Chapter 2: they aren’t real by Jonathan S., 702

Phoenix Ashton tried to take her mind off of the dream and the post-it. Maybe it was just a coincidence, she thought. But she knew that she was only fooling herself. Even so, she had to go to school. Harman and Kardon Middle School did not accept tardiness. She got her backpack ready, and, at the last second, slipped the post-it in it.

 

Phoenix got to school earlier than expected. There were very few people in the cafeteria, most of them just staring at their phones. However, she could see John Sonosite sitting at a table all by himself, eating the school breakfast. It looked like he was listening through music, since there was a pair of earbuds from his ears to his jean pocket. Suddenly, Phoenix sparked up a plan.

 

She went over to him. She put her backpack down, took out the post-it, and put it in front of him. It said the same two things: John Sonosite’s name, and, right below it, in heavy black marker, was one word: burn. John lifted his head oh-so-slightly, but barely enough to see Phoenix and the post-it.

 

“Care to explain this?” Phoenix asked.

 

“Explain what?” John fired back. Phoenix was surprised when he spoke. His voice was deep, but not as deep as a full-grown adult. It wasn’t grainy, but rather clear.

 

“Don’t play dumb,” Phoenix said, with a semi-mad look written on her face. “Why does this post-it have a new word on it all of a sudden? And why were you in my dream?”

 

John picked up his napkin to wipe his mouth. “Why would I know? I ain’t no freak, I’m just some guy trying to make it through life. The dream could just be a coincidence, and the post-it, well, that ain’t my problem.” He grabbed his empty tray and walked away.

 

Phoenix sat down at the lunch table. So if he doesn’t know, she thought, then what does this mean? Suddenly, the homeroom bell rang, which snapped Phoenix out of her trance. She stuffed the post-it back in her backpack and went to her homeroom class.

 

For the eight periods of class (one of them being lunch), Phoenix was contemplating on how the word burn could have been written on the post-it. But none of her analogies made sense, so she just gave up and focused on her classwork.

 

When Phoenix got home, her mother was on the couch, watching the news. Just another sad, depressing fire again, Phoenix thought. When can the news be positive?

 

“Hey, honey,” her mom said from the couch. “How was today?”

 

“It was fine,” Phoenix replied as she closed the door behind her. “Say, mom. Can I talk to you for a sec?”

 

Phoenix’s mom grabbed the remote and turned off the TV. “Sure, honey.” she said as she set the remote down on the coffee table.

 

Phoenix took off her backpack and sat on the couch next to her mom. “Well,” Phoenix started. “It’s about my dreams.”

 

“Go on.”

 

“Well, um – I-I can’t really explain them in words, but they always leave me in tears whenever I wake up.”

 

“Oh, sweetie,” her mom said, putting her hand on Phoenix’s shoulder. “I know how you feel too.”

 

“You do?”

 

“Yes. I used to have dreams which left me crying when I woke up. But I just ignored them, and soon, they faded away, and I carried on with my life.”

 

“Do you still have these dreams, mom?” Phoenix asked.

 

“Not anymore,” her mom replied. “Guess they just went away.”

 

“Thanks, mom,” Phoenix said, smiling.

 

“No problem. Now go do your homework while I prepare dinner.”

 

“Ok,” Phoenix grabbed her backpack and went to her room.

 

Fast-forwarding to Phoenix’s dream, she woke up surrounded by darkness. No lights were lit, not even a single candle. She tried feeling around for a wall, a light switch, anything. But the more she felt around, the more lost she felt. Then, all of a sudden, John Sonosite popped up right in front of her, almost scaring her to death. His hood was off, revealing his black hair.

 

“John, what are you doing here?” Phoenix asked.

 

John didn’t seem to hear her.

 

“John?” Phoenix said, trying to put her hand on his shoulder. However, when she tried, her hand went right through John, almost as if she were a ghost.

 

Suddenly, a figure dressed in black rags appeared. His rags were covering his face, so any of his facial features were barely visible. His hands were white, and they were so boney that his finger bones were popping through the skin.

 

John knelt in front of him, which surprised Phoenix in many ways. The figure touched John’s forehead and he muttered something that Phoenix couldn’t hear. Suddenly, John’s eyes started glowing red, and his chest started glowing the same color. Phoenix started running away, scared of what was happening. However, as she was running away, she slipped on something invisible, and she fell face-first.

 

Phoenix woke up, covered in her own sweat, but no tears came down her face. She got out of her bed and started pacing. Even though her mom told her to ignore her dreams if they were bad, this one could simply not be ignored. Was this some sort of warning?, she thought. Or was this saying something about John Sonosite?

 

When she was pacing around, she found another post-it on the ground, one that had not been there until now. She bent down and picked it up, and, instead in heavy red ink, read: they aren’t real.

 

Story 2 of many……..

 

Writer’s Note: Hey. Jonathan S. here. I’ve been getting some criticism from some of my peers on how the characters of these stories are corresponding to people that attend Christa McAuliffe. I’m not calling anybody out, but, just to reassure those who think so, none of these characters correlate to any students in this school. They are just characters that I personally have created and chosen to be in my story. This will not stop me from continuing to finish this series, which I have yet to name. That is all for now.

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