"Please, Principal Snyder, can I go now?" begged the juvenile delinquent reluctantly following after this named follicly-challenged school administrator in his slow walk down the hastily-vacated building corridor. Everyone else at Sunnydale High who'd seen the pair approach had already ducked out of sight into the nearest handy classroom in order to avoid attracting the attention of a pint-sized bald despot with severe delusions of grandeur.
Shooting a disapproving glare over his shoulder at the latest recipient of a detention personally bestowed by himself, Snyder then ignored that teenage whiner to instead once more examine how well his instructions had been carried out today in time for Halloween. It shouldn't have been all that hard to do, but Snyder was quite prepared to behold yet another example of youthful ineptitude at even such a minor task of putting up onto the walls, lockers, doors, and other vertical surfaces throughout the whole school numerous paper decorations celebrating All-Hallows Eve.
After a few more minutes' inspection, though, Snyder grudgingly accepted for now the somewhat adequate accomplishment shown along the corridor, which matched what he'd earlier observed in other areas of the high school. Clichéd cut-outs of black cats, crescent moons, carved pumpkins, broomstick-riding witches, et cetera, were properly attached to the walls and other places at eye level so they could be easily noticed as reminders of tonight's costumed festivities. As if all the detested children here under a principal's supreme authority needed any particular reason to be distracted from their studies!
Coming to a halt in the corridor, Snyder then allowed a very familiar expression of a condescending sneer to cross his unlovely features. Turning to where today's random victim was now worriedly fidgeting under Snyder's contemptuous gaze, the principal stated in his best halfhearted tone, "I suppose it'll have to do, Mr. Levinson. All right, return to the rest of your classes, and don't ever again let me catch you coming in late this morning!"
Jonathan opened his mouth to argue that he'd missed the first bell by only a lousy minute, only to promptly shut this at seeing chrome-dome's continuing evil look directed right at him. Nodding in utter submission, Jonathan scurried off down the corridor and then around the next corner there, feeling quite lucky to escape without any further humiliation.
Principal Snyder then went off on his own way, back to this man's office where he could sit in decent peace and quiet while also going through a top-of-the-line furniture catalog to select the proper luxury massage chair which would be bought with funds diverted from the school budget. He totally deserved it, what with saving all the money by buying those ultra-cheap Halloween decorations from the newest costume shop in town.
This specific event had occurred when Snyder had been driving to work today and something had caught his eye during the trip. He'd stopped in front of the just-opened shop named in such an odd fashion and gone in to encounter another Englishman sounding exactly like the disrespectful school librarian currently employed here. The racked and shelved contents of this proprietor's holiday clothing business didn't interest Snyder the least. No, what the principal wanted from Mr. Rayne was for him to sell to Snyder any themed decorations on hand for the lowest prices possible, and will you just hurry up and get on with it?
After balefully eyeing for several moments the bald pillock impatiently glowering back, an annoyed Ethan figured the quickest way to get the rude bugger out of his shop was to sell him what he wanted right away. This merchant had meant to use the decorations around the costume store for atmosphere, but if that berk really wanted them even before they'd been taken out of their storage box, fine. It'd be a quick cash transaction and then Ethan would enjoy seeing the back of this very impolite customer. Hopefully sometime later tonight after the Chaos spell was cast, that arsehole would run across the wearer of one of Ethan's more malevolent costumed characters and get his thorough comeuppance. And with any luck, this would be by a most fatal accident involving a great deal of agony and munched-upon body parts.
Fifteen minutes later, Snyder strode through the front door of his domain to then eagerly look around for the nearest culprit breaking even the most trifling of SHS rules and regulations. Jonathan Levinson had been the unfortunate winner of yet another crummy school day in his thoroughly depressing life of being bullied by everyone in Sunnydale. This boy had been ordered without any recourse to skip his classes for as long as it took to fetch a large cardboard box from the trunk of Snyder's car. Then, Jonathan had to tape all the Halloween decorations contained in this same box throughout the school, and if he messed up at such a simple task in any way possible, Snyder would next have him trim the football field by hand with a pair of nail scissors, down to the very last blade of grass.
