Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Part IV

It was the oddest looking school he had seen. He knew L.A. was going to be a strange place. He just hadn’t figured it would be strange in so many ways. Orlando rode up on his Harley Davidson Sportster. It had only needed a few minor repairs. He added oil, replaced a few parts and managed to get it running.
His school was divided into parts along a jagged hill. The parking lot was located at the bottom of the hill. The hike up wasn’t too bad. It gave him a chance to look things over. He kept getting peculiar looks as he made his way up the hill. He thought it might be the odd looking object he had wrapped in a black binding that was creating the interest. He had rigged his sword to his backpack. It was awkward but he didn’t feel good without it around. He figured that if anyone asked him about it, he would just say it was for his fencing lessons after school.
He heard the other students comment about him as he made his way up the hill. None of them seemed to care if he heard them or not.  Orlando didn’t care either.
He walked into the main office; an older woman was seated at the front desk. She was typing on the computer and speaking on an earpiece as he approached the desk. The back wall was lined with empty chairs.  The woman looked up as Orlando approached. She had black hair with silver streaks. She wore colored contacts that made her eyes look like cat’s eyes. She held out a hand to Orlando in a motion to have him wait. Her nails had pointed tips and were painted gray.
Pressing a button on her earpiece, she ended her phone conversation. “You are?” she asked, not looking at him. Her attention focused on the computer in front of her.
“Orlando Drake,” he said. He noticed the others in the office were trying to make themselves look busy while they surreptitiously watched him.  They weren’t any good at it. He couldn’t see why he was drawing so much attention.
“Drake, Orlando, hmm, where are you in the computer?” she asked, as she typed in his name. “Let me have your I.D. card or drivers license.”
The moment he handed his license over she jumped from her chair and ran into a backroom. Returning, she said, “You have not been tested for your levels yet?”
She was referring to his level of magik skills. Each student was tested to see what their level of ability was. Orlando had moved from Oklahoma and was never tested.
Before he could answer she said, “No worries, we will take care of that for you.” She printed out his schedule and sent him up the hill to his first class.
Orlando was on his way to class when he turned the corner to find Maxwell standing before him.
“What are you doing here?” Maxwell asked irritated.
“I’m at school. I’m supposed to be here,” he replied. Orlando did not like finding Maxwell at school. It was going to be hard enough and he didn’t need Maxwell to add to it.
“School?” he asked, looking around as if he just realized where he was at. “You have training to do. We don’t have much time to get you ready.”
“It will have to wait.” Orlando tried to move past Maxwell.
Maxwell stepped in front, “If you must attend school, then you must.”
“Okay, so move,” Orlando attempted to brush by; he was again stopped, as Maxwell stepped in front.
“School will still be here tomorrow, but you may not be. Do I have your attention now?”
“What is it?” he asked.
“There is someone I want you to meet. It won’t take long.” Maxwell extended his left arm out for Orlando to go forward.
“Where are we going?” Orlando hesitated.
“A hunter is only seen a moment or two before they attack.”
Orlando looked at Maxwell oddly, “So, they are hiding before they attack me?”
Maxwell began to laugh, “Just to see how fast you are.”
“You want to do this at my school?” Orlando didn’t like the idea of this meeting taking place at school.
“A zombie can attack anywhere,” he said.
With those words spoken Orlando began to scan the nearby area looking for places of attack. Nothing looked suspicious. There were trees but they were to thin to hide behind. Next were the tables and benches but nobody could hide within those. Trash bins? Orlando laughed, maybe in there.
“I thought you said no one else could be a zombie hunter but me?”
Maxwell thought about that for a moment before saying, “Maybe I was being a little dramatic.”
“Yeah, maybe,” Orlando took a cautious step forward. He had not reached for his sword. He left it where it was, attached to his backpack. He felt odd doing this but he was curious as to who the other hunter was and where the hunter might be hiding.
It was the one place Orlando hadn’t thought to look; the benches and the tables were beneath an open enclosure. The roof was made out of wood. He didn’t give it much thought because it looked very unstable.
A huge shadow covered him from above. Releasing a fierce battle cry, the shadow leapt from the roof. Landing a few feet from Orlando, the hunter’s sword was drawn. Orlando wisely backed up a few steps.
“Dude, I could so totally have had your head.” It was a young man with blonde hair and gray eyes about Orlando’s age. Looking over at Maxwell, the young man added, “Is this the guy you were talking about?”
Maxwell vigorously nodded his head, “Orlando, this is Ruben. He will help you with your training, which begins now!”
Ruben looked Orlando over. All he saw was a young kid who looked like he had never been in a fight before. “Let’s go hunting; see what you can do.” Ruben said doubtfully. He knew he wouldn’t be impressed with Orlando’s hunting skills.

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