( OOC located http://www.animeleague.net/forum/sho...ll-RPG-Sign-Up spots still open!)
Clay Maxwell drove a big-ass truck. Not one of those trucks that you see rednecks from Chicago driving with bumper stickers proclaiming their blue collar Allegiance just because they drove through snow a few times a year. Oh no, clay's truck was a monster four door silverado, eighteen inch lift kit. Big, car-crushing tires that made pavement weep, black on black with tinted rear lights, and limousine quality windows. His interior was black on red, and hot enough in the summer to make your balls sweat bullets.
Thankfully though, it wasn't the summer, it was the ass end of winter with snow still on the ground and salt still trying to eat the undercarriage of his Beast to shit.
Clay pulled the behemoth into the school parking lot, windows down as was required in case he ran over any children, though he knew he would never hear them over the twin exhaust pipes cracking out his masculinity. He killed his stereo, pounding out the harsh notes of Static X, and backed into the two parking spots his truck required.
Smiling as he saw a door open in a house across the street, followed by a male student rushing out still putting a shoe on one bare foot. Tommy was his name, ands Clay's passing by each morning served as the kids alarm clock. He put up his windows, grabbed his black book bag and briefcase, and took the two steps required to reach solid earth. Once the he leaned back against the open door frame and pulled from the door's cup holder a pack of reds. Lighting up he looked around, careful to blow his smoke away from his interior.
Some students walked by and he waved, but their attention was on something else, something toward the school that had them whispering together in low tones. By the look of her jeans and the way his hand just happened to be cupping her ass, Clay figured they were discussing an after-lunch rendezvous. He chuckled, took one last long drag, and flicked the half-smoked cigarette into the gutter behind his vehicle. He slammed the door, turned, and made his way toward the large building looming impressively before him.
This was his school, as he saw it, for here he was the law. Oh sure, he had a few officers under him, but everyone knew Clayton Maxwell was the final word when it came to campus security. Sometimes he even felt important, in his black slacks, dark blue polo, heavy leather boots, the corded leather utility built in his bag, and... That goddamn sewed on badge.
He had fought that one tooth and nail, in so far as to pledge his own money to buy real, or at least tin, badges for himself and his men. No, the board had decided, it was an unneeded expense and they couldn't allow a faculty member take it upon themselves.
"Bastards," Clay mumbled as he made his way up the path, caught up in his own personal torment.
So wrapped within his own world was he, that he failed to see the group of students stopped on the walkway and walked into them, knocking one lithe girl down, as he outweighed her by a solid hundred pounds of muscle. Immediately he reached down and picked her up, and could see the scathing curse formed on her too-red lips, to match her very red hair, when she saw who it was and swallowed the words.
"Ya know," Clay said as he set her on feet. "Customarily, a walkway is for walking." He had a deep voice, a kind voice truth be told, but she didn't seem to care much.
“what's going on Mr. C?” the girl asked, turning back to face toward the school.
“Eh?” Clay lifted an eyebrow and looked the way she had turned, and stopped.“What the shit...”
The entire school parking lot, faculty at least, and the turn about where buses usually waited, was full of media vans, news trucks, and school board official vehicles. He pushed past the students clogging the path, catching words here and there about a students murder, an exploding head, and the name Darrell. Panic began to seize him, along with fear and dread. No way a student had been killed at his school. No fucking way.
Before he reached the circus of vans he caught sight of a friend on the force, the police force, and made his way to him. He lifted a hand in greeting and was given the same in response.
“What's the shit going on Sal?” Clay asked when they were close enough to speak without yelling.
“One of your kids had his head blown off last night at a church function.”
“one of our kids went to church?” Clay said automatically, then was ashamed. Sal just raised an eyebrow and went on.
“We don't have a goddamn clue what he was killed with, or why, so we thought we'd ask some of his friends. Kicker is, he had none apparently.”
“What was his name?” Clay asked.
“Dacker, Darrell. You know him?”
Clay ran fingers through his close-cropped black and red hair, searching his mental filing cabinet for the name and a face to match.
“I think so,” he said after a minute.“One of the pot heads- err, funny head shaped boys, not that kind of pot, because if it was that kind of pot you'd know already since I would have told you guys.”
