Ghostel

The school’s founding father was dead, but he still hated backbenchers. I wish I could scream and tell everyone, but if the backbenchers moved ahead, I might end up missing.

My name is Jordan, I am a student at The Trans-Allegheny School for troubled boys.
I am troubled by the force that makes us all disappear one-by-one, starting from the back. You see, troubled boys are neglected and kicked around; so if anyone goes missing, people breathe a sigh of relief.


In the past 15 months, people have breathed at least 23 sighs of relief.

I am one of the 150 boys who live in a dilapidated grey building. It was a house used to torture prisoners of war, renovated by our forefather to house young, neglected children. The underlying smell of singed hair and rotten chairs fitted with wires proved otherwise. But it’s not the chairs or burned hair that makes you stand in the middle of the room and scream at the top of your lungs; it is the painting of the founding father.

The founding father of the school was a “troubled” man himself. If the rumors were true, he used the school to lure adolescents and trapped them in the cellar till only hair remained. But, no one has ever found the cellar, so these are just rumors.

In the assembly, all the children sing hymns to pray to the Lord asking for protection; when it finishes, I am too scared to look behind me. I know that at least one of the backbencher’s hymn has been for naught. Every time a child stands at the back, his hymns drown out any sound of a scuffle, his eyes are closed. He fears the people ahead but has no living being behind him.


In the end, no one notices that an unhealthy, pale boy with dark circles bigger than their eyes has gone missing.
No one, except me, notices that the founding father’s grin in the painting widens, the hair on his head grows ever-so-slightly and the putrid smell of singed hair is disguised by myrrh and incense sticks.

Joseph Ducreux - Self-portrait in Surprise and Terror (1791) | Dark art  paintings, Art painting, Portrait art

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