Celestical Chaos

February 8, 2009
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Celestial Chaos

Zo' Rhinehart

A huge commotion greeted Kelsey as she stepped into the crowded newsroom. With disorder ruling the room, printers continually spat out papers and panicked students ran across the room clutching the schools latest gossip and news. While dodging classmates, Kelsey made her way across the area to the bulletin board where new information was posted. After scanning the latest news feed, Kelsey pulled her hair back into a ponytail and readied herself for another afternoon of work. With an unending supply of secrets and rumors, the most recent edition of The Word would be on desks by homeroom the next morning.
Five computers were stationed in the corner of the room where four sophomores quickly typed. Kelsey walked over to the computers and tapped the nearest worker on the shoulder.
'Hey, Zoey (Aquarius), what's up? How are things going around here?'

'Everything is great,' Zoey replied, 'Melissa Hacker just told me the best secret about Erika Smith! It's about the party last Friday at Matt's. I was just telling it to him,'

Zoey Reese was everyone's best friend. Despite her habit of constantly letting her mind wander, she was friendly and offered amazing advice which made her every student's shoulder to cry on. With this gift she had an endless supply of secrets and lies. Sadly, she didn't use the valuable information as often as most people would. Zoey was content with her imagination and dreams. Either way, her talent opened up a spot for her on the news team.

Twisting her curly hair around her finger, Zoey left planet Earth and was lost in her thoughts. Kelsey sighed and turned to Matt (Capricorn), another tall sophomore who was the information organizer. The only responsible person in the group, it was his dream to go into journalism so his ambition was great. Typing diligently, Matt spoke to Kelsey without turning his eyes away from the screen.

'Yeah, Zoey told me about what happened. Supposedly, Melissa spotted Erika flirting with Steven Hill. As you know, Erika Smith is the most goth person in our school (Pisces). The whole dreamy, hypersensitive, in-touch-with-your-emotions thing; Steven is the complete opposite (Taurus).'

'That's okay, I guess. We need something that'll shock everyone. Maggie (Leo)! Enlighten me, what's the latest?'

'Well, Hanna, like, totally backstabbed me! She actually told Isabel that I like Kevin! I am so going to get her for that! I have secrets about her too, you know!'

Maggie Adams was the most popular girl in school who also loved gossip. Maggie liked spreading the gossip, but she found creating it even more irresistible. Without rumors, life was meaningless to her. Maggie was a snob and a bully, and no one really enjoyed her company but her ability to spread and create drama was unmatched. She could be warm-hearted but that side of her was rarely shown. This was why she was the news team's gossip creator; when the school's gossip supply was running low, you could count on her to fill it up.

'Anyway,' giggled Maggie, popping her collar, 'I told her my secret on purpose so I could, like, tell everyone about her deep, dark secrets!'

'Right,' muttered Kelsey, 'Last but most certainly least: Jack (Gemini). What have you got for me?'

'Just the best news ever!' guffawed Jack, 'I finally dated every cheerleader on the squad!' Jack held up his hand for a high five. Kelsey and Matt gave him looks of disgust.

'Dude, that's so heartless,' exclaimed Matt, still not taking his eyes off the computer.

'Well, that is what he's here for. All the dating and breaking up in this crazy place. Anyway, shoot. What's the scoop?' Kelsey said.

'That was it,' Jack replied. 'What else is there?'

Jack was the biggest jock on the face of the earth. He was the star football player, and he had dated nearly every single girl in existence. Not only that, but he was in on every single hook up, break up and make up in the school. This was bad news for every couple that wanted to keep their relationship a secret. Also, Jack seemed like an idiot but he was really a crafty kid. If you weren't careful, his charm, liveliness, and witty personality would sweep you off your feet. He was a potent combination of good looks and cunning.

Kelsey glanced at her watch. It was nearly eight o'clock. They had come here right after classes ended. The school would be locking up soon so Kelsey decided to send everyone home.

'Okay, guys, good effort today. Go home and hope for the best. I'll stay here a while longer and go through the files,' Kelsey said, waving good-bye to everyone as they walked out the door.

Once everyone had left, Kelsey sat down at a computer and began to think. The Word needed something brand new that would increase the number of readers overnight. It had to be interesting and different from everything else The Word had to offer. Suddenly, Kelsey sat up. She had thought of the perfect new addition to The Word.

