Twelve Hours

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7:00 PM

With a smile, a student opened their phone and sent a message to the group text that had been created merely the night before. Soon enough, all phones buzzed and fingers typed as the students finalized their plan.

All set?

I gots the stuff

Hell yeah!

I am

Lol u made that sound like a drug deal

I still dont wanna be here

Me 2

But Im ready

This is gonna bed great. Glad you let me in on this.

Be*

I cant wait to c the looks on their faces!

Ill cu when we arrive at hell

Wait this is gonna be taped rite?

Yup! Cant fucking wait!

And 2 make it better Principal Lauer will b watchin the tapes the whole time

Hell prob call the cops

Good. We get out early and he can be arrested for cruel and unusual punishment

We need 2 do this more often

Im almost there

Same

See you there

Lets do this!

Damn. I shouldve brought my walkie talkies.

Oh well


Principal Lauer sat in his office, waiting for the students to arrive. He had no idea that most already had already arrived and were just busy setting things up.

Finally, the group trickled in one by one.

“Okay,” Principal Lauer started once all were present. “It is now 7 pm, and we have already jumped the first hurdle. I’m surprised you all showed. But it is excellent that you did. Now, I will take all phones, laptops, tablets, etc.”

Groans and shouts sounded throughout the room.

“This is a sort of bonding experience. Your generation doesn’t bond when you have those things present,” Principal Lauer explained pulling out a cardboard box.

“What if there’s an emergency?” Cristiana asked.

“I didn’t explain it all to my parents. I was supposed to call them,” Jordan said.

“I have already taken the liberty of emailing your parents and explaining everything. And I will be watching the cameras from a nearby location and will call authorities if anything happens,’’ The principal assured them of both.

“Wait,” Nani said. “You’ll be watching ‘from a nearby location’? That doesn’t make me feel very safe. What if-”

“That’s enough Mrs. Felding. Everyone please,” Principal Lauer gestured to the box. The teens dropped stuff in grumbling.

“I didn’t bring anything,” Mickey told the principal crossing her arms.

“I’ll be watching the cameras closely, your vice principal will be helping me as well. If you are seen with a electronic you supposedly don’t have, you will be suspended for three weeks.”

Silently Mickey and a few others dropped a couple more items in the box.

Principal Lauer promptly took the box and opened the safe, placing it in and slamming the safe door shut. He turned back to the students.

“There is food in the cafeteria set out for you. Please no fighting. If there is, you will be suspended for three weeks. If anything intimate occurs between any of you, you will all be su-”

“We get it. Sit and shut up until morning,” Riley interrupted with an eye roll.

The principal nodded and lead the way to the front door where he slipped out the door. Once it was closed he proceeded to look the door. “No one in. No one out,” he called through the glass. “I’ll see you in twelve hours.”

They watched him go before slowly turning to each other.

Veronica was the first to speak. “Now what?”

“I don’t know about you, but I’m raiding that food,” Elias said walking down the hall.

“Not before I get some,” Jordan said walking past him.

“I call dibs,” Matteo argued running to catch up.

Most of the group made eye contact and took off down the hall. Ashley sighed with a facepalm. Colin patted the her shoulder as they followed the others.

Most of the tables in the cafeteria had been pushed away. All but large table so they would have no choice but to sit together. On a smaller table stood an assortment of pizza and cereal.

Food was grabbed and they ate their pizza. Eyes made contact with each other. Excitement twinkling in their eyes.

“We should play a game or something,” Cristiana suggested.

“Why?” Jackson groaned.

“It will make the time pass by faster.”

“I guess you got a point there...” Jordan said.

Nani nodded with a smile.

“Alright I’m game,” Mickey said. “I’m gonna kick your asses.”

Colin gave her a look. “We don’t even know what we’re playing yet.”

“I’ll still win,” Mickey declared.

“How about Manhunt?” Riley asked with a smile.

“Aka hide and seek?” Jackson asked him unimpressed.

“It won’t be that bad,” Elias mused. “There are plenty of hiding spots in an empty school...”

“Let’s play!” Nani cheered.

“Who’s searching?” Matteo asks.

Eyes float around the table.

“Not it!”

“Not it!”

Shouts sound out until Veronica groaned. Smiles spread across their faces as the rest of the group spread out to find different hiding places. Veronica stayed behind waiting as time ticks by.


“You all set? And are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

“Course, my dad is an electrician. So in about a half hourish past, I’ll just have to find the circuit breaker, flip a couple switches, and boom, darkness in most of the school.”

“Why only most?”

“Those cameras don’t work in the dark. But the dark is to scare the few victims of this marvelous prank.”

“Don’t be so full of yourself.”

“You’re just jealous.”


“Hey, this is my hiding spot!” Jordan shouted, pushing Matteo.

Matteo looks at him and shakes his head. “Dude, you’re seriously hiding in the library. That’s the first place people will look for a goody-two-shoes like you.”

“It’s called hiding in plain sight. Why would you hide here? You hate books. I’d expect you to be in the pool or the art room.”

“That’s why they wouldn’t find me here. Also I have an awesome nap corner I made here back in freshman year. I plan to sleep till morning. As for the pool, I couldn’t find my swim trunks. But, why would I be in the art room?”

“Elias is in love with art.”

Matteo nodded. “What’s that have to do with me?”

Jordan shrugged awkwardly before fidgeting with his hands. “You know... Cause the two of you are... um, you’re...”

“We’re what?” Matteo asked blankly.

Jordan shook his head quickly. “Nevermind.”

“Whatever,” Matteo shrugged. “I’m gonna go nap. You have fun.”


“This isn’t how I pictured spending this weekend,” Cristiana stated while walking down the hall.

“You can still have fun,” Duke said, wrapping an arm around her shoulder as they strolled along the empty school halls together.

“You do remember we’re in detention right now?”

“Besides that. So try to have fun tonight. Something good ought to happen tonight right?”

Cristiana didn’t respond but nodded slowly.


“Why are you following me?”

“We’re going to hide aren’t we?” Colin asked confused.

Mickey shook her head. “I told you I’m winning this thing. So you go. Shoo,” she said waving him off.

Colin frowned, “You’re still mad at me aren’t you?”

“Just go hide with Ashley or something.”

Colin winced but decided to leave her be and turned to walk in the other direction.


Finally everyone and everything was set.

Veronica watched the clock. 7:58. She watched the seconds go by. Two minutes and then she was free to look for the others.

7:59.

She stood and waited by the cafeteria door, thinking of where she should look first.

Ten.

Nine.

Eight.

One student smiles as they set up their own cameras ready to catch the madness.

Seven.

Six.

Five.

Four.

Another student pulls out materials and heads to the spot they’re supposed to wait by. Now they just need to make this look good. They watch as another student arrives to help.

Three.

Two.

“Ready for awesomeness?”

“Hell yeah.”

One.

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