The Horrors of High School


Carly Johnson, Author

Creative writing from Carly Johnson


The mirrors at school that distort your face and body. The constant stares of people. The intense workload like papers hung from ceiling to floor. The bright white screen that blares in your face every day. As you walk through the halls of the school that has haunted you for the past four years, you start to notice the internal drain on everyone’s faces. There’s not a single person who isn’t sleep deprived from the previous night of staying up until absurd hours striving to get an assignment done. They all kind of look like zombies, trudging around to their next class with absolutely no energy, almost lifeless. 

You try to keep your head up and continue about your day with as much optimism as possible despite the stiff atmosphere that sucks the air from your lungs every time you inhale. As you walk to the lunch hall you imagine a warm plate of food to liven you up for the remainder of the day. The hunched woman with the crumpled face glares through the steamed glass as she plops a balmy glob of what is supposed to resemble mac ‘n’ cheese upon your sectioned Styrofoam plate. The pungent smell of fake cheese rolls up your raggedy stained shirt into your nostrils. You can almost taste it, and that is enough for you. The sauce appears to have congealed around the hard noodles almost as if it had solidified from the time it left the crumpled woman’s ladle and hit your plate. You wince as you set it atop the already full garbage can. You want to feel hungry but nothing seems appetizing. You feel a drone of emptiness hit your stomach. 

You walk into the nearest smoke infested bathroom with about a million other zombies blocking your path. You make it to one of the mirrors after just about secondhand smoking six different kinds of flavored air. You wash your cold clammy hands in the dingy, dirty sinks that never seem to run long enough you look at yourself in the mirror. As you dry your hands on your shirt, because God forbid they actually put paper towels or working blow dryers in the bathrooms, you notice your lack of color. You see how frizzy your hair looks and the way the bags have deepened into the hollowness of your now pale skin. How you stand slumped over like a weight is chained to the back of your neck. The way you can’t seem to muster up the energy to correct your posture. 

You feel like sinking into the ground, but you come to realize that the ground is in fact covered in a sticky substance that peels from your shoe when you lift the weight of your foot from the ground. There’s a ball of someone’s tangled hair stuck to the floor, and within it a couple of bugs. You nearly gag but catch your reflection just before and then you truly gag. You look like a zombie. You are one of them. Dragging yourself from class to class, not even caring to be on time because at this point you’ve put so much of your time last night into finishing the assignment that you don’t feel the need to spend more of it listening to the teacher drone on and on about parabolas or whatever crap you’re supposed to retain that day. 

Your mind feels overworked. Like the way the machinery on a train runs too fast and smoke starts coming out of it. Or the way a 2005 Dell sounds after it’s been on for more than 10 minutes. You can feel the life falling out of you and eventually the skin seems to just slip off your body. Bone shows through your thin scraggly skin. You exit the mango vape cloud of the bathroom to find yourself moving in a slow trudge with the occasional limp. Your bones grind against each other with every sluggish step. Your lack of any sort of life or energy is completely diminished by the scarcity of any sort of natural light. Rather, the drain of the fluorescent lights illuminates the building from the ceiling wherever you step foot. 

You see others around you gnawing at their bones, striving for internal satisfaction but never quite achieving such as they continue to chomp away at what were once soulful, life filled bodies. Out of disgust you attempt to run away from these beasts but can’t help but move as if you were running up a mountain of sand. You don’t get far. A pit drills itself deep within you. You’re famished, and the only thing you can think to indulge in is the brittle bone of your forearm. You have absolutely no thoughts, only the lack of a soul. You stop yourself for just a moment. Looking at what you’ve become, you realize you’ve conformed to everyone around you. Disgusting, selfish and… you gasp, a sense of panic passing through your frail structure. You check for your pulse but it’s nowhere to be found. Apparently you’re lifeless too. If you aren’t already dead, you sure feel it.