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Obscurities



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Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:52 pm
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saentiel says...



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The first odd thing about the letter was that it was addressed to you rather than your parents. Your suspicion only became heightened when you learned that the tuition for the prestigious private school you had been invited to attend was completely free. But it was the school's doctrine, printed in a whimsical font at the very bottom of the page, that made fear grip your heart.

“We let others see our obscurities, and then we deal with them. That is how we can succeed.”

You knew that going to the school was a death sentence, but your parents didn't care. They just wanted you to get into a good college, and an opportunity to do exactly that had just been handed to you on a silver platter. So you packed up your bags and made your way to the stop where the school's bus would pick you up. You would defy them because they are some secrets that are meant to stay as secrets.

Because, sometimes, your shadow hesitates a moment before copying your actions. Because, sometimes, your shadow has never looked quite right. Because, sometimes, your only friend is the constant companion you never asked for. Because, sometimes, your shadow is the one who trips the bullies and offers consoling words on dark nights when no one else ever has.

And you would never let Heathermont Academy take that away from you.

But, though you don't know it, your true enemy is something much more sinister and deadly...
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Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:34 pm
saentiel says...



Character Templates


Please delete anything in the parentheses! That information is there to help you create your character(s). Also, though it isn't included in the templates, please think about the flaws of each character you create.

Obscurity Template

Code: Select all
[b]Name:[/b]
[b]Age:[/b]
[b]Gender:[/b]
[b]Host:[/b]
[b]Up for Romance:[/b] (If they are, please include what their sexuality is!)
[b]Backstory:[/b] (Please include how their host discovered them!)
[b]Other:[/b]


Host Template

Code: Select all
[b]Name:[/b]
[b]Age:[/b] (Please include what grade they are in!)
[b]Gender:[/b]
[b]Obscurity:[/b]
[b]Appearance:[/b]
[b]Up for Romance:[/b] (If they are, please include what their sexuality is!)
[b]Backstory:[/b] (Please include how they discovered their obscurity!)
[b]Last Resort:[/b] (Not all hosts have these, but please include which one your host has if they do! You can be as brief or as descriptive as you want, and they can literally be anything.)
[b]Other:[/b]
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Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:39 pm
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saentiel says...



Catherine Wright
╢Freshman╟


One hand grasped the letter that had sealed her fate, while the other was free as she stared dismally at the backpack on her bed. Her clothes had already been brought to the school that would become her prison for the next four years; this was all that remained of the life that had once been.

The hand that grasped her free one tightly was her own yet also different, and its owner gave her actual hand a gentle squeeze. She looked over at her only and best friend, tears springing to her eyes as she threw her arms around him. “I don't want to go, Will,” she said. This wasn't a new feeling. She had been telling him this ever since she had gotten the letter from Heathermont Academy.

“I know, Rin” he replied, returning the embrace. “But we can get through this. I'm sure that we can.” Though his face was completely made out of darkness, she knew that he was trying to give her a reassuring smile. It wasn't like he could actually give her one, and it wasn't like she could see it. But she always got a feeling when he was doing something like that. It was an incessant tugging at her heart that made warmth spread throughout.

She heard her dad unlock the door to the front of the house.

“Rin!” he yelled. “It's time to go!”

She took a step back from Will and wiped her tears away. In turn, he returned to being a seemingly normal shadow. She walked over to her bed, slipping on her backpack and heading towards the front door.

✧ ✧ ✧

As she watched her dad's car drive away, she felt completely hopeless. Her one opportunity to return back to the life of freedom that she loved was gone, and the next chance she would get to go home would be the short Thanksgiving break in November. She didn't think she would be able to survive that long. Even though she had a constant companion by her side, she knew that she was sharing a dorm room with another freshman named Amber Hamilton; she had seen the four-bed dorms on the tour the week before and knew the name of her roommate from the newest letter she had received from the school.

The sight of the building still filled her with dread.

She took a deep breath. She tightened her backpack's straps. She briefly tried to make her hair look neater, realizing how futile her attempts were moments later. Then she began the surprisingly long walk to the auditorium that was holding the orientation. The campus seemed quiet and almost completely deserted. The only other people walking around were parents, freshman like herself and faculty. She didn't see a single upperclassman.

What she did see was a girl whose backpack was open, and that a 3DS had fallen out of it. The other freshman was too busy reading a book to notice. Rin rushed to grab it for the girl, though she wasn't sure how she was going to muster up the courage to talk to her. For a brief second, she swore that she had seen her shadow reach a hand out to grab the DS. But when she blinked, the shadow was back in its original position.

