Another cross-post from BL. As with Hot Worms, votes will be added together.
There are 5 “main” endings: Order, Anarchy, Naivety, Megalomania and Apathy. However, since there will be times when I’ll allow write-in answers, it is possible to go so off the rails that I’ll have to write a completely new ending. There are also a numerous sub- and dead endings. Whenever you encounter an ending of any type – even a dead one – I’ll ask whether or not you’ll accept it as the “true” ending to this story. If you do, this Quest will end, if you don’t, then we’ll go back in the story a bit and choose a different course of action.
This quest will most likely be an unhappy one. It will contain dark themes and actions. With enough perseverance, things might just change, but that will be up to you.
Please join me for the Normalization Quest.
You felt a shock going through your body as your back met with the hard metal of a needlessly large locker. I bet it’s due to the events of yesterday.
“We’re doing this because of what happened yesterday,” said a girl you wish you knew less than you did.
Sandra seemed to fit a girl who dressed the way she did. Dirty blonde hair, tied up in a high-cut ponytail; thick black-rimmed glasses which lacked the ability to correct anyone’s eyesight; mismatched clothes from numerous older decades – combining all of those elements screamed the name she had. Her personality, however, didn’t.
“We used to do this to you only when you failed to live up to our expectations,” said Sandra. “But now
we are going to shove you into your locker. Every. Single. Day.” She smiled. “For your surely to come future insubordinations, we’ll just have to think of something else. Lock the door, Tanel.”
The big guy – made even bigger in comparison to the 160 cm short girl he was standing next to – suddenly blinked his eyes, as if waking up from a daydream. Afraid to do the wrong thing, he decided to be absolutely sure of his orders, “Will I close the locker door first?”
“Yes!” said Sandra impatiently. “Dmitri would have never wasted my time like you are doing now. Get to it already.”
Your world went black, save for a small slit about the height of your eye level. Arguing was pointless, dragged things out and usually made things worse. It was easier to just wait until 5 pm, slip your hand through the opening in the door and use your key to unlock yourself. The first dozen times it had taken you close to an hour to accomplish, but hey, practice made you perfect. If you so desired, you could be an your way home as soon as Sandra took her leave.
“Don’t even think of leaving before your ‘Time out’ is over,” said Sandra, repeating the sentence she always said just before leaving. You never did; not anymore, at least. For some reason, she always punished you the day after you had left or even thought about leaving early. She never said why
she punished you, but as soon as you stopped having those forbidden thoughts, the silent punishments stopped as well. She knows. She always knows.
“Well, seeing as you’ll be here until 8 pm today, I’ll grant you the right to think
about escaping. Only
thinking, understand?” asked Sandra.
You knocked twice. She and you had an understanding that two knocks stood for ‘yes’ and one knock for ‘no’. She had commanded you to use a knocking system after the Ball gown Incident, which rendered you unable to speak for two weeks. You occasionally still communicated that way with her even now; usually in cases when you didn’t want your voice to agitate her. Sandra hated the sound of your voice. You knew that because she said so at least once a day.
“Most pleasing,’ said Sandra in a soft moan. “If you’ll walk barefoot in school tomorrow, you may leave half an hour early today. Follow me, Tanel.”
As if in tune with the fading footsteps, the gears in your head started turning. She said that it was because of what Raido did to Dmitri yesterday. In that case, why is she being so nice to me? I thought that she’d act hysterically today. I guess that she must be planning something special.
Just thinking about yesterday is making you feel down. Raido, you didn’t have to do that to him, I tried telling you… You didn’t have to get kicked out of school for me.
Raido Tamm, your best – and only – friend had always stuck up for you. If you hadn’t stopped him from “avenging” you after the Ball gown Incident, he would most likely be in jail right now. Even though he was probably in his room right now instead of a prison cell, it felt all the same for you. Your one pillar of support was gone.
You closed your eyes for a minute and cleared your head. Stupid me. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Boarding that train of thought lead to a bad place; heading in that direction was a sign that you should take your medication. You didn’t like taking it since it made you feel disconnected from yourself, but you made sure to take it at least once a week; it was the best compromise you could make.
