Disclaimer: I do not own Elephant or its characters, or anything else but the ideas in this story for that matter.
Warning: This is some male/male content here. If you are offended by this, then don't read.
For some of the kids it's very hard to be in school; it's like hell. Sometimes they use that word, 'hell.' And for others, it's like, great, it's never been better. - Gus Van Sant
"…Eeny, meeny, miny, moe."
And then he silenced them. A bullet to the heart of the jock, his pretty girlfriend, and their possible unborn child. A happy little family would they have been? No, a future of arguments, question of abortion, and premature parenthood would have been ahead of them.
Would that justify their slaying?
Alex closed his eyes and dropped his arms. It was over, and all that remained were bloodied corpses and lifeless hallways. The silence that crept among the scene of the crime was unsettling, but that was the least of his worries.
In the distance, Alex listened in on the screaming sirens. Through his eyes he saw the image of their cherry and blue vivid lights flashing reflected on the glass that surrounded the cafeteria. At this point his choices were reduced to the consequence of wronging his scorned mind or death, and death he freely accepted.
He quitted the desolate meat freezer to return back into the vestiges of the cafeteria. The explosions there had not detonated, nor clued that they would at any point. Instead, the floors were clustered with the remains of an ordinary lunch period in an ordinary high school on an ordinary day. Had only they've known that it was anything but, they were would have been spared of the horrors that had taken place.
Glancing about the cafeteria, Alex found himself alone for real in the disaster that he planned so vigilantly. And this loneliness was all too real in itself, so unlike the one he felt when he played the piano in his empty bedroom, left him to fret in silence. His view began to blur around him as the sirens blared louder and louder into his ears, into his mind, into his weakening heart.
Alex dropped to his knees with tears suddenly glistening down his reddening cheeks. He shamefully covered his face with his fatigue-covered left arm, muffling his pathetic, last-ditch attempt of feeling any emotion at all.
His mind screamed, sparing him no pity for his horrible actions. Not even his only friend and partner in this massacre, Eric, was safe when his mind, corrupt with immense hatred, shifted far from its previously barely sane state into full-fledged psychosis. His death, let alone that of the rest of unfortunate souls that crossed paths with Eric and himself, became a plague that broke the remains of his heart after the endless taunting into a million pieces that he knew he could never replace.
He shifted the barrel of his rifle towards himself and stared right into it. His vision blurred once more as his fingers fettled around to find the trigger. Mind racing through events that took place in span of two days, he searched for one reason to continue a life in the cruel, hopeless world he had come to known. Unfortunately, he only found one more reason place a bullet into his own skull to suffer a sad fate of his own in the misery and emptiness he created.
Was there really more to life then this?
Sad to say, there wasn't a morel ending to the last chapter of the story of his life. Instead, he placed the barrel to his head and fired.
Oh, how brightly did the birds sing upon the end of the nefarious storm.
"This isn't something you wanna do," Nathan's voice cut through the empty space of silence.
It wasn't, was it?
The faint image of the football field appeared from the void. A group of jocks, all tall, attractive, and tremendously athletic, proceeded in a game of football during physical education class across the field. Recognizably in the cluster of tackles and catches were Nathan and Benny. It was just a normal day for them.
And then suddenly it wasn't.
Darkness consumed the view into blank nothingness. There, Alex lay cold, alone, and deprived of jubilance entirely.
They did it to their selves, hadn't they? Justice was due where they had harassed and picked on him. Wasn't it?
The memory of the day before the shooting played out like a film before him. Beautiful autumn sunlight poured through the window panes of the physics classroom discussing electricity and electrons. The leaves on the nearby deciduous oak trees had recently changed into their November skin—golden leaves, dying and falling gracefully to the ground in spins.
At the obverse of the classroom, the late middle-aged teacher explained the concepts to his questioning and partly uninterested class. Caught up in this conversation, he did not notice that in the back of the room Alex, the partner-less student sketching a drawling to pass the time, was pelted with a grotesque, wet substance.
The source: Nathan and another nameless jock. They were looking for a laugh, an ego-boost, or perhaps even the sadistic pleasure of degrading a lonely outcast.
It wasn't until Alex was coated across his upper body and in his bistre-colored hair with the questionable material that the teacher finally dismissed him shamefully to the bathroom.
Actions speak louder then words, and with that Alex had turned his demure nature into insanity. Equity would be severed.
