Short Story Winner: Something to Stand For

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Short Story Winner: Something to Stand For

Camden Martin, Author of “Something to Stand For”
Source: Samuel Doyle

Camden Martin, Author of “Something to Stand For” Source: Samuel Doyle

Camden Martin, Author of “Something to Stand For” Source: Samuel Doyle

Camden Martin, Author of “Something to Stand For” Source: Samuel Doyle

Camden Martin, Capital High School Student

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10:55 AM. Capital High School, Olympia, Washington

Students rose from their seats quietly, trying not to make any kind of commotion. In the band room, Mr. Lundberg conducted a piece and positive notes rose from the students’ instruments. In a sophomore history class, a dark World War II movie played. The students in P.E. class monotonously ran line sprints across a rubber gym floor; their sneakers squeaked with every step they took.

The leadership students were the first to leave; they quickly collected their things and assumed the announcers’ table in the main office. Then the rest of the populace began to exit class. Instruments were zipped into cases, pencils were shoved into backpacks, and there was a chorus of slamming doors as a tenth of the school’s student body filtered into the commons.

The dull hum of quiet conversation filled the large space of the commons as students paced impatiently, waiting for the clock to turn to eleven. The students continued to mill around anxiously until the the speaker system that was most often used for lunchroom announcements crackled to life.

“We thank all of you for coming today to participate in the walkout!” A girl’s voice boomed over the intercom. She sounded nervous; her voice shook ever so slightly.

Somebody else’s voice took over; she sounded a little more confident. “Remember this isn’t about whether you’re pro-gun control or against! It’s about all of us coming together to support the students who were killed in Florida! Now please head out the doors and gather around the steps!”

The mass cloud of humanity that gathered in the commons all began to crowd toward the glass doors like salmon up a stream. However, nobody pushed: all taciturnly waited for their turn to exit the building.

After they were outside, they gathered in a sloppy ring along the steps of the school and the small grass lawn below. One blonde-headed girl held an orange sign in front of her that read “Stop School Shootings!” in big black letters. Boys with cameras walked around, filming and taking pictures of everything they saw, wanting to document every moment of the event. The youths looked wearily at one another, all waiting for whatever was to come next.

“May we have your a-attention please!” A girl shouted. Her voice sounded frail. It was obvious that she was incredibly nervous to speak in front of all the students. “Now we-we are going to…um…read a little bit…um…about each of the students that were murdered at…um…Stoneman Douglas High School.”

A hundred and fifty faces turned toward the owner of the voice. Most could not even see the three that were huddled at the top of the stairs reading a sad eulogy out loud.

They began with the teachers: each one of them were killed only trying to defend their students. An unfair sacrifice. Each of the students were listed off next; all of them had bright futures. A complete waste.

The reading about the deceased students ended with a melancholy moment of silence. There was an aura of fear and sadness surrounding the group of students.

But we will not be wasted. We can stand up. And we will stand up.

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The student news site of Capital High School
Short Story Winner: Something to Stand For