Encrypteds ~ An Original Story

Sorry for all of the originals, guys! I've been wanting to do this one for a while now and I'm really into the idea! I think it might be the next Opaque... ;)

Chapter 1

"And the next test will be on- Mr. Reynolds, may I see you after this discussion?" My head snapped up and off of the desk as I heard Ms. Tiny say my name.

"Um, sure," I said. Twenty-three other pairs of eyes landed on me and I sank lower into my chair. The science lesson dragged on for what felt like forever until the bell finally rang and Ms. Tiny let everyone leave - everyone except for me, that is.

"Brennan," she said it slowly, carefully. "You're a bright student. I think you can achieve a lot," she smiled warmly. I immediately knew that this was where she would drop the bomb; it's where teachers always did. Her voice got steely and her smile faded as she said, "So I would like to know why you are so disinterested in living up to your full potential?"

"Ms. Tiny," I let my tone be even and measured which made her smile shrink even more. "If someone were to call you old, that doesn't mean that you are, does it? In the same way, even though you think I'm disinterested, I'm really not. It's just... your teachings are lacking in something."

"Mr. Reynolds," her tone was hard and she seemed to be fighting the urge to grit her teeth. This wasn't any different from the talks I've had with other teachers. "My teaching has been praised by high scholars. I wouldn't say anything about it. Do not play games with me, I am-"

"Can I please go?" I interrupted. "I have gym next hour and I need time to change."

"Wh-why yes, of course," Ms. Tiny looked astonished that I had rudely interrupted her. She should've been used to it, but it was only the second week of school. "Yes. That would be nice. Please go." I waved and left, proud of myself.

"What was that?" Cade, one of my best friends, asked. He had moved from England just this year, so his British accent was strong. With our common interests, we had bonded pretty fast.

"You saw that?" I was met by Cade's quick nod and low chuckle. "That was a little thing I like to call 'annoying people'. It's a natural talent."

"Yeah, it is," Sophie, another friend, said as she appeared by my side. She ruffled my hair and I blushed. "But it also makes you cute. Hey, Cade, you going to the game on Friday night?"

"Yeah, if Brennan is," he cast me a sideways glance and I quickly nodded.

"Awesome. See you guys there," Sophie smiled and left.

"When you gonna ask her out?" Cade asked, grinning.

"You know?" I ask, surprised.

"Yes, it's rather obvious!" he laughed.

"I don't know. Maybe later-" I started.

"Wait!" Someone called from behind me. I turned around and saw Angela, a girl from my science running towards me. At the last minute, she screamed, "Move!"

"Wha-?" I managed to say before she crashed head-first into me. Papers and books flew everywhere as Angela scrambled to get up. Her face was flustered and her hair askew as she picked up random things and flung them into my hands before sighing, frustrated.

"Thanks for getting in the way, now she's gone!" she shouted. By now, there was a small crowd gathered in the hallway.

"What are you talking about, you were the one who crashed into him!" An accented voice spoke up.

"Cade, it's okay, dude," I said. I looked back at Angela who was tapping her toe impatiently. "Who are you talking about?"

"The girl with the glowing hair! Didn't you see her? She walked right past you!" Angela screeched.

"Hon, let's get you to the nurse's office, you fell pretty hard-" My English teacher, Mrs. Vanders said. She was an enthusiastic, perky lady who was nice to everyone. She was also one of the few adults who actually didn't yell at me.

"No, I didn't," Angela said, a light in her eyes. "I'm not crazy. Most of you should know that. I'm not hallucinating, or imagining, or anything! She was there. And if none of you care, well, it doesn't matter." Angela stooped down, picked up her things and walked away with a red face, strutting away with as much dignity as she could muster. For a while, no one said anything but slowly, the crowd dispersed, leaving me confused and slightly angry.

"Mate, are you okay?" Cade asked cautiously.

"I'm fine," I sighed. "I don't understand what that was all about, though. Do you think that was important? I mean, I've never seen her like that before."

I wasn't lying when I told Cade that. Angela was a quiet, meek girl who was in all advanced classes. I was only in advanced science, chorus, and gym with her, and chorus and gym were every-other-day sort of deals. This explained why I hardly ever saw her, and when I did, she was a shy, timid flower who hadn't fully bloomed yet. But today, she had been something completely different. It had looked like she had had a confident, wild spirit trapped inside of her - one that didn't care what others thought as it beat at her insides and finally spoke up.

"Well, that was certainly something. I hope that it doesn't happen again - for both her sake and for yours." Cade said. We soon departed, heading different ways as he went to study hall and I went to gym for the last class of the day.

«^°^»

"Reynolds, you're on blue!" Mr. Smith barked as he blew his whistle. We all jogged for five minutes before playing a 'friendly' game of dodgeball.

I escaped with only a few minor injuries and only one ball to the face. Other than that, I got out at least four kids. As we started eliminating more and more people, the game got more and more intense. Finally, it was me and three others - one of whom was Angela. In my own surprise, I failed to catch a ball and I was the fourth to last person eliminated. After ten more minutes of cheering and screaming, a single person remained and the triumphant flush splayed across her pale cheeks and the light in her eyes was a new sight to me. I had never seen Angela look this happy yet fierce at the same time before.

As the final bell rang and I made my way to my locker, I barely remembered my conversation with Cade after I had gotten my stuff. Instead, all I could think about was the way Angela seemed to be a brand new person and how things felt off.

"See you tomorrow, Bren!" Cade called as he waved and jogged off to catch his bus. I ran off to find mine and sat staring out the window with my headphones jammed in my ears, wondering what tomorrow would be like.

«^°^»

"Bren, all I'm saying is that you visit for a while. Just two weeks! C'mon, you haven't seen me in forever!" Jessica complained.

Jessie was my sister who was two years younger than me and studying in England with my parents. Why did I come to America? My Uncle recently passed away and I wasn't the only one who was worried that my Aunt would go over the deep-end if someone didn't stay with her. And with both mom and dad having wonderfully paying jobs in England, it didn't make sense for all of us to move here. So only I did.

"Jess, we've been over this," I tried to make my voice deeper. I hated how my voice was so much more high-pitched than some of the other guys at my school. Finally giving up, I sighed and returned to my normal, annoying tone. "You come visit! But don't ask me to. The only time I can visit is summer. You know that."

"Yeah," Jess sighed disappointedly. "I do. Well, I have to go to bed soon. Ugh, mom and dad are such buzz-kill!"

"At least you see them everyday," I smiled sadly.

"I guess," Jessie said, her voice a little softer. "Hey, I'll talk to you tomorrow, Bren. G'night."

"'Night, Jess." And with that, I hung up. I put my phone away and climbed under the covers, wiggling around until I was comfortable. In under ten minutes, I was peacefully sleeping, sunken into a dark, dreamless slumber.

It was only when the clock flashed 2:53 AM that I woke up in a cold sweat, feeling like my skin was crawling. Within seconds, I felt frozen - literally, frozen - as a burning coldness climbed up my legs. I could only squeak out a single word:

"Help."

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