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Say No More
MS. GREENE -mother of killer
We all think we know our children
Like the back of our own hands,
Until they drift away
And we don’t even realize it.
We wonder where that sweet innocent child
And if they’re ever coming back.
I thought I knew my only son Blake,
The son who I brought home from the hospital
Weighing six pounds and three ounces,
The son who got cuts and bruises from playing too rough
With his father, or falling off the monkey bars
During recess at school.
The son who never did I bad thing in his life, ever.
He was like this perfect little angel
That all the other mothers on the parents committee wanted
For their own, this little green eyed cutie
Incapable of doing anything wrong.
But somehow, over the years, he hid
His real self from me,
From the world.
Until one day no one could help him,
not even me
The person who brought him
FRANCINE CARTER-honor student
High school’s supposed to be like this really big
You have to go from adolescence to an adult
In four years flat, and I
Guess if you think about it
It makes perfect sense.
So when we’re on our own in the world, we’re these
Miniature replicas of adults, in a way.
But the day Blake Greene came to school ,
with guns in his backpack saying he was
Going to shoot everybody, that was too much of a reality check.
Kids were screaming warning anybody who’d listen that
There was this crazy dude shooting everybody, just blowing their
People in the cafeteria ran towards the double doors
On the opposite side where Blake Greene
Would most likely come in from, packed together like
Sardines in can, deprived of oxygen.
Some girl at the back of the crowd started screaming, saying
The shooter was in the cafeteria with a gun in his hand, more bodies
Pressing together, less oxygen,
I couldn’t breathe.
That’s when I heard the shots.
They rung through the cafeteria like
Marbles hitting a tile floor, loud and clear.
More screaming, crying, screaming again.
Looking back on it, the screams
Were the only thing that clarified my sanity,
I knew I wasn’t the only one who
Was seeing their life flash before them, wondering if
They’d be able to see their parents, or
Even lay in their own bed again.
The shots did everything but cease, hands entangled with bodies,
Faces twisted, eyes petrified
I knew I shouldn’t turn around, or couldn’t, just
Pushed my way through hot bodies, feet without shoes, to the head
Of the crowd, praying a bullet
Didn’t go flying in my back, ending my life
My fight to survive.
You could say sheer willpower brought
But that would be an understatement,
Something higher wanted me to
Survive, to bear witness.
I just felt it as I found my way to the
Front of the school, tears mixed with mascara
Running down my face, hot and sticky, but
BLAKE GREENE -killer
I was sick and tired of
Being the center of the laughing, the teasing
All through grade school I never
Really fit in, never would.
I remember sitting in the back of
The class one day staring out the window
At nothing really, when I see this mockingbird nest.
There were five birds, but my eyes rested on
That one bird, left wing deformed, isolated
To a corner by itself
Four other birds stood on
The opposite corner of the nest,
Chirping, laughing in bird gibberish.
It reminded me of the torture and hate
I faced on a daily basis, only different,
The same but different.
I walked around school that day, thinking about that
I was that deformed bird.
And that needed to change.
You never really comprehend
The intensity of a situation until
There’s a loaded gun being pointed in your
Brings you to reality pretty quick, you know
There I was, looking inside
The barrel of a gun
While Blake held the pistol to my head,
Pure hatred in his eyes, his eyes so close
I could see the grey specks inside the green irises,
The jealousy evident.
I’d already knew the minute I heard that Blake Greene
Brought a gun to school shooting people
that I knew he was coming for me,
Sooner or later he was coming
Unfortunately, it was sooner than I wanted.
I was the cause of his pain, his suffering
Having to come to school everyday, suffer some more
Do it all over again the next day.
Being a hundred percent sure
He wanted to pull that trigger
As much as I wanted to bolt out
Of the nearest door.
Yeah, not happening.
There was a high chance I wouldn’t
Make it out of here, much less alive
My eyes pleaded with him, I
Couldn’t die now, not today
I had a basketball scholarship,
I wanted to go to graduation, college
I realized none of these might happen
I started crying.
But Blake was unfazed, just looked at me
And said, “This is for making my life
A living hell,”
I heard the gun go off.
