A Smile to Hide - Chapter 3
Author: HatedLove6
Content Rating: T-16
Published: 2015-09-19 10:32:49
Tags: cyoa, wwyff, wwffy, a smile to hide, lgbtqa, het, urban fantasy, period piece, magic, psychic, school

Three years ago, the murder of your best friend has shattered the peace between humans and mythological beings. The longer your town lives in a false sense of peace, the longer the hatred between humans and beings grow. Create your own path, and become a soldier to find justice for your friend by finding her murderer, or find yourself shipped away against your will to the mysterious Fintan’s Academy for beings with unnatural abilities. There, you will learn and hone the ability inside of you, and meet people who will change your world.

Author´s Notes and Disclaimers:
The characters and events portrayed in my stories are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Chapter 4
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Dr. Phillips tells you to lie down in the back seat so no one can see you, and frankly you don’t want to see anyone either. Despite the early morning, there are probably some people awake and spying through their windows. Everyone at Winston-Salem had probably already heard about you having to take the Psychic Exam and testing positive, so they were probably prepared to gawk when you had to leave. You inwardly bet that everyone would call you a freak, and say, “I knew it, that’s why . . . .” You also could imagine that Father Gordon would be preaching about it, faking his sadness and say something along the lines of, “Ms. Upshaw was cursed from birth, but may the Lord have mercy on her sweet and kind soul.” “I’m glad you didn’t go through with it,” Dr. Phillips says. The ride had been quiet until he said that. “Go through with what?” “Murdering Father Gordon.” You sit up violently, and about to argue with him. “You wanted to know what happened three years ago, but you’re angry. If you had seen him, you would have killed him. I know this because you’re not the only one in this car with abilities.” He looks in the rear view mirror at you. “Trust me, you’ll know the truth, and better understand it when you’ve learned more coming from the other side of the fence.” You know he’s right—if you had seen Father Gordon, you probably would have at least assaulted him, but killing him seems far-fetched to you. Dr. Phillips was probably only trying to scare you. “What do you mean? What ‘other side of the fence’?” “Do you know where psychics go?” “A facility?” He chuckles. “Not quite. We don’t force the exams on people unless there’s a valid reason where a person‘s safety might be at risk, along with if there are a number of complaints, but we try to encourage them to take the exams on their own. Those over the age of eighteen and have held a job for a while get transferred to another area, yes, because the Psychic Exam isn’t discreet. We’re trying to change that. Those people, after they transfer, can do whatever they like. They can come to our ‘facility’ to better understand their ability, or they can live the rest of their lives to try and be normal.” He looks at you again. “You, on the other hand, are underage, and normally when there are a number or complaints or suspicious observances, the same courtesy of giving you a choice to take the exams or not is given. However, since Father Gordon seemed convinced that you would harm him, you didn’t have that choice, but since your ability seems to be rather harmless, we would like for you to come to our school. I‘ve already talked with your parents, and everything regarding guardianship, financial aide, and expenses are taken care of.” “But you just said my ability was harmless. Why do I have to go to your school?” “You may not be a danger to others, but there are some in that town that are cruel, aren’t there? If they know that you are abnormal, they may go out of their way to put you in danger, or put you in situations where you can‘t defend yourself.” You nod, remembering all the acts of bullying you seen and heard about. High school students were exceptionally cruel. One of the freshmen boys was hospitalized because of his excess hair. At first, people joked that he was a werewolf even though your school only allows humans, but one day the freshman got angry and physically violent, so the “normal” people fought back and claimed that he was a shape-shifter or a werewolf even though it was a blatant lie. Ultimately, since it was considered self-defense, no one was charged, and he boy transferred to another school. “So, I’m just going to be at a new school? That’s it?” “The school you’ll be going to isn’t just for human psychics. Believe it or not, these ‘monsters,’ as your friends call them, can have a strong psychic gene as well, and they also get the brunt end of things. Discrimination, a very sad thing, is everywhere, even between them.” “OK, aside from the school, why can’t my parents come? Where am I going to live?” “The school has dorms which you and a roommate will be residing in.” He continues on to tell you more about the school—the rules, that monsters prefer to be called either by their species, “beings,” or “people,” and a bit of the school’s history. It all fascinates you because you had inherited your father‘s love for history, but with every word he says, you feel the cold hand of fear wrapping around you. The fear that nothing will change, and that, in the end, there would be no redemption for the fallen and the wrongly accused. Dr. Phillips quite enjoys speaking, so you let his monologue go on uninterrupted throughout the drive until you arrive at an airport. Dr. Phillips and you grab two bags each, and enter the building. “Where is the school? I don’t think you mentioned exactly where it is?” “I didn’t? It’s in Holland, Michigan.” “Michigan!” People start to stop and stare, so you try to be quieter. There are tales of what goes on in Holland, Michigan. The religious fanatics there were rumored to be worse than the religious fanatics in Winston-Salem. “Isn’t there another school?” “Unfortunately, no, not quite. There are schools for psychic humans and psychic beings, but none of them are co-species. You were best friends with a shape-shifter, so I thought you wouldn’t have minded enrolling into a school filled with other people.” “Well, yeah, I don’t think I would care about that too much, but what about the churches?” He laughs and continues walking towards a gate. It unnerves you even more when he doesn’t answer, but continues his hearty laugh. After the quick x-rays, the scanning, and getting to your seats, he finally answers, “Don’t worry about them. They haven’t done any harm as of yet. I’m quite surprised you’re more worried about the churches than who, or rather what, your roommate and peers will be.” When he mentions that, you realize that he‘s right. Being friends with beings are fine and dandy unless they are species that love the taste of humans—and there are beings such as that. The churches, if they bother you at all, will most likely be the back-burner of your problems, but it still fills you with fear and anger. You’ve practically ignored your American History text book along with the text book about Christianity and went to the city library to scour through the books to find out what had really been going on, but you hadn’t had much luck. Apparently, the books that held truth, whether they were metaphorical fiction or not, were banned from the Winston-Salem district, so you have no idea what you’ve been missing out on. “Now, now. I’m a Baptist, and I haven’t hurt you yet, have I?” He reaches into one of your carry-on bags and pulls out your cassette player. “Listen to music, and sleep. I’ll wake you up when we arrive.” The fact that he knew which duffel bag had your cassette player unsettles you. “I thought it would be obvious by now,” Dr. Phillips states. “I’m a mind-reader, and I can also read tokens and objects. Now, please, try and sleep. Tomorrow will be a long day for you.” “Can you see the future too?” you ask with a hint of sarcasm. “That’s preposterous; of course not.” Just when you’re about to feel a bit of relief, he continues. “My best friend can though, and she said that the next psychic I would meet would be special. That‘s you, Ms. Upshaw, so I‘m counting on you to not let me down.” You decide that you don’t want to know his cryptic speech, and opt to listening to your music to sleep to.