I have to be imagining things, she tried to tell herself, but she desperately wished that she wasn't.

She grabbed the 3DS. “Um, hello!” she nervously called out. When the girl ignored her, she added, “You dropped something!”

The girl finally looked up from her book.

✧ ✧ ✧

She was delighted to learn that the girl was actually her roommate, and after realizing that the two of them both loved books, they decided to sit together at the orientation. And that was exactly what they were doing now, though Amber still had her head in a book.

Though the auditorium, like the rest of the school, was equipped with air conditioning, sweat was beading Rin's forehead. She was anxious for the entire day to be over. Then she could confront Amber about her shadow, and let her meet Will. She was sure that she would love Will just as much as she did; Will was one of the kindest people she had ever known.

The auditorium fell dark, save for the dim lighting of the stage. The nervous chatter that had filled the room was silenced as everyone sat in nervous anticipation of what was going to happen. Will, taking advantage of how dark their seating area had become, took on a solid form and peeked over the back of her seat at the stage. It was a risky move, but there was no one in the rows behind them. She could feel his hands pushing up against her own.

Then she heard someone open up a backpack very nearby and pull an object out of it. As a bit of light filled the area behind her, she realized that someone must have grabbed Amber's 3DS. When she glanced behind her, all that she saw was Will watching the area behind Amber's seat.

Shrugging it off as her imagination, she turned back to see the stage.

“Rin,” Will hissed as quietly as he could into her ear. “I-I'm not alone back here.” His voice was tense and a little bit terrified, his grip on her seat tightening as she looked back behind Amber's seat. This time she looked right behind the seat instead of at the seat behind it.

There was shadow playing Amber's 3DS, far too focused on the console in their hands to notice that they had been discovered. And that shadow looked suspiciously like the girl sitting beside Rin.

But before either of the two could confront Amber or the shadow, someone came onto the stage. Startled cries filled the auditorium as the person came into the light centered on the podium. Rin whipped her head around to see them, and Amber abruptly put her book down. Rin's heart skipped a beat when she realized that she was looking at another shadow.

And she recognized the shape of this shadow as well.

It belonged to the principal, Ms. Ortiz.

The principal appeared on the stage moments later, her sneakers squeaking on the pristine floor as she made her way across to where the shadow was. “Hello, incoming freshmen,” she warmly said into the microphone.

There was a tense silence.

“My name is Ms. Ortiz, as many of you know. And this wonderful person behind me is my shadow – also known as an obscurity. Their name is Erika with a 'k'.”

“It's a pleasure to meet you all,” Erika also said, just as warmly as their host. The nervous chatter from before had returned, but this time it was accompanied by a confusion that hadn't been there prior to the start of the orientation. “Don't worry. Everyone here at this school, both students and staff, have obscurities like me. If you're an obscurity, don't be afraid to come on out.”

After a moment of hesitation, seemingly normal shadows began to take on solid forms throughout the auditorium. Will stood up a little taller, while the obscurity behind Amber's seat was content in continuing to play the game on the 3DS. “There's more people like me?” Will managed to get out, most likely shocked that he wasn't the only sentient shadow.

“That's the reason you have four beds in your dorms,” Ms. Ortiz explained. “Each host gets one, as well as each obscurity.”

Will, who had been used to laying on Rin's floor, was positively beaming as the orientation continued on. Neither one had expected that this was what the letter meant; it seemed like this school was a safe place for anyone with obscurities.

Though she had been dreading the start of the school year only an hour before, by the time orientation finished, Rin was now excited for school to truly kick off.
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Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:27 pm
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EldritchArchivist says...



AMBER HAMILTON / EOWYN


Amber swallowed nervously, pulling her suitcase towards the car. She didn’t want to go. Gods knew that she would rather throw herself under said car than have to go through getting used to a brand new school and brand new teachers and brand new people – primary school was stressful enough, thank you very much.

Her dad didn’t even spare her a glance after she put the suitcase and schoolbag into the trunk and sat on the front seat beside him. Her mom was at work, so it seemed that it was only her and him…

“It’ll be sweet, you’ll see.” A comforting whisper reached her ears. Amber tried to smile, glancing at her dad to see if he heard. He didn’t. “You’ve beaten Dark Souls, girl. You can take on anything.”

