Mount Peterson High is of no good place to live in, for it settles on the foot of the mount Peterson, stretching its campus around the mountain like a cemetery, a graveyard for gone people.
Town folks send their kids who either committed theft or burglary to this school. The constant bully can't be more normal to be seen. Like what is inside, the outside look doesn't show any sign of
being a cradle to nourish adolescences' knowledge and good personality.
Rose sits on her classroom chair, putting her elbows on the desk to hold her head. She is looking outside the window. The sun is setting and crimson light floods into the sky
like a spilled tomato sausage. She loves tomato sausage. She used to dipping the chips into it before eating them. She would keep eating and eating till she felt that her stomach was going to
burst. It was a long time ago, long before her parents realized what their daughter was truly capable of. The air in the classroom is so moist that it feels suffocating. She wants to get more air.
" More air!! " her mind demanded her. She eyes the window, staring it in high concentration. The brim of the window moves slowly with a creaking sound, like a panic person trying to resist a
mysterious and no-where-to-be-seen force pushing him down the cliff. The window was open and a gust of cold wind breezed in, cooling her mind. She sighs in both a sense of relief and sadness.
She was telekinetic and still is. Her mother realized it when she was eleven. She and her little brother Bill was picking small rocks on the riverbank and throwing them back to the river for fun.
Her mother went to check upon them, and found out the most incredible scene in probably her whole life. Rose was sitting on the river bank, laughing. There were rocks all round her, floating like
giant Mosquitos. She was laughing and Bill laughed along with her. She flicked her finger once and one of the rocks rocketed straight to the river with a loud " plonk " and a splash of water all
flied in all directions.
" Do it again, Rose! " Bill said, " I want to see it again. "
" Rose?! " She heard her mother shouting her name in disbelief, confusion and scare. She turned to her, her smile evaporated as the rocks floating besides her dropped to the riverbank
in unison, creating a sound like the applause from the audiences in a theater.
That put an end to her happy life. Her parents considered sending her to a boarding school to prevent her from having any contact with the rest of the family, in case she posed
any threat to the family. But in Rose's heart, the term " family " had lost its meaning already.
" Rose. " she turns subconsciously. For somehow she would find herself difficult to find what was the reality and what was the fantasy. " You are not used to live here. " Sasha
used to say that to her with her blue eyes casting a glance of reassurance. She was Rose's roommate, a German girl. The way she talked with her German accent was clumsy and funny, making everything
convincing uncertain. But Rose is now no more a new guy after living in this place for more than one year. One year was painful enough to make her realize the cruelty of life, especially after
Sasha's suicide that shocked the whole school, and Rose, who cried so hard at Sasha's motionless body till the school had to call someone to carry her away.
She tries to shake the thought off. Not very successful. The image of Sasha blurs, like an old camera failing to bring to focus. The crimson light of the setting sun intensifies
and fills everything in her eyesight.
" Rose, Rose... " the disembodied sound is still resonating as if from far away. She squints. Mama's face illuminates from the utter whiteness. She fills the beige suitcase with
Rose's belonging while turned and faked a smile. " Time to go. " Mama's face blurs. It is all like a slow motion of a replay. Her hand holds the lid of the suitcase, growing a little bit clearer
and blurs again, growing clearer and blurs again, like a camera desperately finding the right focal length. She zips up the suitcase. She pulls out the rod. She walks by the front door with the
suitcase on her left hand. All in a slow motion, and it is yet unsure for Rose what is going on. Mama reached out her right hand for the door knob, and twists it suddenly like a soldier changing a
magazine on his rifle. The door flings open, and mama is then immersed into the total whiteness. Her hand waves, like a drowning person's hand, and she's consumed by the light. " Rose,
Rose... " The sound resonates within the void of whiteness, then everything drifts away...
" Rose! " Her consciousness is suddenly back like a wandering spirit finally found its body. She pats her temple with both of her hands. " Am I day dreaming again?" She mumbles
silently. Standing by the doorway it is Miss Elmer. She is a short and skinny woman who looks forty when she barely reaches her thirty. A golden rimless glass hung on her nose tilts a little
bit to the left, as if unable to hold its position on her high and sleek nose bridge. She glances down upon Rose who supports her elbows on the desk.
" What are you doing here? " She asks with a snort.
