Stalling and calling.
That night Davina could hear whispering throughout the dormitory. The patter of barefeet was accompanied by hushed voices.
‘Come on get up,’ said one of the older girls to another from a bed further down the dormitory.
‘She’s definitely asleep. We need to go through her things and find out what’s going on with her,’ said another climbing out of bed.
Davina sensed the talk was about her, something bad was about to happen. As a distraction, she focused her mind and attempted to remember where she was a few days before. The harder she tried, the harder it became to remember. Everything was… just darkness.
‘She has no idea does she?’ the girls whispered excitedly as they crept closer.
Davina ignored them and gazed at the huge, silvery moon outside the window. Silhouettes and shadows were cast across the nearby beds as the girls scurried about. What were they plotting?
The more she listened, the more she felt the urge to practice animal calls. She tried to think of some but… nothing – her mind was blank. Instead, she curled up and continued to gaze at the calming moon. Blink. A number of distorted shapes flew past the bright orb and disappeared into the clouds. What were they? Why did she instinctively want to make a ‘call’? Images of moving stones played through her mind… and… something else too.
‘Get up,’ demanded a girl wearing a burned golden mask. The ornate, gold patterns swirling about the mask triggered another mental image. The pattern had dislodged something that would terrify them.
‘Tell us why you’re ‘ere,’ commanded the leader, her black mask was decorated with black jewels. The other girls circled like sharks.
‘I ate my parents.’ Davina snarled.
‘You didn’t. You made that up you liar!’
Davina’s eyes widened. A surge of blood pulsed through her veins and her throat constricted. She had to hold back.
‘Rose told us – stupid. She’s the gossip here. You just have no memory. You’re not bad like us…’ said the leader viciousiously.
‘It really doesn’t have to be like this,’ said Davina, beads of sweat trickled over her temples. She glanced at her wrists, the pulse was throbbing. A burning sensation tingled down her spine as her nails transformed into claws.
‘Of course it doesn’t, but ‘this’ is how we like it. That’s why we’re ‘ere.’ The leader glanced at the smug looking girls behind her. They all agreed with nods.
Davina shifted awkwardly in her bed. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed three more shapes fly past the moon. She desperately wanted to call… Her jaw tightened she had to hold back. She must not lose control!
One of the girls who had been shuffling closer growled, a smaller girl next to her barked and the other girls all joined in until animal noises rang through the dormitory.
Davina drew in her legs and hid her claws. Her stomach knotted. She was in trouble. With a deep breath, she straightened her back and closed her eyes she had to be calm otherwise… Silently she placed her hands on her stomach and focused inside. From deep within her, something shifted. In that second, her rage rose and she made a loud, ferocious roar.
The girls froze in silence. They glanced quizzically at Davina, who from cross-legged propelled herself to standing. With a deep reverberating rumble the surrounding window panes cracked.
The girls stepped away, the girl before them appeared to be selecting her prey.
With a glance at the windows, Davina shifted to the end of the bed and gazed into the leader’s cruel eyes. She altered her growling pitch, glanced out of the window and made the call! RAAAAAAAahhhhhhhh!
The dark shapes in the sky changed direction and swooped towards the home. Bang. Bang. Bang! Whatever was outside collided with the walls. Windows exploded, glasses shattered and the room shook.
The girls grabbed the beds, whilst others screamed.
‘You freak!’ cried Sheba, the leader, from behind the black encrusted mask.
Davina stared the broad shouldered, muscular girl in the eye and with a satisfied look noticed the blood trickling from her nose. ‘You come anywhere near me again….’
‘And you’ll what?’ said Sheba poking Davina in the shoulder with a black varnished nail.
‘Try it… You’ll find out,’ Davina replied.
Sheba was silent, a glint of light had revealed Davina’s claws. She wiped her nose, noticed the blood and frowned.
‘Quick Ms Kirk’s on her way!’ yelled a tall girl guarding the door.
From down the corridor a heavy, flat-footed, stomp struck the tiled floors. The bony shape was on the rampage. Ms Kirk carried a search-light and stormed towards the girl’s dormitory. ‘Always the same! Always someone new and look what happens!’ she muttered pounding past the boys’ dorm.
The boys heard the ruckus and were keen to discover the source of the commotion. Stealthily they crept behind Ms Kirk anticipating quite a show.
With a sudden spin, Ms Kirk shone her torch on the boys. ‘Get to bed! This is not for everyone to have a bit of a party!’
The boys ignored her, trailed behind and glanced at each other with looks of fascination.
Inside the girls dormitory there was a flurry of intense activity. Masks were hidden before the girls dived under their covers and pretended to be asleep. Davina covered herself with her blanket and stared at the door.
Slam! Ms Kirk swished her torch about the dorm. The girls pretended to wake up when the light hit them.
‘Don’t act the innocent! You cannot fool me!’ spat Ms Kirk. She walked the length of the room and arrived by the windows. Crunch!
‘What’s this?’ she said lifting her foot.
No one said a word.
In a slow motion, she lifted her head and scowled at the room. ‘Someone here knows something. Where are the windows?’
Once again, silence filled the dense atmosphere.
‘Right extra chores and tomorrow is Thursday. Looks like there’ll be no girls in the line-up unless all the chores are done!’ she said making sure the searchlight rested on each of the practiced innocent faces.
‘Oh and don’t think you have got away with this. Tomorrow you will get up early and I will interrogate every single one of you. You cannot smash my windows and think you’ll get away with it! There will be beatings for everyone unless someone owns up!’
Ms Kirk shone the spotlight on Davina who stared past at the silvery moon. Something was out there. When she had called, that something had answered – ‘it’ was aware of her existence.