“Thanks, Eowyn.” She whispered back. Slightly louder, she said. “Do I really have to go there, though?”

Her dad nodded, muttering something about the importance of a decent education. However, Amber thought that he and mom were probably relieved that she’ll be gone. She wondered if they’ll tell the difference, aside from one less dinner plate on the table.

“How long do we have to drive for?” She should’ve brought a book. Unfortunately, the majority of her precious collection was back in her old room, but her mom promised her that they’ll mail them to her. Eowyn was a bit sceptical about that, saying that they won’t bother, but Amber was determined to call every weekend and remind them to do it. In the worst case, they’ll mail them just to make her shut up.

Eowyn seemed to share her thoughts, because she kept wishing that she packed “Pokémon X” or more of her (officially Amber’s but she played them more) numerous Legend of Zelda games. The 3DS was, too, in the schoolbag, along with Amber’s book “The Resurrectionist”* by E.D. Hudspeth.

(*Author’s note: I freaking love this book. Please look it up.)

Eventually, many rounds of “I Spy” later, they stopped in front of the main campus. Her dad got out of the car and helped her with the bag and the suitcase, saying a simple “See you at Thanksgiving” instead of a goodbye before driving off. So much for hugs and kisses.

Amber shrugged, more or less used to the lack of affection, and bent down to open her backpack and pull out her book. She opened it with relief and shrugged the backpack on, forgetting to close it. The letter was hidden in the book’s sleeve for safekeeping, so she decided that keeping the book out would be handier than having to awkwardly dig through her backpack in front of someone. Plus, she could read. She started towards the main building, offhandedly noticing the architecture and types of trees planted along the path. She was supposed to go to the auditorium for the orientation, so she picked up one of the maps laid out for freshmen and began the surprisingly long journey. Then again, more walking meant more reading.

The crowd freaked her out. Parents, staff, freshmen… Too many. Too loud. She quickened her pace, hoping that the auditorium will be quieter. While doing so, however, Amber tripped, almost falling forward on her face, but quickly regained balance. After ensuring that nobody had noticed, she hurried along, unaware that her/Eowyn’s 3DS had fallen out.

***

Eowyn, however, noticed. Oh no. Nononononononononnonnononono!!!!!! Not her precious, beautiful, dearest, most treasured, beloved, worshipped, adored 3DS! She desperately tried to reach it but a) it was too far by now because Amber could walk FAST, and b) there were people around and she didn’t want to be exposed. She spotted a girl walking towards her and retreated to her original position, already making plans to retrieve her preciousssssss, no matter what it took.

“Um, hello!” The girl picked up the DS and ran up to them. Eowyn decided that she liked her already.

Amber buried her head deeper into the book. Oh no, she thought frantically, somebody noticed. Now she’s gonna ask if I’m alright or maybe even laugh at me or…

“You dropped something!”

She stopped, reluctantly retreating from her world of questionable medical practices.
“Um.” She began, turning around. The girl was roughly her age, with short ginger hair and bright blue eyes. She wore relatively casual clothing, so Amber doubted that she was one of the ‘popular girls’. She seemed nice enough, though. “Hi?”

“You dropped something.” The girl repeated, handing over Eowyn’s 3DS. “Your backpack is open and this fell out.”

HER WHAT IS WHAT?!

She quickly took the thing off. Indeed, it was unzipped. Stupid stupid stupid! She zipped it up quickly.
“Thanks.” she said, straightening up. “And you are…?”

***

Tha girl was called Catherine Wright (although she remarked that Amber could call her Rin) and, to Amber’s surprise, her new roommate. She was also, to her delight, an avid bookworm, so Amber actually knew what to talk about for once. However, the conversation died quickly as they neared the auditorium, which buzzed with chatter of many voices. Other kids.

Fellow human beings, Amber thought with dread and a bit of annoyance. Not again. She buried her head in “The Resurrectionist” again as they entered. She and Rin sat together, partly due to lack of free seats and partly because Amber literally didn’t know anyone else.

The lights dimmed just as she was getting to a good part, so she shut the book down with a huff and looked towards the front of the auditorium. Everyone stopped talking, though, so that was good.

