Mary was putting books away in her locker when a freshman came up to her while his buddies hung back in a snickering knot. With smirking confidence, he asked her if she were a witch. He was a fourteen year old pipsqueak with pimples. It pissed her off that even lower classmen thought they could take shots at her. She slammed her locker shut, which made the pipsqueak jump. When she turned around, she gave him a slow up and down look. He began to fidget. “Yeah, you want to join the coven?”
The freshman shook his head. Mary moved closer and whispered, “Well, we meet every Saturday in the graveyard two blocks over if you want to stop by. It’s BYOB though, you know-Bring Your Own Blood.” Horrified, the freshman began backing away. Mary followed him.
“Cow’s blood will do, but we prefer human. You know because it’s stronger. Cows are just dumb beasts, chewing their cud and making milk, but humans, especially virgins, have so much more in their blood. All their thoughts and desires spice it. Virgins are the best because they have all that pent up frustration and need added in.” Mary narrowed her eyes. “Yes, virgins have the best blood. Are you a virgin?” The guy’s eyes about popped out of his head. He stammered a no and fled. His friends called out after him, but he kept going. A small wicked smile crossed her face as she hoisted her book bag and began shoving her way through the hall to her fifth period class. Mr. Landa should be pleased; she hadn’t threatened to shrink the idiot’s head.
She got to fifth period American History just as the bell rang. When she made her way to a seat in the far corner, a group of guys shivered and went “Oooohhhhh” in a fake scared manner. She rolled her eyes.
Mr. Holt came in and told everyone to settle down. He introduced himself and the class. A student got up and began collecting his things. Mary already knew why.
“What’s up?” one of his buddies asked him.
“Wrong class,” he mumbled.
Another boy heard him. “Wrong class!” he crowed. Everyone laughed the blushing student out of the classroom.
Once everyone settled back down, Mr. Holt took roll. When he reached the end, he asked, “Is there anyone here whom I haven’t called?”
The boy, who’d made fun of the other student, raised his hand. Mr. Holt looked for his name, and then flipped to the next period’s roll. “You’re in here sixth period, son. I suggest you come back then.” Everyone started laughing at him now. Mary closed her eyes in disgust.
These were supposed to be her peers?
When class finally started, Mr. Holt had everyone fill out note cards with their schedules on them. The teachers had them do this in every class. This was their subtle attempt to get the brain-deads to read their schedules. Too bad it was too subtle.
Mary snapped out of her dazed attentiveness with the bell. Finally, last class, and it was English. Mary liked English, but she seemed to be in an alarming minority. She knew she would have to put up with even more groaning and whining.
She had just settled into a seat in the back when the bell rang. As Mrs. Myers was closing the door, a foot jammed it. She opened the door to allow the student to slip in, and Mary found herself again staring at Cy.
“Sorry for being late. I’m new and still learning the layout,” he said a little breathlessly.
“All right, you get a pass, and welcome to Eastern Snyder. Now take a seat,” Mrs. Myers told him. He smiled and thanked her. He scanned the class, and his eyes lit up when he saw Mary. He started back toward her.
Vicky Nelson, otherwise known as Hicky, shot up from her seat on the other side of the room and waved to him. “Cy, come sit by me.”
He smiled at Vicky but shook his head. He continued making his way back toward Mary. Mary’s eyes widened. She couldn’t believe that he was choosing her over the cheerleader. Vicky was the most popular girl in their grade. She threw the best parties, knew all the right people, wore the best clothes, had a brand new Mercedes, and as her nickname suggested, wasn’t afraid to ‘show’ her love. She was the reigning queen of the Shiny people, and she was a cruel queen. All the juiciest rumors were born on her lips. She ruled the school’s upper crust with an iron fist, which she wasn’t afraid to sock someone with if they displeased her. Mary hated her with all of her dysfunctional being, but she also accepted the fact that Vicky was queen. No one would deny her anything, except Cy it would seem.
Mary could only stare as he sat down beside her. The entire class had fallen into a stunned silence at Cy’s choice. Vicky’s mouth actually gaped.
Taking advantage of the unexpected hush, Mrs. Myers began class. She handed out note cards and gave the instructions everyone had heard all day. They were to fill them out with their names, schedules, extracurricular activities, and anything else that was of interest. Cy leaned over. “Hey, do you have a pen I could borrow?”
Mary dug into her bag and pulled one out. “Thanks,” he said. He sneaked a peek at her note card. Her information barely filled two lines. “Kind of bare isn’t it?”
“I like being mysterious.”
He chuckled and began filling out his notecard. Mary tried to steal a glance at it, but couldn’t read a thing. His handwriting was really small, like teeny tiny. She wondered if he used a magnifying glass to study. Some snickering from the front drew her attention. Vicky and her gaggle were whispering to each other and were glancing back at them. Mary’s face became rigid.
“Seems we’re drawing some attention,” Cy said. He hadn’t looked up from his microscopic writing. Maybe he had freakishly good eyesight?
Mary slid down in her chair to be less visible. “I wouldn’t say ‘we’. Normally, they don’t spare me a second glance.”
“You’re lucky. I had the misfortune of chatting with Miss Nelson during lunch and had to vacate. I could feel my IQ dropping from osmosis.” The comment earned a smile from her. He grinned back.
“Do you have a question, Cy?” Mrs. Myers asked, peering at the two of them in the back. Mary was caught off-guard by the sudden attention, and quickly tried to hide her guilt by bending down as if to pick up something.
“Um, no, Mrs. Myers,” he said. He glanced down with a glare at Mary. She bit the inside of her cheeks to hold back her grinning.
As she straightened back up in her seat, he whispered out the corner of his mouth, “It’s the first day of school, and you’re already getting me into trouble.”
“That’s what you get for sitting by me,” she whispered back.
“I’ll remember that next time,” he mock-grumbled.
When the last bell rang, Vicky came straight over to talk to Cy. She sidled up to him and slipped her arm into his. “Cy, I’m really annoyed with you for not sitting with me.”
Cy smiled but smoothly slipped her arm off his by pulling his backpack up onto that shoulder. He also took a step back from her. “Don’t be, Vicky. I just prefer sitting in the back. I don’t like the idea of other people behind me that I can’t see. It ruins my concentration.” Vicky stepped back, sensing the physical rebuff but then began to smile.
“Oh, so you were looking at me?” She began twirling her hair around her finger. Mary fled. The situation was getting way too much like Beverly Hills whatever the zip code for her taste, and she would rather destroy her television than watch that drivel. Cy looked like he wanted to leave with her, but he was trapped by Vicky. Mary felt bad for ditching him, but when Vicky was involved, it was every reject for herself.