I know that at the end of my previous story, "Popsicle", I stated that I would stop writing due to school work. I guess I lied, because I'm feeling more motivated and I started writing this new story. It was inspired by N2Horizon, who gave me the idea!
Trigger warning: Bullying
The first thing Anna noticed was that the school was not called "Arendelle High", but instead, "Ay-RenDell High."
She shrugged it off. It was just a small difference, right?
The next thing she noticed was that the stench of weed permeated the halls, making her choke. Smelly students barricaded the walkway, giving her a hard time as she slithered her way through, smiling in discomfort and whispering "excuse me".
The students' eyes bore into Anna's back, and quite distastefully so. Perhaps wearing a nice blouse, a pencil skirt, and carrying a designer purse was not appropriate when coming to teach at a poor, inner city school full of delinquents. Perhaps one look at her more "wealthy" or "educated" attire made the students scorn her so, especially since they were clad with old, oversized shirts and torn, outgrown shoes.
Anna internally cringed. She should have put more thought into her first appearance. After all, you have to be careful if you are coming to teach at one of the worst schools in the developed world.
The strawberry blonde squeezed her way between two girls that bore so many piercings they looked like cyborgs.
"Rather impressive, actually," Anna muttered to herself, grimacing. She finally reached the door to the principal's office, bursting through the door and slamming it behind her, panting.
The principal, a scrawny, old, balding man, looked up at her through circular spectacles. "Are you Ms. Ardor?"
"Yes, I am, Principal Westleton, sir!" Anna breathed, snapping to attention.
"We're not the military, Ms. Ardor," Westleton deadpanned. "Now sit."
Anna hastily plopped down on the scraggly, worn chair, placing her purse in her lap.
"Now then," Westleton fished out some papers from the mound on his desk. "I'm very impressed that you could come and start so quickly. You had to fly up north all the way from the Southern Isles, didn't you? Most people are not so eager to work at our school..."
"Thank you, Mr. Westleton," Anna beamed. "It was no problem, really." Truth be told, Anna had no choice. She desperately needed a job, and she latched onto the first one she could find like it was a piece of raw meat dangling in front of a starving wolf. After all, how bad could it be?
"The previous teacher quit after two weeks, we haven't been able to find a replacement, not for a whole month! Every single substitute that we found lasted approximately ONE HOUR! ONE HOUR!..."
"Is it that hard to find a math teacher around here?" Anna inquired.
Westleton scoffed. "In this neighborhood? Please. Why, if I won a million dollars the first thing I'd do is buy a plane ticket as far away from this dump as possible," he grumbled, handing Anna some papers. "That right there contains the class rosters for each period," he explained. "And this is the schedule. As you can see, you have lunch during fourth period."
"What can I do about after school tutoring?" Anna asked.
Westleton keeled over in his chair, grappling onto the edges of his desk for dear life.
"Sir! Sir! Are you alright?" Anna babbled, standing up and grabbing Westleton's hand.
"BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" Westleton threw his head back onto his chair, cackling until his laughs turned to wheezes. "T-T-T-Tutoring?" he sputtered. "T-T-T-Tutoring? Oh my, you did not just say that!" he giggled a couple more times before wiping the tears from his eyes, straightening his shirt and taking some calming breaths. "You have great sense of humor, don't you, Ms. Ardor?" He cleared his throat. "Anyways, as I was saying…"
"Sir," Anna hesitated, sitting back down. "I was serious. I have a feeling that most of the students here will not grasp trigonometry right away, and I'm sure that if they were given an extra learning period, they could…"
Westleton waved a hand, cutting her off. "I can see that it will take you a while to understand the silliness of your request. Trust me, once you teach here for a few minutes, you will see why there's no use creating a tutoring period."
Anna opened her mouth to protest, but thought against it. There was no use in fighting with the principal on her first day.
"Before you start, I am obligated to inform you of…a little situation," Westleton twiddled his thumbs.
Anna furrowed her brows. "…What is it?"
"You see, dozens of teachers have quit due to a certain gang of students…particularly…one student," Westleton tapped nervously on his desk, chewing on his lip. "Ms. Ardor, you seem nice. I really hope that you're not one of those teachers who give up and quit right away…"
"Rest assured, Mr. Westleton," Anna laughed lightly. "I can handle most anything. What is it about these students that you wish to tell me?"
