Thursday, March 29, 2018

Chapter 16 - Restless

Lost was sitting, leaning against the wall when Sarah and Swirl came into the dorm. Their laughter and chatter stopped when they saw Lost looking shaken.

"Hey, what's wrong?" Sarah asked, her brow crinkled in concern.

"Did something happen? Are you still worried about that noise you heard?" Swirl said.

"I guess I'm still a bit spooked," Lost started shakily, "When I was walking back, I heard someone behind me! I saw them, they were right behind me!"

"Wait, wait. Someone was actually stalking you?" Swirl gulped.

"I think so." Lost stood up, her legs still weak from the fright.

For a moment, the dorm was quiet as the girls thought about what Lost said.

"It could have been someone going to their dorm and they just happened to be behind you," Sarah said after a while.

"That's possible," Swirl replied.

Lost nodded, still a bit unsure. "Yeah, maybe."

"Well, as much as I don't want to leave you guys, I should get back to my dorm," Sarah said. "I'll see you all tomorrow, okay?"

Sarah walked over to the door, paused, and turned around. "And Lost? Don't worry, we'll figure this mystery out."

"Thanks, Sarah. Have a good sleep!" Lost said.

Lost watched Sarah leave. As the door softly closed, Lost's gaze met Swirl's.

"Don't worry. We can think about this tomorrow. Try to get some rest," Swirl said reassuringly.

Lost nodded and smiled softly at Swirl before going to sit on her bed. She leaned back into the soft blanket and stared at the plain white ceiling above her.
A thought struck her. Rolling over, she grabbed her phone from the night table. She lightly pressed the power button and went to all of her text messages. She clicked Koolest's name and sent a quick text.

Lost scanned her last few texts that she had sent at school. A few of them said they had been read but the last few hadn't. And there had been no reply from Koolest.

She's probably just busy with school and stuff. She'll get back to me later.
- - -
Lost felt like an overtired zombie the next morning as she grabbed the tray and moved down the line. She stiffly held her tray of scrambled eggs and toast and gazed out at all the tables. She thought she noticed a few students glance at her and whisper something to their friends.
Everyone probably knows I ditched a class. Great.
"Lost! Over here!" Ja called from a table nearby.
"Hey," Lost mumbled as she sat down and started poking at her eggs. The smell was making her want to puke.
"Lost, you look awful! Did you not get any sleep?" Karalee asked, her eyes full of worry.
"I had a super restless sleep," Lost said.
Swirl stared at Lost from across the table. "Is this about last night?"
"Oh, Sarah told me what happened, Lost! That sounds spooky!" Ja said.
"Wait, what? Did I miss something?" Karalee said. "Something spooky happened?"

Lost ate her toast while vaguely listened as Swirl and Sarah gave Karalee the full story on what happened. Lost's mind drifted off to think about what to say to Ms. Liza and what might happen to her and if she'd fail English and-
"Wow, Lost, that sounds so weird!" Karalee said, her voice breaking through Lost's worries. "The mystery just gets more and more strange."
"Mhm," Lost said and rubbed her eyes.
"Are you sure you're going to be okay?" Sarah asked. "You look super tired. Is there anything else bothering you?"
"Well, I haven't heard from Koolest in a long while. She hasn't replied to any of my recent texts and I'm worried," Lost said.
"Oh no," Swirl said worriedly. "I'm sure everything is fine but I'll keep an eye out for her, okay?"
"Yeah, I think we have some of the same classes so I'll try to spot her," Karalee said.
"We'll find her, don't worry," Ja patted Lost's shoulder.

"Thanks, guys." Lost forced a smile, trying to ignore the worry that was twisting in her.
- - -
"Lostfairy? Lostfairy, can you come back to us, please?" Mr. Cosmo called.
"Whuh?" Lost sat up straight quickly. Everyone in her science class turned and gave her odd looks.
Mr. Cosmo sighed and rubbed his face tiredly. "I was asking if you knew what male bees are called and if they had any job in the hive?"
"Um," Lost quickly thought back at what she had read the day before. "They are called drones and their job is to mate with the female bees," Lost said.
"That is correct but pay more attention next time, okay?" Mr. Cosmo said before asking some other student a question about female bees.
Lost slumped in her chair. Her mind was full of worry and she just couldn't think of anything else. Her gaze slipped over to her backpack.

