Silent. That's about all I can say about things. It's really silent. Even as I walk down this street, there's this pregnant silence that seems unnatural. I don't know why there is. It's really strange. There's a child crying across the street, wailing at his mother. The mother looks exasperant, patting him on the head and trying to suppress his cries without putting a firmness in her voice. A trio of girls pass me by, murmuring blurred words, laughing as they walk, and I can't help wonder if they are laughing at me. And the cars. There's so many cars, rushing down in furious races. They're monsters, metal beasts that tear up the roads, etching small black scars into them. And the squeal, the revvs, and the exploding trigger in my head blasting, they should be driving me nuts. They should be making me clamp my ears, even as a sharp squawk spills in the air. But no. There's only that pregnant silence. Why is it there? Why can't I hear the cars passing by me? Is it because they're just lines? Just blurry lines? But then...why don't I hear the girls? Didn't I hear them? Them laughing...and muttering? But...why couldn't I hear their words?

It's cold too. But then, it's always cold here. For me anyways. Always cold. Even if it doesn't always snow, it's always cold. The skies never turn red, but stay blue. As blue as a fragile snowflower. Today there's snow. A lot of it, sprinkling down like sugar on a cake. And those girls are ahead of me, still laughing, and one sticks her tongue out to catch a snowflake. Her tongue is red and vibrant, so different from the monotone world around her. And as she feels that bit of monotone touch her, she savors the moment, letting it melt from her heat, and then withdraws herself. I wonder what happened to that piece of monotone.

Then I notice. It's not really cold at all. Is it really snow? It doesn't give me that feeling...that feeling that water is dripping not onto my skin, but into my bone. I don't feel that harsh wind biting at my cheeks. Why is it so silent?

The girls start walking past the crosswalk, their feet leaving prints in the snow. So silent...I cannot hear the crunching and scraping. I cannot hear the motors purring as the driver waits...and waits. As the last fold of skirt passes the white line, and the last shoe touches pavement, the light changes and the beasts roam again. And I'm left to stand there, waiting for them to stop. The child has disappeared, along with his mother, to who knows where. And I have a pocketful of money, for I am going to the subway and I am going to buy a ticket. And then what? I don't know. I will go somewhere though. That's why I planned this. This today. I told my parents a week ahead, so that they could deliberate and let me go, and I did all my homework and studied for all my tests. I spent as much time as I could with my friends during the week, and I fed my dog. Now, I can go. I can go without worry.

The cars finally stop and there's a strange half-blue glow now. I'd say it's red, but there's no such thing in the place. It's too cold. And this half-blue is hitting me in the face as I walk, rubbing into my eyes, as if to say I'M HERE! I'M HERE! NOW LOOK AT ME! I shield my eyes and the half-blue thing turns to blue again. And its comforting somehow. And as I look down, I se that it is white. I am standing on white. White that turned to blue and blue that turned to white and half-blue. So I keep walking and walking, and then, my feet hit pavement too, except I'm not wearing a skirt. I push up my glasses and wipe the scraggly hair out my eyes. Then, as I pass a shop with pearl-white dolls looking at me, she hits me.

I don't think she notices at first. Maybe she really busy or rushing. But she had been behind me this whole time, and I hadn't notice, cause she's really silent too. And I see her running past me, even as her shoulder bumps into mine so hard that I stumble towards the pearly white dolls. Dolls white as the ground. And she keeps going, as if she never saw me, and keeps on going. But I'm reaching out to grab her hand, cause it's really rude to knock into someone and not apologize. Then I think that this is the city and it'd look weird if I grabbed a girl for bumping into me, so I stop and put my hand down. But she seen me. She was looking at me with the corner of her eye and she sees my hand rise and then falter. Then as I put it back into my pocket, she turns around, brown hair that looks half-orange splashing all over her face. And she looks at me, looks at me with that brown hair, the hair that looks like it turns to black wire at the ends, and she's watching me with half-surprise in her eyes. And they pretty dull eyes too, just plain brown. A sulky brown sorta.

And she still staring at me, and people walking past her too, and bumping into her without noticing, and keep on walking and I'm thinking there's tons of rude people in the city now when she says,"You...I'm so sorry."

Her eyes are shaking and she's trembling all over. And there's tears coming out of her eyes, tears and she looks like she's trying to look sad and guilty, but there's a big smile all over her face, and it's so happy and glaring that I feel like it's half-orange too.

"I'm so sorry...Sorry," she keeps saying, as if she's grating the words over her teeth, like a sweet that doesn't last long. And she keeps saying it, quieter and quieter, and then she looks at me with those dull eyes and walks over with her hands at her sides. And suddenly, she's trying to tell me her goddamn name.

And I don't hear that last few words. It blurred over. And she frowns as I looked puzzled and looks like she's thinking to herself, putting a hand up to her hair and stroking it. Then she looks at me and tries again, but it blurs.

"What's your name?" she asks me. And I tell her it's William. And she looks at me strange and I try and tell her that I'm not from around here, but she ignores me and tries to say her name again. And it still a blur, so I tell her that I'm going to call her Hano. Cause she's half-orange. And she gives me that weird look again, but she says yes anyways. And then she grabs my hand and pulls me over. And she yells at me, so loud anyone can hear it.

"HANO!"

And then she giggles and runs off, pulling me too. And no one's looking at her, they're all looking at me. Cause I'm being dragged by my hand by a girl and I'm yelling HANO! too. But it's so silent. It's too silent for a half-blue.


It's school again. I see my teacher scribbling on the board, and everyone's looking intently at it, cause there's gonna be a test on it soon. And the tap tap tap of the chalk echoes in the blank void and I start to feel a bit sleepy. I didn't get much sleep last night. I was working too hard planning. I ran it all over my mind, looking to see if I missed anything, and then someone pokes my shoulder.

