047: The Coercion School

In Govan, there were three schools all situated very close to one another – St. Saviour’s Primary School in Dunsmuir Street, Cartvale School in Vicarfield Street, and Copeland Primary, in Burndyke Court. Each of these schools served the children of various ages throughout Govan – up until they were demolished (in the case of St. Saviours and Cartvale) or converted (in the case of Copeland Primary), and replaced with the Govan Road Campus, a huge building that houses several schools’ worth of children.

Interestingly, there was a fourth school that was demolished around the same time as the other three: the former St. Gerard’s R C School, which had closed in 1998 and was situated adjacent to Cartvale School, and behind what is now the Govan Road Campus. During the demolition of St. Gerard’s, however, the construction company discovered a tunnel that ran underneath the foundations of the school, almost completely caved-in with mud and stone due to the demolition work above. The construction company filled it in and built over it, writing it off as an old maintenance tunnel – which is true, but it didn’t explain the bloodstains splattered across the dirty, broken floor.

The teenagers in Govan knew the tunnel as what it was – the entrance to the Coercion School. It was accessible from a handful of tunnels throughout the streets of Govan, but the principal entrance was located in Cartvale School. The boiler room of the school held a hatch in the floor which, when hoisted up with a nearby metal bar, granted access to the “maintenance tunnel”.

According to the teenagers that used the Coercion School, the tunnel was decaying and decrepit even before the demolition of St. Gerard’s blocked it up. The only illumination came from decades-old lamps on the dusty walls, and even then most of them shed only dim yellow light that flickered, like the blink of eyes staring and assessing the visitors as they walked from bright-spot to bright-spot in an otherwise pitch-black corridor. Bloodspatters from past visitors stained the dirty floor, marking a red path to the end of the tunnel, to the main hall of the School; their Tutor would already be waiting.

The Tutor’s physical appearance can only be guessed at; he apparently confined himself to teaching the teenagers from behind a large pane of steel-grid reinforced broken glas , riddled with cracks, splinters, and twisted wire, that spanned the entirety of one of the walls of the room; the Tutor was visible only as a faint silhouette on the glass, backlit by pallid illumination. The only characteristic that witnesses could describe him by was his voice – a scraping, ragged trill. His words never sounded like they were spoken – they felt as though they were whistling through the cracks of a broken pipe.

The Tutor’s lessons were exercises in barbarism – a school of magick the teenagers called “Coercomancy” or “Coerceomancy”, magick through domninance, bullying and oppression. “Students” would take turns humiliating one another in ways redolent of military detainment camps, ripping apart one another’s egos so that they can scar over and harden – or else so that the weak would be permanently imprinted with their abusers’ immovable authority. They would practise physical violence upon one another, finding the most efficient ways to cause pain without leaving lasting marks, performing the simplest fractures that could be explained away with ease. They would experiment with threats and intimidation tactics, develop new ways of psychological torture, and engineer new states of fear and subjugation in each other until only the strongest would remain. And then, when the Tutor told them they had done enough – speaking in his dry, ragged voice that sounded like gasps of air being ripped apart by the broken glass seperating him from his students – they would leave, and he would step away from the glass pane.

The main access tunnel to the School has been closed off, but it is rumoured that access is still possible through other tunnels spread throughout Govan. Meanwhile, the School’s students are putting their teachings into practice: the boss who continually beats you down? The doctor who humiliates you every time you visit the surgery? The friend who is blatantly trying to steal your partner? Students, every one of them.

Rumour has it, though, that these students are looking to become Tutors themselves – and, at the cost of your ego, your pride, and your integrity, you too can become a student of the school of coercion magick.


2 Responses to “047: The Coercion School”

  1. a former student Says:

    for pronunciation purposes, it should be spelled coerceomancy, at least from how it’s pronounced

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