TITLE: Being the Queen
GENRE: Middle Grade
As a superpower, invisibility is overrated, I thought, dodging a pair of eighth-grade boys in the under-lit hallway. When you’re invisible, you could get stampeded to death and no one would notice.
Not that I had a superpower or anything. I was just trying to survive getting to my first assembly of the year. I squeezed past a group of girls chatting in the middle of the hallway and took a deep breath.
I felt a little like I was drowning, swallowed up in a wash of bodies and noise. My swim teacher told me that everyone thinks drowning is noisy, full of splashing and cries for help. But that’s just Hollywood’s version. In real life, drowning is silent, almost invisible. One minute you’re treading water and then you’re gone.
That’s what invisibility feels like. That’s what junior high feels like, some days.
I shook myself, a swimmer heaving out of water onto land. I wasn’t going to think like this, not this year. This year was going to be different.
I stepped out of the stream of students and closed my eyes, desperate for the tiny lift I got by imagining myself somewhere else—somewhen else. I pictured myself as a knight, all golden and glittering. In my mind, I saw the bright arc of my sword as I saluted my king before riding off to fight dragons. The tight feeling in my chest eased.
Someone giggled beside me. My eyes flew open. Two girls stood near me, whispering and pointing. At me.