Hidden Embers

May 23, 2011
By
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I walked through the white hallways, looking into the windows on the doors. A tall brunette woman walked by me, her heels clicking against the hard tile.
“So, Shyme, where are you from?” the woman quizzed hesitantly.
“North-east Germany.” I replied quietly.
She nodded and turned down another hallway, one filled with lockers and papers coating the walls. She smoothed out her skirt and opened a door with papers taped all over it.
“Mr. McCoy? You have a new student. Her name is Shyme.”
The man seated at a desk in the corner stood up and walked over to greet us.
“Hello, there Shame.” he said as he pushed up his glasses and bent over to where we were at eye level.
“My name isn’t Shame.” I snapped. “It’s Shyme.”
Mr. McCoy frowned. “You really shouldn’t speak to teachers that way.”
“Then don’t get my name confused with a word that means the same as dishonor. It’s rude.”
The teacher sighed and stood up, looking at the woman. “I need to get back to the office…” She gave him a withering look and closed the door as she left.
“You can sit back there.” Mr. McCoy pointed to an empty desk off the left side of the room, a shady boy with shaggy hair leaning back in his chair, sketching out a picture with his pencil on his pale arms was sitting at the table.
I walked over and set my books down, pulling my chair out. I sat and open my book onto the table. The boy next to me glanced over and snickered.
I looked at him. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m sitting to one of the newest rejects of the school, newest geek too.” He looked at me from under the hood of his jacket.
“You do realize that ‘geek’ is a name for circus performers who do outrageous things, like biting the heads off of small, live animals, right?”
He scoffed. “Good night. You’re such a nitpicker.”
“Shyme, stop talking, you’ve been here for less then half an hour and already causing trouble. And Shawn, take that hood off you’re head and get back in dress code.”
The boy by me rolled his eyes and jerked his hood off of his head. His silvery white hair was a mess, yet some how attractive.
“Why is your hair like that?” I gazed at the mess.
He shut his history book and looked at me out of the corner of his eye. “What’s it matter to you?”
I put my hands up. “Sorry, just asking, jerk.” I looked at the clock. Three forty-seven. Only three minutes to go, I thought to myself.
The bell rang and I stood, untying the jacket around my waist, and slipping it on to fight against the winter chill. I walked out of the class and headed to the girls restroom. As I opened the door, a wave of smoke hit me. I gagged and coughed but held in the tears fighting to clean my eyes back. I looked around. There were several girls, sitting on sinks, leaning against stalls. There was even a boy, arms around a girl up against the wall of the back stall, their lips touching. I began to turn to walk out but a hand touched my shoulder.
“I’ve never seen you before. You new?” It was one of the girls, but this one lacked a cigarette.
“Yeah,” I walked out of the room, my throat burning from the nicotine filled air. The girl followed.
“My name’s Grace, what’s yours?”
“Are you only asking that so you and your little group can throw junk at me and tease me?”
I heard her chuckle. “Oh, they aren’t my friends. One of them stole something of mine. People aren’t to steal, or from me that is.”
I looked over at her, her lips revealing a sly grin. “I think I like you,” I stated. “My name’s Shyme.”
“You got a last name?”
“Yes,”
“You want to tell it too me?”
“Nope.”
She paused. “I like you too, Shyme.” She readjusted her bag and continued. “How you get home?”
“I walk, what about you?” I replied, brushing a lock of my hair out of my face.
“My mom picks me up.”
I nodded as an awkward silence followed. Finally I glanced over at her and spoke. “What was it they, those people, had stolen from you.”
She stopped walking and looked over at me. “If I tell you, do you promise not to tell anybody?”
I nodded, shifting my weight from one foot to another.
“They took my lighter, my nice, Zippo one. That thing cost like thirty bucks.”
“Why would you need a lighter? Do you smoke or something?”
“No, diffidently not. The smell of smoke makes me sick. I’m a pyromaniac.”
I stared at her. “Nice,” I smiled, looking at her.
She sighed. “You think that I’m a freak, don’t you?”
“No, not at all. I just can’t believe that I found a fellow Pyro.”
“You like fire too?”
I grinned and shook my head slightly. “Sorry, but I got to go.”
She nodded and began to dig in her bag. “Let me give you my address and number, all that stuff.” She tore a corner off of a page in her note and began to scribble letters on it.
“Here, lets hang out some time.”
I nodded and turned for the door. “See you, Grace.” I called behind me.
“Adios, Shyme.” she called back to me.
I walked along the path to my house and decided to cut through the park.
The Lacrosse team was packing up from practice as I walked through. I pulled out my lighter and flicked it on and off, moving my finger through it. A boy sitting on a bench watched as I crossed the field and walked into the woods. I could hear the kid behind me. I gripped my lighter tighter and began to speed up.
I glanced behind me, nobody there. I ran into something tall and thin. It was Shawn, the boy that I sat by in class.
“Hey,” he said quietly.
I tried to move around him but he stepped into my path.
“What do you want?” I snapped harshly.
He grinned, “You…you are my fire, keeping me warm. I have to have you.”
Shawn grabbed my shoulders and gagged me with an odd tasting piece of cloth, knotting it around my head. My head hit the ground as I fell.
My heart skipped a beat as the situation dawned on me slowly. Shawn jerked my jacket off and began to pull at my belt. I tried to scream, but only a whimper escaped my throat to only be muted by the gag. He began to tug my pants down but not before I kicked his feet out from under him. I stood while he was on the ground, dazed. I undid the gag and tossed it to the side.
Shawn was sprawled on the ground, holding his head where a small stream of blood was flowing where he must have hit a rock.
I looked at him and picked up the gag again. I wadded it up and shoved it into his mouth as his eyes attempted to come into focus. I pulled out my lighter after putting my belt back on and bent over to his side.
“You shouldn’t play with fire,” I said quietly. “You may end up getting burned.” I flicked my lighter on and held it to the gag. His eyes widened as he screamed to try to get it out of his mouth, burning his hands.
I turned my back and began to walk home, smiling. “’You shouldn’t play with fire, you may end up getting burned.’ I like it.”





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