10.8 The Rest of the Story

by Matt P.

Like many High Schools, Dwight D. Eisenhower High School was built in a primarily residential area. Siobhan had always assumed that this was in order to let people walk to them in vaguely defined ‘old days’, although by now she also knew that a lot of the area had originally been farming before the city had gobbled it up as it unfurled across the land. She could see all of those former farmlands in the gentle hills from the third story roof that they rested on now, a land that rolled with autumnal colors and stirred in a gentle breeze.

“This is lovely.” Antigone said as she walked over to the edge of the roof and looked across the filling parking lot for just a second, pulling back before anyone could spot them. “Although it boggles the mind they don’t lock the door.”

“Oh it has a lock, it’s just cheap and old.” Monica explained as she went to sit near the edge. “If you turn the handle like three quarters of the way and then hit the door right at the lock, it opens. I think seniors have been passing along that secret for a damn long time.” She shrugs. “Who knows—maybe the Principal thinks of it as population control.”

Siobhan began to edge her way closer to the edge where her friends were, shuffling and moving carefully toe to heel but simultaneously trying to hide it. “Has…anyone fallen off?” She asked with a tone of such forced casualness that it would have taken an idiot not to notice it.

“You’re not…” Lacey said, as she put her backpack in the right angle formed by the lip running around the edge of the roof and then used it as a pillow. She was dressed in a skirt and top of the school colors for some pride week thing Siobhan had so thoroughly forgotten about she hadn’t even purposefully scorned it.

“She is.” Antigone confirmed as she mimicked off the flip flops she was still wearing despite the chill, and mimicked Lacey.

“I am not!” Siobhan protested, getting a little bit flustered. She put hr arms down at her sides, and walked determinedly toward the edge of the roof…and stopped, giving it a healthy two foot buffer as she sat down primly. She was, for reasons obvious only to her, dressed in a prim Gothic style skirt that just skirted—and she had laughed at the pun the first time she thought of it—the length rules in the dress code.

“Really?” Monica asked curiously, looking Siobhan over as if she could spot the point at which the phobia started—like it was a mark on her neck that could be examined and cataloged.

“No!” Siobhan protested, grumbling at the same time that her sister said.

“Yes, she is afraid of heights.” Antigone explained with a smirk. “We went to the Grand Canyon one year when Dad wasn’t deployed and she kind of edged her way close enough to take a selfie with it and prove she had been there. And she got super pissed when I ducked under the railing to get a better selfie.”

“I,” Siobhan declared imperiously, “just didn’t want you to fall over. It’s hard being a creepy twin when one of you is dead at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.” She sniffed. “Besides, I thought the two of you wanted the low down on what was actually happening. I can’t do that if I’m so upset at your cruel bullying that I brutally murder all three of you by throwing you off the roof.” Siobhan’s voice grew more and more deadpan as she spoke, until she ended by simply staring at them intensely with wide and terrifying eyes. Lacey and Monica both actually shivered. Antigone sorted.

“She’s so bothered by it she wants to tell the truth instead.” Antigone pointed out, before she sighed a little bit. “I…at this point I know so much weird crap in this town I don’t even know where to begin. Honestly.” She offered when they both looked at her with a disbelieving look at her statement.

“Faeries are real, and they’re straight up trying to murder us.” Siobhan offered simply, leaning down to idly re-tie one of the shoelaces on her predictably black sneakers.

Everyone blinked at that, and Siobhan preened a little bit at the looks that she was getting from them. “Or you could just be direct, I guess.” Antigone allowed after a few moments. “If you want to be an ass.”

“Wait, so she isn’t joking?” Lace demanded, looking between the two of them with wide eyes. “That’s…”

“As implausible as it is impossible?” Antigone asked with a sigh. “Ludicrous, insane, mad, batshit, and any other words that are synonyms of all those same words? Yeah.”

“But…” Lacey began.

“But it does kind of make sense, as much sense as anything else that we could come up with.” Monica finished with a shake of her head. “I mean…I don’t know. People disappearing, weird crap, magic freaking doors. So we were attacked, huh? That blows.”

“You Borderians—Borderites?—all take this crap so well, I swear.” Siobhan said with a sad little laugh. “Like on some level you knew behind the scenes it was a pretty crap town with scary things in the night?” She asked.

“Something like that.” Lacey agreed with a little bit of a grin, before she looked between the two of them. “So what’s the point? Why are they attacking?”

Siobhan and Antigone both shrugged casually then, sighing. “We don’t know. Dad is probably finding out right now.” Antigone answered.

“Probably blowing up the city or eating all our faces off and impregnating them.” Siobhan supplied helpfully, drawing a round of grossed out looks.

“First?” Monica said. “Eww. Second…what are we doing about it?” She asked. When all three of them blinked at her then, she continued on nonchalantly. “Listen, the adults are obviously crap at this, or we wouldn’t be in this situation. Border has the longest stretch of unexplained kidnappings and abductions in the world, guys; that is literally a record we have. So the question is what are we going to do about it, since they obviously suck?”

“Well…” Siobhan said, curiously. “That’s a very good point. Why don’t we start with…how many doors like the one downstairs are there?”