Four high school students encounter an evil spirit. Thoroughly cliched and hopelessly derivative.
After dinner, Natalie unpacked her bookbag and sat down on the floor. She couldn’t focus. She tried English, tried math, threw the books aside, searched the room for Mr. Squeaks. She turned on her favorite emo album, but all she could think about was how it was Mr. Squeaks’ favorite album, too. She packed up her books and told her mom she was going to the library.
Chin in hand, Chad paced back and forth in his apartment. He had finished reading all of his textbooks and completed all the assignments scheduled on the syllabus. Oh, what to do now. Ah—he knew. He took his gym bags, still where he had left them on the day of the evacuation, and threw out their contents. Chad was going to start his college thesis and borrow every book on quantum physics and botany from the library.
Mikhail lay on his bedroom floor, staring at the ceiling where his dream about falling off the cliff into the dead land played like a movie on repeat. He and his father had had a fight at the dinner table, and his mother cried. He had gotten up and gone to his room himself to avoid even more discord, though only for her sake. He rubbed his face hard—he had to get out of the house. Since he had disposed of all his books on the weekend he believed he wouldn’t need them anymore, he decided to go to the library.
Vanessa lay on her bed, combing through old yearbooks to see if she could locate the weirdo with the greasy hair. Her little sister barged into her room—“Get out!” Vanessa shrieked—crying that she had a book project due the next day that she hadn’t even started. Vanessa banished her again, but their mother yelled, “Take your little sister to the library!”
Natalie had only settled into the study area for five minutes before she spied someone crossing the library with a stack of books as high as the top of his head. She ran over to grab an armful—and was face to face with Chad.
“Why, thank you, dear, most kind of you” he said, putting his stack down before taking hers.
Her heart would have pounded harder if it weren’t wounded by the loss of Mr. Squeaks. Before she could respond to him, Vanessa walked in with a girl of about ten, whom she shoved toward the children’s department when she saw Chad.
Chad said, “Why, here’s Vanessa. What’s your name again, dear?” he asked Natalie.
He waved Vanessa over. “Let’s form a study group! Three minds working in concert are exponentially stronger than one laboring alone!”
“Why the hell are you here, Chad?” Vanessa hissed.
Mikhail entered and strode towards the non-fiction, which was next to the study area where the three of them congregated. He was wondering which books his father would most hate to read so he could borrow them.
Vanessa spotted him. Here was an opportunity to figure him out so she could get the third sacrifice over and done with.
“Look who it is,” she cried, “It’s—it’s—what’s your name?”
He slowed down and said nothing, annoyed at the sight of classmates socializing.
Vanessa continued sweetly, “don’t you want to study with us? Actually, why don’t you introduce yourself and tell us all about you—”
“Why the hell do you care all of a sudden,” he said under his breath and pushed past Chad, who held up his hand and prevented him.
“Hold on just a moment.” He looked closely at Mikhail. “Oh yes, I know you. You’re the one who comes to school without a single book or even a pencil. You ought to mind your manners, or else—”
“Look who’s talking! I see you with that magazine every other day—”
“Those days have passed,” Chad interrupted.
Natalie grabbed Vanessa’s bag and demanded, “Where is he?”
Vanessa pulled her bag back. “Where’s who, you freak?”
“You know who!”
“Don’t worry, he’s eating the big piece of cheese in the sky!”
Natalie grabbed the bag again, Vanessa pulled her green hair, Natalie shrieked and freed the bag.
Chad said, “People like you, sir, are a disease, spreading your apathy throughout the student population, degrading the quality of public education, eroding the very fabric of our democracy—”
“I don’t give a shit!” Mikhail yelled..
Vanessa ignored Natalie for a moment and said, “Hey—so what do you give a shit about?”
The librarian, an old, pot-bellied man wearing an argyle sweater-vest and reading glasses on a chain, stomped over and clapped three times right in front of them.
“Leave this library right now, you hooligans! And I don’t want to see you back here without your parents!”
The four of them took their bags and filed out without speaking.