Episode Thirty Four
Turn out sometimes
-Will Makepace Thankey
Esther ran water over her charcoal covered fingers. Black swirled down into the drain. She hesitated, then pulled up her sleeve. She winced as the cool water washed over the long cuts.
“Hurry up,” Molly groaned. “We all have to get cleaned up, ya know.”
Esther wrung out her hands then pushed the faucet closed. She flicked the water from her hands. The droplets hung in the air, an odd whisper emerged as the drops slowly moved through the air.
“Ugh. Come on!” Molly elbowed her.
The water hit the sink, and angry ignited, Esther whirled and shoved Molly backwards.
Molly stumbled into the line of students waiting for the sink.
“What the hell!”
Esther blinked and felt terror replace the anger. “Oh my God...Oh my God. I…”
“What is wrong with you?”
The bell screeched. Slinging her bag over her shoulder she bolted for the art room door. A hand clamped over her wrist as she passed, nearly snagging her fingers. Pain spiked. Esther yelped and yanked away. Clasping her hand to her chest, she fled; but could hear steps quicken behind her.
Desperate, Esther ran passed several students, and headed to the closest bathroom. She skidded around the corner and gasped. Gus, Rebeca and Sadie stood at the lockers outside the bathroom.
Refusing to slow momentum, Esther charged past them; hearing Gus shout, and burst into the bathroom. She panted against the door a moment, straining to hear the conversation outside.
“Hey Molly; what’s with the freak?” Gus asked.
“Oh you totally missed it.”
“Missed what?” Rebeca said.
“Holon tried to hold that freak girl’s hand in Art.”
Rebeca’s voice went ridged. “What?”
“Yeah,” Molly said. “She totally spazzed out, after shoving me, and ran for the bathroom.”
“What are you gonna do?” Gus asked, excited.
“Gonna teach that little slut her place.”
Esther backed away from the door and went to the sinks. Panting, she stared at herself in the mirror. The memory of her hair pulling back, the strange buzzing; Esther shut her eyes and tried to calm her breathing.
“It’s all in your head...It’s all in your head…” Her fists pushed against her forehead, eyes shut tight. “It’s all…”
In your head….your head...head...head…
Esther gasped and spun around. Her gaze darted around empty stalls. The voices had been close, high pitched, teasing. She thought she felt something flutter by her cheek.
The door burst open. Rebeca, Sadie in tow and Esther caught a glimpse of Molly and Gus in the hall.
“This is gonna be good,” Gus hissed as the door swung shut.
“I’ll get her. Just watch.” Rebeca grinned.
Esther stared at the girls standing in front of the bathroom door. Rebeca put a hand on her hip, a smile snaking across her lips.
I’ll get her...Ill get her...Watch...You. Watch.
The world stretched and echoed in a multitonal hiss that pricked the eardrum. Esther's eyes darted to the ceiling, the walls, the line of sinks. The tiles, the glass and porcelain rang with tiny voices.
Watch us...Watch. Watch us.We'll get her. We'll get her.
Esther shook her head, trying to clear the noise; and the growing angry.
“God, you’re such a freak.” Rebeca laughed.
Esther backed towards the wall, heart racing, Her clammy fingers slid towards the tile. She hesitated, glancing up at the window on the far wall up by the pipes. One good leap and...Shadows pulsed across her vision. A soft tinkle of chain. A flash of gold.
No...Escape...no, no, no. The voices grew bright and clear. Watch us. No escape. Esther. Yes. Watch us!
Esther glanced from Rebeca to Sadie, the immediate danger coming back into focus. “Uhmm…” She pushed away from the wall and through open the door to the nearest stall; trying to get in and lock the door.
The girls ran forward.
“No you don’t” Rebeca grabbed the top of the door. “Get the bottom!”
Sadie’s fingers snapped around the bottom of the door.
Esther braced a foot against stall. Her fingers slipped on the lock and she grabbed at the edge of the door. Rebeca yanked forward. Esther's fingers scraped the frame, the door forced the wrong way. She gasped at the sudden pain as her hand was trapped between door and frame.
Rebeca released the door and it swung back, racking Esther's fingers and re-doubling the pain as the metal clinched her fingers. Her breath sped, tears burning and blurring her eyes, turning the stall door a haze of color.
“It's always worse if you struggle, loser." Rebeca sneered. She shoved the door. The hinges creaked as they righted and Esther yanked free. Her fingers slid out with such force she reeled;. heel hitting the edge of the toilet and she tripped, falling hard into the open lid.
The girls giggled. Rebeca leaned into the stall as the door swung in.
A flutter of dragonfly wings, a waft of air by her face. Esther rammed the door aside and burst into the hall, bounced off of something, spun backwards and felt someone grasp her arms.
"...couldn't hide forever!" Gus leered, moving together in darkness, his grip on her shoulders deepening. Esther's head shot up. Gus gasped. Her foot slammed against his knee. Rebeca grabbed his arm before he hit the ground, staring as Esther pelted up the hall and vanished around the corner.
"She should join the track team..." she said idly.
"What the hell was that?" Jacob gripped. "She kicked you?"
"Dude..." Gus hissed. "Did you..."
"Did I what? See her almost take out your knee?"
"Her eyes...Her eyes!" Gus lifted his head. His face was ashen. "They were black..."
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