'A horoscope page!' she uttered. 'It lets the stars determine what will happen to the students of Providence High School!'

Kelsey began to type feverishly. Her brilliant plan in motion, she worked deep into the night. It didn't matter to her whether her horoscopes were accurate. She just wanted to finish the newspaper before school the next day. The latest edition of The Word would be the best and change the school forever.

Sunlight streamed through the window, waking Kelsey. Yawning and blinking in the sunlight she was like a sleepy lion in the savannah. After rolling out of bed, Kelsey threw on her favorite pair of jeans, a cute t-shirt, and her sneakers. On her way out the door, she pulled a brush through her messy, blonde hair and grabbed a bagel for breakfast. Walking toward the bus stop, Kelsey pulled a copy of the latest edition of The Word out of her backpack. She had printed herself an extra copy of it last night so she was the first to read it. Kelsey flipped to the last page where the horoscopes were located. Aries, her star sign, was at the top. Kelsey read it to herself slowly and thoughtfully, taking in what she had written.

'Today is a day of surprises and change. Many strange things will happen to you and the people around you. Once you fix your mistakes and change your ways everything will be back to normal.' Kelsey frowned after she read the passage. She hadn't written any of that.

'That's weird,' she said to herself. 'Well, as long as people like it, I guess this will be okay.'

Once Kelsey got to school, she joined her friends in their daily morning ritual of eating breakfast and doing the homework they had forgotten to do the night before. As Kelsey was pulling her binder out of her backpack, Zoey spoke up.

'I was thinking of quitting the news team,' she said confidently, 'I don't think its right to tell other people's secrets anymore.'
Kelsey dropped her binder and jumped out of her seat, throwing her orange juice to the floor. 'Are you serious, Zoey?!' exclaimed Kelsey, 'The Word needs you! What made you decide this?'

'Well,' began Zoey, 'I went to the main office to pick up a copy of the latest issue of The Word so I could see what you came up with last night after everyone left. I noticed you made a horoscope page, and I read what the stars said about my sign, Aquarius. After reading it, I suddenly realized what I had been doing! I should become a more responsible, trustworthy person!'

The Word stuck out of Kelsey's backpack, catching her eye. Frustrated, she grabbed it and ripped the newspaper open to the last page where she read the Aquarius horoscope.

'You will finally realize what has been going on in your life. Take charge and ignore all who protest your change of character. Only a change of heart will turn you back to the person you were.' Kelsey slowly looked up from the paper and stared at Zoey. She hadn't written that horoscope either. Before she could say anything though, the bell rang. Students stampeded toward their lockers where they unpacked their books before entering into homeroom. In homeroom, new issues of The Word would be passed out to every student in the school. For a split second, Kelsey pictured everyone reading their horoscopes and obeying what they said as if in a trance. Shaking her head, Kelsey erased the strange fantasy from her mind.

'No one is going to turn into a zombie or anything,' she muttered. 'Zoey and everyone else will just make their own decisions. I still have to convince Zoey to change her mind about quitting the news team though.'

When Kelsey was in homeroom, she watched as people excitedly took the latest issue of The Word and read through it. After everyone had finished reading the newspaper, the room went silent. Kelsey turned in her seat 360 degrees so she could watch everyone in the room, including her homeroom teacher, begin to change. The first sound came from the back of the room where Kelly Foster, the student council president, was sitting.

'I'm tired of being president! I'm tired of responsibility! I quit!' Then Kelly dashed out of the room.
After a few seconds, the sound of a car revving its engine could be heard throughout the entire school. Kelsey looked out of the window and saw Kelly in the car park driving away in the art teacher's brand new, bright red convertible. Kelsey gaped at the sight of a student randomly stealing a teacher's car. Kelly wasn't just any student either. She was the student council president who had won numerous awards for helping the community. From the age of four, she was a polite and perfect little angel. Every parent wanted her as their daughter. Now, Kelsey had witnessed Kelly skip school and steal someone's car! Kelsey flipped through her copy of The Word and read the Libra horoscope. Kelsey knew Kelly's star sign was Libra because Providence's local newspaper had just interviewed her and her sign was included in the bio.

