I’ve never been one to believe in ghost stories, and I still don’t. Tales of fearsome creatures and morbid entities are all child’s play, just the works of overactive imaginations and the constant craving some humans have for the occasional thrill. So when people ask me for ghost s...
<p>I’ve never been one to believe in ghost stories, and I still don’t. Tales of fearsome creatures and morbid entities are all child’s play, just the works of overactive imaginations and the constant craving some humans have for the occasional thrill. So when people ask me for ghost stories, I tell them the truth: I have none. And so instead, I tell them the story of Joseph McClaire.</p>
<p>Joe and I met in seventh grade, and made sure to stick around one another all the way up to tenth grade, where the story really begins. We weren’t anything special as far as best friends go, yet nowadays more than ever, I often regret not treating him like the best friend he was, and for not letting him know how much I appreciated his company. That said, I’m not particularly the guilt-ridden type, either, and I especially don’t blame myself for what happened to Joe. At least, I try not to. At the end of the day, what they all told me afterwards is true: it was a fault of Joey’s own decision.</p>
<p>That decision began on a sunny day in May in tenth grade. With the school year nearly over and the deluge of schoolwork steadily slowing down, boredom spread infectiously throughout the halls. This wasn’t normal boredom, however. It was the gnawing, persistent agony of having too much time and not a clue what to do with it. Naturally, solutions began to present themselves. They ranged anywhere from book reading to house egging to finding summer jobs.</p>
<p>Joe, being the more adventurous type, somehow managed to find himself in the hands of one of the more unusual ways of passing the time. The challenge had been dreamt up by our peer, Tyron Gold, who’d become interested in breaking a world record ever since we met him in eighth grade. Each year around this time he’d come up with ways to defeat the looming threat of boredom, and this year was no different. This year, the record he was going to challenge us to break was that for the longest time without sleep.</p>
<p>The longest time a human has gone without sleep is about eleven days. Ty’s challenge was simple: by any means necessary, stay up for twelve days. He was eager to get anyone who was willing to join him. After all, the odds of breaking the record increased with the more people who attempted. In Ty’s mind, even if he couldn’t personally break the record, it would be enough to at least be responsible for whomever did.</p>