Everything Burns Crimson on the Inside

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Submitted: July 11, 2019

Reads: 76

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Submitted: July 11, 2019

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 One hundred and fifty-seven minutes. Two hundred and forty-seven minutes. The loading bar sits in front of Zuro, barely filling up at all. 17.7MB and not even one GB completed. Zuro stares at the tv, his face in disbelief. His gaze changes to the clock on the wall of his game room. 6:58 am. He needs to leave for school in two minutes. “ Are you serious right now?” He says to himself. “ I’ve been waiting for this entire hour just for it to not even move ONE GB?” He drags his hand over his face in aggravation. “ Whatever, I should’ve expected this. Why would I be able to play the DLC for The Human Spider I’ve been waiting to play for five months before school anyway?” His mom comes into the room.
“ Zuro? Zuro come on what are you doing? You can’t play games now you have school!” 

“ Yes I know mom.” You think I don’t know that? I was trying to see if this was gonna load or not!
“ I don’t need sass in your voice. Just turn off your Zbox and let’s go!”
“ It’s a PH4 mom, not a Zbox.”
“ Whatever. Same difference. Are you gonna move or do I have to turn off the thing for you?” Zuro gets up, turns off the device and puts his controller away. So much for trying something different. Zuro goes into the kitchen and puts his shoes and backpack on. He’d already eaten breakfast and goes into his mom’s car to be driven to school. As they drive there, he imagines what the content of the DLC could possibly be like. He knows that they added in some news suits for the Human Spider, like the old movie costume fans had been wanting since the game came out. But what about the future foundation? Are the rumors of the anime Spider in there too? He’ll have to put his wonders aside for the next eight hours. Not like that’s SO hard for him. Zuro, unlike many kids including some of his own friends, actually likes to try and learn. “ If I wanna not be dumb then learning new things should be helpful” is what he always tells himself. It’s been a useful motto to motivate him to go to school in the first place. Why else should he go? 

 

 As his mom goes down the streets nearing Larxs High School, they pass by a group of three boys talking and laughing. One of them is holding a vape. “ Don’t even think about doing that with them Zuro.” His mom says. “ I know Antwon, Patrick and Marlan smoke, from what you’ve told me, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna let you.”
“ Yes I know. I never said I was going to.”
“ You were thinking about it that one time.”
“ Yes, when I was more upset than usual and I was probably not thinking straight either!” The car parks next to the sidewalk and Zuro opens the door.
“ I know honey, it’s just… That stuff hurts you, it really does. Even if everyone is doing it around you, you know it is bad and you won’t do it. Right?” Zuro steps out of the car. 

“ Yes yes mom, I don’t even want to try it.” Out of everything I’d wanna do with them, that’s the least of my desires. He waves his mother goodbye and heads down to school. He lost track of his friends, not that he’s surprised. He realizes he only has nine minutes to get to first period and dashes up to the dirt hill and into the school grounds. 

 

 As he arrives at the class door, the final set of kids are just now walking in. Sometimes Zuro’s early, other times he’s almost late. At least when compared to the others. He gets here at the same time every day, so how does it shift like this? He walks in, wobbling past his classmates as they get down their chairs to begin the day. He walks past a girl setting down her pack. She has caramel long hair, glasses, white skin and freckles and blue eyes. As he sits down at the front desk, someone calls to him. “ YO Zuro! Come here mate.”
“ Yes?” Zuro answers, standing in front of a tall kid at their desk. He has white skin, brown eyes and blonde hair, and a jokingly perverted smile. At least Zuro hopes it’s jokingly. 

“ So dude did you finish the Human Metamorphosis?” He asks. 

“ Yeah? Why?”
“ You know why. Gimme.”
“ Did you really not read the story again? What is this like the third book in a row?”
“ Fourth, actually.”
“ But why?”
“ Simply put, I don’t care. It’s not like our teacher’ll do anything about it. Anything she would try I can just ignore. However I can’t ignore them tests. Like the test we have today, so gimme that knowledge por favor.” 

“ Dude… Necesitas saber el libro!” Zuro says. 

