This page is for short stories. Most of them are for fun and may I will later turn into short films. The stories here will be genres of adventure, new worlds, magic, everyday life,  and or coming of age. I like to make them family friendly. This page will also help me discover more of myself as a writer. 

I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I like writing them. 

The Secret Super Seniors

By Emel Saat

If you would like to support the writer please go to the store for The Secret Super Seniors ebook. 

     

    Seda, a 23 year old Turkish American with wavy brown hair, hazel eyes, and wears old yellow converse. She leans on the train doors with her "I don't want to be here" posture, blending in with the other students around her. The train stops at Wishwell Street-Woodsmen College. Students rudely push Seda out and through the turnstile. She tries to remain composed with a burning red face. Someone steps on the heel of her shoe. The soul of it rips! She turns around to a color-coordinated guy with the crispiest new clothes and caramel eyes. Her eyebrows pinch at him. The guy pulls out his cell phone without a word. Seda angrily mumbles to herself, "Your cuteness level went down bro. Way down!" She checks her shoe. Half of the soul hangs limp, "Ugh."

     Inside the Woodsmen West building, Seda walks up the escalator with the soul of her shoe flapping. Students make judgmental faces at her pants and shoes. Seda reaches the third floor. Seda sheds out of her winter coat and avoids students who walk past her. A batch of new faces...again, she thinks. She passes a sign with an arrow towards the building's bridge. It says "Woodsmen North."  On the bridge, it can get busy during the winter. Seda always feels as if it is a fashion runway. Along the sides, students sit on the heaters waiting in between classes. Of course, most of them are on their phones, but they could sneak a peek at the latest fashion that passes by.

     Seda learned the students at Woodsmen College would not be caught dead wearing sweats (unless you were a part of a sports team). Though today it is 28 degrees outside in Troplyn City. Seda is a practical young woman. She knew it was not a skinny jeans kind of day. So, in her sweatpants, old sneakers, an acceptably nice black turtleneck, and some senioritis, she walks through the halls without a care. 

 

     Many strut across the bridge with their Cambodia Turtle jackets and HerShells backpacks. Seda's confidence falls when she remembers the sole of her shoe, which flaps about. She slows down her walk until she blends into a group of people. She catwalks with them across the bridge to hide her shoe shame. Once they enter the Woodsmen North building, they collect in front of the elevators. Seda peels herself away from the students and enters the stairwell. Though most of the students attending this school are city kids, that does not mean they are physically fit. Seda walks up the empty stairwell to avoid the crowds. Reaching the 10th floor was not as bad of a task compared to her first day at Woodsmen College.

     Seda entered her classroom with her hair tied up in a ponytail and her sweatpants rolled up. Out of 30 students, only five of them are there. Seda plops down in a chair. She fans herself with her hand and says to herself in the little Turkish she knows, "Sıcak yaa." It's stupid hot! There is a DING in the hallway. A few seconds later, students flood through the classroom door. Some of the students do a sideways glance at Seda’s sweatpants. The professor appears behind them. She gets herself settled in front of the class. BANG, BANG, BANG. 

 

     Seda and some of the other students jump. They search the room for where the abrupt sounds came from. The professor comments, "Oh, these old radiators. Welcome back, everyone. My name is Elinore Mothly. I hope you all had a nice vacation. I'm assuming you all are juniors or seniors, yes?" Seda and half of the students who are paying attention nod yes. "Good. Then you all know you had to take Marketing 102 and International Management to take my class." Seda does a facepalm. No...noooooooo! Her face turns red. I hate this school.

     At the end of the class, all the students quickly pack up their things and rush to their part-time jobs or from fear of social interaction with their classmates. Seda talks to Professor Mothly, "I already took the Marketing class. Is it possible that I can still take this one?"

     "I'm sorry but, you would also have to have taken the International Management class before this one." Seda pleads, "How about if I take International Management as well as this one?" 

     "I like your thinking, but that will only make it difficult for you. I know how Professor Fidd teaches. You'll be buried in papers. I'd suggest taking my class next semester." She gathers her bag and leaves Seda alone in the classroom.   

 

     Seda rushes through the hallway on the second floor of Woodsmen North. While holding out a hot pink pamphlet with every office, class, and professor's room number on it. She repeats, "2103, 2103, 2103, 2115? Wrong way!" She spins on her heels and loses her balance from the wardrobe malfunction with her shoe. She catches herself mid-fall. The cute guy who caused this shoe problem passes Seda with his stylish girlfriend. "You were almost late," the girlfriend giggles. He ignores her, "Man! The day just started. I could barely stay alive in class without my coffee." He lets out a big sigh. Seda, annoyed, rips the flappy piece of soul off, and the rest of the soul rips off as well. Seda freezes at what she did. The bottom of her foot is exposed. Her lips tighten, and her face turns red.  She throws the piece of her shoe into the garbage, "Let's get this over with." 