Sal exercised an eyebrow again but left it alone.
“He have any friends?”
“Not that I know of. Always saw him sitting alone, walking alone, smoking alone. Not the social type I'm thinking.”
Sal just nodded, wanted to say more, but even though Clay was a friend he was still only a security officer.
“Thanks Clay,” Sal said into the silence.“Drinks this weekend?”
“You know it Sal. Good luck if you need me just holler.” Sal nodded and they parted, the cop for his patrol car, and Clay for his office. Once there he pulled out his file on Darrell, and found his second shock for the day.
It was completely empty.
Last edited by Jace; 12-15-2011 at 03:02 AM.
Elaine was running late again, dammit. Sleeping through her alarm clock had become an bad habit she can't seem to kick. At least the adrenaline wakes her up faster then caffeine ever could. It's all she can do not to drive like a bat out of hell, her old Subaru Forester covered in the grey-brown sludge of mid winter's salted roads. The last mile to the school is covered in record time, Elaine sending a prayer of thanks to the heavens that a cop hadn't been waiting at the usual speed traps with a radar gun.
The history teacher's worries about being late completely blind her as she pulls into her parking space at the farthest corner of the back lot. She grabs her bags and quickly walks away from her car, turning back to make sure she locked it, before heading into a backdoor of the school. The halls are surprisingly quite, the usual morning gossip and laughter down quite a few notches. Elaine knits her brown eyebrows together, wondering why the students seem so..... subdued, when they'd usually be loud and boisterous.
Once she reaches her classroom she places her bags on her desk and takes her coat off, hanging it up on a hook at the back of the room. Then she follows her routine, a routine that hasn't changed in the last five years. She steps over to the closet and exchanges her tall winter boots for her worn but perfectly broken in leather clogs. Next she turns on the light of the big freshwater fish tank on the shelf next to the blackboard, and feeds the fish. Afterwards she stows her bag under her desk, and unpacks her laptop. Once the laptop is plugged in booting up, she sits back, takes a deep breath and closes her eyes until she hears the musical tones announcing that her computer is ready for her to enter her password. It's only once all these things are done that she notices all the movement outside the big plate glass windows running alongside the side of the room that overlook the front of the school.
"What the hell?"
All the media vans and trucks, reporters with microphones, students clustered and talking excitedly. Oh god, what had happened? How had she not noticed all the commotion when she'd driven in?
"Well maybe if you hadn't stayed up all night reading, thus only getting four and half hours of sleep, you might have been more alert... and now I'm talking to myself again. Lovely."
-->Need help or questions answered in regards to RPing? PM me! I'm more then glad to help!<--
Tiffany’s chauffer dropped her off at the entrance rather late, and this time it wasn’t because she took too much time getting ready in the bathroom or picking out her outfit. No, today it was because of all the cars and news van blocking almost every entrance to school, making it almost impossible to get through. And there was absolutely no way in hell that she would use her delicate feet to travel the distance from the main road to the school building. However, before she even stepped out of the car, she has received about ten different versions of what happened to one of the kids from her school via her extensive gossip-network. Of course, now it was a matter of sifting through all of the gossip and embellishments and getting down to the truth of it. After all, it wasn’t every day that a student from her school got killed. She did, however, try very hard not to picture any of the grotesque ways that he was rumored to have died.
“Hey, Tiff!” One of her closest friends, Emma, quickly approached her, the sound of high heels hitting the bare floor making her easy to distinguish from the crowd of students gathered close to the entrance.
“Smoochy-smooch, darling!” Tiffany smiled as she gave the ritual greeting in the form of the right cheek-left cheek-right cheek air-kisses to her friend, mainly to avoid ruining each others’ make-up.
“So, like, omg, this kid, Darrel, he got killed. I heard that he was, like, at some Satanist groups’ meeting and he, like, got sacrificed or something! Like, got his head chopped off! Ewwww!” Emma spoke quickly as she fell behind Tiffany into the pace that the young girl set. Pushing her way through the students, of course careful not to get herself dirty or break her nails or something, she made her way forward, eyes searching for a potential target that might provide a more accurate account of what happened to the kid. Of course, not that she cared for any of the gory details, but she had a reputation to uphold. After all, if you wanted to know what rumor was true or to spread some gossip and lies, there was no better person to turn to than Tiffany. Gossip has been her specialty, one of the most important gifts, aside from her good looks and giant implants, that she received from her mommy.
