Call The Schoolmaster is a single-blog story set in Madverse, written by Foolamancer. It centers around an unnamed protagonist who takes up the pen name "Pink" when they start a blog in an effort to break down their Wall and gain a little bit of human contact as solace from their abusive parents. It has since concluded and can be read here.
Call The Schoolmaster is a blog started by thirteen-year-old Christie Waterman, during the period of her life that she spent under the foster care of Bill and Ellen Randall. The Randalls - or, at the very least, Bill - are Servants of The Wooden Girl, and heap abuse after abuse upon their foster daughter. Beyond this, Christie is an outed atheist in a strictly Catholic community, and as such has no one willing to associate with her.
All of this contributes to Christie becoming extremely fond of the Pink Floyd album The Wall, which tells the story of a rock star whose terrible life has driven them to isolate themselves from society in order to avoid further pain, only to discover that living behind "The Wall" is even worse than living outside of it. In desperation, trying to find some human contact, Christie takes up the character's name "Pink" and starts her blog by posting from the public library.
Soon after starting her blog, however, Christie has her fourteenth birthday, and decides that she doesn't want to spend the day being beaten and otherwise abused by her foster parents. She spends the night wandering the city in an effort to avoid them, which incites their wrath and sparks a particularly vicious session of abuse.
Following this, sleep deprivation causes Christie to hallucinate seeing "the Worms" under the skins of other members of the community, beginning with her teacher Mister Evans. During these hallucinations, the Worms leave the bodies of their hosts, becoming puppet strings controlled by The Wooden Girl. She even begins to see these strings under her own skin.
Christie's sleep-deprived state causes her to behave erratically, which gets her into trouble at school and causes further instances of abuse. This creates a self-perpetuating cycle which she cannot escape, causing her to do more and more things to draw the ire of her foster parents and therefore becoming more and more incapable of avoiding anything which might do so. Her only comfort in all of this is that there is a single young boy in a blue shirt who seems to be willing to smile at her, prompting her to think that she might have a friend, even if they've never spoken to one another.
After several days of this cycle, Christie grabs a knife and stabs Bill in the leg before he can take her upstairs to hurt her again. She runs out into the street, only to see The Cold Boy on the sidewalk - who promptly turns away and abandons her, leaving her to suffer alone. This rips away Christie's one source of comfort, causing her to retreat fully into herself and give up on having any friends. Instead, she resolves to hurt Bill and Ellen as badly as they've hurt her.
As she resolves to do this, however, her hallucinations begin to get even more complex and intricate, and she begins to see The Wooden Girl and The Cold Boy both following her, making her dance on the end of the Worm-strings emerging from her skin. Despite this, she goes on with her plan, making a last-ditch effort to gain the attention of Social Services. When she does so, The Wooden Girl takes control of the case worker and mocks her, claiming that she wants Christie to be her next vessel.
Christie, still convinced that The Wooden Girl and The Cold Boy are just figments of her imagination, goes on with her plan. She escapes her bedroom when Bill and Eleanor lock her in it to go to the store, prepares an ambush for them, and prevails in the resultant struggle, which leaves her foster parents at her mercy. She experiences a final moment of hesitation, but convinces herself that what she's doing isn't as bad as what they did to her, and kills them.
The Wooden Girl declares victory, believing Christie to now be fully under her control, but Christie defies her, ripping the Worms from her skin and professing that she still believes herself to be better than that. She refuses to become The Wooden Girl's next vessel, instead ripping the puppet strings out of her body one at a time, then fleeing from the city in order to become a Runner.
- Pink: A fourteen-year-old atheist student at a Catholic school, Pink lives with their abusive parents and is ignored by Social Services. The blog is an effort to reach out to other people and escape this.
- Bill and Ellen: Pink's abusive parents. Bill has been described as using Pink as his "favorite punching bag", and Ellen places all blame for Bill's abuse on Pink. They are known to lock Pink in the basement or her own bedroom for days at a time, though what other abuses they might perform are unknown.
- The Cold Boy: The manifestation of loneliness and isolation, The Cold Boy originally sets itself up as someone who might be willing to be Pink's friend, only to withdraw support when it is needed most in order to complete Pink's breakdown, and appears to be working with The Wooden Girl.
- The Wooden Girl: The manifestation of abuse and the cycle of revenge, The Wooden Girl wields an unknown amount of influence over Bill and Ellen, as well as the other members of Pink's community. It takes great pleasure in using its puppets to torture Pink to near-insanity, and appears to be working with The Cold Boy.
Parallels With The Wall
The plot of Call The Schoolmaster mirrors that of Pink Floyd's album The Wall very closely in many ways, and themes from The Wall - isolation, insanity, and the cycle of abuse - are recurring motifs throughout the story.
Christie herself is a fan of the album, taking up the pen name "Pink" out of a feeling of connection to the character of the same name from the album. Like Pink, she suffers through a series of abuses which she allows to shape her life, eventually cutting herself off from all desire to interact with others. And, like Pink, she later tears down her Wall, at least in part, and leaves.
Each post in Call The Schoolmaster is named after a song from The Wall, and ends with at least a snippet of the lyrics from that song. For the most part, these songs appear in the same order that they appear in the album, save that "Is There Anybody Out There?", which normally follows "Hey You", is the first song to be named. The story then picks up with "In The Flesh?", the first song of the album.
Each song has some connection to what is happening in its post. "One Of My Turns", for example, marks an explosive outburst on Christie's part, followed by her last source of human contact abandoning her and causing her to declare that she no longer cares whether or not anyone cares about her as long as she can get her revenge against Bill and Ellen. In this way, Christie's story mirrors Pink's, beginning with someone who is hopeful, progressing to the point when that person becomes so beaten down that they give up on their lives, focusing on how their self-imposed isolation begins to affect their mental condition and turn them into the same things which sent them behind The Wall in the first place, and ending with their declaration that they will no longer be ruled by those forces.
The lyrics from The Wall that are featured in Call The Schoolmaster often provide foreshadowing of future events; the lyrics of "The Thin Ice", for example, states that Christie will slip "out of her mind" and will have "her fears flowing out behind" her. Other times, lyrics from The Wall take on another meaning in the context of Call The Schoolmaster. The line "Since, my friend, you have revealed your deepest fear", from "The Trial", has the word "Fear" capitalized in Call The Schoolmaster to show that Christie's "deepest Fear" - the Fear that she is the most connected to - is The Wooden Girl.
The ending of Call The Schoolmaster, like The Wall, is left ambiguous, though in a different way. In The Wall, it is left uncertain as to whether or not Pink had anyone waiting for him outside his Wall. In Call The Schoolmaster, it is left ambiguous as to how much influence over Christie The Wooden Girl still has, as well as how much of her Wall is left intact as she embarks on her new life as a Runner.