The Terra Legion (Draft)
She should have been freezing, but she wasn't.
It wasn't like it was uncommon for her, this weird tolerance to the cold. She'd been warm as long as she could remember. Physically warm, specifically. Her mental state was an entirely different situation; what, with all the nightmares that she could never remember and the trust issues that came out of nowhere. Well, not exactly out of nowhere. The foster system and public school hadn't exactly helped her know how to talk to people. Which was why, as she stepped out of the November air and onto the public bus, she kept her mouth shut and her eyes on her feet. She was relieved when she made it to a seat without being spoken to. She liked letting her mind drift on the bus.
Most of the people there looked cold. They rubbed their hands together and clutched coffee cups like it was the end of the world and not a causal Monday morning in Detroit, Michigan. Wait, that wasn't fair. She shouldn't judge these strangers and their poor cold tolerance when they didn't spare a glance at her.
Her. Minerva Anne Martin. It was Martin at the moment, but she didn't like that surname. Minnie found that she didn't like last names that started with the same letter as the first name of the person it belonged to. She knew it was a stupid thing to dislike, but it did make another addition to her list. She had kept her lists for as long as she could remember, though that wasn't very far back. She supposed it had started back when she was put into the foster system, when she was found wandering about an open field in the middle of rural Michigan, covered in bruises and burn marks, a stranded eight-year-old with no idea who she was beyond her first name. Back then she would record her life frantically, writing down everything and anything in case she ever forgot again. Over the years she grew less frantic, but she still kept her lists in her head. Notes on things she liked, disliked, felt neutral about. Things that she was good at, things that mocked her when she failed, and things that made up her nightmares. She tended to keep that last list to herself.
Currently, she was constructing a list of things she disliked, in order from most hated to mildly annoying, although she preferred to read off her lists backwards. A bit pessimistic and bitter, yes, but it's not like she had much else to do. The route to her school was almost thirty minutes long with forgiving traffic. Her list looked something like this at the moment:
6. Her foster home. It was much better that the last two, but her foster "parents" barely even cared to spare a glance at their biological child, much less Minnie herself. Why they agreed to foster her was a mystery, but her best guess was that they simply needed someone around the house to look after their daughter, Hope, as they were apparently too busy.
5. School. Not to sound like an angsty teen coming-of-age movie protagonist, but school was awful. Nobody even looked at her there, which may have been a good thing in the long run, but god, it sucked in the moment. Schoolwork itself wasn't too much of a problem, except for math class, but it's not like that helped at all. She was lonely, though she would never admit to thinking that. The worst part of all of it was;
4. The school counselor. Mr. Wyatt. Minnie had weekly meetings with him set up after missing class because she'd had a panic attack on the first day of school. She was sure that the counselor was trying his best, but he was always trying to get her to talk about her "childhood trauma" and she didn't know how to break it to him that she didn't remember anything from before the age of eight. He was nice enough, he just wasn't someone Minnie could trust. She usually ended up lying through her teeth and pretending like nothing was wrong. Lying to Mr. Wyatt was the part she hated the most.
3. Cops. When a few officers found her in that field and one tried to grab her, it had freaked her out. She didn't exactly know why, but she was just... instinctively wary and tense around any sort of officer. Even security guards set her on edge. It almost felt like a reflex to avoid them.
2. The open ocean. The fact that so much of the ocean remained unexplored meant that there was a lot of potential for horrifying things to be lurking around. But honestly, the real reason she was so afraid pf the ocean was that one of her recurring nightmares was about drowning there. She would dream that her head was far underwater and to every side of her there was nothing but empty water. She'd swim for the surface, but every time she got there, she was shoved back. It always ended the same way; she'd finally push her head out of the water and breathe and cough, only to look around and see a large bucket of water beneath her instead of the ocean she thought she was in. Yeah... drowning was something she'd rather avoid.
1. Her body. She knew how that sounded, and she knew about the way others hated themselves. They thought that they were too fat or ugly, but for Minnie it was different. She hated herself in the normal way, sure, but she despised the burn scars scattered around her skin. She detested the smaller, straight scars that looked like old cuts. And, with all her heart, Minnie loathed the tattoo on the back of her left shoulder. It read "0117" in faded black ink. She hated all of those marks because she remembered none of them. She'd been found like this; covered in scars and fresh burns, with the tattoo in place on her back. To Minnie, her body was a taunt. A hint at whatever she'd had before... well, before. A clue to a question that only served to disorient her; who had she been?
She felt a little colder now.
The bus came to a stop just as her train of thought went off the tracks, giving her something else to focus on for a moment. She was the first to exit the bus, as usual, and made sure to keep her distance from the four or five other kids who took her bus route to school. Vega-Leon Public High's courtyard was wide in the front, with the massive, frosted-over football field to the left and the parking lot to the right. The school itself was massive and old, with gray bricks making up most of the walls and door frames painted in the school's colors; red, gold, and navy blue. Students wandered in the direction of the door, chatting and laughing in friend groups like they did every day.
It was a funny contradiction, really. Minnie was furiously jealous of all the other kids who actually managed to talk to people and have friends. She wanted that kind of social life. But she was terrified of trying, and not just because of anxiety. Mr.Wyatt had said she was probably afraid to get attached to anyone because she'd never stayed in one place for long enough to build lasting relationships. She would never admit that he was partially right, not even to herself.