Graphic by Conor McCormick '18
The loud bang. The sound echoes from the stairwell that leads to the first floor. A part of me really wants to find out the source of this loud crash. Another part of me screams that it is not worth it, just leave. I continue down the hallway. As I pass the familiar sights, I look into each individual room. They look like my teachers’ rooms…but dingier. I turn the corner and start down the same hallway I just left. Wait. What? I look in the room I left 10 minutes ago. I shiver at the thought that this place could be my Oblivion plane; I will forever roam these hallways, this abandoned carcass of a school. I keep walking and walking. I don’t know what else to do.
I finally turn the corner and see something different. The stairs. I get to the stairs and clutched the railing. I feel a rush of adrenaline flow through my body as I take the first step. But it is an odd feeling, as if the adrenaline is cold as ice. I feel my pocket for the piece of flint wrapped in paper. I take a deep breath and continue. I make it to the bottom and turn right. Another hallway. I walk past the rooms, looking inside. This hallway is much different. The paint is peeling back to reveal dirty stained drywall everywhere. The floor is littered with wood shavings, slivers of metal, and dirt. The classrooms look like they haven’t seen a human in years.
I get glimpses of times when I was happy. Sharing my peanut butter and jelly with Cameron in front of the locker bay at lunch. Everyone laughing in History class at something Mr. Jones said. The flashes of memory stop and deep feelings of despair start to seep in. It gets colder and colder. I get to a crossroads in the hallway, I can go left to go outside. I look in that direction only to see what might be outside. All I can see are branches from a near by tree and a little bit of the road. The rest is a thick mist. I want to go outside to see what might be behind the mist, but the mist is intimidating and out of place; its never changing, like a silent guard. I hear the loud bang to the right. My decision is made. I take a right and head down the hallway to where the sound might have come from. There is an odd outdoor lamp post just sticking out of the ceiling like it belongs there. It looks like someone just pushed it through the upstairs floor. I keep looking at it. The low, yellow light is scarier than any horror movie. It makes this hall seem diseased. I finally get to the cafeteria and all of the tables are still in their place and most of them have the chairs hanging from the side. One table has some chairs pushed out and toppled over, like someone had pushed them away or bumped into them.
I find the noise. It is coming from the kitchen. It sounds like a Giant is putting metal pans and lids away and he doesn’t know where anything goes.I hesitate, but am too eager to see some sign of life. The quiet is scarier than whatever is behind those plastic swinging gray double doors.
I stick my head out just a little; my left eye is at the corner of the window in the door. I see the shadow of something against the wall. There are shards of thick broken bottle glass on the floor. Where have I seen that before? I think back to Mr. Fredrickson’s room. That is where I saw them.
I look up as the gray door hits the bridge of my nose and sends me flying back onto some chairs. I hear sniffling. Deep snotty sniffling. I fade out as I feel a shadow come across my plane of sight.