Chapter 5:

Attempt: 5

Whispering: Corridors

     Fuyu clasped her hand over her eye frenetically. Bobbing back and forth as the world started to tip upside down. She repeatedly clenched the palm of her hand, grappling for the glass shard jutting from her eye. Flailing around in a panic. Bookmark here

…Silence…Bookmark here

     No blood. No glass. No pain. Seated at her desk she saw that same familiar sight before her. Yet again, her world had reset itself. The calm that wafted over her felt coated with the lick of cynicism. The graze of insanity.Bookmark here

She fondly remembered the words that she muttered to herself before taking her own life. Bookmark here

“Try again” Bookmark here

Why did she say it? What could it mean? Bookmark here

     She took a look out the window and confirmed that she was three floors up. Retracing her steps, she walked outside the classroom, down to the main lobby and through the large double doors. Not a polaroid in sight. Straight path down the hall directly leading to another set of large double doors. Step through, doors shut, look forward. Step for step, movement for movement. She ended up right where she wanted. Standing in front of class 6-2. Turn around, step through the same doors once again. Same result.Bookmark here

     She stepped inside the classroom and peered out the window once more. Still 3 floors up. One thing, however, was different. Bookmark here

The chalk board was clear.Bookmark here

     She analyzed it carefully. Every angle, every corner, every crevice. She grazed her hand over its surface. What does it feel like? Is it cold to the touch? Is it warm? Does it feel different than the temperature in the room? Does it seem out of place? Every possible question she could think of she added to the list and tirelessly searched for an answer. All amounting to nothing.Bookmark here

     But one thing in particular was missing. One of the most expected objects was nonexistent. Chalk. Bookmark here

     She began searching the classroom up and down. “Chalk… where is the chalk?” She asked herself. “How could there possibly be no chalk?” Answering the ‘anomaly’ became almost an obsession of hers. Bookmark here

"If I’m causing everything that I see to happen, then I must have written that message as well. But why?"Bookmark here

     She continued scrutinizing the entire room. “Am I missing something?” Bookmark here

“Try again” Bookmark here

“Try again” Bookmark here

“Try again” Bookmark here

     She repeated the words and played the moment continually in her head. Trying to draw meaning from it all.Bookmark here

Crack!Bookmark here

     She allowed the recall of her head crashing down into the mirror to slip through and throw her composure off balance; but it wasn’t until a desperate scream resounded through the room that her body began to sink. She turned towards the window where the painful sound had come from.Bookmark here

A curtain slipped past the window as it fell towards the ground.Bookmark here

     Her angst began to get the best of her once again. She knew exactly which moment she was currently experiencing. Depression dug its claws deep within and laid its roots in to the furthest cavities of her mind. She let herself slip down into her conscience and for a moment the world just seemed to go blank.Bookmark here

     Where is the hidden string? The underlying connection. Where does it start? How far until I reach the end? Bookmark here

Polaroid films… Bookmark here

     The only evidence that she may not be the only one was gone, and as she turned towards the doorway the same narrative continued. The photo of herself was also not there… at least not yet. Bookmark here

     She stared up at the clock and made a mental note of the time. 5:42pm.Bookmark here

     With one final glance into the classroom she made off down the hallway once again. This time around, intent on traveling to different areas of the school. Bookmark here

     Unfortunately, her optimism may have been misplaced. Bookmark here

     Every door she passed through landed her right back in front of the classroom. Every staircase she ascended or descended ended her right back in the hallway leading to the classroom.Bookmark here

     She continued this routine endlessly before finally giving in. Her feet planted at the foot of the exact same classroom doorway.Bookmark here

     And with one peek at the clock she found something… intriguing. 5:42pm exactly. Oddly, the time hadn’t changed.Bookmark here

“… What the fuck?”Bookmark here

     Her memories began to play themselves as if a projector in her head had been switched on against her will. Staring herself down in the bathroom mirror. The cracks in its glass like an off-tune music score being played with an unusual feeling of elegance. Like beauty found in ashes. Suddenly the words ‘try again’ started to sound clearer. Bookmark here

     The memories began to fade, and by her own will, she rushed towards the window and took a faithful leap to her death.Bookmark here

Ana Fowl
Nina Kamiya
You can resume reading from this paragraph.