Karma (noun.)-the effects of a person's actions that determine his/her destiny.
In the year 2020, technology has improved dramatically to an extent where everybody knows the date and time of their death, but not how or where. Destiny Scott has only 30 days until her death and is petrified to the core. How will she die? Painfully? Peacefully? Being a cheerleader in Freshman year, she's wronged many people. Believing in Karma, she sets out to put her wrongs right with 30 different people. Little
Chapter One- Destiny's Death
Semaphore (noun.) - an indication, to signal.
Vocabulary you may not know:
Semph - in the year of 2020 every person is born with a birth-mark sort of thing which shows them when they'll die when they apply acid to it. One thing that I managed to be imaginative [sort of].
"Aladdin's A Whole New World will forever beat Rihanna's Diamonds." -Me, who is famous inside my own mind, so I can quote myself.
1st January 2020
I hate Shakespeare. Was his life-long dream to be known as an "English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language" or did he really aspire to make every teenagers' life in English classes hell? You never know with some people, especially Shakespeare. He makes everything so puzzling, it actually hurts.
Physically as well as mentally.
With my earphones plugged in to drown out the noise of Ms Vorderman's incessant chatter, I mouth along to A Whole New World. It's on repeat. In school, can't we just read The Hunger Games rather than this crap about love? Okay, so the Hunger Games has love in it too, but that's not my point.
I watch Ms Vorderman's mouth move: how does she speak so quickly yet so formally? There's so many wonders of the Universe and I think that's one of them. Her mouth abruptly shuts as I release a breath of fresh air- I guess that's English class over and done with. Somebody to my right nudges me, causing me to turn to them. I glare at the girl in question: Melissa Hargreaves. She seems unaffected by my death glare and moves her head suggestively towards Ms Vorderman. I look at Vorderman as her eyes spontaneously land on me.
It's a great thing that my blonde hair flows down my shoulders, effectively hiding my earphones. Vorderman's now glaring as her mouth opens once again. The music's drowning her out when it seems that she's addressing me. Unable to take my earphone's out (she'd sense something), I settle on nodding. A vein pops on her cadaverous complexion as a lump forms in my throat. Please don't say that she just asked if I'm naked or a buffoon or something and I've replied with a nod.
Fingers yank my earphones out of my ears; the fingers belong to Melissa Hargreaves. I adjust my ears to no music now and my mind adjusts to the fact that I just got caught by Hitler herself. Melissa speaks on behalf of me, making me sink lower into my seat. "Ms, she's been listening to something through the whole lesson." She puts one earphone in her ear then immediately yanks it out. "It's that Disney song."
The class members seem like they want to laugh their guts out, but they can't, so they settle on letting their faces tint pink. Hitler's glare makes me condescend, the class seeming to crumple around me. "Well, that's most certainly an interesting choice of entertainment, Destiny. My son listens to Disney, not a fifteen year old girl who's in an English lesson. A very important and beneficial English lesson, to be precise."
Now it's not the music which is drowning her out. It's my heart beat.
"I'll have to talk to the Head about this and thank you Melissa." Melissa smiles smugly as I don't have it within myself to glare. You see, I'm not the bad girl in my school. I sure as hell am mean, cruel and anything else to my fellow students. But I don't portray that to my teachers. They think that I'm the cheeky girl that has the best excuses for sleeping in their lessons (In Biology, I say that I'm experimenting on human behaviour.).
The bell sounds above us and Vorderman dismissed us all, including me, surprisingly. It's every man for himself as I run out of the class, trying to escape the military camp as soon as possible. That witch is crazy. Noticing Melissa already standing outside the class, I flip my magic finger at her, all the while smiling innocently while batting my eyelashes. She responds with a scowl, before turning the other way.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
I never did. However, at the moment, all my senses are proving otherwise. I breath in the luscious smell of an exotic spice as I hear the beautiful melody of fairytale music playing in my ears. I feel my fingers tingle with the yearn to dive into the soft texture as I gape at the beautiful scene before my eyes.
"You're beautiful." I whisper softly, gaining a snicker from Leah who is also grabbing a lunch tray.
"Are you seriously falling in love with your cake? Man, I feel sorry for the cake." I look towards Leah, watching her brunette hair fall wavily to her front. Why the hell is she my best friend as well as Zainab for when she makes rude comments? I stare at her, frowning as my response, then return to gape at my food. "And now you don't even answer."
I continue to ignore her as I stare dreamily at the cake. Will I be there in time to receive my baby? Will I? What if somebody steals my baby? What if there's not any left? Cheesecake heaven. Oh Lord, why do I have to be at the middle of a lunch cue which contains 300 hungry monsters all staring dreamily at that one piece of cake? Did I just describe myself as a hungry monster?
I sigh, earning a smack on my arm. I whip my head towards Emma, who is grinning at me, "Most girls wouldn't stare at that cake because of the calories it contains."
"Do I look like a girl to you?" I ask, grinning. Cake honestly brings out the best in me.
