This is my first post for the YA Indie Carnival. I hope you enjoy it. I am supposed to post on Friday, but I may not be able to get on the Internet again until this weekend, so I will post it early and leave it up until Tuesday. Because the original scene is too long, I am only posting part of it. After the scene I will list the blogs of everyone else involved in the YA Carnival. This scene shows the first time that Jack (my protag) meets Jersey Clifford (the villain).
The teacher entered with a loud voice. He slammed the door behind him and tossed a thick folder overflowing with papers onto his desk. Jack liked him on sight. The man was tall and slender with a receding blond hairline and the palest of blue eyes. He wore solid black, a turtleneck and trousers, but when Jack looked at the man's feet he had to stifle laughter. Jersey Clifford had bright red sneakers on. A non-conformist.
Lily would love him.
Sadness washed over Jack, stealing his smile. His friends were gone. They didn't know what had happened to him yet. They weren't going to like it, and they wouldn't want to be friends with a human. He had lost them forever.
Jersey began to write on the chalkboard in fluid cursive with curly letters. He spoke while he wrote, and his voice was as charismatic as the rest of him. Jack felt drawn in like a moth to a flame, and he wondered if the other students felt the same.
"You will recall we were talking about the war between the Greeks and Trojans and how it could have been avoided during our last session," Jersey said. Still facing the chalkboard, the teacher spoke to Jack as if he had eyes in the back of his head and knew exactly where Jack was sitting.
"We have a new student," he said. "Tell me something, Jack. Have you read The Illiad? Will you be able to offer an intelligent opinion on the subject?"
Jack stiffened as every eye in the room turned to him. He hadn't expected to be singled out this early in the game. "I've read it," he said, giving silent thanks to Lily for insisting he read her copy.
Jersey added his pale blue eyes to the mix. A slight smile tilted his thin lips as if he was secretly amused by something. "Then tell me, Jack, what do you think of the whole mess? Who was the most at fault in your opinion? Was it young Paris for falling in love with another man's wife? Was it Helen for leaving with him when she knew the trouble it would cause? Was it Achilles for refusing to fight for so long? Was it Hector for standing beside his brother on the matter even though he should have thrown him to the wolves?"
Jack felt Silver watching him too, waiting for his answer.
"I would have to blame the gods," Jack said defiantly.
"The gods?" Jersey's smile widened. He sat on the edge of his desk and stared at Jack in wonder. "You blame the gods for the war? Please tell me why."
"They meddled. If they had stayed out of it, things might not have gone as far as they did. The gods chose sides. They each had their favorite mortals here on Earth, and they were determined to see them win the battle. They used tricks, deceipt not only with each other but with humans as well. Really the war was between the gods themselves. They just used humans like pawns."
Jersey clapped his hands together. "Brilliant. In all my years teaching I have never had a student blame the gods, believe it or not. Refreshing. I think you are going to be a wonderful addition to our class." He stopped clapping and added, "Although, you speak like you aren't one of us, Jack. Not a mere mortal. Puzzling. Your upper lip curls into a little sneer when you say the word human. Did you know?"
The good feeling that came with giving an acceptable answer vanished. He froze in his seat and tried hard not to react to the teacher's probing gaze. There was something about Jersey Clifford, something different about him, something out of synch. Jack made a mental note to watch his step with the teacher.
Silver gave Jack an I-told-you-so look, but he kept his own expression neutral. Surely the teacher didn't know about vampires. He had probably minored in psychology at whatever university he'd attended. Maybe analyzing students was Jersey's favorite hobby.
Jersey's all-seeing gaze flickered over to Silver, almost bored. "Miss Reign, I do believe you're in the wrong class. Did you get lost?"
"I was showing Jack around the school, and I was just going to sit here for a minute to make sure he was in the right class, but then I got caught up in your lesson on The Illiad. It's... wow."
Jersey rolled his eyes. "Goodbye, Miss Reign."
He got off the edge of his desk, effectively dismissing her. Silver had no choice but to leave. Once outside the door, she mouthed words at Jack through the glass. Unfortunately he hadn't learned to read lips. She tried again. When he didn't understand her, she threw her hands up and walked away.
Jersey smirked behind his copy of the assigned book. "We are going to discuss characterization now. Who wants to begin?"
Several hands shot into the air.
Jack kept his firmly on the desk's cool surface.
Jersey pointed at someone in the first row, and Jack breathed a sigh of relief.
Here are the other Indie Writers and their blogs. Check them out.
J. L. Bryan