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[IC] [Innocents] Through Darkness

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  • #16

    “Stop!” Bradley yells, sudden and shrill. The bus strikes a bump, sending you bouncing out of your seat... when there is an almost deafening burst of noise. The bus lurches sickeningly sideways, the scream of other kids mixes with the screech of brakes and tires against pavement, and then the bus slams into the far side of a ditch. There is a moment of silence as the smell of rubber hangs in the air. Kids’ heads pop up from behind vinyl seats and peer wide-eyed at one another. Eventually they all fall on the same person: the new kid.

    You and the other children are herded off of the crashed bus. It is like a long, dull yellow box, front end buried in the sodden dirt of the ditch. Groucho scowls as he waves off a gaggling group of girls. Bradley sits alone on the ground, ten feet from you all. A half hour later, another bus rolls up, picks you up, and takes you to school, arriving a bit late for your first room.

    The next four hours are uneventful, and recess in the afternoon comes. The crisp air of the fall grounds, its smell of dull sweet grass and rotting leaves reaching your nose, is a contrast to the waxy smell of the school's halls.

    You manage to break away from the rest of the kids during recess. Their questions and opinions have been incessant this morning. Whispered words between desks, notes passed when the teacher’s back was turned. A quick glance about ensures you that nobody’s near.


    • #17
      Abigail, who wasn't much of a talker unless she was spinning stories, didn't even hesitate once they were finally free for recess. Those last few hours had dragged, and she'd had so much time to just imagine all the possibilities. The girl immediately made a bee-line for the new kid, keeping her voice down as she glanced to see who else was nearby. "What didja see?" she asked breathlessly, fingers fidgeting with her brown braid of hair, blue eyes bright with interest. "You did see somethin', right?"


      • #18
        Bradley looks up at you from his seat on three car tires buried halfway in the dirt. He shrugs. "Everybody was getting so loud. I wanted them to stop. I didn't expect the bus to crash. That was scary."

        He slouches further into his seat and takes off his wire-frame glasses, beginning to wipe the lenses. Not looking at you, he bores his gaze forward into the wall.


        • #19
          "Oh," she said. But her brow was furrowed, lips twisted into a pout, eyeing the new kid still. There was something clearly skeptical in her eyes. "Really? That was it?" And there was disappointment there, as well, her shoulders slumping.


          • #20
            Jay had been listening silently to their exchange, admittedly a little shaken by the morning's accident but no less intrigued for it. " You think their loudness made it stop?" She asked, eyebrow raised at his strange way of putting it. "Or it stopped because you wanted it to? That's crazy talk!"


            • #21
              Bradley looks put off by your insinuations. "Cant we change the subject?"

              A beat. Then you hear giggling from behind you, and turning around, you see Max and two of his hangers-on approaching. Max is staring past you and his gaze is pinned on Bradley.


              • #22
                Abby rolled her eyes at Jay, crossing her arms as she looked at the other girl. "That's not what he was saying--" she started, shaking her head.

                But she heard that giggling and looked back at Max, eyeing him as he and his buddies approached. This probably wasn't gonna be good. And Abby's lips were moving before she had a chance to even think about it, a story just pouring out. It was like second nature to her. "Good thing he stopped the bus this morning, right? Or else we totally would've hit that big dog. He was ginormous. Or maybe it was a wolf. D'ya think it was a wolf?" she went on, looking back at Jay and Bradley. "That would've been cool if it was a wolf."


                • #23
                  Jay turns to face the approaching crew, assuming a confident pose. "Yeah, prolly just a coyote though, honestly." She replies, distractedly.