“ Don’t tell me ‘ I need to know the book’ like I’m not about to find out with a little help from a friend.”
“ Markis… Ugh. Fine but this is the last time ok?”
“ Sure sure.” Markis sits back, looking smug. Zuro quickly tells him what happens at the end of the Human Metamorphosis. He sits back at his desk. The teacher is about to start class. Where is Zuro’s partner? “ She usually gets here before I do. Is she late? Or is she just getting another award for animation again? That’s what it was on Friday.” He thinks. As he gets out his school edition Ipad and turns it on, a girl sits down next to him and does the same. She has brown long hair, tan skin, and yellow eyes. Today she’s wearing her usual green hoodie. Zuro looks at her and she looks at him.
“ Good morning!”...


 

Here she is. 

The Golden Angel. 

This person, this girl right here. 

Here’s the one that makes me squeak. 

The girl that makes me bundle up with joy. 

Staring at me, with those suns for eyes,

Chocolate rivers for hair, 

And a simple jacket like mine. 

What about her?

Sinthia Scarlet.

How come this particular person,

Gets my heart?

YOU’RE HEART? What a joke. You’re not in love. 

No. I am.

Normally I agree with you, 

Never have I ever seen love. 

I thought it to be useless fodder

Only for kids to slowly but surely destroy themselves.

Why should I be with anyone that way?
It’s just a waste of time after all. 

So why are you so caught up in Sinthia?

That’s a reason I can’t yet decipher myself. 

It’s only begun last month. Halfway through this year of Sophomore.

I’ve seen her for so long, 

Yet I never once felt a thing. 

Just a partner…

Until that day. 

When you two happened to sit together at the Rally?

Mhm. The rallies are garbage, 

But our conversation that day was anything but. 

It was just a talk! Like any of the girls you sometimes speak to!

Sure, but the heart is weird. 

As mysterious and infuriating as God himself. 

My heart decided something on that day, 

And every day forward.

This girl, 

Sinthia,

Would feel like something more to me. 

So what happens now? There’s a universe of problems here. 

We know this, don’t act like you don’t know it. 

I dunno what happens. Nothing usually happens outside of class.

Someday I’ll figure out what’s going on with me. 

You’ll need to know how she feels first,

Then you can justify your crazy thoughts.


 

 The first period ends, and the bell rings. Kids swarm out of the math building’s doors. Zuro walks out the door shouldering his backpack. As he makes his way for the bathrooms, a hand taps his shoulder. He turns his head to see Sinthia next to him. They both have their hoods on over their heads. “ H-hey Zuro! Um…” She gets caught up on her words. “ So you know the field down there, next to our school right? The one you can get to through the hole in the fence that they never patch up?” Zuro nods, his head getting fuzzy. Why does she stand out from everyone else? Markis is tall as hell and HE doesn’t even do this! Or Heathria, even though she’s usually the most nerdy looking.

“ Well. Uh. I think I may know of the location of something cool… A-and I wanna show it to you!” 

“ Me? What… What is it?” Zuro says. Sinthia seems to realize what she had just said and goes red. 

“ I-I mean only if you WANNA see it! Hehe… But it’s from that meteorite that fell. Remember? Last week?”
“ Uh… It was last week?” Zuro barely watches the news. The only times he’s seen it with his father weren’t very nice. He’d watched a decent amount of news about the end of the Techno War, seven years ago, but not so much since then. “ What about it?”
“ I heard my friend Meranda says things about a piece being in the field. So I checked down there before school and-” A boy slaps Zuro on his shoulder. 

“ Dude stop talking to your GF and move. We need to get to class! You know how upset our history teacher is if we’re one second late!” It’s Antwon. He has tan skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair. Zuro and Sinthia both go red. 

“ Yeah… Yeah ok. I’m going. Um… uh Sinthia can we just uh… talk later or?”
“ Actually… Could we meet down there at the field after school? I wanna show you if you want! Bye!” She rushes off to class, and away from embarrassment. Zuro walks with Antwon to History class. 

