Conformity, Part 1

(by Blackbladder, 06 August 2002)


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all characters in this story are pure fiction - similarities found 
with real people are pure coincidence. 

Conformity
by Blackbladder

Part 1
------
Angela Gunn stared anxiously at the brown case file lying motionless 
in front of her.  The name on the front of the cover read "Ms Skye 
Henderson".  Sounds an interesting name, Angela thought to herself 
before slowly opening up the case file folder.  She removed the photo 
carefully from its fixed position on the page, supported by a 
paperclip.  The girl in the picture looked nice enough though - 
despite the heavy black miscara, hiding the blue eyes.  In the 
picture, she was wearing a typical school uniform - white blouse, 
blazer and yellow tie.  Whilst holding the picture in one hand, she 
focused her attention on the report within the case file.  Skye's 
academic results were far from impressive - there were only a few 
passed optional subjects noted down on the page as 'passes'.  Skye 
also had no friends at her previous school.  Why could a shy girl 
like Skye be expelled from Woring Secondary School?  Turning the page 
slowly, she read with intrigue about Skye's reasons for expulsion.  
Angela sighed in sadness..........she felt a sympathy for this new 
girl about to join her new school.  Suddenly, her own thoughts were 
interrupted as Helen - the head of chemistry department - walked into 
the office.  Angela beckoned Helen - her close friend too - to take a 
seat.

"Your class will have a new pupil joining today.  Her name is 
Skye....."

Meanwhile, the BMW's engines died outside Haven High School.  Skye 
thought she just died and gone to hell as her parents shouted words 
of encouragement for her fresh start.  Skye had always hated her 
parents - they never understood how she felt about things.  Whenever 
her father, Patrick, started talking, Skye would just not listen to 
him.  Her parents were very old-fashioned.....where they believe 
everything should be just perfect and wholesome.  They were so 
wrong.......

After exchanging goodbyes, Skye opened the car door and walked out 
slamming it behind her.  

"Good luck Skye.  Your mother will pick you up tonight...." Patrick 
shouted enthusiastically.

Skye feigned a smile in return, wishing her parents would just leave 
right now.  She walked up to the front gate of her new school and 
peered at the sign.  

"Haven High School - Breeding excellence for centuries" 

Pass me the sick bag, Skye thought while cringing at the sign. 

As she made her way through the gates and up the front stairs, she 
was met by loud, direct laughing from a group of passing girls.  Skye 
swept back her jet black straight hair.  She felt extremely anxious 
of the instant hostility she felt from this new environment.  She 
knew she needed a cigarette desperately.  She had not smoked since 
last night.  Quickly, Skye scanned the building for areas to feed her 
habit without being noticed.  As the craving for nicotine was 
becoming unbearable, Skye tred carefully towards a small woodland 
area at the bottom of the school playground.  

Checking that no-one had traced her heading to the woodlands, she 
withdrew a pack of Marlboro Reds from her graffiti-laden backpack and 
a blue lighter.  In lightning speed, Skye lit up her first cigarette 
in 24 hours whilst keeping alert of her surroundings.  The nicotine 
buzz was amazing as her whole body began to relax.  She stood there 
taking deep, quick draws on her smoke for 5 minutes.   The last thing 
Skye intended to do was get caught again smoking.....

The school bell echoed throughout the large complex - the sound dying 
out amongst a deserted playground.  

"Hi Skye, please take a seat" Angela said as she shaked the young 16 
year old girl's hand.

Skye tentatively sat in the chair, very tense.  Her heavy makeup 
instantly attracting the attention of her rector.

"I am your rector, Skye.  I am in charge of everyone's curriculum and 
am dedicated to providing the best service for everyone at school.  I 
also expect a high standard from all my pupils - you will be no 
different after a few weeks.  You will blend in without any 
problems.  Some rules first........" 

Skye sensed what lectures were coming...........she heard them all so 
many times from so many people.  

"We try to promote conformity and consistency at this 
establishment........therefore, your mascara is now a thing of the 
past for you whilst you're in my school.  Do I make myself clear?"

