The Wish

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: House of Ghosts

Chapter 1 (v.1) - An Unlikely Duo

Submitted: August 12, 2016

Reads: 550

Comments: 2

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Submitted: August 12, 2016

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“Bianca, the principal will see you now.”

Bianca stood slowly wincing as her sweaty skin peeled up from the small plastic chair. The receptionist watched her disapprovingly over her spectacles as she limped from the chair to the wooden door labeled Principal. She knocked once with her bandaged hand.

“Come in.”

The voice on the other side was sharp and shrill. The dragon of Dale View High, Ms. Fayview-West and the bane of Bianca’s existence. The woman responsible for the uneven hierarchy in Dale View High and widely known for taking bribes from the wealthier parents to keep their perfect angels out of trouble.

The receptionist resumed her typing as Bianca twisted the door handle, no doubt informing deputy Roach that she’d need escorting from the building.

“Sit.”

Ms. Fayview-West pointed a hot pink nail to an identical plastic chair. She dropped Bianca’s file on the desk with a slap and curled her lip with disgust. Ms. Fayview-West was a woman with both feet still in the eighties. She had bottle dyed blonde hair permed and curled into what resembled a bird’s nest. She wore a pale hot pink business suit and matching pumps. A sixty-year-old woman stuck with a legally blonde obsession.

Bianca slumped in the seat her silver bangles clanking as she crossed her legs. She uncrossed them when she realized that her jeans exposed the chilly air to her ankles.

Ms. Fayview-West surveyed Bianca’s worn jeans, ripped black shirt, and brown shoes. She didn’t need the student folder to tell her about Bianca’s financial status. Or that the girl enjoyed being a hero of sorts to the weaker students who attended her school. Once Bianca had been a student much like the young man she’d previously had in her office. Lazy, narcissistic, and entitled, three of her favorite words used to describe most of her students. Time and hardship had changed Bianca, oddly enough she found herself admiring the young woman.

“What’s the excuse, this time, Ms. Griffith?”

“Josh’s face needed rearranging,” Bianca chirped snidely. “We both know he deserved it and gets away with too much.”

 “While I might be inclined to agree with you, you’re toeing the line young lady; this is your third fight this month. As I warned you the last time if you continue to exhibit this behavior I’d be forced to expel you.”

“They stole Gretchen’s bag.”

Ms. Fayview-West sighed and rubbed her temples wearily, “On the slim chance I happened to believe your story, how is it that no one else in the school saw this?”

Bianca’s eyes slid from Ms. Fayview-West’s to the floor. There’s no hiding it from her, I’ll get expelled anyway. “I was behind the biology building smoking when I saw Gretchen coming up the sidewalk. They surrounded her and took her bag there and were in the process of pushing her out of her wheelchair when I stepped in.”

Bianca didn’t meet Ms. Fayview-West’s disapproving stare, “You were smoking?” Bianca nodded her hands bunching into fists, “yes.”

“Have you lost your mind!” Ms. Fayview-West stood abruptly and started pacing the floor her pink heels clicking with each step. “If your mother were here she’d…”

“Well, she’s not here!” Bianca stood her shoulders hunched as tears streamed down her face. She didn’t know why every adult felt the reason to remind her of that fact.

Ms. Fayview-West had never placed a hand on any of her students in her twenty years of working as a principal. Her policy had been to rule with an iron fist and to not show any sort of emotion or favoritism toward her students. She knew that there were those in her administration and student body who disagreed with her methods. So it was to both their surprise when she awkwardly patted Bianca’s shoulder in an attempt to calm her. Meanwhile, Bianca was beginning to pity Ms. Fayview-West’s miniature poodle, each pat felt as though the woman was trying to crush her.

“I’ll have to expel you. It’s either that or the Hargrove’s will press charges.”

Bianca stepped away from Ms. Fayview-West’s hovering hand, she wasn’t surprised at this. While the nurse had to bandage her bloody fists and ice her black eye Josh had suffered burns from her cigarette butt and a concussion from where she’d thrown him down the nearby bleachers. His friends would have suffered the same fate had they not turned tail and run at seeing what she’d done to Josh.

