Empty Hallways

She was cursed.

Everyone else in her class was getting cool Changes - like flaming wings or poison tails or rainbow tattoos - but Desdemona? Not her. She got to be a statue. All day long. She had to go back to her stupid room to turn into a stupid statue while everyone else was having breakfast, and didn’t wake up until after practically everyone had finished dinner. She couldn’t even go to class anymore.

The teachers had set up a system for her which sort of passed for class. After she woke up, she’d go by each of her other teachers’ offices to hand in her homework and ask any questions she might have, then go to Mike’s last for literature notes and Hugr lessons. (She wondered if he flirted with his regular Hugr class just as much as he did with her.)

But by that time, everyone else had gone back to their rooms or suites, leaving her bored and wandering the halls alone for the rest of the night - even if it wasn’t really allowed. No one had stopped her yet.

Still, it was boring and lonely. Desdemona had gone to her Mentor for advice - that’s what they’re for, right? - but he hadn’t helped at all. Fridmar had been entirely unsympathetic towards her plight, saying something about “knowing limits” and dismissing her without even a good luck.

She was cursed, and she hated it.

“I hate it!” She yelled down the empty hallway, silence falling almost immediately as the carpeting absorbed the sound.

“Good for you.”

Desdemona whirled around at the unexpected voice. It was the middle of the night; who could possibly–

Jake was leaning against the wall a few yards behind her, smirking.

“What do you want?” She glared at him and put her hands on her hips, flaring her wings and trying to be intimidating.

He was unfazed. “Nothing. I’m just taking a walk.”

“At three in the morning?” she said incredulously. “Do you think I’m stupid?”

“No.” The smirk disappeared and was replaced by a sullen glower as he stared at the floor. “M’sorry I hit you,” he mumbled.

Desdemona stared at him. “That’s it?”

“What?” He looked up, nonplussed.

“You followed me around the halls in the middle of the night, just to tell me you’re sorry?”

“Hey!” He stepped forward with an irritated frown. “I apologized, okay? It’s not my problem you’re on some fucked-up schedule.”

“I didn’t ask for your apology!” Her tail lashed angrily behind her. “I didn’t ask for this stupid schedule! I didn’t ask for any of this!”

“Tough shit!” he snarled back. “You’re stuck here, just like the rest of us. And if you stop moping around the halls like a spoiled little brat, maybe someone’ll help you deal with it.”

“I don’t need any help and I am not moping!”

Jake’s voice took on a mocking falsetto. “Ooh, I hate my life sooo much, I’m yelling at nobody in an empty hallway about how much I hate my life.”

“Shut UP!” Desdemona shrieked at him and lunged forward.

To her surprise, she hit him squarely in the face. To both of their surprise, he staggered backwards and was only saved from falling by the wall.

Nothing happened for several seconds as Jake looked at her incredulously, until he gingerly touched his cheekbone and grinned. “Well shit. You pack a punch, kid.”

“I’m not a kid,” she snapped, clenching her fists and taking another threatening step forward.

“Yeah you are.” He clapped a friendly (but way too forceful) hand on her shoulder, still grinning as he almost knocked her off-balance. “See you around, little demon.”

She raised her chin indignantly. “No you won’t.”

He just chuckled, turning and walking back down the hall.