"Yeh ma'am." Skye replied nervously.

"I also know from your profile that you smoke - consider that 
disgusting habit now a thing of the past too.  The school holds a 
zero tolerance attitude towards smoking.  We do not want to have 
visitors being possible victims to second-hand smoke, so no smoking 
of any sort is permitted within school grounds."

Skye swallowed hard at Angela's attack on smoking.  The goth loved 
the nicotine.  How could she survive without smoking at school?

Angela then said"We run a 'buddy' scheme at this school for 
newcomers.  This limits the problems newcomers may have like 
bullying.  You can come in now, Pamela."

As Skye turned her seat to face the door, she could see the 
silhouette of a thin, short girl.  Once the girl entered the office 
and took a seat, Skye began gritting her teeth together as this girl 
was in the group which made fun of her that morning!  How worse could 
this day get? Skye wondered.

"Pamela will be your shadow all day today........she will keep you 
right.  Pam is one of our best students here and will be your perfect 
role model.  Ok you better both run along to your first class." 
Angela stated before the mismatched duo left the office towards the 
chemistry classroom.

For the next few hours, Skye's cigarette craving returned.  Despite 
how much she tried to put her mind onto the schoolwork, the nicotine 
constantly reminded her of the habit she was possessed by.  The fact 
she had this annoying, snob of a 'buddy' all day did not help.  All 
day long, Skye would hear pupils sniggering like hyenas behind her 
back.  Pamela introduced Skye to her friends at the lunchbreak in the 
canteen.  The canteen was large and spacious. 

"Hi Abby.  How you doing Sam?" Pamela referred to her friends sitting 
at a canteen table.

"We're fine Pamela............who is your friend?" Samantha inquired

Samantha was tall and slim and wore ruby red lipstick.  She thought 
she was glamorous and gorgeous.  Abby was short and slim, had long 
auburn hair and wore glasses.  

Whilst Pamela introduced her 'friend' to the table, Skye sat down 
resting her backpack onto the clean, plastic table.  Immediately, 
Skye looked around the tables to notice there were no ashtrays.  Man, 
this nicotine craving was beginning to drive Skye mad.  However, she 
did her best to suppress her cravings by munching into her tuna 
sandwiches.  Skye instantly noticed that her friends were ignoring 
her completely and were all absorbed into their own chat.  Whilst 
opening a can of juice, Skye discovered that Pamela and her friends 
were all part of an anti-smoking group the School had set up last 
year.  They ran projects every assembly and promoted the facts that 
smoking was evil.  

"So Skye........thats a funny name.  What is your story? What do you 
like to do?" Samantha giggled

Skye brushed her black hair away from her face whilst pondering a 
response.

"There's not really a story to me.  I am your simple quiet girl." She 
smiled, knowing her statement was far from the truth.  Pamela and her 
friends began laughing aloud, unsympathetic towards Skye.  This 
irritated her even more than usual.

Her anger became second priority as the craving for nicotine returned 
with a bang.  Immediately, Skye excused herself quietly from the 
table and making her way outside the building.  It was a clear blue 
sky outside - the best weather for a smoke!

Skye returned to her previous smoking spot, the woodlands behind the 
playground.  She pulled out another Red and lit up quickly.  As Skye 
inhaled deeply, she could feel her anxiety and stress melt away into 
the atmosphere, surrounded by her cigarette smoke.  After holding in 
the smoke for 5 seconds, she reluctantly parted her lips and blew a 
thick stream of smoke overhead.  Skye was surely lost in the moment 
when all of a sudden she heard a noise behind her.  As Skye dropped 
the cigarette, she looked around her surroundings.  The stress the 
cigarette helped to relieve had came back with a vengence.

"What do we have here? Little Miss Quiet smoking?" Pamela emerged 
from the bushes smiling.

Then her friends followed Pamela from the bushes too and circled Skye.

"Smoking is gross.  We knew there was something strange about you.  
Just wait til the principal  finds out, you will be toast!" Pamela 
laughed. 

Suddenly, the school bell sounded just as Skye was about to respond.  
Pamela and her friends wandered off back into the building smiling.