" You brats just can't behave, that's how close to goners you are. " She then giggles like a witch, lifting her glasses with her finger so it won't fall.
Rose lowers her head abruptly as she tries to block the skinny " crone " with her newly done fringe, and muttered quietly: " Oh, shit. "
She walks out of the classroom and wanders off on campus. It is too late for the dinner as the cafeteria has closed. The cold breeze is blowing like a whisperer murmuring
besides her. Rose raises her head up and stares through the misty sky. The setting sun is dipping into the horizon. Under this circumstance, a sense of nostalgia looms deep inside Rose's heart.
Like a déjà vu, a twitching memory like a sleek serpent, hissing rhythmically. She grinned subconsciously. " Why am I smiling? " She puts her hands on her blushed chin, massaging it gently so the
light grin will disappear. The wind is still blowing, with the mixture of grass and soil scents filling her nostril with the smell of home, a recollection of that river bank, a realization of her
hidden ability. " She stops massaging her chin, and instead uses her hands to cover her mouth while giggling wildly. " I told you I can, Natasha. And now I'm gonna show you. " She
giggled harder that it almost became a laugh. She walks back to the teaching building where she has just left, where Miss Elmer is still who has no idea that the time for her to live is winding
Miss Margaret Elmer slowly walks back to her office to collect some papers and her purse. Her high heel sound resonates on the corridor like an invisible spy
looking at her through the shadow. It takes courage for a young woman to teach in a school so notorious for its students' bad behaviors. " Being hard, being merciless. " She adopted the notion from
the headmaster the first day she stepped onto the campus of Mount Peterson High. The headmaster afterward resigned for the charge on him of deliberately humiliating one female student. That student
lately killed herself by jumping out the fifth floor of the teaching building. Margaret did it so well to clean the mess left by the headmaster, who she despised as being a coward who was scared
like a hell after he saw the incident. He was at the first floor when the body thumped on the ground just in front of him. The blood splashed on his face, leaving him standing there stiffly.
Margaret was summoned in to cope with the situation when she saw the headmaster, who dropped to his knees and covered his blood-stained face with his hands as if trying to hide his distorted face.
He was desperate and acting like a five-year-old child. As for the dead student, things turned out to be a lot easier knowing that she was an illegal immigrant. The local sheriff came and deposited
the body, and then nobody brought up it anymore as if it had never happened.
She feels that someone is looking at her, a feeling pretty normal among teachers in this school. For Margaret. She took that sensation pretty easily. The result used to turn
out that someone just forgot to close the window or the broom was put in the wrong place so it looked like a figure standing in the shadow of darkness. She would laugh at the people who came to her
complaining about that. This time, it seems that she is the one to feel afraid herself. It is a different feeling that Miss Margaret Elmer experiences. With each step she takes, the feeling
intensifies. She stretches her body a little bit to shake the chill off, but it continues building upon her.
" What is going on with me? " She grimaces in confusion. The instinct and long atheistic belief demands her to keep walking. But she stops anyway to collect her thought. " Maybe I just
had a bad day. "All of a sudden, her thought is cut abruptly when she realizes that the footsteps doesn't stop. It permeates the hollow corridor like the summon of ghosts. Margaret, for a moment,
is unable to process what is going on. But a situation like this definitely gives her gooseflesh. She backs up a little bit, trying to retain her rational thinking. " I'm just being too tired. I'm
just being too tired. " She breathes heavily, partly from fear and partly from the fact that she was practically running before she stopped and heard the footstep sound. From the left side in the
ten o'clock direction, a shadowy figure passes without sound. Margaret turns in panic. Her composure and collectedness is already shattered into pieces like a enamel utensil being blown by a large
and invisible hammer. She begins sweating. The sound of the footstep grows louder, and clearer. It is clear enough to make out that it is the sound of high heels clattering on the ground. She
stumbles in the process of backing up, and fell on the hard floor. Being like a prey in a trap, Margaret firstly tastes the primordial horror. She fumbles up when she see once again the shadowy
figure in the darkness. This time the figure doesn't move. It keeps its position like a curious kid. It is a kid actually, considering its slender figure and the reflection of the skirt under the
dim light of setting sun. Margaret can't tell who that is, or what that is. Her mind is slow, much slower to be regarded as a sharp person's mind which earned her credit in that harrowing incident.
