I walk the halls of this school every day. Just like I’ve walked the halls of so many others before. I don’t want to be here. Or at least, I don’t want to want to be here. These people fascinate me so. Like that girl there. Pale blonde hair glistening in the fluorescent light, perfect smile plastered on her face, brand new clothes from the top of her perfectly groomed head to the tips of her designer shoes, and the detail in the carefully applied make-up. Kids flock around her, complimenting her, laughing with her, eager for attention, and yet none of them see how hollow she is. But I do.
As usual, not a one of them notice me. I like it that way. The unobserved observer. Indulging in my curious obsession and not having to explain myself. What a thrill it gives me, an unending flow of pure adrenaline that makes me vibrate as I walk. This is my hunting grounds, and them my unwilling prey.
I don’t like the classes as much as the in between, with their overly repeated knowledge and biased opinions that no one but a captive audience will listen to. The old are not as exciting as the young, the ones who still see all the potential in their short lives. But I sit through the classes anyways, something fun always happens one way or another.
They could see me, if they wanted to, the young ones. All they have to do is pay attention when that shadow passes through their peripheral vision. But most of them can’t get around the narrow scope that encompasses their world. That comes with time. And time is what makes them forget that deep seated wonder. So, none of them see me.
That’s why I don’t want to be here. If not for the intrigue I find in watching, I think I’d give up. There in lies the true problem. Giving up would mean the burning would start. And I ask you, how is one supposed to indulge in watching if the whole world is burning? You can’t, so giving up isn’t an option.
A fight breaks out in the hallway.
It’s not surprising to me, but it amuses. I watch the two boys throw punches between rolling around on the floor. One lands a good hit, opening a cut over the other boy’s eye and causing a hesitation. The one who landed the hit takes advantage and slams his rival against the ground. The impact is enough to knock the boy out cold.
A small smile tugs at my lips and I look up to asses the reactions from the audience. They’re shocked, for the most part, but a few are cheering for the victor.
Then I see a pair of eyes not focused on the spectacle. They are locked on the area that I occupy. I look closer. Yes, there’s a boy staring in this direction.
I glance around, but there is no one else standing close to me. I’m tucked away in a corner, away from the bulk of traffic.
Movement made my gaze return to the fight. A teacher had hold of the still ranting fighter, and another had the wrist of the boy on the ground. And behind them, the only one willing to stick around, stood the boy. His dark hair fell across his brow and covered most of his right eye. Dark grays made up his outfit, his arms crossed over his chest, and a hip bag slung over his shoulder.
As a test, I move to my right, and I can’t hide my smile when his eyes follow me. So, there is one who sees beyond. My curiosity peaks to find out why he’s different. No time like the present. The smokey shadows that are my constant companions swirl around my legs as I walk deeper into the building.
I don’t have to look back, he’s following me and I can feel it. Like a tingle of awareness at the back of my mind. Dark and secluded, that’s my goal, and what better place then the library?
As I walk down the rows, my fingers trail over the spines of the books that line the shelves. A dying art some say, but I don’t agree. Books will always have their place in the world.
My back rests against the far wall when he catches up to me. He stops, half surprised to see me waiting for him. He swallows hard, his throat working reflexively, and then he recoups. His arms cross back over his chest and he leans against the pillar opposite me.
“Who are you?” His voice is nice, melodic.
“Do you really want to know?” My voice grates in contrast, the lack of use making me sound guttural and forbidding.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t.” He moves his hair out of his face, looking me up and down.
“If you insist. I am the companion of Death, the cousin of the Fates, and the eternal Lost Soul.” I stop, leaving him to absorb what I have said.
“That’s all very well and good, but what’s your name?” He seems to be amused at this, a handsome smile lights up his face.
I smile in turn.
“You may call me Thespia.”
“That’s a very unusual name.” But he smiles all the same.
“I know, but it fits me.” I twirl my finger and wrap a shadow around it, gathering energy to me.
“So, why are you here? I can tell you’re not…human.” The idea excites him, I see it plain as day.
“Because, it’s always the same, for all of you eventually. Ashes to ashes, they all fall down.” I step forward, closing the gap between us, and cup his face in my cold hands. With a kiss planted on his lips, we vanish.
Time to find another school.