Luz loved the rain.
It was soothing, pleasant.
The thunder and lightning were majestic. They could have been frightening for anyone, but for Luz, there was something to be admired in them.
She liked the sound of the first drops falling from the sky when they hit the ground, and she loved the sensation of them hitting her skin and wetting her hair.
Luz loved the rain along with all the things it brought with it every visit.
But tonight, the thunder only confused her senses, she could not hear her opponent's movements so clearly.
For the first time, the water was not providing any kind of comfort; the drops hurt every time they hit the scraped skin on her back and blurred her vision as they mixed with the blood gushing from her eyebrow.
She miserably tried to get up from the ground, but her body only screamed in protest.
Everything felt wrong, her arms and legs began to feel heavy.
Everything around her faded into shadows.
A part of her just wanted to lie on the cold concrete, hugging herself, and try to find some comfort in the stillness. She wanted the pain to stop, she wanted to get back the warmth she had lost so long ago.
She wanted her mother to hold her, to wrap her in her arms, making all her insecurities vanish into thin air, and only then, wrapped in the love that only her mother could give her, would she finally feel safe again.
She just needed her mother to kiss her forehead and with sweet words help her convince herself that all this was not her fault; that she had tried and didn't have to be so hard on herself .
A sob escaped from her throat, and suddenly the rain and her blood were not the only things clouding her vision.
"Oh well... this is pathetic."
She was asking too much, wasn't she?
Why did she bother to keep fantasizing?
Why couldn't her stupid mind stop flying to scenarios so far from reality?
"Do yourself a favor..."
Luz brusquely wiped her tears with the back of her hand, ignoring the stinging this caused in the cuts on her face.
"...don't get up anymore."
But she could also imagine what her mother would say if she simply gave up now.
No matter how much her body hurt now, nothing could compare to the pain she would experience if her loved ones were hurt, just because she wasn't strong enough to stop it...
What about all the innocent families in the city? How many families would be torn apart? How could she allow something like that to happen to them?
She swallowed a few drops of rain as she tried to cope with the slippery floor.
Her ears caught a sharp little tick-tock, again they were going to throw explosive spheres at her, she had to get out of the way before...
The warm rays of the sun hit Luz directly in the face, waking her up abruptly.
"Ugh, Mom! Five more minutes!"
Luz tried to hide in her blankets uselessly, as her mother was already sitting on the edge of her bed, gently pulling away from each layer of cloth.
"Nop, you've slept enough. If you don't get up you'll be late for school."
"Mom, the fun of living close to the school is being able to wake up late and still be on time." Luz groaned, rubbing her eyes.
"Maybe, but today you're going on a trip to B&B Corp, remember?"
Luz opened her eyes at the mention of the school trip.
"The trip was supposed to be on Thursday..."
"Mija, today is Thursday."
"Ah! Mom! The bus is going to leave me!"
Luz got up quickly. How could she forget the school trip? She had been excited since the announcement in her class. B&B Corp was one of the most powerful and important companies in the city (and the world) and almost always had the best technological advances in almost every scientific discipline.
Although Luz mostly enjoyed reading fantasy novels or epic tales, she was still intrigued by the company's work in the area of genetic manipulation. Rumors of animal hybrids resulting from twisted experiments and complicated conspiracies that argued that B&B Corp was developing biological weapons for the government, were always circulating on the Internet.
Luz could not believe that all the rumors were true, but in her mind, she did not rule out that some of them were. The company had always been shrouded in an aura of mystery, yet schools had always gotten guided tours to the labs themselves and no one had ever seen anything truly incriminating.
But maybe Luz could find something, after all, she had always been a very good observer. So she definitely couldn't miss this trip.
Luckily for her, her mom already had everything covered. Breakfast was already on the table when she went down to the dining room, and her lunch and extra food for the trip were already packed in her backpack.
"Remember Luz, no pranks, any attempt to surprise your classmates, don't touch anything that is not authorized, and do not separate from the group." Her mother told her seriously after taking a sip of her coffee.