***

While Amber was preoccupied, Eowyn reached eagerly towards the backpack. As quietly as she could, she unzipped and pulled out her preciousssssssss. She caressed it lovingly, checking for cracks or scratches. Oh, poor thing. It fell down right on cold, hard floor of some weird school she and Amber will be stuck in for the next several years.
“Bad, ugly floor.” She cooed, kissing the love of her life. “Did it hurt you, precious? Oh, I hope not. I don’t know what I’ll do without you, my poor little wonderful thing.” She opened it and turned it on. The screen wasn’t cracked and lit up instantly. She breathed a sigh of relief, pressing “Pokémon: Omega Ruby” to see if it would play properly.

Then someone cleared their throat.

Eowyn turned towards the noise rapidly, shutting down the DS in case its light gave her away.

She was looking at another shadow.

And they were looking at her.

“Rin…” they hissed. “I-I’m not alone back here.”

OH SHIT.

She hissed back at him, gesticulating frantically to shut them the hell up.
“You saw nothing.” She whispered, retreating to Amber’s side. “If you say another word I will find you and make you write out the entire dictionary backwards.”

***

With that, the orientation began.

A short, Hispanic-looking woman entered the stage, smiling warmly.
“Hello, incoming freshmen.” She greeted the auditorium, and Amber thought that she reminded her of her grandma. “My name is Ms. Ortiz, as many of you know. And this wonderful person behind me is my shadow – also known as an obscurity. Their name is Erika with a 'k'.”

Both Amber and Eowyn (who peeked out from behind her seat) felt their jaws drop. Her what exactly?
‘That explains the other loser.’ Thought Eowyn, glancing in the space where the intruder was.
‘WAIT SO I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WITH A TALKING SHADOW?!' Thought Amber, looking around at the other kids who, luckily, looked similarly perplexed.

“It's a pleasure to meet you all,” Ms. Ortiz’s shadow said, making the whole auditorium rustle with whispers and chatter. Amber glanced at Rin, but couldn’t make out her expression in the darkness.

Ms Ortiz raised her hands, smiling good-naturedly. “Don't worry.” She said. “Everyone here at this school, both students and staff, have obscurities like me. If you're an obscurity, don't be afraid to come on out.”

Eowyn looked around, frowning. Yeah, as if she would come out willin…
There were other shadows everywhere. Slowly and hesitantly, they rose up and took solid forms. She did so, too, realizing that the light of the 3DS probably gave her away already. Oh, that reminded her that she didn’t turn it off. Pokémon time, she decided, making herself comfortable on the floor and pointedly ignoring Rin’s shadow, who stuttered out something about himself not being the only one.

Then Miss Orteez or however it was spelled (Eowyn didn’t care) went to explain something about four beds and blah blah blah. Amber will probably clue her in later. Now she had a gym to obliterate.

***

Amber listened to the rest of the orientation with more interest than ever. That meant that she and Eowyn will get separate beds! Great, because her shadow (or obscurity, as Ms. Ortiz called them) had an annoying tendency of playing on the DS until ungodly hours, and the light from the screen always made it difficult for her to sleep.

After everything was over, the auditorium began to clear out, this time with two times more chatter because it seemed that the shadows wanted to yell in surprise too. Eowyn, meanwhile, was kicking Flannery’s team’s asses. Knowing her, she was too busy Pokémoning to pay actual attention to the things the principal and her obscurity were saying. Oh well.

“So.” She said to Rin, who almost jumped in surprise when she heard her voice. “What now?”

This school year was going to be interesting.
  





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Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:39 pm
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CoffeeCat says...



Image


What a great, big joke.

Zen sat at the very back row of the dark auditorium, arms folded and posture slouched low on the folding chair. He felt like an idiot among the dominating freshmen, but he was just as new to Heathermont Academy as they were. So far, the only promising aspects of his school transfer were a) nobody knew about his home story here, and b) he could avoid said home story until Thanksgiving. The rest was about as invigorating as watching grass grow.

He hated this time the most: the awkward small talk before the orientation. He had better things to do than to wait around and pretend to care about the people near him. And of course, situations like the present were encouraging for a certain obnoxious shadow eager to revel in a bonding experience.

As if on cue, Ultiey nudged Zen’s upper arm with all-too-chummy expression. “Isn’t this exciting,” he muttered, his semi-solid form brimming with hyperactive anticipation. It was almost laughable watching Zen’s shadow companion attempt both enthusiasm and discreetness at once. How had he not imploded from the confliction by now?

“Absolutely,” Zen droned, his voice soaked in sarcasm. About the only excitement Zen could muster was the satisfying guarantee of making his roommate’s life a living hell.