That was the twisted and ambitious promise to himself that he held close when he closed his eyes and held them shut, wanting to scream, as they tormented him physically until his emotional health was disrupted to the point that he longed for the weapon in his hands and the blood, the blood, the blood, the blood. Their blood.
Their demise, as well as his own in the long run, would be the only end.
They never picked on him ever again.
What was this?
Out of the darkness,a hallway appeared. Walls, lined with lockers, were plain and repetitive. Straight ahead of him, periwinkle-colored light poured through the glass panes of the door to the exit. The floors, recently waxed over summer vacation, replicated this light and lockers into a distorted reflection.
This hallway triggered the painful memory of the days he walked down these floors to class, alone and trying to shrink and be small. Because he was merely obtrusive to them. That was all over now.
Gunshots. Loud and shocking. They were coming.
Run. Just run.
He instinctively began to run, down the hall towards the exit, but it merely blurred before him. It never drew closer; it just stayed in the same place no matter how far he ran.
The florescent lights flicked out. Dark shadows, hiding their teeth, clung to the walls, ceiling, and floor. Everywhere. Loneliness breathed him in...
But then it exhaled him. He was surrounded. Their silhouettes, dark and cold and armed, were unclear but truly bold. Even though their outline was hazy, he easily saw where their guns began and ended. He didn't want to see it, and so he closed his eyes.
The floor buckled, shook, and spun. He couldn't maintain his balance anymore, and so he fell to ground. Hard. It was difficult to breathe.
He opened his eyes for once last look, but what he saw before him was a twisted smile. One that was so familiar to him.
And then, Alex succumbed to a sad fate of his own.
That was how it played out for some of the ill-fated innocent students who lost their lives to the ire of two confused, aloof kids who couldn't control their enmity. 'Maybe someone will remember us then,' they subconsciously thought, secretly yearning to be known and thought of. But they were wrong.
Nothing would justify their actions.
"This isn't something you wanna do."
It wasn't, was it?
"This isn't something you wanna do."
It wasn't, was it?
"This isn't something you wanna do."
It wasn't, was it?
"It wasn't." Alex finally said aloud to himself. His voice was quiet, but audible.
Upon speaking these words, it suddenly hit him. He hadn't originally planned to hurt anyone, just prove a point that he wasn't going to take their terrorizing anymore.
"..But they deserved it."
No one deserves to die. A human body is a precious and rare thing to throw away. For once it's gone, it is gone. Forever.
Forever is a long time.
Carrie, Michelle, Nathan, Brittany, Nicole, Jordon, Eric... gone. Forever.
Alex and Eric were wrong. That was clearly apparent, but it lacked to sink in their incoherent minds until now. It was unforgivable, it should never be forgotten, but eventually everyone will move on. And they will live on in hopes of preventing it from ever happening again. That's was right, that was what they should do.
And it could have ended there with Alex left to wallow in self-regret forever. But, it didn't, because there was one last thing he could do for a taste of the felicity he destroyed by bring firearms into the school. He could ask for forgiveness from the one person he hoped would listen.
An incandescent white light centered in the darkness and enlarged itself until it completely enclosed the space in illumination.
An enormous sunflower appeared, hovering over the body of Alex. Vibrant beams of immense golden sunlight shined past the steam and each delicate petal of the sun-kissed plant. When the intensity of the sun dulled, a vivid blue sky and long blades of lively green ryegrass, softer then he ever remembered it being in the past, appeared.
Alex lifted his head and sat up. As he did, he watched as the sunflower became smaller and smaller into normal proportions. He glanced around at the field of grass and sunflowers, in search of a meaning for this reverie.
At first he found nothing but sunshine inhabiting the grassland. Suddenly, in the distance he noticed a body between the blades of grass and sunflowers, napping.
Alex waded through the soft, light grass towards the figure curiously and carefully. He knew exactly who it was before any features were distinguishable. Thoughts of unspoken words sparked in his mind. He finally had a chance to right one of his many, many errors with a two word sentence of complete and utterly heartfelt noise.
Suddenly into view, Alex saw him. Curled up into a fetal position, Eric slept silently.
"Eric…" he whispered hesitantly at first as he edged towards him.
He tried again only to get no reaction, so he crouched down beside his friend and called his name shyly right beside his ear.
Eric twitched. He opened his eyes slowly, only to find Alex staring down at him. Still barely awake, he blinked a few times and rubbed his eyes in such a childlike manner that Alex felt a horrible gut-wrenching feeling in his stomach for he knew what bittersweet words were ahead.