The sound of high heel's end clattering on the ground is still building up, like the volume of a radio being slowly and incessantly turned up until it reaches its limit. Margaret knows that she has
to run, run away from that spooky building, which's exactly what she did as she flees all the way back to wherever she was before. Upstairs and crossing the auditorium, she let herself run like a
frightening kid not considering the fact that she is still wearing her high heels. The unceasing sound of high heals hitting the ground now just makes her numb. She couldn't make out whether the
sound comes from her own shoes or somewhere mysterious.
" No!!! " The long and desperate howl indicate the situation that Margaret Elmer, the bold and arrogant woman who was called by students Miss Elmer, is falling over the verge of
insanity and deep into the eternal abyss.
She drops into her knees just like the former headmaster did witnessing the tragic incident. She covers her mouth with her perfume-worn hands and starts weeping, when she again senses the chill on
her. Margaret stiffly raises her tear-smeared face and eyes the figure in front of her. That figure looks back on her eyes. The first and middle finger of her left hand moves slightly upwards and
downwards following a strange but familiar rhythm as if dangling an invisible pen. The horrible and piercing eyes locks on Margaret like that from a wolf. It takes quite a few seconds for Margaret
to realize what that eerie rhythm is. She turns towards her back and sees a pair of high heels, being put in an awkward position as if someone unseeable is wearing it, clatters on the ground
All of this is just too much for a normal person to process, not even Margaret Elmer. The whole situation is just like playing one horror game and reaches the point where there is just no way to
save the main character. The only exception for Margaret is that there is no turning back when she reaches this stage, not a single thread of possibility, and it is clear like a newly made photo
for her what she is going to face. The figure starts chanting something she can't quite understand. Maybe she just has no more sanity to grasp the meaning of it. It is if she is counting numbers
from ten to zero. With each number being pronounced, Margaret feels that she can't breath. Her chest tightens and she struggles on the ground like a dying prey, body twitching as if trying to hold
back her dissipating soul. Before everything is over, the girl standing in front of her murmurs with a leery grin: " Full stop", and the body stops moving.
Mr. James Ralph is extremely busy these days. Partly is the fact that he has just lost one of his good helper Miss Margaret Elmer who was found dead in the auditorium in
the teaching building. The coroners said it was the heart attack.
" Really, heart attack. " James feels pretty sad because Margaret has never told him that. She was a hardworking and devoted woman who cares about students and the school.
Though James doubts the former one to be her priority, or to be anyone's priority. He was to be announced new school headmaster after the incident of suicide thanks to the help from Miss Elmer. He
has just gotten another phone call informing that one female student has left the campus without permission. He smacked the phone into the cradle, exhausted. To be honest, except from the fact that
it is more lucrative as a headmaster, there really isn't anything to be his motivations, especially being in this godforsaken school.
( Rose )
Rose takes one last glance at Miss Elmer's body and walks out of the building, and the school. She steps on the grass land of Mount Peterson.After one year in that school
like a prisoner, she is astonished to find out how beautiful the outside world is. Walking barefooted on the field, she starts memorizing, recollecting the moment with Sasha, each conversation and
each glance of eye contacts.
( memory )
" I wish I could get out of this place. I'm sick of here. People are mean and teachers care nothing but themselves. "
" Don't say that, Rose. There are good people. "
" No, there are no good people. "
" I feel pretty okay staying here. Teachers are just being strict. "
" Anyway, I promise you, Sasha. If anyone dare hurt you. I will rip he or she into pieces and make them suffer. "
" Don't be too sure about yourself. You are just a girl. "
" Sure I can, I got abilities. . . "
( Reality )
Ross is still walking. She passes fields after fields of corns. It feels good for her. Feels like being at home, though the term " family " has lost meaning for her.
So where is the home. Ross wanders on and on till she reaches the brink of one field where she can make out the road where she took the car of her daddy here one year ago. She
carelessly picks up some rocks with her telekinetic ability, and soon there are lots of rocks floating around her like giant mosquitos.
" Maybe I will just go home, " Rose droops her hair. " and play the trick to Bill again. " The breeze touches her hairs and face gently, making a sound as if in agreement.
" That will probably do. He will like it. He always like my tricks. " Rose smiles like Rose, as she walks on the road stretching far to the end where it meets horizon, like the staircase to
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