Aggie Hicks stood in front of the worn building, holding a sign tightly in her hands. She gripped it so tightly that the edges crumpled slightly, and the corners tore.
She had been up all night, using the rays from the moon as a guiding light, working on the sign. Tears of exhaustion and anger shimmered in the corners of her eyes as she stood in front of the school, wordlessly protesting, holding the large piece of extravagantly decorated paper in her hands. The sign plainly stated it all in large, blocky sharpie.
You must stop
Aggie removed one hand from the poster and shook it, in a furious manner, to the clear skies above. Her lips moved as she muttered something to herself. On the other side, “safe” within the walls, as the teachers continued to declare loudly, the classrooms bustled with emotion while the halls remained silent. The large yet clunky speakers that were nailed to the wall in each classroom crackled to life and hissed commands that were intended to be comforting but instead, added to the noise.
“Everybody, there is no threat besides the fact that there is someone out there who disagrees. Remain calm as we handle things from here on out. We have a firm grip on the situation.”
After the jabbering from the speakers subsided, the small boxes clicking off, the teachers tried to make their attempts to quiet the classes, which resorted to begging.
All the noise that fills the classrooms increases as students clamor to the broad windows to catch a glimpse of the mousy girl that stands on the dusty platform below. Who do you think the sign is talking about? The question hangs in the air and in the minds of all the students and some curious teachers.
She raises her head and her eyes narrow in on those watching her, which appears to be the whole school.
Meanwhile, in room 142, A girl was seated in the corner of the room, surrounded by a large crowd who are a mix of peers and friends, both real and wannabes. The girl slides her hand down her dark romper and clicks her shimmery heels on the ground. The heels are the convenient height of being barely low enough to remain shorter than guys and just high enough to make walking more uncomfortable than it needs to be.
The scene couldn’t be more devious or fake as the girl curled her wavy hair around her well-manicured finger and giggled softly.
I feel like a kid with their mouth full of chocolate cookies. She thought proudly, typing away at her phone screen. Her large earrings swung to and fro as she stood and walked over the window, leaning against the crowd. She broadly extended her arm in a graceful ark and to film the commotion that was taking place down on the patchy field.
The girl on the field, the Protester, as everyone had begun calling her, had spiraled into an angry torment as two officers climbed out of their flashy car and secured her. They guided her head into the screeching vehicle and drove away, leaving a trail of swirling dust behind them.
The girl finished filming and sighed, only more irritated. She now smelled like sweat and body order from leaning onto the backs of sweaty children. She shifted uneasily in her heels, her hair swaying around her shoulders as she made her way back to the group. The held her tightly and crooned as she took barely any notice, rapidly posting the video online.
“Brigette, did it go through?” The girl, Brigette, tilted her head slightly, her frosty eye shadow twinkling in the florescent lights of the classroom. Greed will make anyone numb their actions, which is exactly what was at the center of Brigette's mind.
“Yes.” She let out a heavy sigh and immersed herself in her adoring crowd. With a flick of her hand, Brigette had everyone surrounding her, along with the others standing in the room, view her latest video. It was poorly filmed and shaky but the comments, views, and likes flowed in smoothly like the rivers that upheld the boat of popularity that she occupied at that moment. She too viewed the video and chuckled slightly at the content of sign that the Protester had been clutching.
You must stop
Those three words had called Brigette out even if nobody knew this but her. She had posted that video but as far as anyone was concerned, that ragged shadow of a girl could be protesting against any form of idiocy, since this school was chock-full of it anyway. Of course, like many things experienced by all, the first video wasn’t meant to be seen. It wasn’t intentional, it wasn’t for the public. But whatever the eyes of the crowd want, the harder it is to ignore as they drink their fill of the content like the finest of fizziest juices. Brigette now took it upon herself to, as she put it, “inform” the world of today's tragic humans. That girl always was one, now she had just gone and made it obvious. Brigette placed her phone down in an attempt at a truce from their out, now that the damage had been done.
At this action, the crowd swarmed around her, enclosing her in a circle, engulfing from where she sat. Their fingers played with her hair, peered into her thoughts, and placed the phone back into her limp hand.
They obviously didn’t accept this so-called “truce” and insisted the war continue. They didn’t know that lodged deep in Brigette's heart, she didn’t like war and it wasn’t in her. All their eager faces swarmed around her placid one, she acing as the sun and they, the clouds. She visibly winced and pulled out her phone, shifting it into a position to please them, hiding behind it like a shield.
The PA speakers crackled to life and Brigette breathed in annoyance but was relived. The fact that she was relying on a school speaker system was just sad. She primly shook her head and her eyes drifted like autumn leaves, back down to the entrancing phone screen.
The video already had a bucketload of likes even though it had been posted about a minute ago.
I’m just leaping, backward aren't I? Brigette thought as her face burned. No, no, she wasn’t talking about not trending, because she was, obviously, but her personality felt mucky, her shoes felt like they were filled with rocks, and when she glanced into the outline of her black phone screen, her sharp hazelnut eyes glared back at her in a storm of gray.
Brigette existed in a shallow place, with dark and bitter surroundings that seemed to hold no end. She was the queen and her people were her followers. Even just thinking the word sent shivers up her thin spine. Her reward for surviving?
She would be trending.