Ultiey deflected Zen’s unsubtle hints with the armor of deluded friendship. “This will be perfect for us!” he shout-whispered. “A new school! A fresh start! No more brawls during lunch breaks, or classmates avoiding you like the plague. As long as you don’t cause any trouble and remain open to…”

Zen lost interest in his shadow’s rambling, instead glancing around the area before zoning out on the ripped holes of his jeans. Could the principal or whatever hurry up and begin the damn introductory announcement?

The longer strands of his dark brown hair fell into his vision as he waited. The sea of chatter echoed and amplified around him in the vast, high-ceilinged room.

Part of him wanted to scream.

Ultiey’s voice drifted in and out among the noise: “… like that one time you got suspended for stealing the answer sheet for that math test, or that other time when you swore at that teacher because they singled you out in…” A few minutes later: “… What do you think the rest of the school will be like? Boarding schools are kind of mysterious, don’t you think? Do you reckon they’ll be strict here, or will it be more like indoor camping? Like that one time on that class camping trip when you were playing with matches to show off and almost set fire to on of the tents? That was so funny, except afterwards when that other kid—”

“Ultiey, sit,” Zen commanded. “Stay… Good dog.”

Ultiey frowned. “Not funny.”

Zen brandished a smirk. “Hey, I never asked for your existence, did I?” he said, careful not to be too loud. Most of the seats in the back row were empty, but a freckled, blonde-haired girl sat five seats to his left. She looked almost as gaunt as he did, with two different coloured eyes. What a weirdo, Zen thought, but was quickly reminded that his sentient shadow communicated with him on a regular basis—the hypocrisy was too real.

Finally, a figure strolled across the stage at the front, arriving at the lit podium. Zen was too far away to identify the person's features, but the woman soon introduced herself as Ms. Ortiz, the school principal; at least she wasn't some archaic dinosaur. He flinched when she addressed the entire crowd as freshmen. Of coarse they were the overruling majority, but did she have to be so inconsiderate? Now that he thought about it... he hadn't seen many older students gathering in the auditorium.

In a jolt of dread, he wondered if he was in the wrong place. Were the new transfers meant to be at another orientation? It's not exactly like he'd read every paragraph of the admittance letter he'd received.

Zen looked over his shoulder towards the back wall, debating his chance of a stealthy retreat. It was during this stressful search that something—or rather, someone—caught his eye: a tall, suspicious-looking man stood by the side exit, several metres behind Zen. At first assumption the man appeared to be a teacher, however the two way radio raised to his mouth broke this innocent association. Zen strained his ears to hear the man speak:

"... Copy that. Obscurities will solidify soon. Prepare for a satellite scan analysis. Most suitable targets will be revealed. Over."

Obscurities? What was this guy on about? More importantly, was he with the police? Zen's parents were notorious for their habitual lawbreaking, and prison was essentially their second residence, so this wouldn't be the first time Zen had been followed by the law enforcement agency. Even so, everything about this man seemed... off, somehow. The way he talked into the radio sounded a lot more official than a policeman. Zen's mother had been behind bars for the last two months, and would remain there for two more. But his father...

Oh God. No. The FBI?

Don't tell me the old man went and killed someone, thought Zen, finding a new sense of dread.

The prod of a shady finger on his hollow cheek caused Zen to face forwards again. "What?" Zen snapped at Ultiey, who startled at his unfair sharpness.

"Aren't you seeing this?" breathed the shadow, gesturing frantically at the rows before them.

"Jeez, I'm kinda busy right—" Zen nearly toppled out of his chair.

All around them were physical shadows, more or less identical to Ultiey. It was almost terrifying, seeing so many in one place. After only knowing Ultiey up until this point, to say the scene was overwhelming was a complete understatement. The blonde girl to their left had a scary, female shadow. So similar, yet so diverse.

"But—? What—? How—?" was all Zen could articulate.

"Were you even listening at all?" demanded Ultiey, taking a fully solid form as he perched in the seat beside Zen. "The principal lady said everyone in this school has a shadow like me. I think she called us... absurdities? No wait, it was more like obscurities."

At that last word, Zen spun back around to the side door to view the suspicious man again. The expression on the man's average features had shifted into something unsettling and untamed, of which could only be described as...

Hunger.