 

 They get to their seats as the bell rings. The teacher walks up and puts notes on the board and begins his lecture. To Zuro’s left are Antwon and his friend. He’s dark-skinned, with a seemingly religious and Indian getup. He has a pink cloth wrapped around his head. Antwon and Tarshi were friends long before they had a class with Zuro. Zuro had never chosen to sit with them, it was by random choice at the beginning of the year. But now he can’t imagine this class without them. They take their notes, and use each other’s help to finish the in-class assignment early. They upload the files to the teacher’s website from their Ipads. Zuro wouldn’t be able to figure out some of these questions if he didn’t have help from his friends. Once they’re done, Tarshi stretches. “ I still think it’s stupid how just after WW1 finished we had WW2 like only a few years later.”
“ Bro just blame Hitler. He was the one who wanted revenge and had that dumb ‘ Germans are the best since we are descended from Romans ideology.” Antwon says. 

“ But he was so angry because we completely beat down his country and didn’t offer help afterward.” Zuro says. 

“ Bro, did anyone ask for your opinion?” Tarshi asks. 

“ Too bad I’m giving it to you anyway.”
“ Mate chill.” Antwon says. “ More the merrier. More interesting discussions.”
“ Only if we have smart people with us! This kid right here, is not a smart man.” Tarshi points to Zuro. 

“ Ok dude. I’m telling you things I know you forgot. Things we covered in class already and you’re saying I am the stupid one? Makes total sense. No it really does.” Zuro says. They laugh. Antwon looks to the closets at the back of the class. 

“ Guys, I got an idea. See those? We should go over there, and see what’s inside. We’ve never seen if there’s anything cool in there plus we have time now. Teacher lets us do what we want after we finish our work this semester remember?” 

“ Yes. Even though that’s a terrible idea.” Zuro says. “ Although it hasn’t gone that badly so far.”
“ You know it will man. Let’s check it out.” Tarshi says. The three of them get up and head over to the closets. The teacher is watching a video and doesn’t notice. 

 

 Antwon opens the first closet door and looks around. On some shelves are some old world war weapons. Pistols, rifles, and bullet containers. None of them are full now. The three boys look at them in shock. “ Yo teach, you have this?” Tarshi asks. 

“ What? They’re just for show. Remember when I showed you those for our WW1 lesson? That’s all.” 

“ You did?”
“ Mate you didn’t even remember THAT?” Zuro laughs. “ Bro how do you have a good grade in this class.”
“ Ok be shush Zuro. I have an A-. That’s higher than you.”
“ It is not actually. I have a 92 currently.” 

“ That is literally just one percent above me.”
“ Guys check it.” Antwon pulls something out of another closet. It’s an old war book. The pages are completely worn out and yellowing. “ There’s also an old globe in here. I can barely read the country labels!” 

“ Hey can you three NOT touch my stuff? That’s easy to ruin you know!” The teacher says. 

“ I can only read Calif.” Zuro says looking at the globe at his state. “ He should really buy some new things.” 

“ Just like you need to buy some new games.” Tarshi says.
“ Hey! I like the stuff I play. Ok? I know Speedash and Forbidden Planet and whatever aren’t popular but still!”
“ You need something like Calls To Arms or JourneyNight.”
“ No, those are garbage.”
“ Our teacher does smoke guys.” Antwon says. “ See there’s a smoke in here. Wait wait, is this from 1989?”
“ Do you guys think this is a history class for no reason?” The teacher asks. 

“ He’s right, stop questioning everything Antwon.” Tarshi says. “ You certainly don’t when Jemia is around.” 

“ Jemia?” Zuro asks. 

“ Yeah, my girlfriend.” Antwon says casually. That’s another thing he has that Zuro doesn’t. Besides all As, a driver’s license, a quality soccer reputation on the sports team and good looks to top it all off. Zuro can’t help but feel some pang of jealousy, even if he tries to suppress it.
“ Dude there’s also old gum in here what the hell?” Tarshi says. He picks up a pack of fifteen year old bubble gum. “ Teach can we trash these? Seriously the smell alone is killing me!”
“ Oh those? I forgot about those. Yeah get rid of them, might help with the stench in here.” Some other kid called out something about some other kid named Jerry smelling like ass too. Tarshi throws the packs of gum away. The bell rings and the students put away their Ipads and rush out the door. Zuro turns to do the same.
“ Yo dude.” Tarshi says. “ You know those plans for a soap bomb that were leaked to the school website chat room? The first general one?” 