Should I risk it?

Carefully reaching for her backpack pocket that held her phone, she kept an eye on Mr. Cosmo. She quietly slipped the phone out and turned it on. She checked her text messages.
Still none from Koolest.
Lost felt her heart drop lower as she put the phone back. Penguin, sitting next to her, caught her gaze. He looked at her, then the backpack, and then her again. He frowned and shook his head before looking back at Mr. Cosmo.
Trying to act cool, Lost felt her face turn warm as she tried to pay attention to the young teacher as he excitedly talked about the eating habits of bees.
- - -
Lost slunk into her English classroom before the bell rang, hoping to catch Ms. Liza alone so they could talk before everyone came and heard them. That would be majorly embarrassing.
The room was empty except for Ms. Liza who was grabbing books from a box and putting them into the giant oak shelves. She turned around to see who had come in.
"Ah, Lost, glad to see your feeling better," Ms. Liza smiled. "Come, help me put these books away."
Lost slowly walked over, feeling uncomfortable. She held a stack of books out for let Ms. Liza who grabbed the first one and searched for its place.
"So, what happened yesterday?" Ms. Liza asked after a few minutes.
Lost gulped. "I panicked, I'm so sorry. You can punish me or tell the Headmaster or fail me or-"
"Sweetie, calm down," Ms. Liza chuckled softly. "Nothing bad is going to happen. It was my own fault, jumping that on you at the last second."
"I just don't like public speaking." Lost handed her teacher a thick book. "And I know ditching class is awful but I just had to get away."
"I get that, Lost," Ms. Liza said, sliding another book into its place. "But in English, you will have to do public speaking but you will get better. And your in Drama, aren't you? That will also help you cause you'll have to do your lines onstage."
Ms. Liza turned to look at Lost and looked into her eyes. "We can't always run away from our fears. Life will sometimes make us have to face them head on. You can do that for me?"
Lost nodded just as the bell rang.
"Well, it's almost class time. Thank you for helping, Lost," Ms. Liza said with a smile. She grabbed the box and put it in a nearby cupboard.
"So, I'm not in trouble?" Lost asked, shocked.
"No, you're fine." Ms. Liza winked as if they had a special secret and walked over to her desk.
Breathing a sigh of relief that everything went better than expected, Lost sat at her desk and waited for class to start.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Chapter 15 - The Shadowy Figure

The whole table was quiet as the words Karalee had just spoken set in in. They all looked at each other.

"Uh, how can we solve a mystery?" Ja asked. "We all have busy school schedules. When would we have time to do it?"

"And," Swirl added, "we could get in trouble."

"How can we get in trouble for just listening?" Karalee asked.

"What do you mean?" Lost said.

"I mean, right now, we can't do anything. We just have to keep our ears open. Listen for clues. Then we can try to piece it together," Karalee declared.

"Well, as long as we do something, I'm good with that," Lost replied. "I hate feeling like I did something but I don't even know what."

"Hmm, let's start by going over all the details," Karalee said.

"What exactly did Headmaster Clark and Mr. Greely say?" Swirl asked, looking at Lost.

"Well," Lost said, thinking back, "they said that there was a serious problem. And that if they told anyone, the school could look bad. Headmaster Clark sounded really upset."

"Anything else?" Sarah asked.

"They also said they had to be calm. But they also said a sister might notice whatever they were talking about. And then they mentioned that because this sister was new, it might be a huge misunderstanding," Lost said. "Does that help?"

"Well, whatever it is, it sounds big and bad," Ja said, chewing on fry, thoughtfully.

"And it sounds like the school might be in trouble if more people found out about it," Swirl said.

"We don't have enough information. So for now, let's just make sure to listen to people around us," Karalee said.

Lost nodded and finished the last of her poutine. Just then, the overhead speakers crackled to life.

"Good evening, Jamaasian High! I hope your day was wonderful and full of education," Headmaster Clark said. "Right now, you have a couple hours of free time so feel free to go to the games room, library, or your dorms. Also, the art room is open, so you can go over and paint some masterpieces! Be sure to be back at your dorms at lights out. Jam on!"

