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Cricket Lone Wolf Part 01

Cricket Lone Wolf Part 01

Cricket arrives in a new country and school, but not much has changed.

Cricket sat staring out the window watching the clouds move past. Her mind was flooded, as a plethora of emotions bombarded her. Her stomach was in a knot, which made her feel, as if she would be sick. She felt lonely, excited, sad, adventurous, cautious and lost. She watched the clouds because she never thought or dreamed she would watch clouds from above rather than below.

She had many sleepless nights when she made her decision, or actually, her parents made it for her. Her eyes moistened with tears, but she held them back. She missed her friends. They complained when she told them she was leaving the country for high school. She worried about the wolf family. She had not seen them for a while.

What was she doing? Was it what she really wanted? Would she ever be the same? Could she endure being away from her life in New Jersey?

She was on a plane following the next leg of her life's journey. The Swiss Air jet took her to her next and hopefully final school. She graduated middle school two weeks earlier. Her superior grades made her the most sought after high school student. Several schools contended to entice her to their school.

The winner was the Bard School in Switzerland. The school had the reputation for recruiting the best academic students. The problem was no one knew, what happened to the school's graduates. They seemed to disappear from the world.

As the plane flew away from New Jersey, Cricket's resolve to be the best hardened. She would be the best student the school ever had. Her achievements would become legend. She would succeed and become a woman known the world over for her shrewd business tactics and ruthless demeanor. Yet there would be a softer side to her for the planet's environment.

Her palms were sweaty. She kept rubbing them on her slacks. She opened her backpack and looked through it, only to close it. Her free hand tugged and twisted some of her hair absent-mindedly. It was a nervous habit.

With her decision made to excel at the Bard School, Cricket sat back and watched the time and miles pass. The plane brought her closer to the next chapter of her life. She grew content. Her thoughts centered on exploring her new environment and using it to succeed. She dozed off to the drone of the airplane noise.

The stewardess woke Cricket to serve dinner. Cricket had a choice of steak or chicken. She wondered as she looked at her menu. What were Steak Diane and Chicken Cordon Bleu? She chose Steak. She ate timidly making small bites. She ate everything. Her stomach felt better but still hurt.

She looked at the entertainment options and decided to watch the movie. She did not care what it was. It would be noise to cover the other noise around her. She felt like sleeping. As the movie droned on, she closed her eyes again. Sleep came quickly. Her rest was not as good as she wanted, but at least it was sleep.

About an hour before they landed, she woke and prepared to go through customs and meet the headmaster of the school. She learned that he personally wanted to meet her and welcome her to the school. This was the first time he met an arriving student. The headmaster's name was Gustaf. She must remember that, when she met him.

She filled out her papers, grabbed her passport and tucked all of the papers in her backpack. She tightened her seatbelt and clutched the arms of her seat. Her nerves clicked into high gear as fear overtook her. Her stomach was in her throat, as the plane descended quickly. Her breath came in gulps, as the wheels touched down with a loud thump. The plane swerved and bounced on the slow roll to the terminal. Cricket felt better being back on the ground.

She stood and grabbed her backpack and slung it over her shoulder. She deplaned and walked slowly you get her baggage. As she walked to the baggage claim, her stomach churned with nervous feelings. This was all new to her. Her brain was on high alert for each experience. She grabbed her luggage and walked toward customs.

As she approached customs, an officer approached the man ahead of her. The man walked away with the officer into a room and disappeared. That bothered her. When an officer approached her, she almost passed out from fear.

The officer spoke to her, "Are you Marcia? Will you please come with me?"

She meekly followed him with her head down. Her mind thought, it is over. They are going to search me and hold me. The officer turned to her and took all her luggage. He carried it through customs by all the stations and past all the rooms. He met an older gentleman and put her luggage down. They shook hands smiling.

The customs officer took her papers and said, "Welcome to Switzerland. Enjoy your stay." The officer walked away after stamping everything and giving them to the older gentleman. Marcia was confused. Sweat appeared on her forehead and her stomach roiled hard.

She searched the terminal for a restroom. She spied one and excused herself. She walked quickly, but it soon became a run. As she entered the restroom, she went to the first empty stall. She quickly turned to the toilet and everything she ate earlier poured out of her mouth. She sunk to the floor and hung her head over the bowl.

She sat there, as her stomach emptied its contents. She stayed there until nothing more came out. She stood and felt better. She went to the mirror and looked at the girl there. Her hair was tousled and beads of sweat covered her face. She grabbed some paper towels and washed her face. She adjusted her clothes and pushed her hair, smoothing it out. She felt much better.

She exited the restroom and saw the older gentleman waiting for her with her luggage. A younger man stood with him. As she approached, the older gentleman asked, "Are you alright Cricket?"

Cricket replied, "Yes, I am thank you. Can we get something to drink, please?"

"Of course, Hans will take all your things to the car. We can stop and get you a drink. I am Gustaf, headmaster of the Bard school. Welcome."

"Thank you. It is nice to meet you, sir."

