That's not the disturbing part, even though the inquest has been going on since Ashley's death over six years ago (October 19, 2007), I was completely unaware of her circumstances when I wrote a short story that closely paralleled this kind of uncomfortable scenario. I can't remember the exact theme we were supposed to write about, but apparently it was to create a story explaining the death of the main character and how it came about.
The ironic thing was that this story was mostly inspired by a Web episode of Platonic Chain, an obscure 3-D CGI Anime with Rakugo-like overtones which take the form of taking a long story setup in order to tell a simple joke. (Somewhat similar to Yoshihiro Tatsumi's Fallen Words)
Before reading any further, keep in mind that this is quite possibly the most disturbing thing I've ever written. I much more prefer to stick with light and funny stuff since that's more my field of expertise, but I still feel the need to expand my creative muscles once in a while so I don't wind up stale. Thing is, when I go off into the deep end, I SERIOUSLY GO OFF INTO UNCHARTED TERRITORY. In fact, the reason this is so late is that I was actually scared to re-read it myself, not because I was worried that the quality of the story would be coloured by preconceived notions, but simply because I knew just how plausibly horrific I made it seem. Apart from some slight modifications to the font for emphasis, the gist of the story has remained untouched.
If you're particularly squeamish, I recommend this 2-parter comic instead, which covers the same topic in a more lighter manner.
And so, after enough buildup and without any further ado...
I give you...
September 5, 8:45 A.M.
Its a brand new day at my newest high school. I’m so nervous and excited at the same time. The opportunity to make new friends and go to parties. I can’t wait!
September 5, 3:20 P.M.
I hate my new school! The teachers are all idiots and the girls harassed me when I tried to join their conversation. Why did Mom ever think I would like this in the first place? When I came home, I told her “Nothing happened.” which was the truth. I made no friends, saw nothing interesting - just flitted from course to course like a ghost. That seems appropriate since no one notices me. Is the whole school year going to be like this?
September 8, 12:30 P.M.
I’ve sneaked my diary in school again, since there’s nothing to do. It’s lunchtime, and no one wants my company. The only ones who do are a bunch of “popular” girls who seem to rule the roost. They follow a nasty rich blonde called Melissa. Just the other day, one of them asked me if I thought they were pretty. I fell in their trap by answering “Yes.” “Well that’s good, because we don’t think you are.” I was so struck dumb I couldn’t think of a counter-attack until later. I should’ve said, “That’s just your opinion.” Next time, I’ll be better prepared.
September 15, 12:40 A.M.
Melissa confronted me again. This time she said she wanted some money to buy her lunch. She said if I didn’t comply, she would spread pictures of me masturbating in the boys’ bathroom. I was nowhere near their bathroom and knew those pictures were doctored. I countered, saying if she did that, that would be her admission to being a lesbian slut. She didn’t seem that surprised, and leaned closer, offering to take up my challenge, saying it would actually boost her popularity. I got scared, paid her off and hightailed it out of there.
How do I deal with someone like that?
October 22, 5:42 P.M.
Melissa seems to have ignored me for now, picking on the new transfer student. I should do something about it, show her the ropes once Melissa’s through with her. Maybe we can be good friends.
The only class that interests me is Biology, but today was really boring. We dissected some frogs to understand their organs, or something. It wasn’t very effective since they were too small to see properly. Come to think of it, pickled frogs aren’t like humans at all, except that they’re easier to capture and torture. Its easy to cut apart things we don’t care about.
Maybe that’s the point.
November 3, 3:00 P.M.
Melissa’s such a bitch. As soon as she saw me befriend the new student, she went easier on her and invited her into her little group. The only time I’m close to them is when they’re criticizing me. I can’t stand it anymore.
November 4, 3:15 P.M.
I stole a scalpel from the Biology lab. They’ll never miss it since we hardly ever do dissections these days. I decided to end it by slashing my wrists, but was afraid of how painful it might be. As an experiment, I just nicked my forearm. I was surprised by how little it hurt. I always thought it would be much painful. Society seems determined to avoid pain at all costs, even to the determent of oneself. I can probably get a better mark if I examine myself more thoroughly.
