THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 352


Someone touched my shoulder,
startling me.
“It’s only me,” said my ex-crush.
“You know what happened?”
I had no patience
for his questions.
a fire,” I said.
“You know who started it, right?”
I played dumb.
“Lindsey. She escaped
from West Campus
and created a distraction,
so she could go shoot up the school.”
I searched his face for any sign
of insincerity, but as always,
he was difficult to read.
No light of even black humor
danced in his eyes.
Behind our heads, the smoke
had begun to settle thickly
over the school in an inky haze.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 351


I smelled smoke
before I saw it.
At first, the odor was so faint,
I might have imagined it,
but the deeper I breathed,
the more it filled my lungs.
Then I saw a cloud rising
above the school.
A breeze blew,
dispersing the cloud,
so I could not pinpoint
exactly where it rose from.
Is this an accident?
Or did someone set this fire on purpose?

The fire trucks shrieked
as they rushed over the speed bumps
in the parking lot.
I continued toward my school,
although common sense said
to head the other way.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 350


As the crowd fell away,
my deliberate disobedience
made me feel as if I was floating.
If someone called my name,
I would pretend not to hear.
I imagined myself ascending
into the sky, fading into the blue,
leaving the scene…
I was almost to the main road
when something brought me back
down to earth with a thump
I could almost feel.
A fire truck turned the corner
in a flash of red, followed by a second one.
There really is a fire.
This is not a drill.

I scanned the school’s horizon
for smoke.

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