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The new kid was staring at me again. I didn’t know what was the matter with him. He was always staring at me. My friends told me in whispers how he “fancied me”. Every time I turned around, his hard, dark eyes were tracking me. That wasn't the only thing. His eyes were dark, dark brown, almost black. Looking into one of them, you never wanted to back out. They seemed to swallow your gaze, as if he wanted them as a keepsake.
My friends, naturally, never noticed those eyes. They saw his strong jaw, his face framed by dark brown hair that my friends seemed to think was cute. Why me? There were plenty of girls at this school for him. I turned. There he was. His dark eyes, on me. I shuddered and turned away.
That was the first day.
The next day he was absent.
Sitting at my desk next to the window, I couldn’t help but wonder why. Maybe he got a fever. Maybe even a cold. Maybe… how should I know? But I couldn’t ignore the bad feeling in my gut. I looked out of the window, and there he was. He was gesturing to me, pointing frantically to something I couldn’t see. When he saw that I couldn’t see what it was, he rolled his eyes. I turned and looked back down at the worksheet, trying to concentrate on math. I couldn’t. There was too much on my mind now. Why was he outside? What was he pointing at? And how had he stood outside the window without anyone noticing?
After five hopeless minutes of math, I looked outside again. Nothing. Not a single footprint, or sign that he had been there. But not for long.
A creature came crashing through the window. It was a large, dragon-like creature, with wings. A thick body, lined with muscle, with four legs and a neck attached. The head was sharp, triangular. The mouth was lined with sharp fangs. But those eyes…. They looked exactly the same as the new kid’s. Dark, deep, and frightening. On the boy, they looked a bit out of place. On the dragon, they were formidable. One look at the menacing eyes, and fear came rushing through you, like a river, whose dam broke. Every memory of warmth turned to ice. Those eyes stared deep into you, perhaps even into your mind.
Then a scream pierced the air. It was the scream of my best friend. A blood-chilling, bone-shaking scream. That was what stirred me to action. If my best friend was frightened, now was the time to start running. But before I could run, two things happened at the same time.
The dragon, snarling, started towards me, and Melissa leaped in front of me, clutching a sword. She slashed at the dragon, who parried the strike, then slashed back. Melissa! The math genius! She usually kept to herself. She had a few close friends, but not many. And here she was, attacking a dragon that had just jumped through the window, and looking not one bit afraid. The fight was over soon, too soon. Now, already, she had dealt a smashing blow with the edge of her blade to the dragon’s right cheek. Immediately, the cut bled. However, the price for slicing open the dragon’s cheek was too high.
Its claws came flashing through Melissa’s defenses and jabbed into the flesh of her stomach, beneath the ribs. All around her, the screams ceased. All eyes were on her as she convulsed once, and dropped to the ground. I slowly walked towards her, knowing somehow that I should. I had no time to feel sadness. On the ground, her breath coming in tight, little gasps, she held out her sword. It was stained with blood. The dragon’s blood on the blade and her blood on the hilt. I gently took the blade from her. She nodded once, then closed her eyes for the last time.
Cautiously, I stalked towards the dragon, testing the balance of the blade clenched in my hand. Perfect, I concluded.
Letting loose a savage war cry that I thought I didn’t have, I ran towards the dragon, blade spinning from left hand to right. My hands guided me forward. With them, I slashed at the dragon, once, twice. Somehow I knew these moves. Somehow I had practiced them. Somehow… I was trained to do this. I heard a gasp somewhere behind me, then dismissed it as unimportant. Adrenaline raced through my veins. The sword gave me strength and courage. Eventually I had the dragon pinned against a wall. How I did this, I do not know. Nor did I care at that time. I was intent on finishing off the dragon that had killed Melissa. There was a buzzing in my head that told me that I could not rest until I sought out revenge. Mustering my last bit of energy, I drew my sword back and prepared to plunge it into and out of the wicked, withered, and black heart of the relentless dragon. And that was when it disappeared.
At first I just stood there, sword raised. Gradually, I became aware of the silence all around me, like the time before a storm. I slowly turned. Everywhere I looked, eyes stared back at me. Further back, I saw the principal trying to push her way through a crowd of children who refused to budge. Suddenly my mind kicked back into gear. I surveyed the crowd with expert eyes, scanning for threats. Seeing none, I leaped out of the broken window, landing like a cat on my feet.
The first thing I saw when my eyes adjusted to the bright sunlight was the face of the new kid. The one with the dark eyes. He used those eyes to gaze at me with a quizzical look on his face. When I couldn’t hold the gaze any longer, I wretched my eyes away, and stared aimlessly at the ground.
Then my head snapped up again. The boy was facing away from me. He was looking to his left, scanning the horizon. His right side was facing me. Instantly horrified, I took in the jagged cut on the handsome cheek of his. The right cheek. It can’t be. My eyes drank up this knowledge, but my brain refused to believe it. I held back a gasp.
Without warning, he turned towards me, again with that perplexed look on his face. Again I was forced to look away.