Three Words Never Said
“I’d bet that Leo has already snitched on you to head instructor.” Ethan murmured in Miriam’s ear. “If he can talk after the punch you threw, that is” he chuckled. She only smiled at this, she pictured the angry instructor, whose face she has seen far too many times before, giving her the usual speech: ‘ Miriam! What were you thinking, young lady! This is unacceptable behavior! You cannot present yourself in such a manner before your peers. Detention!’ She zoned out and didn’t realize that everyone had stopped in front of the biology classroom door. A mechanical voice announced from above:
“Children, your biology class has been canceled, you are to return to the recreation hall until further notice.” Yet nobody moved. They all just stood there like confused sheep -this had never happened before.
“What? Why?” Ethan complained.
“I dunno,” Miriam shrugged “Let’s go back I gue-”
“Haven’t you heard the announcement? Move along now. Faster!” Leo had materialized in the middle of the crowd and started doing his favorite thing- bossing everyone around.
“No one put you in charge” Ethan argued
“No one asked for you to speak, morosis” Leo cursed.
“Don’t you dare insult my friends in my presence!” Miriam growled at him.
“Oh? And what you gonna do about it, huh?” He did not learn. Leo never learned. Miriam almost presented him with a quite lovely stroke in the plexus*. Lucky for Leo, she caught herself just in time to prevent the irreversible.
“Defend them, because unlike someone, I have some.” she snapped and sped off. Ethan threw Leo a dirty scowl and followed her. It was really hard for him to catch up, as she was marching with inhuman speed.
“I can stand up for myself, you know” he complained and tried very hard to keep up with her .“I can argue with him on my own”
Miriam’s ears went pink “I’m sorry… it’s just… that I can’t stand it when someone insults my friends, especially him doing it. That disgusting little pig snot.’’ she spat as everyone stumbled into the recreation hall.
No further instructions were given, so the class of 10 children stood by the door, lost and out of ideas. Miriam and Ethan went to stand with Emma and James when they heard footsteps behind the door. They all knew them too well.
“Oh no…” Miriam whispered, “Not the head instructor” the quick and small footsteps were getting louder and dangerously close as the entire class went pale, except for Leo. He stood there and smirked, he was her pet, why should he be worried?
The footsteps were getting louder and louder. All else went silent. The cold, terrifying silence, the kind that rings is one’s ears but makes them too scared to move, broken only by footsteps. They finally stopped right outside the door, as it swung open and she came in.
*It is the area just below your chest but not quite the stomach. A sweet spot if you ever need to punch someone. Take notes, kids!
“Hello children,” head instructor declared “we have an important announcement to make.”
Head Instructor paused and smiled at them. “We have carefully observed you over the years. But unfortunately, you cannot stay at the academy any longer,” everyone gasped. What did she mean by this?
“You mean, outside the academy?” Emma asked. None of them had ever been outside. Head Instructor adjusted her glasses “You will all be transferred to new schools and provided with shelter and food. Questions?” James bit his lip and raised his quivering hand.
“Wh-when will-” he blurted out.
“Tomorrow after the morning meal, now, everyone follow me!” Head Instructor commanded and watched them as everyone slowly emptied the recreation hall. The Instructor led the class through halls, rooms, and doors that no one has seen before. Miriam and Ethan have lived there for fourteen years. Being naturally curious children, they off countless times to ‘explore’ (preferably after reasonable hours). But what was there to see? Most of the academy consisted of plain, white offices, classrooms or occasional sleeping rooms (The occupants of which conveniently forgot to shut the door). Which they always happened to be kicked out of. In such a rude manner too. The person in the bedroom usually, grasped the two by the collar and yelled for several good minutes about calling the head instructor right this very instant.
“Where do you think we are and why don’t we know this place?” Miriam whispered out of the corner of her mouth, just loud enough for Ethan to catch it as they walked through a strange hall neither one of them had seen before. The hall was long and narrow with a high ceiling. The walls here were white, just like every other hallway, room or any space in the academy, but it was different. More… yellow. The walls weren’t bare or covered with countless doors marked as bedrooms. They were covered with pictures, some in color, some only black, and white.
“A-according to my calculation, we should be out of the building,” Ethan murmured back “we must be underground or… or just somewhere we never managed to locate before”
“Hm, that is a quite correct assumption, Ethan,” a loud voice interrupted from behind making the pair jump. Professor Meyer towered behind them. The tall man looked at them with his warm brown eyes over the thick lenses of his glasses. “We are underground. These passages are always locked securely, so securely even smarties like you couldn’t find them. Move along now, don’t fall .”
“But Professor Meyer,” Miriam stopped him “Where are we going?”
“I can’t tell you” he declined and pushed his glasses up further up his nose.
“MOVE ALONG NOW!” barked the head instructor and pulled the two by their upper arms. And if you, dear reader, have ever been pulled by upper arms to somewhere you were not very sure about going, I’m sure you are aware that it is quite an unpleasant experience. It was painful and unpleasant, but Miriam gritted her teeth and held her tongue. This would be an easy way out because getting into an argument or complaining to Head Instructor would not be a very smart decision. So, she continued to drag Miriam and Ethan through the hall with her microscopic, yet flashing steps. While Miriam was trapped in the sharp, claw nails of Head Instructor, something caught her eye. That particular something had been a particular picture. That particular picture had been a photograph. A photograph of a street. Miriam herself had never been in one. Thus, her idea of a street happened to be quite too vague. But that particular photo caught her eye, because of the filthiness of the street.
The street’s mud shone in the moonlight, and the puddles glowed an unhealthy grey. The once beautiful houses have decomposed to rectangles with black holes for windows, in the depths of which lay darkness. Complete lifeless darkness. The kind that is full of despair, like in the eyes of those who died a horrible, painful death in the hands of their mortal enemy. The street was buried in a grave of trash and broken bottles. In the corner, lay something very small and very dead. Miriam shivered at the sight. An enormous crow crouched over some garbage in the corner. How could anyone let that happen? Making such a mess and not cleaning up? It made no sense. The image stuck to her. It craved itself into her mind forever. She Twisted her neck to grasp some more of the hypnotizing image before she was interrupted by the stern voice of the Head Instructor.
“Don’t get distracted, don’t fall behind, no time to spare” she pulled Miriam and Ethan down the hall. Meanwhile, Ethan had been looking at her with concern. Her eyes widened and her mind wandered off. He tried to follow her gaze but they moved fast and he lost his track as she looked away. Sophia and Emily trailed off behind the group in an engaged conversation and caused the Head Instructor to switch her unwanted attention to them.
“Sophia! Emily!” she called “Hurry along!” Miriam seized the opportunity to slip away to the middle of the group. They remained silent for the rest of the way. Miriam’s gaze went off to a non-existent, distant world. This worried Ethan. He had never seen her like this. Except for that one time. But that was so long ago. She disappeared into herself when something really bothered her. Ethan decided to ask her later in a more private place, where they wouldn’t get in trouble for it.