Pandemonium

Well, here goes. The unedited dump of my mind begins. Where it leads, no one knows…


A girl walks into the Senior English class, a few minutes after it has started and silently hands the teacher a note. The girl doesn’t look up at the students seated in class who are all staring at her. She knows they are staring without having to glance over at them as everyone always stared. And how could they not when everything about her was disheveled, from her haphazardly chopped hair to her mismatched clothing? Even her eyes were two different colors; one ice blue and the other amber, both contrasting with her black hair.

Unless someone bothered to look beneath the disarray and get past the oddity of her eyes, they wouldn’t likely notice that she was attractive. She, herself, doesn’t notice. In fact, she hates who she is and rarely bothers looking in a mirror. She doesn’t hate herself for her appearance. That is merely a reflection of her chaotic personality. She hates herself because of what always happens whenever she is around a group of people.

She knows that something is going to happen in class. And if not in English, then a different class, or in the cafeteria perhaps. It was just a matter of time.


The teacher takes a moment to glance at the note before turning to the class. “Class, this is Pandemonia Merryweather. She’s a new student. Please give her a warm welcome.”

“Welcome, Pandemonia,” the class says in unison, though many of the students are rolling their eyes at the ritual.

Turning back to Pandemonia, the teacher asks, “Why don’t you tell us something about yourself, Pandemonia? That’s an unusual name by the way.”

Pandemonia cringed at the inevitable “tell the class something about yourself” directive that teachers loved to inflict upon new students as if it wasn’t awkward enough starting a new school the last month before summer vacation.

“I prefer to be called Pan,” she says in a soft tone, refusing to meet anyone’s eye.

The teacher smiles, “Alright, Pan. Do you mind opening a window for some fresh air before you take your seat? It’s a little stuffy in here and the air conditioning is broken. There’s a nice breeze out today.

Pandemonia hesitates a moment but then nods and goes over to a window and opens it, mentally bracing herself for some horrible mishap that fears will come of the simple act. Nothing happens. She takes a seat at the back of the class, ignoring the boy sitting next to her who she has caught staring from the corner of her eye.

The teacher barely has time to turn back to the chalkboard before a swarm of wasps sweeps through the window into the classroom and pandemonia takes over with children screaming, waving their arms and books to escape the stinging hoard. The teacher isn’t screaming but she is waving her arms and shouting to the students as she opens the classroom door, “Run into the hallway!”

Pandemonia sighs with the mass exodus of the teacher, students, and wasps; leaving only a few still flying about the classroom. None of the remaining wasps bother her. In fact, the swarm hadn’t bothered her at all. Only the fact that she knows that she is somehow responsible for the event bothers her. She hadn’t bothered waving her arms about, not because she knows that the wasps won’t sting her as long as she sits still. Though she knows the wasps will go after anything that moves, as she has been in similar situations before, the reason she is still at the height of the panic around her is that only in the midst of such chaos does she ever feel truly at ease.

Pandemonia doesn’t know how she causes such… pandemonia, lacking a better word. She only knows that it happens whenever she is near more than a half dozen people. She knows that she is somehow the common denominator in the chaos that her presence seems to bring about.

She sits by herself, staring out the open window, thinking to herself, And so it begins. I should just drop out of school. I don’t know why I bother. Though she does know why she bothers. It is because she is lonely and seeks the company of others, even as a bystander.

The bell ringing draws her out of her thoughts. She stands up and shoulders her backpack, wondering if she should even bother going to her next class. She knows that sooner or later, people are going to attribute the unusual events to her. They always do, and then they will shuttle her off somewhere else to become someone else’s problem.

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