"I know, Mom. Please don't worry I’ll be totally fine...”
"Cariño, remember that you are under threat from the director. If something like what happened at the art museum happens again..."
"I will no longer be allowed to go on excursions, I know." Luz completes the sentence somewhat discouraged by the warning. What happened that day was honestly bad luck. But for this occasion, she promised herself that she would only observe so nothing really bad could happen.
"But I promise you I will be on my best behavior, zero problems!" she assured her mother with determination as she took her last bite of her toast.
" Hmmm Ok, I trust you, Mija."
Everything was going much better than expected.
Despite the fact that no one had wanted to share the bus seat with her or the simple fact that she was the only person in her group who couldn't talk to anyone about how amazing B&B companies were, Luz had stolen the spotlight from the tour.
From time to time her tour guide would ask questions that (to her pride) Luz was more than happy to answer. Because she knew that camels have three eyelids to protect themselves from sand, that an ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain, and that fleas can jump 200 times their own length.
To the jealousy of her classmates, the guide had been more than delighted that Luz was such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable girl about animals, so he had given her several compliments with each of her answers.
And as if it couldn't be better, the guide decided to reward her by giving her the great privilege of feeding a unique species of lizard, used and bred in B&B Corp specifically for tissue regeneration research.
Oh, her classmates must have been jealous now, the lizard looked particularly adorable for an experimental reptile. The guide had taken the specimen out of one of the many glass boxes where there were at least 5 specimens on display in each box.
Luz wasn't even listening to all the explanations the guide was giving at this point, she was going to be able to touch and feed a rare specimen! It was almost in her hands!
And then she felt a tingling in her wrist and saw this bright, hairy legged spider on her arm.
My first language is not English.
If you have not found horrendous grammatical errors and think it is worth the effort to translate this Fanfic please let me know.
Chapter 2: Arrematao
Being bitten by a radioactive spider causes more problems than benefits.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Camila had been a bit nervous about the school trip despite all the guarantees Luz had given her. In the past month, Camila had been in the principal's office three times due to Luz's extravagant attempts to fulfill her duties.
It was a bit ironic. A few years ago, Camila received many teachers’ complaints because Luz simply did not turn in most of the assignments or did not complete the tasks they did in class. Instead of concentrating on understanding algebra, Luz basically spent her time rereading her favorite saga or imagining new ideas for her “Fanfics” (Camila didn't really understand exactly how the world of internet literature worked). Of course, thanks to her love of reading and writing, Luz got good literature and language grades.
But Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics? Well, those were another story.
The teachers suggested that she should remove all sources of distraction; in other words, she had to snatch all of her precious fantasy books, especially her favorite.
At first, Camila decided to ignore that advice, but when Luz failed three subjects and scored very poorly in another two, Camila felt it was time to take a little stricter measures.
But Luz had already had a guilty look long before Camila told her that they had to talk very seriously, and during the talk, Luz seemed to be on the verge of tears all the time. Camila almost ruled out telling Luz about her new punishment, but this situation could no longer continue like this, so she broke the news, although with a less severe tone than she had anticipated.
And then Luz began to cry silently with a broken and frustrated look.
Camila had expected Luz to get mad at her, to yell at her that she didn't have to go that far or that it was unfair. Instead, Luz only choked on tears so she could say almost in a whisper: “I'm sorry, Mom. I promise you that I will improve ”.
At that moment, Camila's heart broke. How could she think it was a good idea? Her daughter was sweet, kind, and understanding. She was not a malicious girl; Camila could try to reason with her, see what was the problem behind her bad grades in addition to her ease of being distracted.
Luz was not stupid. Camila knew beforehand that Luz had a memory probably above average (Luz could recite almost an entire chapter of a book she liked just by reading it once), and her reading comprehension was excellent.
Luz just couldn't focus on anything she was doing?
No. It was not entirely true. Camila remembers several times when Luz had been absorbed in reading her favorite book, without taking her eyes off the book for hours.
