Title: The Gray Hole
Entry Nickname: Hot Sauce is Bad for Wound Care
Word Count: 62K
Genre: Magic Realism/Suspense
Six students at Mayville High will be dead by Saturday night. Again. And again, they will begin the week over just before Tuesday's first period class. Doomed to repeat the same week until seventeen-year-old Grayson Dell decides to stop killing them, the group must work through two problems: First, Grayson has no idea the groundhog week from hell is happening; Second, the victims are all jerks.
As Grayson debates whether or not to follow through with his deadly plans, his victims, seeing nothing left to lose, only increase their cruelty to outrageous levels, making the decision to kill easier and easier. It isn’t until Grayson’s once-most-brutal tormentor treats him as a fellow human that the magical force creating the temporal loop provides signs of a possible end to the cycle. Now with the help of his old adversary, Grayson must steer clear of his victims and all their evil plans in order to find the therapy, medication, and friendship he needs. Otherwise, he and the others will be forced to endure the week before prom forever, corsages, limos, improvised-explosives, and all.
TUESDAY 7:59 A.M.
You tell yourself today will be different. Maybe it will. The lockers are the same sick, pale blue as yesterday, the linoleum floors still shine with same pungent cleaners that have been disintegrating nose hairs and SEAL-Team-Sixing brain cells for all four years you’ve spent in this school. And your classmates – if they’ve changed anything other than the color of their hair, it’d be tantamount to Chris Hemsworth intentionally eating a carb.
That pale blue used to be your favorite color before your wardrobe and your attitude took an about-face to the dark side. The chemical glint and nauseating smell from the floor is fading with each sneaker’s squeaking step. And those people – the juniors, sophomores, freshman, even your classmates – they all could –
Your head snaps against a locker so hard it’s unclear whether the high pitched hum ringing in your ears is just a sudden bout of tinnitus or if the blue painted metal is actually screaming back at you. You try to pull away and see if the locker’s door was repainted red, but the hand that put you there doubles the pressure from its sweaty palms, digging the blunted and jagged ends of chewed away nails into the back of your head and your left cheek.
You stop struggling before you start. Today will be no different. Why would it be? Embarrassment is the baseline of high school, and pain is just a reminder you haven’t left yet.