High school sucks, but if you’re lucky like me you have a best friend that is willing to suffer through four years of hell with you. Mine just happens to do magick. Her eyes are amber like her name and her fingers are as long as mine. The classroom is sweltering because Mr. Who gives a crap won’t open the windows. I swear it is like I am being taught biology in a freaking green room.
Amber is mouthing something to me from across the classroom but I can’t make it out over the sound of a slowly dying fan. She rolls her eyes as if I asked her what does cow taste like, I hear a knocking—like on a door, but in my head. It’s Amber trying to communicate without the use of a mundane, albeit normal, method. I mentally allow her inside my mind, trusting that she won’t rifle through it and then I hear her in the same voice that I hear when I think.
“Watch your pen” she says.
I don’t know what that means so I shrug and glance down as my pen casually lifts off of the desk and begins scrawling, in a gorgeous script, my name. My paper is beginning to look more like a mandala coloring book than biology notes as my name is spelt out a letter at a time—Chrysanthemum— she draws a heart in place of the u.
I quickly snatch my pen out of the air as my biology teacher quips “Ms. Montgomery.” He has my attention now.
“What is your favorite Faulkner piece?”
“What does that have to do with biology?”
“Oh so you do know what class you are in, I thought that you had day dreamt your way to english, my mistake.”
I hate teachers like this, the ones that think embarrassment will make students behave. They are so old they still say newsflash but for real newsflash it doesn’t make us better students it just makes us hate your class. I’m like a buoy in a current of boredom, it won’t be long until I drift off. I feel an odd pressure on my eyes, like someone is physically forcing my eyelids shut. An albino looking old man with opal colored wings is recovering from getting the wind knocked out of him; he is kneeling on the ground as a grey apparition runs toward him in a cloud of darkness. In my gut I feel evil in the worst sense of the word, it is like every part of my body chills when I look at who or what this thing is. The grey man has to be seven feet tall and looks to be made of stone and yet paradoxically he floats without so much as kissing the ground beneath him. He bends over and with a mouthful of fangs he rips the throat out of the winged creature, his horns grow longer as gold shimmery blood spews out of the open artery. I scream so loud I can’t even hear myself, the grey matter turns and rushes at me with ice blue eyes. It opens its mouth, every single tooth is a fang. He—it is screaming at me and then I’m back in the classroom, where my friends. . . and enemies are all staring at me with concern splattered across their faces, even Mr. Whatshisface.
My nose is bleeding and my throat is sore, I guess I was actually screaming. Luckily the ninth period bell rings breaking the silence and the built up tension. It’s Friday and the school day is over and I’ve never been more excited to bury myself under the covers and binge watch Gossip Girl on Netflix (again). Amber is bubbling over about something, I see her lips moving faster than I can understand her, sometimes I think she is on a permanent sugar rush.
“Well what do you think?” Amber prods.
I wish that I could pick out what she just said out of an auditory line up but I can’t, “I think that um, you really can’t go wrong?”
“Really, so you wouldn’t be mad?” She sounds genuinely surprised, maybe I should ask her to repeat herself.
“Yeah no, of course not whatever makes you happy” well I never said that I’m not impulsive.
She squeals and squeezes me tight. . . I’m going to regret this later. “So did you pack yet?” Amber asks me.
“For what? My bed is a clothing optional zone.”
“Aren’t you and your family going to your cabin this weekend?” Amber reminded of this sore reality, one I would prefer to not be apart of.
“Shit, I totally forgot! Crap, okay so I will drive you home and then pack faster than Mr. Jones” (the gym teacher who was accused of fondling the wrong type of balls during class last semester). I feel dizzy, how could I forget this trip? It is so important to Kyle, I really am the Queen Bitch like he says; but, at least Amber reminded me and not the sound of my parents’ car in the driveway. I grab random books from my locker without even stopping to check what classes I have homework in, I slam my locker and we bolt out the double doors. I think we left skid marks on the floor and the smell of burnt rubber in the air. As we get to my car I see that my emo little brother is sitting shotgun with devil shaped earbuds in. I get in my brown turd mobile and playfully pluck his earbud out causing classical music to fill the air.
“Well, Ky, aren’t you just full of surprises?” Amber teases.
Ky just huffs in response, I don’t know if he can sink any deeper into the chair but judging by the shade of red he just turned I’ll assume that he is going to try.
“So Ky…” Amber draws out the word as if it had an infinite amount of o’s trailing the s.
“How was your day?”
“Fine, how bout you?” Ky asks more out of politeness than earnest interest.
Amber gushes, I swear she is as transparent as cling wrap. “Honestly it was mediocre at best, but it’s a bit better now.” Somebody let me know when I made a left turn into Yak City. Amber is a notorious flirt, she doesn’t know restraint. . . especially around lost puppies. The street I’m driving on is surprisingly desolate for a Friday afternoon and the radio station keeps changing at random. Whatever supernatural disc jockey controlling my car certainly loves juxtaposition because Party in the USA is followed by the Sugar hill Gang. Ky slams his palm on my dash to try and man fix the radio.
“Hey cool it dumbass this thing is older than your pornstache.”
“Not my fault that you drive a shit colored piece of shit.”
“Oh, I am more than happy to let you walk.”
“Fine.” Ky opens the door as I’m driving.
“Are you insane? You are going to kill us all close the damn door!” After fourteen years of living together there have probably been thirteen years worth of moments that I wanted to ring his neck, this is one of them. I glance back to the road and floor the brakes, a winged albino thing like from my day dream is standing in the middle of the street. I lock eyes with it and it moves a few feet to the left, my eyes follow it. Then its wings open fully to an incredible span. They almost go the horizontal length of the street, practically mailbox to mailbox, then it takes off straight into the sky. Dazed I look over and see that Kyle is bleeding, he hit his head on the dash but it is just a small scratch.
“Oh god, are you guys okay?”
Kyle looks at me like I just spoke Chinese “Yeah I’m fucking dandy what the fuck is wrong with you?”
“I couldn’t run that thing over, it would have totaled my car.”
Kyle looks genuinely concerned for me “What are you talking about? No one else is on the road.”
It’s like my tongue has tied itself into knots “You mean you didn’t see that thing?”
Amber, who is unscathed asks me “What thing are you talking about?”
I’m still stuttering “Th- the the thing with the wings, the faceless albino thing.”
Ky asks “Are you okay, did you take something today?”
Amber reaches forward and puts a hand on his shoulder, he knocks out instantly and his scratch also heals. “Listen to me, you have to forget whatever you saw it won’t end well for any of us.”
Startled I say “So you know what I’m talking about?”
She sits back “Vaguely, but only from picture books, I can’t say anymore.”
Baited I ask “What do you mean you can’t say anymore?” I add a petty amount of air quotes around that last part.
Amber bites her lip and says “Some promises have consequences if you break them.”
With that we drive in silence until we reach her house.