Samantha Marie Daniels
I’m shooting up the school, October 22nd.
It’s down to you and me, baby, and I’m reveling in the anguish that drains the color from
your face. It’s absurd, yet you can’t help feeling that this little parley of ours is too personal.
I’m surprised—you don’t strike me as one of those soft-heads—you don’t fucking get it. How
could you, with all the noise of your foxhole prayers?
Stories of heroism bore me; I’ve seen that pathetic song and dance enough to know your
routine by heart. Do you want to hear it? I can save you some trouble, but it won’t stop you.
After all, October 22nd is only a week away, and the face behind the gun could be any face.
Go on, report me. You think care? You think that will make some bullshit difference? Just
be sure to leave your name out of it, hero, or maybe I’ll put it on the top of my list. You’re
already held hostage to the barrel of a gun you haven’t even seen yet. You don’t seem like the
“it can’t happen” type, but you don’t have the slightest fucking idea what “it” will mean.
In the coming days, the ticking clock will be all you hear. Except when a shriek of laughter
will fill the hallways and you’ll mistake it for screams. The second hand travelling over the face
of the clock will be all you see. Except when someone digs through their backpack and you’ll
watch, wait, and pray. You’ll feel the seconds pass, you’ll count the minutes, and you’ll jump
when the bell rings on the hour. No exceptions.
Nevermind, right? This could all be nothing, right? Right.
Imagine what desperation must feel like. Can you really beat down a shooter? Can you
take the gun and fire? What makes it necessary to shoot? Where do you aim? Dismiss those
questions with “l won’t know until I get there.” Claim that, if you must. Go ahead. Tell it on the
Keep your mortality a secret. Pretend a few days longer Better that than the “No, it won’t
happen to you” speech, followed by the just-in-case last words. You’ll get enough of that
bullshit from those who hear the story on the news. The last thing you want is more of their
goddamn speeches—their goddamn half-baked just-in-case invitations, their goddamn
counseling, their goddamn pity.
Remember me when you hear others whisper about fear. Swallow yours.
Choke on it.
But really now, I’m only graffiti on the door of a bathroom stall with a simple message just
for you: I’m shooting up the school, October 22nd.
You’ll leave in a minute, and I’ll be washed off the stall door. That’s okay. I come and go. I’ll
reappear somewhere—I always do.
When the 22nd passes by without casualties and the crisis is averted, don’t breathe your
sigh of relief. There’s October 23rd. 24th. And so on. And fucking so on. You better have been
This won’t be the last time you’ll hear from me.