Lighter Fluid | scene one - sparks - year eleven
scene one - sparks - year eleven
“I can’t believe you got caught again, Jey—you’ve been doing this for five years and you still can’t keep out of Miss Denn’s way.”
Huffing their discontent, a scrawny teenager, drowning in a royal blue blazer at least two sizes too big for them, messed with the knot in their tie with pale fingers, as a slight buzzing in their veins alerted them to their legs beginning to fall asleep.
Around them, their group of high school friends chuckled at the statement, made by one of the taller kids stood around the small area which they occupied. It would’ve been sensible for them to pick a part of the Yard with benches, or maybe some sort of protection from the elements, but none of them could be truthfully described as sensible, and so they were huddled around the back of the Arts building, watched over by the few teachers residing in the classrooms which surrounded their area. For them, it was home—or close enough.
“Isn’t my fault; she’s got eyes like a cat. Always watching, like Kiss.” They responded, after a moment of quiet deliberation, their voice quivering a little with the rising icy wind, which liked to bite at their exposed ear tips and ankles. “Has anyone seen Kiss today?”
“He don’t come out when it’s cold, you know that.” A smaller kid chided Jey, their eyes sweeping the surrounding rooftops even as they spoke. “Doesn’t like it.”
“And anyway, what happened with Denn?” The first returned to his questioning, fixing two eyes on Jey, whose gaze found the concrete flagstones and remained there. “No way she let you off that easily, not for cigs.”
“She didn’t find cigs.” Their voice was quiet, too quiet: it made the small group strain to hear them, since the words seemed to hold so much importance in their tiny world of schoolyard politics and high school romances. “Not today.”
“What did she find, then?” Again, the first picked up the questioning, just as the wind began to snap at them again, seeping into their area of the Yard despite their weak but foully-worded protests. “Go on, Jey. You can tell us.”
“Can I?” The question was hollow, like the eyes which asked it—deeper and emptier than any ancient well or canyon. Scarily hollow, like the eye sockets of a skeleton’s skull, or the shadows haunting malnourished cheeks.
It remained unanswered, because all the gathered people knew they didn’t have to answer. They knew the vacant look, and they knew the reserved tone of voice. It was impossible not to, when you spent enough time with them. You came to know their mannerisms and voice inflections, and all types of things which hinted to their mood, if you scraped deep enough.
If you scraped deep enough, you could find anything.