No matter how hard you tried, you couldn‘t get any sleep. You’ve never been on a plane before, so was nervous throughout the flight, and the people walking up and down the aisles didn’t help to calm your nerves at all. After only a half hour during the flight, you were more looking forward to land than explore the plane. When you do land, it’s still dark, so there isn’t much of the scenery to take in from inside the airport, but you can already tell it’s going to be much different compared to home. The vibrations from the people are for the most part smooth, like the bow caressing the strings on the violin, but there were some with violent beatings, like drums. You are surprised at the overall lightness of the atmosphere. “I need to make a phone call, so sit right here,” Dr. Phillips tells you. “Don’t even think of running away.” You almost hope that he’s just telling a joke, but his face is too serious. Dr. Phillips walks to a nearby indoor phone booth to make a call, keeping his eyes on you the entire time. You continue to look around and notice that there are other beings, somewhat disguised as humans with only the color of their eyes or a set of horns to give them away, mixed in with the crowd. Winston-Salem doesn’t have the resources or any beings to manufacture a glamour disguise for those who don’t have a human shape if they need one. A lot of jobs, if they hire beings at all, require them to have a human-like shape so human customers don’t get scared off. Personally, you had never seen a being with a glamour before, and not knowing precisely what they were put you off with nervousness. Quanisha had been completely honest with you from the very beginning, give or take a few days. After about fifteen minutes, Dr. Phillips nods his head and hangs up. You stand up as he walks toward you, and you each grab your luggage. When you reach outside with a taxi waiting, you take in the heavy scent of lake air, and it’s much, much colder being near the large lake than the puny in comparison man-made lake and rivers despite it still being summer. By the time you reach your destination, the sun barely peaks out from the horizon, illuminating the massive building among the trees. It’s made completely of stone, complete with a bell tower, other larger towers and stained glass windows, and as the taxi slowly approaches the building, you see that above the arched doorway, is a large stained glass rose window, but you’re still too far away and the trees obscure your sight to see the precise pattern of the stone frame that held the colored glass. “This school used to be a fully-functioning cathedral, but after a violent riot that caused a fire, people—humans, at least—thought it would be better off destroyed, but instead, it was reconditioned and expanded to become a school,” Dr. Phillips states. “While the original building was built in the 1850’s to model the old European Renaissance Gothic architecture, there are rooms, halls and other separate buildings built in this same style, with even the same original materials, but only much more recently. Even the fence surrounding the entire property is only a decade old.” As he says the last sentence, the taxi pulls inside the wrought iron gates with the sign of the school above the entryway: Fintan’s Academy Semita Ut Verum Quod Iunctum Per Scienta. “It’s Latin for ‘the path to truth and unity through knowledge,’” Dr. Phillips translates. You might have made a hopeful comment about the phrase, but you’re too annoyed at Dr. Phillips’ knack at continually reading your mind. “Would you please stop that?” you ask in a more demanding tone. He chuckles in good humor. “Sorry. Your mind is just so loud and clear, I thought you were actually reading the sign aloud.” A few more minutes later, the taxi drives all the way down the path right up alongside the stairs. The building’s a lot more gigantic than you had originally thought, and is even more intimidating. You are so busy looking up at the height of the building, probably at least thirty floors up, you don’t notice that you should be paying more attention slightly more towards the ground. “Ah, Dr. Phillips. I see yeh have brought our newest student.” The voice is airy, and with a slight accent. You immediately look lower and look around for the source, and almost miss the two short women. At least, you think they’re women. “Yeh must be Ms. Upshaw,” says the taller of the two, but is only as high