"William. William."

And I blink angrily cause my thoughts are gone now. I look at the person next to me, but she's not looking at me, but forward and I turn around, thinking I must seem pretty awkward right now and the teacher's eyes are lasered on me, like pewsh pewsh pewsh!

"William," the teacher says now.

"Yes?" I ask back, trying not to sound sarcastic. It's bad if you're sarcastic to a teacher. They get all huffy and get this look in their face like Are you getting snippy with me? And then they find some way to get back at you...and most of the time, they get away with it.

"Have you been paying attention?" the teacher asks after a few moments, knowing for sure that I'm not going to say anything else. His tongue sorta rolls around the words, making him look like he's talking really slow.

"No, sir." I says, and everyone else is looking forward. That girl glances at me for a minute, but I don't really notice cause I'm thinking of what to say next. The teacher will think I just insulted him and he'll give me that snippy look and I'll be looking really awkward and staring at my feet. So, I pick out some words from the top of my head and talk really fast,"I'm sorry. I was thinking about the first question." That's a load of bullshit, but maybe he'll bite.

He does.

"Well...next time try to keep pace." He knows if he calls me a liar or something, it'll just go back and forth and it'll come down to whose the best liar. And he's a teacher, so he can't lie too hard."Please answer this question."

I look at the board and see a math equation. It's a little hard, cause even though we're reviewing, its always a bit hard to do it right on the spot. I look at it for a few seconds and then start to pick my pencil up then put it down and up and down. I'm nervous. I was close to knowing the answer, but the teacher was looking at me impatiently. My pencil seems to grow lighter from the pounding. I take a shot and say some numbers with some variables in it or something. And the teacher looks down at his answer book for a minute then says, "Right. Now if we were to take this equation and apply it to this..."

And he turns around and starts scraping at the board like nothing happened. And I sit down and feel the shakes coming, making my body feel likes it's burning up. When the teacher finishes jotting, I start writing down fast and look up as intently as everyone else. But that girl glances at me again and then looks back at her book. I don't really notice.

The bell rings and I get up and walk. It's time for lunch and I'm pretty hungry. I got myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a bag. First time I brought one, I was really embarrassed cause everyone else bought from the cafeteria. And I just had a hunk of wet bread. But no one's interested in wet bread, so they rarely look over at my food. The food in the cafeteria looks good, but I like peanut butter and jelly. I go out of the classroom and wander around, looking for a good place to eat. This is what I usually do and the places I really like are the stairs and outside on the grass. But today, it's filled with people, cause more people are leaving the classrooms and roaming around to eat. I sometimes eat in the library, even if I'm not supposed to, but I make sure to go to the back and into the nonfiction area. No one ever really goes there and I got caught only once. And that was cause some kid snitched on me.

I check the library today, but the librarian is putting books up. So I go back downstairs and I look at the clock and lunch is almost half over. I go into a hallway and see it's empty, so I sit down and started eating there. The sandwich goes down fast and I crumple the bag up. I walk back upstairs and toss the bag in the nearest trash can. I'm still sipping the juice I brought and there's about ten minutes left for lunch.

"Hey William! William!"

I finish off the juice with one big gulp and toss it in the trash can. I probably should recycle it, but there's no recycle place around here. So I just toss it and then decide to go back to the classroom.

"William! William! HEY!!!"

When I get back to my classroom, everyone's talking still and it's sorta like a hive. Buzz buzz buzz. I go down to my desk and sit. There's five minutes left for lunch. I take out my book, Flying Heavens, and turn to my bookmarked page.

...today."

"That's absurd! Raquelia, please knock some sense into the child!"

"Actually...I think he has a good point," mused Raquelia, tossing her scepter up and down."There's not much else we can do. The guards are swarming the main gates. Why not try flying out?"

"But what if we fail?! What if the spell is mismade or broken in mid-air? How fun will that be, you tell me Raquelia!"

"Then we'll have to double-check our spellwork."

"No! No! NO! We cannot fly, we cannot!"

"Look, Gasper, do you want to stay here? I mean...I'm all for sending you to the Richters right now," teased Brock. He mimed spears rocketing through the air and grinned.

"I'd rather be taken by the Richters than try this risky plan!" Gasper retorted, stubbornly crossing his arms and sitting down."Not one word you say will move me!"

"All right then...let's get going Raquelia. If we hurry we mi..."

"William."

The bell rang. I sigh and put my book down, being careful to mark it right. This is a good book. It's part of a series called Raquelia's Dreams. You could call it a fantasy, but I think it's different from other fantasy books. I don't know why. It just is.

I grab my bag and walk downstairs and out into the white light. Some kids have a soccer ball out in the front and are juggling a bit. They're pretty good. I'm wondering if I could get a good shot from them, but then decide I don't have enough experience. Photography is a growing interest of mine. I don't know much but the basics, but I'm working hard...or as hard as I can. My parents got me a point-and-shoot camera. It was pretty cheap, but there's some good value in the camera. I like that it's pretty easy to use. I want to get one of those big cameras though one day. Until then, I'm going to use this camera.

"Hey William! Over here, man!"

I live in a small house. It has four bedrooms and a living room. There's no real dining room, but it has an attic. I never go in there, because when I moved, my parents and I tried to get into the attic, but it had one of those ceilings that come down as stairs. When we tried to take it down, there was this huge weight pressing down, and we pushed the door back up. We were scared of all the stuff in there, so the ceiling never came down.

I keep walking, cause I have somewhere to go, since tomorrow's the day off. I have somewhere to go.

"William!!! William!!!"

I have somewhere to go. And I have to go, cause there won't be another chance like this.