Confessions of a Demon

"That wasn't your house on the news last night, thank God. It looked just like it, and I thought--"

"It was."

"Huh?" Alice let out a confused giggle, which echoed off the walls of lockers lining the empty hallway.

"I said, it was."

"No it wasn't... I mean, they didn't... It couldn't have..." Her eyebrows stitched together. "You're joking, right?"

"Do I look like I'm joking?" Admittedly, Severin's mouth was the straightest of lines, disregarding the slightly sagging corners.

" Well what in the world are you doing here, of all places?!"

"Where else was I supposed to go?" A predictable argument.

"Sev! Two members of your family are in the hospital! Are you honestly that insensitive?" She knew more about it than he did... He was ready to bet that half the people in the school--maybe even town--were informed. The hollow feeling in the pit of his stomach led him to a confession.

"I couldn't face it. Besides, I probably wouldn't remember their faces. Distant relatives. It was a family reunion sort of thing. But... you probably already knew that, huh?"

"Yeah... But what do you mean? Where were you through all of it?" There was a ringing silence following her question, and she turned to tug on the sleeve of his hoodie. "Sev? It's almost 8. I want you to answer me before we go to class." She groaned. "And, for God's sake, look at me!"

Sev glanced disobediently at his own feet. "I don't know exactly what happened, because I was too busy running away."

"Well, why--"

"Shut up." She did, and he rainsed his crimson eyes to her frightened hazel ones for the first time that day. "It was my fault. I caused that fire."

In her preoccupied state, Alice walked sideways into an opening door, tripped, and collapsed embarrassingly on to all fours.

"Oh jeez! I'm sorry! You okay?" stammered the young blonde teacher, outstretching a hand to aid the fallen Alice.

"Oh, yeah," the brunette laughed. Red in the face, Alice raised a trembling hand to adjust the rectangular glasses on her perfectly structured nose. "It was my bad..."

Ms. Moore nodded nervously. "'Kay... Well, class starts once I get back." The bell rang at that moment, causing her to jump. "Oh--well then, until that time comes, Severin, you're in charge. Shouldn't be long." With that, the inexperienced teacher turned, her heels clicking away with each alternate step.

Alice, after catching her breath and reassembling herself, led the way into the packed classroom. She took her assigned seat without a word, and like the rest of the class, fixed her eyes on the doorway.

Sev emerged, hands in pockets, and stiffened instantly. Everyone had heard him.

The pressure was on.

The End

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