Hell Night, Year 9 of the Addergoole School
The halls were dark and the noises echoing through them sounded nasty. Timora had told Calvin she’d meet him at breakfast, though, and he was the nicest guy who’d ever shown an interest in her, so, scary or not, she headed out into the halls.
Things got worse the further she got from her room. The floor seemed sticky, muddy, grabbing at her ankles in the pretty shoes that really weren’t all that practical. The halls seemed to close in on her, and walls weren’t where they were supposed to be. Strange gooey things squirted out at her from around corners, staining her pretty white shirt and the skirt that she’d bought at the store specially for this not-really-a-date. Hands grabbed at her, tugging her in all directions.
She struggled on through, hoping that Calvin would understand, hoping that everything would be okay, until she found a quiet, better-lit hallway, a stairway in sight. There. The goo on her shirt was drying clear. Her skirt was fine, if a little wrinkled. She’d be fine. She’d be…
Hands from nowhere grabbed her around the neck, while other hands grabbed both her wrists, fingernails digging in deeply as she was stretched in three directions, tugged nearly off her feet. Startled as much as frightened, Timora screamed.
The scream seemed to rip through her, coming out her toes and her spine as much as it did out of her mouth, ripping the hallway, shaking the foundations of the underground school. The hands around her let go, and she went tumbling to the floor to the very faint sound of feet running away.
Behind her, she heard a quiet, strangled sound of anguish. She turned around slowly, to see a tall boy staring in horror at her. At her, when his hair looked like a hedgehog was sitting on his head and he had more buckles on his clothes than a gathering of Pilgrims.
“What?” she asked, her voice hoarse from screaming and, somehow, still making the walls quake. The wide-eyed boy, with another strangled sound, turned and fled.
“I don’t…” Timora began, just as a hand clamped over her mouth.
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