'Today is the day to break free! Enjoy life and have fun today. Don't be afraid to spice up your life. Only a change of heart will turn you back to the person you were.'

Then homeroom exploded and that's when the real drama began. Order in the room instantly fell apart as kids ran around the room hollering and screaming. Desks and chairs toppled over while books were being pulled off the shelves. School supplies began to fly across the room as kids, who were once quiet as mice, built barricades with desks and threw wads of paper at their enemies across the room. Mary McClellan (Cancer) was particularly vicious and Kelsey approached her carefully.

'Mary! What is going on?!' yelled Kelsey, cupping her hands near her mouth so her voice could be heard over the din.

'We're playing war. You can join in if you want but I'm going to go talk to Sam and see if she wants to play house soon. War gets boring pretty fast. It's a boy's game.' Suddenly, Mary was hit in the head by a fairly large paperback. Menacingly, Mary pushed her glasses farther up onto the bridge of her nose and readied herself for battle. Turning toward the enemy, she launched an array of colorful gel pens at her adversary.
Kelsey slowly backed away, dazed and confused. Mary was never like this. Mary was the school's big time nerd who would rather read a five hundred page novel than shop at the mall or play sports outside on a sunny day. She was known for locking herself inside her room, studying from dawn till dusk. No one could blame her though. She wanted to get into an Ivy League school, so there was nothing to do but study.

'Maybe I'm dreaming,' she muttered to herself while reaching toward her backpack containing her copy of The Word, 'This cannot be happening!'

Kelsey searched the horoscope page for Mary's star sign, Cancer. Kelsey knew that was Mary's sign because she had mentioned it while presenting her project on constellations in science class. Praying that the stars had finished messing with her mind, Kelsey whispered the horoscope for Cancer to herself, drowning out the ruckus going on in the chaotic classroom.

'You've been working too hard, so it is time to loosen up. Enjoy life and have fun like you used to. Be careful though, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. Only a change of heart will turn you back to the person you were.'

Suddenly a loud buzz drowned out all the noise in the room. It was time to change periods. Only Kelsey collected her things and went to first period. With her messenger bag slung over her shoulder, she walked down the deserted hallways toward Mrs. Rudolf's class.

'Everyone must be crazy,' she thought, 'because no one is moving to first period,'

Kelsey pulled out The Word and examined it closely. She flipped through the pages slowly. Then she flipped through them quickly. She turned it upside down. Kelsey wasn't sure what she was looking for. Was there a secret message? Were there signs indicating that someone had tampered with her school newspaper? Handling The Word as if it were a precious manuscript from ancient times, she gently turned the pages until she reached the last page. Matching each horoscope with a person she knew, she read all twelve horoscopes. After reading a horoscope, she quickly inhaled because the stars seemed to want to cause trouble and manipulate her friends and family.

'This is why everyone was acting so weird!' whispered Kelsey, finally breathing normally, 'The'stars were controlling my friends! This is so sci-fi!'

Kelsey stood dumb-founded in the empty hallway. Her knees wobbled and she began to break out in a cold sweat. She was used to a fairly normal life so this was way over her head. Panicking, Kelsey read the last horoscope on the page. It was Aries, her horoscope.

'See? This is what happens when you try to mess with the stars! Just take this made up horoscope column out of this newspaper and everything will be back to normal. Only a change of your heart will turn everyone back to the way they were. Good luck!'

Kelsey darted down the hallway toward the computer lab. Her thoughts swirled around inside her head as if her brain had been dumped in a blender. Her mind was on fire as she tried to work out the logic to what just happened. Her legs were on fire also as she rushed down the halls and skidded to a halt, nearly running past the computer lab. If she wasn't going insane and what had happened had really occurred, she needed to change The Word. Throwing herself in front of a computer, Kelsey quickly opened up the documents that made up the latest issue of The Word. Clicking the horoscope document and deleting it with speed and precision, Kelsey sat very still and listened closely. The scuffle of a hundred shoes and the dense murmur of sophomores talking to each other could be heard outside in the halls. Slumping down in her chair Kelsey let out a weak yell of joy and gazed at her original copy of The Word. It was the same newspaper the students had grown to love. Only the back page was missing.

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Elvina T. said...
Apr. 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm
Very imaginative. Well structured. Excellent command and use of language.Also, good depiction of "life" in high school
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