The day had started out nice enough. When I had climbed the stairs this morning it was cool and only a little breezy. It had been a nice change, and for a few minutes I stood next to Mrs. Phelps and contemplated walking back down the stairs and going home. It wasn’t long though before I came to my senses and resumed my ascension. Go home. That made me laugh, I couldn’t go home, not today. That was this morning though. Just before the clock struck noon, the clouds had started to roll in. Light and fluffy at first, they just kept getting darker. Pretty soon the sky looked like I felt most days. Gray in most places, but very, very dark in others. The wind had picked up a little too, but that didn’t bother me much. It just meant I had to lead my targets a little more. The laughing was starting to bother me. I had been around the small platform several times and I still couldn’t find who was doing all the laughing. Mrs. Phelps had laughed a little, but that hadn’t bothered me as much. It certainly hadn’t bothered me as much as the damn lock on the stairs. There’s that laughing again! I poke my head around the corner of the bricks and look down at all the people. Most of them I can’t see, but I know they’re there, hiding behind cars and laying under bushes. The cowards. I can see Professor Dandridge though. He was laughing pretty hard a while ago, but I stopped him. I shut him up, him and his laughing! Stay calm! Find the fire, the fire in the void. I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer, the little death. Strong emotions won’t get me anywhere today. Better check the north side. The north side looks alright. Wait…there’s someone. She’s running. It looks like, uhm, maybe… nope, I don’t know her, she isn’t a laugher. Back to the south side, check the door. Still locked, that’s good. Check the West side. No good, no good! I see a runner, a laugher! Stop laughing! Fire, void, fire, void… deep breath. I let half of it out, gentle squeeze. No more laughing, not for John Peters anyways. His laughter is leaking out and soaking into the grass now. I remember John Peters, he wanted me to give him more bandwidth. He thought his silly real player was too slow. More bandwidth! What an idiot. Check the East side. Why is the clock bell ringing? My watch claims it’s only 1:56, not 2:00. I shake my wrist and hold it up to my ear. The hand is moving, I set it this morning, I set it by the clock tower. Why would the clock ring early? Why… unless… the door! Check the south side! The door’s unlocked! Unlocked and open! Fire,void,fire,void,fire,void, Bell’s too loud. I can’t hear anything. I shall not fear, fear is the mind killer. Back around the corner check the West side. West side’s good. Hurry, hurry, fire void, check the North side. When I round the corner to the north I collide with someone, and knock them to the floor. He falls, and I stare at him. My first thought is to apologize, I’m sorry mister, I shouldn’t be running around up here, it’s dangerous. But then he starts laughing. His face is all twisted up and he’s laughing loud! Firevoidfirevoidfirevoidfire Stop Laughing! I raise my rifle to stop the laughing, but before I can stop him, he points at me. I see the fire now, it’s very bright. And the bell has stopped. I can’t hear the laughing anymore. I’m a little surprised to find that I’m laying on the ground and staring at the wall. Out of the corner of the eye I can see my laughter spilling out. It’s rich red flow crawls slowly towards one of the roof drains. The sky must be clearing up, because I don’t feel so gray anymore.

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