The Forgotten Dwarves of the Escalators
Once upon a time, there were 14 jolly freshmen. They were understandably elated to have been invited to learn here at Stuyvesant, the grandest and most exclusive of antiquity’s schools. They came prepared with all they would ever need—wide-ruled three-subject notebooks, swimming suits, and index cards—but nary in sight was a chiropractor’s business card. Thus, they became permanently stunted from the stunning weight of their knapsacks.
One day, the Venerable Magistrate of the Hudson came and noticed the diminutive freshmen. “I will build you a magic causeway that will seamlessly carry you floor to floor,” he said. “I can no longer witness such travesty in my domain.”
“Aye, aye,” the freshmen said. “We will be eternally grateful for your good deed.”
And so, the magic causeways that we know today as escalators were built. Students were both frightened and amazed by their horse-like speed. As a matter of fact, one of Stuyvesant’s first publications was the “Magic Causeway Safety Manual,” which detailed the proper usage of the red brake button and belt handle.
Several fortnights later, the Venerable Magistrate of the Hudson returned, asking for a very special favor. “The magic causeways need to be powered,” he explained. “The chemistry department has supplemented me with something called ‘electricity,’ but it is all but a foreign concept to me. You 14 will power the magic causeways on pedals. I will not ask twice.”
Grievously despaired, the freshmen attempted an evasion, but with their short legs and heavy knapsacks, they were easily caught by the blue-uniformed cohort of the Venerable Magistrate. The Venerable Magistrate trapped the freshmen below the escalator platforms. There, they were to spend the rest of eternity.
The freshmen became even more stunted due to the cramped space and dim conditions under the platforms – so small the freshmen became known as dwarves. They popped out at night to hunt for leftover cafeteria food and lost freshmen looking for the bridge.
The dwarves still pedal the escalators today. While it may sound unbelievable, one can test this legend out. The escalator will come to a grinding halt if you stomp especially hard on the platform above the dwarves, thereby knocking them out. Occasionally, the Venerable Magistrate makes rounds with his key to tickle the dwarves back awake.
The Power of the Glass Cubes
Most of us simply take the glass cubes in the wall for granted. Yet, nothing comes without a purpose, except for perhaps the appendix and drafting.
The founders of Stuyvesant, the eponymous Peter Stuyvesant and the Venerable Magistrate of the Hudson, once ruled the world sea to sea. One harrowing day, however, Stuyvesant lost his right leg to a skirmish in a grand battle. In humility, he surrendered his crown and established Stuyvesant High School.
Peter Stuyvesant has since expired, but the Venerable Magistrate of the Hudson lives on, his eternal presence fed on by the cellphone elixir. Before Peter Stuyvesant passed, he bestowed the Venerable Magistrate with his deepest secret.
“Throughout our reign, I had prayed to the gods night and day for control and power, from Akhmedov to Zamansky,” Stuyvesant said. “The day I lost my leg, I had forgotten to pray to Markova, goddess of bodily well-being. The bane of my existence! In my fury, I trapped the gods in tiny glass cubes throughout the school.”
“Their spirits still remain in the walls, but we must not disturb them. Lest, they would murder every idolizing teacher, and rain their fury on the biology department.”
Rather recently, an attempt was made by the Venerable Magistrate to unleash the spirits. He hypnotized a conga line of graduating seniors, but they chose to break the glass of windows rather than of the cubes. In their anger for being used as tools, the seniors led an almost successful rebellion against the Venerable Magistrate.
Prior to engaging in naughty activities, search your surroundings for glass cubes. The gods are far from demure, and their memories enduring.