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Dr Archeville

[April 2010 Vignette] Wander's Vignette

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Erin woke that morning to the sight of the sticky note she'd pasted to the bottom of Alex's bunk the night before. April 1. That was good to keep in mind. Back in the old days, her family had liked to try and get her before she was really awake, when her brain was fuzzy and she was vulnerable. She remembered the year her dad had woken her up, telling her she had ten minutes before it was time to leave for school, and had her racing around the house like a madwoman before she realized that not only was it six in the morning, it was also Saturday. Dad had laughed so hard, but she'd gotten him back later when she'd filled the sugar bowl with salt before his after-dinner coffee. But that was a long time ago. Today she mostly wanted to be cognizant of the fact that weird things might be happening, so she didn't freak out and do something stupid over nothing.

With a sigh, she rose from her bed and stretched, rolling her shoulders as she grabbed her bath caddy and headed for the shower. She restrung the shower curtain that had been rigged to fall, then took a quick shower and dressed, screwing the aerator back onto the sink faucet before she left. Somebody had had a busy morning already. On her way down to breakfast, she disarmed a bucket of foam peanuts left on top of a door, and cocked her head to listen to a muffled explosion that didn't seem to be too close. Odd. She carefully checked her food in the cafeteria, but it was unadulterated, if a little boring. Not that she wasn't grateful to have the food, but maybe she needed to branch out a little. She was shelling out a lot of money for Oliver's food, but she probably had room in the budget for something for herself as well.

Several students said hi to her in the cafeteria, and Erin had gotten used to that by now. Lots of people were friendly here, and she did her best to be friendly back, even if it was sometimes a little awkward or stilted. She'd never get better if she didn't practice. She saw several pranks playing out, but no one seemed to be trying anything on her. She wondered if it was because somebody had something bigger planned, or if no one had decided to try and prank her today. That was fair enough, she guessed. She hadn't been able to think of anything good to do herself. April Fool's Day just wasn't as fun as it used to be before she got her powers, or before everything really. Most things didn't surprise her anymore.

Chemistry was her first class of the day, and today was a lab. She suspected any fooling around would be frowned on there. This teacher hadn't been there long, since the one with all the hair left, but he ran a tight ship. She tossed her backpack against the wall with everyone else's and got to work trying to turn some clear stuff pink for the good of science. Erin was not really that good at science, but with a few whispered hints from her lab partner, eventually the liquid in her beaker turned pink and she would have something to write about in her report. She closed her notebook as class ended and headed back to get her backpack and stow her things. She'd have to get moving if she didn't want to be late for her training session, since she'd have to change-- Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted as something sprang out of her backpack, directly towards her face!

Erin leapt backwards and bumped into a lab table, tensing automatically as she wrapped her hands around the thing that had sprung at her. It was soft, she noticed, and... crinkly? Studying it, she realized it was a fabric snake, the kind that usually popped out of cans of peanut brittle. Looked liked she'd been pranked after all. She started to smile at the silliness of it, when she realized the whole room had gone silent. Looking around, she noticed that everyone was staring at her, and holding quite still. Kevin, one of the sophomores in the class, had gone bone-white. “Um, sorry Erin, really sorry,” he stammered. “I got the wrong backpack. It was just an accident!” He looked like he thought she was about to snap and jump on him. He did think that, she realized, and so did everyone else.

“No problem,” she muttered, putting the fake snake down on the lab table. Grabbing her backpack, she headed for the door. “April fools.”

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