“ Mhm? I mean I barely go on there, but I’ve seen it.”
“ Yeah cause you afraid of something. But anyway, those plans are being put into action today. Come by the English building’s restrooms during almuerzo to see us wreck the place!” 

“ During lunch? I dunno, not sure if I wanna associate with that.”
“ At least six of us are gonna be there.” Antwon says. “ It’s your choice.”
“ IF you’re a cool person, then you’ll do it. Though I KNOW you ain’t cool.” Tarshi says laughing. He playfully slaps Zuro and they go to get their things. 


 

 As Zuro passes the bathrooms to get to his English class, he notices a boy standing nearby, typing on his Ipad. A quick glance showed a chat room discussing soap types. “ Should I go?” He asks himself mentally. “ Seems like another… Cool Kid Thing To Do. How come all the Cool Things are the dumbest ones? Just last week, or two weeks ago, they deactivated the gym room’s electrical system so they couldn’t do any activities! I mean, we all hate that class, but still. Now they wanna try this bomb again? Last time it didn’t even work, so how in the hell are they gonna make it work? You can’t tell me that these dumbasses really took the time to figure out the inner workings of it to change the substance combination and igniter to fix it. Plus…. Didn’t the old man english teacher a few doors down from mine bust them?... I dunno. I don’t think I’m gonna go.” But then you won’t be a cool person and you won’t move up the list for some of your friends. “Whatever Darizon. A ‘list’ doesn’t matter to me! Not if I get hurt!” All you’re focused on is your weird habits and Sinthia. “Her? Are you saying she’s more important?” Of course, we know this now. You won’t do anything that would ruin your chances with her. You’ll be a gooood booyy! “Shut up. I don’t even know what that means, or what it means to her.” You need to talk to her more then, you can’t possibly have a good relationship with someone if you barely talk to them. So go to that after school thing in the field. So what if it may be a bit outside of the rules? “Hm… We’ll see.”


 

 Zuro sits down at his front desk in English. His partner, Alix, waves hi as they stare at each other. “ Hello.”
“ Hola. Ready for this examen?” Zuro asks. They take out their Ipads.
“ Class go to the website listed on the board!” The teacher says. “ And don’t try anything! I am watching each and everyone one of you on my computer. You go to one other place and you’re failing this test! And it’s worth points! For your grade!” As the page loads up, their Ipads become locked on screen. They can’t go to anywhere else, none of the buttons even work except for the off button. This is how the school keeps kids from cheating during the test. Zuro can list many times where the Ipads had short circuited, turning off or glitching during testing times. Kids would have to restart late or even come in during lunch to finish it because of a problem they couldn’t do anything about. It hadn’t happended too much to Zuro though it has happened to Alix, and Jemia and Meranda, the two girls sitting to his right at the back of the class. As Zuro takes the Human Metamorphosis test, his mind wanders. Back about three weeks ago, when he was sitting in this same spot except Meranda was his partner. The conversation they had about history, and what books they like to read. Such as Konomiba, I Fear No Good, and so on. He’d had no clue that this person had such similar literary interests as him. He’d considered even asking her to do something with him after school one weekend. Zuro cringes as he remembers the response he got in the school’s private chat rooms. “ Hey, would you wanna go to the zoo together? Just for fun?”
“ Sorry, I don’t think of you like that.” That had made his friends laugh at him. He remembers what Presis had mentioned about that. “ Wow bro, that’s unfortunate.” Unfortunate indeed! It also gave his subconscious another reason to bother him. Girls like this aren’t worth it. This is why you shouldn’t even attempt to try romance now during high school. Since they’re all idiots, none of them understand how such a relationship works. Zuro does agree with himself on that statement. If they’re assuming something that’s clearly, at least to him, not true, then why should he even try? He finishes his test and uploads the doc to his teacher. Once everyone finishes the test, a class discussion begins about the book.
“ So what did everyone think of it?” The teacher asks. 

“ It was ok. Kinda creepy.”
“ I think the family is flatout stupid. They should at least call 911 or something.”
“ Yes exactly! Also why would they just accept that he’s a bug now and act like he’s a family pet? I wouldn’t do that.” The kids were saying. Zuro has some thoughts, but he doesn’t say anything. He’s too scared of messing up his words when he’s talking, or for people not to agree with him. His mind tells him these things over and over, causing him more hesitation. 