Perhaps the only thing that her daughter lacked to improve in school was some motivation.
So she gently wiped Luz's tears away and gave her a comforting hug.
"Cariño, I'm sorry I didn't want to ..."
"No! No, it's okay. I deserve it. "Luz had quickly interrupted her.
"Mi vida, please tell me what's going on. I don't want school to be a miserable experience for you. I know that you are a brilliant girl and that you can be successful in anything you set your mind to ..."
The tears didn't seem to stop as Luz gently denied, "I don't know. It just all seems too boring, too slow. I can't even understand why we have to learn all these things..."
Camila didn't have to take away Luz's favorite books. Camila had to show Luz how great and exciting learning could be.
"Luz, mi cielo, Did you know that you can do great things like Lazuli in your book?”
Luz giggled, "Azura, Mom, her name is Azura, but what do you mean?”
Camila smiled as she saw the spark in Luz's eyes glowing again with curiosity.
After Camila taught Luz all the cool applications that Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math have, things improved significantly.
Luz's ratings went up; however, the visits to the principal didn't stop, but at least the reasons now were totally different.
Luz had found a fondness for taxidermy and became good enough to sew a pigeon's head onto the body of a rabbit and give it spider's breath...needless to say, it terrified almost all of her classmates; Luz had found catalytic reactions in chemistry so fascinating that she had made a frothy mess in her lab while trying to replicate the elephant toothpaste experiment.
The number of occasional incidents was gradually increasing, now not because of a lack of interest, but because of interest so big that sometimes lead to disastrous situations.
It was an unexpected turn of events, and there is no way Camilla could have foreseen something like this, but at least Luz no longer suffers frequently with the frustration of failing.
However, Camila soon discovered that schools preferred a student who was behind academically to a problematic student who caused repair costs.
So it was important for Luz to be on her best behavior because the risk of expulsion was imminent, even if the director didn't explicitly say so.
Camila knew that the director was becoming less and less understanding.
But again, Why was she so nervous? What could really go wrong?
"Mrs. Camila? Your daughter, Luz's school, is calling you; there seems to be a problem."
Camila felt that the uncomfortable knot of nervousness she had felt all day was becoming even tighter.
"Thank you, Margaret. I'll take the call right now."
Luz could not believe how quickly everything had gone to waste.
She doesn't even do anything particularly wrong. She just reacts! Like anyone would when they see a big, fat, (fluorescent?) spider almost on the back of the hand.
Naturally, she let out a scream (which she didn't expect that will scare the guide) and also pushed away from the hand that was supposed to receive the lizard (which was released into the air) in an attempt to crush the arachnid that from one second to the next bit her!
She doesn't know if she got the hit right because she doesn't find a mashed spider in her hand. Still, she is almost sure it must have bitten her because she felt a sharp pain almost instantly, and that made her trip forward and, in the process, accidentally threw the fish tank where the lizard was, which evidently broke. In all the instability of the moment, Luz fell to the floor, and, for her bad luck, two pieces of broken glass were embedded in her arm.
By this time, half of his classmates were screaming because a rat-sized lizard was running around the room (full of broken glass). However, Luz's senses were not fully capturing the chaos that had exploded in the room because the worst thing was that not even the adrenaline of the moment helped her to lessen the pain that exploded in her arm with the cuts.
Luz was even more frightened when she saw a piece of glass embedded just where she had seen the creepy spider before, so with a shaking hand and still on the ground, she summoned up the courage to remove the glass shard. She felt that the spider had bitten her; perhaps the glass wound hadn't covered up the bite? Because there had to be a mark left, right?
She could almost hear her mother's voice warning her that this was a terrible idea, but Luz felt the need to check, so with a clenched of her teeth and a shriek of pain, she removed the fragment and then…
Then the blood began to flow without any barriers to stop it.
"That's... a lot of blood..." Luz heard the astonished voice of one of her classmates, who was a few meters away. The color of the other girl disappeared from her face in a second, and then she fainted.