Westleton sighed, grumbling, "You're not going to like this," under his breath. "I'm sure you've heard rumors about this group of rascals..."
Anna was about to deny his claim when Westleton spoke up again.
"You, Ms. Ardor, have been unlucky enough to land a class with Elsa Fraust and her posse," Westleton hurriedly spewed out the words and cringed, studying Anna for a negative reaction.
Anna merely stared back. "…Okay…?"
"Okay?" Westleton blinked. "OKAY? Is that all you can say?"
"I'm…sorry, sir?" Anna shifted uncomfortably. "I, uh, I actually don't know any students here, nor have I been in this neighborhood long enough to speak to anyone. I actually just arrived at the airport a couple of hours ago and used a taxi to get to my apartment. Then I came straight here. So I really have no idea what you're talking about…"
The old man straightened up, sniffing. "Well…that's…great news!" he chortled, looking about ready to dance a jig and clap his hands. He stood and opened the door, gesturing Anna out. "Enjoy your first day, Ms. Ardor!"
"So, what is it about this person, El…Els…" Anna stumbled at bit as she attempted to look back at Westleton while walking forward.
"Oh, that's not important!" the principal hastily closed the door in Anna's face. "You'll see soon enough."
Something big and wet smashed into her face the moment Anna stepped through the door. A wet substance splattered everywhere, soaking her face, hair, and clothing, as well as the door and floor. Anna recoiled in surprise, staggering a few steps back.
She was vaguely aware that a bellowing chorus of laughter followed, ringing in her ears. Slowly, Anna brought up her hands to wipe her glasses, and let out a loud gasp as they came out sopping with red liquid.
Blood? Anna panicked. No, it couldn't be. There was no pain. After examining her clothing, Anna noted that her new blouse and skirt were now splattered in what looked like red paint (she hoped it was red paint). On the floor lay scraps of thin, blue rubber, as well as a piece tied into a knot that Anna recognized came from the end of a balloon.
Glancing around the classroom, Anna saw twenty faces leering back, eyes wide with cocky mirth and mouths stretched into smirks.
So THIS is what I get to deal with.
Anna cleared her throat, trying to remember what she learned while getting a teaching degree. What do you do when you get a paint-filled balloon thrown at you? She knew that there was no use getting upset or angry. That would only encourage them. Kids like this lived off of negative or horrified reactions from the teacher. And Anna refused to give that to them.
Silence set over the room, save for a couple of muffled giggles and snide comments. All eyes were on her, watching, waiting for a reaction.
Anna put on her best smile, glancing at some of the students in the front row. She smudged some more paint off her face and wiped her hands on her skirt. "Well," she said lightly, clasping her hands together. "I do hope that paint washes off easily! Whoever threw that had pretty good aim. And I can already tell that this class is quite creative! I mean, using a paint-filled balloon instead of a water-filled balloon? Who would've thought of that!" she struggled to keep the sarcasm out of her voice.
Really? Paint-filled balloons? Is that the best you can think of? And I thought for sure I was teaching high school, not pre-school.
Anna inwardly smirked as slight disappointment settled of the majority of the student's faces. Clearly, they weren't used to this. Anna supposed that most teachers freaked out, bitched out, and stormed out. Yeah, sounds about right.
"Now, let's take roll, shall we?" Anna glanced down at her clipboard. I'm going to completely disregard this incident.
"Obviously, one isn't enough for her," a female voice rang out from the back of the room. Hums and whispers of approval followed, mingling in with some laughter. "Obviously, we need to give her some more."
Anna's head snapped up from the paper, following the sound of the voice. A large group of boys and girls in the back of the room caught her eye. The boys were burly, bearing bulging muscles beneath tank tops and menacing glares. The girls wore trashy shorts, combat boots, wild hairstyles, and clothing that left little to the imagination. Most were bejeweled in piercings and a myriad of tattoos.
But the one thing that caught Anna's attention was that each and every single one of them wore face paint. It distinguished them from the rest of the class. She supposed that this was the gang Westleton warned her about. The face paint wasn't uniform. Rather, it was messy, random, and varying from person to person. Honestly, it looked like the teenagers just spattered on whatever they could find onto their faces and called it a day.
