[This is a little something I did as a kid, so check it out and tell me what you think.]
Above the Earth, two beings hovered, protected by a golden globe of energy. They were humanoid in form, a man and a woman, with elfin looks, and were garbed in flowing robes decorated with eldritch and alien patterns.
The woman spoke. "Earth. Much has changed since last we were here, Andrus. Will they remember the old ways?"
The man looked thoughtful. "I just hope they remember the better ways, Alera. As of yet, we are uncertain." He paused. "It is time to deliver the Gift."
"Very well," said Alera, as she and Andrus stood facing each other. "Let the ritual begin."
Spreading their arms apart, Andrus and Alera bowed their head in concentration...
In the medium-size town of Greenwood, the teenagers were attending Remington High School, named after the man who built the original school, Arthur Remington. Inside, the classes were taking effect.
Beverly Chandler stood up to grace her music class, headed by Mrs. Bevena. She showed no emotion to them other than a distant cordiality, as was her custom. Her father, Adam Chandler, had taught her never to show emotion when speaking to her inferiors; "It makes you look weak," he said. His legal maneuvers couldn't keep her out of the "school for commoners"; the nearest private school was in another state. So here she was, in an entire classroom full of inferiors, all of whom she hated to the core of her soul. Not that she would ever show it, of course; they were all beneath her contempt anyway, so why sink down to their level?
Beverly placed the violin to her chin and stroked it with the bow. She played for what felt like hours, but she knew rationally and logically to be only three minutes. As Beverly courtsied to her audience, Mrs. Bevena smiled. "That was lovely, Beverly."
"Thank you Mrs. Bevena," said Beverly simply. Her silver blonde-haired and fair-featured head bowed to her music teacher, the one person in the room she saw as something approaching an equal. Mrs. Bevena was obviously an admirer of superior artisty.
Then Mrs. Bevena turned to her next student. "Jim Jameson, it's your turn to perform a musical composition."
Jim Jameson, a lanky yet relatively athletic young blond boy, stood up. "So, tell me, Jim," said Mrs. Bevena, "is your composition drums? Guitar? Or the harmonica perhaps?"
"All of the above and then some," grinned Jim. He wheeled out the bass drum from its place on the wall, and took out a guitar and a harmonica from his bookbag. Then, stepping on the drum pedal with an easy, regular motion, he began strumming on the guitar and started singing. During the middle of the song, he then took out the harmonica and twanged on it no-handedly!
Mrs. Bevena watched, impressed, with Jim's musical aptitude. Who knew the boy could be so versatile?
Sheila Henderson watched Jim with a look of admiration. Handsome, smart, charming personality, and so talented!
Beverly watched unamused. So this was what the peasants called "rock music". She was unimpressed with its crudity.
Another art form was being practiced in Mrs. Oba's class. "Now, class, if you remember, the class assignment was to learn a tradition from a different culture from around the world, art form, greeting, or whatever." For example, one of the students, Charlie Walker, went into traditional samurai sword moves from Japan, using a foam rubber toy sword. He sat back down, wishing something would happen in this one-horse town.
Next up was Kashmira Raschim, a girl of indeterminate ethnicity; while her name, dark hair, and swarthy skin suggested that she was of Middle Eastern descent, her features were Asian. She stood up.
"Before I begin this dance," she said, "I don't want anyone getting the wrong ideas. The dance I'm about to perform is an important part of the culture and religion from which my ancestors came. It is not about being sexual or anything like that."
With that in mind, Kashmira took off her caftan. Underneath, the young woman wore a costume out of the Arabian Nights. She then pressed the PLAY button on her tape recorder and began the dance. Mrs. Oba looked a little stunned, the females of the class watched in contemplation, though some frowned with distaste, the boys, while smiling with admiration of Kashmira's physique, were restrained. (They'd obviously been listening to the "getting the wrong ideas" part.)
Charlie Walker sat, bored. While interesting, Kashmira wasn't doing anything too worth noticing.
Mike McMahon sat in biology class, preparing to dissect a frog. He was what one might call a stereotypical nerd: wore glasses, more into science than athletics, wore his pants too high, did well in biology.
Suddenly, he heard a noise. He turned and saw Vance Renfrew stabbing at his frog like a madman.