At first I didn’t feel anything, thinking maybe
He decided against shooting me, but then I
felt a sharp hit and my body
Going into this mega shock, eyes closing
Taking my last scene in.
I didn’t know if I was dead or alive, but as
My breath shortened, quickened, I knew
What it all came to.
I was dying.
But to Blake I was already dead, just another
Tormentor gone, as he walked out of the room,
But not without
Looking back at me, waiting for my eyes
to close, then walked out the gymnasium doors, not
Fazed one bit.
ANGELA PATTERSON -killer’s childhood friend
I knew Blake, I mean
I really knew him, not from
Just going to school with him but
Talking, listening to him.
We grew up across the street from each other.
Moms started talking and the rest is sweet history.
But what he said to me a
Couple of months ago
Scared the crap out of me.
That’s pretty hard to do you know, scare
Me I mean
People think that me being a Goth
I worship Satan and wear black
all the time, but that’s just stereotype.
My dyed raven black hair looked like
Strands of licorices sticks, but
Mostly I was just misunderstood.
Only one person stopped and looked
On the inside, and
that was Blake.
It’s like the way you looked on the outside didn’t
Even matter, he just looked deeper,
Into your heart, your feelings.
You could have had a face full of pimples or
Two different colored eyes and he’d
Still would have had a serious conversation
Made you feel kind of special in a way.
Blake and I usually had serious, in depths talks
But his always seemed somewhat, divergent
It was mostly how he got teased and how much pain
It brought him
I’ll admit that ninety-nine percent of the things
he told me
Were beyond disturbing, beyond even
Wanting to think about, we were
Sitting in the grass by the courtyard once
And he looked away like maybe he was
Daydreaming or doing some serious
I asked him what was up and he admitted to trying to
The night before, but he couldn’t do it
The thing that kept me up every night for months
Was when he told me
He wanted to spread the same
Pain that those sorry ass “Poppy people” inflicted
Poppy people’s a term me and Blake made up
To describe the Populars,
Including preps, jocks,
And even the occasional drama geek.
I remember asking him how he was
Going to do that, but he
Just went back into that dazed look,
Planning something evil,
But God, this was the farthest thing
From my mind.
I never in a million years would have thought
That he’d actually do it.
I tried killing myself last night,
Waited for mom to close her bedroom door and dad
to drift off on the living room sofa.
I took the razor blade off mom’s old disposal chic razor
I found in the trash out back.
Turned up this song that caught my attention last week,
Down With The Sickness
Which got me thinking about how shitty my life really was.
Took the blade and pressed it to my wrist, hard.
Blood oozed off my arm, onto the pillow, the floor.
Not enough or too much?
I couldn’t even kill myself the right way.
Shit, I didn’t even know there was a right way.
Sitting on the edge of the bed letting a crimson ribbon of blood
Twisting its liquid body around my arm.
Maybe this was life’s way of keeping me here, letting
Me suffer more than I already was.
MS. WILKINSON-killer’s kindergarten teacher
Blake was the kind of boy who didn’t talk much,
Just sat by himself during playtime, in
A corner somewhere while
The other boys pretended to race each other
In racecars made up of cardboard boxes.
Nobody invited him to play, he didn’t ask.
Just stared at them, like if he thought hard enough
He could guess which boy was going to win that round
There was this small bag of Legos by my desk
That he always took and played with,
Making little cars, or people sitting in chairs,
Or New York buildings.
I remember this event that took place clearly one day
When little Blake did the usual,
Wait for all the kids to leave the room, while
He got out of his seat and took the Legos and
Sat in the corner.
I didn’t notice Chris and his sidekicks go back in
But when I went back into the room to get
The jump ropes locked inside the storage closet,
Chris was standing in front of Blake
Who looked around hoping someone would help him, hoping I
Would help him.
But he didn’t see me.
Looking at the ground I saw a dark puddle underneath,
He must have peed on himself.
I ran up to him and told him to go to the nurse.
He walked out the classroom, pants soaked.
I was in the bathroom when it happened
Applying my blast blue eyeliner and cosmic rush purple lipstick.
I had ditched sixth period for one purpose and one
To avoid the unwelcome supply of stares
And judgment seeping out of
Humanity’s skin like sweat.
