• I ended up being late anyway. I could have made it if the teacher didn’t have the nasty habit of closing the door on the exact second the bell rang. Right as I reached the entry way the bell rang, then slam! Right in my face. I heard the class snicker through the door and the heels of the teacher walking back to her desk. I knew the door was unlocked but I didn’t dare to walk in. If you wanted to get in you had to knock first and then face the consequences. I was getting a headache from the tedious process already. I took a deep breath and knocked.

    "Come in." she croaked.

    I opened the door and immediately met eyes with the teacher. I forget her name, it’s Mrs. Grimelda or some other. But whatever it is I know it fits well with how she looks. She’s a stumpy little thing. She looks like someone stuffed her in a box for days and finally let her out without stretching her. She has no neck, from what I can see, so her head looks like it’s resting on her shoulders. I could see her beady, black eyes darting across my face as if she were trying to ridicule me without saying anything. Her hair was pulled to the top of her head and rested up there like some kind of…floppy…removable hair piece (not what I was going for but I know I can do better. I’ll have to sit on it). But surprisingly her hair was beautiful. It had an amazing shine to it and it was so black that it could have been blue. Her physical appearance always mesmerized me. Even though she was stumpy she carried herself with such authority that it didn’t matter. I remember the first day of school she told us that she was a product of Replication. She was one of the first generations. Her mother didn’t want her so she was given to the Heavenly Grace—a church group that took in the abandoned and the rejected. They said life is life; children shouldn’t be killed because of their parents’ mishaps. I always pictured my teacher to be the baby I saw on television. Her mother would hold her out and wrinkle up her nose as if she were rank.

    "You’re late." She croaked again.

    She turned herself toward her desk and began to quickly scribble something down. By the bright yellow color of the paper I could tell it was a detention slip. She violently ripped it off the worn out pad that documented the fate of many others. I reached for the paper but she quickly withdrew. I sighed. She was going to try to make a fool of me. This was her way of embarrassing the tardy. If the embarrassment is so great then the student would think twice before being late again. I’ve always seen the unlucky ones be hashed at but I’ve never been one. I prepared for whatever she could come up with. Behind me I heard the class chuckle.

    "Do you mind telling me why you were late?" she said in a wicked witch kind of tone.

    "Yes actually, I do." I said blankly as I reached for the paper. She snatched it away.

    "Try again."

    "I told you my answer. Yes. I would mind. You can’t get mad because it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. How about you try again with a better question."

    "Watch it." She said in a threatening tone, "Why were you late?"

    I sighed, "Technically I wasn’t late. I was here before the bell rang. You actually made me late when you slammed the door in my face."

    "You were late. If Miss Marthal can be here, in her seat, five minutes before the bell rings you can too."

    I heard the Marthal girl snort and I knew she was basking with superiority.

    "You’re assuming Miss Marthal and I lead the same lives. If that were the case I would be painted up, half naked, and the school slut just like Miss Marthal."

    "You b***h!" Miss Marthal yelled as she slammed her hands on her desk and rose quickly out of her chair.

    "Claudia! Sit down!" the wicked witch commanded.

    I could hear the girl snarl and throw herself down into her seat. The wicked witch took up her pin again and served me another detention. She quickly shoved the notes at me. I only took one. There was no way I was serving two. I didn’t do anything. I turned to leave.

    "Both of them." She croaked.

    I turned to her, "No. I didn’t do anything to get the other. I shouldn’t even be getting the one I already have."

    "You disrupted my class."

    "I didn’t disrupt your class. You asked me questions. I answered. I can’t help that you didn’t like what you heard. Miss Marthal interrupted your class too. She even cursed. Aloud."

    "That’s another."


    "You keep talking back and continue to disrupt my class."

    "You can’t do that!"

    "That’s another."



    We both fell silent and stared at each other.

    "Keep going Miss Reedmen, I can do this all day."

    I couldn’t believe this. I was being punished for telling the truth. I could feel myself wanting to say more but I gave up, my headache was increasing. I shook my head and took the ticket.

    "You can pick up the rest after class."

    As I turned to walk to my seat the students started laughing. I ignored them and found my seat. As I went to sit down my chair was moved from under me. I hit the ground hard and the class erupted into laughter.

    "Quiet." The wicked witch demanded, "Miss Marthal stay after class."

    "Yes ma’am." Miss Marthal said with a ring of delight.