Several hours afterwards, while smirking to himself as he opened the door to his office after seeing off the idiot student who'd barely managed that easy job, Snyder savored the usual rush of power he felt over those unwillingly in his tyrannical charge. Now, what else could he do to make those little snots suffer for Halloween? Pausing in front of his desk, Snyder began to get an idea, all having to do with the city's younger trick-or-treaters who needed to be escorted around town tonight…
Sullenly leaning against a corridor wall well away from the principal's lair, Jonathan wondered if he could get away with cutting classes for the rest of the day. Nope, Bastard Baldy would be sure to check up on him. At least when he told Warren and Andrew all about it later on, they'd also hear how their friend managed to get a little bit of payback against that jerk. A rare satisfied smile now appeared on Jonathan's face while he removed a nearly empty pen from his pants pocket and regarded this prosaic writing instrument with actual glee, thinking about what he'd also been doing for the past couple of hours.
After the first few decorations had been attached as commanded to the school wall, Jonathan paused in the process of carrying out this exceedingly boring chore. He'd abruptly had a wild inspiration, one which offered him the delightful chance to stick it to Snyder. Looking around furtively, Jonathan was relieved to see nobody else passing by in the corridors was paying any attention to him. Fumbling in his pocket for a pen, the boy found one there, and he then bent down to grab for another paper Halloween decoration of the many inside the box resting on the corridor floor. Straightening up to hold the decoration in his left hand, Jonathan turned over this piece of paper.
Sure enough, while one side of this pumpkin-shaped decoration was covered with artwork showing an orange gourd carved into a happy grin, the other side was blank paper. Showing his own wicked smile, Jonathan used his pen to scribble a few words onto the previously unmarked side of the paper. Next, he shoved the pen back into his pants, and obedient to Snyder's directives, Jonathan taped the now-inscribed decoration to the nearest student locker, where it stuck there without giving any sign of what had just been written upon this Halloween ornament.
Occasionally sniggering under his breath during his enjoyable efforts, Jonathan continued to put pen to paper for the next couple dozen or so decorations. The very last one had been done just before Snyder materialized from out of thin air to glare at the alarmed student thinking he'd been caught at this. However, the loathed principal showed nothing more than his normal abhorrence of the equally-detested younger people he had to be around every day. When Snyder went on to inspect Jonathan's completion of the task assigned to him, this relieved boy inwardly congratulated himself for carrying out such a subtle piece of revenge as he'd explain soon to Warren and Andrew.
Rather than get in guaranteed trouble if one of his signed decorations was found to have a really nasty obscenity or insult of some sort directed against the bald principal who clearly hated kids, Jonathan had instead occupied his time by selecting from television, movies, and other popular media the high-school students depicted from there who'd truly piss off Snyder should this older man ever somehow encounter for real those youthful troublemakers, schemers, drama kings/queens, and persons concealing their secret powers or abilities.
Jonathan had even put down one particular name of an individual he'd been wondering about for a while. Until a new student had come to Sunnydale High this year, Jonathan had mostly forgotten all about the time a bicycle accident when he was twelve resulted in a broken leg and being confined to his bed for a month. Bored stiff, Jonathan had stumbled across a certain tv soap opera and watched this at home long enough to remember afterwards a few characters from the program. For some reason, one of the actresses bore a truly remarkable resemblance to a girl sharing Jonathan's classes. Making it even better was that Buffy Summers seemed to have a real talent for getting under Snyder's skin.
Feeling much better now while tossing away his pen into a nearby garbage bin, Jonathan went off to his next class. Andrew and Warren were going to die laughing when he told them what he'd done…
Right after the name "JANUS!" was loudly declared in a temporary costume shop several miles away in Sunnydale's business district, it all came together in the high school:
There were the Halloween decorations which had picked up traces of the preliminary Chaos spells laid upon the prepared holiday outfits while a certain cardboard box had been in the same room.
There was the Boca del Infierno located precisely under a nearly-deserted library building.
And finally, there was a young man who several years afterwards demonstrated the capacity to magically warp reality and had tonight innocently put down words of power onto mystical representations of a time when the veils separating other dimensions became much thinner than usual.
Nobody knew what the hell was going on. So, in lieu of freaking out, the inhabitants of this new location they'd suddenly found themselves in were instead seriously partying.
From how the overhead speakers were blasting out at full volume the Ramones' "Rock 'n' Roll High School", it was clear that Riff Randell couldn't be removed from her disc jockey spot where she was in the audio-visual room without the assistance of high explosives.
The numerous teenage guys and girls joyously dancing in the school corridors would have also made their objections to this extremely unequivocal. However, several other people were busy elsewhere with their own activities.
In Principal Snyder's office, the whole place was being trashed with a great deal of enthusiasm by Jeff Spicoli, Bill Preston, Ted Logan, Beavis, and Butt-Head all working smoothly together as if they'd known each other for years.