Not seeing her target in any of his usual spots or together with any of his minions, she figured that he had to be in his office.
“Emma, like, could you go get me a drink? I’m like totally thirsty,” her friend nodded and turned around, more than happy to oblige.
Tiffany made her ways towards the doors located on the other side of the cafeteria. Without taking her time to knock, she pushed forward the door that had “Mr. Maxwell” placard on it.
“Mr. C!” Tiffany exclaimed, not noticing the confused expression on his face as he held a file opened. “Mr. C,” she repeated again when he didn’t reply the first time. “I’ve like been hearing all these wild rumors about some kid getting sacrificed for the Devil or something, what’s like really happened? You must know, like, right? You know everything that happens around here!”
A lazy halo of smoke floating around his head from the cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth, his third one that morning, Eli had watched as the crowd in front of his school grew over the last hour. And from his vantage point on the edge of the school's roof, he saw it all. This was his favorite spot in the world, and he loved figuring out new ways to get to it. That morning, after a long three-mile run from his apartment, he'd decided to scale the building via a drain pipe on the west wall, followed by hopping between windowsills all the way up the three stories of wall to the roof--not an easy feat in the middle of winter. He'd almost fallen twice, his gloved hands losing their grip on the icy brick exterior and threatening to send him crashing to the ground if his reflexes had been any slower. But in this chill winter air, Eli's body and mind were razor sharp. And so he looked down on the crowd, flicking the cold butt behind him as he lit another cigarette with his battered brass Zippo, with increasing interest. The cool breeze had brought snippets of conversation up to his perch, something about a boy at his school and a murder or suicide or something. Which would explain the news vans and all the press...and the cops... Who it was Eli had no idea, but he was sure he would find out as the day went on. Because Eli had friends, friends in the know. And one of them was always easy to spot, provided he had remembered to actually come to school that day.
Hoisting himself up, his long duster and red ponytail whipped in the wind as he walked toward the back side of the building, away from the crowd. With all the cops around, he wasn't quite sure that being seen climbing down the side of the building was the best thing. Granted, most of the staff and nearly all of the students knew of his peculiar habits, and those that knew were just too impressed that he could actually get up to the roof without any aid to do anything about it. Standing at the edge of the roof, he looked down to the ledge below: a narrow overhang above the rear entrance that opened out to the tennis and basketball courts. It was a good fifteen feet down, but Eli just smiled as he jumped. The wind whipped his coat around like a cape as he fell, almost making him look like some kind of superhero. He hit the overhang and immediately rolled toward the edge, catching himself with one hand at the last second, flipped around and flung himself under it in one smooth motion. He was so exhilarated that he didn't notice that he had scared the one other student hanging out underneath it half to death. Dusting his hands off, Eli turned to the younger boy and grinned the grin of mischief both new and remembered. And the other boy grinned right back. Clad in tattered, neon green jeans, purple converse high-tops, and a multi-shaded blue al paca hoody, the blond-haired boy with the rough goatee looked like something out of Scooby Doo. As he took a few steps closer, Eli could instantly smell the boy's morning...constitutional, and so would anybody that he got next to that day.
"Eli, man, what's up? Damn kid," he said, taking a long drag on the joint resting on the tip of a long cigarette holder, like something out of a Hunter S. Thompson flick, "you be scary good this morning. So what's the good word, man? How's life in the world of Eli?"
Tom lit a cigarette, I should really quit these things and replied in the same lingo. If there was one thing he was good at--and there were a lot of those--it was changing his mannerisms to suit the situation. He prided himself on being something of a social chameleon. "Tom, my brother, life is light and good. But what's with all the 'razzi and five-oh out front? Be a big bust or somethin'?" At that Tom looked visibly shaken, and his face took on a dark cast. Eli knew immediately that he was upset about something, which said a lot about what was going on; if there was one person that was perfect in his Zen-like detachment from the world, it was Tom.