Cricket walked next to Gustaf, as they entered a small cafeteria. She selected a bottle of water and Gustaf paid for it. She needed to clean her mouth and re-hydrate her now empty stomach. They picked a table out of the way of people. She sat facing the flow of people in the terminal. She watched as Gustaf sat in front of her.

She looked at Gustaf, studying him. He was an older gentleman, maybe in his late 50s with grey hair, a ruddy complexion. He was average height with a few extra pounds but not fat. He had a kind and gentle demeanor, but appeared strong and disciplined. He wore a tweed smoking jacket with patches on the elbows. His crisply starched shirt had an open collar. His pants were brown tweed with razor sharp creases. He looked as if he came out of the university life of a professor.

"Are you feeling better? I was worried you were really sick. Changing schools is never easy and traveling to a different country is harder. I am glad you are here."

"Yes I feel much better. Right now, I want to get to school and into my room. I am tired and need sleep."

"All in due time. I want to welcome you to the school. I do not usually greet incoming students, but you are special. I hope to work closely with you over your years of school."

Marcia looked surprised and felt overwhelmed by his admission. She did not think, she was special, just an average teen girl. She felt conspicuous and did not want any special treatment. Whenever that happened in the past, it made her a target of bullying and ridicule. She just wanted to fit in.

"I just want to be treated, as any other student. I do not deserve any special treatment. I want to fit in and be the best student you ever had."

"Having you here almost guarantees you will be our best student. I look forward to seeing your achievements. You have a stellar academic record, which I expect you to maintain. Your teachers and fellow students will challenge you. The classes are small and the academic competition will be fierce. I think you will dominate your class."

"I hope I can live up to your expectations. I plan to work hard and get as much out of this school as I can."

"I will be watching you. If ever you need anything, my door is open to you. I take personal care of my students. We will meet to discuss your progress. Think of me as your mentor. Are you ready to go to the car? I see Hans is back to escort us out of the terminal."

Marcia nodded, stood and moved toward the exit. Gustaf followed her and watched her. She walked with an air of confidence and strength. He marveled inside at those qualities. They were so rare in a teen of her age. Having her around would be a challenge for the staff as well as her fellow students. He thought the years would be good.

Hans pulled the car up to where Marcia and Gustaf stood. He got out of the car and held the door open to the back seat. Marcia was not accustomed to such treatment, but it felt good. She slid into the car and moved over to the left side. Gustaf followed her, as Hans closed the door. He got into the driver's seat and slowly pulled away from the terminal.

"We will have about a two hour drive to the school. It is in the mountains overlooking a small village where most of the staff lives with their families. As a student, all your needs are met by the school. Anything you need will be yours. You have to ask and it will be provided."

Marcia watched out the window, as the Swiss countryside flashed by in her eyes. There was so much green everywhere, unlike New Jersey. They passed through villages and farmland. There were cows and sheep on the hillsides. It was beautiful to see. At times, they were in dense forest.

She listened to Gustaf, as he told her about the school and its history. She had many questions, but thought she would wait until she saw her room and the school grounds. She did turn to him and start a conversation.

"Will there be an orientation period to learn about the school? Will I learn about the classes I will take? What are the requirements for passing? How many students are in each class? Do they all live in the school?"

"There is a two week orientation period. During that time, you will meet your fellow classmates. Rooms become open to selection. Roommates are optional. Everything you asked, you will hear about. Once, the orientation is over, school starts. Remember I will always talk to you when you need help or just a listening ear."

About thirty minutes before arriving at the school, the car descended into a valley. The valley had a river running through it. A village sat along the bank on one side of the river. A big steel bridge spanned the river. The road went through the village. Small houses spotted the countryside. Some were farms, which had herds of goats and cows. In the village, there were small shops, which provided everything the people needed.

As they drove through the village, people waved at the car. Marcia saw the people and she liked the friendly atmosphere. She wanted to stop and walk around. This became her ideal place to live. Her mood brightened. She felt that this would be a good place to learn. As she saw the village, it grew to be like a fairy tale, a dream come true.

The car continued through the village over the bridge. Marcia looked up at the mountain. Looming near the top of the mountain was a large castle. A ring of clouds appeared to hide it from view. She sat in awe, as the car wound its way upward.

"Is that the school in the clouds? It looks so old and mysterious. It is majestic as well." Marcia observed.

"Yes, that is the school. We have the whole mountain to use for the school. You will see and get to know the school intimately while you are here." Gustaf told her.

Marcia smiled, "This will be a fun adventure. I am going to enjoy this school. I am pleased to be here." She said that, but the sheer size of the school scared her. The castle made the village seem tiny.

They arrived at the school. Hans took her bags, while Gustaf escorted her to her room. He pointed to the dining hall and the main auditorium on the way. Those were the two major areas she needed for orientation. When the door closed on her room, she fell onto bed and shuddered. Tears filled her eyes, as her fears resurfaced. She felt really alone.

Her tears lasted about two minutes, when she sat up. She stared out the window, which looked down on the village. Her mind told her, "Marcia this is now your life. Get a grip. Stop being a scaredy cat. It is time to be strong and fierce. Go conquer this obstacle and grow up!"

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

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