     She marches herself into room 2103, "Registrar Office." There is a line of fashionable students waiting to talk to one of the people behind a long counter. Seda stands behind the last person and crosses her arms. Her fingers tap her arm impatiently as the line slowly moves. 

 

     It is finally Seda’s turn the man from behind the desk named Clad, calls out, "Next?" Seda walks forward. "You're Woodsmen ID," he automatically says. "Right!" Seda rummages through her bag and hands it to him. With her ID, the man pulls up her information on the computer. Seda takes a deep breath in and recites, "I'm a transfer student in my senior year. This is my second semester. I came here-" "-to see what credits from your previous school can be transferred to Woodsmen," Clad finishes for her.

     "So you remember me?" She lights up. 

     "70% of the students here are transfers. We get this all the time," he replies flatly.

     "Oh," she says, a little disappointed. “Wait, what?-”  

     Clad moves on, "-It looks as though some of your credits from...Acute College?" BANG, BANG, BANG. Seda instinctively looks around. Clad completely ignores it. "Where is that?" He's never heard of Acute College before. Seda points to where the sound came from, "Um- I think it came from there?” Clad looks at her confused, “Your previous school.”

     “Oh, it's in Brawlson..." Seda thinks, What does that matter?

He continues, "Some of your credits from there have not been able to transfer to Woodsmen."

     "I know. There should be 3 credits left right?” 

     He scrolls down her transcript, "Hmm well...to graduate you would need..." He counts the credits on the computer. Seda leans on the counter and prays, Please Allah just 3 credits. 

     "You need 9 more." 

     She leans in further, “I can’t take three more classes! I have to graduate THIS semester." Clad leans back a little,           "There are students who have to take an extra year or two. One more semester isn’t that bad."

      Seda is almost in his face, "College is supposed to be for 4 years. Not 4 and a half! How are my parents supposed to afford this?"

      Clad leans further back annoyed. "You can talk to the departments individually-" Seda steps back and interrupts,"-Yeah, yeah I know the drill," she glances at him. Clad looks displeased from the tone in her voice. She quickly says," Um, sorry. Right, I'll talk to them." He hands her back her ID. "Thank you," she says. 

     If it were not for Seda’s other classes today, she would have spent her time asking professors their permission to accept the credits from Acute College. During today’s classes, Seda was distracted by the thoughts of her friends from high school graduating before her, and what she would have to tell her parents. At 5:00 pm she finishes her last class. At this time most professors and many who work in the departments get ready to go home. Seda has two hours to kill before her last class. She decides today is the day. The day to check out the Turkish club. 


     She arrives at the club room feeling out of place. There are many students of different ethnicities sitting on some carpets with their shoes off and drinking Turkish tea. BANG, BANG. Seda glances around. A club member welcomes her with some tea and Seda sits down with everyone. It turns out there is one other Turkish student besides Seda...only this student was one of those "I fly back and forth between here and my mother country," types. Seda tries to connect with her, but because Seda knows very little of the language, and has never visited the country, there was not much they had in common.

 

     There is awkward small talk and tea-sipping from the students. After 10 minutes, Seda can no longer force herself to smile anymore. So she spits out a white lie, "Whelp, I have a class to go to." She smiles at the Turkish student, "Thanks, goodbye,” she says in Turkish. The student replies, "Çok memnun oldum, hoşça kal." Seda smiles as if she knew what the girl said, "Ah, ha, haha." 

 

     Seda sits alone in one of  the music major practice rooms. They are usually empty and quiet. The only things in the rooms are a large piano and a stool. This is where Seda likes to go when she wants to be alone. From such a long day, she falls asleep on the piano keys. At 8:00 pm she abruptly wakes up, "My class!" She stumbles and looks up at the clock on the wall. "Missed it. That’s such a waste." She gathers up her coat and backpack. She goes through the secret doors and checks her pockets. "Huh? Where's my-" BANG! Seda is startled. She searches around for the noise. BANG. There is a large vent at the end of the hallway that is low to the floor. The banging gets louder and faster. Seda looks to see if anyone else is around. The hallway is empty. Seda turns her attention back to the vent. She bumps into something tall with soft red fur. She steps back to see what she bumped into. She asks herself while she scans the creature from the floor up, A raaaaat? 

