I’m really late with this one. This is E is for Evil, Saturday’s A to Z Challenge prompt. I struggled with finding the right E word. I wanted to do something dark and all the E words I could think of, were positive and bright (Exuberant. Elaborate. Excess.). Fortunately a friend suggested EVIL (how did I *not* think of that?) and the story began to take shape. Here it is.
E is for Evil
She trudges down the gravel path, one fist held to her mouth. The other one is clamped over a doll. The doll’s golden hair is dragging in the gravel and the edges of it are dotted with black dirt specks already. She’s near the line of parked cars, next to the entrance now and there are three cars. Blue, white and blue again. The second bell rings and all the kids are inside already. Still she doesn’t hurry. Instead, she stops. She takes away her hand from her mouth, a little spittle string stretching from it. Rooting around in her pocket, she brings out a key.
A tall lady appears at the entrance.
“Rubina! Come in at once! What are you doing? Your classmates are already inside.”
Her heels make a tick-tocking sound on the gravel path as she hurries up to rush the girl in. The key has disappeared, not into the pocket, but elsewhere, hidden. The girl knows not to hide things in the same place more than once. A firm, smooth hand clamps over her wrist and pulls her towards the door.
Dragging along a little behind the teacher, she makes a scraping sound on the gravel with her shoes. But she stops suddenly and in a flash, sticks the chewing gum from her mouth, on the teacher’s tight skirt. It’s such a smooth motion, so light, the woman doesn’t even feel it. She will only see it later, in the laughter in the room, when the chair sticks to her skirt. Just the thought satisfies the girl and she allows herself to be herded to her classroom, without resistance.
It is geography and the master is drawing a map on the board. The girl yawns, her mouth opening wide. Immediately a gasp goes through the class. She looks around surprised. The boy sitting to her right edges his desk away, with a loud scraping sound. It makes the master turn around.
“What is this noise?!”
Everyone is staring at her and following their gaze, the master looks at her too.
“Rubina, come and sit down in the front desk. Come here at once!”
The girl stands up and gets out of her desk. Her classmates all lean away from her, as she passes to the front desk. There is an outburst of whispering.
“SILENCE! Go back to your maps!”
And he turns around. The class is silent. But she can feel forty pairs of eyes boring into her back. The girl on her left is not even pretending to look at her map, but is staring at Rubina openly. She’s the only one with a smile on her face. Rubina turns to look at the rest of the class. They’re all staring at her but no one says a word.
The girl on her left, Natalie, leans back and whispers to the boy behind her.
“See, I told you.”
The boy gapes at Natalie, too scared to look at Rubina. Natalie holds her stare and eventually, he is compelled to follow it to Rubina’s face.
Blood, he mouths.
When the bell rings, the class stays put instead of running about as they usually do. The master looks surprised but doesn’t want to be late for his next class so he rushes off.
Rubina gets up, to go back to her seat. Whispers turn into a rumble.
She hears it and whips around, an unusual movement for her. And when she turns, she sees the trail of blood that she has left behind on the floor. She stares at it, puzzled.
Then, a pencil hits her sharp on the side of her neck. It clatters to the floor. She looks around angrily but she can’t tell who threw it. She decides to pick it up to see if anyone has etched their name on it. And when she bends, she notices the stream of blood down the side of her ankle. She looks up and sees the blood on her chair. There’s a streak down the front leg of the chair. And on the seat, there’s a spattered mess of red. Dead.
The kids get to their feet in unison and run around her and out of the class. She stays in position, crouching. When the last of the footsteps die away, she stands up. Reaching out a finger, she touches the seat. The blood has dried and crumbles at her touch. She traces a line through it, the red powder caking under her fingernail.
Suddenly a boy appears at the entrance of the class.
he shouts and runs away.
Rubina looks down at her fingers. They are flecked with red and brown. She stares down at her ankles, one with a red streak and the other with a brownish wound. The marks on the seat match one ankle and the spots on the floor, the other. It could be true. She looks up, a little smile playing on her lips and surveys the class. One fist goes up to her mouth. What should she kill next?
*Image courtesy mack2happy on FreeDigitalPhotos.net