Episode One: The Horn: Scene 3

School was never fun. I don’t think it was fun for anyone, but for me? The girl with no past.

“Have you remembered anything yet?” Alfred Lockley. He wasn’t a bad guy to others, but he thought my amnesia was hilarious. Or fake. I think he genuinely thought it was some fake thing I did for attention.

“How to kick your butt,” I found myself responding, turning to walk away from him. It was tempting. It was always tempting, an undercurrent of desire to do something physical and painful, but not permanent, to the people who wouldn’t leave me alone. I was taller than most of the girls, even quite a few of the guys. I wasn’t a small woman, and I might well have had even more problems if I had been.

“Good answer.” It wasn’t a sardonic good answer, but it came from a teacher, so prudence dictated I acknowledged it with the merest of nods and headed for my escape. Early escape, so we could go to the jobs we all had to have. The school was all poor kids, foster kids, kids who were lucky if they had two parents. Lucky if the school lunch, calorie controlled in case we got fat, wasn’t the only meal they got that day.

By their measure I was lucky. I had to cook one day a week – we rotated – and they always gave us enough of a food allowance to not actually go hungry. It wasn’t good food, but there was enough of it.

Tonight wasn’t my turn, but that only meant I had to work, and trading school for the inside of Subway and sandwiches didn’t appeal. I was still not feeling quite right, quite normal.

How to kick your butt, and I made my way down the street. Walking distance. I’d deliberately looked for something walking distance and found it, I’d be there in plenty of time to be ready for the afternoon rush, especially if I cut through the back streets.

A whisper. Somebody whispered in my ear, but I couldn’t be sure what they were saying. I turned to see who it was, and there was nobody there, and the specter of madness rose up again, but as I turned I realized there was somebody behind me. With a gun.

“Drop your wallet.”

No. Way. I knew I was supposed to give it up, but if I did I wouldn’t be able to get home tonight, because that meant the bus. I was staring into the round barrel of a gun, frozen, knowing I had to do the right thing, but feeling red anger rise up within me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *