Trick for Treat"All right." The teacher's voice is sharp and clear as a winter morning. She slowly paces along the line of students. The boys shuffle their feet, staring at their shoes. "Who...did...this?"Trick for Treat in General Fiction More Like This
It's exactly the kind of mischief the school is plagued with, the kind of far too clever crimes that occur strangely regularly. There are rumours among the children (but of course the teacher doesn't know this) that one of the staff is a werewolf, given that each trick gets played whenever there's a full moon. This time, there's a collection of dolls, every single one in the school, hanging by their ankles from the ceiling, completely mutilated. The girls' wing of rooms woke up with a wail.
The teacher stops pacing around the middle of the lineup. After a long silence, a boy on the end of the line starts crying. "I- I did."
Her head swivels to meet the watery gaze of a tiny eight-year-old. His head seems a bit too big, his eyes enormous, dark and sweet and honest. Despite his guilty plea, his eyes
The BeginningKoren Moriarty would not cry.The Beginning in General Fiction More Like This
She stared the large boy down, dark eyes bright with anger (not tears, Koren, don't give him what he wants!), as he laughed at her. "Watch the little freak!" he egged on his cohorts, tugging on her braid. "Wotcha gonna do, sweet'eart, punch me?"
They laughed harder.
The small thirteen-year-old's posture was stiff, admittedly hostile. "I prefer not to waste energy on inferior minds," she said quietly, scooped her books up from the floor, and walked away, ignoring their guffaws as they tried to figure out what she'd meant.
Koren's breath left her shakily. No one likes you. Freak. Ugly. You'll never have any friends. The tears began to fill her eyes, but she willed them to wait until she found the one person who'd always reassured her that none of those things were true. The one person always on her side: Her brother, Jim Moriarty.
He was in their usual after-school meetingplace, the corner of the schoolyard behind the equipment shed. "Hi sis, how-"
Not a NightmareOne could be deceived into calling the Moriarty twins children. This wasn't an intentional impression on their part, as they had no way of controlling the features that made them seem innocent and cute, but it was a useful one. How could a quiet pair like that be capable of the mischief that plagued their school? They were looked over entirely, despite the fact that their thirteenth birthday (uncelebrated, except by their exchanging of small gifts to each other) had passed just over a week ago, and that they hadn't been innocent since age five.Not a Nightmare in General Fiction More Like This
Now, however, Jim's bare feet padded on thick carpet as he ran to his little sister's room. He couldn't stand the yelling anymore, sound waves crashing against his ears violently, making him toss and turn and try to cushion them with a well-positioned pillow. Koren's room was farther from the staircase, and this ritual of hiding from his father's shouting matches had been in place for four years.
He pushed gently on her door. "Koren?"