"..Alex?" Eric finally said. Then it registered. "ALEX!" Eric had been the more openly belligerent one of two eradicators, as well as the more outgoing one who always had something to say—whether it was noteworthy or not. But now, the usually satirical teenager found himself speechless and unable to express any anger or sadness; merely shock.
In this terror, he scrambled to his feet and just began to run towards an unknown destination.
Alex merely watched his weaning friend as he ran into a maze of green hedges with woven in vines and into the countless dead-ends that his upset and incoherent mind had to offer. For the first time in so long, he finally felt some form of empathy for someone and it hurt him so terribly. After all this time of hatred, vengeance, and blank emotions, he suddenly realized that there was nothing left to hate.
This new-found sense of care and affection burned away at his already long-since broken heart. Could a creature like him, so full of abhorrence and vengeance, feel such an emotion? Alas, he could not reflect upon such a question, as the late evening sunlight was engulfed by the familiar darkness.
Out of that peaceful world of sunflowers and unmolested purity, Alex found reality to be harsher then before. He longed to be held close to another to generate both heat and tender intimacy. For the love he craved to feel was and had been absent in his life.
However, at this present time, his selfish needs needed to be put behind, for so much was at stake. Eric, his poor friend who he had convinced to take part in the carnage, was now coping with a vast amount of confusion as well. And it was all Alex's fault.
Alex just couldn't leave him like that. He was the only he right, and so he wasn't about to give up. He couldn't rewind the hand of the ticking clock to save their lives, let lone the rest of the school, but at least he could save the only human emotion the duo had felt in so long; love. And that was a horrible thing to destroy.
For one more taste of felicity...
The field of rows and rows of sunflowers was as he left, except time had passed and sucked up the late evening light into the dark shades of dusk. The light blue sky that he laid his azure eyes upon before had dimmed to a dark shade of ultramarine. Over his head, the wispy, light stratus clouds had moved on across the sky out-of-sight. Even the colors of the sunflowers and their stems and leaves had darkened until it was nearly a silhouette right before his eyes.
But now, more important then anything else, he was alone.
However, if everything truly was where he left it, then he knew exactly where to look. And so, Alex began to run upon impulse through the labyrinth of sunflowers under the weakening light. He followed along the footsteps of Eric and that guided the way. But, by the appearance of the ruined plants he stepped upon, he could tell that his friend had made this path in frustration, and he was only to blame for it.
He kept running amidst the sun setting, the cool breeze blowing, and the time hastily passing, completely occupied in chasing the remains of Eric that he left behind in the grass. Suddenly, he thought back to the two had first shared a kiss, under the spray of the showerhead, naked and close, their bodies practically rubbing against each other. As their last attempt to feel human love, it just seemed right at the time, and they thought nothing of it. And that kind of kiss it remained, didn't it?
Alex finally found an exit from the sunflower field. Empty, dark, and silent, he found himself at clearing where the grass was short. He found his friend sitting cross-legged with his back turned on him off to the right. Unsure of whether Eric knew he was there or not, he approached him with careful steps, afraid that too much noise would startle him into a fluster.
He finally stopped when he was about five feet behind him, frozen in fear, he lost his recently composed determination and confidence.
Eric's voice, dull and sad, startled him at first, "Fuck, ya know, Alex…" he said. "... fuck..."
Alex did not know how to reply to his friend's gloomy remarks, so he didn't. Instead, he walked over to him, and sat down beside him. He looked deep into Eric's eyes as they were red and sore. He could see that he had been doing some thinking, probably haunted by the same disturbing images that he saw. That's when he felt it again. Sympathy for a friend.
He opened his mouth to speak, to utter the words that were holding him back from the rest of the torturing afterlife they were admitted to. But in this field of sunflowers, things were bright and calm, and although he gave up a chance of an enjoyable hereafter when he ordered the guns, he wouldn't mind seeing this field time after time.
Then the words came, just rolling off of tongue. And he said, "I'm sorry."
A.N: This was my first short story. It was also an experimental writing where I used a few different styles to achieve different effects. Some things I know were a little unclear, but I'll just let you interpret it as you wish. I'm quite proud of this result, even if it came out not the way I wished it would. I hope you enjoyed this for what it was though.
Some credits I must place: My music inspiration was Frou Frou and I was completely inspired to write this after reading the wonderful, "Shoot back to Skol" by Dead Caffeine Junkie. I definitely recommend it if you enjoyed this, or even if you didn't.