This story placed second in a short story competition hosted by Wynterblue Publishing Canada.

FICTION  |  By Audrey Austin » “Well done, Carol!” her art teacher commented. “You are very creative.”

Carol slunk down in her seat. She could feel the evil eyes of her classmates but she didn’t allow the glares to penetrate. She could hear the smirks of the smart ass Brenda and figured she would probably have to deal with her again after school. The last time she felt compelled to do that she ended up with detention every day for a week. Carol stayed slunk down in her seat as she smiled. “Thank you, Mrs. Banton,” she answered.

Carol’s words were soft and polite but the other students, particularly Brenda, heard only the small, sinister sound; one with which they were all too familiar. All the other kids thought of Brenda as Miss Popular especially now that she was in her senior year at Hanover High. And what did the other kids think of Carol?

“She’s strange,” said one.

“Totally weird,” said another.

“Wouldn’t want to meet her alone on the way home.”

“No, do you see her ugly eyes? Always staring into space!”


“Stay away from her.”