as Dr. Phillips’ collarbone. The other is as tall as his diaphragm. It looks as if their heads are too big for their bodies, and their limbs are short and stumpy. The one speaking has bright reddish-brown hair, but the odd thing about her hair, that is obviously noticeable, is that she also has thick sideburns that taper off to light facial hair. The other has a complete thick curly dark-haired beard that reaches to her middle. It’s quite hard not to stare. “I am Priscilla Rhoda, but yeh will call me Principal Rhoda,” says the light-haired one. She holds out her babyish hand for you to shake. “And I’m Gerda Ymir—and that’s Vice Principal Ymir to you,” states the other stiffly. You shake her equally babyish hand and are surprised by her strong grip. Vice Principal Ymir reaches into her satchel and hands you two spiral bound books. “These will help you adapt to your new environment and help you start off at this school with a clean slate. We expect you to have read these ASAP, before your first day of school in early August.” The thinner of the bound books is the Code of Conduct, which will probably be extremely similar to the Code of Conduct booklet you had received at your previous school, but the other, a much thicker book, entitled “Fintan’s Survival Guide,” gives you a more troubled feeling. Dr. Phillips hides his chuckling, obviously having had read your mind once again. “She’s in your hands now, Ms. Rhoda, Ms. Ymir.” You look back at him, scared that he’s leaving. Before you can say anything, he beats you to it. “Don’t worry; I’ll be back the day before school starts to see how you’re doing. Follow their rules and be careful.” He steps into his taxi and they drive off. “Come along, lass,” Principal Rhoda ushers. You’re about to grab one of your bags before Vice Principal Ymir states, “Leave your bags. The goblins will take them to your room.” “Speaking of which,” Principal Rhoda says thoughtfully, “would yeh like some breakfast, or are yeh too tired and would like to sleep?” You state your decision, and Principal Rhoda smiles. “Alrighty, then. Follow us closely now.” Both principals turn around—although it looked more like the vice principal waddled—and started walking up the stone stairs to the massive arched double-doorway. Still not sure about leaving your luggage on the ground, you at least wanted to carry one bag with you, but when you turn around and look around the ground, the bags are gone. Vice Principal Ymir makes a sound of exasperation. “The goblins already took your luggage to your room. Follow closely now, please.” It’s hard to not feel stupid when the adult sounds annoyed, and so it makes you feel annoyed. You’re sure Principal Rhoda is taking your side though because you can see her whispering to her partner with a concerned expression. Vice Principal Ymir sighs with a nod. As you approach the arch, you get a spectacular close-up view of the bas relief carvings, and after seeing the skeletal demons and skeletal humans all in pain and suffering, along with more healthy-looking statues of human-shaped people (whether they were humans or glamoured beings you couldn’t tell); it made you feel even more apprehensive and scared. “It’s OK, lass.” Principal Rhoda gently holds your hand and carefully leads you inside the what-once-was-a-cathedral. When you reach inside, it still looks like a working Catholic Cathedral. “Despite various species from all over the world attending here at Fintan’s Academy, many of our students are very spiritual, and even though this was a Christian church, plenty of our students have found room here for other spiritual practices. All you need is a space to pray after all.” You nod in agreement. Needing to pray, or being a spiritual person, or not at all, you feel at peace in this room, especially because the sun is shining through the rose window, creating a beautiful kaleidoscope of colorful light on the ground. You want to see more, but both of the principals are on the move, so you have to follow them, but you feel a slight buzzing in the back of your mind. Quickly, you look behind you and at first see no one, but then you see a patch of white hair in the shadows. His face is too dark to be able to see any distinguishing features, but you can’t dawdle any longer and follow the principals.

If you would like to sleep, go to Chapter 9. If you would like breakfast, go to Chapter 34.

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