THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 254

Food for Thought

What could Lindsey possibly want
in the school’s long-forgotten
storage room?
I could not imagine the school holding
anything of real value
(unless it was sentimental value).
I strained my memory
for anything else
that might stir up another reason
for Lindsey to have that key.
She might have stolen it
from a janitor or someone else.
But I could not imagine anyone
(especially not Lindsey)
being brave enough
to steal a key
from our creepy Boogeyman
janitor.
I started to put away the archives,
waiting for all this food for thought
to digest,
come together in my head,
and make sense.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 253

Storage (Reprise)

I remembered going into the school’s storage room
at the beginning of the year
and looking at all those boxes of yearbooks stacked up so high,
covered in dust,
the years on their spines
moving from 1945 to the present…
I shut my eyes and tried to recall
every detail of the room:
the dingy window punctured with a beam of daylight,
chairs and desks red with rust, etched with graffiti,
and the door to the building…
unlocked.
The door had been marked with an S
for “storage”—
and so had Lindsey’s key.
That same spiky S…
is this coincidence?

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 252

Yearbooks

Time seemed to slow
as I turned through pages upon pages
of the archives,
in search of one small clue
that might lead me to understanding.
I found my middle school yearbook
hidden among all those scattered papers
and flipped through it.
There was Gary, grinning as usual,
his hair discombobulated.
And my ex-crush,
unsmiling and somber.
Even Lindsey was there,
long earrings hanging halfway down her neck,
makeup smudged,
eyes caught in mid-blink.
We did not look that different at all.
My elementary school yearbook
lay in a corner collecting dust,
but I did not pick it up
because I had realized.

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