My appearance was nobody’s business
I remember looking in the mirror at my
Save The Whales t-shirt,
Green-and-gray plaid skirt,
Pink Argyle socks,
And combat boots.
I laughed at myself and said
Yeah I was different
So shoot me.
Wrong thing to say.
Out of nowhere I heard these
Shots started firing outside the bathroom,
The sound of rubber sneakers skidding on tile…
I didn’t think, couldn’t
Just ran into the farthest stall from the door,
And stood on the toilet,
Hoping that whoever the hell
Was shooting wouldn’t come in here.
That’s when I heard the door squeak open
A hurried pair of shoes frantically wandering the bathroom.
Where they looking for someone?
Or could it have been some other kid scared
shitless like I was right now?
But then I saw the pair of black Pumas stop in front of my stall.
How screwed up would that be if that was the last
Thing I saw before I died?
A fucking pair of worn down pumas.
I closed my eyes
Waiting for the only thing that separated me
From the killer to break down.
But nothing happened.
Then a voice:
“I know you’re in there Perris.”
I could tell it was a boy.
He stood there for some time more
Then walked out of the bathroom.
Shots fired outside again.
I knew who it was.
The feeling was there all along
It wasn’t until after the shooting,
When I found out that Blake was wearing
Black Pumas that day
That I knew he saved me from Death.
TRAVY HALE-black basketball player
I knew Blake was going to shoot up the school
I knew two weeks before it happened
I knew when he was going to do it
I knew what guns he had
And how he would get them
I even knew who he was going to kill
I knew because I stole his notebook.
He was always writing in that thing
Like It was his life or something
When the second period bell rang
Blake rushed out the door
In a hurry
I saw a vanilla-and-licorice colored composition notebook
Sitting neatly under the seat where Blake sat.
I looked around making sure nobody
Saw what I was about to do
Which was put the notebook in my bag
At home I looked though the pages,
I never knew how depressed he was
How miserable his life was or what people did to make
It that way
I only saw him as the butt of every joke,
The loser on everybody’s lips
But I didn’t think it cut that deep
Everybody got teased in high school
That was the law of the land around here
Tease and get teased
You either pretended like it didn’t
Walk away like you never heard a thing.
But one thing never do is show it.
That just showed weakness.
And here, well weakness is your kryptonite.
Blake showed that it hurt
And that’s why people went back for more.
They knew it was easy to get under his skin,
To make him squirm without any
Trouble at all, just a few
Words that could either
Make or break you.
I flipped until I saw a doodled page with the word
Hit List underlined in red pen at the top
Of the page
It had every name
Of the person he wanted to kill
In order from their last names,
Every thing that anyone has every said or done
To him that made him hurt
Some had a tally by their name
While most had half a dozen
The name that caught my eye was
Chris Reid, the varsity basketball star,
Underlined and circled
With 43 tallies.
I counted each one.
An arrow pointing away from his name
Showed the words that made my blood turn cold.
One word, one meaning.
I knew what it meant.
That’s when I saw something else,
Something I didn’t want to see but did.
Stuffing the notebook back into my bag
Like it was an invisible fire torch
I stared at the floor, dazed
I don’t know when I fell asleep but
The last thing I remember is
Seeing my name
Under Chris Reid’s,
With 31 tallies,
An arrow pointing away from my name
God, I was second.
I knew what that meant too.
I remember panicking.
I remember squirming.
I remember screaming at myself.
Wondering how I could have lost the damn notebook
Things were in there that
Weren’t supposed to be seen,
The “Hit List” being one of them.
I told myself I’d probably misplaced it somewhere
In my room
Under the textbooks
Or inside the clothes hamper.
The last place I had it was…was…
I remembered rushing out of the classroom with my
Backpack on my shoulder, My calc textbook,
But no notebook.
Realizing I left it under the seat of my chair,
Where anyone could have read it,
Could have seen the deep, dark secrets
I’d naively written on the telltale pages of
I knew someone had,
No doubt about that.
I just needed to know who…
I walked fifteen blocks.
Fifteen blocks to nowhere
Fifteen blocks away from Swingley High
But most importantly
3,600 seconds to freedom,
60 minutes of confusion and astonishment
21,000 steps to safety.