"I-it's not good, man. It was Dack man, y'know? Dack got gacked, man, gacked bad. Up at church over there at the place, y'know? Man, my grandma goes to that place man, I think she was there. We was never close, but I used to sell to that kid sometimes. Wonder if he got ahold of some bad mojo..."
Well now, this is interesting.... Eli had heard the snippets of conversation, but Tom had once again come through as a man in the know, stoned as he was. The guy, despite being an almost complete wastoid, just *knew* things. It was almost uncanny.
"Damn, Tom, that's some heavy shit man. You sure it was him?"
"Sure as the shine on my green man, it was him. From what I hear the dude's head just sorta blew up, Scanners style. Shit's fucked, man. But hey, Eli man, I gotta bust. I got three deals to do before the bell, and they're not gonna wait around with all the fuzz around harshing my style. Peace be the journey, Eli."
Lazily waving behind him with his joint holder as he walked toward the far side of the tennis court with a lazy, rolling gait, Tom left like he usually showed up: confusing, cryptic, stoned as hell, and dead on accurate. In the parlance of his times, Eli had always thought that Tom was scary smart. He had connections everywhere, and was a fountain of information that always had a way of being true in the end. Eli would've sworn the kid had some kind of cosmic connection, had he believed in that sort of thing.
Muttering a "Be cool man" to Tom, Eli pitched his cigarette into a snowbank and headed inside. He needed to get to his locker and, more importantly, his Febreeze and body spray. He loved to smoke, but hated smelling like it afterwards. And along the way he was definitely going to try to find out more about just what exactly was going on. If Tom's info was anything to go on, the day was going to be very interesting. Very interesting, indeed...
Clay looked up from the empty folder as the annoying, almost sing-song voice filled every cavity of his office. Inwardly he sighed, wondering what the latest encounter with Tiffany would bring, as it was never dull. He knew not to come near her already, his polo wasn’t Tommy and his boots were slightly below the brand of Timberland, thus to her he was as diseased as a half-rotten leper stumbling down the school halls.
He looked back down at the student file that should have at the very least contained information on Darrell’s contact information, as well as any write-ups he had received from staff. The fact that it was all missing, and the sure knowledge that Clay himself had not taken it out at any point in time, baffled him.
An impatient tapping brought his attention and gaze back to the girl, her chest shoved out slightly as always to emphasize two of her recent birthday gifts, a fact she was not hesitant to tell and or show off.
“Did you know a Darrell Dacker? Not in your circle, but maybe you two had other interests,” Clay said, hinting at either a possibility that the two had shared some weed, or that perhaps she put her distaste for anything not cashmere aside for some slummy sex. “He’s the one they’re talking about, and all I know is that he was in some way decapitated, though the authorities are unsure as to how or why.”
He set the folder down and turned to face the girl fully, leaning back so that he rested his backside against his large gun-metal desk, arms crossing over his chest and one foot crossing the other booted foot.
It had only taken her a few minutes of searching on the internet before Elaine had found out why the media was so interested in the school. A kid named Darrell Dacker had died, and so the media had descended on the school like the vultures they are. Then she made the mistake of reading the comments on the news article on the local paper's website. The few heartfelt condolences are overshadowed by comment after comment of hate or other inflammatory remark. Disgusted by humanity once again, she closes her laptop a little harder then she should have. A glance at the clock over the door shows her that she has time to grab a cup of tea before her first set of students arrive. She flips up the monitor of her laptop so she can lock it, then walks from the room and down the hall towards the teacher's lounge.
All the students that are in the halls are wrapped up in their own little worlds, talking about the problems they have and their dead schoolmate. It never ceases to amaze Elaine how every single one of these kids thinks the whole world revolves around themselves. Oh to be that young and naive again, to have no worries bigger then if your crush might find you attractive or if you'll get caught smoking out back of the school. And the fashions, she still can't wrap her head around the idea that skinny jeans are considered attractive on an already awkward looking teenage male.
A few "good mornings" and small talk is exchanged with the other teachers while the keurig brews her tea. With her favorite mug in hand, full of steaming irish breakfast tea, Elaine heads back to her classroom.