November 5, 8:00 P.M.
I didn’t commit suicide last night.
However, I have gotten some pleasure out of “Playing Doctor” with myself. I made elaborate cuts into various patterns on my stomach. It’s like having temporary tattoos on my body.
November 29, 5:40 P.M.
Looking through some anatomy books from the local library (all the school ones sucked) I’m surprised at how vulnerable the human body is. There are so many targets. All it takes is one little tweak in the right spot to paralyze the body.
All I need is a human target.
December 1, 11:00 A.M.
Convinced my Mother I was too sick. Staying home from school. Feeling better now. Getting sight back into my right eye. Pinching those nerves was much more exciting than I thought it would be. Gives me an exhilarating feeling I can’t fully explain. It’s a rush like nothing else. The feeling that my own life is under my control. Nobody else can take that away from me.
Not even Melissa.
December 22, 11:45 A.M.
Melissa’s even worse than I thought she was.
She hasn’t “befriended” the new student at all. She’s turned her into her slave. She doesn’t even hide it, calling her “slave” all the time. I saw Melissa using her to “help” with her Christmas shopping, and making her pay out of her own pocket. I wouldn’t be surprised if Melissa also used her for other inappropriate activities as well.
It’s kind of funny in a sad way. The transfer student’s a Slavic, and is called a slave. I never found out her real name.
January 4, 12:15 P.M.
I ran into the Slavic girl in the bathroom by pure chance. She’d been avoiding me, as per Melissa’s instructions. I casually mentioned that she shouldn’t have to take that kind of crap from a girl like her. No matter how powerful she was, she had obvious weaknesses, the best vulnerable spot being the throat.
She didn’t seem to hear me.
February 15, 4:30 P.M.
I’ve run the scenario through my mind a dozen times, and it still doesn’t make sense.
The Slavic girl’s been expelled for “Unacceptable and dangerous behaviour unaccepting for a reputable transfer student”, or some such bullshit. From what I’ve heard of the events, I know what really happened.
Melissa called her “slave” over to her while her troupe stood guard over the bathroom entrance. A few minutes later, wild screaming and banging could be heard coming from one of the stalls. Apparently, the Slav girl had gotten fed up with following Melissa’s orders. She was necking Melissa when inspiration hit her, and proceeded ripping out her jugular with her teeth. Melissa’s now got a hicky the size of a grapefruit.
Somehow, they believed that Melissa was just minding her own business, putting on makeup when this foreigner came out of nowhere and forcibly attacked her. The poor Slavic girl couldn’t even get a word in edgewise.
What kind of world is this where the victimized girl is punished while the abusive one goes free? And yet, the Slavic girl was perceived as the greater threat. Where’s the justice in that??
I’ve started using electrolysis on my arms now. It gives a burning feeling that matches my rage.
March 25, 8:45 A.M.
I’m going to have to stop cutting my legs. It’ll look suspicious wearing long pants in the middle of summer. If anybody asks about my scars, I’ll tell them I just fell down the stairs, then casually change the conversation.
April 2, 4:00 P.M.
I bought my first cigarette pack today. Unlike a lot of the “cool” kids, I didn’t use it for social purposes. I found a secluded section in the park that no one ever goes to. The woods were heavy and I had my back to the brick wall. After striking a match, I put the burning end on my breast. It gave an odd tingling sensation not unlike a suction cup. Ironically, breathing in the smoke was more painful than stubbing into my skin. It’s going to be a bitch keeping it lit.
I wonder which of the two habits I’ll get addicted to first?
April 22, 7:45 P.M.
My mother caught me as I was exiting the shower, and confronted me about the contortions on my skin. She really freaked out about the scars on my back. Those would be from when I got creative and started whipping myself with wires. I tried to make her ignore it, but she continued to relent. She wanted to know who did this to me. After skirting around the issue, I “accidentally” let it slip that Melissa was responsible for these atrocities. It wasn’t entirely a lie - after all, she drove me to this.
