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    ➳ CHAPTER SEVENTEEN 
SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS HAVE NO AUTHORITY
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The only other place that I rememebred seeing this written was in ink. On skin.

Specifically, Mr. Clarke's forearm. It had the latin words ALIGERUM NUNTIUS XII printed in black ink across his arm. And I knew enough about Latin numerals to know that the 'X' and the two strikes meant 12.

"So..." I figured it out and mentally crossed out the question of what the Latin said out of my mind as I confirmed its translation. I formed a new question now, "So, the real question is, why does Mr. Clarke have a tattoo that reads,

"1 2   W i n g e d   M e s s e n g e r "
- - -

I didn't have much time to speculate. The bell rang, and shocked me out of my thoughts. And I rush along with the rest of the students to class. Merging into the crowd, until I was literally one in a sea of bobbing heads and scooting, squeaking shoes.

We all split off and streamed into the classrooms. I passed the first row of seats at the front, got closer to the middle and then quickly took my seat. I glance up, and another student backed away as I held my ground.

I always had to do that...

Everyone did, once you were at school.

For seome strange reason, if you didn't hold your ground your classmates would decide for you whether or not you deserved that seat you just snagged. They're not only not your friends... They are strangers. And if you get into a stranger's way, they wouldn't blink at the thought to toss you out of the chair.

It usally happened to me a lot... But this time, I wanted none of this. The student-- Dylan, I think his name was-- didn't give me any problems though. He was usually pretty chill, actually. His red hair bobbed up and down as he nodded in understanding and snagged the seat next to me. His freckles were as bright as his eyes, and it almst made me lower my guard down...

Glancing back at my hands, I griped hard on the book to stop the shaking. It was the whispering as the class started to settle down that really got to me; everyone was talking to their friends, and I could hear the hisses of laughter peppered with the rumors.

I had a bad feeling.

Brittany still wasn't here in class. I look at the clock and drum my fingers on the hard-cover red book. The posse get into the class room and occupy their spot-- a spot close to the windows, all empty and ready for them to sit, because no one dared to take their seats.

They were so rowdy and loud, but when they passed by me, they all got really quiet, and started snorting and laughing as soon as they passed me by. The rest of the classroom got the message and some looked at me as if I was some sort of Giraffe in the room...

The Second Bell had already rang, and still no Mr. Clarke... I licked my lips nervously and kept my head up, staring straight into the smart board, because I knew that if I looked as scared as I felt, those crack-heads and A-Grade wh*res sitting at the back near the window in their 'special spot', would feed off my vulnerability.

And I didn't need that sh*t right now. Of all times, not now.

Fifteen minutes in, and the peppy new teacher, Mrs. Karla walked in with her shiny red high heels and low-cut business dress. The boys instantly sat up and whistled and the woman only rolled her eyes, "That's enough." She cooed as she brushed aside her dark bangs and took out the registrar, "Alright, roll call."

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