Author’s Note: Welcome back to Transient! The wait has been long but at the very least you’ve had time to build anticipation. If you haven’t read the first Session, please click HERE and check it out before beginning this one. Please remember to Like and Follow this blog for more updates on stories, artwork, and reviews. If you end up liking or hating this installment, leave me a comment and tell me what you think, I’m always open to critique! Now, sit back, relax and enjoy.
CW: This story contains violence, abuse, disturbing imagery, and child death. Read at your own discretion.
It was gradual, but after the positive flip of perspective, the knot inside Ayida’s gut unwound. Though she kept her hood in place, people seemed to mind their business, giving her only a cursory glance and a curious whisper here and there. They went from the first insults she’d had in homeroom to rumors about what’d happened to her. Being mysterious felt better than pity. Guess Dr. Chandler was right. Just needed to get used to her face.
A sigh of relief was too soon as she reached her locker and stopped a ways away from it. The broken compartment was covered in graffiti. ‘Freak,’ ‘Ugly Bitch,’ ‘Monster,’ was written all over her things in both permanent marker and some type of strong-smelling red paint. She covered her mouth as she moved closer and knelt down to see the damage. Her teeth gritted behind her tightly closed lips and the curve of her mouth showed her disgust. She smacked her lips and began shoving her things back into her locker. Tardiness was already unavoidable. If she got a teacher, would they excuse her? Probably needed to go straight to the principal to save time. But… there was paint on her hands now. Would they think she did it? They’d blame her. Poor little new girl. Shouting for attention. Can’t even quietly go through the day without making a fuss. Bad enough they had to accommodate her little packet and all these conditions and—
“Awe, somebody trash your shit, Leatherface?”
Ayida broke from the spiral but didn’t turn around. Instead, she continued to put her things away. Maybe if she talked to the principal, her dad wouldn’t have pay for the messed-up text—
“Ya deaf too?!”
“We’re talkin’ to you!”
One of them jerked her around and slammed her against the locker. Her scars pulled painfully, and she shielded her right side before glaring up at them from beneath her hood. A set of brunettes and a petite blonde stood over her. One was a thick girl, all suntanned skin and early development with glossy bubblegum-pink lips. The other, pale and thin with hair pulled back in a tight ponytail and equally shiny lips. Glittery eyeshadow managed to set them apart. Ayida vaguely recognized her from homeroom. What was her name? Dakota had said it after she dropped her pen—Brittany. Right. Standing apart from them in contrasting frailty, was the blonde. Shoulders hunched and eyes downcast, she clung to her books like a shield. Her naked lips flaked from biting which she even did now and her jaggedly cut hair was dull and oily from lack of care. Ayida met her hazel eyes, seeing something strikingly familiar in them before the other girls snatched her attention.
“Whatcha hidin’, huh!” Brittany grabbed her hood and Ayida shoved at her, but it came off her head in the struggle.
“Whoa,” the ringleader goaded, canting her wide hips to the side. “Ugh, yer face is fucked.”
“Toldja!” Brittany sneered. “She tried touching me in class too.”
“Them scars go all the way down?”
“Bet her whole body’s all messed up!”
“Lookin’ at her kinda makes ya sick, don’t it?”
“Do it?” Ayida made a point to look Brittany’s friend directly in the eye. “Sucks.”
“Who the hell you talkin’ to?”
“Melissa!” the wily blonde darted her gaze between her friends and Ayida, squeezing her bookbag tighter. “W-we need to hurry up. Someone’s going to notice we’re not in class.”
Regaining her composure, Melissa—Ayida was more partial to Bubblegum Bitch herself—hissed through her teeth at Ayida. “Keep talking I’m going to fuck it up more!”
Ayida blinked slowly at them and sighed out her indifference.
“I just really want to get my stuff and go to class. I won’t tell anyone if you guys did this, but please leave me alone. I’m late already.”
“We all are!” the blonde piped up.
“Ain’t nobody fucked up your locker!” Brittany laughed. “Shit I wish we’d thought of it!”
“She’s right guys,” the blonde urged. “We need to go! You can get her after school or something. What if someone sees us.”
“Shut up, Courtney! And stop talkin’ like that!” Melissa snapped. “And you. You try to touch my friend or Dakota or anybody in our circle again and I’ll kick your teeth in. They might catch whatever disease that made you look like that!”
Ayida snorted as she squinted at her. “They’ll catch a car wreck?”
“Shut up!” Brittany kicked the locker next to Ayida.
Though she flinched, Ayida rolled her eyes and pushed herself to stand. “I get it! I’m ugly. Go away so I can pick up my stuff!”
“Hmm. I know what I think—”
“I don’t care,” Ayida flatly.
Ayida gave a hoarse sob that tore from her mouth before she could stop it. Melissa stood there, huffing angrily as she shook the sting out of her hand and smirked at the reddening of Ayida’s unmarred cheek. Ayida cradled her jaw in both hands and stumbled back against the locker, sliding down to her knees. Tears welled as she trembled.