     He speaks, "Hi! You almost forgot this." He holds up Seda's cell phone with his long pale white claw and stubby arm. "You left this in that club...um what was it?" Seda takes back her phone while she looks at his pink snout and whiskers. "Was it some kind of tea club?" he asks. Seda replies flatly, "It was the Turkish...club." She cannot stop staring at his beady black eyes. 

 

     "It must be new. Glad I caught you before you left." He turns back to the vent and crawls in. "Oh, would you mind closing this for me?" Seda nods yes and picks up the vent cover without thinking. He smiles, "Thanks a bunch!" He crawls into the darkness. There are some banging noises as he leaves. Seda's eyes grow wide, "What was that?!" She tosses the vent cover to the side and crouches down, "Where the frak is he going to?" She ties her coat around her waist and crawls into the darkness.   

 

     She crawls and crawls until she sees a warm light at the end of the vent. She hears a low murmur of a crowd that gets louder as she gets closer. Once she reaches the edge, she gasps. There is a small city with streets that are lit up with lamp posts. There are no windows to the outside. Within the walls of Woodsmen college looks busy with different materials used for homes, stores, stairs, and walkways. The most surprising thing of it all was that it is filled with creatures just like the one Seda saw earlier, but they are different sizes and have different colored fur. Along the walls of this inner city, were long ladders leading up to different vents. She sees the creature from earlier climbing down the ladder in front of her. He looks up at her and waves happily. “Hey, what are you doing here?” Seda does not know what to say. Is this a situation where she should hide? Is it okay for her to be here? “Come on down. I can give you a tour if you want,” he says. His friendliness feels so nostalgic. She climbs down after him. 

     Once they are both on the city’s floor Seda finds herself staring at this creature. The creature takes a moment to decide where to start his tour first. “My name is Koji.” Seda forgets to speak. He asks, “What’s your name?” “I-it’s Seda.” Koji asks, “That’s a nice name, where is it from?” “It’s Turkish.” He nods, “Ah, got you. Turkish name, Turkish club.” Seda thinks, He was in the clubroom?

     “Let’s go this way,” Koji points to where there is a long market with stalls and small buildings squeezed together. “This down here is the market. You can get food-and when I say ‘food’ I mean mostly snacks,” he smiles. “You can get clothes in XL, and here your textbooks,” the book store is empty, “and here is a popular spot to play video games,” he points to a skinny building. On each floor, there are different colors of flashing lights through the windows. Seda is trying to take all of this in. Koji says, “You should come here tomorrow! They’re-”

      “-Um, what...what are you?”

      Koji smiles, “I know, it’s hard to tell when you’re a mole person. I’m half Russian and half Irish.” 

     “A mole person?” 

     He replies, “Yeah! We call ourselves Super Seniors. I have two semesters left, but I’ll get to that later. I’ve got time. This here is my favorite spot. They have an infinite amount of songs.”

     “Don’t you care about graduating?”

     Some mole people nearby laugh at Seda’s remark. One of them with blond fur says, “Why rush? It’s not like any jobs waiting for us.” The black-furred one chimes in, “So true, and most of us still can’t figure out what we want to do.” The brown-furred one says, “Speak for yourself. I’m going to be a famous songwriter.” The black-furred one laughs and nudges the brown-furred one, “Boy, how long are you going to keep saying that? You don’t write shiz.” The blond one says, “Guys are we doing karaoke or what?” She puts a stubby arm around both of them and leads them to the karaoke place. 

 

     Koji says, “Hehe, they have some good points.” 

 

     Seda watches after them, “They do...So, this happens when you become a super senior right?” Koji nods yes. “Is it permanent?”  He smiles, “Nope. Once you graduate you turn back into your human self and finally leave this place.”  Seda raises her voice, “You can’t leave the building?” Koji replies, “Not until you’re human. Now, back to the tour!” Seda interrupts, “Wait, wait, wait, I have more to ask you. I-no offense, but I don’t want to be a super senior.”

     “Why?” Koji waves his stubby arm in the air, “ This place is awesome.” Seda looks at the mole-people happily chatting and goofing around with their friends. Compared to the anti-social human students of Woodsmen, this is all very welcoming for Seda.  

 

     She says, “This is all fake…” She waves her hand like Koji, “I’m not going to waste my time on all of this while the outside world goes on without me.” Seda realizes, “ Does your family or anyone else’s family know about this?” 

 

     For the first time, Seda sees Koji’s bright smile turn dim. “Right. Wow, I haven’t thought about my parents for a while.” He shakes it off, “I’m sure they’re fine. So, you were saying you don’t want to be a mole person huh?” She replies, “No way, I’d like to stay human.” Koji chuckles in a way that makes Seda grin. 