"Die, froggie, die!" grinned Vance as he sliced his frog into a bloody mess while the rest of the class watched. "Diieee, froggiee, diiieee!"
Then, Mr. Cutterson walked up to Vance. "Mr. Renfrew," he said angrily, "are you going to behave?" Mr. Cutterson often called students "Mr." followed by their last name, every time they disrupted class or displeased him.
Vance looked up at the teacher, frowning. "What if I don't?" he demanded. "I've been waiting to cut something ever since I joined this class!"
"You're supposed to be scientifically discerning the locations of that frog's organs," said Mr. Cutterson. "Not performing Aztec ritual sacrifices on it! Now go to the principal's office."
Vance blew a razzberry, but got out of his seat with obvious reluctance. As he left, he flashed Mr. Cutterson the finger and said threateningly, "I'll be back!"
"Out!" commanded Cutterson sharply.
Mike gulped. Vance had never been the violent type before, but that had been before they'd given him a scalpel. Come to think of it, wasn't that what they said about homicidal maniacs before they snapped? "He was always such a quiet man." There were popular school rumors about Vance killing his parents. Come to think of it, his parents never showed up at PTA meetings or school open-houses. And Vance was always talking about the latest horror movie he'd seen...
"Step aside, pipsqueak," snarled Brian Benson as he elbowed aside Dexter Poindexter in the doorway to science class. Brian was your typical bully; bigger, stronger, meaner, and dumber than anyone else. He had a growth spurt as a kid, and was about six feet tall; he also had a tendency for obesity. Altogether, he looked like a cross between a sumo wrestler and a gorilla.
Dexter, on the other hand, was a class clown. He had a nose like Woody Woodpecker, and a chin like Batman's nemesis the Joker, as well as a shock of red hair. He looked somewhat like a cartoon character come to life, with a personality to match, always playing practical jokes. (And we mean practical; he only played them on people he felt deserved to be tricked, out of a slightly screwy sense of justice.)
For example, while Brian was pushing him out of the way, Dexter nimbly grabbed the bully's belt buckle and unhooked it.
"What the hell?" cursed Brian as his pants fell down in front of the whole class. Dexter made it to his seat, as the entire class laughed.
"Brian, go to the principal's office," said Mrs. Tasady, the science teacher. Brian grumbled, pulled his pants up, and walked off. The class laughed even louder at Brian's defeat and humiliation.
All, that is, except for Ernest Williams, the class "goth". He never laughed about anything; in fact, his face was a constant mask of doom, as if there was no respite for him in an uncaring universe.
As Kashmira Raschim was leaving the social studies class, Cindy Miller walked up to her. "I saw your dance today, Kash," she said. "I'd like to learn how to do a dance like that. It'd be a great opportunity to show off my body."
Kashmira became slightly annoyed. "Weren't you in the class?" she asked. "And didn't I explain that it wasn't to be sexy?"
"So?" asked Cindy in a what's-your-point? sort of voice.
"It's a form of art," said Kashmira. "Nothing more, nothing less."
Kashmira pursed her lips and blew. She put very wide strides between herself and Cindy.
She was stopped by Vance, who had chosen to wander the campus rather than report to the principal's office. "I heard what you two were discussing," he said. "Pisses you off, don't it?"
"I wouldn't use those words, but it does anger me slightly," admitted Kashmira.
Then Vance said something that frightened her. "Don't you just wanna kill people like that?"
"That's a horrible thing to say!" said Kashmira. "It'd be murder!"
"Yeah, yeah, murder under the law, I know," said Vance. "But supposing it weren't illegal, would you do it?"
"No," said Kashmira firmly. "It would be wrong."
"But why?" asked Vance. "It wouldn't be illegal, so why's it still wrong?"
"It just is," said Kashmira angrily. "I have to be going now."
Then they both heard a voice. "C'mon, man, get down from there."
It was the voice of Carlos Domingo, the Hispanic boy from the computer lab. Carlos thought of himself as a cyber-punk, though all the girls in school used the term "cyber-hunk" in referring to him. And not without reason, either; his ethnic good looks were complemented by a decently athletic frame. He was talking to Ernest, who was standing on the roof of the school.
"C'mon down before you hurt yourself," said Carlos.
"That's precisely what I want to do," said Ernest.
To be continued...