Published: January 7, 2014
The bell rang as the mass of students flooded into classrooms, each taking their seat as their day of classes began. Two boys sat in the row of desks next to the window as a girl with short orange hair in cute, low pigtails sat down behind them.
"So guys, did you hear about what happened in San Francisco?" she asked as they turned around in their seats to face her.
"Of course we have, Mavis, it's all everyone at school's been talking about!" replied the boy sitting in front of her. He had light brown hair that came down to just above his shoulders and wore blue glasses.
"Well Tim, everyone keeps saying that it was a meteor shower, but I don't buy it! What do you think Liam?" she asked the boy sitting in front of Tim.
"Mavis is right," Liam started.
"Yes!" Mavis exclaimed with an energetic fist pump as Liam continued speaking.
"I saw some of the footage from the news and there's no way a meteor shower caused that much damage. And I did feel a strong disturbance around the same time it all happened."
"Disturbance? Like a magical disturbance?" Tim asked.
"Whatever it was, it definitely wasn't natural. If I had to bet, I would say a demon was responsible."
"You don't think any demons would be coming here, do you?" asked Tim.
"Because that would be awesome," Mavis interjected.
"No, Mavis, it really wouldn't."
"Hm, it's tough to say. From what I could see, it didn't look like any demons made it out of the city; otherwise, there would be a trail of destruction for us to follow. But I suggest we keep an eye out for anything suspicious just in case."
"Class, settle down! Settle down!" the teacher called as the classroom chatter hushed into a silence. "All right, students, today we have a new student joining our class. Please welcome Mala Reid!" the teacher held out her hand and waved to signal the new student to enter the classroom. In walked a pale-skinned girl with long brown hair and dark red eyes. When she reached the center of the front of classroom, she timidly tucked a strand of her hair behind her right ear before shyly clutching the books in her arms. "Don't be shy. Introduce yourself!" encouraged the teacher.
"Uh, well, I'm Mala… Mala Reid, but you already knew that," she nervously added.
"Anything else?" the teacher asked.
"No, that's it!" Mala insisted.
"Well, all right then. Take a seat at the back next to Mavis," the teacher instructed.
Mala scanned the back of the room trying to find this "Mavis" that the teacher neglected to point out to her, but Mala was saved from further awkwardness when the pigtailed girl ecstatically waved her arms. Mala swiftly made her way to the back of the classroom and took the empty seat next to Mavis as the teacher began her lesson.
"Hi!" Mavis whispered loudly, "I'm Mavis Callahan!"
"Oh, hello," Mala timidly answered, surprised by Mavis suddenly talking. "I'm Mala, nice to meet you." Mavis stuck out her hand as Mala gently took it as they shook.
"So what's your schedule like?" Mavis asked, seizing Mala's schedule before she could even answer. "Awesome, we have almost every class together!" she exclaimed.
"Miss Callahan, need I remind you that there is no talking during class?" the teacher asked.
"Sorry," Mavis muttered, handing Mala's schedule back to her. When class finally ended, the students flooded out of the room into the hallways. "I'll see you guys at lunch!" Mavis shouted to Liam and Tim as they left for their class in the opposite direction. "Hey, Mala, wait up!"
Mala stopped when she heard her name being called. "Oh, hi Mavis, so we have biology together right?" she asked, pulling out her schedule.
"Yeah, it's right down the hall," Mavis replied, pointing with her finger to a classroom ahead of them. "So what school did you go to before here?"
"Uh, I actually dropped out of school a couple years back after my dad died. I needed to work to make money for rent and everything."
"Whoa, what about your mom?" Mavis asked.
"My mom? Oh, well she left us a long time ago. I haven't seen her since," Mala lamented.
"Oh… that sucks," Mavis said sadly. "So where'd you live before you came here?"
"San Francisco," Mala answered.
"You lived in San Francisco?!" Mavis gasped dramatically.
"Then did you know what happened when the whole city nearly got destroyed? The news reports keep saying it was a 'meteor shower'," she said in a mocking tone with air quotes, "but I don't buy it!"
"Um, no. Sorry I don't know anything about it. I left the city a few days before it happened."
"Aw…" Mavis said sadly. "So why did you come to L.A.? Wait, am I asking too many questions? I've been told I can be a bit eccentric."
Mala chuckled. "No, it's all right. I guess I'm just not used to the attention. I didn't have a lot of friends growing up."
"Well, I find that hard to believe! You're doing a great job at it! So if you don't mind me asking, why'd you leave San Francisco?"
"I uh, just needed some distance. I got into a fight with my, uh, boyfriend and we broke up."
"Oooh, what happened?"
"Well, I thought we wanted the same thing, but it turned out that we wanted very different things. He just wasn't the person I used to know and I couldn't forgive him for lying to me."
"Ouch, what'd he lie about?"
"I'd actually prefer not to get into that. Is that all right, Mavis?"
"Of course! Well, Mala, you may be the fresh meat here and you may not have had a lot of friends at your old school, but you've got one now!" Mavis exclaimed gleefully while wrapping her arm affectionately around Mala's neck.
"Thanks, Mavis. That really means a lot," she replied with a light chuckle.
"And two more when we get to lunch!"
"What do you mean?" Mala asked.
"Oh, Tim and Liam, the two guys sitting in front of me back in our first class. You'll meet them when we have lunch together."
The next few classes progressed quickly and Mala and Mavis made their way to the cafeteria as quickly as they could. Apparently the cafeteria was serving pizza, which according to Mavis was one of the few good things the school served. "We have to get their early," she had insisted, "otherwise all the good slices will be gone!"
"So, where do you guys usually sit?" Mala asked as she scanned the full cafeteria. "It doesn't look like there's a lot of room left."
"Yeah, we don't usually sit in here. It's far too loud and the school bullies always come over to make fun of the nerds and, well, me."
"What? Why would they make fun of you?"
"Around here, they call me 'Crazy Mavy'. It's actually quite clever if you ask me. But the reason for that is because I'm a bit of a mythology nut. Dragons, monsters, spirits, you name it! Oh and demons too!"
"D-demons?" Mala asked nervously.
"Yeah! You know what happened in San Francisco? I'm betting it was demons and not a stupid meteor shower like everyone keeps saying," she whispered seriously.
"Mavis, you really are crazy," Mala said sarcastically with a light chuckle.
"I know!" she chirped. "Come on, we usually eat out here by the football field." Mavis led her to the large football field right outside the cafeteria and she could see two boys sitting on the bleachers with lunch trays next to them. "Hey guys!" Mavis greeted.
"Hey Mavis! Ah, I see you brought the new girl! Mala, right?" Liam asked.
"Yes, it's nice to meet you two," Mala replied.
"Tim," Tim introduced as he and Mala shook hands.
"Tim," Mala repeated so she would remember, "and…"
"Liam," he finished. Just as their hands met to shake, both of their eyes widened and they quickly pulled away. Liam jumped back and pulled Mavis and Tim along with him, spilling their trays of food onto the bleachers.
"Liam, what'd you do that for?" Mavis whined.
"Yeah, what gives?" Tim asked.
Liam didn't answer. Instead his eyes locked with Mala, who met his gaze with an equally serious and intense one. "Get back, guys! Our new classmate is a demon!"