I don’t know where I am
Or where I’m going.
All I know is that I’m alive and well.
The shock hit me like a
Blow to the stomach,
Breathtaking and a little too real.
People I knew were shot, killed.
My friends, Mark, I didn’t know what happened
To any of them.
I wanted to turn back,
To find out if they were okay, alive,
But deep down I knew I couldn’t go back.
I’d just end up like the rest of them.
REGINA MILES-school secretary
Two days after Spring Break Blake Greene
Came into the office and asked to see
Ms. Davidson, the school counselor.
He handed me an orange slip
Saying that he needed to see the counselor
signed by his history teacher
I told him to take a seat until
Ms. Davidson got back from her
He looked around in this nervous kind of way,
Like somebody was watching him or something.
I knew right then that Blake
Had problems, but I never knew they
Were that bad….
When Mr. McCormick called me
Up to her desk and handed me a slip of orange paper,
I knew where he was sending me.
I still didn’t know where my notebook was
Or if someone turned it in,
But I did know one thing: she must have thought
That I was a very troubled adolescence because
She was sending me to the counselor’s office.
Yeah, like a counselor can label me severely depressive
By asking me what I did for my 3rd birthday…
Don’t think so.
So I head to the secretary desk and ask for
The so called “counselor” but find out she was
On her lunch break-joy,
I think I’ll wait
For her in her office and suck on
A nice little cherry lollipop,
Gag me please.
So I turn around thinking maybe
I can get out of school early or something
When Ms. Miles tells me to take a seat
Until she gets back.
See, that’s how I know everyone’s in
This world to mess with my head.
But I take the farthest seat away
From the secretary desk and
Stare at some poster promoting
Abstinence in our school.
Yeah that word doesn’t even exist
In high school.
I’m looking around trying to find some
Sign of a clock to see how much
Wasted time has passed,
When in walks Ms. Davidson in
A overly-flamboyant pink and yellow dress
With moonlight tinted heels.
“Blake, are you here to see me?”
Uh no, I just love looking at an abstinence
Poster all day.
“Uh, yeah,” I say.
We walk into her office,
Her asking all these questions,
But not truly understanding the answers,
Or simply, not wanting to.
Becky Hines- school nurse
I see all types of cases with teens, from rape to
Pregnancies to substance but when the Greene kid
Came in and handed me an orange slip that his teacher signed
That said SEE IMMEDIATELY.
After about twenty more minutes in the bathroom
The shots decreased, maybe one or two
Every five minutes or so.
They sounded far off so I think I’d take a
Even though I knew that a chance
Like this was slim to none,
A chance was a chance.
I walked across the bathroom stall
Combat boots wet on the sole
From water spilt on the floor.
Too much noise.
The last thing I wanted was for him to come back.
So took off the combat boots and tossed
Them in the trash.
Slowly opening the door
I made my way toward the front of the school.
Fresh corpses and glassed-over eyes
Greeted me with horror
All these people, dead
People I went to school with ever since freshman
People who use to some to my birthday
Party in elementary, gone.
I had to get out of here, if not
For me, for them.
The day of the shooting I couldn’t
stop thinking about it
About the 2nd marked by my
name underlined more than once.
I walked around looking for anything and everything
That seemed out of place.
Sneakers squeaked on the floor
Doors slammed shut
Bells rung like crazy
I was making myself paranoid…
No HE was making me paranoid.
I had no doubt that he would commit such a
Heinous act cause well,
Everybody who knew him knew he
Had problems that most people didn’t have.
Had unresolved issues.
I didn’t know what they were.
But I what I did know was that us
Making fun of him wasn’t helping his case,
I didn’t see everyone in the halls
And if I did they were either wounded or dead
I didn’t care to know which.
As I walked over the limp bodies,
I felt a head grab hold
Of my leg
Weighing down on me some
So I stumbled forward.
Looked down to see Travy Hale
Looking up at me
His eyes screamed help me
But his lips were frozen solid
Its like his all entire face was a piece of
Glass that would break
I could see it
I could see the cracks already appearing
His eyes showed the distinct track of dried
Worry lines on forehead
Listening for anything, ANYTHING.
