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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1620881-When-Footsteps-Falter-Chapter-Two
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Fantasy · #1620881
It is Elisabet's first day at her new school. She is knee deep in an oasis of oddity.
It was around seven when Elisabet woke the following morning. Schuyler, it appeared, enjoyed sleeping in more than she. Elisabet wasted no time taking a shower, blow drying her hair, and dressing. Her hair was thick and fell in waves past her shoulders. Her attire was warm and form fitting. Elisabet had decided to wear thick clothing, considering it was quite cold, unusual for September. Her sweater was a pastel gray and her jeans black. Elisabet wore no jewelry, except for small pearl earrings. She always felt too many accessories only drew from her natural beauty. Elisabet went to the mirror, which was a trusting second opinion. Satisfied, she left her room.

The sky was a dim blue, letting little light flickered into the room. The highway outside her home was drearily quiet, with only the occasional car passing. Not that the minute activity fooled her. Soon enough people would begin heading to work while others headed to school. "School.." She muttered. Elisabet had only ever attending private schools, but Mount Vernon had none of those. Therefore, Elisabet, the girl who had only known a dull but upper-class life would have to mingle with normal kids. The type of kids whose parents had financial issues or family dramas, unlike her own. That thought made her grin like an idiot, she would be like any other teenager.

Schuyler woke twenty minutes later, looking as perfect as ever. Unlike Elisabet she had no need to fix her hair or pamper herself before school. A hint of envy went through Elisabet but she quickly ignored it and instead turned to Schuyler, compliment in mind. "How is it you wake looking like a Ralph Lauren model?"

Schuyler giggled, obviously flattered. "C'mon, we need to get going. It's almost 7:30. We have time to grab breakfast before going to school. Oh!" She exclaimed, reaching into the pocket of her jeans. "Here is you schedule. It may be a little confusing for you, but you're smart, I am sure you will get the hang of it in no time." She gave the paper to Elisabet then made her way to the stairs, Elisabet in step. 'Welcome to Mount Vernon Township High School.' Elisabet thought as she left the comfort of her new home.





There was only several people in the quad when Elisabet and Schuyler walked onto the campus. But only three captured her attention. The tallest was a boy about Elisabet's age. A shag of chestnut hair laid on his head lazily. Even from this far distance she could see his deep, moss green eyes. He was also noticeably tall and masculine. Elisabet couldn't help but think of him as handsome. However, just as quickly as she had her eyes on the boy her gazed fixed on the figure at his side. It was a very petite girl. She was perhaps three inches shorter than Elisabet herself and so skinny that she looked one step-or pound- away from anorexia. Not that this girl appeared to be one of those malnourished teenagers that would sit at a lunch table with an empty tray. She was in fact stunning, a brunette with great highlights and a heart-shaped face. Her eyes were hazel and below those fascinating hues she had several light freckles spread across her high cheek bones. A bout of jealousy stirred within Elisabet but she put it in the back of her mind. After one last glance at the brunette Elisabet's fixation fell on the third and last of the motley crew. Like the other boy his eyes were very distinguishable. In the early morning light they shined a magnificent slate gray. His hair, what may have been platinum blonde at one point, was bleach white. He reminded Elisabet of an albino, what with his intense paleness. She was intrigued by the boy's unusual beauty, attracted even. However, when his eyes fell on her she instantly turned back to her cousin.

"Who are those three?" Elisabet asked, cutting off whatever her cousin was rambling about. She gestured to the three teenagers in a motion she hoped was inconspicuous.

Schuyler glanced over and shrugged, disinterested. "The hot boy is Harrison Finch, but do not let his looks fool you. He's bad new, has had a lot of run-ins with the law. I've heard it is mostly arson." Though Schuyler appeared impartial Elisabet noticed her cousin was a lover of gossip. "The skinny girl is Winifred Laswell, I don't really like her. It is like she knows what everyone thinks. She can be a little weird, but I do not know her well. I think she is dating Dizzy, but they never ever get physical. I've just heard them talk all lovey dovey before."