Skye stood on the spot, extremely angry that these pupils were making 
her life hell.  They all looked down on her.  She was definately 
getting bullied by these monsters.  But what could she do about 
this?  Pondering that question inside her head, Skye chewed some gum 
to get rid of the tobacco smell whilst heading for her next class.  

Arriving at the wooden door of class 1A, she noticed Pamela, Abby and 
Samantha sitting at their wooden desks.  They appeared the perfect 
rolemodels - cleancut and smart.  However, Skye knew for a fact they 
were bullies which the school did not like.  Skye sat at her desk and 
sat her school book out ready to take notes.  

"Can i smell smoke in here?" Pamela, sniffing the air.

Clearly, she was mocking Skye.  The class laughed in unison as they 
all looked up to Pamela.  

"Class, its time to listen now.  Today our topic is on conformity.  
What is conformity?" The social studies teacher asked.

"Is conformity when a lot of people do the same thing as one 
person?"  someone replied.

The teacher smiled.  His class were never short of volunteers to 
answer questions. 

"Yes Brad, it is.  An example of conformity is when people are 
standing at a bus stop.  What other examples could this mean?" The 
teacher asked.  He had no shortage of hands shooting up with 
enthusiasm.

Skye sat in her chair depressed when the subject of conformity stuck 
her like lightning.  Conformity?  I have tried to conform to the 
school system but i get treated no better for it.  Maybe it is time I 
did something about this.  It is not like I don't have the ability, 
Skye thought to herself.

Her frown changed to a devious smile whilst listening to all the 
commotion in the classroom.  It was like she was keeping a secret 
from everyone else.  Truth was, she was hiding a secret from the rest 
of her peers.  Time went by, and Skye was sitting in her final class 
of the day, hurriedly taking notes from her history teacher.  

Angela, the rector, tred carefully into the classroom and whispered 
into the history teachers ear.  The teacher frowned suddenly.

"Skye Henderson.  Please go with Miss Gunn please." the teacher 
demanded.

In perfect unison, the class mocked Skye as she complied with her 
teacher's order.  The class laughed as Skye and Angela exited the 
room.  

Whilst walking down the silent, well-lit corridor, Skye wondered what 
was wrong.  Had Pamela been telling tales about her to the rector?  
Skye convinced herself that this was the problem.  She knew she was 
in a lot of trouble on her first day already.  Her family would be 
very angry at another dismissal.  Unless.........

Skye and Angela entered her office to be greeted by a group of fellow 
teachers sitting in the modern furniture.  Angela beckoned Skye to 
sit down and she, herself, leaned against the table. 

"These teachers here represent the hierarchy PTA group.  We are all 
here because we are very concerned about you." the rector stated.

Skye sat nervously in her chair pondering how she would get out of 
this mess.

"This is an informal chat Skye.  How do you feel you are getting on?" 
Angela asked.

"I think i am doing ok so far.  Mr Hindle, my chemisty teacher, 
thinks i have started well....." Skye enthused, delaying the real 
topic of conversation.

"How are you getting on with your fellow classmates? Has Pamela 
treated you well?" 

Skye knew she had to mention another lie.

"Erm...yeh, she's been ok i suppose." Skye gritted her teeth 
together.  She knew she hated Pamela.

"Well, i am afraid to say Skye that someone caught you smoking today 
behind the woodlands at the back of the playground." Angela again 
stated.  Skye noted her tone changed to one of anger.

"We know you have a track record, Skye.  We  promote a no-smoking 
policy on school grounds.  You have broken that.  That was the reason 
your last school dismissed you.  I don't want the same to happen to 
you here.  My next point is that smoking is horrible, smelly and 
unhealthy for your body."  Angela boasted.

Angela sat down on her chair, with the teachers and parents nodding 
in unison, showing support.

Skye was extremely angry right now.  The realisation that her so-
called friend Pamela went to the extent to talk behind her back made 
Skye's blood boil.  How dare she! she thought.  Her anger went into 
top gear as Angela continued her knockdown of smoking in a well-
rehearsed speech.  The pupil could take no more.  

