Thursday, April 5, 2012

Book Feature of the Week - Thoughtless- Excerpt

From Chapter 4 - Taunted

The bell rang and I slammed my locker shut.  My next class was around the corner; Biology.  Mr. Wellborne would flip if I was late again.  My bag was heavy but I managed to run to class just in time, taking my usual seat.  Today I'd be forced to sit through a boring lecture about the digestive system.
 "Hi Bridget."  The girl sitting next to me smiled.  She'd never spoken to me before now.  In Biology class, I usually kept my head down and doodled in my notebook.  Sometimes I had headphones on.  And if Mr. Wellborne ever called on me, he was usually thinking of the answer he was looking for.  That was my system and I stuck to it every class.
 "Hey," I replied trying to sound polite, though I knew why she was suddenly friendly.  Her thoughts entered my head, making it hard for me to keep smiling.  She's the girl that snagged Terrence.
 "I saw you at the homecoming dance.  Your dress was so pretty."  She flicked her long curls over her shoulder and kept on smiling.  It was clear that she only wanted one thing: the scoop on Terrence - how I'd gotten him, and why he liked me.
 "Thanks."  I turned my head forward and broke eye contact.  I could still feel her staring.
 "Alright class, it's review time!"  Mr. Wellborne was at the front of the classroom shouting over the giggles and whispers.  "Listen up!  Or fail come test time!"  The room quieted down a little, but not completely.  I opened my notebook to a fresh page and started drawing.  The redhead sitting up front always knew the right answers.  Come test time I'd just focus on her.
Bridget.  The voice was low but I could still hear it over the giggles in the back.  I looked up.
 "Yes?"  Mr. Wellborne stopped his lecture, giving me a funny look.  Meanwhile, half the class turned around to look at me.  Their facial expressions mimicked Mr. Wellbourne's puzzled look. 
 "I'm sorry Bridget.  Did you have a question?"  Mr. Wellborne was looking at me, awaiting an answer.  I shook my head.  I could've sworn he said my name.  I blushed and shook my head.  The class directed their attention towards the front again and my fingers resumed drawing. 
Bridget.  The same voice pulsed through my mind again, this time a little louder.  I put my pencil down and looked at the girl next to me.  She saw me looking at her and grinned.  I nodded but she didn't say anything.  I heard the voice a third time.  The louder it got, the raspier it sounded.  Bridget.  I dropped my pencil and annoyingly stared at the students in closest proximity.  They looked as if they were intently listening to Mr. Wellborne's explanation about the different sections of the small intestines. 
I decided to keep my head up.  Most of the class had quiet minds.  The majority of the thoughts in the classroom centered around Mr. Wellborne's lecture.  Though a guy in the corner was replaying the graphic night he'd had with his girlfriend.  Sick.  But no one had thoughts that focused on me, not at the moment.
Bridget.  The voice entered my head a fourth time.  No one moved their lips.  No one looked in my direction.  I could feel the muscles in my legs tense up.  Maybe I was just being paranoid?  Bridget.  The voice was getting louder, making the hairs on my arms stand up.  No one was speaking.  I was sure of it.  The raspy voice was a thought – a really creepy thought.
I stared around the room without blinking.  My eyes got watery.  This kind of thing had never happened to me before.  No one, aside from my mom, had ever purposely thought something for me to hear.  The cruel voice came again, this time giving me chills.  Bridget.  I wanted to jump up and yell at the whole class.  But I took a large breath and tried not to jump to any conclusions.  I didn't want anyone to think I was crazy.
Mr. Wellborne continued lecturing in a monotonous tone.  My whole body was tense.  I desperately wanted to leave my seat, run out the door, and breathe in fresh air.  A few drops of sweat lingered on my forehead as I fought my instinct to flee.  I was hearing things, weird things.  What if the voice followed me to my next class or even home?
 "Bridget?  Be my partner?"  The girl sitting next to me was waving her hands, trying to get my attention.
 "What did you say?" I asked in confusion. 
 "Be my partner?"  She replied slowly, now doubting her decision to ask me.
 "Did you say my name just now?" I whispered.  She gave me a look similar to Rory – the look that told me I was acting like a weirdo.
 "Uh, yeah.  We're like supposed to talk about the essay question and stuff?"
 "Yeah, of course."  I smiled and laughed, pretending too hard to act casual.  It just made me seem more out of it.  "Sorry, it's just been one of those days."
 "Late night Saturday?"  She winked and flicked her hair again.  "I'm Ellie, by the way.  I'm on the cheer squad with your friend Emma.  And Stacy, I thought to myself.  The girl that died Friday during the football game.
 "Yeah sure," I muttered.  "So what question are we supposed to talk about?"
 "Uh, essay number two on the review sheet.  The roles of the – Bridget- stomach during –Bridget- the breakdown – Bridget- of food."  The raspy voice entered my head, confusing me.  I couldn't focus on anything Ellie was saying to me.  Bridget.  Bridget.  Bridget.
I jumped to my feet with sweat dripping down my cheek.  My chest felt heavy as I let out a few gasps.  Ellie watched with raised eyebrows.  Her thoughts explained the expression on her face.  What the hell is she doing?  Ellie was the only student looking at me.  Everyone else had their attention directed at their assigned essay questions.

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