Refreshed and smelling lightly of chocolate thanks to the ample supply of Axe Dark Temptation in his locker, he shut the door on his duster and gloves after grabbing his old canvas messenger bag with its one lonely notebook. His teachers had hated that at first; he almost never brought a book to class unless it was one he was reading out of personal interest, but after numerous failed attempts to catch him off-guard with random questions about the topic at hand, most had resigned themselves to just let him be. As long as he knew what was going on--and he always did--who cared if he actually took notes?
Taking a moment to redo his ponytail, Eli casually studied the now-thick crowd of students and staff around him. The teachers walked in pairs or alone, brows furrowed in deep thought, so deep that some kept bumping into students to indignant starts and murmured apologies. Security was tighter too, he noticed, more on edge. The school officers fingered their mace cans nervously, and kept checking their radios at the slightest burst of static. The students traveled in larger packs, many whispering to each other and making the odd face of shock, horror, or feigned disinterest. And he knew that among all the conversations that made up the din around him, one topic was pervasive: the death of Darrell Dacker. Maybe I can find out more about this between classes...
And as the thought of class crossed his mind, she walked by, lost in thought over a cup of what smelled to him to be tea. Elaine Campbell, his history teacher, and the only teacher in the school that he never minded paying attention in class for. Not that she was any brighter than any of his other teachers, but she had a sense of humor that he likened to his own more often than not, and any teacher that could appreciate a good joke was okay in his book. Snapping the last loop of his black hairtie into place, Eli followed her to her classroom, weaving his way through the crowd behind her at a reasonable distance. No need to look like a creeper he thought to himself with an amused grin.
As he walked, he waved his morning hello's to the various acquaintances he'd made throughout his school career. And they waved or yelled back their own greetings, genuine or not. Out of all of them he could count the ones that were his true friends on one hand. The rest he only knew through school or the odd extra-curricular activity he participated in. Eli didn't belong to any clubs or anything like that, but one of the requirements of the degree path he was on was a set amount of volunteer hours. So he pitched in sometimes, running a booth at the school fair in the spring and selling poinsettias around Christmastime. Lost in thought, Eli almost missed Ms. Campbell's room completely, going a full four doors down the hall before he realized where he was. Turning around with a muttered curse, Eli met up with her just as she got to her door.
"Mornin', Miz Campbell!" He flashed her a roguish grin, pointing at her steaming mug. "Y'know, I just read this study the other night that said more than 5 cups of that stuff a day can cause auditory hallucinations; it's the caffeine that does it. Haven't heard anything weird lately, have you?"
Elaine had just about to go over to her desk, when a familiar voice popped up behind her.
"Mornin', Miz Campbell!"
Eli Holiday, one of her favorite students for the fact that he actually paid attention in her classes, and also one of the students who frustrates her the most. The red haired kid smiles at her with that roguish glint in his eyes, as he points at her mug.
"Y'know, I just read this study the other night that said more than 5 cups of that stuff a day can cause auditory hallucinations; it's the caffeine that does it. Haven't heard anything weird lately, have you?"
She smiles at him and snorts audibly.
"I've heard that, but I rarely drink more then a cup or two a day of the caffeinated stuff. Did you know that auditory hallucinations are also a rare symptom of Lyme Disease? As for hearing anything weird, you should know by now that I'm always the last to know anything around here. I had to search the internet just to find out why the school has been surrounded by those vultures."
As she finishes speaking she steps over to her desk and sets down her mug, using her now free hands to point quickly out the window at the numerous vans and reporters. Outside the sky is grey, looking inhospitable. A new anchor in a completely seasonally inappropriate outfit gestures at the school behind her as she talks animatedly into her microphone. Elaine can't help but wonder how the woman can speak clearly, it's in the low twenties outside, which should make her shiver in her skimpy suit with it's short skirt. Unlike the reporter, Elaine always dressed for the weather. At this moment she's wearing thick denim jeans, wool socks, a cream turtle neck, and a dark green wool sweater. In her car is always a spare set of clothing and extra coats, keeping her prepared for a white out. You never know when the next storm is going to hit this time of year, and not being prepared can cost you.
