Read Chapter 1.
Talie awoke to the alarm BLARGH-BLARGH-BLARGHing from her phone. In her tired stupor, she turned off her alarm, pulled her phone from the charger, got her clothes together, brushed her teeth, and made her way out to the kitchen. She heated up some sausages in the microwave, packed up a sandwich for lunch, and opened a can of Coke Zero to wake herself up. She looked over at her backpack near the door. It was covered in dust from being packed so tightly with various other things. She looked outside, and with a twinge of anger, put on her winter coat. The only fabric covering her legs were the tights she wore under her skirt, but at least her chest would be warm. The coffee maker beeped, signifying that coffee was complete.
Talie's Dad stumbled out of his bedroom in his pajamas. He got a mug of coffee and, when the microwave stopped, grabbed one of Talie's sausages. After a couple sips of coffee, Talie's Dad stuck the sausage in his mouth and made his way out to the car to get it started. Talie stuck the rest of the sausages in her mouth, drank the rest of her Coke Zero, threw away the can, and cleaned the dust off of her backpack. She made her way out to the car. She got in the back seat, opened her backpack, and looked at the printed out form confirming her enrollment at "William D. Shiz High School for the Gifted and Unusual."
"Minnesotans have weird names for things." said Talie as her Dad, having cleaned off the car, starts the car and drives off.
"No weirder than Florida, judgmental bitch." said her Dad.
"Well, maybe some fat jackoff shouldn't eat my breakfast." said Talie.
"It's my house and I paid for the sausages with my money. Technically, it's my food, you moocher." said her Dad.
"Whatever." said Talie. The rest of the drive was silent. When Talie's Dad drove up to the front of the school, Talie got out, closed the door, and walked up to the front door, without even saying goodbye. Talie looked a the school, which looked exactly like a prison, except with the bars on the window removed. When Talie walked in, she saw the main office with the principal's office and everything. Perfect, she'd know where that is at all times. Talie walked in the door and saw the secretary: a cheery pale woman who couldn't have been much older than herself.
"Hi, how may I help you?!" said the woman who was way too perky for this early in the morning.
"I'm Natalie. I'm a new student. I was told to come here first." said Talie.
"Oh yes, Miss Canine. Principal Pricklebush is in her office. I'll let you in." said the secretary.
"Pricklebush?" said Talie without hesitation.
"Yes. The Pricklebushes have been an important part of Brainerd since the beginning. Surely you've heard of them?" said the secretary.
"No. I've moved here from Florida." said Talie. The secretary opened the door and he eyes went wide.
"YOU MEAN THE LAND OF DISNEY AND SEAWORLD AND PUT PUT GOLFING?!" said the secretary excitedly, almost jumping for joy.
"That's enough, Erzulie. I will help young Natalie Canine from here." said a very stern looking woman, covered in the shadows.
"Yes, Ma'am" said Erzulie the secretary. She closed the door behind her. Principal Pricklbush looked at Talie for a really long time. Not taking her eyes off Talie, Principal Pricklebush grabbed the microphone for the school loudspeaker.
"Attention students: Andrea Meda, please come to the principal's office. Andrea Meda, please come to the principal's office." said Principal Pricklebush. She out down the microphone. "Please sit down, Natalie Canine." Talie sat down in the chair.
"Welcome to your new school. It appears that everything is in order. I have high expectations for my students and there will be consequences if those expectations are not achieved. Make sure you arrive on time, do your work to the highest quality, participate in extracurricular activities, and above all, have fun. The phone stays in your pocket unless you inform me of an emergency that you will be getting a call about." said the Principal Pricklebush. Erzulie opened the door. Andrea Meda stood there.
"Ah, yes, Andrea Meda. Come in. Thank you, Erzulie." said the Principal. Erzulie closed the door. "Natalie, meet Andrea. To make your transition to our school easier, I've assigned you to be her shadow. Her class schedule is the exact same as yours, so she will always be available for questions. You are both dismissed." Talie and Andrea left the office.
"Nice to meet you, Natalie. I'm Andi." said Andi. Talie was a bit bewildered to see Andi with a backwards baseball cap and wearing clothes two sizes to big for her.
"Talie. My name is Talie. I'm glad I'm not the only one with a nickname." Talie said.
"Yeah, the Principal has this weird thing about referring to everyone, except Erzulie, by their full first name and last name. Most of the teachers are pretty good about using preferred names, and even pronouns!" said Andi excitedly, as if that was a tick in the "progressive school" box.
"Cool." said Talie.
"Cool, indeed. The school work isn't that bad. Still plenty of time to play video games afterwards." said Andi.
"What videogames do you play? I've only really played Kingdom Hearts." said Talie.
"That's a good game. I play whatever seems of interest to me. At the moment, I'm replaying through the Mass Effect series. I really like Paragon FemShep and I am determined to get Garrus to love me." said Andi.
"Okay." said Talie.
"If you want to play more games, try Portal first. That's a fun, short game that shows the potential of the art form." said Andi.
"Thanks." said Talie, wishing this conversation would end because she has nothing to contribute.
"Our first class is homeroom. It's a really nice way to begin the day. Let's head inside." said Andi, opening the door. Talie breathes heavily and walks in, beginning her new life at her new school.
Read Chapter 3
Read Chapter 4
Read Chapter 5
Read Chapter 6
Read Chapter 7