“ I hated the ending.” Says Jemia. “ They should’ve tried to reason with him or something instead of being so mean to poor Jacob that he ran away! Sure the story says that he may have come back, but still.”
“ I think it said the family went to look for him and then they could come back together.” Meranda says. 

“ Well why do you girls think that’s the case?” The teacher asks.
“ I dunno, maybe to show that getting away from the same old life can be a good thing?” Jemia says. 

“ But why getting away and running away from your problems? That’s against what they tell you.” Meranda says.
“ Well I think it’s supposed to be like that.” Alix says. Of course he’s more willing to talk publicly than Zuro is. “ Maybe the author wanted us to go against the norms and try getting away first? Figure out the issue and then come back to solve it once we have the answers?”
“ Possibly, though it never stated they fixed his issue.” Meranda says. The bell rings and everyone gets up. Another discussion you should’ve been in but you weren’t. 


 

 As Zuro exits the class with Alix, he overhears something.
“ Yeah I think we’ll put them in the bathrooms, just as a test. Then we try the other building!” Jemia says to Meranda.
“ You’ll get caught you know that.”
“ Maybe? Think of it as just a prank. Plus these are meant to be put up, give this bleak world some more flavour.” Zuro leaves the room, puzzled.

“ Bro, did you hear that?” He asks Alix.
“ Them? I heard it, but I didn’t comprehend what they said.”
“ Seriously.”
“ Yes. Why? Are they threatening to call in a bomb squad again or misplace the teacher’s desks?” Alix asks. 

“ I don’t think so. Something about putting something somewhere?” Zuro says. 

“ That’s very specific. How about you try NOT to be like our test and actually explain what you’re talking about?”
“ I dunno what it was exactly! Also about another building.” They walk across a street towards the main quad. 

“ Ok well look Zuro. You know what you should do.”
“ Nothing?” Alix stops to throw a piece of tinfoil away.
“ Yup. Unless you’re trying to get in trouble. I mean usually you ARE smarter than most of the kids here, and by that I mean you seem to have some brain cells.”
“ Whatever that means. If me having brain cells is worth mentioning, then this generation is fucked.” Zuro says.
“ It’s been fucked since 2019 bro. Even before that.”
“ How do you know? That was a century ago!”
“ I can tell, it’s not hard to do that. But just don’t have anything to do with them, it’ll make life a bit more… Easy to tolerate.” Alix goes up some stairs to his math class. Zuro waves bye and heads to his next period, biology. 


 

 This class always felt the weirdest to him. First semester he hated it, and now this semester it’s one of his favorites. “ Not my fault I had a change of feeling.” He says to himself as he enters the class. “ I just get more intrigued by what we’re learning this semester, I guess. Evolution, Ecology, Genetics… Whatever is coming up after Ecology. I guess it helps to fuel my writing. And understand the world better? I remember Tom saying something about how the wolves have been shown to hunt humans more now, using some kinda camouflage like Lizards do. Lizards? Or Iguanas? Something like that. Are those even true? Or those reports of birds gaining the ability to eat each other since the forests and fields have become too industrialized to find their original source of food? I mean… No one else besides me seems to have any interest in this, at least in my class.” None of your friends too. You’re alone in the series of things you enjoy. “I guess? There are some small things we share in common, the main being idiocy.” Zuro enters bio class. 

 

 This time they do an outdoor activity to explain how Geekfeazels evolve. The kids are split up into seven groups, and are killed based on certain environmental changes. Zuro was killed immediately. He had to wait ten minutes before a girl from group seven took him to their group. Turns out that the traits this group has are the best set of traits for survival. Zuro realizes this girl is Jemia. When he gets to the group, he asks a dark-skinned kid with barely any hair about it. “ Dude, Presis. Since when was she in our class?”
“ Whadda mean since when? She’s been here the whole year!  Don’t tell you haven’t noticed. We literally worked together the three of us on that one project in first semester, about the plant cells or whatever.”
“ We did?”
“ Yes! Go ask her if you don’t remember!” Presis says. Zuro looks at Jemia laughing about a cum shot joke with her friends. He could ask. But you’re not going to. You’re afraid. 

