She ran as fast as she could. The school’s hallways were so intertwining, she didn’t know which way to turn, she just kept running. Until she ran into a dead end. She tried the classroom door. Locked. Tried the other one. Locked. She saw the figure coming closer to her, in a crazy, but calm mood. He wore a black hoodie over his face, so his facial features were barely readable. She pressed herself against the wall, curling into a ball, waiting for it to come. The figure raised his right hand, and she screamed.
She woke up. Her bed was drenched with sweat, her face covered with tears. It’s ok, she told herself. It was just a dream. She looked over to her alarm clock. 6:45, it read. She got up, getting ready for school.
I am sorry. I haven’t properly introduced this person yet. My apologies. This here is Phoenix Ashton. Her mother named her Phoenix because her love for her will never die, much like a phoenix’s immortality. She is like every other girl there was in her neighborhood; wake up, go to school, learn, go back home, do homework, sleep, and repeat. Middle school’s a real pain, the teachers won’t give their students a break, and the homework’s nonsense.
She left her house, still very tired, to go to Harman and Kardon Middle School, known to be “one of the best middle schools in the district”. Or that’s at least what her parents told her. She was in the 7th grade, and had already made friends with almost everybody.
In the morning, the school gave out breakfast in the cafeteria. She usually sat with her three friends, J.J., Alicia, and Nicole. They talked about homework, schoolwork, any -work. Then, the 1st period bell rang. And everyone dispersed to their classes.
They say “time flies when you’re having fun”. However, time flew because everything was so mediocre. Finally, lunch rolled around the corner. She got there late, so almost all the seats were taken. She found an empty seat across from somebody that she recognized from some of her classes, though she barely knew him. He wore a black hoodie, with his hood covering his face. He seemed almost asleep, but awake at the same time. She sat across from him and thought that she should introduce herself.
“Hey,” she said as she sat down. “I’m Phoenix.”
“Um, I’m in some of your classes,” she added.
Still no answer.
The tension started building up. “What’s your name?” she asked.
He pulled a post-it and a pen out of his backpack and scribbled something on it. He passed it to her. It read: John Sonosite.
“Nice to meet you, John,” she said with a smile.
John got up with his tray in hand and walked away.
Odd, she thought. She stuck the post-it in her folder ate her lunch in deep thought of that kid.
School continued. Everything was remote to Phoenix, but the thought of John Sonosite couldn’t get out of her head. Why was this guy like this?, she thought. Finally, the bell rang, signalling the end of another day of school.
She walked home. The cool January breeze gusted against her jacket. She reached the front door of her house and entered. Her mother was sitting on the living room couch, reading a magazine.
“Hey, honey,” her mother welcomed her. “How was school?”
“Like every other day,” she said. She took her backpack into her room to do her homework.
“Dinner will be ready in a few,” her mom called out to her.
As she took her workbooks out, she noticed a post-it flutter to the ground. It was the post-it with the name John Sonosite written on it. She put it in the corner of her desk and continued with her homework.
I should fast forward to later, because if I didn’t, my publisher would find it too “boring”. Anyway, back to the story.
Phoenix had awaken from her sleep. Her throat was dry. Maybe a glass of water might help, she thought. She got up and opened the door, only to find the hallways of Harman and Kardon Middle school.
Weird, she thought to herself as she walked down the hallway. As she turned a corner, she saw a figure at the end of the hallway. Then, all of a sudden, it started running towards her. Phoenix grew nervous, and she ran in the opposite direction, trying to find the door back to her room. This seemed more impossible the more she ran. The hallways of the middle school had been known to be quite a maze.
She ran into a dead end. Crap, she thought. She tried one of the classroom doors. Locked. Tried the other one. Locked. She pressed her back against the wall when she saw the figure in the hallway. The figure came closer. Phoenix curled up into a ball, hiding herself from the figure. The figure was right next to her. The figure raised his right hand. She screamed.
A flashlight was shone on her. She looked at the figure, and, through the blinding light, saw the face of John Sonosite. She opened her mouth to scream again.
She woke up. There was sweat drenching the bed and tears streaming down her face. Ugh, another bad dream, she thought. She made her way to the bathroom, washed her face, and made it back to her room.
As she made her way back to her bed, she saw the post-it with the name John Sonosite on it. Though, it had something else written on it that hadn’t been there before. It read, in heavy black ink that bleed through the post-it: burn.
Story 1 of many……..