The Cocktail Party Phenomenon, Ch. 1

I drug my bony, fishnet-clad body down the painfully crowded hallway, trying to avoid eye contact with anyone. I was fully aware of the stares that followed my every move as I nervously tugged at the belt loops of my black leather pants.

(Chapter 1 cont..)

My messenger bag hung heavily across my shoulder, pressing hard into my chest. I wanted to vanish into my black tee shirt. I wrapped my arms around myself in a futile attempt to appear less conspicuously out of place; the only thing I managed in doing this was to snag the fishnet shirt I had carefully layered under my tee on my bag.

I pulled the crumpled schedule from my pocket, trying desperately to smooth it in my hand without having to stop, disrupting the flow of student traffic around me. I failed horribly, being shoved hard through the nearest doorway. I stumbled, catching my boots on the side of a nearby desk. “Fuck,” I muttered, crashing hard to the floor.

I looked around, allowing my eyes to adjust to the slightly dimmer light of the classroom. From the floor, I could see that the room was empty. I sighed, picking myself up off of the floor, straightening my clothes, then retrieving the now torn piece of paper, that had, just this morning, passed as my class schedule, from under a table in the corner of the room. I took the few seconds of peace that my seclusion offered me to decipher the nearly legible printout that I held in my hand.

“Literature…Calculus…Astronomy…” I mumbled, having already suffered through three classes. “Psychology,” I settled on my next class, dreading yet another new room and a new round of the cold distance I had come to expect from the students here.

I stepped lightly into the hallway. It wasn’t as dangerous now, the masses thinning, dispersing to their classes. I let myself relax a little, used to the looks I was receiving from the passers by. After a moment of searching, I found the class I had been assigned to, taking a seat in the back corner just as the bell rang. If I was lucky, I wouldn’t be noticed. I brushed a lock of black hair out of my eyes, wishing to be anywhere but where I was sitting.

“Lydia Jane Allister?” a voice broke into my thoughts. I raised my eyes, finding the class turned, all facing me.

“Yes?” I answered my voice sounding so fragile in the silent room. I wondered how many times I had been summoned, hoping that this was the first, but knowing that I was never that lucky.

“Would you come here for a moment, please?” the instructor, Mrs. Seyom, if my schedule could be trusted, did not sound unfriendly. “You may want to gather your things when you come,” her request was in vain, as I had yet to even open the bag I now clutched to my side.

I stood up, concentrating on making it to the front of the room relatively unscathed. She handed me a small, folded slip of paper, looking at me expectantly, as though I should already know what my future held. I unfolded the paper, reading it as she began to lecture.

I walked down the deserted hallway, studying what I guessed amounted to a pass, looking for any clue that I may have missed. Just the same as the first time I had looked, and every other time, for that matter, the only information it gave me was the word “office” written in vivid blue, along with today’s date. I supposed that the implication was that I should wander my way to the office.

I walked quickly, despite the uncertainty that awaited me, pushing open the heavy, old fashioned-looking door to the corridor containing the various administration offices. The wrinkled old secretary looked up at me from her long abandoned desk as I inched through the doorway. Her eyes were dull and tired from the years of fluorescent lights and paperwork. I handed her my pass, remaining by her desk, waiting for further instructions. Several minutes passed, and it became obvious that I wouldn’t be getting any. I drug my feet across the scuffed tile floor, lowering myself heavily into a chair on the other side of the room.

I stared at my feet for what seemed like hours, crossing and uncrossing my legs, trying to keep myself busied with something, trying not to remember why it was that I was here in the first place; this new school, new town, new life. I fidgeted in my seat, growing restless, willing something, anything, to happen.

Then, without warning, the stiff, old woman rose from her seat, causing a flurry of papers to fall to the ground around her. She didn’t seem to notice. She glanced in my direction, starting to walk toward one of the closed doors to her left. Instinctively, I suppose, I stood up and followed.
Inside the well-lit box of a room, I found a small table containing a neatly placed stack of papers and a pencil. The secretary directed me to the chair opposite the papers, then left without so much as another word. I just sat for a few moments, collecting my thoughts, before picking up the top sheet of paper to read the small, black print.

The heading atop the sheet I held read “Student Information.” I sighed, scanning the document, realizing that they expected me to tell my whole life story to them on the papers that followed. I suddenly felt sick, fighting an overcoming desire to run. I regained control of my emotions, picking up the pencil, preparing to fill out my paperwork.

Height, five four. Weight, about ninety. Hair color, black. Eye color, green. The list went on, if nothing else, distracting me from real thoughts. List all distinguishing marks unique to your physical appearance, the paper read. Fine. I described in detail my tattooed feet and the back of my neck, my various piercings, my scars. Scars. My mind settled on my wrists, not knowing how to explain them. I stared at the jagged lines that criss-crossed my skin, fighting back the flood of memories that threatened to consume me.

For a brief moment, I was back in my bedroom in Sheldon, sitting cross-legged on my floor, staring at Jareth, memorizing his smile. His lanky body was sprawled out on my bed, his pallor running somehow deeper than I had remembered it before. He was already ill then, but we never talked about it, pretending that it wasn’t real, that our immortality was still as intact as that of an imaginative child. The sunlight from the clear autumn day shown bright through my window, falling across his face, highlighting his delicate features with a warm glow. I had watched him like that all day, drinking in his essence, wanting to always remember him like this, needing to store in my mind the way his dark hair fell lightly into his eyes, and how he looked so far away when he was deep in thought. I had often wondered what could so captivate his mind that reality would dare not even touch him.

Back in the room, seated at the table, staring at the sheets of paper, I found that I had completed several of the next blanks without any knowledge of having done so. I placed the now completed page back on the stack, picking up the next. The new paper served as a medical history form of sorts, and I approached it with absolute caution, not wanting to be asked to leave only halfway through my first day here. I eased into the information, first filling in the blanks asking about my allergies, medical contacts and the like, then reluctantly moving on to the section pertaining to current medical conditions and medications.

.. you may read the rest at
dead emilys grave

By deademily

i'm a writer. i also teach dance ( i.e. i can bend in ways a girl just wasn't meant to move.) *baby's on fire, better throw her in the water, look at her laughing, like a heiffer to the slaughter. photographers snip-snap, take your time, she's only bu


  1. This has lots of description, and imagery, which I like.

    I am quite interested in this story, from what I have read so far. I am enjoying it immensly.

    I, myself, am working on a story….

  2. So far what I have read has kept me very interested, and it pleases me to be able to simply log on to darksites and find such great literature!
    I shall read the rest at a later date and tell you what I think, ok?

    Loving it!

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