Calvin momentarily looked at Mr. Johnston before turning his glance to the gray walls surrounding him. Calvin hummed a tune for a bit before Mr. Johnston stopped in front of an elevator. He pushed the up button and waited for a few seconds. He occasionally glanced at Calvin who was busy looking at the side.  

“Let’s hope he isn’t too much trouble,” Mr. Johnston thought as the elevator doors slid open. 

“Go in,” he gestured to Calvin who walked in cautiously. Calvin had the urge to bite his nails but he relented. Mr. Johnston and Calvin waited for 30 seconds until it reached the 6th floor. The doors slid open to reveal an expansive room. They were dumbbells on the side of the room with other equipment,  and posters were decorated around the room. 

“Is this the gym?” Calvin asked Mr. Johnston who nodded. 

“Correct,” he replied when he suddenly blew his whistle, “Jamie, don’t push!” 

Calvin was surprised by how loud his voice was. 

“Let’s go,” he said and Calvin followed him. They stopped at the right corner where there was a black bench and other equipment. 

“Okay, Blake,” he said as he sat down, clipboard in hand. “Let’s first start easy. Do you know how to do push-ups?”

“I think so,” Calvin responded as Mr. Johnston cocked his head. Calvin gulped before bending down. He lay both his hands flat on the mat and extended his legs at the back. He then straightened his back and was in plank position now. 

“Good form. Now go down.” Calvin lowered his body down so his chest could almost hit the floor however, he fell down. Shoot.

“Do it again, soldier,” Mr. Johnston said as Calvin groaned. Hate it when he calls me that. 

Calvin put his hands on the mat and extended his legs again. When he went down again, he fell once again. 

Mr. Johnston sighed,” You have a lot to learn.” 


Calvin had tried everything to accomplish a good push-up, however, he failed. Calvin was already sweating after Mr. Johnston ordered him to run 4 laps around the room. 

“God, I’m tired,” Calvin thought as he got up. 

“Okay, that's enough for today,” Mr. Johnston said as he gave Calvin a towel. Calvin happily grabbed it and patted his body down. 

“Go to the showers over there. You have a locker there with your name on it. Here,” he said as he gave Calvin a gym bag. “It has clean clothes in there. Bring your dirty clothes here so you can give them to me.”

“Ok,” Calvin said as he grabbed the gym bag and advanced towards the showers. The showers were at the far right corner from where Calvin was standing. There were some boys coming out of the showers who were all laughing and talking. Calvin slowly walked into the showers where he saw some boys in the shower stalls. Calvin passed the stills and went to the lockers where he would undress. After he checked numerous lockers he stopped at a locker that bore “BLAKE” 

Here we are.

Calvin opened his locker to emptiness.  Of course, what did he expect? Calvin set down his gym bag on the bench before zipping it open. Inside were, as Mr. Johnston said, clean clothes. A white t-shirt, gray sweatpants, and white socks. Underneath all of that, there was also a deodorant. How nice of them. 

Calvin closed the gym bag and placed it in the locker. Subsequently, he took off his shirt and pants and stuffed them in his locker also. Remember to bring them when you are done.

 Calvin shut his locker and began walking to a vacant shower stall. When he found one, he went inside and turned on the hot water. Calvin took off his underwear and was now naked. As the water was hitting Calvin, he grabbed a chia seed soap bar that was at the niche. He rubbed the soap on his whole body and afterward, rinsed himself. Next, Calvin grabbed a little tube of shampoo that was also located in the niche. He applied some on his hands and lathered his hair. Afterward, he rinsed it. 

Calvin turned off the hot water and steam was now hanging in the air. He grabbed the towel that was hanging and wrapped it around his waist. When Calvin walked toward the lockers, he saw some boys look at him. Calvin felt uncomfortable with their eyes on him. However, he acted calm as he opened his locker. Calvin looked over his shoulder to see people talking. 

“What’s for lunch today?” 

“I think pizza.” 


Calvin shook his head as he got his deodorant. After applying deodorant to both pits, Calvin took off his towel and put on his underwear. Subsequently, he changed into his clean clothes. When he was fully dressed, he zipped up his gym bag and grabbed his dirty clothes. After closing his locker, he began leaving the shower room. Calvin saw the familiar figure of Mr. Johnston at the bench, who was writing something on his clipboard. He looked up and when he noticed Calvin, he set aside his clipboard. 

“Perfect,” he said as Calvin gave Mr. Johnston his clothes. “Oh yes, thank you.” 

When Mr. Johnston took hold of Calvin’s clothes, he grabbed his clipboard. 

“Let’s go to your dorm now,” he said as Calvin nodded, relishing the fact that he will rest after a long morning. 

“Okay,” Calvin said as Mr. Johnston pressed the elevator's down button. In a matter of seconds, the doors slid open. 

“Go in,” he said as Calvin entered the silver shaft. When Mr. Johnston went inside with Calvin, he pushed the 3rd-floor button. Calvin was uncomfortable as the shaft descended. The possibility of it dropping nauseated him. Mr. Johnston didn’t look at Calvin nor even broke his gaze at the doors in front of him. Calvin thought about today’s events as the elevator was moving down. The checkups, exercising, and showering clouded Calvin’s mind. Calvin shook his head violently when the doors slid open. 

“Let’s go,” Mr. Johnston said, which interrupted Calvin’s mind. 

“Oh okay,” he replied as he left the elevator. When Calvin began walking, Mr. Johnston explained the ground rules. 

“You can’t stay up until midnight. You have to turn off your lights by 10 pm. No fighting, smoking, making rude noises, or anything bad. Also, we have security cameras at every corner, so don’t think about sneaking out of your dorm,” he explained as Calvin nodded, taking mental notes. 

When they stopped, Mr. Johnston faced a door that had the number 25 beside it. 

“Here’s your dorm. Oh, I forgot you’re sharing the dorm with Aiden Smith.” 



I see. 

“Here’s your key,” he said as he gave Calvin a key, “Don’t lose it.”

Calvin gulped when he grabbed the key. “Ok.” 

“You can ask us anything for entertainment. Books, board games, or tablets,” he explained as Calvin nodded. 

“I see. Um, can I have a book?” 

“Ok, which one?” 

“Um, shoot which one. . .The Great Gatsby?” 

“That ancient book? Ok then, I’ll give it to you.” 

“Thank you.” 

Mr. Johnston looked at Calvin once more before going back to the elevator. Calvin stared at the doorknob and breathed in and out. He inserted the key into the lock and turned it. He pushed the door inward and saw the dorm beds. No one was inside the room. Good. Calvin closed the door behind him and felt the utter silence in the room. He didn’t know whether he would sleep at the top or bottom but since Calvin was tired, he slept on the bottom bed. Calvin felt his muscles relax as he laid down on the bed. All that happened today was out of Calvin’s mind because all he wanted to do was sleep peacefully.

July 15, 2022 19:12

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18:04 Jul 19, 2022

Hi, thanks for your comments on my story. I came over to have a look at yours. It feels very much like someone's first day at a training camp or something but it isn't really explained where they are? The guy calls him soldier, is he a soldier? I felt like there was a lot of detail that wasn't really necessary, especially around him showering, if you wanted to you could edit this down to be a much shorter piece and it would be tighter perhaps. You should probably proof read it quite carefully too, I spotted a few misplaced words. Overall it'...


Calm Shark
19:10 Jul 19, 2022

You have to read "To Serve Man" and "The Awakening" to fully understand it. It's a series. :)


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Calm Shark
21:01 Jul 15, 2022

I changed the name Mr. Quesada to Mr. Johnston.


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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

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