Spirit Splinters, Part 4

When I woke up, it was with a dry throat and a sore back. I realized I was slumped over my work half-asleep, and straightened up, wincing in pain at the aching.
The sun was shining through the window, and I blinked at the sudden light. Then it hit me like a train that I was probably late, because every going-to-magic-school story had to have this cliche at one point or another.

I folded my essay, grabbed my bag and took off. I noted with panic that there was no one in the halls, and when I burst out of the dormitory doors I was absolutely sure that I had slept through half the day.

I stopped dead when I spotted the rather large group of students outside a classroom. They were in a circle, muttering, and when I approached Elly detached from the group and ran up to me.

"Hanna!" he said, grabbing my arm. “Look! Over here, this girl...” wordlessly, he led me to the front.

There was a girl laying sprawled out in the middle of the circle of students. Her skin was deathly pale and drained, and her mouth was open in a silent scream. There were two puncture marks on her neck, leaking blood.
There was no question as to how she had been killed, and what had done it.

"Zuikop za prijie," I said.

"Miss Hannele!" barked the hall monitor from yesterday, hurrying toward me from the boy's dormitories. "No swearing in the... Zuikop! What is going on?"

The crowd parted, and Hall Monitor Boy reached the dead girl. After staring at her for a second, he snapped to attention. "What are you doing standing around?" he shouted at us. "Get help!"

A few student took off running, but the rest continued to stand there in shock, looking at the girl's body. It was inconcievable. How could... Oh yeah, we live in a school that trained us to fight vampires. Obviously they were going o target us. I relaxed; this had obviously happened before. Thank goodness I didn't know the girl.

Then I mentally slapped myself for being an uncaring bitch. I had a feeling I would be doing that a lot.

I heard the sound of approaching footsteps, and spotted our teacher from Battle Tactics, Mrs. Perrace. She took one look at the body and turned to the student body.

"All of you go back to your rooms," she said calmly. "Now."

We began milling back to the dormitories. Minoka emerged from the girls', rubbing at her eyes. "Mmm... what is it, Hanna?"

After she caught sight of my pale and drawn face, she stopped short. "Hanna?"

"Guys," said Elly from behind me, startling me. "This is bad."

"No shit!" I exploded in reply. "State the obvious, why don't you? And you can't come in here, this is the girls' dormitories!"

"No one is saying anything," pointed out Elly. Indeed, all the other girls were too busy looking shocked and talking among themselves to notice. I dragged Elly and Minoka into my room and shut the door, locking it.

"Hanna!" said Elly, shocked. "I had no idea you were the killer!"

"What?"

"Well, you just pulled us in and and locked the door, so I assumed..."

I tweaked his ear. "We've got to be careful around the school for now, okay? Let's travel together when we're not in class, lock our doors and try not to go to the bathroom unless we really, really need to. Or bring someone with us."

"Minoka and I can escort each other," I interjected. "You'd better ask someone to go with you, too."

"What? No! I don't wanna look like a perv!"

"Deal with it, Elly. I'm sure they'll understand, what with there being a dangerous killer on the loose." I turned back to Minoka. "So are we agreed? Diligence all the time. Never go anywhere alone. Always lock our doors."

"Okay..." said Minoka, a little doubtfully. "Um, what was your last name again?"

I sighed. "My full name is Cenobi Hannele." It occurred to me that I had already forgotten Minoka's last name, and Elly's first name. Then I thought that I'd known these people one day, and I was already treating them like my best friends.

I could only hope that it would stay that way.

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