This is my new school, I thought, staring thoroughly at the crumbled paper in front of me. It hadn't been in the best shape when I got it, and it seemed less welcoming than it was supposed to seem. On it was direction to my new school- a school whose name I still don't know.
It is odd, being suddenly invited to this exotic, unfamiliar place. I have been told that this new school offered the best education in the nation; I find that hard to believe. Looking up from my paper, I expect a rich landscape before me, full of life, lives of multi-millionaires. Instead, I find a rundown building that looks like it had taken a dozen bombs to it and had them miss, scarring the outside instead. It wasn't the most pleasant sight, but I push the building's appearance out of my mind; my first priority was to find out what to do.
I wasn't given any information as to what this school had to offer, but I could tell my mom couldn't care less. Being a single parent, she was very conscious of my life, whatever it may be, especially in our society. We have fallen in a depression so strong, that along with the money it sucks away from the economy, it takes lives with it. The ruthless government didn't care about the beggars who starved to death as they kissed their polished shoes; they are all brushed away; no mercy.
That's why when this letter came in the mail, it stunned my mom at first. I had quit school years ago to help earn money for the two of us in whatever way I could, but now, suddenly an "elite" school wanted me. Why me? My grades were terrible, and my mom and I can barely hold onto a couple dollars. Whatever it was that caused the school to recognize me, I knew that it was either this, or back to begging.
I slowly took my steps on the school's walkway, ignoring the irritable smell that lingered the air. It smelled of rotten corpses, a smell I would have never thought I would have familiarized myself to. The scariest thing is that this smell was only recent, but I made way, leaving footprints in the dust that trailed me.
I pushed open the doors, and I see the rest of the school's decay inside. Spider webs polluted each "Welcome" desk, clear of any live hosts. Dust, just like the outside, had taken over the school, and it came clear to me that this obviously wasn't what I had expected. As my steps echoed, I considered calling out to see if anyone was here. If I had, I would have looked like a fool; a lost, poor fool in a pool of confusion.
I peeked in each of the classrooms, hoping to see classes going on like they had when I was tiny. That was the only time I had ever gotten a real education, and it was supposed to be the last official education I could have got. But the hope of believing that this school could lead my mom and I to a much better future kept me going. The classrooms were empty, but my hopes were still high, my mind making up excuses for the huge amount of absences; I refused to believe no one was here.
Unconsciously, my feet lead me to the stairs, which had connected to the roof. I decided the roof might be the best place to stay until I figure out what to do; if it can hold the little weight I have. There, I could look over the paper with the little information given, and confirm that I am indeed not wrong.
As I got to the roof, I sat down on the edge next to the gutter. Cockroaches, nested inside the small tunnels, crawled out in surprise of life other than themselves. I screeched, instinctively running away from the foul, tiny creatures. Unfortunately, I had developed insectophobia, which hindered me greatly since our neighborhood was filled with these creepy animals. I didn't know why, but these things had bothered me since I was little and I had to rely on my father to get rid of them. It didn't cross my mind that I would ever have to deal with them.
The cockroaches, as scared as I was, retreated off the roof, but unlike me, the fall couldn't kill them. I didn't care, as long as they were gone, but I found myself sympathizing with them; I could be classified as a cockroach myself, if it meant being a pest that would steal food and scare people off. It dawned on me that I was comparing myself to a bug, one I could easily crush. Who knows, at this point, anything could crush me; bugs, this school, my neighborhood, the government? They were all now candidates in my now inevitable demise.
Going back down the stares, head lowered on my paper, I had bumped into a figure. I let out a grunt and quickly looked up to see who it was. In short terms, this figure was the most stunning thing I had set my eyes on.
She had brunette hair, set back in a braid, shining brilliantly in the sunlight that had now revealed itself. Her pure blue eyes looked curiously at me as her lips made their move to make a response to my rude intrusion. Her skin was clear of any dirt, and she wore what I believed to be the school uniform, covered in the colors of silver and turquoise. She was slender, yet healthy, unlike me; a ragged child who had bones showing. Her appearance alone made me smile in delight.
She smiled in an innocent manner, "You must be the new student."
It took me a while to respond, as I was still in a daze, but I complied, "Y-Yes."
She laughed at my stutter, "Oh now, don't be shy! We are very welcome for you to be here."
I was thrown off guard with her usage of the word 'We'. Who else could be here? I feel as if I had been everywhere, yet there was much for me to learn about this place.
"Now if you could just fill this out, and we will assign you your classes," she handed me a single paper, with what seemed to be a list. I studied the list and my eyes narrowed in confusion at the directions:
"Please label which of the following things you are most afraid of, 1 being the most afraid, 10 being least."
I looked at the girl, and before my mouth even opened, she answered my thoughts in a quick response, "It's to ensure you a safe education," she smiled quickly.
I didn't care about what it meant, I was desperate now. I had everything in front of me; an easy future, a good job, a good reputation, a normal life. No matter what I had to do, I would justify myself a safe and secure life, I had to.
I looked down the list and noticed two things; first off, "insectophobia" was missing. I didn't understand, it was very common, how is it that they left it out? The second thing was an already circled answer: " Doctors ". What did this mean?
The girl looked over my shoulder, "Oh! You've already chosen! Good for you, now follow me to your new class," she said, dragging me to the next destination.
I was about to retaliate when she cut me off, "Oh I know! Doctors, are such a pain in the ass! They don't know what personal space is, am I right?" she laughed with a wink. Her quick pace got us to where she was leading me quicker than normal.
I was now uneasy, "Well..."
It took a while for my eyes to adjust to my surroundings, because I could not believe the sight I had seen. A class of thirty children? A smiling teacher, busy around the chalk board? Posters about doing well in school littering the walls? No, it was anything but that.
The smell of blood was thick, and I could see why. The thirty children who were supposed to be in their seats were now lying on the floor, no life lingering in them. Some of them had still sat in their desks, as if they had simply fallen asleep.
"Oh them? They're simply the trouble makers. We do have proper discipline after all!" the girls piped up, as if this were simply a detention prior to a mass slaughter, "Oh, speaking of which! You happened to be quite tardy on your first day, but because it is your first day, we'll let you off with a warning punishment."
I began thinking that "signing" the form was a bad idea. Multiple men in white seized me, giving me no time to struggle as they stuck a syringe in my arm.
That was when I fell to hell like the rest.