Chapter 2:

School... great.


Starting his day, Arioch sits through Calculus. Today, the class is going over derivatives of an exponential function. “Boringgggg” Arioch thinks, as he mindlessly stares at the board. Moving his gaze to the clock, he watches the skinny red hand tick around the clock countless amount of times. “Tick, tock, tick, tock” The clock quietly sounds, constantly, for eternity. The sounds of the teacher explaining the problem, along with the sound of students talking, fade out to the sound of the clock. Eventually, the bell rings, sending the students off to their next class. As chairs screech against the floor from students getting up and rushing in the halls to meet their friends, Arioch does not move, still mesmerized by the clock, not even hearing the loud bell and commotion of the school. He continues to stare at the clock until he feels a hard smack against the side of his head.Bookmark here

“You’re in my seat.” A deep voice booms, as a shadow forms over Arioch’s head. Arioch turns to the source of the shadow, only to see a large, burly man, with a varsity football jacket on. Arioch, completely out of the loop, blankly stares at this large figure, trying to read the situation.Bookmark here

“Get out of my seat.” The man says again. This time, two other people, also in football jackets, surround Arioch.Bookmark here

“You heard him, now get out doofus.” The slightly taller boy says.Bookmark here

“Move it freak!” The short but bulky boy says as he spits on the back of Arioch's head. The spit slowly travels down Arioch's neck, being absorbed by his shirt.Bookmark here

Arioch, still trying to figure out what is happening, looks in the eyes of the big guy, and only lets out a “Huh?”Bookmark here

Upon giving his best response, Arioch is lifted out of his chair, and physically thrown out of the class by the big dude, and slides across the floor, hitting his head against a locker. Students in the hallway and the class are laughing at Arioch, but he just gets up and looks around, finding yet another clock, but now, Arioch looks at the time, instead of the ticking red hand. Upon the clock saying 9:49, Arioch fully wakes up again and realizes that it is the second period. From there he walks to his second class and continues his routine day.Bookmark here

Going through his day, he attends his classes, getting bullied as he tries to get his school work done. From being called names to getting the trash thrown at, Arioch doesn’t get a break. The same can be said about his friends, although they do not have a lot of classes with each other, they will always meet up together in their private spot at lunch and have a moment of relaxation, not having to worry about anything for an hour. After the bell that starts lunch break rings, Arioch walks to the west side of the school and enters the woods that surround the school. He walks down a trail with faint markings put by the group to know where they are going. The trail has multiple splits and turns, but Arioch continues straight along the middle path, continuing his walk. Eventually, Arioch reaches a point where the trail splits in two, but rather than traveling down one of the now muddy dirt trails, he walks straight through the middle of the split into the damp grass that sits before a green shield of bushes. After walking through the dense amount of bushes and trees, a clearing, covered by a canopy of trees, opens up, and the group's lunch spot is revealed. Luscious green grass acts as the flooring of the area. Providing cover from the rain, the trees allowed only a few drops to land on the grass. To the right side, there are colorful flowers planted by the group, as they wanted to add more colors to the spot than just the endless verdure. Two sets of benches are at the furthest away from the entrance and above the entrance, is a wood sign carved by the group that says, “The Land of the Misfits” To Arioch’s surprise, Jonan is already there.Bookmark here

“Yoo Arioch!”Bookmark here

“Whatsup Jonan!” Arioch says, as they walk towards each other and do their group's handshake when they meet up. Jonan is just two inches taller than Arioch and has long black hair.Bookmark here

“What happened to your face dude? Looks more ugly than normal.” Jonan asks, referring to the burn marks on Arioch’s face.Bookmark here

“Coffee accident,” Arioch responds as he walks over to check on the flower bed. “We should add some White Roses if we get a chance.”Bookmark here

Walking over to Arioch and the flower bed, Jonan says “You know I’d love to, but they’re extremely hard to find around here. Jonan then turns his head and gives Arioch a confused look: “Wait, when did you drink coffee?”Bookmark here

“Never said it was my coffee,” Arioch responds, still looking at the various species of flowers sitting elegantly before them.Bookmark here

“Hmph, well you got me there. Where’s everyone at though? Jonan asks.Bookmark here

“Obviously not here yet,” Arioch says, laughing. “You guys usually all get here after me.”Bookmark here

“I decided to rush a little bit and beat you here,” Jonan responds, also laughing.Bookmark here

In time, two of the three show up for lunch. Walker and Takemy, dripping in sweat, walk into the secret area with frowns on their faces. Both are panting like dogs, attempting to fill their lungs with as much oxygen as humanly possible.Bookmark here