“Shut you up then, huh,” Melissa grinned crossing her arms. “Learn how to keep your mouth shut and you won’t get hit.”
Ayida slowly looked up at the three of them, her eyes red and burning. Courtney stepped back, clinging to her books.
“I got an idea,” Brittany nudged Melissa. “She’s all red now. She’s probably hurt. We should help her into the bathroom to clean up.”
Ayida’s eyes darted for a way out. Had she been herself, she would’ve just punched them in the face. She was small—abysmally so—but before the wreck and all this stupid scarring, she’d always been capable of scrapping if she needed to. Good kid aside, it didn’t change that sometimes people liked to get her face because they could. However, with the ache growing in her body from the uncomfortable position on the floor, she needed to escape instead if she could. Her gaze found the reluctant Courtney who shuffled in place. After a moment of eye contact, Courtney bolted from the group, her shoes clapping loudly on the linoleum. Ayida only had a moment to be confused by the action.
“Tch! Chicken shit!” Melissa sneered after the girl.
Furious, she yanked Ayida on her feet by her curls. Pain exploded along the side of her face compounding with the swelling of her cheek. It blurred her already tear-clouded vision. She screamed and struggled as best she could, but Brittany snapped forward and covered her mouth. Melissa held her at one side and Brittany the other. Despite her meager resistance, the searing the burn of her scarring sapped any strength she had. The pair threw her onto the bathroom floor and laughed at her screeching. Melissa crouched in front of her laughing.
“Not so smart now, huh?” she gloated. “Nothing but a baby.”
“She’s fakin’ hard, huh! Dip in the toilet oughta flush some of that ugly!”
Ayida shrank back until she pressed against the wall, her heart thundering in her chest. Ayida clutched at her stomach and the sudden burning that spread. It intensified to the point of bile burning in her throat. Her voice caught in her throat turning protests into little more than whimpers. The girls only laughed as she curled into herself.
Why are you here…?
Be still, darlin’—
You keep fighting, its going to be worse!
This wasn’t supposed to happen…
“What’s wrong with her?” Brittany grunted. “She makin’ too much noise. Somebody’s gonna hear us.”
“Nothin’! She fakin’ cause she scared!” Melissa hissed, jerking Ayida’s sobbing form into a stall. Their hands fisted tight in Ayida’s hair and her head knocked. The scars ignited from her neck down to her stomach where her shirt and jacket clung to her in the tussle. Her eyes slammed shut as pain and the empty fire in her stomach—
WHO ARE YOU?!
Dazed gray fluttered open, lids heavy with lethargy. Ayida’s skin prickled with goosebumps where it touched the tile of the bathroom. Her breath misted soft white against the frigid air as she audibly exhaled. Her hand glided slowly to her stomach, the ache long gone and her mind clear of the muddling storm. Her heartbeat so steady in her chest, no longer robbing her breath. Shakily, she pushed herself to sit up and pressed her back against the stall wall. Aside from the echoing hiss of running water, an eerie silence pervaded the room. Dark gray hued the bathroom. The former mix of sun and florescent light snuffed out. It left everything… stained? No. No not stained. Peeling paint. Cracked tile. Thick grime smudging the mirrors and rust covering the sinks and pipes. Even the stall doors hung crooked off the deteriorating hinges. The stale scene of decay mingled heavily in the air with something putrid that she couldn’t name. Not stained… Dilapidated.
Ayida forced herself to stand, looking around for the other girls. Where did they go? Did they leave? What time was it? Did…
“I lost time again?” she muttered.
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be…
Ayida flinched at the whisper and to catch a glimpse of deep red but saw nothing when her eyes focused. She shook her head, panic seeding her gut as she turned to run for the door. She slipped onto her back with a loud cry, her blouse and skirt soaking through and her jacket sliding around uncomfortably. Icey water clung to her skin through the freezing layers. Groaning, she pushed herself up once again, scrutinizing the stream of water. Where was it coming from?
Water flowed from beneath the stall nearest the door in a stream of dark dingy red. Curiosity capped the well of uneasiness as Ayida got up. The source of the water. She needed to see it. She needed to know where the water and red came from. Inch by Inch, she came to stand before the door with trembling hands and shifty eyes. Ayida bit her lip and shoved the door open.
Ayida’s vision went white for a moment and she stumbled back, ramming against one of the sinks. The door swung on screeching hinges back and forth until the momentum died and it rested ajar. Inside, the toilet overflowed—water gushed from it in a slow creep against Ayida’s feet. She pressed back against the wall and covered her eyes, sobs and pants shaking her shoulders. She shook her head in denial of the vibrant pink nail polish glowing against the grayed-out skin.