     Koji stops, “Wow! That’s the first time I’ve seen you smile.” There is an awkward pause and he quickly catches himself, “-but like since we met...and well anyway, I know someone who might be able to help you.”  

 

                                                                              **************

 

     “This is Lila the Tequila,” Koji says with jazz hands. He and Seda stand in a shipping container that was made into a messy home. There is a mole lady larger than Koji, with dark brown fur, a scar on her left arm, wears a 3XL t-shirt, and cat ear headphones on her head. She sits in a large old office chair in front of a messy desk with computer parts all over. 

 

     She does a short giggle and says, “I’m not going to bother you with the story. Most people call me Teq for short. It’s nice to meet you,” She puts out a claw to Seda for a handshake. Seda tries not to look at the mess everywhere and shakes Teq’s claw, “Hello, nice to meet you Teq. My name is Seda.” She asks Koji, “Why are we here exactly?” Koji says, “To solve your problem. Teq here can help you with your credits byyyyyy-” Seda glances at the computer screens on Teq’s desk and says, “-don’t tell me-” Koji coughs in a non-subtle way, “-hacking! Ehem, excuse me,” he covers his mouth.

     “But of course at a price,” Teq adds. Seda asks for how much. Teq takes out a large binder that says “Science” down the spine. There are only 10 pages of neatly written notes on looseleaf paper. Teq says, “Things run differently down here. Instead of asking for money, we ask for class notes. GOOD notes. The hardest ones to get are from the science classes. We don’t get many science majors here.” Seda asks, “What do you do with class notes?” Koji chimes in, “We use them to help us graduate. Well, for the few of us who want to.” Seda has more questions to ask, “I just realized, how do you take classes if you’re a mole person?” Koji replies, “You already know the answer to that one. We use the vents. Going to class as we are is one of the few rules we can’t break.”

     “Why is that?” 

     Teq says, “Kids wouldn’t want to take classes with us.”

     Seda asks, “Okay, but it’s alright for me to be here?” 

     Teq replies, “If you’re a part of the student government it’s fine.” 

     Seda turns to Koji confused, “But I’m not-.” Koji starts to wave his claws around as if to say “Don’t say anything!” Teq sees this. She raises her voice at Koji, “Why did you bring her here?” He tries to calm her down, “It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s all good. No one else knows.” 

 

     Seda does not understand why this would be a problem but seeing that it is 9:30 pm she needs to start going home. She pulls out her science notebook. “Teq, if I give you these science notes can you transfer my credits and put me in Professor Mothly’s Starting Your Business Class?” Teq takes her notebook and skims through the pages. She gasps, “These...these are beautiful. You got yourself a deal.” Seda says, “Great! Now, I have to go home. You’ll do this tonight right?” Teq places Seda’s notebook and science binder in her drawer, “Yes, yes. You can be in Professor Mothly’s class tomorrow.”

     Seda thanks Teq a million times before heading out. Koji shouts for Seda to wait up for him. “Thanks a bunch, Teq.” Teq picks up a video game controller and starts to play a game. Without looking back she says, “No problem Koji.” 

 

     The next day Seda cannot stop smiling on the gray depressing train in her mom’s old worn-out sneakers, as she slides her ID through the turnstiles covered in fingerprints into Woodsmen West, over the crowded bridge into Woodsmen North, and into the fluorescent-lit classroom for Professor Mothly’s lecture. Before the class could start, Professor Mothly pulls out her attendance sheet. She calls the students’ names out loud, marks her sheet, and then puts it into her folder. Seda’s smile is long gone. 

 

     She raises her hand until she is called on. “My name wasn’t called.” Professor Mothly pulls out her attendance sheet, “What is your name?” “It’s Seda Özdemir,” she says. The professor looks down the list, “Oz…?” She already forgot it. “Özdemir,” Seda repeats. “You’re not on the roster.” Seda cannot help but jump up, “How?” The professor places the attendance sheet back in her folder, “I’m only telling you what I see.” Seda takes her things and leaves.

     Seda runs towards the hidden piano rooms. She crawls through the vent, rushes down the ladder, and runs through the streets to Teq’s house. She sees Koji wearing a backpack. He talks to her as she passes him, “Seda! You came today. Are you- where are you going?” 

     She yells back, “To Teq’s.” 

     “She’s not home right now!” This makes Seda stop. Koji waves her over, “Come on,         I’m about to get some lunch.” 

