The Secret Within These Walls

Author’s Note: This isn’t actually the story I promised in my previous post, but since it’s already done, why not post it here?

This story was written over a span of two days on my school’s examination pad when I had nothing to do after I finished my test papers.

Dear reader,

Before I continue, you must know that everything I am about to tell you is true, and most importantly, confidential. No one knows about our secret. No one except you.

If you are currently reading this piece of paper, you must be a new student about to enter a new school, and not just any school, but St. Lucia’s Girls’ Academy. I know how you must be feeling: proud and happy, to be able to get into such a prestigious school, a school hundreds of other girls are waiting in line to get into. That’s what all the other new girls think too.

But you have not been told the truth, and the truth is rarely kind.

The truth is, St. Lucia’s Girls’ Academy isn’t as ‘saintly’ or prestigious as it is made out to be.

You see, we harbour a secret.

Or rather, the secret has been living in our school for centuries now. And it isn’t a pretty one.

Outsiders often gape at our school in awe, envious and impressed of the multiple prominent titles it had procured over the years, contributed by the extremely talented and intelligent student body of St. Lucia’s. “We win at everything, we don’t accept defeat.” We live by our motto. “We stand tall while you retreat.

As a result, foreign students steer clear of our way, while parents do everything within their power to send their daughters to the most honourable school in town, hoping to see beautiful and successful phoenixes emerge from within their daughters in the future.

Yes, powerful people St. Lucia’s does produce. But what people are in the dark about are the deeper, darker secrets hidden within the walls of the school, as well as the Gone Wrongs. We call them Gone Wrongs because they indeed have gone wrong, in every aspect.

Let me just explain this by telling you a true tale:

There was once a girl named Josephine, affectionately called Jo by her friends. Her first day in St. Lucia’s Girls’ Academy was thrilling, because she finally got to see the clockworks of this renowned school. However, she did notice one thing: other than the new batch of girls that came in with her, no one in the school seemed genuinely happy. The few times she had enthusiastically tried to engage a teacher in a conversation to know more about the school, the teacher merely stared at her for a few seconds before rushing off with the excuse that she had forgotten to do something important. The same could be said about the rest of the student body and faculty. There was never any eye contact with one another.

Three months later, Jo had already forgotten what it was like when she first stepped into her new school. In fact, she rarely ever had time to even think. She was always so, so busy. Too busy for friends, too busy for interaction, even too busy to eat, because everytime she sat down for a short breather, a harsh and reprimanding voice would resound in her head, reminding her of her responsibilities and tasks she had yet to complete.

Three years later, Jo was the Head Prefect, President of the school’s Debate Club, Captain of the school’s Swimming Team, and first in class for every single test.

A month before her graduation, she was found dead in Beth Carlyle’s Ward For Psychiatric Patients.

The strange thing was, many people had expected her death much, much sooner.

At this point, I’m sure you’re not really comprehending what I’m trying to convey to you. Before you rip this letter into shreds and groan, “Sore loser,” please hear me out.

People need to know what truly lies within the bright red walls of St. Lucia’s, before more innocent girls meet their downfall in five years of insanity.

Are you still with me? I certainly hope so.

And now for another true story, but one that took place centuries ago. I am sure you are familiar with the name Lucia Morganstern, renowned for being the founder of none other than our school, St. Lucia’s Girls’ Academy itself. However, at the time, she wasn’t the only founder of a new school in town.

Lucia’s ex-husband, Gregory, built an all-boys institute just down the road where St. Lucia’s was. Never heard of such an institute? That’s because it was burnt down three years after its founding, the same year St. Lucia’s Girls’ Academy rose to power. There wasn’t a single trophy in town that didn’t bear the name of Lucia’s beloved school. And Gregory’s Institute For Boys was forgotten just like that, gone with the wind, the very same one that blew away the ashes of the burnt institute and the dead victims who had perished in it.

No one really knew the cause of the fire, but Lucia did, and so did all of her students.