“Welcome, my happiest of friends,” Jonan says, as Arioch greets them.Bookmark here

“Shut up.” Takemy replies, crouched on the ground, holding the grass for dear life. Takemy is the shortest friend in the group, standing at 5’7. Takemy is also the skinniest of the group and has blonde hair with pink highlights. He also has light blue eyes. “Had to run from some Betas. Thought it’d be fun to try and lock me in a locker. That’s when I ran into chunky.” Referring to Walker.Bookmark here

Walker, as the name Takemy said implies, is the larger-sized friend of the group. Enjoying eating and slothing around like the rest of his family, Walker raised to a heavy weight. Although big, he is also 6’1, the tallest of the group, allowing his weight to distribute more. The group toys with him about his weight, but it is not to degrade him. They know he wants to lose weight, so they call Walker names to push him to work out so he is not called names anymore.Bookmark here

“Damn whale slowed me down. He was hauling though, the fastest I’ve seen him go.” Takemy said, punching Walker in the shoulder.Bookmark here

“I mean they’re giving me reasons for exercising. Maybe if they keep chasing me like that, I’ll end up having more muscle than they do!” Walker said jokingly.Bookmark here

“They started calling him names though, it’s different when we say that stuff compared to them. At least Walker isn’t taking roids to get bulked up.” Takemy says, slightly pissed off at remembering the Betas calling Walker names.Bookmark here

“It’s alright Takemy,” Jonan says, “We get called names all the time.”Bookmark here

Arioch then questions Jonan’s statement “Is it really alright? We have no reason to be called names. Just for existing? Seems a bit bullshit to me. Why can’t we all just be equal? Some Alphas are fatter than Walker!”Bookmark here

“Arioch, don’t worry, just by dealing with this hatred right now and surviving, we show them that we are better than them. We just can’t let them get to us. They’ll see soon.” Walker says, calming down the group. He can calm down the group in any situation, being the anchor for the group.Bookmark here

The group then calms down, and there’s a brief second of peace, with only the sound of rain hitting leaves being sounded out. That short period of peace was interrupted when the group realized they were missing someone.Bookmark here

“Uh, guys…” Takemy says, scanning the area, “Where’s Luka?”Bookmark here

Suddenly, the whole group is looking around, even going outside the hideout spot, and looking in the surrounding area. Luka is not found, however, with only fallen green leaves and puddles of mud on the trails. After twenty minutes of frantically searching for Luka, the group meets back.Bookmark here

“Well, he’s dead,” Jonan says, taking out his chicken wrap, dying to eat his food.Bookmark here

“It’s a bit concerning though,” Arioch states, with a worried look on his face, “Luka is usually always here. Look, I’m gonna look for Luka, you guys should just start eating.”Bookmark here

“You sure?” Walker asks, “It’s not good to skip a meal.”Bookmark here

“Walker it’s alright, I’ll be quick.”Bookmark here

Arioch starts to walk to the entrance of the secret area and turns around: “If I come back and my food is gone, I will kill all of you.” The group lets out a laugh, and Arioch starts to walk out. As he walks out a loud yell is heard, and once Arioch instantly looks at the entrance, Luka barrels in, tackling Arioch to the ground as a result of his abrupt entrance.Bookmark here

The group stops eating, and rushes over to the two, picking them up.Bookmark here

“Arioch are you alright? I’m sorry dude.” Luka frantically says.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry about it,” Arioch says, brushing his pants off as he is standing up. “What about you though? You look like hot garbage.”Bookmark here

“Holy crap, what the hell happened dude?” Walker asks, picking Luka up.Bookmark here

Before them, stands Luka, drenched in water, with mud soaked into his face and clothes. His shirt, nearly ripped off, is hanging by a thread.Bookmark here

“Well, I was going to be here earlier, however, the hockey guys decided to toy with me today. I’ve never run here so fast before,” Luka says laughing, “Might have to join the track team now.”Bookmark here

After Luka speaks, a group of voices is heard: “Where the hell did he go?”Bookmark here

“How’d he get away?”Bookmark here

“I swear I saw him.”Bookmark here

“Good job freshie, you couldn’t even catch a turd like him!”Bookmark here

“YoU CaNt eVEn cATch a tURd lIkE hIm!” Luka says, mocking the hockey player.Bookmark here

After the hockey boys searching for Luka cleared out, Arioch and the others burst out laughing. The laughing continued for five minutes, and then the group finally stopped and started to eat their food.Bookmark here

With a mouth full of food, Takemy questions Luka: “So what made them chase you in the first place?”Bookmark here

