This is a regular column featuring original fiction by and for high school students, provided by Figment.com, an online community writing site for young people.
I always felt bad for those awkward new kids, sitting in the corner of the room and trying to keep to themselves. They usually never answered direct questions, or made eye contact, or attracted too much attention to their self. They would just sit, staring at the teacher and counting down till the end of the day.
But today, a new girl that seemed innocent enough brought forth a strange feeling of unease, awkwardness, and inexplicable fear.
I made it to class just before the bell rang. Our teacher told us to sit down and open our books. I slumped in my chair with my head in my hand, tapping my eraser against the pages of the textbook. Our teacher was off on another one of her lectures that didn’t relate to anything we were studying. I waited out her speech, half-asleep in my chair.
The door creaked open. A small girl with black hair hanging in her face edged into the room, handing a slip of paper to the teacher. “Aha!” she cried, looking at the paper as the girl stood facing the blackboard. “Yes, yes. Have a seat next to Marie.”
I groaned softly as the strange girl eased herself next to me. “Class, this is Isabella,” the teacher announced. “She’ll be here for the rest of the year.”
Isabella didn’t look up as the class chorused a half-hearted greeting. She sat staring at her knees. Our teacher turned back to her lecture. I looked over at her cautiously. She met my gaze with eyes black as coal, exactly matching her crow-black hair and standing out against her white pallor. Her lips were blood-red and pulled up to show off razor-sharp teeth, bared in a menacing snarl. Her eyes boiled with hatred, and I couldn’t look away if I wanted to. She held my gaze with a force I had never seen.
And then she looked back down, letting her long hair fall over her face again. I turned away, surprised by the girl’s hostility.
Isabella never said a word over the next month. She sat staring at her knees the whole class, not responding when the teacher asked her a question, sitting in silence until she turned away. Every now and then, she would look up and glare at me, a glare of hatred and anticipation and longing all mixed in one. I frowned at her whenever she did this, and she would look back at her knees.
I approached my teacher about this after a while. I talked for a long time, trying to explain the look in her eyes when she saw me. “Isabella seems to hate me, but I haven’t done anything to her,” I concluded.
“Who’s Isabella?” she replied in a bored monotone.
I felt my face go blank, sure she was kidding. “That weird girl next to me,” I answered slowly. “Short, dark hair, black eyes. The new girl, she came about a month ago.”
As I was watching, my teacher’s eyes started darkening. They were bright blue, then navy, then indigo, then flat black all together. “Mrs. Hayes?” I said cautiously. “Are you all right?”
“I know not of whom you speak,” she snarled evilly, her voice loud, yelling, screaming at me. Yet no one turned at her accusatory tone or her hostile attitude. It was only me, staring at the usually kind teacher of mine as she bore down on me. Her hands hooked into claws at her side. “Now leave, go, be gone!” She was screaming at me, her mouth wide and her eyes blank and staring. She raised her arms, preparing to hit me with her clawed fingers. I covered my face, peeking through the gaps in my hands.
And her arms dropped like they weighed a ton, she lost the evil look to her face, and her eyes turned clear blue again. “You were saying something, dear?” she asked, as pleasant as always.
“N-n-no,” I stammered, backing away. She frowned. “No, Mrs. Hayes.” I dashed out of the room.
I was scared enough to not go back to Mrs. Hayes’ class, but I had to. I boldly walked into the room first period. My bus had arrived early, and I sat in the empty classroom, finishing off the homework I neglected to complete.
One by one, the students started trickling in. I looked up as an instinct, then back down, then back up again, shocked.
Out of every face, boy and girl alike, stared flat black eyes, set into white skin and glaring at me through a curtain of black hair. They marched in a purposeful procession, all dressed in gray and staring at me as if nothing would be better if I burst into flame. I could identify who they were — I saw Lizzie and Ryan and Katherine and Patrick and the two twins, Adam and Addie. But they weren’t themselves.
Just then, Isabella swung into the room, and stared haughtily around, looking on at all the people who were just like her. She grinned and sat down in her seat next to me. She was quite scary when she was smiling — her teeth were blunt and stubby, but four of them were sharp, pointed and glistening. Her lips looked too red to be lipstick or her natural color. They were exactly the same shade as blood.
I turned quickly away, staring around the room. On the inside of everyone’s wrist were four puncture wounds, still bloody. Wide-eyed, I looked back at Isabella, my pulse quickening. The holes on my classmates’ wrists matched with the teeth in Isabella’s mouth.
“You’re next,” she announced in a gleeful whisper. I stared at her curiously, then saw venom flare into her eyes. Her sickly smile turned into a grimace of pain, though she still gave an evil cackle, one that chilled me to the bone.
As quick and lithe as a cobra, she struck.
- Madison Lewis