Monday afternoon, and I’m in history. I’m going through all the motions, pretending that I’m listening and taking notes, but the eyes are vacant. The kings and queens, the ancient wars, the names of people long dead, they mean nothing, they just wash over me. The past is done, dead, and the dead are beyond saving. But Jamie isn’t dead yet, I’m sure of it. He can still be saved. Saving him is all I can think about.
I’m still quite new at this school, since we moved here just recently. But there’s been time enough for Jamie and me to become best pals, even brothers. It was me and him who discovered those creatures in the tunnel. It was me and him who fought them, and it was together, and only together that we’d managed to kill one of them and escape with our lives.
And now he is gone. They’d had taken him. Maybe it was some kind of revenge. I don’t know. But what I do know is that every day, every hour, every minute that passes will see Jamie becoming less human, and more and more like one of them. My face is a picture of calmness to the outside world, but inside I feel like I’m burning up. Burning with anger, with frustration, with impatience. I want nothing more than to get out of this class, out of this school, to bunk off, head straight back down the track and go searching for him. Having to wait until the weekend is eating me up. Yet I have to fight it back. I have to keep a lid on it. I have to appear normal so as no one gets suspicious. There are enough eyes on me already after what happened.
The bell rings. We file out. I don’t talk to any of my classmates, don’t even meet any of their gazes, which are filled with a mixture of pity and morbid curiosity. They’re like car drivers slowing down to gawp at a train wreck. Most of them have been giving me a wide berth, which suits me.
Sometimes as I walk down the corridor I can feel the eyes on me, and I can hear them whispering to each other: “That’s the boy, his mate Stan was the one that got snatched.”
None of it bothers me much. It’s nothing to the demons plaguing my mind.