Dead To Me
I’m really not the type of guy to keep my mouth shut; either for better or for worse. And it was a pretty bad habit.
Dad complains about it all the time, no I don’t see him much, but he won’t ever forget to remind me. Like, ever.
Everyone else seems to think I’m a talker too. Yeah, I can be quiet when I wanna be, it’s not like I can’t shut up for a second or anything, but I tend to talk when I shouldn’t or when it isn’t the time.
Like right now.
Charlotte’s homemade cookies- I’m pretty sure they were laced with some kind of drug because they stunk something awful... or maybe they were just bad- struck me square in the nose. She had surprisingly good aim, and now it was definite knowledge that the cookies were bad because they were hard as effing bricks. My nose was hurting something else now.
James Fickleman started laughing like he hadn’t laughed in years, and I glared at him like one would glare at a misbehaving dog. I tried to make myself look as disgusted as humanly possible- maybe he’d feel bad or something, I don’t know.
“Shut up or I’ll throw something harder than cookies at you.”
Fickleman immediately stopped laughing, instead growling like some feral animal. “The hell you say to me?”
“You heard me, James.”
I wouldn’t dare call him by his last name. The way his face scrunched up when I did would make anybody sick. Cause they knew what he’d do.
Fickleman is a scary guy, he really is. I’m actually terrified of him, and hell, I don’t act like it, but I really am.
The way he looks at you- I’m sorry, I sound like a wimp but it just gives me the creeps.
He did that same thing Weatherfield did- it was like the bully jock move. He pulled me up by the front of my shirt, yanking me up even though I tried to sit firm. I’m short, and because I don’t really play sports I’m kinda weak too. Mom likes to remind me to go to the gym sometimes, but I don’t listen. But that’s fine, since I don’t listen ever.
“’Ey,” Joanne Clemens called from off in the distance, at The Six table to be exact, “Leave the kid alone, yeah? ‘E didn’t do nothin’.”
So James just lets me go, just like that, and walked back to the table. He must have the hots for Joanne Clemens, just like Avenue. Wouldn’t be surprised if that’s another thing that causes a turf war at this damn school.
Charlotte was still staring at me, so I just kinda looked away uncomfortably, fixing up my shirt.
Weatherfield had disappeared, probably stormed out in anger or something, and Germ was still sitting there all messed up about it. I nodded at him, and carried my tray up on over to the trash compacter.
After that I was quick to skidaddle- James Fickleman shouldn’t be my problem, and Corbin could help Germ just fine. They didn’t really need me.
So I just kinda wandered the hall for a little bit, which is a thing only weirdos do, waiting for the lunch period bell to scream down the hallway. I hated that lunch period bell- whenever I hear it I think of the first day I was in this place. When that bell meant I had to move because I didn’t know where the hell my next class was and God knew there was gonna be traffic moving down the hallway. So I remember just pushing my way through like a tiny squirrel in a forest of trees.
Squirrel because I’m small and trees because everyone else is a legit tower compared to me.
But what I did not expect was, instead of hearing the scream of the bell, I heard the scream of a very angry, very annoyed Queen B.
Charlotte Harper was there, standing just down the hall with her hands on her hips and her lips curved into this really unattractive snarl. Like she was gonna pounce or something.
I’m quick to stop in my tracks from my wandering, and Charlotte and I just kind of stare at each other.
The hallway was quiet and empty, lined and cramped in with lockers so all I could see was a defiant girl ready to trample me like a bull. I honestly just wanted to hide, but no.
I wouldn’t. She’s just a girl. A really tall, really fit, really scary girl.
And she marched right up to me and made a whole show about it, throwing her hands up and yelling at me.
“That stuff in the lunch room was none of your business, you know that? None of that was any of your business you creepy little dink! And what did you think you were doing, flipping me the effin’ bird? Who do you think you are, some kid who’s got value in this school?”
I just let her blow off her steam for a minute, watching as she yelled and yelled and yelled. Wow, could she yell.
“You’re lying about Germ,” I say, and Charlotte shakes her head back and forth.
“No, and there was no way you were with him earlier because he did it.”
“Yeah, I might not’ve been with Germ but he would never do something like that. Especially,” I drawled out the word, pointing a finger at her, “not to you.”
“Especially not to me?” Now she was enraged about not being hit on? “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It’s supposed to mean that he doesn’t like you.”
“Oh yeah? And how do you know that? You clearly don’t know the guy if you don’t think he’d come up and hit on me!”
“I do know the guy, I’ve known him for six years!”
“That doesn’t mean-”
There’s a scream.
But it’s not the scream of the bell- it’s the scream of the alarm. And I just about peed my effing pants.
“Code grey we’re going into lock down. Code grey we’re going into lock down.” The speaker was rumbling down the hall, and suddenly the slamming of doors were echoing trough the school. But we couldn’t slam a door because we weren’t in a frickin room.
It’s always been a code black whenever we did these drills, so what’s a code grey? Was this a real lock down?
Charlotte suddenly got all smug-like, and she was right up in my face. “What, are you scared of some lock down drill, huh?”
But then she jumped in an abrupt shock as a cry echoed down the hall. This loud, demented cry that sounded like a high pitched car motor. I didn’t really know how to feel about that- that wasn’t just some regular scream or cry, and you could tell just by hearing it.
“Teachers lock doors, there’s an unknown trespasser inside the building.”
So Charlotte and I just looked at each other, and then out the building door. Then down the hall.
There was a figure standing there, staring at us, eyes empty and hair disheveled. Skin pimpled with yellow bumps and dotted with red bruises, mouth clamped shut with teeth poking out of a crusty, pale bottom lip. It’s arms were all messed up like a pair of Twizzlers, and the bones of its knees were peaking out of decaying skin.
And when it opened its mouth, all you heard was that car motor roaring at a high pitched frequency. All you heard was a pained scream.
3-AM-gaming-sessions. This is like those 3-AM-gaming-sessions.
Charlotte and I look at each other again. Then back to the building back door.
Lock downs are stupid anyway. It’s much safer outside than in. Especially when you’re with a living dead man.
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