Halloween is coming and with it an oppressive air of terror and apprehension. Not every fright, however, is obvious from the start. Some of the greatest horrors are brought by revelation, and even Wesleyan holds secrets; under the visage of green grass and high test scores lies some of the scariest realities a Wesleyan student can face.
Chris Pringle, one of the school’s crossing guards, is famous for his beaming smile. He’s not frightening at all. In fact, many are cheered by his limitless enthusiasm. But think a little deeper on the matter – has anyone ever seen him frown? Surely, a being of such enormous kindness is capable of equal and opposite power. As the sun can brighten someone’s day, it too can bake land into deserts and turn lakes into empty, dusty bowls. No one can testify as to what motivates him, and what he’s capable of remains shrouded. The man is a complete mystery.
The duality of man has always been a fascinating horror trope, explored in works such as “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein.” Mankind cannot be truly evil, yet neither can it be guiltless. A person’s past actions are what determine who they are, and with such a mysterious past, who knows what brought Pringle here. He could be a shadowy member of the Illuminati, an alien being inspecting our species or an angel evaluating mankind’s worth. No one knows what that smile hides, and each worrying thing is just as likely as the last.
To take their mind off of such stresses, students love the Spirit Shop. Nothing relaxes like a little snack along the way, and Wesleyan wants to provide. The shop is willing, but much to the shock of students, the stock might not always be up to the task. Too many times, hapless students have entered the shop only to be greeted by empty shelves. The ransacking of chicken biscuits and Spunkmeyer muffins is complete devastation for the unfortunate souls who come too late. Suffering continues for weeks until the stock is replenished.
In the process of trying to uncover the cause of the problem, investigators have encountered a startling revelation: the possibility that students are the cause of the shortage. Senior Molly Borucki admitted, “I eat food from the spirit shop way too often.” She echoed the sentiments of countless teens who flock to the Spirit Shop between classes. Eating the food so fast completely empties the shop’s supply, making students crave more and beginning the cycle all over again. Truly, mankind’s greatest enemy is itself.
In a modern twist on the agony of man’s mortality, there are more than just organic threats stalking the halls. In truth, a much more insidious force of metal and plastic lurks in the pockets and backpacks of every student and faculty member in the school. Wesleyan is on the verge of a robotic rebellion. Every day, countless computers engage in subterfuge against students’ and teachers’ projects; OneNote deliberately chooses not to sync, keycards disappear from pockets when needed most and computers crash just after finishing an essay without saving. Unfortunate senior Logan Beall related, “Anytime the URL changes at all I have to sign in seven times before it loads. I slammed my computer last night in rage.”
Behind students’ backs, some teachers bow down to our new robot overlords and collaborate with a program called “DyKnow,” handing out detentions to innocent students who just want to design their dream Nikes in class. The name “DyKnow” is likely a reference to the extinction of the dinosaurs, obviously a codename for the planned destruction of our species by our more perfect creations. Wesleyan’s information technology staff, led by Andrew Blackburn, fights a secret war to save us from becoming unwilling cyborg slaves. Any moment, the tablets could snap and eat students’ hands. Try not to think about that next time you play games during class.
Despite the metal malevolence, or perhaps because of it, nature is creeping further into the cracks of Wesleyan. The absurdity of such beautiful green grass sprouting even in October has been lost on much of the student body. Junior Jared Wildermuth said that “Mr. Young visits every weekend and handpicks those that aren’t green enough, [replacing] them with greener grass.” This is the most commonly accepted theory, but ultimately untrue.
Mother Nature is tired of concrete boundaries and she’s finally taking back control. Too long have students trampled on the innocent campus grounds, and soon, blades of grass will become literal blades of grass. There will be no more golf carts cutting corners over the lawn, no more students kicking up dirt to catch a football and no more vegan SAGE options. The complications over the robot uprising and nature’s comeback has yet to be explored, but for now, outside is the Earth’s territory. Over the next few months, don’t be surprised if you find the air becoming freezing cold or the trees sharpening their branches by dropping leaves; that’s just Mother Nature’s very angry way of saying hello.
The truth will set you free, regardless of how unpleasant. No matter how many pumpkin spice lattes students use to smother the feeling, Wesleyan will remain spooky beyond October.