"I've heard that, but I rarely drink more then a cup or two a day of the caffeinated stuff. Did you know that auditory hallucinations are also a rare symptom of Lyme Disease? As for hearing anything weird, you should know by now that I'm always the last to know anything around here. I had to search the internet just to find out why the school has been surrounded by those vultures."
His emerald green eyes followed her gesturing hand to the large window that overlooked the front of the school. The crowd had died down some, as most of the students were entering the building to start class, but if anything there were even *more* news vans out front now than he'd seen from the roof not twenty minutes earlier. He was impressed, disturbed, and somewhat surprised. Certainly the death of a student was newsworthy, but this kind of attention was a little over the top. There must be something else going on here... Eli thought as he turned away from the window and hopped up on the counter in front of. Swinging his feet against the cupboards, he turned back to Miss Campbell.
"Not gonna lie, I'm impressed that the news found out so much so fast. I heard a few things this morning, everybody's talking about it. Seems to me that the only thing nobody knows is how the poor bastard died." The last sentence was only for himself, and he winced as soon as he'd heard it leave his lips. He often walked the line between playful banter and inappropriateness with his teachers, and he feared that last comment had just thrown him over it head first. He quickly tried to recover.
"You'd think the cops would've driven them off by now, or the principal. Hehe, I'll bet Clay's spitting hornets right now."
He then fished a battered pocket notebook out of his bag and began at least pretend to doodle. Instead he was jotting down notes on the morning's events, muttering to himself. There was a puzzle in it, he was sure, and if there's one thing in the world he could never resist, it was a good puzzle. It would be a few minutes yet before class started; plenty of time for Eli to collect his thoughts and go over what he already knew.
“Did you know a Darrell Dacker? Not in your circle, but maybe you two had other interests. He’s the one they’re talking about, and all I know is that he was in some way decapitated, though the authorities are unsure as to how or why,” Mr. C explained as he turned towards her. She didn’t know Darrell well, she barely even recognized the name. He was a pothead, from what she knew of him, and certainly did not have the kind of pedigree or money for him to be of any use, so she never associated with him.
She moved a little further into the office, intent on getting as much information out of him as she could. She was certain that he had to know more than he was saying.
“But, like, where did it happen? I heard that it was like at some devil worshippers’ church,” Tiffany crossed her arms just underneath her breasts, pushing them up slightly, as she went on with her questioning. Suddenly, she paled, “They…they aren’t gonna come after us next, are they?”
Mr. C looked at her for a moment, a blank expression on his face, which was then blankness replaced by confusion, and finally confusion became a sigh. "No, not a devil worshipping church, that I know of, but it was at a church. As for them coming after you next..." He cocked an eyebrow at her and shook his head slightly. "I don't think you need to worry about that, you're probably not their...type of victim in any case."
Tiffany relaxed, last thing she needed right now was to have some devil worshippers chasing her. She had enough problems to worry about as it was. A thought crossed her mind and she staggered, a feeling of terror coming over.
“There’s…there’s…” Tiffany had trouble getting the words out of her mouth as she recalled the events of a year ago, when one of the kids at school got killed in a car accident. “There’s gonna be a memorial, right? We won’t have to wear those god-awful t-shirts with a picture of his face on it, will we? I mean…” She reached her hand across to grasp her bag’s straps, her arm pressing against her beloved girls. “It’s sad that someone died and all, but people die all the time, and it’s like not like he was anyone important or anything, and he wasn’t any cute or anything…I really…I really can’t wear his face on my boobies!” She nearly cried out the last part, her eyes watering up as she looked at Mr. C.
Outside, as the news vans and media hounds began to pack up, having gotten all of the stricken faces and not-so stricken faces on camera, a wind kicked up. Papers were torn off light poles where industrious people had hung them in lieu of an advertisement board. One of the last reporters to leave paused outside the door of her van, intent upon finishing the last of her can of soda before leaving the nearby trash receptacles. Just as she was tilting it up to coax the last few drops from their aluminum confines the can was ripped from her hand by the sudden wind, spraying golden liquid over her cheek and chin. She cursed, wiped her face, and slid into the van as the can skipped across the parking lot.
“Get us the hell out of this place,” she said to her driver.