“ I’ll take your word for it. IF you’re being trustworthy right now.”
“ Of course I am. If I’m not I’ll tell you.” They head back to finish the period’s work. 


 

Lunch? That's for later.

 

 P.E. makes no sense to him at all. He goes into the changing room and puts on his pe shorts, hiding his normal shirt underneath his hoodie. “They won’t notice this, they don’t even care. The PE teachers don’t give two craps what we do. They just get paid to lounge around while we run for the whole period. At least I have my two men with me.” He thinks. The two men arrive. Presis and Camoran. Camoran is among the class of kids Zuro calls the ‘Tall People”. Zuro’s father claims that he’s a good height. When compared to a person like Camoran, he’s nothing short of a midget.
“ So then I told him I had in fact used the toilet paper to masturbate and they freaked out!” He was saying to Presis. They stand next to Zuro, not putting on their clothes.
“ That’s insane. Anyway, Zuro are you ready to do the thing?” Presis asks. 

“ What thing?”
“ You know…” He looks around, making sure no one’s looking. “ We’re gonna get some good food.”
“ OH we’re really doing that? I thought that was a joke!”
“ No no. See we cool folk are too busy to buy our own food outside of school.” Camoran says. “ So we gotta do it now. This really is the best time for it, I mean the teachers don’t mind so.”
“ Oh, aren’t you bluffing?” Zuro asks.
“ Nope. Who’s bluffing? Come on!” Presis and Camoran put their packs into the lockers, sneakily hiding their credit cards in their pockets. “ You a cool person, right? Or you can stay here and suffer the eternity of nothing.” Zuro considers. He would like to make this class more interesting, and spend more time with these two. There’s not really anyone else who’ll make this fun for him. 

“ Ok. Where’re we going then?”
“ To the MONS, just down the street. If we run we can be back before class ends.” Camoran says. “ IF you two can keep up that is.”
“ If you weren’t so fast we could!” Presis says. “ Oh and Zuro no worries about the staff. Remember they don’t know what attendance is? When was the last time they even did that? Like months ago if even.” Zuro laughs.
“ That’s true. Alright, let’s try this. If we’re gonna get in trouble though I’m blaming peer pressure on you two.” They run out the school’s back gate as the others gather up on the blacktop… 



 

 Sixth and final period, Spanish. Zuro had gotten into the class mere seconds before the bell rang. They’d taken more time at the market than he’d thought. As he sits down and takes out his Ipad, he looks around, seeing if anyone noticed his absence. Nothing. “ Right, course they wouldn’t. None of them are even in my PE class to begin with, I don’t think. None of the other people while I ran over here said anything. Am I good then? Wow… It actually worked out.” Don’t figure this’ll always work out for you. The teacher steps up and begins. Today they do a simple exercise, where Zuro and his partner Leaan say some things to each other in Spanish, using the context the teacher gives. After this is done, they transfer to another student and continue. Zuro happens to get partnered with Heathria, the girl from his math class. 

“ Holas, como estos?” She says.
“ That’s not right… You didn’t even write it down the correct way.” Zuro says. 

“ I Know! I know I’m sorry I’m just bad at this subject!” She turns red. 

“ Then study and practice.”
“ But I’m not from a Spanish family!”
“ Neither am I.”
“ What? Really? Oh… Well still this is hard!”
“ Times up! Switch!” The teacher says. 

“ Hey Zuro, got a question for you.” Says his final partner. She has blonde short hair and green eyes and white skin. “ I saw that you saw Meranda and Jemia talking about the thing?”
“ What thing?”
“ The sprites?”
“ Sprites?”
“ Milisha and Zuro, do I have to tell you to get work?” The teacher calls. 

“ Ok sorry! Yes Zuro sprites. Meranda knew you were listening.”
“ Oh god, how? Am I really not that subtle?”
“ I dunno, but she told me that you should come with us.”
“ Uh.” Zuro takes a moment to consider this. “ Wait so-” The bell rings.
“ I’ll tell you again tomorrow!” Milisha gets her things and rushes out the door. 

“ She wants me to go WITH her?... Why?” Zuro confusedly leaves the class. Tomorrow might be interesting.



 


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