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The Silent Chalkboard

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Jake was a new student at a middle school in Texas. He was about fourteen, had brown hair, and was a pretty small kid. Coming from Colorado, he wasn't very used to the different style of society there. He wasn't used to meeting new kids in his new neighborhood, either. He was shy as a rabbit.

On his first day of school, Jake decided to meet up with the kids in his class and make friends. He was a little early to class, so he got to choose which seat he wanted. He always liked to be in the front (so the other kids would notice him) so he chose to sit in the front. The classroom didn't look that bad; in fact, he liked it. There were many things there; the teacher's desk, thirty or so more dark wooden ones for the students, a few school-related posters, and an old green chalkboard. That chalkboard may have been the oldest looking thing in the class to him. It looked very plain, broken but still usable. Soon the class was filled with kids: some small, some large. By then, Jake heard a screeching sound. It seemed to have come from the chalkboard. It came to a point where it was screaming in his ears. “Don’t worry gang,” Mrs. Patty, the homeroom teacher, said, “It’s just the coffee running from the classroom on the other side.” If anything made him laugh, it was that his new teacher called them "gang". But he sighed, what with that agitating noise finally stopping. The teacher strolled to her piles of homework that she'd give out to the students, trying not to muddle up her new skirt. Class had begun. 


When the first period was over, everyone hurried to get out first to be able to claim their favorite seat in the next class. Jake was the last one to get up from his seat, but then he dropped his books. As he was gathering his books, he heard a noise. A slight tapping noise, as if kids were rapidly tapping glass with their fingernails. It was coming from that chalkboard. He put his ear up against it. "Hello?" Jake said. Then the chalkboard fell silent. Weird, he thought. He continued his race of thought. Noises inside the board? He assumed he was hearing things, but he knew there were noises, and they came from something. 

That night while he was in bed, Jake could not help but think about that chalkboard. A curious kid he was! He was filled with interest about what was in that ancient board. Then he laughed and wondered what he was thinking. He decided to ask the next morning what was in that chalkboard. He asked all of his new friends if they had heard it, but they didn't believe him. If anything, Jake kept asking daily about it, and the kids would get more and more annoyed at him. The kids would even laugh at him for always talking about it. And of course, that was a weird question for Mrs. Patty when Jake decided to ask her. “What’s in the chalkboard?” she said, with a pause afterward. “I haven’t the slightest clue what’s in that worn-out chalkboard. Probably wood. We look forward to getting a new one... thirty-two years it's been here and it's fallin' apart."

During class, the kids were learning about math (Mrs. Patty taught math, so this was the math room). Jake and his friends chose to write the answer to a question on the board. As he was writing on the chalkboard, Jake felt a little wobbly feeling on his chalk. It felt like someone was rapidly tapping on the chalkboard without stopping. He was getting a little nervous when he felt this. Like any kid, he thought there could be anything inside. A monster, a ghost, a zombie, anything that came up in his curious mind. He asked his friends to feel it, but they didn’t know what he was talking about. Then they simply ignored him and walked further away from him. After class, he decided to ask the teacher in the room, opposite of the chalkboard. She was very confused and thought he was trying to be "goofy", which made her a little mad. She said that the only thing she ever made a noise with was the coffee and nothing else. The constant sounds were heard by Jake, and Jake only, everyday. He was losing many friends and no one wanted to talk to him. 

One day, Jake was yet again one of the last to leave his class to go home. As soon as the teacher left, Jake made his way to the chalkboard to find out where this noise was coming from. He knew he had to find out, he knew. He was going crazy. Jake made his way to the chalkboard and put his ear up to listen. He listened, and listened, and listened. Nothing. He was getting angry, thinking his mind was playing tricks on him. Jake was enraged by this and started to bash his head against the weak chalkboard. Then he noticed cracks along the walls of the board. As Jake still had his head on the wall, he heard the tapping and rapping noises again. He let go of it. The cracks widened and the whole chalkboard fell to pieces. He could see thousands of irritated hornets crawling out and flying towards him. He tried to escape them, but was too slow. The nasty little beasts engulfed him, stinging him on every inch of his body. They flew inside him from any hole or entrance in which they could find, and nearly ripped open his organs and the rest of his insides.

It seemed like Jake and the hornets both had their one day of happiness. Jake felt his last drop of joy because he wouldn't have to listen to the silence the chalkboard decided to hold. The hornets had to silently hibernate in that old chalkboard, but could now find a new and better resting place. It was easy for them to find one because their new home had also been the cause of their expulsion from the chalkboard. They were alive and real, but the reason Jake himself only heard things was because the noises were all in his head.

Written by RynaTheBush
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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