The speakers fell silent and the room filled with chatter again. Lost stood up and looked at her friends.

"What do you guys want to do now?" Lost asked.

"I was going to go meet up with Gfox and hang out in the games room again," Karalee said. "Do any of you want to come with me?"

"I'll come!" Ja said, quickly moving over to Karalee.

"Well, I guess we'll see you later," Swirl said as nobody else went over next to Karalee. "Bye, guys!"

After Karalee and Ja left, Swirl turned to look at Sarah and Lost. "Now what?"

"The art room sounds good to me," Lost said with a shrug.

"I'm good with that! Let's go!" Sarah said, leading the way.

Just as Lost was about to follow, she bumped right into someone who let out an "OOF!"

"Oh, I am so sorry!" Lost cried. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine, thanks," the girl said, wiping her large glasses with her sleeve. "It happens all the time."

"I'm glad you're okay!" Lost said, relieved. "Well, see you later!"

"Bye," the girl called as Lost started to run after Swirl and Sarah.

Lost hurried out of the cafeteria after her two friends. Together, they wandered down a couple of halls to the art room.

As soon as they stepped inside the empty room, the smell of old paint became overpowering. Lost wrinkled her nose a bit and sat down at a large easel. Swirl and Sarah went to two other easels a little further.

"What are you guys going to paint?" Lost asked, getting comfortable on her stool.

"I'm not sure yet. Probably a cat," Swirl grinned, looking over her paints and brushes. "What are you guys going to paint?"

"A horse!" Sarah said, as she got a dreamy look in her eyes. "A nice, big, brown, beautiful horse. She's going to have a star between her eyes and a brown, gorgeous mane."

"Wow, that's a great description!" Lost laughed. "I don't know what I'm going to paint yet."

"I want her to look like the horse I ride sometimes. Her name is Jazz," Sarah explained.

"Oh, cool!" Lost said.

As Swirl and Sarah began painting, Lost looked around the art room, trying to get inspiration. The room was full of trinkets, paints, and all sorts of random things. She noticed a blue glob of paint on the floor was still wet.

Suddenly, the lights flickered a few times before going out completely. The whole school went pitch black.

"Um, guys? What happened?" Sarah asked cautiously.

"I have no idea," Lost replied back, trying to see her friends in the darkness. Her eyes weren't used to the sudden change of lighting.

"I think the power went out. It sounds like a thunderstorm is going on outside," Swirl said.

Lost listened hard. She could hear the crash of thunder and the wind roaring. "That's probably it. Let me see if I can find a flashlight somewhere around here. Do you guys remember seeing any closet or something? Maybe a flashlight is in there."

"I think I saw one on one of the shelves by the door. Be careful though, I don't want you to walk into anything," Sarah said.

Lost got up and walked slowly over to where she thought the door was. Instead, she crashed into an easel, knocking it to the ground.

"Lost?! Are you okay?" Swirl asked.

"I'm fine," Lost said. "I don't know if the easel is though."

Lost moved to the left to avoid walking into the fallen easel and moved her hands out in front of her as she walked, trying to find the door. Her hand slightly brushed the cold doorknob.

As Lost's eyes got more adjusted to the dark, she looked up and saw a few shelves close to the door. Lost moved her hand around the shelves, feeling the objects on it. She pushed past some of the trinkets and felt around the back corner.

"Aha!" Lost said, grasping a flashlight. "I found it!"

Lost fumbled to turn the flashlight on. All of a sudden, Lost heard a noise coming from the other side of the door. Like someone accidently knocked something against the door.

Lost whirled around, shining the light at the window of the door. Nothing was by the door. The hall was strangely dark and Lost couldn't see very much because of the dimness.

"Did you guys hear that?" Lost asked, glancing at her friends.

"Hear what?" Sarah asked, squinting as Lost shone the light over to her friends.

Lost flew the door open and stepped a little into the hallway. She looked down the hall and saw no one.

"What's going on?" Swirl said, walking over to Lost, paintbrush in hand.

"I thought I heard someone out in the hall but no one's here," Lost said. "It sounded like someone was watching us."

"Uh, that's spooky," Sarah said. "What if you heard wrong? Maybe it was just the wind?"