"The PTA group have decided that you will be banned from leaving the 
building during breaks and will join the anti-smoking ........" 
Angela was interrupted as Skye stood up.  This action shocked the 
teachers and parents.

Skye suddenly stretched out her arms towards Angela.  The rector 
could not move in her chair at all.  There was an invisible force 
holding her down in her chair.  The other teachers also tried to move 
to control this new pupil but their efforts were in vain.  They also 
struggled to move their bodies but could not.  

As Skye lowered her hands, she analysed the scenario.  She shut the 
rector' door and shut the blinds, making sure no-one else could see 
anything while passing by.  She wanted no-one to interrupt her.  

Skye walked around the paralysed teachers and parents, witnessing the 
fear and panic in their eyes.  

"It is time that i did some talking, but not before you all are 
willing to listen to me.  Close your eyes now and lower your heads." 
Skye demanded from her captives.  They all were forced to comply by 
the increasing invisible force possessing them.  

The feelings of stress and anger began to wash away from Skye as each 
command delivered was complied to.  She actually laughed aloud, 
knowing no-one could stop her doing anything right now.  The goth 
pupil took out her pack of cigarettes and withdrew a single Red.  She 
raised the cylinder to her black lipstick-stained lips and dangled 
whilst throwing the pack on the table.  

"I have had a very long, hard day.  I am going to smoke and make you 
all watch me! Open your eyes."  Skye said.

Without hesistancy, the teachers and parents opened their eyes.  They 
stared at the pupil worriedly and in disgust.  They all despised 
smoking so much.  As Skye flicked the bic lighter to life, she leaned 
in to catch its dancing flame.  She deeply inhaled as the cylinder 
became alive.  She dropped her lighter on top of her pack, in full 
view of the captives.  As Skye removed her cigarette from her lips, 
she nose-exhaled and smiled.  Skye was getting a thrill from smoking 
in front of antis.  She knew they had no control of the situation.  
She returned the cigarette to her lips for another deep puff.  Skye 
walked over to the trophy cabinet and removed a large centenery dish -
 an award from the President himself - and de-ashed her cigarette 
into it. She walked back over to Angela's desk and layed the dish on 
top, next to the rector.  

Skye decided to deliver her own speech whilst taking a final puff 
from her cigarette.  She exhaled a cone of smoke towards Angela 
whilst sitting on the edge of the table.  

"There is nothing wrong with smoking at all.  I hate how all of you 
look down on me for doing this.  I found out today what conformity is 
all about.  And I decided this was time to put it to the test.  I 
have had to do what everyone else says in the past - that will no 
longer happen.  Instead, everyone else will take my orders for once."

She smiled whilst lighting up another cigarette, pondering an evil 
thought about revenge on the school.

Exhaling through her nose, she laughed" You will all leave here today 
with new goals and incentives.  And you will all smoke!"

Skye changed her tone to one of command once again.

"Close your eyes......clear your minds.  No longer worry about having 
to think for yourself.  I am your superior now."

The captives couldnt help but comply with her order.  Their 
concentration deteriorating, their concerns about getting free just 
floating away like oxygen.  Their heads all hung down, deep in 
hynotic sleep.

"From this moment on, Skye Henderson is your leader.  You will not 
question any of her commands.  You will all retain your past memories 
but will only be satisfied when your leader is satisfied.  You all 
now have acquired the habit of smoking.  You see nothing wrong with 
smoking.  You all love to smoke and you want to encourage more people 
to smoke.  Open your eyes."

The captives slowly opened their eyes, and found that their bodies 
were no longer restrained.  They looked around the room, scanning the 
area.  As they found Skye lighting up a third cigarette, they smiled.

"What do you want us to do?" Helen, the secretary, asked.

"For now, just act as you have done in the past.  This meeting did 
not happen.  Am I clear?" Skye demanded

Skye smiled as the final school bell went for her first day.  She had 
achieved peace eventually, despite the fact she also made a new 
enemy - Pamela Watson.  Tomorrow would be dedicated to making that 
bitch's life hell.


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