I stared at the building that rested on the other side of the parking lot. There was a cluster of five buildings to my right and a gym to the left. The tour for new students had been a week ago. Even then it hadn't been helpful. I couldn't remember what the guide droned on about and the only thing I remembered was where the main office was located. It was a start.
A throng of students filled the quad. The cliques were simple enough to identify even in the crowd. A cluster of black clothes marked the goths. Letterman jackets and polo shirts identified the jocks. The odd cowboy hat in a patch of denim gave the farm kids away. A smaller sprinkling of geeks of various half-breeds mingled in the spaces between the larger defined groups. The only group I couldn't really find were the thugs. A group of spoiled white kids playing at being hard was usually easy catch. Either they were scarce in these parts, or they were waiting for the bell elsewhere. Regardless, it was the jocks were the main number in the crowd.
My first day wardrobe had been carefully crafted to blend in. A gray t-shirt, blue jeans, and a pair of black sneakers. It didn't identify me as part of any group. Hopefully it would give me time to make the choice myself.
I wasn't sure where I fit in to all of this. The wrong sport would turn the jocks against me. I had a solid build thanks to a growth spurt over the summer and could probably fit in with them if I kept quiet. The ruse wouldn't hold for long if I had to engage in long conversation. Soccer was the only sport I could halfway fake talking about. I had played it when I was a kid just long enough for my dad to get a job in another state. Now I was too short for basketball, didn't care about football, and stunk at baseball. Most likely I wasn't rich enough to be a prep, and I didn't own enough black clothes to be a goth. I would either find a spot in the next couple of days, or I'd be eating a lot of my lunches alone.
The crowd dispersed as the first bell rang. I knew my class was in the main building, the same as the office, but I couldn't remember where exactly. There weren't as many inquisitive stares as I crossed the emptying quad. I made it through the doors before I had to answer any questions. It may have been a little anti-social, but I've never been accused of being outgoing. The previous years of school as the quiet, nerdy kid didn't exactly leave me with a strong desire to talk to strangers. My plan was to stay under the radar until I graduated. Three more years, not counting this one.
A group of my fellow students funneled through a wide set of double-doors into the main building. I joined the tail end of the flow. The others split off on their way while I stopped near the numbered plate on the closest door. It read: 107.
"Hey," I said to the a passing student. "Where's room one-oh-five?"
The guy was lanky with wiry blond hair and dimpled chin.
"Sure," he smiled as he spoke. "Take the second door on the left to the lower level."
"Thanks," I replied.
The door was already open when I got there. I took that as a good sign and set my mind to putting together a list of things I needed to do. Get to my first class, find my locker, look for my second class, go to lunch, and hopefully by then I would have found a map or something. An emergency exit display would work. Those things always had routes planned out and a helpful 'you are here' dot.
My train of thought was interrupted as the stairs came to a stop. The lights went out. I looked up at the doorway to see the lanky silhouette of the guy who had given me directions. He giggled as the door slammed shut leaving me blinking at an afterimage. I had somehow managed to ask the class clown for directions.
"This is a great start," I muttered to myself in the dark.
Then the migraine hit.
No, that word was too kind. It felt like there was something inside my skull that had decided now was the perfect time to hatch. I crumpled to the floor squeezing my eyes shut. The air tasted like hot plastic.
Thankfully, I passed out.
Support "HS Dungeon Crawl"
- The Melting North
- Action Monkey
It all started a long time ago in a distant land by the name of Washington. A little boy sat enthralled before a TV screen watching pixels dance. Plumbers defeated dragons, a young adventurer ventured into unknown lands, and ducks were shot from the sky.
After that other stuff happened.