"It sure sounded like someone hitting something on the door," Lost answered, walking back inside.

"Well, no one is out there so there's no way we can find out who it was," Swirl said, closing the door behind her. "Maybe it was just some student who likes playing tricks on others."

"Maybe," Lost replied doubtfully.

"Let's just keep painting and try to forget about it," Swirl declared.

Lost nodded and walked back to her empty easel. All possible inspiration was gone.

"I think I'm going to go back to my dorm," Lost said, standing up again.

"Wait, we can come with," Sarah said as she started to get up.

"No, no, it's fine. You guys keep painting. I'll catch you later, alright?" Lost said, handing the flashlight to Swirl. "You can keep the flashlight."

"If you're sure about going alone," Swirl said, sounding unsure. "You aren't going to try to find who hit the door, right?"

"Oh, no. I'm just tired and figured I could use some extra rest," Lost replied. "See you guys later!"

Lost hurried out of the room and down the dark hall. She glanced up at the overhead lights.

I wish these were working tonight! It's creepy walking in a dark hallway when someone may or may not be spying on you.

Lost picked up her pace, trying not to let her overactive imagination get the best of her. As she turned the corner, she heard a noise.

Lost stopped and held her breath.

A footstep.

Someone was nearby.

Lost hurried further down the hall, fear gripping at her.

Don't look behind. Pretend you heard nothing. DO NOT LOOK BEHIND YOU.

Just as she was about to go up the staircase, her curiosity got the better of her. She turned around and looked back down the hall.

A dark shadow moved down the hall.

Lost bolted up the stairs, taking two at a time. Lost tore down the hall and hurriedly unlocked the door of her dorm. She whipped open the door and slammed it shut. After locking it, Lost sunk down onto the floor, breathing hard.

Lost had no idea who that was or why they had followed her.

Why were all these mysterious things happening in Jamaasian High? And why did it include her?

Chapter 14 - The Game's Afoot

Lost hurried out of the bathroom just as the bell rang. Keeping her head down, she rushed through the crowds of students, all going to their next classes.

Lost knew she should have gone back to her English class but after what had happened, there was no way she was going back to face all those people who had just seen her run out of class. So, she had stayed in the girls bathroom, hiding.

Reaching the door to her Art class, Lost scurried into the room and sat down at her desk. She slouched slowly as more students came rushing in. What if one of them was in her English? If they noticed her, would they tell everyone what had happened? Will the whole school know that the new kid ran out of class, crying?

She was going to stay low. Not talk to anyone. Get through the day and then stay in her dorm. For the whole evening. Maybe the whole next day too.

I'm being dramatic. Calm down, Lost, I can do this.

Lost's mind drifted back to what had happened in the hallway.

I wish I knew why Headmaster Clark and Mr. Greely were talking about me. And probably Koolest too. Its not fair that I don't even know what we did!

"Hey!" Snowyclaw said as she sat down a few desks away from Lost.
Lost gave a quick smile before going lower into her seat.

It was going to be a long class.
"Lost? Helloooo? Lost, you alive?" Swirl asked loudly, waving a hand in front of Lost's face.
"Hm?" Lost blinked, trying to push away her bothering thoughts out of her head. Like how Ms. Liza had come to her earlier and talked to her about not running out of the classroom again. Lost was lucky it was just a warning.

The girls were sitting in a corner at Drama class, practicing their lines. All the students had separated into groups, getting ready for the audition which was apparently coming up soon. Ms. Tavie hadn't given a date since she thought it'd be best if it was a surprise. She claimed that it was better that way.
"This is the third time you've left me and gone deep into thought," Swirl replied, frowning worriedly. "You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm alright," Lost said.

Swirl quirked an eyebrow. "Oh, really?"
"Fine. No," Lost sighed. "In English, I was supposed to read my report out loud in front of the whole class. But I chickened out and ran out of class."

"Aw, I'm so sorry!" Swirl said gently. "I know public speaking can be really hard."

"But that's not all! When I ran out, I bumped into Mr. Greely and Headmaster Clark. They were some deep, secretive discussion," Lost said.
"Really? Did you hear what it was about?" Swirl asked.

"It sounded like it was about me," Lost whispered.
"What?! Why would they be talking about you?" Swirl cried. "What did they say that makes you think it was about you?"