 

     They walk through the market. There are much more mole people than the day before. There are some street food stalls with long lines. One of them is selling corn dogs. Koji points to it, “Do you like corndogs?” Seda asks, “What’s in it?” Koji laughs, “Hot dogs of course.” Seda corrects herself, “I mean, what kind of meat is in it? Is there pork?” Koji thinks for a moment, “Hmm nope, it should be made out of pig.” Seda replies while trying not to bump into these fuzzy creatures, “That’s the same thing.” Koji looks at her confused. Seda adds, “I’m Muslim, we can’t eat anything made out of pig.” Koji replies, “Oooh I see. No problem there’s this great pizza place.”

 

     The place is not as packed as outside. They sit down with their pizza slices. Seda takes a bite of her slice and her mood brightens up, “This is good!” Koji smiles, “Right! So, why don’t you wear those head scarfs?”

     “You don’t have to wear it, it’s a choice. Do you know where Teq is?” Seda takes another bite of her pizza.  

      Koji says,“I was going to ask you that next. Why are you looking for her?” 

      “I went to my class today-the one Teq was supposed to add me in, but the professor said I wasn’t on her attendance sheet. I looked at my class schedule online too, and Professor Mothly’s class wasn’t there.”

 

     Koji wipes his mouth, “That’s Teq for you. She says she’ll do stuff ‘tomorrow,’ but she really means 4 or 5 tomorrows from now.” Seda drops her pizza on her plate. Koji quickly adds, “And that’s if you keep reminding her. Hehe, that’s the Super Senior mindset down here.” 

     Seda asks, “How do you guys function? No, that’s not the problem. I need to talk to her now. Where is she?” 

     Koji points out to the street, “Do you know why it’s crowded today? It’s because of the video game competition. Teq goes to it every year to win first prize, but she can never make it into the top ten. Oh, guess what? They have a lot more contestants this year. They’re holding the thing in 4 buildings! Isn’t that crazy? They used to hold it in one.”

     Seda asks, “When does it finish?” 

     Koji answers, “It’s held for a week. After some ‘incidents’ they now have to pause the game every night at 9:00 pm.” 

     Seda finishes eating, “Then I’ll have to wait. Ugh! I’m still pissed she didn’t do what she said she would. I’m missing another class because of her.” 

     Koji tries to calm her down, “Don’t worry she’ll get to it.”  

 

     Seda crumples up her napkin in her fist. She takes a deep breath in and asks Koji,             “You seem like a calm guy. Do you ever worry about the future?”

      Koji says, “I used to, and then for a while after I got here- I stopped thinking about it.” He watches the furry pizza guys laugh loudly and cut up more slices for the customers. “But, after thinking about my parents yesterday, I think I owe it to them...” 

     Koji takes both their paper plates and tosses them into the trash can. Seda says, “I never asked you. Why are you being so nice to me? You don’t even know me.” He picks up his backpack, “I should head out to class.” Koji smiles embarrassed, “I’m already 15 minutes late.” Seda looks at him with disapproval. “Better late than never,” he says with a wink. Seda crosses her arms, “If I were you I’d run. You could be missing important information that could be on your final exam.” He replies, “No way, it’s too early for that stuff.” Seda stands up, “Oookaaay, good luck then.” She walks out of the pizza place. Koji goes in the opposite direction towards the vent to his class. 

 

     Seda moseys around the empty streets. A few mole-people run in the direction of the video game competition. The buildings she passes are made from mismatched materials of wood, metal, cardboard, old furniture, and other things. The buildings are stacked on top of each other. She imagines living here. She thinks, Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. She hears something large and on wheels rolling down the street. She looks up to see two human students pushing two carts carrying some crates.

 

     They wear some stylish black fitted jumpsuits with nice cuffs on the sleeves and the pants. What are they doing here? She asks herself. Seda notices one of the crates is about to slide off and rushes over to save it. The student with the braids thanks her. He asks her, “Are you new?” Seda knew he was probably asking about being in student government. She had a quick second to decide how to handle it. She replies, “I am... nooot...” 

     The guy with the braids and the other student with a hand tattoo of Gudetama, look at her confused. Braids says, “I’ve never seen you around.” Seda laughs nervously, “I mean I’m not in student government.” She almost does a facepalm for her stupidity. Braids and Gudetama shift.

 

     Seda can feel a slight tension in the air. Gudetama says, “I’m not sure how you found this place, but you can’t stay here.” Seda notices some movement in the crates. She wants to go closer to see what it is. Braids adds, “You don’t want to turn into a mole person do you?” Seda turns to him, “What?” He says, “If you stay for a long time, you turn into one of them.” She asks, “Then what are you two doing here?” The two students go back to pushing the carts. Braids says over his shoulder, “Student government business.” Gudetama shushes braids. Seda lets the two students create some distance between her and them before she follows them. She hides behind store chalkboard signs, doorways, nooks, and crannies as she listens to their conversation. 