You see, when her ex-husband made an offhand comment that “Gregory’s Institute will be the best!” Lucia took it very seriously. Too seriously, in fact, that she took it to her head.

She wanted to be the best. All her life, everything she did was about being the best. She couldn’t and wouldn’t settle for anything less.

And so that’s when she made a deal with the Devil.

Witchcraft and other dealings with the occult world weren’t well-known back then, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. Unhinged and constantly feeling threatened by competition, Lucia went to meet with a shaman of her own accord. She asked for the best and most everlasting remedy, and then she confessed her desire, “My school, St. Lucia’s Girls’ Academy, will be the best, forever.” And when she left the shaman’s hut, she had no idea at all what the shaman had done to her.

He had sold Lucia’s soul to the Devil.

Hence, Lucia’s wish came true. St. Lucia’s Girls’ Academy rose to fame very quickly despite it being a new school, and her students worked hard, down to the bone. It had been that way for three years, and doubled in immensity following the burning down of Gregory’s Institute For Boys.

Despite the fact that St. Lucia’s power over the ‘throne’ eliminated all possible competition, Lucia wasn’t one to forgive nor forget. You can say she suffered from extreme paranoia because after three years of thinking that her ex-husband was still out to get her, she finally decided on arson, killing her former lover and all his students in one go.

Many students thought that it was finally over, the race to beat the rival was finally and absolutely over, and truth be told, Lucia thought so too, but she had underestimated the power of words, especially when it came to dealings with the supernatural universe. The next day, she was found hanged in her room, with the world ‘SOLD’ smeared on her forehead with blood, blood that dripped down from her left wrist which was cut open.

We can still hear her sometimes, roaming the corridors of her school.

Following the arson incident and Lucia’s death, yet again, the students thought the worst was over, but they were wrong. Just like Lucia’s ghost, the curse of ‘being the best’ lingered, never faltering.

That was when the Gone Wrongs started to appear.

Seeing teachers drag shrieking girls out of classrooms was the norm every week. Seeing teachers drag other hysterical teachers out of the staff room wasn’t all that rare either.

However, as time passed by, the Gone Wrongs weren’t the only worries in St. Lucia’s, as a cult started to make its appearance in the school. These were the desperate ones, the ones who would go to extreme lengths to lessen the suffering, even worshiping the Devil. They were worse than the Gone Wrongs. Eventually, they came to a conclusion that something must be done to appease the Devil, so they initiated the Sacrifice Ritual.

Every month, top students in each class were whisked away from their beds in their dorms in the middle of the night for the Ritual. It was said that the cult reckoned that the smartest souls ought to offer more in the Ritual. No one dared to intervene, fearing the cult more than the school itself sometimes. The victims would be tied by their hands to a long wooden pole and were forced to stand barefooted on hot charcoal while the cult members don on hideous masks (an interpretation of themselves being the Devil’s servants), chanting verses before cutting each victim’s palm with a knife for ‘Sacrificial Blood’. Then, the victims would be left alone just like that until the next morning.

The aftermath was horrible and messy, but there were always other girls who took pity in them and offered aid, simultaneously grateful that the bloody person tied to the pole wasn’t herself.

This practice remains very much alive to this day, unhindered and unopposed in any way.

Whenever I recall my years spent in St. Lucia’s, it never fails to amaze me how tough some of us are, actually, surviving the labyrinth and freeing ourselves of the curse, choosing the right path out instead of dying or going insane.

So, my dear girl, enter St. Lucia’s Girls’ Academy at your own risk, or better yet, don’t at all. Five years of stellar achievements is not worth the incredible pain and torture of enduring the secret within these walls.

You have never heard of anything that goes on within our school because anyone who spills this dark secret always ends up dead.

But I already am dead. And the world needs to know.

Jo.

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One thought on “The Secret Within These Walls

  1. Pingback: Note #1 « Careful Confessions

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