Luka responds laughing, “If I’m gonna be honest, I have zero clues, maybe I looked at them weird. Kinda seemed like it was a freshman initiation thing.”Bookmark here

For the remainder of the time they had for lunch, the group ate and talked. Once they had to disperse to their next class, they all took separate exits, making sure they are not seen together so their secret location is not revealed.Bookmark here

The rest of the day itself is a drag, and to Arioch, the last two classes took much longer than they should have, but he passed the time by doodling in his sketchbook. Whatever comes to his mind, Arioch will draw it, having a vast imagination.Bookmark here

As students gather their belongings, they crowd at the door in anticipation of hearing the bell that will release them from the school and into the weekend, full of partying, fun, and other events…Bookmark here

Arioch stays in his chair, however. He does not need to rush, as he is meeting up with his friends once all the students clear out, to walk to Takemy’s house, the hangout spot for the group. As he is finishing a drawing, someone walks behind him and watches as he draws.Bookmark here

“Great.” Arioch thinks, “Looks like I’ll have to get a new sketchbook.”Bookmark here

Arioch continues to draw, waiting for the bell so he can escape the impending doom that stands directly behind him. Glancing up at the clock, Arioch waits for the red hand to strike the twelve, ending his typical day of school.Bookmark here

“Seven, Six, five, four… ” Arioch counts down the final seconds, praying the person will leave when the bell rings. A drop of sweat runs down Arioch’s face. The pressure on Arioch added by the person’s presence is intense. “three, two, one.” No sound is produced by the bells. Absolute silence from the speaker systems. The students in the classroom all let out a sigh of angered frustration.Bookmark here

“HUH?!” Arioch screamed in his mind. “THE CLOCK IS AHEAD A MINUTE!?” A little part of Arioch died at that very moment. Hanging his head in defeat, Arioch accepts that his notebook is no more and mentally prepares for the bullying that will ensue.Bookmark here

“Woah! That’s cool! What is it?” A light, quiet voice of a girl fills Arioch's ears, and his eyes instantly widen in shock and fear. A blank slate fills Arioch’s mind, purging him of any thoughts he just had. “No one has been interested in my drawings before, she must be bluffing.” Arioch continues to stare down at his notebook, “If I don’t acknowledge them, they’ll just leave me alone.” He thinks. A drop of sweat splashes onto the notebook, soaking into the page. The silent bells prolong Arioch’s salvation, and the clock moves ever so slowly, warping the perception of time, making Arioch feel as if he will be sitting in his chair for an eternity.Bookmark here

The girl continues: “It looks like a mix of a bird, lion, and a snake, right?” Arioch remains as motionless as a statue as if he was frozen in time. “Come onnn, what is it?” She asks in a pleading manner. “You can’t just ignore me.”Bookmark here

“Yes I can,” Arioch responds in his head. “No way I’m talking with this girl, the minute I do, that notebook goes in the trash, and my face becomes the target area for a crumpled piece of paper, or even worse.”Bookmark here

“Ugh, fine, you win.” The girl says, walking away in defeat.Bookmark here

A sigh of relief comes from Arioch’s mouth, escaping the horror that could have befallen him if he responded. Arioch closes the sketchbook and turns over with it in hand, to securely store it in his bag. As he is zipping open the bag, the bells explode in an orchestra, and the school turns into a mosh pit, full of noise and chaos, as the students flood into the hallways to start their weekends. Arioch continues to complete his drawing, waiting for the halls to empty, not wanting to deal with the vast majority of kids that would harass him.Bookmark here

Staring out the fogged window, Arioch watches the main entrance clear out. The masses come out within the first five minutes, and then the stragglers eventually follow suit and leave as well. After a brief period passes, Arioch walks out into the silent hallway, staying alert for any kids who may have decided to stay behind, waiting to get the jump on Arioch like lions quietly stalking a gazelle. Peaking around the corner to his right he quickly heads to the stairwell, descending to the first floor. Arioch proceeds to walk through the school, staring at the tiled floor, making his way to the end of his exit route. Reaching a split in the hall, Arioch takes a right and leads himself to the hallway with one of the back exits of the school. The final stretch is the old science wing. Administrators decided it was the best course of action to no longer have classes in the previous location, stating the area was “obsolete and needed renovation”. The science wing was moved towards the front of the school where the classes were insulated and equipped with modern teaching tools. Slipping under the caution tape, Arioch walks through the hallway, and makes his way towards the exit. Walking past the last set of classrooms, Arioch then leaves the exit and turns to the right, and proceeds to an old tree, where he then meets up with his four other friends and starts their walk to Takemy’s house.Bookmark here



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