No FBI agent would make that expression, nor any policeman. Who the hell was this guy? The back corners of the auditorium were gloomy, yet not enough for the man not to notice Zen staring at him. A moment after turning to assess him, the man's citrine eyes locked onto Zen's storm-coloured ones. Zen was paralysed, as if trapped under the trance of a snake's predatory gaze.

"Sæll. You there. Tough boy with the jittery shadow." A rough, female voice came from the direction of the freckled, blonde girl—although it was her shadow that had alerted his attention. "Didn't your parents ever tell you that it's rude to stare?" the girl's shadow asked, cocking her lightless head towards the man by the side door.

By this point, all of Zen's usual social filters had crumbled. "Hah," he began. "My parents told me to stare until someone dared to stare back, and then to beat that sorry person to a pulp."

Before Zen could register what atrocities had fallen out of his mouth, the woman shadow gawked and nudged the blonde girl next to her vigorously. "Daisy, Daisy." The girl named Daisy, who had since appeared inanimate, focused over at Zen and Ultiey with an unfazed demeanour. "Daisy, I like this boy," said the woman shadow, notably excited. "You should learn a trick from him."

"Zen!" exclaimed Ultiey, at the other end of the reaction spectrum. "I warned you not to tarnish your clean slate, remember? It hasn't even been a full day yet! Are you even trying to improve your reputation?"

Zen contemplated how long it would take for him to relocate his suitcase and get the hell out of this school. But then he considered what inevitable outcome that would include—home, and he simmered that plan of action right away.

The orientation, of which Zen had absorbed very little of, concluded with optimistic wishes to all the new students and the first directive of events: visit individual dorms and meet roommates.

As the young, nervous mass of newcomers stood up to disperse, Zen glanced behind him one last time towards the side exit, checking for the suspicious man. But there was nothing but shadows.
If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.
-- René Descartes
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jimss23 says...



Malcolm and Tomoe


I looked up from organizing my papers to see Tomoe staring at me, slouched up against a book shelf with her arms crossed. She was tapping her foot impatiently, her hands clenching in irritation.

“What is it?” I ask, returning to my work, shifting various lesson plans and assignments around into more organized piles on my desk.

How many more years are you planning on staying at this school? Tomoe growled. Ever since she taught me how to speak it, Tomoe has only ever spoken ancient Japanese. I sometimes envied the other hosts, able to speak easily and I must translate everything in my head. Still, it let us communicate without most people being able to understand what we are saying.

“At three or four, depending on how my health holds up. Why? Desperate to get away from this place?”

I tire of watching these pups fumble around with their gifts. We have a greater calling than to teach infants how to behave.

“We? Or you? I like it here Tomoe. We have this conversation every year. I’m staying put. Besides, you always end up liking the kids anyway. I daresay you might enjoy teaching as much as I,” I replied. Tomoe was always grouchy when a new year started.

I do the best with what I forced to deal with. Tomoe said, indignantly. I smiled. She may not admit it, but Tomoe did enjoy sharing her knowledge.

“Of course, you do. Now let’s get going. We have to go to that orientation thing.” I stood up and threw my jacket on before making my way down to the auditorium. Tomoe groaned, but she followed me. The auditorium wasn’t a long walk from my room. The room was already dark, and I snuck in the back to join some of my fellow teachers. Tomoe stood next to me, her arm resting on my shoulder. Tomoe was a little bit taller than me, fitting for a warrior woman.

I want to see their faces when they discover they all have obscurities.

“Ugh,” I groaned. “But keep a low profile, or you will ruin it.”

Really? I had no idea.

Tomoe moved forward a little to a dark corner where she could get a better view. I shook my head. She got way too much enjoyment out of this. Every year there was that moment the new students realized that they were not the only ones in the world with a shadow for a companion. It was always an interesting view.

I looked over to see many of my fellow teachers attending the orientation. There were a few new faces, but for the most part, it was the people I had known for the last 20 years. Ms. Carlson waved at me when I looked her way. I had mentored her when she came here. We had grown close over the years; It was good to see her return this year after the accident she had last year.

Principal Ortiz had just finished her introductions when all the obscurities materialized at once. I could almost make out the smile on Tomoe’s face as she watched. She gets way too much enjoyment out of this. The kids began to interact freely now, and the obscurities were greeting one another in their little ways. Tomoe walked back over to me from her little perch and rested her arm on my shoulder again.

Ah, that was fun. Pity, it only happens once a year. By the way, there is some creepy looking guy in the corner. Talking on a radio and staring at the kids. Tomoe informed me, deadpan.

