Chapter 5 – January 10H

Shaking her head in the hope that the action would somehow return her to her seat in the auditorium, The Bird opened her eyes. To her right, Hamlet was dragging the corpse of Polonius from the room. A smeared stream of blood mingled with flesh stained the white stone floor in its wake.

“You need to get out of here.” Her mother grabbed her left forearm. “You, and that boy. You don’t belong here.”

“I know.” The Bird laid her hand gently on the wrist that was grabbing her left forearm, and was relieved to feel her mother’s grip relax. “I — don’t know how we got — ”

Rushing footfalls from the hall, approaching their doorway. Something about the sound, The Bird recognized — not the hard sound of leather, but the squeaking of rubber —

Mr. Jacobs rushed into the room, the other members of the Bark Bay High School team — Annie, Rex, Rune, Butch — quick on his heels. “What happened? Was Double-J here?”

“O what a rash and bloody deed!” The Bird was confused — her mother replied in the accent she used when playing the character of Gertrude.

“Dammit!” Mr. Jacobs looked quickly around the room. “Have you seen The Bird?”

“I’m right here!” He continued staring at her mother. “Mom, I don’t think they can see or hear me, tell them I’m here!” But she continued to lock her gaze, voiceless and terrified, with Mr. Jacobs.

The middle-aged English teacher at Bark Bay High School, the man called Coach Dan by most every member of the fencing team (but The Bird called him Mr. Jacobs, because she wasn’t a member of the team she only came to practices, so he couldn’t be her coach), took a step back into the hall. “Let’s keep looking,” he called, then rushed down the stone hallway to the left, followed by the four members.

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