Ed

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"God have mercy on me..." he whispered, stepping through the hallway lined with loud gossip. "It's been too long. Almost a week. I know I'm-"

"Surprise!" the gargantuan hands grabbed him from behind, slamming him against the locker. His books crashed to the ground with a thud, and he stared like a deer in headlights at the man before him. "It's been almost a week!"

"I... was just thinking that too."

"So, you knew it was coming, huh, Christopher?" his posse of friends were laughing beside him, as other teenagers simply walked by, not the least bit concerned.

"Buzz... give me a break..."

"You had a break, Chrissy," he ruffled his hair. "Almost a week."

Christopher said nothing. He conceded defeat.

"Dammit..." Christopher whispered in anger, feeling unable to breathe.

His body was tightly pressed against the metal inner-lining of his locker. The only present light was through the three slits near the top of it; besides this, the locker was pitch black. His legs no longer hurt from standing the 55 minutes until class got out, or until the hall monitor or school security guard stumbled upon him. He'd had to do it too many times; it was routine now.

His grades, however, were beginning to suffer. The classes he missed due to this were hurting his GPA. He refused to dwell on that thought when trapped in the locker; it just made him all the more furious.

"I spend every other day in this damn locker..." he seethed. "I'm so sick of it... I-"

A shadow passed the slits of the locker, eclipsing the light. It didn't move. He felt a pair of eyes cutting through the locker.

"Hello?"

There was no response. After another moment, he became less annoyed, and more frightened. Then a small piece of paper slid inside, thumping his chest. He caught it before it fell to the floor; had it reached the bottom of the locker, he'd have had no chance at picking it up. The shadow disappeared at that moment.

"What the hell..." he stared at the small note in his hand. "Hello?" he called. "Hey! Can you open this damn locker?!" The person never replied. "B*****d..." Christopher whispered. "What the hell is this, a fake love letter or something?" he opened the note.

The first thing he noticed was the awful handwriting. It was hardly legible, and written in a dark black ink. It slightly unnerved him; the formation of the letters looked, somehow, angry, to him. Perhaps it was their spiky structure, like the bubble surrounding an onomatopoeia in a comic book.

"Aren't you sick of this? They bully you. Frequently. But I understand.

-Ed."

He felt anxious as he held the note up in the dusty, faint locker light. He studied the words carefully.

"Ed... who's Ed? Eddy Braxton...? Why would he... and he doesn't go by Ed..."

He felt a sense of ominousness. What did the words mean? Who was present outside for only a moment, eclipsing the locker light? Who was Ed? And what exactly did he understand?

Chills crept down his spine as he stared at the note one last time, then folded it back up, sliding it into his pocket.

"I'll just-"

"Christopher?" a voice caught him by surprise, startling him.

"Mr. Tiller," he breathed in relief, "you scared me."

"They put you in the locker again?" the janitor asked angrily. "Somebody needs to put a stop to those kids," he twisted the lock left and right, having memorized the combination by heart at this point. When it unlocked, he opened the locker, studying Christopher's dark blue eyes and long brown hair.

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