“I understand.”

“You’ll either have to attend at the boys and girls home or go to one of the private schools, either way, you cannot stay here at Dale View. I’ll mail you the paperwork and you’ll need a guardian signature.”

“My aunt works night shift so she may not be home to sign the paperwork.”

“We’ll see when the time comes.”

Bianca stood and walked out of the room without another word. Deputy Roach stood in the office his large girth mashed against the front desk as he flirted with the receptionist. She could smell the stench of weed radiating from his breath and his scalp showed in patches from hair loss. A crooked cop who doubles his pay by dealing drugs.

He leered up at Bianca’s taller figure, “Can’t you find jeans that cover your ankles girl?” Can’t you afford Rogaine? Bianca turned her back to him, the last time she’d argued back at him she’d ended up in handcuffs. She paused in the doorway not looking back, “I’m going to my locker.” She was down the hall before he could stop her.

Dale View High School was one of the many public schools in New York. Twenty years prior to Bianca’s attendance the superintendent had combined three of the states largest high schools into one to save money. What they didn’t plan on was having students like Josh Hargrove who viewed the school as his own personal kingdom. What also didn’t help was the amount of rich jerks who attended, they acted as though they were entitled to the world and didn’t hesitate to crush the life from the weaker students. And when students such as Bianca stepped in to teach them a lesson they had their parent’s paycheck to back them up.

A never ending cycle. Bianca trailed her fingers across the cool metal lockers. She’d always hated it here, even when she’d had both of her parents around and the support of their paycheck. Just like Josh, she smashed her fist into the locker closest to her. Except I wasn’t like him, even then I still stood up to his bullying. Even then I would have dropped him down those bleachers…she smiled fondly at the memory. Her parents would have probably been horrified by their daughter’s actions but Bianca found that she didn’t care anymore. In the last year, she’d grown from the perfect puppet to her own person, and to hell with the person who attempted to pull her strings.

“Bianca.” Gretchen wheeled herself up the hall toward Bianca.

“Hey, Gretchen you alright?”

While Gretchen may not have been best friends with Bianca she could still read through Bianca’s false bravado. “I’m fine, what about you? Don’t tell me the Dragon expelled you?”

Bianca walked toward her locker and fiddled with the dial, “Yea, doesn’t look like I’ll be able to help you with the chess club anymore.”

Gretchen snorted with laughter, “Seriously! You get expelled because of me and you're worried about the chess club? Come-on Griffith we all know you secretly hated it.” 

Bianca swung open her locker and gathered what few books she had inside. Edgar Allen Poe, Bronte, Dickinson, Tolkien, “I’m sorry I got you expelled.”

Bianca dropped her books into her messenger bag without glancing at any of the other covers. “Do me a favor Gretchen, don’t blame yourself it would have happened anyway. And besides think of it as me returning the favor, you taught me chess I beat up Josh.”

She slammed her locker and smiled in satisfaction at the echo. “Take care of yourself, Griffith.” Bianca nodded suddenly not trusting her voice as her throat thickened in unshed tears and sorrow. “I’ll see you around Gretchen.”

 

“Whenever wherever we’re meant to be together.”

Off-key Bianca belted out the lyrics to Shakira as she wandered the streets of her city. Deputy Roach had dropped her off at the end of her driveway three hours before with a warning that he didn’t want to see her out on the streets but that hadn’t stopped her from heading down two blocks to Delia’s Dinner. Sure it had taken her nearly an hour of dishwashing to earn her dinner which she now guarded fiercely from prying eyes. While most teenagers her age would have balked at the thought of working to earn their dinner Bianca found that she didn’t mind it. Not having money had given her a chance to discover herself and to learn about other’s lives.

“He bit me!”

Bianca frowned at the boy’s shrill screams coming from the alleyway adjacent to her. She ripped her earbuds from her ears and throwing caution to the wind she slowly inched down the dark alleyway to investigate the commotion. Six teenage boys in various states of prestigious academy uniforms stood in a circle swaying back and forth as though they were dancing to some unknown song she couldn’t hear.