"Dizzy?" Elisabet asked.

"The really white kid. His name is actually Coti Resner but everyone calls him Dizzy. He doesn't even go to this school, flunked out two years ago as a Junior."

"Why is he called Dizzy?" Curiosity had always gotten the best of Elisabet.

"Because he is a drunk. You hardly ever see him stand up straight. His friends call him Dizzy, too. He has practically adopted the name." Said Schuyler as she applied blush to her cheeks. She didn't seem satisfied with her already perfect perfection. "Well, I am going to American History, bell will ring any minute. Have fun, Elisabet. Text me if you need anything. Bye!" They shared a big hug before Schuyler took off in the direction of A building. Elisabet, on the other hand, headed to G. Algebra II was first hour. She felt it should be against the law to do math at 8:20 in the morning but made no audible complaint.

Elisabet entered the room to find it barren, with only her teacher as the exception. Relieved not to walk into an already crowded class she made her way over to the teacher's desk.

"You are?" Asked the teacher in a blunt yet kind of manner.

"Elisabet Cruize." She replied.

"Take a seat anywhere, and welcome to MVTHS."

Elisabet, in the hopes of remaining invisible, took a seat in the back. Within a few seconds after sitting down the bell rang and kids entered, crowding the room. As they filed in one in particular caught her attention. It was him, the handsome one with moss, green eyes. Harrison Finch.

Elisabet watched as he scanned the room, as if searching. Their eyes locked and Harrison's face broke into a smirk. She quickly looked down and bit her lip. 'What was that look about?' She pondered.

Elisabet lifted her head ever so slightly to glance at Harrison. She watched as he walked down the center row and took a seat beside her. Harrison turned and leaned in her direction. A hint of cigarette smoke wafted of him.

"Can I borrow a pencil?" He asked, a cocky smile touching his lips.

"Sorry, I don't have an extra."

"That's alright. I have my own." Harrison said as he removed one from his pant's pocket.

"B-but," Elisabet stuttered in confusion. "Why did you ask for one then?"

"Had to find an excuse to talk to the new girl." His face split into a huge grin. Obviously Elisabet wasn't as invisible as she hoped to be. "What's your name?" he asked.

"Elisabet Cruize. You are Harrison Finch."

"Asking around about me, I see. Well, can't really blame you. I am a very interesting person." Harrison drawled.

'How egotistical could one person be?' Elisabet thought. "Hardly," she replied, rolling her eyes to add to her disbelief, even though she was majorly lying to him and herself. He was very interesting, not that she would admit that to someone so arrogant. "Unless you consider a tree stump interesting."

"That depends. Is the tree stump blue? If so, I would find that incredibly interesting." Harrison said sarcastically. Against her will Elisabet laughed. Was this boy truly bad news? She wasn't yet sure. "I assure you. Elisabet Cruize, I am the most interesting person at this God forsaken school."

"If you are indeed the most interesting person here then I better transfer." This time it was Harrison who laughed.

"Oh, Elisabet," he began. "I so look forward to getting to know you." Elisabet felt his words held double meaning.

"Who says I want to know you?" asked Elisabet in a playful voice that she hoped masked her intense curiosity for Harrison. "Like I said before, you do not interest me."

Harrison grinned and put a finger to his lips, a gesture that said 'shh'. "Elisbet, you are distracting me from Algebra. Can't you see I am trying to learn?" And with those last words he turned away.

The rest of Algebra went by as Elisabet assumed it would: long and boring. Forty minutes after her odd discussion with Harrison the bell that would dismiss them from first hour rang. It was then, when she had began to leave her seat, that the wastebasket beside her teacher's desk burst into flames without a cause. However, it was only Elisabet who jumped, startled. The teacher simply plucked a fire extinguisher from its holder on the wall and put the fire out. Elisabet, wide eyes, turned to Harrison who had somehow moved to her side without her noticing.

"What just happened?" Elisabet asked in a whispered voice.

