The Lost and Found Family

The objects left in the Stuyvesant Lost and Found box over the summer gain sentience and decide to roam the school looking for a way to escape.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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By Emily Young-Squire

It’s 8:45 a.m. The bell rings through the vacant building. The Tribeca bridge is empty save for the group of marathon runners training for the 20-mile run from Terry’s to Ferry’s and the pigeons doing unspeakable acts on top of the roof. It’s a Thursday summer afternoon and no one is here. That is, nobody human, of course. A lone box sits behind the doors of the building. Somewhere among all this quiet, something mysterious, almost magical, seems to awaken.

Suddenly, there is a sound. It is quiet, but unmistakable—a rustling of some kind. And it sounds like it’s coming from the lost and found? All of a sudden, out from the dusty remains of the box of abandoned belongings springs a pair of light-up Sketchers, an old umbrella, a bottle of olive oil, a handwritten note to an anime waifu, a soccer ball that seems to have never been used (this is Stuyvesant, after all), a digital camera filled with illegal photos of Deltamath answers (there were always rumors of an underground Algebra II ring), and a gym shirt that has never been washed. All of these were objects that Stuyvesant students had lost over the years, piled into a box, and never to be found again. But now, they seem to have come alive? And are trapped in the school?

“What do we do?” a pair of lone gym shorts wails. “The heat has rendered us sentient but how are we supposed to make a safe return back to our owners if we can’t get out of this hellhole?”

“Don’t worry,” the bottle of olive oil reassures them. “We’ll band together and figure this out. Through the power of family.” And with that, he assumes his true form. Vin Diesel? Seven-foot-nine, and with a gruff voice, the man addresses the rest of the lost-and-found items. “Come on. There’s no time to waste. We have to find a way out.”

And with that, they start their adventure through Stuyvesant.

The first place they check is Principal Yu’s office. (“He’s got to have a secret exit somewhere? How else would he smuggle out the dismembered bodies of all the students he dislikes?”) But once they walk in, Principal Yu seems to greet them, waving his hands and smiling. They look at each other in a panic—has he been here in his office all summer? But as they move closer to examine him, they discover that he’s actually a robot. Clenched in his fist is a note that says: “The real Mr. Yu committed immeasurable amounts of tax fraud before disappearing off the face of the Earth in 2019. Ever since then, he has been replaced by an animatronic that gives all his pep talks, gushes about his love for BTS, and stands ominously cheerfully outside in the bitter cold of the winter to welcome students into school.”

But even after they thoroughly search the office, there is no secret exit; instead, they only find a pile of Mountain Dew and a bucket list of war crimes. So, they leave, but not before they reprogram the robot to confess its undying love of the sophomore bar at all times.

Heading into the Hudson stairs, the group passes by the freshman lockers and decides not to question the smell. They discover a hollow plank in the staircase, and when Vin Diesel manages to smash the false piece of wall open, they discover what looks like a cave full of guitar strings, rats, and also… Metrocards?

“What is this place?”

“This,” Vin Diesel replies, “is the lair of the Metrocard gremlin.”

“The Metrocard gremlin?”

“Yes. It has been a myth for years amongst the student body. There are rumors that there is a creature living in the walls of the school who loves to swipe Metrocards from students’ wallets so they can’t get home. Many chalk it up to just forgetfulness, but some students have reported seeing a little green man roaming the halls, arms full of stolen Metrocards. This must be where he lives.”

The group exchanges nervous glances. “But if this is his lair,” the soccer ball asks, “then where is he?”

Vin Diesel doesn’t respond, only making his way back into the hallway. “I’d rather not stick around to find out. Let’s keep going. And watch out, because if he finds us, we’re done for.”

But after searching the whole school, the group still had no way out. And with the sun going down in the sky, they knew they had to escape before the gremlin got to them.

“Well…” Vin Diesel sighs. “There is one more place we could check. But beware, once we go there, you might be traumatized for life.”

“What is it?”

“It’s the 11th floor pool…”

“Wait, that’s real?”

“Yes, but it’s not what you think.”

Vin Diesel leads them up the last flight of stairs before the pool. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?” When he’s met with unanimous nods, he takes a deep breath and opens the door.

Before them is a giant pool, glistening with light and surrounded with statues of Greek gods. But, when they look closer, it’s not water in the pool but… coffee?

Vin Diesel starts to explain. “Yes, that’s 18 thousand gallons of pure black coffee. The pool was initially created back in 1989 when the seniors decided that orally ingesting caffeine wasn’t enough to keep them awake, and that they needed to bathe in it. They started coming here in between classes to gulp down as much coffee as possible, breathe in the smell for a quick pick-me-up, splash some on their face, and even swim in it.” He rubs his hands together. “As far as I know, there’s a latch on the bottom of the pool that leads to some pipes that will take us to the outside world. But you have to make sure you make it to the end without overdosing on coffee. We may not all survive this, but this is the only chance we have to escape. Are you ready?”

The items look at each other curiously, but then determination spreads across their features.

“Alright then. See you on the other side.” And he jumps.

Joe mama posted in Dear Incoming Stuyvesant Class of 2026… WE HAVE ADVICE!

>> did anybody else see dwayne the rock johnson crawling out of a sewer next to stuy??