    That was all that was said. I looked up at the girl behind me and saw her foot unhook from the leg of my chair. By the make-up on her face and the tiny tube top I knew she was Marthal’s lackey. She looked down at me and snickered. If I slapped that clown paint off her face she wouldn’t be laughing then. I just shook it off. I hate girls and it doesn’t help that the class is full of them. I took my seat and looked out the window.

    "Good morning Bobcats! It’s a beautiful morning here at Bailey High and I hope it will be an excellent day for us all!" the intercom roared.

    I tuned it out. I just needed some peace for like…five minutes, at least. I watched the soldiers pace back and forth in front of the school entrance. At first their very presence would have unsettled me but I’ve grown use to it. It was their guns and tanks that jarred me the most. President Neval was on the television when he stationed heavy military bases throughout the city. He never gave us an exact reason why, all he said was that it was for our safety. But some people said otherwise. They would stand in the streets and on the sidewalk demanding the truth for everyone. They passed out flyers and rioted against passing military lines. My mother had received one of the flyers. I remember how she marched into the house in a rage, mumbling something about stupid people or some such. She quickly threw the paper in the trash and angrily stomped up the stairs to her room. The paper was neon green. I distinctly remember the font because I remember seeing the same font in school advertisements for candy sales and fundraisers, but this time it wasn’t so friendly. The flyer said, ‘Truth Seekers! Open your eyes! Three men killed for speaking against Neval! A dictator more than a president!’ It scared me. I didn’t understand and when I heard it on the radio that upset me even more. My mother was useless and told me nothing. All she said was to ignore it, that President Neval would take care of us all. That made it worse.

    "Tessa Reedmen." The wicked witch croaked. She was taking roll.

    It took me a while to respond. It irritated me how she called my name knowing I was here. Any other day she would see me walk in and mark me present. I bit my tongue and gave up on my anger.

    "Here" I said as I glanced up.

    Before I turned back to the window something caught my eye. The girl in front of me was chatting with a friend. Usually I wouldn’t be this nosy but I couldn’t resist after reading the question her friend posted.

    Hotliklava84: Did you hear about the big fat guy found dead in his apartment?

    Tricks4Tips40: No

    Hotliklava84: The poor b*****d died in his sleep from smoke inhalation

    Tricks4Tips40: Oh my god

    Hotliklava84: How much you wanna bet that he didn’t die in his sleep? I bet you five bucks he died because he couldn’t get his fat a** out of bed lol wink

    Tricks4Tips40: lol was he really that fat?

    Hotliklava84: The son of a b***h was massive! He was so big he broke, literally broke, a crane! Snapped the thing in half like it was a branch! He killed a police officer and the crane killed two and injured ten when it fell!

    Tricks4Tips40: Holy s**t!

    Hotliklava84: I know, right!?

    Tricks4Tips40: What happened to his body?

    Hotliklava84: They had to pry him out of the ground. He left a huge ditch. It took three machines and tons of man power to get him out. He was a freakin giant

    The girl in front of me suddenly turned around in her seat. I quickly looked down at my desk.

    "I don’t believe you." I heard her whisper.

    "I’m not making this up. I swear." The girl behind me whispered back.

    So the girl in front was Tips4Tricks40 and the lackey of Miss Marthal was Hotliklava84. I had a sudden urge to shout to Tips4Tricks40 that Hotliklava84 wasn’t lying. That I was there and witnessed the giant kill the crane. But I bit my bottom lip and held it back.

    "If you don’t believe me I’ll send you the link." Hotliklava84 whispered.

    They shifted back to their computers and I cautiously returned my gaze to the screen. Tips4Tricks40 clicked on the link and sat back at the sight of the picture. I must admit that it surprised me a little too. The man was massive. His skin was so tight that it looked as if it would rip off of him with the slightest movement. Below the picture was a small paragraph. It read, ‘Matthew Marx. Age: 23. Birth date: June 24. Weight: 39,695 pounds. Condition: Chronic Obesity. Patient was placed under strict surveillance after attacking a store owner and devouring half the food supply. Food rations were sent everyday but were never enough to appease appetite. Cause of Death: Smoke Inhalation from apartment fire.

    Tips4Tricks40 started to scroll down the screen. There were tons of pictures of the deceased’s apartment. Empty containers, trash, and half eaten food was littered everywhere. A picture of his bed revealed it to be flattened to the floor with a deep impression of where he laid. Pictures of the window showed where they had to tear away some of the wall to get him through. It was a nasty sight. The screen disappeared back into the chat room.

    Tips4Tricks40: Damn

    Hotliklava84: I know, right?