 

     Gudetama says, “Why did you tell her that? No one is supposed to know what we’re doing.” Braids replies, “That’s why I said ‘business,’ instead of  ‘we’re picking up these guys to sell.’” Gudetama frantically shushes him. Braids says, “What? Everyone is in the market to watch some losers play video games.”

 

     They turn a sharp corner. Braids does not see the large crack on the street right in front of him. His cart topples sideways. Two of the crates fall and the lids come off. Small fuzzy moles flop out onto the street. Some of them scurry away. One mole with dark brown fur scurries towards Seda. There is a small cut on its left arm. Seda whispers in shock, “Teq?” She picks her up. 

 

     Braids and Gudetama run around gathering the moles. Gudetama, “Watch where you’re going! If any of these things are damaged it will lose their price.”

     Braids says, “It wasn’t on purpose. I don’t understand what people would want to buy these things for anyway.”

     Gudetama says, “I hear they do stuff with their fur and I don’t know, use them as pets?” 

     Braids says, “Is this why they keep adding more stupid requirements? The school must make a lot of money from having more and more students don't graduate.”                 Gudetama, “I can’t imagine them making that much from this. This is probably a side hustle for them.”

 

     Seda slowly backs away with Teq. Once she’s out of their sight she puts Teq in her backpack, “Hold on okay?” Seda runs towards the main street, finds the right ladder she used to get here, and hurries up it. Her hand starts to grow a brown patch of fur. Seda freaks out and almost loses her balance. She hears a voice above her, “Seda!” She grabs onto the ladder and looks up.

 

     Koji looks down at her from the opening of the vent. She climbs up and sits with Koji. She explains all that she heard from Braids and Gudetama to him. At first, he does not believe it. She pulls out Teq and shows him her stubby arm with the scar, Koji leans in, “Teq! You poor thing.” Teq looks up at him blankly as if she does not recognize him. Seda hands her to him. He yelps, “Your hand!” Her hand has more fur and her nails are starting to look longer. She examines her hand, “It’s worse! How do I make this stop?” Koji replies, “Let’s get out of here.”

 

     They are back to where the secret piano rooms are. Seda checks her hand again. Her fingers are turning into claws. “It’s not stopping. What do I do?” Koji shrugs his shoulders, “Maybe try the student government?” Seda locks eyes with him for a moment. She says, “I don’t think I have much of a choice. You tell the others about this, while I get rid of...” she holds up her hand. Koji gives her Teq, “See if we can get her back to normal-super senior normal-nope I said it right the first time. See you.” He does a slight wave goodbye and heads back into the vent. 

 

     Seda runs across the bridge that connects to the Tomas Woodsmen building. She finds the student government room filled with students having a sushi party. Seda wiggles her way into the room while hiding her mole hand. She sees the cute guy who ruined her shoe the day before with his annoying girlfriend. Seda finds Braids and Gudetama eating and chatting. She grabs Braids’ arm with her claw and pulls him in, “I need your help.” He looks at her claw and puts on a fake smile, “We warned you.” She says, “Okay, now help me,” she is losing her patience. 

      Braids asks, “What year are you?” 

     “A senior.”

     “Before I talk to you about the antidote.” Seda leans in with interest. He continues, “ Let me guess. You’re a transfer right?” Seda nods yes. 

     “Yeah, no point in helping you if you’re going to turn into a mole anyway.” Seda’s face turns red. She tries to sound calm, “Help me or I’ll tell everyone that you and the school are purposefully making sure more and more students can’t leave this place.”

 Braids gets quiet for a second then scoffs, “I’m only doing my job, Super Senior.” Seda’s eyes go sharp. 

     “Besides, try telling the other students. Those socially awkward morons would think you’re a loon. And for the mole rats, they’re busy having a good time. You think they’d want to give up the easy life?” 

 

     The cute guy from earlier spills adult juice on Seda. She’s face turns a bright red with anger and loses her temper. She grabs this guy by the collar and says, "I'm taking him hostage!" she holds a strong grip on him as she drags him toward the doorway. Cute guy whines and screams. The annoying girlfriend is terrified. Braids says to Seda, “Take him! He’s a pain in the butt anyway.”

 

     The annoying girlfriend asks Braids “ What does she want with Jake?” He tells her and says, “Let her take him.” He goes to the table to get some sushi. The annoying girlfriend runs through a door to the student government office. She comes back with a small blue glass vial in her hand. She runs out into the hallway, “Here, take it!” She hands it to Seda. "You can have your boyfriend back," Seda tosses Jake at her.  The annoying girlfriend blushes and hugs him. Jake says, "She's not my girlfriend! Let go of me, Gianna." 

