By: Natalie Margasak 284 (Lost Lavatory Loiterer) and Georgia Wahl 284 (Stressed Stall Sitter)
Students often seek refuge from the hectic halls of Central in one of its many bathroom stalls. They offer an escape from the din of the lunchroom, a relief from the drone of your teacher, and a space to release more than just your emotions after a particularly stressful test. But if in a moment of serene stillness, the motion sensor lights click, and with your next movement, the illuminated world around you, is no longer your own.
The light buzzes brighter, and there is a new smell. The color around you has changed to a place and disgusting tone of what was there before. The ground is wet, and water is absorbed into your shoes. You reach for the toilet paper, alarmed, wanting to leave the stall but the roll is empty. You waddle up to the sink, and the faucet produces only huge bombing noises, feeding ice cold water into the palms of your hands. Though not out of the norm for Central sothing feels odd.
Outside the bathroom, the whole school smells strongly of chicken nuggets and lunchroom musts. The ceiling tiles are disintegrating, and little white flakes are rising down, it looks straight out of Stranger Things. The hallways, as you know them, are gone, you have no-clipped into Centrals Backrooms.
Trapped in an infinite maze of maroon lockers and floor puddles, your head buzzes under the harsh fluorescent lighting. The hallways are crowded and you can barely move. You push through and try to make it back to class, thinking the prior period may have just gotten to you, but no; you stand behind a couple holding hands, taking their leisurely time. You scootch to the side, to pass them, but are blocked by a posse of students, wolfing down soggy school green beans that slop juice onto the floor. On the other side, is a huge cart of textbooks being pushed against the grain of traffic. There is no way through. You turn around. You try yelling and tapping people on their shoulders, but it’s ineffective. No one can hear you, see you, or feel you.
You are alone. Your suspicions are confirmed, they are all NPC’s. Weird noises grow louder, coming from the intercom, and pounding noises from the heaters become more dramatic than usual, like someone is trapped inside, banging to escape. As your panic starts to set in, you scan the halls for some sort of escape. At the far end of the hall are three big doors. Unsure what could happen at any moment, you run as fast as you can to them, dodging student and teacher obstacles. You pull on the doors, urging them to open, but nothing happens. In a connecting hallway, you see a set of illuminated doors, but they are far, and the hall is dark with dim lighting. You ask yourself: Is it worth the risk? What if they are also locked? With hesitation, you take the chance.
To your surprise, they open, but they feed back into a reflection of the hallway you just ran through. Quickly, you grasp that there is no escape. Being trapped in high school forever, a nightmare to many, is reality for select Central students. So next time, think twice before you sit down to let it all out.