I’ve heard of dance cults in New York but this is taking it a little too seriously. I

t was only when one of the boys lunged toward the center of the circle that Bianca realized that they weren’t dancing, but methodically circling a small black cat in the middle of them. Each boy was taking turns trying to beat it with a large stick and capture it to no doubt inflict more torture.

Bianca glanced down at her steaming manicotti, cold food or save the cat? Her internal debate didn’t last long when the cat spotted her. It froze as their eyes met her brown with its wide green ones.

“Geez now all I need is in the arms of an angel playing,” Bianca dropped her bag of food gingerly beside the overflowing dumpster. Well here goes nothing.

“Hey, Morons!”

The boy’s reactions weren’t exactly what she’d desired, only three turned around, and the others continued to try and capture the cat. Bianca visibly flinched at the leader of the boys. In the shadows, the boy hadn’t looked as large but as he stepped into the light she realized that he was an adult and wearing a teacher’s uniform. Her gaze dropped from his wide shoulders to the large metal pipe that he wielded in his hands.

“You lost little girl?”

“You look a little old to be abusing animals in alleyways. Don’t tell me this is how your students earn extra credit, old man?”

One of his dimwitted students snickered at her age jab until the older man shot him a look. “Why don’t you head on back home and learn not to stick your nose into other people’s business.”

Bianca grinned and stretched her arms, “See I’ve got a problem with authority and I happen to hate people who pick on the weak.”

“It’s just a cat, I mean it’s not like we’re beating up a girl.”

One of the older boys stepped forward, the street light exposing his pockmarked face and chunky cheeks. He had shaggy brown hair and wore his tie slung over his shoulder. A river of grease stains adorned his shirt and his pants sagged from his ample girth and lack of belt.

“I’ve always wanted to try beating up a girl,” he grabbed a second pipe that leaned against the alleyway. “I think today's my lucky day!”

His feet pounded the concrete heavily and he empesized his swing toward her head with a loud yell. Bianca ducked as the pipe whistled just inches from her face and crashed against the ground. The boy followed suit as Bianca planted her foot firmly against his backside. “Your face looks like it caught on fire and someone tried to put it out with a fork. And do yourself a favor, buy a belt!”

With the first boy knocked out cold on the ground Bianca turned to face the army of raging hormones that charged toward her. She gasped in pain as four sets of claws climbed up the front of her jacket and onto her shoulder. The cat? Bianca turned and ran down the alley, pausing just long enough to grab the handle of the bag she’d placed next to the dumpster.

During Bianca’s previous enrollment at Dale View High she’d spent time running on the track team and cross country team. So even with the weight of a terrified cat on her shoulders, she was still able to maintain a decent distance from the larger boys behind her.

“Hang on kitty we gotta make a detour!”

Bianca leaped across the row of metal trash cans that filled the alleyway directly behind the arcade. She’d used the alley many times during her shoplifting stunts to escape from the police. A part of her life that she’d attempted to bury along with her dad, but for once the knowledge it had given her was helping her for something besides breaking the law.

Bianca slid down the hill outside of the arcade her rapid decent only halted due to a large wet pile of leaves.

“Ewww,” she scuffed the bottom of her shoe in disgust trying to remove the large slug she’d squashed. The black cat jumped from her shoulders and licked its paw after giving Bianca a cold glance.

“Well the least you could do is say thank you!” The only reply she got was a twitch of its tail as it headed across the parking lot.

“Hey wait!” Surprisingly enough the cat stopped and allowed Bianca to catch up to it. Bianca removed her stained red scarf from her neck and wrapped it around the cat. “Here now you won’t be so cold.” The cat’s eyes widened as though he could hardly believe her kindness. “Don’t give me that pitiful look, it’s not like I have much.”

Together the girl and the cat tucked snuggly in her arms made their way home, blissfully unaware as to how her life was about to change. 

 
 
 


© Copyright 2019 Katherine M. All rights reserved.

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