This was a little experiment I wrote a while back. I don't have any intentions of continuing it at this point, but I do have a basic plot outline and some characterization in order.

My main goal was to play with Anarchy vs. Perfectionism. I wanted to see how two characters could function (and ultimately be impacted for the better), by observing the others' ideology. The story, in theory, gets much darker and heavier (even political), but mainly, it was just about these two...


He had come to the conclusion that she was insane. There she sat, on his direct left, punching holes in her sheet of paper with a defeated pencil stub. First of all, it was ridiculous to use pencil on any assignment. Ink was permanent, leaving a decisive imprint that could never be removed. Graphite, however, could crumble, smear, and fade. And it could be erased. If something had to be redone, there shouldn't be a few merciful swipes of rubber, obscene gray smudging, and blotches of oil from ridding remnants of the shriveled eraser bits. A clean sheet was clearly the smarter choice.

Besides the fact that she was using a pencil to destroy her English vocabulary sheet, leaving a painfully obvious mess of scraps, she appeared to be an alien. Her hair was bright crimson, ending in jagged bursts to her shoulders. A streak of rumpled bangs fell on her forehead, just above her eyebrows, which were conspicuously not red. Her eyes bugged out at him from above the paper, rimmed in black. Two intense bursts of bright steel blue caught his light ones. He slowly turned his head back down to his folded hands. She had noticed him staring.

"Do you find this interesting, Saunder?" She said in a lazy, condescending tone. A tiny evil half smile poked up from above her pointed chin. She held up her creation. An "A" was inscribed, in pencil holes, inside of a circle.

"Get back to work, Cassidy." The exasperated voice of Mrs. Lillard rang.

Cassidy's attention situated itself upon her, eyes unblinking and amused at the challenge.

"Work?" She chuckled. "This is our—" She flipped the paper over briefly, and then returned it to its original position, "—Vocabulary, correct?"

"Correct Cassidy. Would you like a new one? You seemed to have created something other than homework out of it."

Cassidy feigned confusion. "Why, Mrs. Lillard… You accuse me of creating something new out of this homework assignment? No. I have destroyed it. But don't misunderstand me." She seemed to look lovingly at the A. "I intend to teach the class a new vocabulary word."

"Is that so?" The teacher replied, bored already.

"This A, oh dear class members, is the symbol for Anarchy. Unlike the oppression of government, that is forcing us, at this very minute, to fill these rather poorly funded desks…"—She paused for emphasis—"Anarchy is freedom."

"We understand your point, Cassidy, so if you'll continue to be oppressed in a quiet manner, I'm sure you can manage to stop tormenting Saunder enough for him to get back to work."

"You must be particularly tired today, Mrs. Lillard. Or perhaps you're too hyped on caffeine to notice that this is, in fact, reality, and since it has been well over ten minute since you have given us this assignment, you should know by now that Saunder is finished."

"Yeah. He's always finished." Chimed in a lanky, dark-haired person, situated a few seats behind Cassidy. "You should give him more to do."

"You'll all have equal assignments. It's part of fair government punishment. Now be quiet." She readjusted her reading glasses and poked her nose back into a book.

The alien looked satisfied. She began to rip tiny shreds from the paper and flick them off her desk, gracefully floating to the battered tile. Saunder watched every single piece. He counted as they hit the ground: 1… 2… 3… 4… 1… 2… 3… 4…

She looked up slightly from her criminal act and glared at him, another smile pulling at the corners of her mouth. Saunder tried to focus on the numbers. 1… 2… 3… 4… He could feel the circulation leaving his knuckles as he squeezed tighter. His foot twitched every time a white scrap touched the ground. Soon the whole paper was reduced to nothing but the inscribed A. On those scraps lay remnants of the vocabulary words. He could even spot a black blemish on one—the third one that had fallen—that reminded him even things set in permanent ink could be destroyed.

Then the ring came, mercifully. It buzzed annoyingly loud, signifying his time was finished with English II for the day. He would have to endure her presence for two more class hours until he was freed by lunch. The only classes that he didn't have her in were Math and Computer Programming. These were the only classes where he was safe.

He sat perfectly still, accounting for each of his muscles, aligning his skeletal structure for optimum posture.

Cassidy bent down to the mess of paper, as if to pick them up. Saunder saw her pause in his peripheral vision. She invited him to look—commanded him to look. As if under control, his head turned to the slightest degree. His eyes fell to hers, begging her to do as she seemed to promise. His mouth tightened as he watched her put her bright head next to the scraps. Then she blew. Flecks of the assignment scattered like snowflakes. Then he watched her rise, tie swinging, pins flashing, and chains shivering. The soles of her black boots made almost no noise as she paced, behind the crowd, out of the room.

As soon as the class was deserted, he rushed to the scene, and began picking all of the pieces.

Mrs. Lillard looked up from her book. Her hair fell dead around her face, glasses enhancing the dark circles under her eyes. She looked exhausted, but with the same air of endurance and boredom that she always seemed to carry.

"Saunder." It was a whisper. She was being sympathetic, he knew.

