Vacant New Jersey

Bennett School for Girls

Status: Region: Type: Gallery:
Abandoned New York School 60 Photos

[Collapse | Expand]

A single bead of sweat slipped down the bridge of my nose, briefly free-falling before crashing into the dry floor boards below which quickly absorbed any trace of its' splatter from existence. It took four grueling trips up and down five flights of stairs to lug all that shit up and into the attic and yet I still wasn't done. At this point I was covered in this itchy fibrous material, but I knew it'd be worth it in the end, I'd never had to see a damn picture of this fucking school again. Just one last trip back to my car to retrieve the final puzzle piece, then back up the stairs for the last time ever and with a single flick of the thumb, it'd all be over, it'd make the news, and that would be that; history!

But first I needed to complete a quick sweep to make sure I was alone. No substantial evidence could exist which also meant absolutely no witnesses. On my walk back down I spotted a couple walking around the exterior of the collapsing school, snapping photographs with their cellphones, just the sight I did not want to see. It was a fucking Monday morning and a damned foggy, gloomy one at that. I picked this Monday purposely so, I planned it out, but of course I still get one last wrench thrown at me. It should've been quiet and now I got two dorks derping around outside of the property just radiating attention. Like bacon on a fishing line, they'd be sure lure the cops in at any moment and I'd have to retreat, but I couldn't I've already enacted the plan.

My only logical choice was to track their presence until they left. The day was young, I still had time, I reassured myself. I quickly piled up the rolls of heavy burlap carpeting I had spent the last hour lugging up to the attic into a neat triangle for later and decided to turn the ditzy duo's presence into entertainment until I could confirm they left and I would again be alone. I hurried across the attic floor to stalk my prey, scampering over wobbly beams as dried out warped floor boards bowed under my feet, puffing plumes of combustable dust into the stagnant air, sparkling like glitter upon floating past rays of light piercing through the holes in the ragged roof; this would be perfect I thought. From window to window I meandered, watching my entertainment's every move as they slowly strolled around the perimeter of the crumbling structure.

A large collapsed exterior wall provided a perfect panoramic view overlooking the entire front of the derelict property, yet obscuring my presence as the darkened voids of decay just behind me silhouetted my posture. From here I could watch them, stalk them. I grabbed my binoculars. The couple looked to be young, no older than mid-teens, the stereotypical dumb explorer type that probably found out about the place from some Top 10 Abandoned Places You Can't Visit, bullshit click-bait article. I studied them. The woman's blond hair about touched her shoulders and she sported a rather athletic build. Yet her actions proved she was just as empty-headed as she was attractive. Completely oblivious to her surroundings, she nearly tripped numerous times within the open field surrounding the school. She paced back and forth, eyes completely glued to the screen of her cell phone, recording the edifice of the ruinous school for instant Instagram fame. But it'd be the last of the fame.

The gentleman whom she accompanied adorned a black or dark blue baseball cap, hair beneath appearing neatly buzzed. Seemingly handsome at first but the illusion was shattered as he lifted his shirt to scratch this spare racing bike tire-like glob of fat revolving around his gut of a waist. I mean it wasn't a flat out monster truck tire lard lump, but definitely not a muffin I'd want to butter. Although I must admit, some credit should be given for he was still athletic enough for someone who probably plays sports on the couch with a wireless controller all day. A conversation between the two ensued, however my distance from their presence muted their words. Fortunately the male figure spoke fluently with his hands and so I listened through his wild gestures as he pointed toward an open basement window, a sure entrance into the building. Great! If they entered now this would sure become an involuntary manslaughter scene. I continued to watch; had to.

