It should have gone on like any other day.
"Look at her, she can't even hold her bow the right way!"
Laughter resonated in the gym, where students were lined up, looking at Red, laughing at her for having missed the target with her arrow again. Tears were on the borders of her eyes, getting stuck to her eyelashes and clouding her vision as she tried to shoot another arrow.
"This is what happens when you don't have a Changer, loser!" A guy in the crowd said, and Red growled, trying to ignore his remark.
She fired another arrow, and it missed again, obviously, as she could barely see a thing, her eyelids fluttering madly, trying her best to get rid of the tears.
Laughter only resonated louder in the gym.
Not even the PE teacher seemed to care about what was happening right in front of her large bulbous nose. She was looking down her papers, her Changer perched on her muscular shoulder and reading along with her.
Changers, they had appeared ten years ago on Earth, during Easter, in front of the doorsteps of every house and every place populated by humans. They were some sort of pink bird-like creatures, and for unknown reasons, everyone was completely fine with it. Nobody questioned their arrival, nobody tried experimenting on them, or tried to find out where they came from. Everyone accepted it as it was, despite how odd the situation was, everyone acted as if it was meant to happen.
Everyone had a Changer, even the homeless, even babies, everyone had one. Changers didn't seem to age like humans did, and a thing that made them very special was their intellect and their ability to telepathically communicate with their "owners".
Everyone loved the Changers, everyone had one, and everyone was happy because of it.
Except for Red.
Red didn't have a Changer.
At first, when they arrived, it bothered her. Not only did she not know why everyone else had these weird birds following them around, but she saw everyone, her family, her friends, acting completely normal around these creatures. Any questions she asked about them were either dodged, answered vaguely, or ignored. It was weird. She felt like she was trapped in some sort of weird fever dream. She didn't understand why nobody seemed concerned about the sudden arrival of these weird creatures that could read minds and talk.
Why didn't she get one? Was a question she asked herself a lot.
It took her a while, but finally, she realized the reason why she didn't get a Changer like everyone else.
That was because Red wasn't like everyone else.
For some unknown reason, when she hit the age of 13, Red discovered she could manipulate and create fire, and that she was fireproof, and that, adding to her small size, impressive reflexes and endurance, and orange colored irises, made her different. She thought she was cursed, or simply going crazy. She never told anyone about this. She was always so scared of what people would do to her if they found out.
Maybe her not getting a Changer was some sort of punishment for being dishonest. Or a punishment for being a monster, a demon, a freak of nature.
Whatever it was, it was definitely a punishment, because hearing the voices of the people who were once her friends now launch insults at her hurt her more than anything.
After the Changers arrived, everyone she knew started to avoid her. They wouldn't sit with her anymore during lunch, wouldn't talk to her, refused to work in teams with her unless they were forced to…
She didn't understand why it was happening at first, until she put 2 and 2 together and realized it was probably something to do with the Changers themselves, and not the humans. She didn't know why it had happened exactly, her main theory being a punishment, but other than that? She had no clue. Of course, it's not like she could do anything about it. Everyone always defended these creatures, no matter what.
A soft punch to her shoulder made her come back to reality. She looked up at the tall blonde man who was now standing in front of her, his hand extended, looking down at her. "Heyyyy, Red! It's my turn. Didn't you hear? Too busy crying?" He said in a mocking tone, a smug half smile extended into his lips. His Changer, who was sitting on his head, chirped happily.
"Fuck off, Yellow." She mumbled under her breath, handing him the bow and walking away, making a beeline towards the bathroom.
The laughter became quieter as she closed the bathroom door. She quickly walked to the farthest stall, and closed the door behind her, sitting in the corner, in a ball, head tucked in between her legs.
Big warm tears started rolling down Red's round cheeks, falling on the floor silently, and she sobbed violently. Her heart was filled with anger, hatred, sorrow and confusion. She couldn't trust anyone. Everyone hated her. They all wanted her gone. They'd be better off without her.
Her eyes shone a bright orange, and she snarled and frowned, the hatred in her heart growing bigger than the sadness
She'd be better off without them.
Red slowly stood up, and walked out of the bathroom. She could feel heat fill up her palms and feet as she walked closer to her classmates. They didn't even notice she was back. They didn't care.
She arrived at a decent distance from them, and stood still, the tension of her powers growing inside of her.
And then, it exploded.
Scorching flames everywhere, pouring out if her entire being. Red screamed, not of pain from the flames, but rather from all the anger pouring out with them. It was satisfying, hearing the screams of despair and terror of her classmates burning alive, the terrified chirps of the Changers, dying alongside their owners, the sounds of the entire building collapsing under the immense pressure and heat.
She ran into the flames, her vision clear, her breathing steady, as if nothing was there, and climbed onto the debris, looking outside to the rest of the college, that had quickly started catching fire as well. Nobody was getting out, Red could clearly see, and it made her happy. They all deserved this.
They deserved to pay for what they did to her for all these years.
Satisfied with her work, and hearing the sirens of the firefighter's trucks from afar, she decided it was time to get out. She quickly jumped off from where she was standing, and ran out in the forest, which was far enough from the college to stay intact, but close enough for Red to hide in it quickly.
And there she ran. Until she could only hear the sounds of nature. Until she knew she was safe.