And I understood.
I knew what he was listening for,
The whole school was listening for the same thing.
That’s the last thing I thought
Before the librarian started screaming all hysterical
Before pointing to the double doors of the library,
Pointing to the killer.
I don’t know.
Some dude with shaggy hair stuck to his face
By sweat and fear.
More fear than anything though.
I could tell.
Wait he looks familiar, too familiar.
I remember that same ACDC shirt that used to be
Black but had too many spins in the washer.
Not him, anyone BUT him.
The guy I grew up with.
The spastic loner and the black obsessed chic.
Ha some duo.
But this boy standing here,
Gun in hand
Eyes anxiously looking around for victims,
People who hurt him,
No this wasn’t him.
This was someone different.
Someone completely not Blake.
It couldn’t be.
This person scared me.
I walked a couple of miles down the road.
Stopped at some gas station.
Bought a bag of chips, some water
With the extra money I had in my back pocket.
People were hurt, dead even.
People I’d known for years,
Went to kindergarten with.
I couldn’t stand in some gas station eating a
Fucking bag of chips while some psycho
Shoots up my school.
So I do what I knew I was going to do deep down.
I was going back.
I was shot, bad.
I felt this sharp, intense pain in my shoulder,
Blood staining my favorite jersey.
Nobody was around.
Nothing but lifeless bodies.
A sea of empty eyes and vacant souls
Surround me in a mass on the cold tile floor.
Hair in faces, feet without shoes.
Reminded me of one of those movies you watch
In class they show us to scare us into being
Grateful for our lives.
The last thing I would use to describe this.
This unspeakable thing that nobody would have thought
In a million years would happen.
Some girl comes out of the bathroom, mismatched socks
Mismatched everything to be honest.
Something in her eyes, fear.
Could read it as if she had it written across her forehead
In bold black text.
For everyone to see.
This thrill went through me as I walked
Around the school, light no longer coming in
From the glass doors by the front hallway.
Eyes looked back at me, scared.
For once I was in control,
Control of what happened around me,
Control of the people that walk these same hallways
Such a salty word coming from my tongue,
Like the transfer students that come here every year,
New and inexperienced.
But despite it all I loved it.
The control I mean,
I embraced it like my mother’s hug,
Breathed it in like the smell of weed.
Not that I tried weed.
Passed by some stoner kids in the back by the dumpsters
One day after lunch and got a whiff of the stuff,
Like not cigs.
Yeah, control was sweet.
Almost as sweet as revenge, but not quite.
I remember one day like it was yesterday.
The school nurse called me saying that
Blake had peed on himself and he needed more clothes
So maybe I should come whenever I had time and bring
him an extra pair.
I hung up the phone and leaned on the wall.
Blake was potty-trained,
I taught him as soon as he was 2 years old.
Heavy thoughts weighed my mind as I lay dying on
This cold, gymnasium floor.
This same floor I won countless games on,
The floor that I sought refuge on,
Found peace with when all I wanted to do was be alone.
Now I despised this floor.
It would be the last thing I would ever get to see.
Now that I think about it, its pretty ironic.
As I walked back to school it started raining.
The drops hit my skin like sharp, tiny needles.
If they were any sharper I swear they
would pierce my soul.
Now that I think about it, that
Wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
My walk turned into a slight jog, my jog
Turning into a full out sprint.
I was determined to save someone, anyone
From Blake’s chilling rampage.
Cars honked as they sped past me,
Past a few people on the sidewalk
Going for their afternoon runs,
Completely oblivious of the world around them.
I was cold.
I was soaked.
But I was…alive.
Couldn’t even think the word in my head, it sounded
Something many people at Swingley High weren’t.
I took refuge under my desk, right by the window
facing the front of the school.
In the room across the way was the principal’s
office, door left open.
I don’t know why I noticed it but I looked on my desk
And saw the phone lines flashing.
Surely they didn’t know.
Didn’t know what was happening.
What was to come.
What was going to happen.
I gazed at the entrance of my office, silently listening
to potential footsteps.
Hearing nothing but upsetting silence
I slowly took the phone off the hook and dialed 9-1-1.