“There are always visitors of one kind or the other when people first get here. Better not bother him,” I sighed. Mrs. Ortiz was always having people from all over come to the school for God knows what reason. He must have been one of those. Maybe he is something else? Eh, not my problem.

I left after the introduction. I never like attending those things. Reminded me way too much of the debriefings I used to have to go to. I mostly go to let Tomoe entertain herself. Usually, makes her irritability go away too.

So…you still teaching Learning Obscurities 101 this year?

I let out a long sigh and shook my head. “Yes. So, there will be plenty of new faces for you to intimidate or whatever you want to do.” Tomoe was not cut out for teaching. She just kind of barked instructions at the students. I like to think we have a good cop, bad cop thing going but who knows if it comes off that way. I’ve never asked.

What kind of characters do you think we will get this year? The social outcasts? The extroverts? The bullies? Maybe a Dobe or two? Tomoe inquired. She sounded uninterested, but I knew her better.

“You almost sound excited,” I laughed.

I do not.


I couldn’t stop from chuckling. “Yes, you do. You always try to hide it when you are.”

Lies.


“Ok my dear, whatever you say,” I said, finishing off my amusement.

This year will be good, I can feel it. Something about this class just felt different. More, special maybe? I don’t know exactly. It’s not easy to describe, a combination of anticipation and contentment is the best way to word it. Whatever the case may be, I knew I had some special students coming in. This was going to be a good year.
This is the Rule of Three
Every writer's most sacred oath
Two boys to challenge each other
One girl to challenge them both

-Jim
  





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Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:03 am
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Kelpies says...



Daisy & Brynhilda


I wasn't crazy.

By god, I wasn't crazy. I had a talking shadow, and I wasn't crazy. I was so relieved that I almost cried. I wasn't crazy, and I wasn't alone.

Then Brynhilda had to go and spoil my good mood. OF COURSE PEOPLE WERE GOING TO STARE AT US- WHEN ARE THEY NOT STARING AT THE CRAZY CHICK AND HER MALICIOUS SHADOW? His response only made things worse. As Brynhilda told me to take a page out of his book, I said nothing. What was I supposed to say that hadn't already been said? If I told her to leave me alone, she'd laugh. If I told her to go away, she'd say that she would if she could. So, I pretended to ignore everything. I pretended not to care. On the inside, I was thoroughly insulting him. Oh, [i]you'd beat me into a pulp? Just try it punk.[/i]

I sighed. He probably could beat me into a pulp anyway. Who cared? Besides Brynhilda. She just wanted me to fight somebody, and preferably die trying. I couldn't wait for the orientation to be over, I just wanted to curl up in a ball and pointedly ignore my obscurity in favor of my most recent favorite book. I didn't care about the four beds- knowing her she'd drag me out of bed by the hair no matter how many beds there were. As soon as I possibly could I left the room, anxious to be doing something. Anything, but sit still and watch someone talk.

"You're a coward. You should have challenged him." Muttered Byrnhilda- making no attempt to hide her existence.

"If you liked him so much, why didn't you marry him?" I retorted, for lack of a better insult. I just wanted her to stop talking to me.

She wagged her finger at me. "tsk tsk Daisy. Words mean nothing, only actions do. Lash out with your fists for once in your pitiful life."

"Fists are for people with nothing between their ears." I muttered, pulling out a schedule to figure out where I needed to go next.

"If you had something between your ears you'd stand up for yourself." She responded. I ignored her and continued walking towards my new room to set up what I'd brought. I also needed to know who I was sharing a room with, and if they'd be on Brynhilda's side or mine. It took me roughly five minutes of searching the halls for me to become incredibly lost (Which made my obscurity laugh like a madwoman). I sighed- with Brynhilda unafraid to speak her mind, this was going to be a long year.

After over an hour of wandering the halls, I found my room. I unpacked slightly hap-hazardly, knowing that I was never going to organize things better, and that if I did they'd be ruined before I could say 'I have organizational skills.' I was about to shove the last of my luggage under the bed, when I found a book under there. Mysterious book under the bed? Of course you have to read it. It's like having a big red button in the middle of the room.

So, I began reading about obscurities. It was basically a textbook- probably left by accident, but only one question was left in my mind.

What was a last resort?
We are who we are, and if someone has a problem with that; that's their problem not ours.
***
I do believe that insane is the only way to go.
  








You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.
— Anne Lamott