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Freshman Meat

Kelly slung her bag up higher on her shoulder and clutched her books closer to her chest. She hastened down the hallway. The second school lets out, that’s when they feed. All the teachers, too intent on leaving the prison the call high school practically flee from their classrooms and head straight to their cars. If they did stay, it wouldn’t matter anyway. They wouldn’t notice the attacks. The slaughters. The predators are just too sly, too cunning to get caught in the act. Boys, high school boys, are much less of a threat. It’s those girls, the ones that flip their long blonde hair and look at lesser girls with disapproving eyes. Those people are the real danger.
Kelly glances around with wide green eyes. Awareness overcomes her. All of the sudden she is able to notice the small crack in the door that is shaped like a five. Smell the stale coffee in the teachers lounge. Hear each individual footstep going up the stairs to the language department. And feel her sweater touching the skin just under her elbow. She looks at the clock and releases the breath she didn’t realize she was holding.
Long, straight brunette hair. Thick black eyeliner. Hundred dollar designer clothes.
This girl is beautiful. However, she is faceless- nothing about her is memorable. She just blends in with everyone else. She is what everyone wants her to be. But, maybe that is why she is on top.
Next to the brunette is a walking stereotype. Blonde hair. Blue eyes. Popular. Cheerleader. She is the brand of girl that defines dumb blonde. She hardly knows her own name. And if she doesn’t know her own name, what makes it worth knowing to anyone else? She, too, is faceless. But she too is on top.

Although they have yet to spot her, Kelly has a clear view of both of them, and she wishes she didn’t.

As they walk closer and closer, twirling their hair and giving dirty glances to everyone they disapprove of, Kelly’s heart starts thumping in over time. She knows any second they will come, and the names will be said, and the torture will commence.

Now, they see her and they strut towards her with purpose. Two faceless girls. As they walk towards Kelly, the surrounding people seem to slip away. Kelly wishes she, too, could disappear. Shrink, Shrink, Shrink. Down to nothing. This is too much for her anymore. She has handled it for so long. If only she could be home, back in her bed, the covers protecting her from the injustice that is high school.

Finally, they approach her, and the real hunting begins. Names- terrible names. Somehow physical hurt is so much easier to handle than emotional pain. Ice packs cannot be placed on the heart. Tylenol can not relieve the stabs that penetrate the self esteem. Nothing can protect the mind from the horrendous comments that fly from the mouths of the higher people.
Part of Kelly feels like maybe they’re right. Blonde and Brunette- faceless. Maybe this is worth it. Maybe the names are for her own good. Maybe the way this act makes her feel is all for the bettering of herself.
But maybe this is wrong. This is cruel. Those names aren’t worth it. The pain she feels can’t be for her own good.
“Stop,” she whispers. Hardly aware she is saying it.
They don’t stop, which is expected, how could they have heard her over their own terrible snarls? They circle. They are like lions, fighting against a tiny bird; a small beautiful bird that has no chance of escaping the jaws of the beasts.
“Stop,” Kelly says again, with more force.
Once again, they continue. She is unheard.
“Stop!” she shouts, with fierceness as strong as that of the brunette and blonde faceless have been saying the horrible things.
“What’s wrong?” they ask in a chorus of sweet voices. Brunette touches her arm, gently, kindly.
“This is messed up guys. Why are we being mean?” Kelly asks.
“Well just look at her…” Brunette says, pointing to the victim.
And Kelly does. She is a small girl with blue eyes. She is frightened beyond belief. She is on the verge of tears.
“I can’t do this anymore, it’s so wrong,” Kelly speaks.
Blonde and brunette- faceless, gasp at her.
“Oh, come on Kelly, they’re just names. She’ll get over it,” Blonde says with a reassuring smile.
“No,” Kelly says.
And with that she leaves the life she had been living. She was no longer a faceless predator. She is Kelly, a girl who smiles with new life, new purpose. A girl who has escaped.





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