By Aero Huntsman
Nov 16, 2017
It was a perfectly normal Friday. People went home on the bus just as they usually did. Classes that were usually boring stayed boring. Nothing exciting could happen on a day like this.
The first sign of suspicion was the abrupt departure of the upperclassmen from the cross-country race. They used excuses that didn’t quite fit, like babysitting, but when asked whom they were to be watching, they couldn’t respond. The freshmen brushed off their strange behavior. Anything could be bothering them, after all.
Not long after that, other unsuspecting students noticed their friends acting weird. On a perfectly good day, all they wanted to do was stay inside and watch movies. Little did the younger kids know, the school was securing the location of each student. The freshmen would each be either at their house or with an older student at the start of the event.
Just before dark the surprise began. All over the area, freshmen were being ambushed by their older school-mates. Bands of older kids would burst into the homes of younger students, brandishing surprise signs and ordering the surprised freshmen to come with them back to the school. The younger students obliged, most of them caught completely off-guard. The freshmen were put in the backs of school vehicles, told to not leave the vehicle no matter what. Some were even taken without shoes or jackets. Luckily, parents had secretly packed bags with clothes and sleeping bags that were collected before departure.
On the drive back to Lee Vining the older kids told stories about their own freshmen surprises in past years. Some students from Mono City told of how they had been abandoned at the graveyard, in the dark. Were these just stories designed to scare, or did they actually happen? No one would tell the underclassmen where they were going.
As soon as all the freshmen had been snatched, the school vehicles proceeded to Mono Lake. The younger students walked down a narrow path towards what they thought was a bonfire. Then, suddenly, there were cries that the path was a dead end. The students looked back just in time to see the cars begin to pull away. They were leaving!
Just in time, the freshman made it back to the cars and headed back to the school, where they would spend the rest of the night. Upon reaching the school, everyone promptly began playing volleyball. The rest of the night was a back and forth between volleyball, food, and games in the dark. The hide-and-seek games involving glowsticks were especially exciting. One could never tell who was chasing them or who they were chasing. Hiding and being found was particularly terrifying. Waiting under the desk hearing their footsteps and hoping that you weren’t breathing too hard. Even though no harm would come to those who were found, there was still a sense of danger.
The food mostly consisted of pizza and candy. Lemonade and sodas were also available. There was no organized eating time, students would just occasionally wander over to the food. Later in the night, some began to notice a row of people standing near the bleachers with plates on their heads. As their numbers increased, they got more and more inquiring looks. Eventually they were spotted wandering towards the food. Then they were just gone.
Volleyball seemed oddly average in such a situation. Everyone plays volleyball continuously, so the activity added a strange sense of reason to the whole event.