"There's a dust broom at this end of my desk." She set scooted her seat back and her head disappeared as she reached for it. Saunder looked at the pieces with indictment, and got up to receive her help. He swept up every flake and emptied them into the trash can. Then he reached into his trouser pocket, and uncapped the lid of some hand sanitizer. Mrs. Lillard watched him as he scrubbed precisely.

"Do you need a note?"

"No, thank you."

He walked directly to Fitness and Health, and briskly dressed in the locker room. The boys didn't talk to him here. They had nothing to torment him about in this area. With a height of 5'11", a lean frame, and perfectly proportionate muscle, his body was trained better than most of theirs. The only exceptions were some of the meatier football players, but even then his endurance surpassed theirs.

He retrieved the heart rate monitor from the hanging pocket, and wiped it down with his hand sanitizer. Then he lifted his shirt and attached it securely across his abdomen.

Today they were running the mile. He checked his tennis shoes to make sure they were laced tightly enough, and then adjusted his black shorts and light gray t-shirt with "Fitness and Health" stamped across the front. His name was carefully written in the box provided. Satisfied with his condition, he readied himself at the starting line and waited.

Cassidy was there. She had drawn Anarchy signs all over her t-shirt. He noted that her body was also perfectly proportioned. He estimated that she was 5'4".

He blocked out everyone else's presence as he prepared. In his mind, he formed a picture of himself running at his park. He could smell the fresh autumn air, a few leaves drifting down from the trees, the crisp cool sunlight warming his skin. He could see the swings, in a perfect row, a ditch below each one from the scuffs of children's feet. Barely anyone visited his park. It was small, and didn't have any big toys to play on. All it had was an expanse of grass, a bench, a garbage can, and trees scattered here and there. He could see himself clinging to the curb of the expanse, running four laps. He could feel the breeze, and hear the rustling of the trees.

When the whistle finally blew, he surged forward. Air rushed passed him, and everything but his direct path was blurred. He pumped his legs expertly, gracefully springing on his toes. His lungs burned and his breathing came in labored bursts. But he didn't stop. He could see now that he would have to rip through the crowd, since he had already lapped them. Besides the stray person here and there, he was by far in the lead.

He counted: 1… 2… 3… 4… 1… 2… 3… 4… as he passed them one by one. He saw a flash of bright red as he passed the next group.

His lungs burned and his muscles screamed at him, but he pushed onward, knowing that he deserved it. The finish line was a lap away. He could see the stop watch, Mr. Bickford's finger on the button, ready to press it as soon as he flew past the mark. He sped up, and he could feel his stomach lurch, and he felt the air rushing past his sweat-beaded forehead, making his eyes water.

"5'54"…Excellent, Saunder." He slowed immediately and began to walk the next lap, to cool his heart rate gradually.

*****

He arranged all the desks in Biology so the columns and rows were aligned perfectly. He did this quickly and efficiently, so his class mates wouldn't mock him at the task as usual.

Almost immediately upon sitting, a tall kid with messy chestnut curls and glasses dumped his pack and book in the seat next to his.

"Morning Saunder." He took out his Biology book in a twitchy manner. He was wearing a long-sleeved white button-up shirt with a blue v-neck vest over it. He always dressed this way. He had told Saunder that it was important to dress accordingly for social events, and yet still let his loose curls hang all over his face. Sometimes Saunder imagined himself chopping all his hair off.

"Are you alright, man? You don't look so well…" He always spoke extremely fast and in a twitchy manner. He was either always fidgeting, or always blinking.

"I'm fine, Nicholas." Saunder said quietly.

"You look even more tired today. I didn't think that was possible. How much sleep do you get, seriously?"

"I get plenty of sleep."

"Okay." He emphasized his skepticism.

"I just broke the six minute mile." Saunder sighed, hoping this would convince him of why he seemed distressed.

"Hey, wow. Good for you. Nice job, man. That's probably why."

For an extremely intelligent person, Nicholas always spoke without thinking first. He didn't take time to go through processes of logic. Saunder deduced that this was caused by laziness.

"Did… She give you any problems today?"

"What do you mean?" Saunder said.

"You know. Her. Did she do anything today?" He fidgeted and then cracked his neck.

"When does she not?"

"You've got to make this stop. Seriously. It looks like you're on drugs or something."

"I'm the one on drugs? Okay, twitchy."

Nicholas smiled, adjusting his glasses.

"If you don't stand up to them, they're just going to keep doing it."

"Humans feed off conflict. What do you think would happen if I gave them more to consume?"

"You need to lighten up. I think you're depressed or something. I know! You could threaten them." He used gestures this time. Nicholas was in the Drama Club.

"Oh yes. One person against the entire Sophomore class. That will yield fruitful results." Saunder was disappointed in himself for resorting to sarcasm.

His shoulders slumped. "Fine. I just don't see why you deal with it…"

Saunder turned towards him and took a deep breath. "They are human. I will treat them with respect even if I don't receive any. If they want to destroy, let them. I for one, condone honor and order. Their torment is childish…"

The rest of the class filed in, seconds before the bell sounded.


Interesting at all?