Ayida jerked her head up and looked at the stall near the bathroom wall. Inky black tendrils crept from beneath it, slithering across the floor like a mass of worms unearthed by rain. Long spidery fingers curled one by one around the edge of the flaking stall door, the metal groaning beneath the pressure of each. Fungi-encrusted talons screeched against the metal and made her teeth grind. Ayida’s hands fumbled behind her to touch her way from the sink to the door, praying it wouldn’t notice. One scuttling step after another brought her quietly closer to safety as she backed away and kept her eyes on the thing coming through the stall.
A bald paraffin head emerged to… sniff? The loud inhale stole motion from her. With a clumsy lurch, the whole of it stumbled from the stall to settle in a feral crouch. Too many angles, too many joints in the wrong places. Bones pressed out and paper skin pulled taut over every sharp jut in a moist shimmer. Ayida covered her mouth, unable to look away as it unfolded itself and pulled its arm from the stall. It carelessly dragged something in its claw, paled skin and brunette strands spilling between them. Ayida’s mouth trembled against her hand.
Brittany’s tear-streaked face peeked between the monster’s knobby fingers. She hung there sobbing uncontrollably, her pretty eye shadow smudged around pleading doe eyes. Ayida didn’t dare move. The thing lifted Brittany up to its head and she weakly struggled. It remained unbothered by her resistance and placed a boney finger to the girl’s lips. The width of it encompassed the whole of her face as it titled its head at her and she continued to sob behind its fingers. Hands tight over her mouth, Ayida forced herself to continue backing away while it was interested in Britany. Get out while it’s distracted. Run away. Get help.
The creature twisted its neck with smooth, alien elegance to face Ayida. No eyes. No nose. No mouth. Its smooth expanse of glossy skin met Ayida’s gaze. Her shoes… her shoes in the water betrayed her. All thought seized in that moment. Any desire to run evaporated and left a numbness that disconnected her from her body, floating in an emptiness. That… She knew it. She knew this quiet.
Help me… help me!
F O U N D Y O U
The creature slung Brittany against the back wall and moved in preternatural grace towards Ayida, its tendrils crawling over the walls. The creeping blackness that followed it swallowed the room in a void. Even the hiss from the overflowing toilet vanished. The sound of young, whispering voices tingled Ayida’s skin and made her grab her ears. The creature stopped inches away from her. It righted itself, milky white form stretching to the ceiling; an impossibly large specter looming over Ayida. It stared down at her, its head swaying slightly with the curl and ebb of its worming tentacles and stark white limbs. Something grew in Ayida as this thing bore down on her. Something that cut through the emptiness and numb.
A R E N ‘ T Y O U T I R E D
It reached for her.
No. No not yet! This was wrong. This was so wrong! Something would happen if it touched her. Something would change! She wasn’t ready!
The creature hesitated, its claw hovering near her. The stillness inside Ayida held her there, as a voice echoed from deep within it.
I’m so tired…
We have to do something!
She’s not ready!
She’s going to burn out, woman!
“NO!” Ayida screamed so suddenly she frightened herself.
The creature jerked back its hand and released an echoing guttural growl that shook the world around them. Control and sense returned and Ayida took off to the door. The handle gave the moment she touched it. Light broke through the darkness and Ayida escaped into it, never once looking back.
The skin of her back prickled as a cold weight brushed against it.
“Come on, kid! Snap out of it! You’re okay!”
“It’s Mr. Arlen, Ayida. You’re okay! It’s okay!”
A distorted figure bloated and morphed before her eyes. The ringing in her ears cleared and she began to recognize one of the voices around her. It really was Mr. Arlen, his hand on her shoulder trying to soothe her. She instinctually jerked away as his face continued to distort. It left her eye-level with a gold badge attached to white button-up shirt. She followed the line up to expressive hazel eyes that struck nausea into her already turning gut. People in uniform crowded the bathroom, scattered about as they looked on.
It was still daylight.
Brittany sat a few feet away, blood dripping from her head and rocking herself frantically in spite of the paramedic trying to still her. White film covered her eyes and aged silver replaced the plain brunette hair. She stared at nothing, a hysterical expression plastered on her face as she giggled without smiling and gnawed her lips. Courtney stood in the doorway, focused on the floor and trembling uncontrollably. She clung to a large officer’s leg, his dark hand petting her hair with familiarity. She met Ayida’s gaze briefly before jerking away and leaving the doorway quickly.
Melissa. Where was Melissa?
Yellow caught Ayida’s eye and she found the first stall wrapped in caution tape. Soft splashes came from heavy boots trudging through pinkish water beneath the divide.
A small, pale arm fell onto the tile. Pink glitter polish glinted in the sunlight.
A/N: thank you for reading! If you enjoyed or hated it, lemme know what you think in the comments. Don’t forget to like and follow this blog for the next installment. If you guys want to help support what we do here, consider joining our Patreon starting at $2 or donating to our Ko-Fi. You could also patron our Shop to help us keep the doors open. Thank you so much! Please follow all our social media to stay updated! Consider joining our Discord Server as well!