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by Silva Noir

Chapter 2 : mud

He woke up to yet another torrential storm. It was nearly a darker day than before. A monster...Ruth had accused him of having the possibility of becoming one, that it was too dangerous for him to love, to be normal. He felt cold, singular. He looked himself in the full-length mirror and gave an evil smile. He’d been weak. “Heh heh heh” he gave a laugh as he assembled his outfit, top-line designer black pants neatly pressed, tight fitting whale grey shirt, thin silver chain, thin black short tenchcoat, and delicate silver framed shades with blue tinted lenses.

“What do you think? I think I look good. Do you? Maybe today I'll find love, do you think I will?” he adjusted his jacket color, referring to the image staring back at him. His reflective kin made no sound, only mouthed the words he spoke in unison. “We're not much different, you and I. And I don't mean that because you look like me ... but because of how empty and one dimensional you are, ” he lamented, noting the normal attributes of the mirror and how its liquid silver resembled his abnormal properties. He spun about then reached out a slender fingered hand. In endless fascination he watched the droplets form under his fingernails, drip outward and grow until the chemical surrounded him in a great glob awaiting him to mold it. He could transform into any beast, actual or fictional, just as long as it was a bit bigger than he was. This of course did not disclude gigantisied versions of smaller creatures. It was only a matter of picking something that satisfied his imagination.

He went reptilian this particular time. The form was nothing specific from nature, rather an invention of his mind. A long whip like tail stretched forth smoothly as if being computer modeled and generated. Strong four legs beneath him and sharp toothed snapping jaws in front of him, he crouched and lept out the second story window, landing on the pavement without a scratch or hint of pain. By now his liquidine body had hardened and the raindrops ping-pinged off him like a faucet dripping into pots and pans.

He could liquefy and harden at will, he was in total control of the body, and flowed quickly from one second to the next.

He wouldn’t be noticed in the now just about undrivable weather. He dashed speedily along the slippery streets, a blur between the driving rainfall. David was not infallible, when he came to a steep hill the lizard legs were caught up in a flood and took him with it. He slid like a toboggan down one of those wild waterslides, not quite buoyant enough to float. As more of him was dragged and tossed, he went to the form of an alligator. With the reflection of the puddle he became invisible.

The wide-jawed swamp monster eventually slithered up to school property. It dragged its belly over the muddy ground and tore up clumps of damp grass as it waddled along. A flock of Canadian geese looked on, raising their heads in awareness of the dangerous new invander and seding out hisses of warnings to one another. For kicks he couldn’t help but lunge out and snap at one of the annoying overpopulated waterfowl that often dotted the feild. gator! It let out its dying honk from a a black neck as he swung his jaws to the side to toss it. He felt no remorse or smypathy for the felled creature. It was alive. Now it was dead. He saw no moral attachments to the issue. There were plenty of other geese to take its place. The only part of it that nagged him was that Ruth would dissprove if she found out. He wasn't about to tell her about it, however, and freed himself of any guilt.

He writhed along down the slight hill by the parking lot below, then scrambled up slowly between cars to the side door. A silver alligator might be suspicious, but a brown alligator, covered in mud, was perfectly acceptable. Well, might have been plausable except for the fact it was too far north for aligators to comfotably reside. One of the heavy doors was propped open by a wooden triangle to let cool air in. He set foot on the parquet floor making no effort to hide himself. He enjoyed watching the gym class run and hide as he deflated their basketball for them with his teeth. When the gym has cleared he went out in the rain for a moment to clean off, then back to demorph.

“David, you’re so weird,” shouted Sue, who was always walking out the gym door to smoke. She had baggy long torn clothes and baggy long torn hair to match, pulled back in a haphazard ponytail, barely an attempt to be a girl. She stank of stale cigarettes and cheap beer. There was little that daunted Sue, a cynical loner, one of the few people that actually talked to him from time to time. “What is it about you that can clear a room?

“Maybe it was my alligator shoes.”

“You’re not wearing alligator shoes."

He smiled in a manner that would send small children running to their parents in quaking fear.

Sue stepped up to him, looking him over from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head. "Why don’t you have a girlfriend David? I thought they go for that expensive fashion, perfect skin, cold eyed, carved from marble designed by someone important or other look?” She laughed, waving oversized plaid shirtsleeves in the air. “I know. that tansfer student, the girl from Tokyo, she’s just like you, only eating little salads, dressing that way. Why don’t you two go out?”

“I tried talking to her. She speaks no more English than 'yes', 'no', 'and I don’t know'.”

“SO? When do guys need to talk to girl? Just go out.”

“I’m not going to go out with someone just to be seen with them.”

“Well all you’re seen with now is me and that sure isn’t helping your image. I got quite the reputation. And let me tell you jsut between you me and the walls here, msot of those rumours are true. Although if you didn't beleive me, I could always show you" She winked.

He blinked, a blank look on his face, “I don’t understand.”

She opened her mouth in disbleief and then shook her head in exasperation “Is it possible to be so NAIVE? Do you live in a cave?"

"Why would I live in a cave?" he still didn't get it.

"You really don’t belong in High School." She pulled herslef to one of the higher seats on the pullout bleachers "You’d have more friends if you weren’t so out of place, its like trying to relate to..." she took a moment to think of something "like trying to understand modern art. All those sharp black lines and curves. Nothing comfortable, nothing human. This is a slakcer town, if anything. Cows and drugstores, angry white suburban youth and all that. You belong in New York City, one of those high rise penthouses with floor to ceiling windows, all fancy. You’re not rich, are you?”

“No, not really. You came to my house once, for a bite to eat.”

“Oh yeah, thats right, I did! Not that you have much in the fridge. And that name. XILVRIN. Sounds like … Xilvrin technologies. Sure you don’t own a cell phone company?”

“Last time I checked I didn’t”

“Hmmf. Too bad, I was planning on taking the easy route and marrying some rich guy and taking half his estate in a divorce settlement."

"That's ... cruel. Why would you leave someone you love?"

"People don't always marry for love, Davey-boy. Like I said, I plan on marrying for money. Then at elast I'll actually get something out of the whole deal. Love is just a misunderstnading between two fools."

"No... I don't beleive that" He shoook his head, feathering blond locks falling over his eyes, willing her words away. It can't be true, he thought.

She immeidatly noticed how upset her quip made him "you gotta be kiddin'. You're one of those die-hard romantic types?"

He looked at her helplessly "I guess so..."

"Oh well. if you ever decide to loosen up, kick back, be human, you know where to find me. Later, David.”

“Later Sue,” he waved her off. She definetly was not the nicest girl around but if he turned her away then he would be completely alone. He feared that sort of lonliness and abandonment more than anyonthing else.

She laughed to herself and slapped her knee “To see the fools run. Monster, Monster! And all it is was little old Davey. Ha.” Her voice trailed off as she disappeared into the girls’ locker room to light up, finding it too cold and rainy to go outside for her nicotine fix.

David stepped out into the dull hallway of tiles, lockers, stone walls, wood doors, cement ceilings, and zigzagging pipes. He hopped up the stairs and arrived in math class, late.

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