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School was a hectic mess all over again. At first it was just a rumor that the president was coming here but now that he actually is here sent everyone into a flurry of rumors and either excitement or negativity and maliciousness.
Mrs. Rogers had us spend the whole class period learning about the succession of presidents and their jobs along with the fabulous achievements that they made. When I handed in my late packet she looked surprised. "Who knew you would actually do it, Amy." With her words anger buzzed like a hive of bees in me but I kept it down and instead offered her a sarcastic smile before returning to my seat.
Scarlet was busy on her work; she liked school apparently and didn't want to get anything lower than an 'A' on any project she was assigned. It was a boring class altogether. Alex Barenten, our ever know-it-all and info fountain answered the questions in quick succession and in my opinion going into a longer explanation than was need instead of replying to the damn question short and sweet. So, I spent the period intermittently switching my glare from the freckled kid and Mrs. Rogers.
In science we presented our projects; Mr. Curtain seemed slightly impressed with our work. Calvin also presented.... just by himself but he didn't look to mind it all that much. Apparently, the boys still finished their project.
When 4th period arrived, the intercom crackled to life saying all students report to the gym. I was slightly miffed since Language Arts was a subject that I liked, and I was extremely good at, but I filed into the gym obediently with the rest of the students like a herd of cattle. I just did it with a scowl on my face; a few other students wore their own.
I found Poppy with Lily and pushed through the crowd to stand next to them. "Do you know what's happening?" I asked her. They both shrugged, a sign that they didn't. "Great..." I mumbled under my breath.
At that moment silence hushed over the throng of students all clustered tightly in the gym like sardines. The principal walked onto a podium in the front of the gym. She cleared her throat which the microphone that was there picked up and send the sound across the space. She leaned back not expecting that. After a moment she stood up straight and spoke into it.
"We have a special visitor, who would like to give a special speech to all the lovely students."
I immediately knew who this guest was, and Poppy did as well because she tensed up. As the principal walked off the podium and went to stand near a line of teachers President Andrew Keragold went to replace her spot.
The man had cold black beady eyes that reminded me of a snake, a short statue and cropped wheat colored hair. His skin was pale as if he hadn't been out in the sun for days. A murmer fled through the crowd. The president raised both hands for silence and waited for the entire place to quiet down before he opened his thin lips to speak.
"You all are the next generation of our nation as you know, strong willed and I'm going to guess moderately brave. And as the president I want the best for our country including education. And it appears evident to me that your task to learn is being obstructed as well as public health. So that is why I am here, to make this town safe again and help to rid these fears that restrict you all."
I snorted, "This town wasn't safe to begin with, what makes him think that he can change that?"
As if he heard my thoughts he continued on speaking, "Safety measures will be taken, people will be put on guard to make everyone feel safe. That way your learning experience will not be interrupted by this silly, childish fear of the dark and we will do everything in our power to capture this murderer that appears to control this town." He smiled, and the children bristled at his words.
"He's kind of obstructing my learning experience by interrupting class." I mumbled again, and Poppy elbowed me in the ribs. I glared at her. "guards won't make us feel safe."
"I bid you all a good day." The president ended his speech and walked back out the door. Everyone watched in silence before a few seniors burst out laughing. "Good luck with that!" One of them wheezed through his laughs. It echoed over the silence and bounced off the walls of the gym. The tension in the room lessened, but by just a bit. We were dismissed and told to return to our regular classes. I didn't think I could focus on regular classes now. I felt that his words had a double meaning, some hidden agenda that he wasn't saying.
When school was over Poppy headed home and I was left to walk in silence again. I didn't like this, I didn't like this at all. Gertrude had at least dyed her hair, but the purple seemed to blend into the green which gave her a cool look, at least I thought so. She kept saying that it was stinging then finally excused herself. "I'm just going back to the meadow, don't worry, plus I've got the new looks, so no one will recognize me!" She beamed "And it's actually warm outside!" With a flash of bluish-grey hair and turquoise eyes she was gone out the window, I didn't bother to close it after her.
I flopped down on my bed feeling to exhausted to do anything. My eye lids felt like they were cotton dipped in water and were sagging down heavy, but there was an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach that was yelling at me not to fall asleep; I didn't listen and as my eyes closed I heard the popping in my head again and once more I wasn't sure if it was real or not.
****(Cringe factor is over 9000)