In the Beginning
Morgan Connelly, stunned, unable to move for the moment, feeling a warm wetness dripping down her skin, fluttered violet eyes open and stared at the growing red stains on her blouse, the amber feathers attached to a long slender egg yolk colored piece of wood jutting out from under her collarbone, and whimpered, "Josh. Josh. Josh. Help meeee."
Something crashed to her right, and screams sounding like a cat in pain filled the air around her.
Chapter one: A Fight After School
Mr. Alec Johnson surveyed the clean, bright faces of his morning math class through thick bi-focal lenses,
fiddled with the half-dozen sharpened pencils resting on the old oak desk and waited for his students to settle into their seats and become quiet. Alec reached up with his left hand and stuffed a few wispy strands of grey hair, curling around his cauliflower ears back under the fringe of his coal-black wig.
He ignored the wave of giggles that washed over him, gave his black handlebar mustache a twirl and opened his big mouth. Two even rows of fake white teeth gleamed in the beams of the morning sun streaming through the large window. The chattering and laughter of thirty adolescents drowned out his first, "Ahem." It took two more loud, “Ahem’s,” before the din settled down to a dull roar. “Thank goodness it’s Friday,” his steel grey eyes bored into those of the students at the front of the class.
One more, loud, “Ahem,” and the dull roar subsided into silence. “Children,” Albert Johnson’s voice rumbled through the classroom and the class pet, a little white rat covered two small ears with tiny pink paws and burrowed deeper into his nest of paper and straw.
Mr. Johnson lowered his voice by half a dozen decibels. “Students, before I take roll call, I have an important announcement to make. While doing the annual library inventory, the staff decided in order to make room for new books that many of the old ones would have to go.”
Josh heard, “Books,” and his mind blotted out the rest of the words, “Books, wow, that’s way cool.” Images of books filled with new worlds of adventure, new and wondrous stories filled Josh’s mind. “Perhaps I should call mom and have her pick me up after school in case there are lots I haven’t read. No, I better see how many there are first.”
“Mr. Campbell,” Mr. Johnson’s baritone voice dragged the teenager back from his fantasyland to the reality of the classroom.
“If you’re quite done mooning over some girl, would you be kind enough to tell me that you’re here so I can mark the attendance sheet. You may as well come up to the front and write your brilliant answers on the blackboard.” He fixed Josh with a look that would have curdled fresh milk from a cow, if there happened to be any there.
Josh’s felt his face and neck heat up, tried to still the knocking of his knees. He gulped and the little voice in his mind whined like a three year old told to go to bed before Santa came. “Why me, why always me,” but like any good soldier about to face a hail of machine gun bullets the teenager gathered the little courage he was born with and stood up. With a ramrod stiff back and a face as red as fresh picked cherry he marched up to the front of the classroom.
“Where did you say the books would be sir,” Josh kept his voice low and hoped that his classmates wouldn’t hear him.
“You’ll have to speak up young man.”
“I asked you where the books were going to be sir,” the waves of laughter rolling over him and added to his misery.