"Well," Lost thought back. "They mentioned a sister and that... they were new? And something about a misunderstanding? That's all I got, really. It didn't make any sense."
"I'm sure they weren't talking about you. Maybe their talking about Headmaster Clark's new-new... cat! And the cat has a sister but it was a misunderstanding when he bought both!" Swirl declared.

Lost laughed. "That's crazy! Did you just randomly think of that?"

"Yup," Swirl admitted, grinning.

"I'm pretty sure it wasn't about a cat but good guess," Lost said, teasingly.

"Hey, a girl can try," Swirl joked. "Well, in all seriousness, maybe we should talk to our other friends and bounce off ideas about this."

"Yeah, sounds like a plan. Maybe at supper?" Lost said.
"Sure! We should probably keep practicing our lines otherwise we're going to get in trouble," Swirl said, holding up her many papers that were full of lines.

Lost nodded and looked down at her own sheet of papers. "Now where were we?"

Lost hurried over to her table, trying to keep her tray of poutine steady. She dodged a chair getting pushed out quickly by a boy and kept on going.

This is like an obstacle course.

Quickly, Lost scooted into her chair next to Swirl and Ja. Sarah and Karalee came over, balancing their trays and sat down.

"Where's Gracie and Fang?" Lost asked through a mouthful of fries and gravy.

"Mm!" Karalee swallowed. "They said they had to go study for some paper in history or something."

Swirl pounded her fist on the table, making Sarah jump. "Lost has something to tell us. Right, Lost?"

Lost slowly nodded and swallowed her fries before saying anything. "Alright, so, Swirl thinks that you guys can help with a problem... thing."

"A problem thing? What's wrong?" Ja asked.

After Lost finished explaining what she overheard Headmaster Clark and Mr. Greely talking about, all her friends looked confused.

"That's... weird," Sarah said.

"Really weird," Ja agreed.

"How do you know they were talking about you?" Karalee asked, leaning back in her chair.

Lost thought for a moment. "Well, I'm new and my sister, Koolestkat, is new too. I guess two other sisters might also be new this year but still. Doesn't it sound like it's about me? Like the way they acted around me?"

"Hm, this is very interesting," Karalee mused.

"Kind of like a mystery," Ja said.

Karalee's eyes brightened. "Yes! A mystery! A mystery that needs to get solved!"

"What are you saying?" Lost asked, although she had a good idea what Karalee was going to say next.

"I'm saying, we have a mystery to solve," Karalee announced.

Chapter 13 - There's Something Brewing in Jamaasian High

Lost quickly opened the door to English class, panting from running. Mr. Graham had randomly decided to make his class go longer. The bell had finished ringing about a minute ago.

In other words, Lost was late.

"Good to see you, Lostfairy," Ms. Liza said as some students snickered. "Please, take your seat."

Lost scooted to her desk, sat down, and leaned back into the chair with a sigh. She tried to ignore the weird looks some of her classmates were giving her. Lost noticed Bepper give her a slight sympathetic smile.

"Today is an exciting day!" Ms. Liza declared. "Today is the day where we all find out who's wonderful report gets read in front of the whole class and then it gets read by Headmaster Clark! It's so exciting!"

"Now believe me," Ms. Liza continued, "it was so hard to decide which report should be the winner. But after much thinking, I chose the winner!"

I don't want to read my report to the whole class! Don't be me. Don't be me.
"And now! The moment you've all been waiting for! The winner is...

Don't be me. Please, not me. Anyone but me. DON'T BE ME!
"Lostfairy with the report titled "I'm Lost, Where's My Locker?" It was such a wonderful report, I'm sure you'll all love it! Lostfairy, would you please come up and read it out loud?" Ms. Liza said.

Nooooo! Not me!

Lost slowly stood up and walked up to the front of the classroom, legs trembling. Her breathing was quick and sharp, her hands shaking as she held her notes. Lost stared at all the students who were staring at her expectantly.

"You can begin," Ms. Liza said softly.

Lost nodded, took a deep breath, and began reading her report. "Have you ever been lost? Not knowing where to turn is an awful feeling. I am new at Jamaasian High and this is how I felt. I had no clue where my locker even was. Where could I put my stuff?"

