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A Demon Made Me Do It

By:Penelope King

him away. All the guys around here wear Levi’s like they’re an assigned uniform. This boy has on designer jeans. He seems out of place at a backwoods high school deep in rural Virginia. He should be strolling around a majestic estate in the English countryside or on a yacht in some ritzy ditzy marina on the coast.

“Hi,” I say, even warier now.

He grins, and his dark blue eyes catch the early morning sunlight. He’s much taller now that he’s standing right in front of me. I tilt my head to meet his amused expression. “Are you a student here?” he asks.

I shrug. “Technically, I guess.” Bring it on, Mr. Fashion Police Wanna-Be.

He chuckles, and brushes his ebony hair away from his face. “Well, then, maybe you can help me. I’m a little turned around. I’m supposed to go to the registration office to enroll for classes, but I’m not sure where it is.”

“You’re gonna start going to school here?” My pulse inexplicably speeds up at my question.

He nods. “Yup. Senior. Sucks having to start over now. Oh well.” He smiles, and I can’t help but think he could have been in a toothpaste commercial with those perfectly straight, white teeth. Definitely not from around here.

“Why would you come here?” Oh, yeah. That was smooth. I should’ve signed up to be the town greeter.

He laughs again. “Sorry?...this is Dove Creek High School, isn’t it? Home of the Fighting Spartans?” His eyes move to the large blue and white sign behind me, but never lose any of their affability.

“Well, yeah…I mean…did you just move to town or something? Like, on purpose?” Wow, am I really one of those girls who turns into a total idiot when talking to a cute guy?

“Yeah, a few weeks ago. I came to live with my uncle. He works out at the Flintridge mines. You seem so surprised. Don’t new people ever move here?”

I actually have to think about this for a moment. “Maybe, I guess. Most people just can’t wait to get out, is all. Small town. Smaller people. Not a lot going on, no reason to be here if you don’t have to be…”

Okay, I am officially one of those idiot girls. Whatever happened to ‘Hi, welcome to Dove Creek! We’re so happy you’re here. My name is Liora Greyson and I’ll be your friendly guide…’?

“I’m sure I’ll find something to keep me occupied,” he says, the twinkle back in his eyes. I like his eyes. Not just because of their cobalt color, but because they aren’t afraid of mine. “Besides, I like small towns. I’ve lived in big cities my whole life. It’s nice out here. Peaceful…quiet. You can hear yourself think.”

I scrunch my face. Why does he say that like it’s a good thing? I’d do anything not to hear the thoughts that roam through my head. Especially lately, with Her being so psychotically obsessed with suicidal vengeance.

Instead of giving him a reply that will really convince him I’m a complete freak job, I take a deep breath and point to the scene of my earlier crime. “The administration office is over there, under the archway by the flowerbeds. Go down that little path and it’s the first door on your right. Don’t pay any attention to the secretary. She’s a nasty troll with a stick up her butt.”

“Got it, thanks.” He squints as he surveys the unique architecture. “That sure is a strange looking building. It doesn’t even look like a school.”

Oh, I got this one. Only heard the story a million and a half times. “That’s because it used to be a Jesuit Monastery. It’s almost two hundred years old. Believe it or not, those are the original stained-glass windows.” I indicate the rotunda where broken colors catch the sun’s rays. “It was used as a hospital during the civil war, and afterwards they converted it into a school.”

Surprise colors his face. “You mean to tell me you go to a school that used to be a church?” he asks in disbelief.

“I don’t think a monastery is exactly the same thing as a church. Besides, it’s not like it’s a religious school now or anything…”

“Still…”

His reaction is confusing so I shrug again, my default response when I don’t know what to say or do. The history of Dove Creek High is a source of pride for the town-folk; I’ve never seen anyone bothered by it before. And that was my only small-talk ace up my sleeve. Great.

“Is there a place of worship in there? An altar or a prayer room?”

And now he’s freaked. Good going, Liora.

“Um…well, the building with all the stained glass windows used to be a chapel. But now we just use it as the auditorium. No one actually prays there.” Maybe’s he’s some sort of religious nut? Figures. All hot guys have a major flaw somewhere.

He considers this for a moment. “Fascinating,” he finally murmurs. When he catches my quizzical glance he quickly adds, “I just didn’t expect such a small town to have such an interesting landmark is all.”

Shrug number five. “It’s about the only interesting thing about this place. It’s all downhill from here.” Yup. I’m nothing if not consistent.

He turns his attention back to me and gives a small smile. “Somehow, I doubt that,” he says under his breath.

I blink. “Huh?”

“If you don’t mind me asking, why are you ditching?” he continues without missing a beat.

“Um…what makes you think I am?” My gaze darts around the parking lot again. How long have we been standing here? It feels like less than a second and forever at the same time.

“Well, because school is that way,” he says pointing back toward the brick buildings, “but you were headed that way.” He points to the line of trees on the other side of the road, the corners of his eyes crinkling in amusement.

“Oh, right. Yeah, um…I’m not feeling very well. I was just going to go home and get some rest.” I hope the lie doesn’t show in my voice. Tatiana always says I’m a terrible liar. Of course, she’s not exactly the most unbiased source.

He leans against a rusty blue pick-up truck. “Sorry to hear that. I hope you feel better soon. It’d be nice to have at least one familiar person here. It’s not easy being the new

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