prose by Grace Buller, ’19
Bridget Smith slithered down a hallway in the Magic School. The dark walls, lit up by the green lights, flickered down the hallway. She heard screams and the rattling of cages behind the many closed doors in the hall. Everything she once thought about the Magic School, as the daughter of the establishment’s founder, Richard Smith, was a lie.
The bright sunlight streamed in through the window of Bridget’s bedroom. She sat up and stretched as a servant rushed to her side.
“Good morning, Miss Smith!” exclaimed Rory, Bridget’s servant.
“Good morning, Rory,” replied Bridget.
She jumped out of bed and disappeared behind a large folding screen to get ready for the day. After dressing, she walked through the large elegant halls of her mansion and her thoughts wandered to the Magic School. Her father never let her even set foot on the property, and for years she has been formulating a plan to finally explore the building, and see Sophie.
Sophie was Bridget’s best friend until Sophie’s father discovered that Sophie was a magician; then he sent Sophie to attend the Magic School and forbade Bridget from ever seeing her again. Bridget agreed with her father that the institution was the best for Sophie to tame the savage power inside of her. In the classes, their powers could be controlled and contained which would liberate the students, making the transition back to society as easy as possible. The students were taught how to live their lives without using magic, and if they did use magic, then they would be severely and rightfully punished.
Even though Bridget knew that Sophie was dangerous, she wanted to check to see how she was doing. Even more so, Bridget craved to know how long it would be until her friend was ready to come out and live her life as a normal person in a normal world, away from that horrid power. However, Bridget’s father refused to reveal any information regarding Sophie’s wellbeing to Bridget, so she decided to find out for herself.
The day’s events slowly completed themselves and Bridget was set to go. After she was sure her parents were asleep, she crept down the side stairs to avoid any servants finishing up for the night, and hopped through a first floor window. Her shoes hit the dirt silently, but she was afraid that someone would hear her heartbeat racing as she made her way down the street to the Magic School.
The large cement establishment was quiet as Bridget dug with a small shovel under the sparkling barbed wire fence. Before she left, she had Rory send out a false fire alarm in the guards’ quarters so they would be distracted while Bridget snuck in.
As the towering institution loomed over her, Bridget searched for a vent to crawl through to break in undetected. After circling halfway around the building, she found a vent and pried the cover off with a screwdriver she stole from her father. She plunged into the darkness of the vent and crawled until she was far enough in to pull out a flashlight and a blueprint of the building she had grabbed from her father’s desk. A scream echoed throughout the vent, sending shivers up Bridget’s spine.
Based on the map, Bridget figured that she was in the east wing of the building right above a hallway, which meant that she could drop down through one of the open parts of the vent and continue her journey to Sophie from there. The rooms were labeled with titles such as “Magic Prevention Lab” and “Real American Culture Class.” The rooms slowly changed to what looked like dorms. Instead, printed on the door, was “A-D”, “E-H”, and it continued until the rooms reached the end of the alphabet.
Bridget reached the door that read “W-Z” knowing that she would find Sophie in here due to her last name. However, something was not sitting well in Bridget. How could all students with similar last names fit into one room? Then a realization swept over her when she jumped back as she heard the rattling of cages from inside the door.
The students were being kept in cages as if they were animals. Everything now made sense. The screams, the secrets her father kept hidden, the strangely labeled doors was the truth of the Magic School. While Bridget had lived a luxurious life, just houses away was a horror covered up with propaganda; this propaganda masked people’s fear of the power held by magicians. All of this crashed down on Bridget as she crumpled to the floor, sobbing over the thousands of students who suffered just to fit American standards of normalcy.