1 - Anthropophobia
There were a few hours before school had officially begun. Following her usual routine, Lyssa scouted the premises in search of an ideally secluded place that would allow her fearful heart to slow its beat and rest.
Making her way to the second floor, her pursuit of isolation was ever fruitless. “I thought I’d get a chance to be alone for a little...Why’re they all in so early? It’s like they’re doing this to spite me...they probably are.... I hate them...”
Lost in a storm of melancholic thoughts, Lyssa failed to notice the girl coming her way and bumped into her. Startled, she apologised profusely and retreated out the nearest door in the blink of an eye.
Once out in the school’s barren courtyard, Lyssa let out a sigh which was carried away by a light breeze.“I did it again...Pay more attention to where you’re going, stupid!” She berated herself as she sat down on a bench. Relaxing and clearing her mind, she slowly began to doze off. “At least in my dreams...I’m not afraid...”
“What’s up with her?” The girl Lyssa had bumped into asked her friend.
“Who knows” Her friend replied,“Rumour has it she’s scared of people...I’ve never even heard her talk until now, but it sounded to me like the rumour’s true.”
The girl nodded,“Oh, yeah, that reminds me...Have you seen Gracie anywhere lately? She hasn’t answered any of my calls, I’m getting worried.”
A kind-looking woman in a yellow dress beckoned to the sleeping girl hurriedly.“Oh, there you are, Lyssa! You’re okay! We’ve all been looking for you. Come on now, you should be at the assembly up in the hall.”
“U-um...yes miss....” She tried to respond, having just been woken up from her blissful slumber on a sleek wooden courtyard bench.
The woman held the door open for Lyssa. “Honestly dear, I almost fainted when I realised that you weren’t there! Did you forget about the announcement yesterday?”
Lyssa dug her nails into the dorsal surface of her hand and scraped them along as she walked,“...Wh-what announcement..?”
As the woman was about to answer, a man’s voice being magnified by a microphone made itself heard to Lyssa.“...with this unknown threat roaming our city’s streets, we must take every precaution to ensure that this school remains a safe environment in which our only worry is education. So please be sure to walk home in groups, and always carry a means of contacting help.”
A shiver came up Lyssa’s spine, as she thought in panic,“Unknown threat...?”