Lost took a shaky breath and continued, her heart pounding. "Its not right that new students are lost, without even a place to put their books. Don't you think that no one in this school should be lost?"

"She should be lost for making us sit through this boring report," a girl whispered to her friend.

"If all of us students worked together," Lost hurried to say, blinking back tears, "we could all help out new students, make them feel at home."

"Oh gosh, she's going to cry. How lame," the girl whispered again as her friend giggled.

"I also think that when-when," Lost stammered and brushed a tear away, "new students show up, they should, um, be shown their locker right away and-"

Lost noticed more students snickering and whispering.

"I'm sorry but I can't do this," Lost said and ran out the room, hot tears running down her face as she burst into the hall.

She ran as fast as she could, ignoring Ms. Liza's calls. Lost ran hallway after hallway, not caring where she was going.Tears ran down her burning face as she slowly came to a halt.

Panting, Lost sniffled and kept on going, walking now. The halls were empty, everyone was in the classrooms, like they were supposed to.

Lost groaned as the realization hit her. She had run from class. What kind of trouble was she in?

Just as Lost was about to round a corner, she heard hushed voices from down the hall.

Curious, Lost stopped and pressed herself against the wall, trying to listen to the voices.

"This is serious! You have to take action!" a man said in his deep voice.

Is that... Mr. Greely?!

"But what could we even do?" another man replied, his voice getting louder as he spoke. "We cannot tell anyone. It could become chaotic. I'll look bad, this school will look bad!"

Huh? Is that Headmaster Clark?!

"Well, we have to do something," Mr. Greely replied calmly.

"I know that!" Headmaster Clark snapped. "But we can't just blatantly say it, now can we?"

"We must remain calm. Perhaps this problem will settled by itself," Mr. Greely said.

"Before her sister notices? I doubt that!" Headmaster Clark said.

"She's new, isn't she? Perhaps its all a big misunderstanding," Mr. Greely mused.

Lost jumped back from the wall as she heard them walking towards her. As they rounded the corner, they stopped their conversation. Headmaster Clark stared at Lost in shock while Mr. Greely just frowned.

"Now what are you doing outside of class?" Headmaster Clark asked in a fake calm voice.

"Do you even have a pass?" Mr. Greely growled, suspiciously.

"Um, no, but I was heading right to class," Lost fumbled. "Just a little, uh, lost, I guess."

"Shouldn't you be halfway done your class?" Mr. Greely glared at Lost.

"Uh, yes. But I, um, its complicated?" Lost cringed, wishing it didn't sound like a question. "Not to be a bother but what were you talking about before?"

"Nothing that should concern you," Headmaster Clark said. "Now, go along to your class."

Lost nodded and started walking back to her classroom, frustrated. Why had it sounded like they were talking about her? What was the serious problem?

What was brewing in the midst of Jamaasian High?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Chapter 12 - The Torture Called Jogging

Lost smiled and stretched as she stood in the breakfast line-up in the cafeteria the next morning. Today's breakfast special was eggs and toast.

"How was your sleep?" Swirl asked, moving up in the line with Lost.

"It was good, how about you?" Lost asked.

"Good!" Swirl replied before turning to the lunch lady behind the counter. "Two pieces of toast is fine!"

After the girls got their breakfast, Swirl glanced around, as if looking for someone.

"Aha!" Swirl said just as Lost was about to ask who she was looking for. "Come, I have someone I want you to meet."

Lost followed curiously through the cafeteria past a couple of tables. She noticed Aparri, Bepper, Wisteriamoon, and Julian were all sitting at the same table, laughing and joking as if they were the best of friends.

'Course all the 'famous' people are chums.

"Lost, meet Kraft!" Swirl suddenly announced as they reached a table where Kraft sat, eating.

"Oh! I've already met Kraft before," Lost chuckled, sliding into a seat next to Kraft.

"Mhm," Kraft said, her mouth full of eggs.

"Really?" Swirl smiled at Lost. "You are just everywhere, aren't you?"

Lost smirked and took a large bite of toast. "Now you know my secret!"

"These eggs are just the best! They don't taste like those eggs from the stores. Those ones are just plain rubbish," Kraft declared.