One girl stood out from above them all. She didn't have many piercings, or tattoos, but she held a suffocating air of confidence, arrogance, and leadership. Her platinum blonde hair frayed out in a mane across the top of her head, ending in a long, thick, intricate braid that lazily draped across one shoulder. A dark, tight, long-sleeved shirt covered every inch of her torso. Her tattered jean shorts ran high up her thighs, revealing pale, toned, seemingly unending legs. Jet black paint smattered the lower half of her face, leaving the area above her nose clear. Piercing blue eyes peered out maliciously.
The girl lounged atop a desk, casually leaning back on her hands and sneering at Anna with a distasteful expression. Her head cocked to the side, her feet, clad in jet-black combat boots, swung leisurely back and forth. "I say we didn't give this pretty thing a proper welcome," she sang. "Let's fix that, shall we?"
Cheers erupted from the class as all eyes landed on the platinum blonde and her posse. The girl, apparently the leader, smirked and turned to her side. "Meg? Why don't you do the honors?"
Meg, a girl with cat-like eyes and dark hair with a red tinge, smirked wolfishly. Reaching down, she pulled up a large plastic bag filled with orbs of bright colors. The group of face-painted students, about a dozen of them, started digging into the bag and pulling out armfuls of…what were they again? Squinting, Anna saw the orbs jiggling as if they were filled with liquid…
Shit! MORE paint balloons? Drat! I should've known! If there's one, there's always more!
"As-as I was saying," Anna nervously pushed her glasses up her nose. "I'm going to take roll now…so if you would all please listen up!" Her voice did not carry throughout the clamor in the room.
A sudden, dead, heavy silence spilled over, almost as if it were rehearsed. Anna stiffened at the sudden change, and then relaxed, believing that she was being obeyed. "Well," she breathed. "That wasn't so hard, was it?"
The class stared back. Heavy anticipation thickly flooded the air. Although not a word was spoken, Anna felt that the students were expecting something…waiting for something…something big. Discomfort settled into her bones like a chill, creeping down her spine. "Um…" she stammered. Why do I feel like I should be afraid to move?
"You said you wanted to take roll." the blonde-haired girl's voice was crisp and clear. "So take it."
The statement was an order, a command for Anna to do something. Annoyance rose in her chest. She was the teacher here! She called the shots, not some cocky little girl! Anna cleared her throat, scowling at the blonde. "I will," she muttered. "When I call your name, raise your hand and say, 'here'."
"We know how to take roll, dumbass," a voice cackled. "Get on with it!"
Anna gritted her teeth, ignoring it. Don't give them the satisfaction. She gazed down at the roster. Red paint soaked the sheet, making the names almost illegible. She brought the floppy, wet paper to her face and narrowed her eyes at the typed words. "Megara Agnus?" Anna called out the first name.
"Right here," the dark-haired girl that sat next to the blonde stood, lightly tossing a bulging balloon in her palm. "Do me a favor, Miss, and stand still."
"Wha…?" Anna hardly had any time to react before dark purple liquid exploded on her chest, smearing her torso.
Chaos ensued once again, with screeching cheers and howls. "Nice throw, Meg!" a boy with green face paint chortled.
"I've had a lot of practice over this past month," Meg propped her hands on her hips, admiring her handiwork. "Go ahead, new teacher!" she called. "Finish taking roll, will you?"
I see how this goes, Anna thought grimly. But there was no use getting upset. As Mother always said, if you don't let the bullies know that you're upset, they'll stop bothering you.
But I'm not supposed to let them bully me! I'm the teacher, for god sake!
Anna pressed her lips together. Deep down, she knew that no matter how much she scolded these students, they would not let up. The only thing to do would be to act…chill. Anna glared at the attendance sheet and read the next name. "Kristoff Addison."
A large, burly, blonde boy with white face paint raised a balloon-filled hand. "Here."
Anna barely had time to block the throw with her purse. The black leather instantly became stained with bright orange.
The class booed and Kristoff's face scrunched up in a snarl. "Damn it."
"Too bad, beefcake!" Meg cackled. "Next time, aim for her legs or something."
Gritting her teeth, Anna called out the next student. "Gaston Bellamy."
"Right here, woman!" a boy…or, man, who towered over six feet tall rose and pelted a wobbly balloon in Anna's direction. She leaped to the side, but the edge of the balloon nicked her shoulder, coating it in slippery black. Anna glared at the leering teen. His jet black hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and dark green stripes lined his cheeks.
"Thanks, Gaston," Anna grumbled. "Next is…Olaf Bud?"
