Photo by Darryl Moran (Flickr)

At school, we are the bench warmers, the second stringers on your teams, the third chairs in your orchestras. We sit on the fringes of your classrooms. We move the scenery for your dramatic masterpieces.

At night, we slip through the chain link fence and explore the abandoned Green Haven Asylum. We race down plaster-dusted hallways and scream into peeling cinder block walls. We tell ghost stories among the shells of desks and rotten cots.

In this atlas obscura, we discover broken stethoscopes, a one-eyed teddy bear, and lodged between cracked tiles, a Mercury dime.

Shadows are our kingdom.

This story was originally written for Carrot Ranch Literary Community’s 99-word challenge for the 2020 Buxton Festival Fringe.