Check your backseat. Never leave your house unarmed. Trust no one. In a town like Wilton, one would never think these precautions would be on constant replay in the minds of our high school seniors. In case you haven’t noticed, the horde of teenagers armed with foam Nerf bullets and water-guns hiding in bushes around the town, you should know that the senior class has embarked on an intensely creative yet nerve-wracking game of Assassin.
The game involves a two-dollar buy-in fee in order to discreetly receive a name of someone else in the game who becomes your “target.” The goal then is to “assassinate” that target using only Nerf-branded weapons, and then pursue their target until there is only one assassin left standing. Several precautions have been put in place such as prohibiting assassination while your target is operating a motor vehicle, actively on the clock at a job, or on school grounds before 4 p.m., but that hasn’t stopped the nearly 200 seniors participating from exhibiting some very interesting behavioral changes.
The first alteration the game had on the class dynamic was that suddenly we could trust no one. Some students slyly asked their targets to be their “hunting buddies,” slowly gaining their trust by getting them invested in a falsified mission before they revealed their true identities and murdered their dear friends in cold blood. Friends became temporary enemies as people began selling out information on who worked where and when in exchange for everything from information on their own targets to cold hard cash. Information is as valuable as a foam dart in this game which led some students to investigate each and every player’s target, creating intricate webs of who is out to kill whom.
Being a theater kid, I was particularly worried when these in-depth recon missions surfaced, seeing that our rehearsal schedule for the musical is posted publicly online (on a website that, for the sake of my safety and the safety of others, will not be disclosed) with exact names of who will be there. Leaving the Clune everyday has been and continues to be an adrenaline-filled experience every night. At first we trusted the underclassmen as our bodyguards, knowing that they had very little stake in this game and wouldn’t mind taking a Nerf bullet in our honor. However, like many top secret affairs, a rat was among us, literally selling the rehearsal schedule to make a buck.
Identifying cars became another valuable piece of information. “What car does this person drive” became the most popular text flung around group chats, leading people to drive parents’ cars and removing their identifiable senior parking tags upon arriving to alternate locations. On several occasions, students have even pretended to be someone else by switching clothing or moving in the dark to lead an assassin astray. One evening in particular, after musical rehearsal, a junior of similar stature to a senior who was actively being pursued by her killer, drove off in the senior’s car, fooling the assassin into following the dummy car for nearly half an hour before realizing their target was long gone.
So for the time being, I urge you to be gentle to us seniors, not because of college pressures or last-quarter work loads, but because for many of us, our killers are out there, hiding in bushes and disguised among the general populous. Do not be offended by our neon weapons, we are only out to protect ourselves. And to my seniors who are still alive: Check your backseat. Never leave your house unarmed. Trust no one.