.Horror 101.

Marcus walked down the crowded hallway; the great unwashed flowing past him in an unending tide of humanity.

The student body of Marshall High went about their business with the single-mindedness of lemmings. He jinked to the left as a football sailed just inches past his head impacted with an unfortunate student ahead that just wasn't fast enough. The kid went down in an untidy heap, his armful of books sailing through the air and smacking against the wall. It wasn't the first hit that he had received, and it surely wouldn't be the last. He heard braying laughter behind him and knew, even without turning around who it was.

Steve Laughton; captain of the school football team...joker...duchebag.

One of his cronies, a nameless nobody (he seemed to have a never ending supply) ran forwards and grabbed the ball from where it lay giving the kid on the floor an unsympathetic shrug as he bent down and ran back to his leader.

Marcus gave a look at the bloody, tearful boy who was only just now picking himself back up and started walking again.

He passed a group of girls standing against the lockers a bit further up the hallway. All eyes on the jock that had thrown the ball, a look of admiration in their eyes; hero worship. They gravitated towards the bigger , the stronger...the dumber. Marcus found his head turning of its own accord to stare at one girl in particular and found his heart racing. The feeling wasn't lust or desire, it was hate.

Michelle Cord lounged against the steel of the locker doors and stared at Laughton, a smile plastered over her rouged, perfectly made-up face. They had been an item for several months and rumour had it that they were doing IT every chance that they got, and she wasn't fussy which way.

The rest of the cheer leading squad crowded around her like a gaggle of hens, hanging off her every word. He forced his head away from her perfect figure and walked on his way.

Further still he passed a tall skinny guy in a leather jacket, the tell-tale bulge of a packet of cigarettes in the front pocket of his tight black jeans. He flicked the lid backwards and forwards on an old, battered zippo, the click monotonous and rhythmic. His bare arms showed hand-picked tattoos depicting leering demons and nude women. A particularly vicious snake curled its way across one muscle-corded arm. The youth looked him in the eye as he passed, his black greasy hair hanging over his brow.

'Keep walking faggot.'

Marcus dropped his gaze and his pace quickened just ever so slightly.

The bell let out its shrill one-note scream and the students started to move off towards their various classes and home rooms.

Marcus carried on down the hall happy in the knowledge that while they were stuck in stuffy classrooms he had a whole free period to himself. He realised that without conscious thought he was headed towards the library, a place of quiet in his turbulent life, the only place he could be himself

He reached the door to the library and stopped for a minute. He reached into his pocket and pulled the piece of neatly folded paper that was there out. He reached into his other pocket and retrieved some sticky-tac placing a small piece carefully in each corner. He placed the paper neatly against the wood and smoothed it down. He pushed his way in letting the door swing back in its frame.

The paper was school paper, the signature on the bottom forged, it was one of a number that he had already placed around the school.

It contained a list of names that included, amongst others, the captain of the football team, a certain cheer leader and a leather jacket wearing thug.

A new class was coming to the school and they had all been invited.

Class was about to be in session.