Between the two and their newly discovered window entrance, a flimsy fence stood. A fence so puny and pointless it serves no purpose but as merely a mental distraction to those with a weak mind. Hell, the chain linking was attached to the poles with useless plastic zip-ties and could probably be ripped down by hand! It was a fence so shitty it was nearly handicapped accessible. A fence so worthless, the only animals it kept out where the pigs themselves. Obvious bends in the posts existed like trail markings, pointing out where hoards of horny teenagers would summit up and over like packs of antelope in heat being chased by lions commandeering SUV's adorned with red and blue light bars wielding paper citations waving in the air. Worn down well tread grass and crumbled Pabst Blue Ribbon cans smashed within the soil from all the foot traffic and parties past, created a literal trail behind the bent fence. The path meandered for a short distance through the remaining tall weeds, beckoning to all those with a lazy sense of curiosity, "enter here, enter here, this is how everyone goes"!

The woman approached the fence line first, quick to spot the bent posts pointing directly toward the PBR sponsored trail leading right to the open window. But in a stark change of events, rather than take the path well worn, she opted to pull a Robert Frost and chose instead the road not taken. A daring choice maybe, but most likely a blonde moment, I thought to myself as I began wonder more intently about how these two planned to conquer The Fence. However without warning, nor single practice run, the woman gracefully catapulted herself over the chainlink barrier, landing feet first and steady within the tall grass upon the opposite side. A solid 10 out of 10 maneuver! So impressed I was myself, I nearly shouted her perfect score out the window I watched from behind. But I couldn't, I would not forfeit my home plate seat, I came here with a plan after all, I had to remind myself.

The gentlemen approached the fence next, he appeared a bit more timid and unsure of his abilities, yet not to be outdone by his female companion he distanced himself some ten feet from the fence. I smirk grew around my face, for I knew this doofus was about attempt the classic run and jump technique which nearly always ends in a glorious failure for the spectators. No more than the fifth step into his mad dash he grabbed the top of the fence in an attempt to fling his flabby torso over, only to completely smash his face into the rigid pole, immediately landing flat on his ass which such an embarrassing thud that his hat fell off.

But he remained a good sport, recovered quickly and stood aground again only to reattempt a more amateur and simpler "climb over" method this time around. He straddled the fence with much uncertainty and groin pain, awkwardly launching his left leg over then swaying back and forth in moments of contemplation as his woman friend pulled his arm in an attempt to yank him over. But from my vantage I could spot that his jeans became tangled and torn within the jagged protrusions along the top of the fence preventing him from swinging his trapped leg over to make a complete jump down. The weak fence was really beginning to stress at this point. Its structural failure starting first with single jolt backward followed by a domino effect consisting of a solid twenty-five foot section of the fence buckling under his weight, each plastic zip-tie once securing the fence to the posts screaming in agony as they snapped and splintered in unison. The entire chain linking literally ripped off from the poles and gravity threw the gentlemen forcefully flat on his back so perfectly and hilariously that a soundtrack consisting of a single downer note farted out by tuba in a sad orchestra, accompanied his failure. In final fanfare as he let loose his grip, the tension in the taunt fence sliced completely through his jeans severing them in half, before springing back in place against the posts.

This time he lay there, on his back, no effort of reattempt, nor flaring arms of conversation. The woman simply pushed the broken length of fence back down and slowly walked over with a gait of anger. I can only imagine her saying something along the lines of: "God Dammit Ian you heifer, we drove 4 hours to get here from Williamsburg and you still couldn't get your lard-ass over the fence, you're walking home!" And then they both go to McDonalds, where they upload 298 iPhone pictures over shitty wi-fi to Instagram all complete with fifty jarring hashtags and a barf filter.

The gentleman, he was defeated. The fence had won. At this point I was suffering from near cardiac arrest as I held back a gasp of laughter within my chest so forceful that my heart was bound to explode, the pressure so powerful that I could not see clearly through my tearing eyes. Into the darkness I had to retreat where I laughed wildly to myself like a crazed madman for many a minuets. I lost sight of the couple shortly after regaining composure to breathe and see again, but I no longer cared. Bennett School for Girls could not have been a more appropriate name that morning.

As I walked back to my car still chuckling sporadically, I popped the trunk and stared for a moment at the twin five gallon, red plastic gasoline cans and thought to myself, another day. I threw the remaining lighter on my person to the curb and dumped a pocket full of matches across the sidewalk. Fuck it! Sometimes a good laugh will change your plans entirely.