“Chaos Comes Calling”
Author: Jillian Anderson
I interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you Victoria in the flesh. I was not always this alive. In fact, I was rather dead at a time when I should have been living my best life. Boarding school, what a treat! The girls were such angels, perfect in front of adults and devious little devils behind their backs. Who would have thought? I knew they would never let me into their inner circle. I was a walking talking disaster. I had frizzy hair that I never seemed to be able to control, glasses that were too big for my face, and I was the poster child for all that was good in the world. I was smart, obedient, and the only one that valued her education above all else.
Brigada’s School for Girls, pronounced Brigayduh, of course, was an elite all-girls school focused on taming and teaching every girl to be well-mannered, high-achieving students fit to rule society someday. We would be the figureheads of the richest and wealthiest families. Who would really wear the crown? That certainly wasn’t going to be me. I was merely a puppet, controlled by headmasters who did not have the power to control their own fate, so they controlled ours. Each of them knew deep down that we would end up right where they were. What power did women have in a world dominated by men? When men ruled with iron fists, seated atop a throne that we gave to them, We let them take, take, take, as they forced us to play along. Smiling and waving as if all was right, as if women were truly happy being their pawns. I, for one, had a different take on things and believed in women writing their own destinies. Too bad I would never be able to see my vision take flight. What a cruel world it is indeed. I died at the hands of girls who did not know what kind of game they were playing. These girls sought to rid the world of an anomaly. The kind of world I had the privilege of living in was never supposed to produce such a thing.
Therefore, I needed to be extinguished and my records expunged—school records that is. I never existed or set foot inside the school, as if I was merely conjured up out of thin air and just as quickly vanished. This brings me to the night of “the accident”. The exact date is not important, but what happened is. One night, I received a note slipped underneath my door. I was told to bring a candle and come at once to the boiler room. It was signed by my roommate, Brigette. I thought I could trust her. I thought we were friends of sorts. I won’t bore you with the details of my trek to the boiler room, because you would much rather know how death claimed me. The boiler room was pitch black, and I called out Brigette’s name as I took some tentative steps forward. Seeing that I was now in the middle of the room, I struck a match and lit the candle. Much to my utter dismay, Brigette was nowhere to be found, and just as I thought this, the only door to the boiler started to close. The last image I have is of Brigette’s terrified eyes as she is forced to watch in horror as the door to the boiler room seals shut forever. My eyes took too long to adjust to the dark and prolonged my escape; as such, my fate had already been sealed.
Turns out, these little devils knew how to cause some chaos, and chaos certainly came calling. The open boiler’s pressure relief valve had turned the room toxic in a matter of seconds. Thick hot steam filled the room as I choked and sputtered in vain, gasping for air. The oxygen was depleting fast, and soon I fell unconscious, and ultimately, the lack of oxygen resulted in my untimely death. I watched as some days later, the headmasters finally discovered my dead body curled up in a fetal position on the floor of the boiler room. I floated above my body, a transparent being unable to interact with the world I once knew. Brigette told the administrative heads that I drank too much sleeping tonic and must have become so disoriented and confused that I made my way to the boiler room and passed out. She told them how I had frequent recurring nightmares that prevented her from getting any shut-eye. Just like that, it was an open and shut case. They fired the boiler room technician and sent him on his way with money that would surely keep him from asking questions and unearthing the truth. He was no good anyway; most of the time he was down there canoodling with Ms. Dover, the founder of this lovely institution. They had no reason to suspect any of their students. The women spoke in hushed tones as they reached their own conclusions about what happened. Some say he must have been fumbling around with his tools and accidentally broke a valve, resulting in him sealing the room up to avoid being found out. How did he not see that I was inside? Well, Ms. Dover thought, with it being the dead of night and as no natural light could reach the boiler room, that it was too dark to see anything. That was the last the school would see of me, or so they thought.
Truth is, I was not a happy spirit, restless and willing to wait as long as it took for me to exact my revenge on those who wronged me. I was not going anywhere, and I would make my presence known in true Victoria fashion. You know, they say you can see the writing on the wall, and I made sure to let them know that their time was almost up. I left calling cards for each of them, and one by one, I lured them out of their beds in the dead of night to meet the same fate I did. People say you can’t come back from the dead, but I was fortunate enough to have the second chance that I desired. I reinvented myself as a new person, stripping away the carefully composed layers to reveal the devil that was inside of me all along. There was no angel on my shoulder, not anymore, and the voice that spoke to me said “CHAOS COMES CALLING”. I am no angel, and yet I feel like I must have gone to heaven. The devil has come out to play as the angel has been sent away. (I want to leave you in the dark for a little bit longer, it is a cruel world we live in after all, even Hanna knows that.)