"Nothing, just Beckmire." Harrison replied.

"Beckmire?" she repeated.

"Yeah, old English teacher who haunts the school. He is known to make things spontaneously combust, disappear, ec cetera." Harrison said casually then shrugged, only adding to his nonchalance. "It is normal."

"Normal? Things blowing up is frequent around here?"

"Yeah, happens a lot. They use to evacuate the building when things caught fire but it happened so many times that they decided it would just be a waste of time. So, intstead the teachers are left to the responsibility of putting the fires out"

"Oh." Was all Elisabet could say in repsonse.

"Anyway, what is your next class?" Harrison asked, the Beckmire discussion apparantly over.

Elisabet glanced at her schedule before replying. "C Building, Coach Mings, Physical Education." she groaned. Elisabet wasn't what you would call athletic.

"You're in luck. That is my next class as well. I will escort you." he dazzled her with a large smile.

"Oh, goody!" Elisabet exclaimed in the most girly and sarcastic voice she could summon.

"We better hold hands. Don't want the new kid to get lost." Harrison joked, even going so far as extending his arm before dropping it to his side. Their walk to C building was quiet, with only Harrison's humming as the exception.

Seconds later they entered the building, which was simply a small gym with bleachers. Harrison pointed Elisabet in the direction of the girl's locker while he headed for the boy's. Fortunately, she had previously obtained P.E. clothes, which in turn prevented the hassle of disturbing Coach Mings.

Elisabet exited the lockeroom two minutes later. Instead of wearing her gray sweater or black jeans she was in a pair of black shorts and an orange shirt with the school mascot on the front. Whoever decided a ram was a necessary mascot was completely wrong.

"Nice." Harrison woof-whistled as he strode up to her, confidence etched in every step.

Elisabet crossed her arms over her chest and frowned. She would have replied with some hateful comment but was sadly cut off by the coach. "Out to the track field, this week is all running. Do not complain, if you feel you must complain then go home."

There were several nods while others just glared at him in annoyance. Elisabet was one of those people that felt the need to glare. When she glanced over at Harrison he looked neutral, simply not phased by Coach Mings' statement.

"Let's go." Coach Mings announced. The entire class followed in step. It was when Elisabet and Harrison fell at the back of the group that she noticed the girl on Harrison's left. Brunette hair, hazel eyes, freckles. It was Winifred Laswell, the girl who creeped Schuyler out. Elisabet could not blame her. The girl, though pale, had a dark air about her. Her eyes were distant and the headbuds that went from her iPod to her ears seemed to make her oblivious to those around her. Elisabet's intuition told her to get away, that Winifred was dangerous. Elisabet decided to ignore that small voice. Harrison only made the small voice smaller when he spoke up.

"So, why did you move here?" He asked Elisabet. His voice sounded uninterested but she felt Harrison was more curious than he was letting on.

"Hah, why is it you expect me to tell you?"

"Because, besides your cousin I am your only friend here."

She never told him about her cousin.

"Excuse me? We aren't friends, and how do you know Schuyler?"

Winifred was the one who answered. "It isn't that large of a school. News travels fast at MVTHS." Winifred looked over at her and smirked. "I am Winifred Laswell, pleasure to meet you." She extended a gloved hand and shook Elisabet's own.

"Elisabet Cruize." She replied quietly. Don't judge a book by its' cover is obviously very true.

Winifred nodded before turning her attention to the iPod in her hand and turning up the volume. Elisabet wondered if the Coach Mings knew Winifred was listening to music during class. Wasn't electronics prohibited during school hours?

"Okay, in groups of three we will race. Shut up and if your name is called go to the line." The coach called out before holding out a clip board and shouting at three names Elisabet wasn't familiar with. Two boys, one girl, went to the line. On the count of three they darted off down the track. The girl fell behind while the boys fought it out. The skinnier of the two, however, was victorious in the end. Coach Mings told them to get back before he called out another set.

"Harrison Finch, James Hooke, Richard Conley!"