"Of course you like these eggs, silly!" Swirl laughed, shoving Kraft playfully.

"Uh, why?" Lost said, feeling out of the loop.

"Kraft absolutely loves chickens," Swirl said.

"I see," Lost said though she still felt a little confused.

After a while, the bell rung loudly, letting everyone know that class was going to start soon. Lost stood up and looked around. Most of the other students were done eating as well. Chairs got shoved and calls were yelled as kids pushed their way to the door.

"Come, Swirl." Lost said, gesturing to the door. "Homeroom will start soon."

"Bye Kraft!" Swirl said, giving Kraft a hug before she stood up. "See you later!"

"Bye guys!" Kraft called as Lost and Swirl went with the flow of students and out into the hallway.

* * *

Lost wandered into her science classroom just after the final bell had rung. Almost all the seats were taken and everyone looked up at her. As Lost blushed, she glanced up at Mr. Cosmo and noticed he was smiling kindly down at her.

"Sorry that I was late," Lost apologized.

"It's ok, Lostfairy," Mr. Cosmo replied and smiled a big, bright smile, his eyes squinting.

Lost blushed even harder, trying not to notice that Mr. Cosmo was actually quite handsome. As she hurried to her desk next to Penguin, Mr. Cosmo began his lecture on a certain type of fungus that is nicknamed "zombie fungus" that infects ants.

"So, this type of fungus, scientifically named Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, actually attaches itself to the carpenter ants and it eventually breaks into the ant's exoskeleton. Then the yeast stage of the fungus spreads over the ant's body and actually manipulates the ant!" Mr. Cosmo exclaimed, gesturing with his hands.

Penguin suddenly raised his hand. 

"Yes, Penguin?" Mr. Cosmo asked.

"What does the fungus make the ant do?" Penguin said, sounding curious.

"Good question!" Mr. Cosmo said. "The fungus makes the ant climb onto a stem of a plant. Then, it makes the ant stick to a leaf vein. After that, the ant can not move from that spot because the fungus destroyed some of the connections in the ant's muscles. This tight grip to the leaf vein is known as the death grip and is very important in the fungus's lifecycle."

"What happens after?" Penguin said.

"Well, things start looking worse for the ant. The fungus kills the ant and then continues to grow in the ant's soft tissues. When the fungus is ready to reproduce, well, things get disturbing. The fungus's fruiting bodies grow from the ant's head and rupture, releasing spores."

This is one interesting science class...

* * *

Lost panted as she ran another lap around the gym. She loved running but now she was getting a bit tired.

"Hey, Lost!" Naffy said cheerfully as she jogged up next to Lost.

"Hi there," Lost said, smiling. "What's up?"

"Nothing much. How are you enjoying Jamaasian High?" Naffy asked, glancing over at Lost.

"It's a nice school! It's got a great community and I love my dorm room girls," Lost said. "I've met a lot of nice people!"

"That is so good!" Naffy replied.


"Stop with the CHIT-CHAT and start FOCUSING ON RUNNING!" Coach Gilbert yelled from across the gym.

"Ugh, how long is he going to make us run?" Naffy whispered.

"No clue," Lost said, trying to shrug as she ran. "I'm so not used to gym since I didn't have it when I was homeschooled."

"Ah, it must be a tough switch, huh?" Naffy said.

"I sure miss my home and old life but I love making new friends so I'll be fine," Lost smiled.

Lost looked up and saw Swirl with another girl running just up ahead.

"Swirl!" Lost called, hoping her friend would slow down and run with her and Naffy.

Swirl looked behind her and a big grin went across her face. She turned toward the girl with her and said something. They both slowed down so Lost and Naffy could catch up.

"Hey, guys!" Swirl said, panting. "Meet Violet! She's in a couple of my other classes too!"

"Hi there, Violet!" Lost and Naffy said.

"Hello!" Violet replied. "I am so done with running. Is Coach Gilbert trying to torture us?!"

"I hope not!" Lost replied with a laugh.

Just as Lost was about to open her mouth and say something, the loud bell was rung overhead.

"Alright! Gym is now OVER!" Coach Gilbert shouted.

"Well, let's go get changed out of these gross gym clothes," Lost joked as they started walking over to the change rooms.