Fuyu jumped out of her seat drenched in a cold sweat. Her chest feeling as though it could burst at any second. She was excessively panting, and the pounding of her heart felt like dumbbells beating against her sternum. She could clearly remember everything that’d just happened. She could picture it as if she was an audience to her own film set on replay. That memory, that feeling of desolation moments before touching the hands of death, the images imprinted into her head. It wasn’t just some horrible dream… that was for damn sure, because straight in front of her was a chalkboard stretching across the wall; and on it were the words,
She was still stuck in this godforsaken place. She couldn’t understand what the hell was happening.
She stared straight at the chalkboard, nearly losing her mind thinking about everything she remembered. The obvious thing to do would be to assume that none of it was real, but for some reason she lacked the acute rationality that would force her to deny that she could have died just moments ago, but yet be awake and virtually unscathed a blink later. She could still feel that instant the chandelier made contact. It was as if her body remembered every last millisecond. Every last sensation. Every last cry for help that materialized in the back of her mind but never had the chance to be verbalized.
She leaned over towards the window and took a peek outside. Just as she expected, things were just… off.
She knew she had to do it eventually, so she felt it best that she mustered up enough strength to make her way over to the door. She stood in front of it for a moment as she pointlessly tried to grip her fear and calm her nerves. Eventually she managed to work her way to the handle and slide the door open. She didn’t know what to expect, but regardless she knew there was no scenario that could truly give her a peace of mind other than opening that door to her old school and reality.
As the door slid open there was no mistaking it. She was not back in her old school. She was still stuck in this strange world.
Fuyu stepped forward with her eyes fixated on the floor just in front of her. There wasn’t a body left behind, not even a drip of blood. And as she looked upwards, she noticed that the same chandelier had found itself right back where it started. Barely hanging on to a thin wire.
She slowly backed away from the door as the recollection of once standing in that same location began to dig its claws into her skin. The memory was so vivid it felt like it could materialize right in front of her. She tumbled back, collapsing into a chair, and stared straight out at the hallway with a blank gaze.
She filed through numerous thoughts. Multiple attempts at reasoning with what was going on around her. Various questions posed with paper thin answers slapped on top to try and keep herself from diving headfirst into insanity. All of it seemingly futile, but with one question lingering the most.
Who wrote the message on the board?
The question focused her enough that she was finally able to break free from all the other useless rambling that had been going on, paving the way for her to remember one simple piece of information.
Fuyu began to feel that same rush of relief as she did before. She always stashed her phone inside of her desk, rummaging through the internet during class while the teacher stood up front breathing hot air into the ears of anyone who would listen. Now, she just needed to get to it.
She took one last glance at the board when a sudden thud stiffened her joints and held her motionless where she stood. She set her sights upon the doorway.
The one thing she wanted to see the least was standing right outside the classroom.
As the other the person, that could only be best described as a reflection of herself, stared back into the classroom with her back firmly against the wall, Fuyu could sense everything that she was experiencing. All of her thoughts and everything she was feeling. It was the same thing that she had already went through. It was the exact same thing all over again.
Afraid of what would happen next as her mind raced a mile a minute, she frantically dashed towards the door and slid it shut. It was as if her body moved by instinct. She didn’t need much initiative to react; her body seemingly moving on its own. And it was this same lack of self-control that prevented her from opening that door again.
She simply braced herself for what would come next.
The sound struck her like needles. She shuttered her eyes and clasped her palms over her ears as she crouched down onto the floor. Too shaken to allow herself to accept what had just happened.
And then silence…
She opened her eyes and slowly lowered her arms. She gave herself a moment to breathe and tried to organize her scrambled thoughts. If she reappeared in her seat when it occurred the first time; then being in the position she’s in now, what could she expect to see left behind in that hallway?
She carefully stepped over to a window on the wall adjacent to the door. Leaning against a desk she slowly eased over and peeked out into the hallway. Slowly panning to her left until the space just in front of the doorway was visible.
On the floor, crushed beneath a mountain of glass was her own lifeless body. The blood had begun to spread out and seep into the cracks in between the floor panels. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she may have saw the body twitch ever so slightly.
She jumped back from the window. Her eyes bloodshot and her hand clasped over her mouth. As illogical as the whole situation was, it somehow began to feel all the more real. Fuyu then wasted no time darting to her seat and stuffing her hand into the desk. She fished around yearning for her last string of hope.
“Fuck it!” she exclaimed as she immediately turned towards the outside facing windows and attempted to open them.
At this point her only option was to leave the school by any means necessary, and with that being said, she grabbed the chair and smashed the window open. She peered outside and realized that she was on the third floor. Her actual class was located on the first. Another detail that she must have made slip past her earlier on. But now was not the time for second guessing, she needed to leave, and she needed to leave fast.
She snatched the window curtains and dragged it down. Tying them together, she managed to make a line long enough to safely get her down to the ground floor. She tied one end to the teachers desk up front as it was the heaviest and dragged it over towards the open window. Propping it up just beneath the windowsill as she tossed the other end of the line outside.
After a few tugs for confirmation, she carefully stepped through the opening and prepared herself to make her way down. As she peered below, a weird sense of vertigo shrouded over her. She grasped onto the curtains as tightly as possible and made no hesitation in continuing her descent.
As she approached the window below, the light escaping from the room piqued her curiosity. she peered inside and to her surprise she was looking directly at yet another “reflection” of herself. She was pacing around the chalkboard as if she was searching for something. The only thought that passed through Fuyu’s head was that if she was watching herself here, then was she bound to end up acting out that exact same scenario later on? She took a glanced down to the floor. Only a few more meters to go, but this time the view from below was coupled with a threatening aura. Nevertheless, her urge to flee was stronger than her need for answers or assurance, and she continued to climb her way down. The one thing she wanted to avoid the most was making eye contact with herself again.
Just as she cleared the second-floor window, now only a few feet above the window on the first, she suddenly felt herself become weightless, and started falling. A desperate cry escaped her mouth just before she hit the ground.
Her neck snapped under the mass of her body and she immediately went numb.
As her vision began to dissipate, she noticed something peeking out at her from the first-floor window.
Once again, she was looking at herself.