In The Dark

Achlys Boarding School seems like a just an ordinary school (with maybe a few exceptions). Yet looks can be deceiving...

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2. The Gate


“Do you think this makes me look fat?”

The petty remarks of my friend Aria floated into my brain like loose tendrils of smoke. She’s recently picked up a habit of casually throwing remarks about her appearance that are meant to sound off hand, yet I know that they were a lot more that off-hand to her, so I replied with one from my array of well-rehearsed answer.

“Of course not Aria- you look perfect just the way you are.”

She gave me an exasperated look in answer for my extremely cliché, monotone answer, and went back to anxiously smoothing down the pleats on her school skirt.  I dropped my history textbook I was attempting to read on my bed and glanced at the luminous clock on my bedside table. It read 6:15. I still had fifteen minutes until dinner and I couldn’t stay cooped up, struggling to study while having to be tormented by my self-conscious friend. I hopped out of my bed and decided to take a relaxing (and maybe slightly rule-breaking) stroll through the grounds of the school. I slipped out of the heavy wooden door while giving a sigh of relief as I breathed in the cool air of twilight. The grounds had an eerie glow to it; the bright moon dappled an unearthly light on the smooth branches of the naked tree branches, making it seem like something from another planet. Loose pieces of my hair swayed in unison with the grass as a gentle breeze playing across my face, and I pulled my school blazer closer to me. I slowly skirted the edge of the field and passed an ugly wooden sign that always seemed out of place, with Achlys School for the Bereaved stated in pristine bold letters. I carried on until I reached an inevitable stop. The metal giant towered above me, complete with evil looking barbed spikes at the top. The gate caged us in like dangerous wild animals, making us unable to be released into the wild. A formidable sign stating ‘DANGER: RISK OF DEATH’ was situated in clear view so that no person could ever be as stupid as to try and scale it. Though sometimes I wonder if I’d ever be stupid enough to climb it, just so I could escape. They claim that it’s for our own safety. I think it’s like being trapped in a prison.

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