The van pulled off, and in its wake sung the metallic ping of can on pavement and the rustle of paper flying through the air.
Within the history class, as boys and girls began to take their seats and Miss Campbell was about to see who was there and who was missing, the wind rattled the windows. Cold air seeped through cracks and found its way down the blouses of a few well-endowed girls, or those that were stuffing, and caused them to shiver and glance at the grey sky on the other side of the glass. Just then, as one girl watched, a can slammed into the window. The letters on that grey cylinder spelled out DIE, and she screamed in surprise, if not terror. Others looked to where she pointed and gasped, until the can rolled slightly and a paper that had been blocking the T fell away, revealing the full DIET of the soda title. Several began to chuckle, but just then on another window, closer to the teacher’s desk, was papered with flyers, all proclaiming,
DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE
Now more gasped, several stood up and pushed back further into the room, but again the wind relented and a multitude of T’s were revealed, pronouncing the new DIET PROGRAM kicking off next week.
Clay sighed and shook his head for what seemed like the hundredth time in less than five minutes. The empty file folder lay forgotten on his desk.
“Tiffany, if there is to be a memorial I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt you to show respect for the dead and wear the shirt, if there is a shirt.” She started to say something, large eyes watering, but he lifted a hand to forestall her, belatedly aware that when he having moved closer that hand was only six inches or so from her overly generous chest. He pulled his hand back as though burned and said, “It’s only for a day, if there even is one, which there may not be.”
The girl sighed and her shoulders sagged, most likely an exaggerated sagging of the shoulders as it caused her breasts to bounce slightly. She was about to say something, no doubt accompanied by a pout and a look through her lashes at him, when the sound of screams echoed through the halls, coming from one of the nearby rooms.
“Wait here!” Clay said as he started out of the room, grabbing his utility belt from his open bag near the door as he hurried into the hall, then to his right. He buckled the thing on just as he was passing the history room, looked in, and saw most of the students standing and staring at the windows on the far wall.
“Great, now what,” he muttered to himself, entering. “What’s going on,” he said louder.
Mr. C’s words eased some of her worries about having to wear an ugly shirt for a memorial, since he was kind enough to point out that there might not be one. Which, once she thought this over, might very well be the case since the kid was, afterall, a nobody.
The screaming from somewhere nearby interrupted Tiffany’s next barrage of questions. “Wait here,” Mr. C told her as he walked past her outside.
Wait here? Her eyes narrowed as she turned around, watching Mr. C’s back. No way! I’m not staying here all by myself!
Tiffany quickly followed the security officer. Well, as quickly as she could without having to run. She stepped right behind him into the history classroom, where she saw most of the students standing up and staring at the windows. She wasn’t close enough to see clearly what they were looking at, aside from some papers flying around, so she figured that there must be something out on the parking lot.
“What’s going on,” Mr. C asked.
Perhaps this was all a really bad dream. Hysterical teenagers have always been high on Elaine's Things I Hate Most List, and having a bunch of them in her classroom is just a little too strange. Normally they slept, or passed notes, and did their best to look incredibly bored. But not today, oh no. Today they're screaming at flyers that had blown up against the glass. She could understand being startled by the can hitting the glass, as it had been rather loud. But going in hysterics over some paper fluttering against the glass is just stupid. A small part of her brain reminds her that it had been more then a little creepy that it had looked like they'd all said DIE, and more then a little unlikely that they'd just blow up the window like that without some sort of.... Dammit, she really needs to stop reading those books, they're giving her ideas.
Elaine opens her mouth to tell everyone to settle down, when the large form of the head of security looms in the doorway, his voice booming out it's question. The majority of the students freeze in place, and regard the man with big fearful eyes. When no student seems to be forthcoming with an answer for Mr. Maxwell, Elaine made an exasperated noise. With a motion of her hand, she commands the students to resume their seats, as her eyes travel back to the security guard.
"Some trash was thrown against the window, and it seems to have startled people. I think everyone is just a bit on edge because of today's news. If someone would help me close all the curtains, I think we'll be able to get back to our regular morning."
Her last sentence is directed at the class, and has a cold edge to it, showing that she'll broke no more nonsense.