Harrison sighed but made his way up to the line. Coach Mings counted down from three then signaled them to race. James and Richard quickly took the lead, however, the same cannot be said for Harrison. He, instead of listening to the coach and attempting to race decided to strode down the track. The race lasted four times as long as the one previous. Coach Mings glared angrily at Harrison and said a few unkind words before looking back at his clipboard.

Elisabet, along with Winifred, laughed at Harrison's little performance. She wouldn't be surprised if he was failing gym.

"Good try, Harrison. You did you best." Winifred sneered. Harrison grinned and flipped her off before turning to listen for the next few names.

"Marie Sullivan, Chad Flick, and Ozzy Ashford." Coach Mings called out.

A girl and boy made their way to the line and prepared for the race. However, it was only two. The third was nowhere to be seen.

"Dangit! That kid is always missing. Ozzy Ashford!" The coach called out in annoyance.

"Ozzy probably had a late night." Harrison whispered to Winifred. They both laughed at an inside joke Elisabet wasn't informed of.

"Here." Called a distant voice. Everyone, including Elisabet turned to the left, where then entrance to the track field was located. Passed a few girls Elisabet could see a boy walking in the group's direction. He wasn't much taller than Elisabet but looked very strong. His eyes were a light green and his hair was a dark blue-black that stood up in every direction. He wore no gym clothes. Only plaid green pajama pants and some band T-shirt. He looked like Rebellion personified.

"Tardy again, Ashford. Get your butt on the line." Coach grumbled.

"Hey, Oz. Remember, this school starts at 8:20, it may not be the same in Scotland, but you'll get use to it someday. How long has it been, three years since you immigrated?" Harrison shouted over, grinning broadly.

"Shut up, Harrison!" Coach Mings, his face turning a nasty red color. "Three, two, one. Go!" He counted down before the three took off. Ozzy, though looking half asleep and maybe even ill, took the lead and ruled over them. Elisabet, stunned, simply gaped. How was it possible someone move so quick, and with apparently little to no energy to begin with.

Harrison laughter broke her reverie. It must have been her expression that caused his laughter. Elisabet frowned at him but said nothing. Instead, it was Winifred who spoke up.

"Ozzy, late as always. Where have you been off to?" She asked innocently.

Ozzy smirked then shrugged boringly. "Stayed up late, slept in. No big deal." He murmured, a thick Scottish accent the only indication of where he grew up. He glanced at Elisabet, noticing her for the first time.

"This is my mail-ordered bride I was telling you about the other day." Harrison smiled and draped an arm over Elisabet's shoulder. She quickly shrugged him off and took a step away. "Prettier than she was in the brochure, eh?"

Ozzy smiled and nodded to Elisabet. "Hello." was all he said.

"Hello," she replied. "I am Elisabet."

"Ozzy."

"Yeah, I've heard." Coming from anyone else her comment may have sounded rude or sarcastic. From Elisabet it came off as playful.

The next twenty minutes passed and neither Winifred or Elisabet raced. The class was so large they would have to take turns. Therefore, the group of four sat at the edge of the track. Elisabet said little but listened into their stories. Harrison was quite funny, and although arrogant, she felt an odd kinship with him. Ozzy had charisma, he said almost as little as Elisabet but what he did say was always interesting. Winifred she wasn't so sure of. The girl made her feel nervous, tense even. Her opinion over how she felt about Winifred was not yet stable.

Coach Mings dismissed the class and they head back towards the gym. Like before, their group fell behind. Elisabet, Harrison, Winifred, then Ozzy. Winifred took off in one direction and Ozzy in another. It was then that Harrison brought his attention back to her.

"Well, chances are we won't have three classes in a row. So, my master tour-guiding skills are no longer needed. Anyway, see you later Ellie. Cannot wait to talk to you again." It was then that Harrison walked off, leaving her at the door of the girls lockeroom.

"Did he really just call me Ellie?" she muttered to herself.



© Copyright 2009 Kaycee-Beth (kaycee.beth at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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