 

     Seda asks, "So, do I drink this? Or..." 

     Gianna says, “Yeah, take a swig.”

     Jake stays on the floor confused about what is going on. Seda drinks the antidote. Nothing happens. "What's going on?" She asks.  Gianna replies, "Hmm, Are you a senior?"  Seda says, "Yeah." 

     "How many credits do you have left?" 

     This gets Seda angry, "What does that have to do with anything?" 

     Gianna points to the bottle, "That antidote can't help you because you're already going to be a super senior. The way to become fully human is to graduate." 

     "But you guys don't let super seniors graduate!" Seda yells.

 

     BANG, BANG, BANG. Koji pokes out of a vent nearby, “Seda! Did it work?” Seda lifts up her two claws, “No.”  She reaches into her bag, takes out Teq, and puts her in Gianna’s face, “What about her? Can you do anything for her?” Gianna shakes her head no, “It’s too late for her.” Seda starts to feel trapped and frustrated. She gently puts Teq back in her bag while she asks Koji, “Were you able to tell them?” He tells her he was able told them the truth, but they could not care less about it, “They went back to the video game match.”

     Seda starts to cry, “What is the point in any of this? We spend so much of our lives in school to possibly never graduate...and then what?  Die?” 

     Koji stands beside her, “Woah. Calm down, Seda. First off, you’re going to graduate...you’ll be a mole person for a while, but it’s not that bad.” 

     Seda says, “You don’t understand. Staying here any longer could hurt my parents. I don’t want to do that anymore.”

     “Why not get a job?” Koji asks. 

     “No matter how hard I try it doesn’t work out. I also still have no idea what I want to do in my life. How do you go to school and not figure that out? All I know is that I don’t want to do this anymore.” She swings her claws in the air, “ I don't want to deal with these rude students every morning. I don't want to deal with pointless classes I don't like, classes my parents waste money on. I don't want to deal with people who don't know how to socialize or know the definition of what a friend is-" Koji shyly interrupts, "-I-I know what a friend is.”

     This makes Seda calm down a bit. "Yes, yes you do."

 

     The fur near her claws springs out of her skin and up her wrists. Her anger returns. She has had enough of this. She turns away from them and stomps down the hall. Out of pure anger, she yells, "I'm quitting this school!" 

 

     Gianna, Jake, and Koji watch her go. Gianna asks if Jake, “Are you alright. She tries to help him up. He roughly shrugs her off. He sees some cute girl in the student government club room and yells out with a sweet smile, "Any sushi left for me?" As he enters the room Gianna's lower lip quivers. She pulls out her phone and rushes into the girl's bathroom. 

     Koji, left alone says, "Sad." He turns to run after Seda. A guy yells surprised at the sight of a mole person. Koji says, "Oh right." He finds a vent and swooshes in leaving the vent door on the ground. 

 

     Seda is in the Woodsmen North building stairwell. As she goes down the steps she has trouble opening the hot pink pamphlet. She makes a few holes through the paper. She looks down the list and spots it, "Right! 2103." She runs through the second floor. Most of the students ignore her by staying glued to their phones. Seda's arms are almost covered in fur and are becoming a little stubby. Her sleeves are now blue flowing ribbons. She busts through the doors. One student thanks Clad and turns to leave. She puts her paperwork in her backpack. She stops when she sees Seda. 

 

     Seda runs to the counter, "Hello! I'd like to leave." Clad  jumps, but composes himself, "...The exit is on the first floor to the left of the elevators," he says. Clad turns off his computer and puts his pens away. Seda's throat is dry. Her voice cracks, "I wAnt to unregIster-" she coughs, "- from all of my classes. I want OUt!" She coughs again. 

     "We're closing. Please come back tomorrow," he says as he takes his bag from under the counter. The fur on Seda's arms grows up to her shoulders. Fur grows on the sides of her cheeks, and whiskers sprout out around her nose. She climbs over the counter and grabs Clad’s shirt with her meaty furry claws. Seda's anger rushes out of her mouth, "Do you guys enjoy doing this to your students? Is this what we pay you for? A bunch of classes we don't need or have to retake because some of us transferred here." Seda needs a second to take a breath, "Just so you can keep us here longer!"

