Hell Night, Year 9 of the Addergoole School
“Hey, pretty, pretty, whatcha doing out all alone?” The man against the wall – “man,” because she still hadn’t come up with words that fit for the weird creatures she’d found herself in school with – smirked unkindly at her, and waved his hand at the ground, causing it to buckle and warp under her feet. Ceinwen gritted her teeth and kept walking, trying not to show any fear. It was like getting off at the wrong bus stop – although the people in the numbered streets had been humans, and this guy with the yellowish wood-grain-looking skin and the hair like pine needles didn’t really seem to qualify.
What was she doing out all alone, indeed. She’d lost Ahouva right away – Kendon had grabbed her, told her he had something special for her, and off they’d gone. Jovanna and Æolind had gotten separated in a corner of the hall that had gone all black and inky, and turned Ceinwen and Kay around into a corridor they’d never seen before.
Kay had, as far as Ceinwen could tell, run off through a brick wall. She was still trying to figure out how that had worked, but right now, what she knew was that it left her alone, with creepy yellow guys taunting her, and the hall slowly filling with water.
Water? That was a new one. The stuff around her toes looked like brackish water, though, and it felt like the carpet was water-logged, although it was hard to see it through the greenish liquid. The call-it-water was rising, too, lapping around her ankles. Ceinwen hurried on, trying to get away from wood-boy without looking like she was trying to get away.
“Come on, honey. You don’t want to go swimming, come play with me instead.” He held out a branch – hand, it was a hand – to her, even leaned off the wall like he was going to walk her way. “I can be a lot of fun.”
“No, thanks,” she answered – no need to be rude, it’s possible he was just being friendly, friendly in a creepy way – just as her foot slipped down, down, down, pulling her underwater.
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