April 23, 9:00 P.M.
A lot happened today!
My Mother confronted Melissa’s Mother on her doorstep, and bluntly accused her daughter of torturing me at school. Of course, they both vehemently denied it. My Mother was so upset at their cover-up that she brought the matter to the Principal. She showed him what I’d been successfully hiding the whole year - my masterpieces sketched on my skin. Both parties were brought in, and Melissa’s Mother still wouldn’t believe it.
The Principal was so upset about their vehemence of denial that he felt he had no choice but to inform the police and child-health services. They arrived half-an-hour later, took Melissa’s Mother away, and asked questions about what Melissa was like. I had no idea my little antic could get her in so much trouble.
It was wonderful.
April 25, 10:50 A.M.
I found out that I wasn’t the only one who detested Melissa’s little clique. A lot of girls spread rumours of seeing her do things they thought she might’ve done. I felt disgusted.
Where were these girls when I was being teased? Why hadn’t they helped me?
After a while, it became apparent to me that these girls weren’t interested in telling the truth - they just wanted to be noticed. I hate people like that. I would’ve liked to hurt them the way I hurt Melissa, but that seems to be kind of a one-shot deal. I have no idea how to make their lives miserable.
April 28, 6:35 P.M.
Some nosy detective started asking me annoying questions. He pointed out that all the “weapons” only had my fingerprints. In addition, my entrance wounds suggested that they were self-inflicted. I agreed, saying that Melissa told me to do these things to myself, otherwise she and her Mother would devote the rest of their lives making me miserable. The two of them had enough pull to fire my Mother, evict me from home, and destroy my future. I didn’t tell anyone because she told me that no one would ever believe that such a “nice girl” like her could be capable of such a thing.
I think I convinced him so far, but I’m going to have trouble portraying myself as the victim accurately, even though it’s a role I’ve excelled in for some time now.
May 1, 3:05 P.M.
The detective talked to a kid who saw me at my usual spot doing strange things with cigarettes, wires and pieces of wood. The kid wouldn’t have thought much of it if I didn’t yell at him to go away. I can tell, because there’s now a bunch of police cars outside my house.
If they haven’t found my Diary, they’ve probably found my scab collection by now. I spent a lot of time and effort labeling and dating my individual scabs, and which body part they came from. It filled up three scrapbooks.
They’re probably looking for me now. I can’t go back to school. I can’t go home either. The only place left for me is where I’ve only been truly happy, and I can’t even go there since they’re staking the place out.
No wait, that’s not true. I’ve always carried my happy place with me - I just happened to do it in one spot. I’m sure if I’m caught, I’ll have to go to reform prison or therapy. I won’t let that happen. My life is my own, as is my death. Only I have the strength of conviction to bring myself the justice I deserve. Although all my knives were taken away from me, I’d been secretly carrying around razor blades in the spines of my books in case my supply ran low.
Lets see how many new scars I can open up.
Groggy. Feel groggy. Voyces fayding in and out. Wher yam I? Writeness and grey. Horspital. Hard to think clearly.
Why can’t I move my hands?
My mother seems to be crying. Silly woman. Didn’t she know what I was capable of? Said I needed 350 stitches. Thought it would be closer to 800. Some cuts I made were so bad they were just blobs barely hanging on. Flap flap flapping in the wind. It’s a wonder I’m still alive.
I see my hands now. No wonder I can’t move them. They’re heavily bandaged. No, they’re strapped to the bed. I’ve probably been labelled as “unstable” by now.
I see the blood transfusion tube sticking down my left arm. That’s where I did the most damage. I clearly see the outlines of my bones, veins and nerves. There’s not that much left. Shouldn’t be that hard to snap in two.
I look at the tube again. I wonder what it would be like if the flow stopped?
It might be fun to try.