“Llia! Come on, Time for school! It’s the first day of eighth grade, and you don’t want to be late!” I was jostled awake by the sound of my mother’s voice. I groaned, and rolled over. My mother, not amused, marched over to my bed with her hands on her hips. “Ilia! You’re going to be late! Again! Get dressed, we have to leave in fifteen minutes!” She stood there, waiting for me to get out of bed. Like the obnoxious child that I was, I stayed in bed, not moving. Let me stay in bed. I’d rather miss school than wake up. My mother, knowing what she had to do because we’d gone through this routine last year in seventh grade, grabbed my hand and dragged me out of bed.
I groaned again, and stumbled towards my closet, jerking open the door and closing it behind me. My mother, smiling at her accomplishment, was still in my room when I strutted out in a teal tank top, ripped jeans, white converse high tops, and my hair in its signature high ponytail with a teal scrunchie. Glad I was finally ready for school, she led me out the the door of my room.
I grabbed my backpack and lunch money, made a face at myself in the hallway mirror, and ran to the car. After a ten-minute drive, we arrived at school. I rushed inside, slipping into an empty seat with a minute to spare.
Alright, class, we’re going to start unpacking right now.” said a tall dark-haired lady. “Take out your summer homework and put it in this blue bucket right here.”
A mad scramble followed, mainly around the bucket Ms. Daniels was pointing to. I walked up after everyone else sat down, saving myself a lot of walking around and avoiding getting tripped, or elbowed in the stomach. I’m smart like that.
We put all our extra school supplies in a closet in the back of the room. When everyone was unpacked, Ms. Daniels walked to the front of the room and took a stack of papers from her desk. She passed them out to our rows, and I studied mine. It was a schedule.
“Class, this is your schedule for what class you’re taking in each period. I hope you will keep these where they are easily accessible, until you get the flow of things. Maybe keep it in your binder, or a homework folder, or somewhere its not apt to get lost.’ She glared at a particularly irresponsible boy who had just shoved his paper in his desk.
School went on in this fashion. Ms. Daniels taught History and Science. At recess, I sat with a group of girls that looked like they were the popular group in this class. It was important for me to get on their good side if I ever wanted to be popular this year.
But then I saw how mean they were. Their matching clean white heels hurt my eyes as they walked down the hallway towards the water fountain. I saw them push people out of the way as they made room for the squad of four walk down the hallway side-by-side in a line.
They got to the water fountain. A seventh grader was there, drinking water. One of the nastiest of the squad shoved her out of the way. She fell, and broke her head on the pavement. It gushed blood, staining the ground a rich crimson. That made me mad. That made me angry. That made me infuriated. I wished the water fountain would explode with water in their faces.
The girls, horrified, turned to look at me. They were so angry, they looked like they would turn into monsters.
I ran down the hallway, trying to find a room with a lock on the door. The four monsters were still chasing me, gaining on me. I finally found a room with a lock on the door. Bursting in, I turned around and locked the door behind me. I leaned against the door, eyes closed, panting. Then I noticed who was in the room.
A girl was standing in the middle of the room. She looked like a sixth-grader. She was about an inch shorter than me. She was wearing a light brown sweatshirt, black jeans, and combat boots, with her short, dark brown hair barely grazing her shoulders.
She stared at me.
I stared back.
For all around her, was about twenty decayed children.
I screamed, then everything went black.