It’s 10:15 A.M. Hour 3. Biology. I’m sitting next to Jack Summers, the dumbest kid one could ever know. Well, he’s not THAT dumb. He’s just a total science geek and nothing else. Trust me; as the most popular girl in the school, I definitely know how nerdy he is. As far as I’m concerned, Jack’s probably the only kid who even likes biology. Everyone else will die sooner or later of boredom. The group that dies will include me, that’s for sure.
About time to introduce myself, isn’t it? I’m Elizabeth Kingston. You can call me Lizzie, though. Everyone does. One thing you definitely need to know about me? I hate biology. And it’s not my fault that I’m stuck in it. It’s not an elective. It was either this or chemistry. I opted for the “easier” one. Well, you know how people say things change over time? Now I’m regretting taking biology. All my friends (who are also the most popular girls) are taking chemistry. Janelle Simon, Lisa Bradley, even Katie Schroeder, who practically worships me and follows me everywhere.
I turn to the whiteboard, sighing. Mrs. Fletcher, as usual, has written down the assignment for the class period. I guess we’ll all be dissecting frogs today.
“OMG. I can’t wait to dissect frogs!” I say brightly to Mrs. Fletcher. “I’ve been waiting to do this since my freshman year!” And I can’t wait for class to end, I think to myself. To be honest, I’ve NEVER wanted to dissect frogs. I’m just really good at pretending and acting, and it also helps if you’re the teacher’s pet.
“Isn’t it great?” She beams at me. “If you like it so much, I can assign you to do the calculations and dissection,” Mrs. Fletcher offers.
Ugh, no! She really needs to get her facts straight. “Oh, it’s okay,” I say sweetly. “I’ll let Jack do it – he’ll do so much better than I can!”
“All right, then,” Mrs. Fletcher announces. “Class, please settle down. We will begin the experiment, once everyone sits down.”
“Um, Mrs. Fletcher? What if our science partner isn’t here?” one boy asks.
“I guess you can do the experiment on your own, then!” Mrs. Fletcher smiles at him. “All right,” she proceeds. “I’ll call out names, and once you hear your name, please come up to get the necessary materials.”
She begins calling names. “John Ashford. Lizzie Kingston. Jane Martin…!”
Walking towards the front of the room, I skim the list on the whiteboard. Two notebooks, three markers, one tape measurer, one roll of paper towels. No, wait. There’s something else. It seems to be written smaller than everything else. Is it just me? I lean forward to get a closer look. The words say “magnifying glass.” Ha, irony.
I walk over to the tub, picking one up, but something feels wrong. Suddenly, a memory flashes in my mind. I see a flash of what happened three years ago, and I remember what caused it. My sandal strap (hey, it can’t hurt to wear sandals in October, can it?) gets caught on the desk leg, and I stumble, dropping the magnifying glass. It shatters on the hard, white-tiled floor, and something strange happens.
As it shatters, the clear glass catches light, and the magnifying glass seems to break into millions of red, yellow, and orange shards. The black handle, however, remains intact. I try to walk away, but my sandal is still stuck. I fall, my legs getting the worst of the impact. Wearing a short skirt, I could do nothing but watch as the shimmering glass crystals cut into my legs. My hands, which I had used to steady my fall, were covered with glass crystals and smears of blood.
Mrs. Fletcher comes running over. “Lizzie, are you all right? Should we take you to the nurse’s office?”
I manage a weak smile. “Yeah, I’ll be fine.” I struggle to my feet, heading for the sink. “I’ll clean up the shards. I’m sorry I broke the magnifying glass.”
“Oh, honey, it’s fine. I’m more concerned about your legs, though. Are you sure you don’t want to go to the nurse’s office?”
“Yeah, I think I’ll have to be excused from gym. My legs are pretty sore.” I say, wincing.
So, of course, I go to the nurse’s office. I go at snail pace, until I find a wheelchair in the hallway. I wheel myself into the nurse’s office and get my legs cleaned and bandaged. As the nurse removed the last shard of glass, I saw it again. The same reddish-golden glow that seemed to radiate from the glass. I remember. I let out a gasp. The magnifying glasses that caused total destruction three years ago in my hometown. The ones that ignited and burned, causing chaos all around. They were no doubt the Fireglasses.