The Bengal Beat

Dance The Night Away

Dance+like+no+one%E2%80%99s+watching%2C+but+don%E2%80%99t+worry%2C+Mr.+Douglass+is+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Pixabay%2C+credits+to+geralt%29.
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Dance The Night Away

Dance like no one’s watching, but don’t worry, Mr. Douglass is (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, credits to geralt).

Dance like no one’s watching, but don’t worry, Mr. Douglass is (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, credits to geralt).

Photo courtesy of Pixabay, credits to geralt

Dance like no one’s watching, but don’t worry, Mr. Douglass is (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, credits to geralt).

Photo courtesy of Pixabay, credits to geralt

Photo courtesy of Pixabay, credits to geralt

Dance like no one’s watching, but don’t worry, Mr. Douglass is (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, credits to geralt).

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“They never were fun,” a manic voice whispered, “the dances, they’re the wors—listen I’ll try to tell you more later, but for now, you didn’t hear anything from me.” That was all my senior informant could tell me before he ran away. Soon teachers rounded the corner and I decided to walk to my first class.

I’m Miguel Gutierrez and I’m trying to find out why Brashier dances are required. My year spent at Brashier has been great for academics, but as someone who’s socially challenged, I hate the rule about the dances. For some asinine reason, dances at Brashier Middle College are required. I couldn’t find anyone who would speak openly about the dances. For some reason, the seniors wouldn’t talk about it at all. The teacher who coordinates the whole shindig, Mr. Douglass, won’t say anything on the matter either. Whenever I talk to him, he brushes it off. Coincidentally, he’s the only teacher that teaches Freshman Success. Supposedly, it’s so that other teachers have an extra class period, but I think there’s something else there.

The school’s newspaper, the Bengal Beat, has only covered why you should attend these dances and what makes them so great. Mr. Douglass also seems to have an innate love for the paper, despite not seeming to really know the teacher. If there was one thing that I am certain of, he had something to do with this weird attitude that everyone shares.

Our first dance of junior year was coming up fast: Fall Formal. I don’t want to go spend another three hours in the back commons, but lo and behold, our school is unfair. The worst part is that dance tickets are $20; I almost think this is how the school gets its funding.

The day was now almost over, and it seemed like I was once again at a loss, until I felt a tap on my shoulder.

“Come with me,” a familiar manic voice whispered.

I turned to see the same frightened senior from this morning. After I gazed dumbfoundedly for a few seconds, he gestured for me to hurry up. We headed downstairs and hid in the boys locker room.

“What’s this about?” I questioned him.

“You said you wanted to know about the dances and why they’re required?” He said discreetly.

“Yea?”

“Here’s the biggest reason: Mr. Douglass.” He sat me down at one of the benches and began to elaborate. “When Douglass came to Brashier, he changed some things. For starters, he asked to be given every single freshman success class in order to ‘free up’ others’ schedules.”

I interjected, “but what about the dances?”

“I’m getting there…and don’t be so loud, he’s got narcs everywhere,” he regained his composure and continued. “Everything seemed normal, it was the first year my class was here. Next thing you know, the freshmen class has basically been brainwashed. We aren’t clueless, we just can’t talk about it without him knowing.”

“That doesn’t make any sense, doesn’t that just mean the freshmen were the only people going to dances?”

“Well yeah, but according to the guys in the upper classes at the time, he started asking some people to stop by after school. After that, all of a sudden it seemed like everyone I knew was a dance fanatic. I never went in, every time he tried to get me in, I wouldn’t go. I started acting like everyone else and he left me alone. Speaking of, did you ever see the old man?”

“I never had freshman success here, and I was never asked to stop by,” I was starting to connect everything in my head. I transferred from another school in the second half of sophomore year, so I must have slipped under the radar or I was never in his sights at all.

At that moment, another senior came in. My informant pushed me behind a shower curtain so I wouldn’t be seen.

“Charlie, Mr. Douglass would like to speak to you.” And at that point, my senior informant knew that it was too late. It was pointless to try to evade Douglass, so he just complied. Needless to say, I was ready to go home.

A month later, I finally saw Charlie again, but he seemed different. He walked differently now—almost as if he were robotic. I walked up to him and tried to catch up. I think I found a way to avoid going to another dance, and I wanted to get him out with me. All I got in response, though, was a single sentence.

“I think we should go see Mr. Douglass, friend.”

I was terrified. I ran to my next class. What did this madman do to Charlie? He wasn’t my friend, but seeing the difference in how he acted was enough to unnerve me. I felt sick, but I couldn’t even risk going to that side of the school at this point, let alone the nurse. This was my fault. I made Charlie feel like he had to tell me something. I felt like I was in a nightmare, trying to wake up.

At the end of the day, I heard a bone-chilling announcement. I was to report to Mr. Douglass’s room at once. I knew there was only one outcome of this. The school was under his thumb whether I liked it or not. I started to walk down to the room, when it finally hit me. I could stop the reign of terror if I could just find out what Douglass was doing to everyone. When I got there, it seemed like there was a PowerPoint ready for me to watch. The door was slammed shut, and Douglass began his lecture. I knew I could change the future for better, and it all started here.

The night was young; the music high. The dances at Brashier are wonderful aren’t they? There’s no other reason to go here. Clearly the dances here are the product of our generation. I can’t wait for the next one.

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