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Empty Seats

Nova Bugielski

A new day, another empty seat.
The teacher looked at the newest empty seat in her classroom. This time it was one of
the young band boys. Before him was the quiet girl. For the past month kids from her class had
been disappearing one by one.
She asked the school to go online until everything was figured out, but nothing ever
“Miss Gena,” She blinked as her student, Anna, spoke up, “what are we supposed to
She looked at the only other student there, Archer, who was just sitting at their
desk. “I... I can try to talk to the administration again.” She offered Anna.
“You know we can’t leave.” Archer interjected.
Miss Gena frowned. “That’s not true! Try to be hopeful!”
Archer looked up. “Each time you’ve tried everything resets. Remember?” “Resets?”
Miss Gena could feel her heart now. “If the administration doesn’t let us go home, we’ll just
go back at the regular time. Is that what you mean?”
Archer shook their head, but offered up nothing else.
Anna now looked paler than before. She couldn’t just sit there and do nothing. She
shook off the feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach and headed to the door. “See you
soon.” Archer grumbled.

Miss Gena shrugged off the comment, walking out the door. As she went down the
hall, she kept her gaze forward. She reached for a door and began to open it
Another day, another empty seat.
Miss Gena looked at the last student in her class. She had tried to convince the school to
let them all go online until the whole situation was sorted out.
She paused and looked around the room.
Wasn’t she just outside of the administration’s door?
“What happened?” Miss Gena looked between Anna and Archer. “Where are the
other two? Didn’t I just leave?”
Archer sat up fully, eyebrows raised. “You remember? That’s a first.”
“A first?” Miss Gena shook her head, “What does that mean? Where’s Anna? What
is going on?”
“We aren’t allowed to leave.”
Miss Gena shook her head. “No... this is not happening.”
She ran to the door and as she ran down the hallway, she glanced into each of the
classrooms she passed. Each classroom was empty.
Everyone was gone.

She made her way back to her own classroom.
“No one was ever here, Miss Gena.” She looked at Archer. “Don’t you
realize?” “Please don’t leave me too.” Miss Gena whispered.
“Did you forget?” Archer responded. “I’m not here anymore either.”
Miss Gena jumped back. Archer was still now, slumped over as blood dripped off
their desk. Miss Gena’s breaths quickened as she looked around the room. Each of her
students were there now, all lifeless.
As she looked down at the blood on her hands, she screamed.
They were all gone.
And somehow, she knew, as she looked around the new scenery around her, the cold
concrete walls of a cell, that it was all her fault.

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