"No, you look like a immature brat, only grinning because you're thinking of cake." she explains, rolling her eyes, yet still grinning nonetheless. We're now next to retrieve our cake. I wonder how we'd gone from the middle of the cue to suddenly at the front.
I eye the cake as the last piece lies there without a care in the World. I suddenly grow jealous of it - it's only care is being murdered by starving teenagers. The crumbly, buttery base is sat on by a creamy filling, topped off with gorgeous, healthy nuts and maple syrup.
Lord, why? Just why?
Then I watch as it slowly lifted and turned towards a monster. It almost laughs at me as it goes towards Melissa Hargreaves. I mutter a colourful word loud enough for her ears.
Taking a seat at our usual tables, I glare at everything and everyone: meaning Zainab and Leah. "I hate her." I say while poking my spoon into my soup. It doesn't feel the same as poking a fork into salad.
"You know who you remind me of?" asks Zainab, looking weirdly at me. "Jade West, from Victorious. You know? That goth chick."
I laugh, glaring at her. "Oh ho no. Who even watches that crap?"
"Zainab" laughs Leah. "We're going to that Meet and Greet on Saturday, aren't we? For Elizabeth Gillies?"
We nod, conversing about it in animated gestures.
The cafeteria comes to a halt, all the voices momentarily grown quiet as somebody claps their hands loudly, before standing on their lunch table. I notice it's Melissa and immediately look down at my food. There I was thinking it's somebody going to dance. I don't think I want to dance like a maniac with Melissa.
She takes a deep breath, staring at everyone in awe. Everybody nods, signalling to her to hurry up.
"Hurry up then." somebody calls out.
"Bro, you're wasting my time!" a football player, on the other side of the cafeteria, hollers.
"What's the word, humming bird?" calls Zainab, to which I reply with a flick on her forehead. Everyone laughs at Zainab stealing lines from TV shows.
"Okay!" shrieks Melissa, her voice throbbing. If she hadn't grassed on me today morning, i would be feeling sorry for her right now. But I don't, of course. "We all know when we're going to die, right?" Everybody nods, the atmosphere dying down a little. When you're born, you've got a scratch somewhere on your neck which people call your Semph: a shortened word for semaphore. When you apply acid to it, the scabby surface clears to show a date. The date you die. Everybody knows when they'll die, but nobody decided to look at it. Well, not me anyway. You can't live properly, like they did in the olden days, when they mucked about with no clue as to when their time would come. But that was 2012, now it's 2020, where everything's predicted and technology is far. She continues. "I want to say sorry for everything I've ever done to you because..." She looks as if she'll break down. "I'm going to die tomorrow."
This hits me like a dagger. Oh poo. I've been mean to her on her last day of life. I won't see her tomorrow, when she should be sat next to me in English. A clique of girls comfort her, patting her on the back, while I idly sit on my chair. An awkward silence ensues in the cafeteria, but then soft murmurs appear about next week's episode of Doctor Who rather than Melissa's death. "When do you think we'll die?" I ask, playing with my soup.
"There's only one way to find out, love." replies Leah, taking her orange juice and wiping a little bit to her neck. Excusing herself, she goes to the bathroom. Zainab doesn't want to know when she'll die, but today I want to discover when I'll die.
Copying Leah, I brush a slight bit of orange juice to my neck and see a date. As if a hundred daggers are ripping me apart now, I stare dumb-founded into the date. 30th January. Today's the first of January; today's New Year's day. What the hell?
"I don't want to die scarily." I say, in a hush to Zainab, who drops her spoon upon seeing the date on my neck, scrawled in a blood-like substance. It could be blood. "I don't want to be kidnapped with my eyes ripped out, or in a war or falling off a cliff. I want to die peacefully. Perhaps in my sleep like the boring faggot I am.
Zainab's eyes hold grief, something very rare for her. "You love Disney. Isn't there stuff about being nice to others makes good things happen to you?" She asks, making sense somehow. "You're mean, so you're going to die harshly if you don't be nice within the next 30 days."
My mind faded, I reply in a slur. "You mean karma?"
She nods. "In the next 30 days try to pay off all the wrong things you've done to 30 different people. It'll work somewhat. If it doesn't reduce that death-scariness, it'll at least make you feel good." I scoff, but nod. "You have to start with Melissa. Go and say sorry to her."
"No! I ha-" I'm cut off by Zainab's glare and am forced to go and say sorry to the witch. Walking away from Zainab with a glare, I walk over to Melissa maliciously. Or malevolently. I could make alliteration with that: Malevolent Melissa.
Her eyes look puffy as she attempts to smile at me. "What? Come here to rub it in my face?"
"I'm not that mean!" I protest.
"Really?" she asks, giving me a condescending look. And I thought I felt sorry for her.
"I came to say sorry for being mean." I say to which she replies with a baffled look, which is now replaced with a smile and a quiet thank you. I guess I surprise people with that.
Sorry really seems to be the hardest word for me. I know one thing: if I am to be victorious in beating Karma, I have to do more than say sorry to people, because I do a lot more than flip a finger at people.
The next 30 days are going to be so long.