The hallways of Hayes High School were as dark as they could possibly get.
A few rays of hazy orange light filtered in through the slim windows that lined the hallways, barely doing anything to illuminate the old halls of the high school. Shadows formed beneath the arcs of orange light, plunging half the lockers into darkness and the others left sitting under mere partial illumination. The only internal illumination came from the few emergency exit signs that hummed with power, offering a soft red glow above shuttered and locked doorways.
The long locker-filled row was exceptionally silent on this night. Classrooms and lockers shuttered tight against the darkness, prepared against the imaginary crimes that the citizens of this quiet suburb continuously feared. It was a quiet place in the evening. The complete antithesis of its appearance in the daylight; brightly lit, loud, and bustling with life.
Laughter, from some far off place, pierced the quiet row.
Voices followed, gaining slightly in intensity, clearly on an approach to the empty hall. They never became overpowering, though they became clearer as their owners approached. When a door burst open, they finally rang with clarity against the long echoing chamber of lockers.
Lances of white light cut clear down the hallway, forcing the shadows to twist and shrivel away from the trio of trespassers. Each of the trespassers carried a flashlight as they walked through the school, chatting and laughing. Occasionally they spun the flashlights about, keeping an eye out for security guards, janitors, or ghosts.
One of them spun about, carefully checking their trail before returning the light to the cooler his two companions were carrying. “Gah, dude,” the longer haired one in the front called out, raising one of his large pale hands to his face to cover his eyes. “Do you realize how dark it is in here? You practically blinded me.”
“Oh shut up, man. Don't be such a pussy,” his hand immediately spun the flashlight back into his long-haired friend's face when he lowered his hand.
The wielder of the flashlight laughed.
“Guys, seriously,” came the voice of the wiry teen gripping the other side of the cooler.
“Ok, ok, we're almost at the next one anyway,” the troublemaker announced, turning his flashlight away from his friends and on to the lockers. After a few seconds of searching, the beam of light settled on one of the slim metal frames, “Here it is. Locker 224, Chelsea Dewinter.”
“Finally,” the long haired man dropped his half of the cooler with a loud thud. The young man rubbed his arm and carefully began to stretch it out before turning to the unburdened boy, “My shift carrying the cooler is over, Brandon, you've got the next one.”
“Oh but dude, ya know, my uh carpal tunnel,” Brandon weakly made a gesture with one of his hands, attempting to convey the vulnerability of his wrist.
The long haired teen frowned, “Don't be a dick, Brandon, this thing is heavy and we still got like, twenty or so lockers to do.”
“Fine, whatever, Mikey,” Brandon replied with a sneer.
“Don't call me Mikey, Bran-Bran.”
“Guys,” the wiry teen interjected as he carefully set down his half of the cooler, “Can we just get this done.”
“Sure,” Mike answered, extending a hand to Brandon.
After a moment, Brandon pulled a sheet of paper and a single key from his back pocket, handing them over to Mike. “Whatever.”
Mike consulted the paper and looked up at the locker once again, “Locker 224, Chelsea Dewinter.” Directing the beam of his flashlight over the built in combination lock, Mike carefully approached with his key, easily fitting it into the lock. Once the flimsy panel of metal popped open, Mike wondered aloud, “Why are we giving her one anyway?”
Brandon flipped open the cooler, a cool burst of mist spilling out of the container. Very carefully, Brandon reached his hand in and grabbed a smooth brown bottle.
“You should really use the gloves,” Mike advised.
“Shut up.” Brandon winced as he held the freezing cold brown bottle in his hands and rushed it over to Chelsea Dewinter's locker. Very carefully, Brandon set it down on the same upper shelf where they had placed all of the previous bottles before taking a quick glance at the girl's locker.
Like most of the ones they'd seen that night, there was a bundle of papers the girl had never bothered to take home, a textbook or binder she hadn't needed, and a few random personal items. With the girls it always seemed to be extra beauty supplies; combs, nail polish, sometimes even perfume. Chelsea Dewinter had a few of those things, and surprisingly a stick of deodorant. Weird, Brandon thought, since she wasn't a particularly athletic chick. Though, she did have a set of what clearly smelled like used gym clothes in her locker, most likely forgotten in some mad dash to get home that afternoon. Maybe that was why there was deodorant.
“Seriously though, why Chelsea?”
“Oh, because Wookiee Dick over there has a crush on her,” Brandon jabbed with his thumb to the wiry member of the trio.
“Dude!” Wookiee Dick nearly shouted. “I told you that in like, confidence.”
Meanwhile Mike just gave his friend a strange look, “Man, Chelsea Dewinter would snap you in half if you asked her out.”
“Shut up. What would you know anyway?”
“Dude, my cousin is like her best friend. Trust me, that girl's got issues.”
“Whatever, I didn't say I was going to ask her out, I just... God, could we not talk about this?”
Brandon smirked as he watched the taller nerd blush in the dim lighting, “Hey man, this is your chance, want to smell her short-shorts?” Hooking one of his fingers into the light mesh of Chelsea's running shorts, Brandon held them aloft, swinging them toward his embarrassed friend.
“Dude, gross. I'm not some perverted stalker or something.”
Brandon just laughed and tossed the running shorts back into Chelsea's locker before closing it shut. “Whatever, Wookiee Dick. You just lost your only chance to touch something worn by Chelsea Dewinter.”
“We'll see, tomorrow things will change.”
“That's true,” Mike finally commented as he checked Locker 224 off of their list, “But you think it'll change things that much, Wookiee Dick?”
As Brandon and the wiry teen both lifted the cooler and began walking behind Mike, the wiry teen heaved a sigh, “I thought you guys were going to lay off with the Wookiee Dick shit?”
“Dude, you should be proud. That thing's monstrous,” Brandon commented.
“Yeah, man, it's like you're a fucking Wookiee.”
“It's practically the size of my thigh...”
“Really need to manscape though, if you're going to have a chance with Chelsea Dewinter, you definitely have to manscape that thing.”
“Yeah, that much hair, your dick might as well be like... Rooowwwrr.”
“I hate you guys,” Wookiee Dick heaved as he readjusted his grip on the cooler.
“Hey man, you were the one who agreed to play strip poker.”
“I didn't agree to play...”
“You took off your pants.”
“Yeah, man, you did take off your pants.”
“I... well, I... everyone was playing...”
“Rahr rahr rahr, Wookiee Dick,” Brandon laughed, and Mike joined in.
The sound of a hallway door closing with a resounding crash cut their voices off from the once again empty hall. The long row of lockers was once more returned to its shadowy stillness, now merely with the extra addition of a cold brown bottle in the locker of Chelsea Dewinter.