At the biology classroom, Marty McFly gawked at how Scott Howard tranformed from his exact double into a more hirsute appearance.
The three-way gang fight about to take place in the gym between the Sweathogs, the Greasers, and the North Manual high-schoolers waiting to catch the others by surprise while Danny Zuko and Vinnie Barbarino glared at their own lookalikes was interrupted by Arthur Fonzarelli swaggering in between them all, conciliatory declaring, "Heeeyyyy!"
Outside in the concealing darkness on every side of the school buildings, various groups and individuals unaware of their imitators acting for the same protective reasons wondered what to do now. These people included Andrew Clements, Sabrina Spellman, Jason Lee Scott, Zack Taylor, Billy Cranston, Trini Kwan, Kimberly Ann Hart, Tommy Oliver, Billy Tepper, Joey Trotta, Hank Giles, Ricardo Montoya, Jonathan Bradberry, and Phil Donoghue.
Where he was standing on the roof, Ranma Saotome looked down at the people staring away from him and tried to decide who to talk to first. Maybe that Asian girl, who moved with tell-tale signs she'd had martial arts training…
In the classroom below a cursed Japanese manga character, Parker Lewis and Zack Morris waited for each other to start explaining their nefarious plans. Neither of them wanted to show any indication of eagerness or other potential weaknesses in front of that unknown guy, so these schemers were prepared to take as long as necessary to win. Both got comfortable in their chairs, actually enjoying for once the chance to go up against someone of equal caliber.
Throughout Sunnydale High, attendees from other dimensions also possessing their own high schools under a variety of names such as Monroe, Liberty, Quagmire, Westerberg, Capeside, Riverdale, Polk and West Beverly continued to dance as if there was no tomorrow.
From his solitary corner where he refused to budge or join in the merriment, Holden Caulfield from Pencey Preparatory School sneered at all those phonies.
The loud music managed to pass through the shut library doors, but this sound was disregarded by all there who were in the main preoccupied with their own affairs. Even though they weren't still getting any answers as to why they were here, John Bender, Andrew Clark, Brian Johnson, Allison Reynolds, and Claire Standish continued to watch in absolute fascination at how that English guy holding a teacup in trembling hands was being berated at the top of her lungs by a strange girl.
Kendall Hart went on yelling at the cringing man seated across from her at the library table, "I don't care who I'm supposed to resemble! Just where do you get off throwing a knife at my head?!"
Author's Note: For easy identification, the below is given in order with the above paragraphs setting out the characters. The first is the name of the high school, while the second italicized title is what tv show, movie or other media where that educational facility appeared.
Vince Lombardi High School - Rock 'n' Roll High School
Ridgemont High, San Dimas High School, Highland High - Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Beavis & Butthead
Hill Valley High School, Beacontown High School - Back to the Future, Teen Wolf
Rydell High School, James Buchanan High School, North Manual High School, Jefferson High - Grease, Welcome Back, Kotter, The Blackboard Jungle, Happy Days
Briarwood High School, Eastbridge High School, Angel Grove High School, Regis High School - My Secret Identity, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Toy Soldiers
Furinkan High School - Ranma ½
Santo Domingo High School, Bayside High School - Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Saved By The Bell
Monroe High School, Liberty High School, Quagmire High School, Westerberg High School, Capeside High School, Riverdale High School, Polk High, West Beverly High School - Head of the Class, My So-Called Life, Ninja High School, Heathers, Dawson's Creek, Archie Comics, Married With Children, Beverly Hills 90210
Pencey Preparatory School - The Catcher in the Rye
Shermer High School, Pine Valley High School - The Breakfast Club, All My Children
Further Note: The full title for this story is also set out here, plus the song which goes with it. I have the feeling that if any Sunnydale High survivor knows about the song, they regard it with either resigned sadness or the darkest of black humor. Created in 1995 for the album "Disco Volante" by the American avant garde/experimental band Mr. Bungle, all rights thereto for the music and lyrics belong to their proper owners.
Everyone I Went To High School With Is Dead
Another summer rolls by
And I can't help but feel pain
All those familiar faces
Come back to haunt me again
Whether I hated their guts
Or hardly knew them at all
I always felt far away
Beside them there in the halls
My yearbook keeps me informed
My yearbook keeps me in line
It's an obituary
Gives me a concept of time
We've graduated and grown
From a real world once our own
Yet we have proven them wrong
By dropping off all along