Well, this couldn't get any worse.
"You're crazy, Luz Noceda!"
"What's wrong with you? You could have hurt someone!"
If her classmates did not particularly love luz, now she is officially hated.
"I thought you were just a freak, but now I know you're just stupid.”
"If this is your way of getting attention, let me tell you that you just made a fool of yourself! Insane!"
"You knew Natalia is blood-phobic! How could you be so heartless? We're lucky she only had a little blackout, and no one else was hurt!"
Luz knew how to deal with social rejection; she had learned not to feel so bad about being alone or the fact that everyone around her would run away from her presence or simply ignore her.
Of course, there was always a little pain in the fact that no one wanted to be her friend, but she had never allowed this to paralyze her, and she always moved on.
But this was totally different from the occasional mockery; these accusations were harsh, direct and full of poison.
Luz felt, on the one hand, that she could not blame them for being so angry with her; the incident at the art museum last year had only left her and some of her classmates full of paint, and yes, it had been partly her fault. But this time it wasn't, or at least Luz couldn't feel that way.
She hadn't touched anything that wasn't allowed, hadn't broken any rules, or done anything extravagant to impress her group. It was all the fault of this stupid spider that appeared out of nowhere and simply ruined everything.
She never intended to hurt them in any way, nor was it an attempt to get their attention.
She was a victim too!
But no one believed her. No one believed a single word she said about this mysterious spider.
"Stop making things up! You're a liar, Luz Noceda!" A boy named Math, who had accompanied Natalia to the infirmary, had yelled at her. Luz was just trying to explain to the nurse how everything happened while she was cleaning the wounds, and Math just exploded when he heard her.
In the end, Natalia only took a couple of minutes to recover and leave with the rest of the group, while Luz had to receive a couple of stitches in the cut of her forearm.
Everyone continued the tour and the other activities without her. When she was finally able to leave the B&B Corp infirmary, Luz was immediately escorted to the school bus by one of her teachers.
The teacher did not even bother to scold her all the way, but simply exasperatedly told her to sit down and make herself comfortable because that was where she would spend the rest of the trip.
All the bubbling emotions she had had during the day faded away bitterly.
"Oh, and when we get back to school, you have to go straight to the principal's office. Your mom has already been notified and will be there when we get back.”
The mention of her Mom felt like someone had punched her in the stomach. And Luz could only nod because the knot forming in her throat took away her ability to speak without her crying.
She didn't care about the fact that she might not be able to go on school trips anymore; she had promised her mom that she wouldn't get into any trouble, and she had failed her.
Luz couldn't stop the tears anymore.
Why couldn't anything go completely right for her? What was wrong with her?
Would her mom believe her? What would she think of her?
And with all these questions on her mind, without meaning to, she eventually fell asleep.
The noisy voices of her companions returning to the bus pulled her out of her restless sleep, and she could only shrink into her place as the aggressive comments towards her person came one by one.
"Yes, you are a lunatic!"
When the last of her classmates backed up the last comment about how crazy she was, her teacher finally decided to intervene by saying that she had had enough.
As if he hadn't noticed that for the last few minutes, Luz had only been receiving annoying rebukes from everyone.
Luz felt terrible, and maybe it was the emotional toll of the whole situation, but she didn't find the strength to defend herself because she just felt so tired. Although each comment was a stab at the heart, somehow, her body just asked her to lay her head back on something and go back to sleep. So even with the dull pain of her injured arm and the emotional pain that manifested itself as apprehension in her chest, Luz could not help but fall back into a deep sleep.
Luz woke up abruptly when a strange buzzing sound in her head warned her that she had to move and strike a blow to her right.
It was strange, but it felt urgent, and before Luz could process anything, she released a strong blow to her right as this strange instinct demanded.
The moaning of a boy in her class mixed with the sound of water spilling; a plastic bottle crashed into the bus aisle, spilling its entire contents.
Luz blinked twice to try to understand what had just happened.
Her blow had connected directly to a boy's face.
