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This isn’t the place, this isn’t the place! Her mind shrieks at her, screaming over and over. Her head is spinning wildly yet she hardly notices. The shouting is getting so loud it’s all she can focus on.“It’s too late,” she gently reminds herself, trying to keep from stumbling in her path. It’s becoming increasingly hard to do. Every second that she’s upright her body begs to be on the floor.The buzz that belongs uniquely to the several hundred students all leaking from their classrooms to form an inescapable swarm traveling up one hallway and down the other continues to pulse around her without leaving any sort of an impact in her brain. It’s as though she can’t hear it and doesn’t seem to notice how she weaves between clumps of people, mere inches from brushing arms, and moments, with her classmates. It’s less than a minute until the second bell so the number of students is dwindling down. Still she continues to dodge them. Or attempts to at least.Ahead of her a raven haired god ducks from the borders of his locker into the stream of students, his eyes locked not on the space in front of him but the cell phone he’s clutching in his fist. He’s just remembered the quiz he’s having in English and is attempting to catch up on the last three chapters of Frankenstein. The Sparknotes logo flashes up onto his screen just as his body collides, hard, with a girl walking in the opposite direction of him.She gasps lightly and wobbles on her feet, thick brown hair falling over her shoulders to shield her down-turned face.The raven haired god looks up from his cell phone with a growl, noting the late bell as it rings, furious that he’s been interrupted on his way to class. The words “watch where you’re going” are hot on his lips, ready to be flung like knives at the student who dared get in his way.But the girl looks up at him, hazel eyes bright and shining, yet oddly distant, pale, freckled cheeks covered in tears. She smiles at him with pale, chalky lips; a smile that’s only half there, and watery at best.“Sorry,” she mumbles, tears sliding from those eyes down her cheeks.“Don’t worry about it,” he begins to whisper, ashamed for even wanting to be harsh with her. But she doesn’t hear him, her body heaves forward just as his lips part to form the words. Her knees hit the floor and her upper body collapses against him, her head and shoulders continuing their path, straight for the floor. He grabs at her quickly and lowers himself beside her.“Help!” He screams, praying someone will hear him. “Somebody help!”Her body dangles loosely over his arm, her pale face staring directly at the ceiling, a steady stream of blood flows dripping, dripping, dripping from her wrist to fall silently against the white tiled floor.
(c) Amy L. Korbal 2011
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