Jessica Stanley: that goddamn retard. I mean Bella, not Varner. She’s got like, human bone meal in her cranium instead of grey/white matter. I talk to her and she’s dazed, eyes misted over looking at the ceiling fan (whir whir and blur), like she’s autistic. Her pupils dilates and I can see the grey stirred up mush through them, like her eyes are wrought iron gates and the shit’s starting to pool out between the iron laced bars.
Thomas Thompkins: Jesus, sine cosine what?
Buddy Darken: Seventy point two, seventy point two, seventy point two –
Victor Varner: These two-bit whack-jobs. Did Isabella Swan just say bullshit?
Jessica Stanley: And suddenly Bella, out of the blue, just like that, tells me it’s going to be over soon, not to worry. I ask her what she was talking about and she said ‘the boredom’. She keels to her side and peers at something near the teacher’s desk, and I crane my neck and look too. Bella tells me she’s looking at the paper basket, and she’s stuck a burning non filter cigarette to a box of matches as a fuse, so when it touches the head of the matches it will ignite, and burn the paper basket. And she tells me, ten seconds now.
I ask her, when since have you started to smoke?
Victor Varner: Can you give us the answer to question 3b, miss swan?
Jessica Stanley: Bella stands up and smiles because she doesn’t know the answer. The paper in the paper basket is burning, pristine white singed black. I think about all the paper that could’ve been recycled, and all that unused paper that Varner’s just tossed into the trash without thinking. There’s a flame rising now, the air around the angry hiss-spitting orange is distorted with heat and Varner’s desk is a rippling blurr. There is black smoke curling and uncurling upwards. Varner looks.
Victor Varner: What the fuck is this? Someone give me their water bottles, right now -
Jessica Stanley: Someone yells fire! The fire alarms go off, and smoke detectors jacked. We are all soaked in water, our hair stuck together and limp sticking right in our eyes. My knitted sweater is heavy and soaked. Bella says, ‘well, I guess I shouldn’t have overlooked this.’