There are two rows of desk in the classroom, along the left and right walls. The chalkboard at the front is currently empty. The good children sit on the right side of the classroom, and the bad are on the left.
You could tell which is the bad side from the way the children are behaving. Some of them are standing on their chairs or desks and dancing. They are throwing things and laughing. They are screaming. The good children remain seated and stare straight ahead, waiting for the teacher.
The walls beside each short row are papered with pictures of children, almost identical to the real children beside them.The wallpaper on the good side of the classroom is still and quiet. The wallpaper on the bad side, though it is quiet, is not still. The wallpaper children are dancing and laughing and screaming just like their live counterparts.
I am one of the good children. We have brown eyes. The bad ones have purple eyes, and when they look at you, you always know.
I had a number of dreams about the classroom and the moving wallpaper when I was little. In the early dreams I sat on the good kids’ side and minded my own business but I could see the bad kids’ wallpaper out of the corner of my eye. The wallpaper people would dance and taunt me. I’m pretty sure they were painted in ’80s colours. I love ’80s colours.
I don’t love sentient wallpaper.
The last dream I had in the series took place in a car, I think; I remember being in the passenger seat and someone was driving. There was a long road and trees.
My eyes hurt terribly, and I think I’m screaming but I’m not sure. The person beside me is trying to comfort me, but there’s nothing they can say that will make it better. I start to cry. The pain is unbearable.
I see my nemesis, the leader of the bad kids. She’s looking at her hands, and i think she’s crying too. She holds up her hand, and one of her purple eyes is in her palm. One of her eyes is brown now. My eyes are burning.
When I look up, I know that both of my eyes are purple. I’m one of the bad children now. I’ll have to switch seats with the other girl. I can’t imagine what she’ll be like now that she’s nice; I can’t imagine what I’ll be like now that I’m not.
Apparently I was so terrified of breaking rules as a kid that I had nightmares about what would happen if I did. I can imagine parents using my nightmares as a deterrent: “Jimmy, if you don’t behave, your eyeballs will fall out of your face! And the dog will eat them!”
Purple eyes would probably be cooler than the brown ones, though.