BlackMoon Beginnings - By Kaitlyn Hoyt

Chapter One

School. That place where we are forced to go five out of seven days a week. It’s a place of ‘learning,’ as so many call it, yet I can’t wrap my head around it. I know it is necessary if we want to go out into the world and have successful careers, but are they really preparing us for anything? Will I take anything I actually learn in school and apply it anywhere else? Will I ever need to know how to find the derivative using the chain rule? Will I ever need to calculate enthalpy changes or annotate an English paper? School is my purgatory right now and all I want is to be set free.

“Ryanne Arden,” Mrs. Applegate calls off.

“Here.” It is the Friday before the last week of school and while most teachers slowly start tapering off their agendas, Mrs. Applegate teaches until the last minute, trying to cram everything into the end of the year schedule. I’d gotten the infectious senioritis disease way before it was acceptable to have it. I’ve already progressed past any curable stage. I, Ryanne Arden, have stage four senioritis and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

After hearing my name, I open my notebook and begin doodling. I used to be such a good student. I used to strive for perfection in my schoolwork. I was that over-achiever that everyone hated. “She’s such a hardworking and diligent student,” my teachers used to say. They wouldn’t say that anymore.

Getting lost in the drawing and adding details to make it perfect, I lose track of time. It’s not like I pay attention in school anymore anyways. Drawing is the only thing that I’ve been able to do recently that gives me any sort of satisfaction. Art is one of the few ways I can express myself without judgment, because no one besides me ever sees it.

Someone on the other side of the classroom drops a book onto the hard linoleum floor. The sound echoes through the classroom, jolting me back into awareness. Looking up at the clock, I am surprised at the time: 3:25 p.m. Only five minutes left of class. I hadn’t listened to a single word that Mrs. Applegate said during the duration of this block. I couldn’t; I can’t concentrate on school anymore.

It’s almost over. I only have to survive a week. One more week of high school and then I am out of this small town; out of the little town of Stormfield, Maine and onto bigger and better things. Well, that is what all my teachers said: “You all have big and bright futures ahead of you.”

The thing is, I have no idea what I want to do after school. I don’t have a plan like everyone else. Yes, I have applied to some colleges, but I don’t know where or if I even want go to any of them. I just know that I want out of this old school and out of this town. There are too many people here who know my story. There are too many memories and I just need to get away from it all.

I look down at my drawing and see a picture of model home. It is massive with its large stone exterior set in the woods. I want to live somewhere like that—away from everyone else, but close enough to others that I don’t feel so alone. Being alone in a sea of people is one of the worst feelings in the world. Though, my ideal home would be a little smaller.

I tear my eyes away from the paper and glance out the window. The sun is shining brightly today. The light illuminates everything. Reflecting off of car windows and mirrors, it’s difficult to look for too long.

“This weekend, you should all finish reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Your test is on Monday. This is an easy read. For those of you who haven’t started it yet,” Mrs. Applegate stops talking and stares straight at me, “I would recommend reading it this weekend.” The bell rings signifying the end of the school day. “Class dismissed.”

Gathering up my notebook and pen, I grab my bag from the floor, fling it over my shoulders, and head towards the door. “Ryanne, can I talk to you for a minute at my desk?”

I stop walking and look at the door. It’s so close. I could make it. Two steps and I would be out of the classroom. My conscience