Compass Rose – WIP

This story takes place in the same universe as X Marks the Spot and will be my own take on a super hero universe. It will owe a little bit to the Wild Cards series of books. This is a WIP and is covered by the Creative Commons License below.

I heard the screaming as I left the school by its back door. There was no way for me to resist going to check it out. It was a scream of abject terror in a high pitched boy’s voice. Such screams had torn from my own throat on more than one occasion. I cursed the decision to wear the long gypsy like skirts today. As cute as I think I looked in them, they got in the way of an all out run. Still, I pushed my body as hard as I could.

The playground was only a few dozen yards away. School was out for the day and the kids in lower grades should all be on their buses and well on their way home. Older kids like me might still be around, but it would be for organized after school activities, not for random play or climbing monkey bars. Most eighth graders believed themselves to be above such pursuits, even though swinging was the closest thing to flying that any of us would achieve.

In spite of my skirts and the non-sensible, but lovely sandals Mom had given me, I got to the fenced in playground in good time. A couple of my classmates, Ben a tall blond that I thought was the handsomest boy in Mr. Lester’s biology class, and Jackson a bullying ginger that had been my terror since third grade, stood over the prone body of someone much smaller than they were. I saw Jackson fetch one more kick at him as I ran up.

“Get off of him.” I shouted. My voice picked that instant to crack.

The pair looked up from their victim. Ben had the decency to look guilty. Jackson just looked annoyed at the interruption. “Well, well if it isn’t Ross the busybody.”

“It’s Rose, you moron.” Getting most people to acknowledge my new name had been difficult to say the least. People like Jackson probably never would. “Now, what are you doing to…” I looked at the ground and was shocked to see Dawn. She was a sixth grader I had taken under my wing. Still a tomboy, she came to me a few times about the way I dressed and we talked a lot about choices. I saw a thread of bright blood trickling down her upper lip.

I’d often heard of people seeing scarlet when they were angry. I thought it was just a figure of speech until that day. I planted both of my hands on the short fence and somehow made it over without getting caught. It was one of the few times I was grateful for the testosterone I had raging through my system. My first target wasn’t either of the two bullies, though. I went to my friend and knelt by her.

She opened her eyes and scrubbed at them with her bright green sleeve. She had been crying for a long time if the redness was any indication. “Rose?” Her voice was thick with snot.

“It’s okay, sweetie. I’m here. We’re going to get you some help. Just lay still for a few minutes.” I stood, not coming anywhere close to either boys’ height. “So, what’s going on here. You guys run out of things to pull the wings off of?”

Creative Commons License
Here There Be Dragons by Scott Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at


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