bloody royal ass away from my sight."

"Why, my dear princess, nothing you say is gonna bring me down today! Oooh! It rhymed ! Is my rump or as you put so crudely 'ass' so wonderfully magnificent that you can't stop staring at it? I know, isn't it B-E-A-U-Ti-Ful??"

James pranced gleefully away.

"Pssh, princess. He doesn't know how wrong he is…" The girl muttered to herself.

Recess went on without much interruption.

So, if d over there represents the second dot to make the line, to get the distance between the y co-ordinate plus the difference between the x co-ordinate. Well that's fine and dandy but why are there two d's and no b's? Moving on, if one bundle contains 10 sticks how much is 20 of it divided to four children?

I smiled . Finally something I can do. With confidence, I wrote 9. There let's see if the teacher marks me wrong again. I looked up at the substitute teacher. He was reading the 'Anatomy of Crustaceans'. But the book was so near his face, it was almost covering it. Are crustaceans that fascinating?

I remembered something that I had to do that involves the library but I cannot remember what. Read a book? Yeah sure, I subjugate myself to reading stuff that do not make sense at all. Maybe I should go there just to be sure.

"Pa. Pa. Paa-da Pa. Pa. Paa-da, Pa. Pa. Paa-dadum." Silently I hum to myself the theme song of Mission Impossible. A girl nearby raised her eyebrow at me. Doesn't she recognize the song? It's so popular; How could she not know it? And Pierce Brosnan is soo gorgeous. My eyes were glued to the screen the entire movie length.

Off I go !

My footsteps were magnified and echoed several times over in the empty hallway. I sneakily sneaked down the hallway.

This isn't too bad… It's actually kind of easy.

A yellow notice on the Sports board caught my eye but I did not have time to read. I'm a girl on a mission.

At last, I managed to work my way through the halls with my awesome sleuthing skills. I pushed open the library doors. The librarian was no where in sight.

I walked past aisles and aisles of books searching for something that might remind me of my purpose here. The collection in this library was huge . It could probably rival the fantasy library in Beauty and the Beast. There were ladders to help the 'vertically challenged' people , like me, to reach books on the shelf.

The library is most likely a dream come true to all the book anacondas out there. Too bad I will never learn to appreciate it.

All I remembered was the smell of old dust when I was pulled by the legs and everything went pitch dark.

Authoress Notes: YAY Another update :) Please don't kill me... I've been trying real hard to make this one come out and since it's the holidays I'll work on the next one right away.