After school, she sat in the empty classroom waiting for the teacher to return. She worked diligently on her math homework and listened to the ticking clock at the front of the room. This had her thinking.
She usually did not hear the ticking clock, the soft whir of the computer on the teacher's desk, or the creaks from the ceiling and walls. Sometimes, silence is the loudest sound of all.
Shrugging it off, she continued working on her math. It was not difficult, but also not too easy. The perfect balance.
A particularly loud creak from the ceiling drew her attention and her eyes shot upwards, thinking something had fallen. Nothing. Maybe it was her imagination, but the ticking had increased in speed and volume. A faint thump had sounded on the desk next to her.
A notebook. It was a soft grey, like clouds on a rainy day and she almost felt at peace.
The ticking continued until it turned into a drum roll. Her breath shortened, the temperature dropped, and the world spun around her. Her focus transferred to the notebook. Her eyes locked on it. She could not think of anything else except that taunting, grey notebook. The notebook's energy surrounded -suffocated- her until she had to look, she had to open it and see what was inside.
Her hands moved from the desk, her homework paper sticking to her hand slightly then breaking off, floating to the floor. She did not notice. She could not notice.
As her hands moved closer to the notebook and her vision began to fade, the distant sound of pounding on wood and yelling could not be heard through her trance. Her fingers landed on the front of the notebook and her heart raced.
She slowly opened the front of the notebook, her vision almost completely black now.
In black, spiky handwriting, two words stood out, "You're next."