Gray (by Konstantin Träber, W12a)

„Casey… Casey, wake up Casey!“ I slowly opened my eyes and stared at the grey ceiling. „There`s no need to scream…it`s not even that late yet..“, I mumbled while trying to get out of bed, still sleepdrunk and confused as to why such a commotion in the early morning would be necessary. „Haven`t you heard the announcement?! All students have to meet up in the gym in 5min.“, my dormmate Sarah said, looking at me like I was a little child who you have to explain everything to. „Hurry up, you know what`ll happen if you`re late.“ I got out of bed and dressed myself quickly before hurrying to the gym. We arrived panting and took our places, everyone else seems to be here already. I looked around, feeling the same numbness as usual, everyone is wearing their grey uniforms, everyone is looking forward with a cold glare. „Students of Hope`s Peak High“ As soon as I heard these words my head snapped to the stage, my eyes were glued to the person standing there, a tall man wearing a grey military uniform and a fitting beret. His gaze wandered around the gym as he continued his speech. „You shall now recite the pledge you have sworn to the Great Empire of Britannia“  I pledge Allegiance to the flag, of the Great Empire of Britannia, and to the Army which fights for it, one nation under the Great Emperor, indivisible, with Doom awaiting all its foes. These words echoed through the hall as hundreds of voices spoke up, making it seem like a chant. A pressuring silence followed, I tensed up not knowing what to expect next. Why was there a morning assembly? Did something happen? There were dozens of questions in my head and I could answer none. My train of thought was suddenly interrupted by the headmaster`s overwhelming voice. „There have been rumors about some hooligan going around who is destroying school property. Hereby I shall declare that whoever does this will feel the consequences. Dismissed.“ With these words everyone turned around to go to their respective classes but I could only think about what I`ve just heard. What are these consequences? What will happen to them? These thoughts haunted me all day, even during class. In the evening I returned to the dormitory and my room in which Sarah was already waiting for me. „You don`t look so good, are you okay?“ „I`m just tired, it is nothing“ I replied while laying down on the bed. Shortly later I fell asleep. Nightmares plagued me all night, I heard screams of agony and saw a figure in the grey fog, I couldn`t make out who it was. The only thing I could see is that they were suffering. I woke up and looked around. No person, No screams, everything seems to be okay. I got up and looked out of the window at the silver moon as I saw the silhouette of a person standing near the main building`s walls, slightly illuminated by the stars above. A strange feeling overcame me as I saw that person. I had to know who it is. Going out at nighttime is strictly forbidden, why would they be there. I made a decision, one I couldn`t take back. I went out myself, my grey nightgown flutters in the light breeze and I felt the cold, wet grass touch my bare soles. It was something I have never experienced before, why weren`t we allowed to go out and experience this? I walked quickly, a wide smile on my face, I felt like a child again, free and without any worries. I got closer and closer to the main building, closer and closer to the silhouette. They didn`t seem to notice me at first but after a while it seemed like they waited for me to finally arrive. „You are asking yourself why I didn`t try to hide, aren`t you?“ The melodious voice of a young man reached my ears, it was unlike everything I`ve ever heard. It was full of emotion and the one most prominent was joy. „You don`t seem like the others Casey, you seem to think. This school is not what it seems to be. Try to remember how you even wound up going here. Did you want to go here? No, you were scouted by the school itself. Just like all the others here, all of them were like you when they came here. But… they changed, the school changed them. And the ones who wouldn`t end up here.“ He kicked the wall near the ground. „You`ve asked yourself what would happen to the hooligan, or rather the awakened one, right? The headmaster would put me in there with the others, just because I wouldn`t obey.“ I stood there in shock. „You are the hooligan?! And what do you mean by the school changes people?! And how do you know all this?“ He turned around and quietly answered „I am the awakened one and the school tries to make us obey, make us controllable. I remembered it, all of it, and soon will you.“ He slowly disappeared into the darkness of the night, leaving me with even more questions as I headed back to my room. As soon as I opened the door Sarah started screaming „Where have you been Casey?!“ „´I`ve just been to the toilet, calm down.“ „And why are your feet all wet and covered in grass then?! You… You are the hooligan!!“ She jumped at me and pushed me down, the commotion seemed to have woken up the other students as one door after another opened and sleepy faces looked around, confused as to why there`s an uproar. „She`s the hooligan!!! Casey`s the hooligan!!“ She looked like a maniac, sitting on top of me, her eyes filled with insanity. More and more people pushed me down, I couldn`t move anymore, barely even breath as someone sat down on my chest. They joined Sarah in her chanting, it seemed like the walls vibrated, everyone yelling in unison was a fierce sight, you could easily mistake it for a cult performing a ritual. I lost consciousness as someone kicked me in the head and woke up bound to a chair, an enormous man standing in front of me, his eyes filled with rage and sparking with hatred. „So you are the person who thinks they can destroy school property, hm?“ he said in a devilishly sweet voice. „I don`t know what you`re ta…“ He kicked me in the chest and the chair fell over, all of the air in my lungs was pressed out at once. „Don`t you even try to pretend not to know what I`m talking about. I know you`re related to him. Scum like you is the reason the Empire`s flourish is not as great as it could be, for having to build schools like this. Tell me where he is.“ He pulls out a gun and points it at me. „Or I will have to force you to.“ „I don`t know where he is hiding sir.“ „Wrong answer.“ He said coldly, before he pulled the trigger. My ears ringed as the shot hit the ground right next to my head and it felt like my whole worldview broke down. This bastard shot at me… his own student! I struggled to get up but I couldn`t due to me being bound to the chair by rope. The headmaster grabbed me by the collar and picked me up, lifting his face near his. „The next bullet will pierce your hear, I can promise you that. Where. Is. He. Where is Noah?!“ I smirked as I answered. „I don`t know where he is and even if I would, I wouldn`t tell you. You can`t try to change us and expect no resistance.“ He snapped as he heard me say that and threw me against the wall, the chair shattered, wooden splinters were flying around everywhere. The headmaster was standing in front of me, looking at me like I was Satan himself, his gun pointed right at me, at my heart. A piercing pain ran through my chest as the bullet collided with my heart, ripping through my entire chest. I looked at him coughing up blood. „You might`ve stopped me but you can`t stop him.“ My vision went blank afterwards, the grey I`ve seen all my school life turned to white.