Crisis Averted? (Satire)

Shaker Heights High School students facing unforeseen after-effects following some particularly strange circumstances

On Wednesday, Sept. 28, a threat was made against the high school. Days later, we are still living with some interesting side effects.  As a reporter for The Shakerite, I feel it is my duty to attempt to chronicle the events and results of this fateful day. 

I arrived at the high school around 8:20 a.m. At approximately 8:27, the fire alarm voiced itself in a shriek resembling the octave in which a gerbil squeals. Those who attend this fine establishment may recall that the fire alarm has been set off twice in the last month, despite the absence of actual fire. Most simply assumed this was another quirky little mishap until we were herded like wildebeests onto the turf field. Why most students did not exit the grounds remains a mystery. Investigators suspect they were compelled by the possibility of private-story worthy content. More on this later, as several psychologists are contemplating studying this strange phenomenon with an experiment. Sign-up sheets to become a participant will be posted in the egress. 

By this time, I, along with many others, had learned that our school was under threat. Several students, staff, and faculty grew worried as they quickly realized that we would be under the speculation of local news sources–and on animal print day. Luckily, I had left my zebra onesie at home. Students began migrating across the field in search of a prime spot near the watering holes,—sorry I meant exits—seeking out their packs,— Ahem, their friend groups— and discussing how best to mark their territory. Tensions were high, as the scene resembled something of those ecosystem pictures from an eighth-grade science textbook.

Flash forward about half an hour, things have calmed down. At this point, I had made the long trek from the 50 to 75-yard line, in a journey rivaling that of a goose flying south to warmer weather. There, I joined a small reading circle where we discussed the poor timing of the threat Seriously, it couldn’t wait until an odd day? A few meters away, a wee, elite group of students began inducting a chosen few into their newly-formed cult. The initiation activity was a game of “Down By the Banks.” For legal reasons I am not aware of this because I am not a member. Following a short meeting, the group disbanded, agreeing to meet on alternate Wednesdays henceforth. 

Soon, we were forced to accept the fact that we could be there for days, but we did not give up. In the time spent on the field, we formed several societies with intricate customs and political hierarchies. One such collective developed a kind of  Olympics revolving around a game of pseudo-football in which the ball was replaced by a shoe. Another functioned around consulting Uno cards as an oracle of sorts which they believed to be connected to a great god. Some of you may have noticed a helicopter circling ‘round the stadium and assumed it was connected to the police to ensure our safety. In reality, it was sent from a team of well-known anthropologists attempting to record our new world. 

After what seemed like hours, students were allowed to begin leaving the turf and return to their homes (with parental permission). There were tearful good-byes as they departed from their newly-established tribes. Many promised to visit, but they never returned.

About an hour later, much of my clan had departed from the turf. Looking around, I realized this was the case for many. Individuals were forced to begin living as nomadic people, traveling across the wide country of the green and white football field. Realizing this, a small group of teachers made the pilgrimage to the sacred Land of Speakers hoping to unite our people through song and dance. A short time later, we were informed that the threat was resolved. A few brave souls re-entered the building. I, however, was unable to. I returned home weak and weary.

Days later, Shaker students have returned to these hallowed halls. Our esteemed principal addressed the threat against us in a beautiful and eloquently worded email, but I believe this is the least of our concerns. What of those left behind by broken societies and disbanded communities? Shaker, this is a call to action. We must tell our stories. This is only the beginning.

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