*** Dunno why I forgot about this one – also seminar work.
This is an attempt at multi-genre, hopefully incorporating elements of sci-fi, low-fantasy, anti-hero.. and some other things I forget. See if you can spot them.
The first strokes of sunlight bled through the dark horizon outside of the windows, painting a complexion like a bruised peach.
Inside the classroom, the consensus of attention was at the stage of waning as the babbling students gradually pushed the level of sound beyond dismissable murmurs. Their faces illuminated in the brilliant glow of their phones, they did not notice the small sigh that slipped free of its moorings, near the front of the room.
Mr. Asquith peered blearily at the figures before him, pushing his spectacles back up his beak of a nose, before turning his attention to the youthful mob sat at their desks.
“Professor,” came the plaintive tone of one of the more bold students, “can we go, please?” The mannerism thrown in at the end, almost as an afterthought.
Straightening his back, Mr. Asquith’s narrowed gaze scoured the room for the source of the noise, landing square on one of the girls at the front. The state of her uniform provoked his lip to curl, greying mustache quivering.
“Go..?” He posed, feigning a look of mild bewilderment that he knew from practice would incite unfailing frustration in the young and frenetic.
“Yes sir, it’s nearly time – please?” She pleaded, elongating the last syllable in retaliation.
Mr. Asquith took a moment to regard the day’s waking outside of the window to his right, then turned his attention back to the class, noting now the growing number of wide eyes awaiting his response.
“Very well, but-!”, he had added, raising a finger as the class scuffled to their feet, “I want your essays on the theory of proper medical procedures for physio-dissimilation in Foregone’s by Monday.” A few of the students exchanged knowing glances with some of their fellows, who themselves looked pointedly anywhere else.
In gaggles of two, threes and fours, the class began the rituals of vacating the room: bags were packed, friends joined, invitations to after-school activities fielded, murmured goodbyes shot perfunctorily in the professor’s direction. Mr. Asquith had gathered his papers and was wiping the board clean of instructions on proper etiquette towards the newly departed, when the clouds outside shifted and a beam of clear morning light shot through the classroom window.
Mr. Asquith winced apprehensively, watching the light wash over him and flood the doorway.
Sod and blast it, left it too late again. The girl who had been so eager to leave moments before stood in the threshold, fully silhouetted in the warm glow. She froze like a hare in the headlights, eyes wide with dread.
“Oh no, not again..” She muttered. Then, without any preamble her body became translucent, unveiling milky waves of ephemeral vapour swirling about under her skin. She locked her professor with an accusing glare, who merely pinched the bridge of his nose with a resigned sigh, as her form devolved. Details sloughed away like weightless sand and colours faded into watery obscurity.
Clearing his throat, Mr. Asquith stood to regard the small pile of glittering dust on the floor; all that remained of his erstwhile student. What is her name again? Oh.. Yes, Judith Waters; bloody Foregones. A boy quickly pulled the blind on the window and the rest of the class, recovered from the sudden surprise, continued filtering out into the corridor, laughing at their fellow’s misfortune.
“Ah, Andrew.” Mr. Asquith began, halting the boy in his tracks as he hurried to leave.
He turned reluctantly away from the door, “Yes, sir?”
Mr. Asquith’s smile masqueraded as good intent,“It seems today you get the benefit of first hand experience to supplement your essay, call it extra curricular.” Andrew looked down at Judith’s remains in silence. “Please escort Miss Waters to the infirmary for physio-reassimilation” he said, proffering a pan and brush.