Graduation Day, 2001
They’d watched Sheba and Magnolia graduate with all the appropriate fanfare, cheered them loudly and left Howard and Magnolia and Sheba and Zita to say goodbye as they wanted.
In a startling show of empathy, Phelen had wandered off, leaving Arnbjörg and Jaya alone, and they, in turn, had grabbed a blanket and headed out to the meadow.
The sun was bright and warm over them. The air felt just right, like you could lie out in nothing but skin and be perfectly comfortable. And Jaya was pressed against her, Mask down and not wearing a whole lot more than skin. Continue reading
Friday, April 13, 2001
Arnbjörg had just finished running laps of the gym, after a session with the heavy bag and enough weights that her shoulders and back had that happy ache to them. For once, she was enjoying walking through the halls unbothered.
“No! No, I’m not going to… let go of me!” A flash of lightning ripped through the hallway; the lights flickered and burnt out, leaving only the dim “Hell Night” red emergency lights.
Arnbjörg reached for a weapon she didn’t have anymore.
“I think you should leave him alone.” The lights flickered but did not turn back on, as a second voice chimed in, similar to the first one and both familiar…
They were her half-brothers, Arnbjörg realized. Ragnvaldr and Leofric.
“She might seem nice now, but she’s not stable, and it’s not a healthy situation.” The new, third speaker released his quarry, however, and stepped back until he was silhouetted against one of the red lights. “Rory, I’m just saying…” Continue reading
She had horns now.
Arnbjörg looked at herself in the mirror again. She had small budding horns poking out of her hairline – out of her skull, too – which went with a ridiculous fuzzy black tail that seemed to grow right out of her spine.
“No hooves,” Jaya had said, when they had left Dr. Caitrin’s last week, and Arnbjörg couldn’t tell if she was disappointed or pleased or neither. Later, Niki had explained Ty’s hooves and tail – but not horns – which had mostly left Arnbjörg even more confused about how to feel about the whole thing. Continue reading
“We’re not new kids anymore.” Kai looked around at the other Fifth Cohort students. Jamian was busy, but she’d talked Shahin into coming. Kendra was there, doing her best to hide in a corner; Channing was front and center. Elfred and Wyatt were there, along with Channing and Nydia. Kai had invited the entire Fifth Cohort. She was not really surprised that she’d gotten less than 50 percent attendance.
“He wasn’t a new kid last year, either. And he’s still wearing a collar.” Wyatt pointed a finger at Conrad. “What’s he doing here?” Continue reading