Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I want to kill them all.
        Every one of them, but especially Mr. Hodgkins, Mr. ‘Nice to see you in class, Jake.’ ‘I hope you studied for this test, Jake’ Hodgkins. Physics? I could give him physics: I could show him FTL drives, write down equations that would break down all his certainties. I almost tried, once, but I’d need to invent forms of math just to translate it so he could understand it at all.
        It wasn’t worth my time. The last time I tried translating something, he thought I was doodling.
        The rest of the class is quiet, writing down answers and cheating in half the cases. It’s not hard to notice; human body language is their Braille, to my eyes. It’s terribly easy to read, unlike their words.
        Twelve light years away the Hole has begun devouring a star system. I am writing a test.
        “I need to go to the bathroom,” I say, raising my hand.
        Mr. Hodgkins frowns. I hand him the finished test before he can say no, walking out.
        He sends out a hall monitor before I reach the bathroom, to make sure I return ‘this time’.
        We aren’t allowed cell phones; I call my family anyway. I explain.
        My mother explains that just because an alien intelligence has become part of me doesn’t mean I can avoid tests worth thirty percent of my final grade.
        I explain about the Hole. I tell her it’s a living black hole. Billions are dying. I could probably make it there, negate it. An hour, at best.
        She says she doesn’t have time to home school; I’d lose my chance to finish the year, because I wouldn’t graduate.
        I accidentally destroy the stall door leaving the bathroom, letting a hint of energy leak into my eyes as I stare at the hall monitor. Jenny doesn’t ask questions, but she doesn’t leave. She knew her duty.
        I spend the rest of the class listening to screams. Eventually someone else arrives, but by them too many have died.
        Mr. Sexton in biology asks if I plan to pay attention. I say no, and walk outside. People are following, saying words. They’re probably angry.
        My phone rings; my mother always knows when I’ve done something wrong. I sometimes wonder if she has a power, or if all others do.
        I answer. “Seven billion people.”
        She says nothing.
        I drop the phone and stare up at the stars, then back at the people looking at me.
        I do not say goodbye.

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