"I'll get it, Miz Campbell."
Eli slid off the counter and turned around, pulling the drawstrings on the heavy curtains, closing them against the bright morning light. He was only one of a scant handful of students that hadn't practically started pissing themselves when all the flyers for that diet place had smacked up against the window. Granted, he too had been somewhat perturbed that they all arranged themselves to all spell out "DIE", but he chalked it up to coincidence. Even Clay, he noticed, was nervous and on edge; he usually never burst into a room like that unless someone was screaming for blood. Then again, half the room shrieked like schoolgirls when all that stuff hit the window As he shut the last curtain, one thing did bother him though. The way the can and then the papers flew up was all wrong. Eli had climbed this side of the school many times; he'd been on the other side of that very window not a week before. He knew the ways the winds could blow outside because he had to. One strong gust blowing the wrong way could tear him from the building and send him crashing to the ground. And Eli knew, knew, that the wind couldn't have blown the way it did. Well, not naturally anyhow...
With the last curtain shut, everybody started going back to their seats. Miss Campbell stood at the front of the room stiff as a statue, trying to be a stable figure of authority in the room. Eli could see right through her though. The slight flush in her cheeks, the way she had her arms folded to stop her hands from shaking, even the way her eyes darted around the room; it all pointed to at least some part of her being terrified, however she tried to suppress it. And that was a bad sign. Miss Campbell, to Eli at least, always seemed to be the most level-headed person in the room. She wasn't one to let her imagination run away with her, and she rarely if ever was caught off-guard. The woman, in short, was unflappable. And to see her now, like this...it set Eli on high alert.
Clay’s eyes narrowed of their own volition, as the words of Elaine filtered into his mind.
The trash blew against the window?
After a student had gotten up, Eli he noted, closed the blinds and took his seat once more, Clay risked looking like an idiot just for a view outside from this second story floor. He made his way, casual but with purpose, across the room, between Elaine and her students, and to the edge of the window closest to the front of the room. Looking out, he saw no debris floating through the air, and curiously none littering the ground below the window. A glance at the nearby trees showed no boughs bowing, no barren branches weaving to a silent song.
“Hm. Odd,” he muttered to himself, then watched as the last few vehicles that had been parked in front of the school like vultures impatient for their prey to stop moving, left. He nodded, released the blinds to let them fall back into place, and looked around the room. Some met his gaze, Eli for one, but most wanted nothing to do with anything going on near the window.
“M-Mr. C-Clay?” A hesitant voice said, and he turned toward the back of the room to see a thin arm raised. It was attached to a rather pretty girl, young looking for her age, and usually one of the first to help out either her classmates, or those younger than her. He was already in the process of walking back across the room when she halted him, placing him beside Elaine. He stopped, lifted an eyebrow.
“What is it, Suzanne?” he asked politely, not letting his frustration with the weird morning saturate his tone.
“Right be-before the stuff hit the-the window, I was thinking, praying, that I wouldn’t be next- that I wouldn’t die like Darrel did- and then-“ she cut off with a choking sound, coughed, and continued, her voice and body shaking so that it seemed she would vibrate out of her desk. “I think it’s going to k-kill me n-next, sir”
Clay strode between the seats, staring down a few students that thought to snicker, and knelt beside the distraught girl’s desk. “Suzanne, what happened to Darrel is a terrible tragedy, but it’s got nothing to do with you- or with the weather.” A thought occurred to him then, and he asked, “Did you know Darrel, Suzanne?”
She shook her head, but her wide, deep blue eyes still held a hint of terror. “I only sa-saw him a few times in the-the hall, I just ha-have this feeling that something te-terr-terrible is g-going to h-happen.”
“Yeah, that you’ll manage to finish a sentence,” a voice said softly, from the far right of the room, near the door. Clay knew who it was at once, but said nothing.
“Do you want me to call your parents, Suzanne?” he asked her softly. She shook her head and he nodded. “Alright then, just hang in there.”
He stood, turned and nodded to Elaine, then weaved between the desks toward the other door from the room, as all classrooms had two doors. As he passed by Brent Spellman’s desk he said, “Detention, two days. See me seventh period.” He heard a groan and smiled in satisfaction.
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