"What's wrong with you, you freak?" he angrily shouted as he held his nose.
Suddenly Luz was aware of many things; the boy's two classmates (who were now staring at her in puzzlement), the bus was not moving, and the voices of her other classmates were speaking in the distance.
"Damn! I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!" Luz got up as best she could from her seat, trying to get closer to her classmate to help him in some way.
Ugh, Luz felt that buzz again.
"Just walk away!"
One of the beaten boy's companions had been willing to push her, but before he could touch her, Luz had already stopped him in mid-air, holding him tightly by the wrists and pushing him in one quick motion.
With the floor full of water, Luz's push was strong enough that this boy lost his balance and ended up on the floor.
"Damn it! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to throw you! "Alarmed, Luz tried to help the boy up, grabbed his arm and with a pull (which was much more abrupt than she expected) clumsily brought him to his feet...
Since when was she so strong?
"Woah! Sorry! I didn't mean to..." Luz tried to let go of the boy, but for some reason, her hand got stuck to the sweatshirt he was wearing; even though Luz had already loosened her grip, it was as if her hand was full of glue.
"Let go of him already!"
The third boy sued her. In fact, Luz knew him and knew his name was Anthony.
She almost screamed in a panic, pulling her hand even harder, but the force she used seemed to be too much because the fabric tore like paper. Luz had torn a sweatshirt sleeve with just one pull! What was going on with her?
"You know, it sounds like you need someone to teach you a lesson, Noceda," Anthony threatened with poison in his voice. Luz could practically hear the three boys growling.
Luz knew that these three were not exactly the most charming. They were known for regularly playing rough pranks on the girls and had, at some point, engaged in a clandestine fight with any boy who had challenged them. But from the look they were all giving her, something was telling Luz that maybe these guys weren't going to stop just because she was a girl, and of course, they didn't want to talk.
The strange buzzing in her head suddenly increased.
"Mrs. Noceda, this is more serious than simple havoc or material damage; your daughter has compromised the integrity of all her classmates."
"Principal Miller, I know that Luz can be excessive at times and her creativity can get out of control, but the situation you explain to me does not fit with something Luz would do" Camila knew that Luz was in a lot of trouble and quite severe. However, she still found it hard to believe that Luz would simply cause a disaster for no apparent reason. Behind every incident, there was always something she wanted to prove, something she wanted to express and share, or something she wanted to check out.
"Well, despite all her incident history, I dare say that your daughter may not just have undiagnosed ADHD. With what happened today, she might even be a sociopath ..."
Camila couldn't believe what she was hearing. She barely managed to suppress the urge to yell an angry 'How dare you!' at the principal. Is her daughter a sociopath? Absolutely not.
"Her lack of friends reinforces my theory, so ..."
"Are you a psychologist?" She said annoyed.
"By what authority do you diagnose my daughter as a sociopath? Unlike some parents that I'm sure you are used to dealing with, I do know my daughter, and she is not a sociopath.”
Oh, this man was going to listen to her. Who did he think he was?
But before Camila could continue to rant against this man, the outraged voices of other young people (and to her concern that of Luz herself) filtered through the office walls.
In an instant, the door to the principal's office opened, revealing an outraged teacher; to his right, he was holding Luz by the arm, and to his left were three young men at least two inches taller than his daughter. Two of them had a couple of bruises on their faces, and one had a bloody nose. The four youths ignored the fact that they were already in front of the principal as they continued to yell at each other.
Camila was stunned.
“¡Ellos me atacaron primero! ¡Soy inocente! ¡Lo juro! ¡Solo me defendí!¡Ellos empezaron!¡Ni siquiera se como pasó todo!”
Camila easily noticed that Luz was extremely nervous; she was defending her innocence in Spanish! The teacher couldn't even understand what she was saying (although honestly, it seemed that he wasn't interested in any excuse that her daughter could offer even if she said it in the right language).
"She's lying! I don't know what she's saying, but she's lying!" shouted the young man with the bloody nose, totally furious.
