The Student News Site of Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School


The Student News Site of Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School



The halls are as empty as they were before I changed, so it’s not hard to sneak off to a door on the opposite end of the hallway. I’m not sure where I’m going, but it seems to be for the best that I go somewhere other than where they have told me to go. Not that I know how to get to this Crystal Banquet Hall anyway.


I pull back the heavy wooden door to be met with a set of stairs. They’re a bit darker than the shining marble floors that I’ve seen so far, but they still manage to be more celestial than stairs probably would’ve been on Earth.


I shrug even though there’s no one to watch me. Might as well head down.


My shoes clack against the floor with each step I take. The black heels that I woke up with already on my feet are starting to give me blisters. I kick them off, letting them topple down into the void. Maybe I shouldn’t walk around in socks on slick floors, but I’m pretty sure I can’t die again. So what’s the harm, really?


The stairs go on forward for what seems like way too long, not even bothering to curve around itself so that I’m going straight down. I’m not sure if I’m closer to the middle of the building or the outside of the building when I find myself in a dingy laundry room.


Beat-up washing machines line the walls, a few baskets of clothes sitting on each one. The glow of laminated covers on name tags catches my eye. It’s not until I spot my last name that I stop.


Lying in the bin is a maroon sweater, baggy jeans, and a beat up pair of sneakers, nothing even close to the light dress I have on. They’re more masculine, and I bet that they would look better on me than my current clothes do. I scoop up the clothes, unfolding them so that rings and a belt fall out. A new piece of fabric that I missed peeks out from inside the sweater, so I pull at the pale white flesh-colored material.


There’s no way that I’ve seen this article of clothing before, but words rush into my head as I take in its small tank top-like shape. A chest binder. This would flatten my chest. I want that. It would make me feel more at home, in this academy and in my body.


Now that the binder is out of the way, a tag sticks out of the collar of the sweater. The words are faded and smeared from who knows how many washes, but I can still make out the name ‘Raphael’.


If I was Raphael, why am I only known as Miss Anderson here?


A slam somewhere down the hall snaps me out of my head, heart racing at the fact that if I’m not caught already, I’m about to be.


But it’s not coming from the door I came through. Instead, the banging is from a worn light brown door, so odd in a palace full of only smooth dark oak doors. The closer I tiptoe towards the sound, the more details I can see in the wood of the door, ranging from shallow indentations of someone being thrown against the wall to deep nail marks.


“Hello?” I whisper, leaning into the crack in the frame.


“Finally,” they growl back. “Let me out.”


You should now:


  1. Open the door now while alone
  2. Open the door later with backup


Cast your vote in the comments below!



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About the Contributor
Harrison Ezar is a senior in his first (and last) year in Lincoln Park’s writing and publishing major. He writes for Park’s People on The SIREN. While this is his first time doing journalism, he is passionate about writing novels.

Comments (1)

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    LisaMar 6, 2024 at 12:07 pm

    1. Open the door now!