Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction
1. Interview"What makes you think you're worthy of Joseph Cohen's School for the Gifted?" asks the principal, her fingers interlaced.
Her brown eyes burns into mine. In fact, those alluring pair of eyes make me ignore the wrinkles creasing her forehead.
I take a deep breath. Every nerve in my body is tempted to inch away from this woman and her fiery eyes, but I force myself to stare back.
"Because I have no interest in anything else but becoming better."
She nods. Whether she liked this response or not, I don't know. Her face betrays no emotion. In a way, she's the perfect barrier for a school so exquisite.
My heart quickens for a moment. I think of the school, what's beyond the tinted gates. And though nobody I know has ever been through those gates, there's a gut-feeling I'll belong there.
It's the only place I can belong.
"Do you have any close family or relatives?"
"Family and friends, I do have. But they mean nothing to me."
The corner of her mouth twitches. She likes this response. "And why don't they mean anything to you?"
"I'm different from them. In every way, shape and form."
She skims through my resume --the one I spent many hours creating. Although she must've read it beforehand, it's a visible sign I can both be rejected and accepted. There's a fifty chance of both. This makes me more edgy.
"Your brother died last year."
"You didn't attend his funeral." It's not a question. There's no disbelief in her voice, or any hint of disgust.
"Life is cruel. It's unfair. In order to live, I mirror its personality." I take out a folder from my book-bag. "Here are my semester results--"
"I don't need them. I've already made my decision."
"You're not going to insist I see your results?"
"I trust your judgement."
There's a pause. Her unfathomable expression is torn apart with a grimace. This soon turns into a smile.
"Welcome to Joseph Cohen's School for the Gifted, Andrea."
My fingers receive a piece of paper. It's just the perfect temperature; not too cold, not too hot but warm. It's fitting to this place, occasion and time. Suitably warm.
2. GirlI see a girl with bouncy, curly red hair. Like candy apple. She notices my gaze and stares back. There's a scar running from the tip of her lip to beginning of her collar-bone.
She smirks. "Looking at something?"
I avert my glance.
After a while, she says, "It's okay. I have a scar and it sure ain't invisible."
"It's rude to stare at people, you know."
"Apology not accepted." She pretends not to see the surprise on my face. Who is she? If she stays out of my way, I'll stay out of hers. "But you can make it up to me."
"I don't have to make anything up to you."
She leans in closer. So close, our knees are almost touching. In a voice so low, she whispers, "I know what you did."
A chill runs up my spine. "You don't know anything."
"If you say so," she whispers. In one swift motion, she sits straight in her seat. Her posture straight, she copies down all the sums on the board --sums that most mathematicians spend years learning.
I focus my eyes to my paper. It's blurry. No matter how many times I stare at the blackboard, I can't digest anything that's written.
Inevitably, my eyes flicker to the seat three down from me.
3. KeyAn emergency conference has been called.
Everybody heads towards the massive auditorium located fifty meters away from the classroom. There's no chattering like my last public high-school. No teachers have to sigh, exasperated, and split students apart half-heartily.
There are two lines, mixed with boys and girls.
Nothing but the monotonous sound of footsteps sound as we enter the auditorium. The principal jerks her head upwards. She stands on stage, fierce and superior.
"Somebody entered Room Number 143 last night." The room becomes increasingly silent if that's possible. "As you all are aware, that Room is out of bounds."
The vice-principal takes the microphone from the principal's hand. "A door was unlocked. A silver key was stolen."
"The culprit will be immediately expelled."
"But until we find out who it is, food will not be offered in the cafeteria."
There's a stir in the crowd.
"Silence!" roars the principal. The room immediately grows silent. She nods. "And that will be all."
The entire school heads back, in low footsteps, back to the classrooms.
"I told you I knew," says a voice.
I spin around. The girl with the scar and crazed eyes. Roughly, she grabs my hand. Then she releases it.
She's gone. Suddenly, there's a weight in my hand. I unfold my fingers.
There is rust, a little bit of breakage.
But it is, undeniably, a silver key.
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