 

     Clad's eyes are wide with fear. He tries to get Seda to release her grip on him. "L-let me go. Our hours are from 8:00 am-4:00 pm. Y-you're also ripping my shirt..." Seda lifts the man with this new unknown strength and plops him in his chair. The rest of her body is now covered in fur. Her feet are slowly ripping her shoes apart. "We're not leaving until you unregister me with this school." 

"Me too." Seda looks up to see Koji there at the counter. She looks up at him.

 

                                                           **************

 

     Clad presses “ENTER.”

     "Okay. You're both officially not Woodsmen students anymore. For your mole friend, she’s not in our system so there’s nothing I can do. Please let me go." Seda releases him. She looks down at Teq in her bag “Sorry Teq.”  Clad checks his shirt to see how shredded the neck hole is. He whines as he leaves the office, "My shirt is ruined and I won't be paid overtime for this." He exits the college building and stops in his tracks. "I just lost the school some money..."

 

     Seda looks at her claws as they return to normal. The rest of her body goes back to being human. She lets out a big sigh, "It almost feels like nothing happened." She looks at her ripped sleeves, "Almost." The student who talked to Clad before Seda is standing there with a gaping expression. Seda puts her hand on her shoulder and says, "Tell everyone what you saw today okay?" The student just looks at her. Seda continues, "and then decide if you want to stay in this school or not." Seda feels a shadow over her. "You don't want to be turned into a mole person. Trust me." Seda looks up at the shadow, "Koji?" He laughs, "That's me!" 

 

     Seda exits the North Woodsmen College building. Her face is flushed and tries not to look back. She holds the door as a stranger's hand catches it. A young man with feathery red hair and freckly hazel eyes smiles brightly. He says, "Wow. It's been so long since I've been outside." They walk side by side. Seda looks everywhere else but at Koji. She tries to stay cool, "This is probably the last-where are you- which train-um...what are you going to do now?" Koji laughs. 

 

     "I should let my parents know I dropped out," he smiles at her. Seda looks down at the ground not too happy with his answer. "Yeah, I should do the same," she says. Koji sees her sad expression. He points to a deli across the street, “Let’s go get some food first! Then we can figure out what to do from here.” She brightens up, “Sure.”

                                                                    THE END 

Missing Christmas

by Emel Saat

Note: This is a writing exercise to write a scene in the middle of a story. This was not written in a screenwriting format. 

     Kale was walking away from the house through the snow in the dark. Once he was far enough from the lit windows, he stopped to take a breath in and then exhale. None of it felt the same for him. 

 

     Behind Kale, was the sound of running footsteps in the snow. He turned around. It was his younger sister, Fay. For someone so small, she was always pretty fast to catch up to him.

     Fay: "Please, Kale."

     Kale continued to walk, not wanting to talk about it.

     Fay: "Just for tonight, can you please come back inside?"

     Kale did not respond.

     Fay: "Do it for dad."

     Kale: "Ha." He stops.

     Kale: "How many times are you guys going to say that?"

     Fay: "Why do you think we're here?"

     Kale: "I don't have to think of why. I know your reasons why."

     Kale: "Jamie has nowhere else to go. You're here to avoid your husband, and Gray is trying to get us to forgive him for what he's done!"

     Tears started to collect around Fay's eyes.

     Fay: "How could you blame him? It was an accident!"

Kale crossed his arms and huffed.

     Kale: "Why are you defending that egotistical jerk? If he wasn't such a show-off, Dad would still be here!"

     The snow started to fall softly. Kale realized he was holding his breath.

     Fay: "Gray wasn't the one who made the scaffolding fall..."

     Kale: "Say what you want. I'm done with this." 

     Kale started to leave. Fay stops him.

     Fay: "Then why did you come?"

     Kale didn't look at Fay: "For mom. It looked like no one else checked to see if she was okay."

     Kale brushed past Fay and walked towards his car. While he opened the side door, the door to the house opened. Their mom stood with a small wrapped-up Christmas present. Fay walks over.

     Fay: "Mom, it's cold."

     Mom: "Are you leaving Kale?"

     Kale: "I'll come visit some other time."

     The Mom walked down the steps and held out the present to Kale.

     Mom: "You can't go without this."

     He took it and stared at the wrapping paper and shiny bow.

     Kale: "It's never going to be the same."

     She gave him a tight hug. He cried into her shoulder.

     Mom: "I know Kale. I know."

     She pulled him away to look at him in the eye.

     Mom: "Promise me you won't shut us out."

     Kale did not say anything. Fay tried to keep her eyes dry.

     Fay: "Mom's right. If you shut us out, you'll give us no choice but to break down your front door."

     Kale got into his car. He stuck his hand out to give them a wave.

     Kale: "Okay."

                                                             THE END.