Anna's frantic eyes scanned the room, stopping as a scrawny, pale arm rose in the air. Anna followed the skinny appendage down to see a frail boy with uneven patches of brown hair sticking up from his head. Unlike many of the others, he wore no face paint.
Anna stared at him some more, watching for any arm movement.
"I don't have any balloons ma'am. Only they do," he gestured to the group of teens with face paint, cringing as they all leered back.
"Oh…alright then, Olaf," Anna smiled comfortingly at the small boy. She turned back to the roster. It was so murky with paint that she could hardly see the small print.
"It's Charming, you fucktard!" a golden-haired girl screeched. Anna's heart sank when she saw that the girl's face was smattered in pink paint.
Cinderella heaved a yellow balloon at Anna. The redhead jumped in the air, feeling a spark of triumph as the balloon exploded beneath her. But when she landed on the ground again, her feet slipped on the new puddle of paint, landing her hard on the ground on her bottom. She let out a yelp of pain and grimaced as howls of glee rang in her ears.
I could always try to tell them to stop…who knows? Maybe they will.
I've never been good at telling people to stop.
Anna rose shakily from the ground, taking off her ruined heels. This abuse could go on forever, but she would take it. Public humiliation was no stranger to her.
Anna casually cleared her throat and straightened the soggy piece of paper. "Adam Daggers."
"That's "The Beast", to you!"
A blast of brown paint exploded into Anna's mid-section so hard that she stumbled a step backward. She hadn't even seen the balloon coming. Hadn't even seen who had thrown it! Anna only saw a glimpse of the burly brown-haired teenager setting his arm back down.
Anna shook her head and read out the next name. "Aurora Drinkerton?" She didn't have to lift her eyes up to see a girl standing up and heaving a balloon at her. Anna ducked out of the way and the thick liquid splashed against the white board behind her. Kids jeered. Aurora, who wore way too much red lipstick, snarled in contempt.
A quiet hand raised. A whoosh of relief escaped Anna's lips. No face paint, no paint balloons.
A boy-man with face lathered in black paint stood up.
He heaved the balloon at her, muscles rippling. The sack of paint bobbled around so much in the air that Anna couldn't tell which way to dodge. So naturally, she ended up standing still and letting the blob smack her right in the crotch. Thick, white paint erupted right on her waistline, dripping down the front.
"Ooh, looks like somebody's a little wet!" Meg sang out.
The face-painted group roared with approval.
"Looks like multiple guys just had fun all over your skirt, you slut!" Kristoff growled. He was still spiteful that Anna blocked his throw earlier.
Tears burned behind Anna's eyes, but she rapidly blinked them away.
Be strong, she chided herself. Don't let them get to you. Just keep on taking roll. It can't get any worse than this.
She gazed down at the next name.
And her blood froze in her veins. Her breath caught in her throat.
Principal Westleton's warning rang in her ear.
Could this be the person that…?
When Anna spoke, her voice skipped a beat. "E-Elsa…Fraust?"
Silence draped over the room like a spiny blanket. The horde of face-painted teens sneered.
Slowly, and gradually, the platinum blonde stood with an air of agonizing, suffocating arrogance. Her nose stuck up in the air, her lips curled into a snarl, a sneer, and a smirk all together, mixing into one ugly, wilting expression.
Anna resisted the urge to hide under the desk.
"I am Elsa Fraust," the girl coolly announced. "Let me make things clear," her piercing blue eyes bore into Anna's own, melting her with the heated gaze. "I run things around here. I don't give a shit if you're the teacher. Undermine me, and you're going to wish…you…were… dead."
She spit up the last words, and each syllable punched itself into Anna's chest.
Anna numbly nodded. Never mind if she was the teacher. Something told her that the smart thing to do would be to agree to the terms that this Elsa Fraust placed before her.
"Now, then," Elsa hissed.
Megara's face lit up with glee as she handed her leader a swollen balloon. Elsa snatched it from her hands and calmly strolled up the middle aisle, walking purposefully toward Anna. Her intense eyes did not leave Anna's face, not for a second.
"S-stop it!" Anna stammered. "Sit back down! Right now!"
"Just shut the fuck up," Elsa spat. She stood a foot away from Anna now.
The redhead desperately raised her arms to protect herself.
Elsa's arm snapped forward. The balloon smashed through the roster, slamming straight into Anna's face and coating her skin with bright blue fluid.
Updates will be slow due to school...but if this story gets enough support I'll continue it. Please review!