Seeing as you were inside your own locker, you had all of your “isolation items” neatly put onto the shelves, to their precise spot. You took a bottle of water and a small round pill from a long and silvery sheet. After ingesting the white ball of numbness, you put the things back to their right places and whipped out your iPhone. Even inside the locker, the reception was great.
Getting out half an hour early in exchange for all of the explaining you would have to do was not worth it. Besides, the only thing that bothered you about being stuck in here was the lack of ability to change positions. Otherwise, you didn’t mind it at all. After all, you would be doing exactly the same thing right now, even if you had gone straight home; being on the internet. The phone’s bright screen gave the insides of your locker a faint blue glow. You Googled “Red Wonder” – the oddly-nicknamed comet flying past Earth – in hopes of digging up new developments relating to it. A lot of people were arguing that the comet was flying too
close to Earth.
All of the different news sites were citing just a couple of hours old article written by a well-respected professor. He was saying that the so-called “Red Wonder” posed absolutely no threat to anyone and that the media has blown the absurd theories of anonymous internet users way out of proportions. He even provided calculations, serving to validate his story. Seeing as no-one – besides a handful of commentators – were trying to dispute the numbers, you thought that they must be correct. After all, you didn’t know much about math nor physics. What a shame. If the world were to end, I wouldn’t have to worry about whatever Sandra is planning.
You sighed and then moved your sight to the upper area of your phone’s screen. It’s 5:30 pm, the new episode of Involuntary Waifu Project should be translated by now.
It was. You navigated to a colorful site and clicked on the anime you had in your mind. After a couple of seconds, episode 172 started playing. You observed it stoically.
When you first started watching that series, it interested you; it gave you energy; it was something that made you happy. Now, however, it gave you nothing. It was simply something you mechanically did. You needed
to finish that series, that way you would be able to say that you had seen something
from start to finish. It was a problem that had plagued your life for as long as you could remember; you don’t remember a single thing that you had completed 100%. You were used to giving up on other things, other projects; this would not
be one of them.
Time flew by quickly. The episode was nearing its end. As Waifu’s ending song began with the familiar-sounding four chords of pop, the door shuddered with the sound of a knock. “Well, well. If I knew you liked school this
much, I could have granted you the right to roam around here even after hours,” said a smiling man.
Hearing something unexpected, you flinched by reflex, causing your phone to fall to the bottom of the locker; screen down. During the many, many times you had been stuck here, you had never
seen someone walk through this hallway past 5 pm. Since it was also dark outside in the hallway, the light of his phone must have given him away. You knew that the speaker was a man due to his voice and you knew he was smiling because his mouth was the only thing you could see through the slit.
You heard a clang resonating from the outside of the locker. “Hold on for a bit. I’ll call our huff-and-puffer and we’ll get you out in no time. Or rather… in a little time.” He paused. “Longer if the traffic’s bad. He thinks that I’ve been locked inside someone else’s locker.
“I… uh, here,” you said, reaching out hand through the opening; key in your palm.
“Well, that sure speeds things up.”
After a soft ‘clack’, there door opened. The man before you looked too old to be a student but too young to be an employee. Nonetheless, you knew him; kind of. You had seen him walking around the school a great number of times, yet you knew nothing about the man. You figured that he must be an IT guy, seeing as he was a suited-up man in his twenties. Shortly after immigrating, you had learned that 95% of the teachers in this country were women, 4% old men and only the remaining 1% consisted of young men.
“Listen, I know that it’s getting late already. In fact, I was actually on my way home right now, but…” said the man, trailing off. After a short pause, he continues, “There’s obviously a story behind you ending up in that locker… and having a key for it, so let’s continue this conversation in my classroom. I’ll make some coffee.”
Without waiting for your reply, he started walking down the hallway, expecting you to follow him. [ ] Follow him. He seems like a genuinely nice person.
[ ] Run home. He probably doesn’t know who you are. [ ] Hide and then go back into the closet. Sandra will know otherwise. She always knows.
Our main character was voted to have the name Jaune Delacroix. He moved to Estonia a couple of years ago and speaks – or rather, writes and understands – the language well enough. Nonetheless, he clearly looks
different from everyone.