Chapter 2:

Adjust Your Antennae

Static Noise

Once the weekend was over, school had started again. The young girl braced herself for any taunts and jeers from her classmates but, at least at first, she didn’t get any. As a young elementary school student, about to grow up into middle school, she had grown accustomed to the school’s hallways and ambiance.

However, even she was wary of the bullies who would target someone perceived weaker than them, the young girl continued down the halls cautiously as she made her way to class. And especially since Marie was prone to spreading lies and gossip, the young girl was even more cautious about roaming the halls.

Before she had left, the young girl had feigned sickness to avoid going to school but her serious father had managed to convince her not to let Marie get the best of her.

“Maybe she’ll grow out of it,” he had told her. The young girl would never forget how easily her ‘best friend’ turned on her – her eyes showed no remorse and only anger and betrayal. But the possibility of that word, ‘maybe’, scared the young girl. It held so many possibilities – both good and bad. The young girl had bad nightmares about everyone turning against her in school, just because she’s a young witch.

Her father eventually saw through her ruse and eventually sent her to school. The young girl wanted so much to just turn around and run away but she was already at the school. She resigned to hope she didn’t run into Marie or any of her other friends. By now, Marie must’ve already spread her poison.

The young girl was even hesitating to approach her usual classroom so much so that she stopped at the door. She could feel a shiver in her body as she held her backpack tightly. She didn’t want to go in.

“Come on! Let’s get inside!”

She didn’t want to go in. Her throat closed up.

“Hey! Did you beat that level last night?”

She could feel her heart pound in her chest.

“Man, last night’s episode was so great!”

Tears already welled up in her eyes. But, after she took in a sharp breath, she went inside the classroom.

As expected, it didn’t seem that anyone noticed anything different about her and the young girl wished it stayed that way.

Eventually, she made it to her assigned seat with her name brightly written. She purposefully hid her name. The name she was raised with made her angry because it reminded her of the truth about her heritage. Maybe it didn’t stand out like any other classmate’s name but she didn’t want anyone to recognize her.

She placed her head on the table with her arms covering her face. It’s a lame effort to try to hide but she didn’t want to be at that school. She was terrified of what Marie would say, what she could say, and most of all, what she will say.

She tried to stop her tears from pushing through but she hurt in the heart so much. Her ankle was still very sore when Marie stomped on it. She could feel it throb with every teardrop that fell. Pain, betrayal, fear, and other emotions the young girl couldn’t identify swirled in her stomach and she felt so sick. Bile started to form in her stomach as time slowly ticked and tocked. Eventually, Marie would come in and she would call her out and reveal her heritage to the other students. They’ll turn on her. They’ll turn on her!!

“Ew! Teacher!” a somewhat familiar voice echoed suddenly. “She threw up at her desk!” The voice sounded clearly disgusted and it was only when the girl realized she had actually thrown up her breakfast – or what little of it she did manage to eat. The girl held her stomach and shivered and coughed and cried.

“That’s what she gets for being a filthy witch.” Marie’s voice suddenly echoed.

She had been here the whole time?! The young girl thought as more bile somehow managed to come out her mouth.

“What? Is she really a witch?”

“Haha, she must’ve hexed herself instead.”

“Gross. Witches are disgusting.”

“My aunt dated a witch once.”

The students’ conversations eventually blended into each other to where the young girl couldn’t make out exactly what was being said. The voices sounded like she was flipping through the channels of her television set. The girl kept her eyes closed; she suddenly felt dizzy as she imagined her classmates talking and talking and teasing and talking and… However, the only voice she didn’t want to hear the most was Marie’s. She waited… she waited… she knew how the girl felt! She knew how weak she was… Marie took advantage of that and she waited until the girl was in school to unleash her terror.

This was much worse than if Marie had already spread the fact she was a witch…

The true witch is Marie! The young girl thought.

“That’s enough, now. Come on. Let’s get you cleaned up.” A kind voice finally broke through the chatter. There were some other kids who whispered and giggled and chuckled but all the girl wanted was to leave. She didn’t want to be at school – much less in the same building as Marie.

She could feel the young girl’s hidden laughter as the teacher asked her questions that she doesn’t remember answering to. The teacher was a young man who seemed a bit uncomfortable about the situation so the young girl kept apologizing over and over, even in between coughs and tears. The teacher tried to comfort him until he was suddenly distracted.

“Mr. Julian, Marie said that she’s a witch. You shouldn’t help her. She can clean herself up with her stupid spells.” Marie’s voice then sounded so close. The girl looked next to the teacher and the girl saw a terrified look on Marie’s face. The girl was confused – why would she be so frightened?

“She put a spell on herself to make it look like she threw up! She’s probably getting back at me for not going to her birthday party last weekend!”

The teacher, named Mr. Julian, turned to Marie.

“Now, now, Marie, you shouldn’t accuse people of being witches.”

“But it’s true! Her parents said so!”

The teacher now looked very uncomfortable, apart from the vomit that covered the girl and her desk. However, he merely told Marie to go get the nurse while the couple cleaned up the mess. He then told the rest of the class to help clean the area so it could be done faster.
Eventually, the nurse stormed the room, with Marie right behind her, and she grabbed the young girl’s hand.

She jerked the young girl’s arm and it hurt. She winced in pain. Her stomach had tightened up and was completely empty as the nurse forcibly the girl out of the classroom. She had trouble keeping up with the nurse even though her arm hurt. She didn’t understand why the nurse pulled her when she had just embarrassingly thrown up in the classroom – what did Marie tell the nurse?

Their footsteps echoed in the familiar hallway as the girl tried to find her voice in her raw throat and wanted to let the nurse know that her arm hurt. She tried to push through and tried her best not to fall until she at least made it to the nurse’s office.

However, eventually, she started to recognize that the area they were in wasn’t the familiar route to the nurse’s office – instead, it was the principal’s. She remembered the few times she had managed to go to principal’s office for a reason or another but they couldn’t come to mind.

As the couple had gotten closer and closer to the office, the force, anger, fear, whatever reason for the nurse’s unnecessary strength had only gotten harder for the young girl to fight against. Soon enough, the nurse had actually lifted the young girl and by the time they had entered the office and went passed the secretary who tried to stop the nurse from storming in, the young girl was completely unable to even touch the floor.

“A witch!” The nurse blurted out. Leftover vomit still covered her overalls as the young girl was confused on why the nurse brought her to the principal’s office in such a manner. Now that the girl had a chance to look at her face, she saw how red-faced the woman was. To say she was angry was such an understatement; the nurse seemed to have a fury that the young girl couldn’t and probably wouldn’t understand. “She’s a witch!”

The girl gulped as she saw the principal’s chair slowly turn around. The principal, from her memories, was a kind-hearted fellow who always seemed happy to talk to her parents. However, his expression was far from his usual smile. In fact, he looked somewhat pleased.

“Call her parents.”

Riri R. Palette
Stella Procella
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