"Enough! SILENCE ALL OF YOU!" shouted the director, trying to bring order. The four teenagers were instantly silent, "Anthony! Explain what happened!"
"Then she kicked Jackson so hard that my poor friend ended up on the floor! That's when Master Smith got on the bus and stopped the attack!"
"That's not entirely true!" Luz pleaded as soon as Anthony finished telling the crazy story of how her daughter had beaten up three boys taller (and relatively stronger) than her.
If it weren't for the multiple bruises that were beginning to form on the boys' faces, Camila could almost swear that they were making up this whole story about the fight against Luz.
"Miss Noceda, what can you say in your defense? Do you claim that you did not hit these respectable young men? “ asked the principal sternly.
"I... I... I didn't! ... I mean..."
" Come on..."
Camila thought, nervous about the fact that Luz was beginning to stutter.
"Come on, daughter, tell them that you didn't hit them, that they're just framing you for something you didn't do..."
"I..." Camila's pleading gaze met the hesitant gaze of Luz, and to her chagrin, Camila knew it.
Luz had indeed done so, but she was still trying to deny the fact that her daughter had beaten three of her classmates for no reason. The boys were probably missing a part of the story. But either way, all this made the situation get worse. If things were already tense with the school, this would be the final sentence.
"I did hit all three of them," ended up admitting Luz, "But they attacked me first! It was self-defense!"
"We just went to wake you up; everyone had already gotten off the bus and..."
"They planned to throw water at me while I was sleeping! Don't pretend you didn't want to do it! All I did was react!"
"You could have accused your classmates with your teacher," Luz was interrupted by the principal.
"Miss Noceda, you could have done anything other than physical assault, but instead, you acted with violence. Let it be clear to you; your behavior has no justification; in any case, your colleagues repelled the aggression on your part, and you need to be corrected…”
Camila saw as Luz under her gaze in defeat.
Camila's blood was beginning to burn with anger.
But she was not angry with Luz.
All the situation was wrong in so many ways; it was overwhelming. Luz wasn't exactly the violent type to get into three-on-one fights. On the one hand, Camilla could scold her and tell her this is a disaster, but not now. Now Mom had to stop this injustice.
"Do you approve of these three boys trying to beat up my daughter?" Camila asked the principal, who had such a petulant look.
"I don't know what you mean…”
"According to your logic..." Camila interrupted him abruptly and continued with contained anger "...what Luz did was violently unnecessary, but if my daughter was bothering these cabrones so much--- I mean, these young people, why didn't they just go ask their teacher for help? Didn't they also act violently and irrationally? “
"Well, you're moving things in the wrong direction..."
"What's wrong with you?" Camila finally blew up. She wasn't going to put up with this guy. "They weren't just going to play a bad joke on my daughter! Which, by the way, is hurt, and no one notified me about it!”
Camila had noticed the bandage on Luz's arm, and she wasn't going to let that go. The school had called her about the damage Luz had caused, but they didn't tell her that she had been injured? This wasn't going to stay that way.
"So they were going to throw water on my daughter who was asleep and injured her arm, and you think they are the victims?”
The principal finally erased that smug look and responded angrily, evading the accusations.
"I have decided that Miss Noceda no longer needs to be present for the remainder of the course. She can start her summer vacation. See you next school year!"
"Oh no! Don't even bother, there won't be another school year! I plan to transfer Luz to another school! See you never! Luz, let's go, mija. “
Luz stood quickly in her mother's footsteps, not remembering the last time she had seen her so angry.
“¡Viejo arrematao ta’ todo atronao y es todo un bolsa!” concluded Camila, leaving with her head held high and with Luz very surprised by her mother's words. For her own good, she was not going to question her mother's vocabulary for now.
Translation of what Camila said at the end:
This old man is crazy as hell! He's nuts and fool!
Thanks for all your supportive comments! Thanks to you, I continued translating my story.
I promise more action for the next chapter! Please tell me if you like it and if you have found any grammatical errors!
Have a nice day!