September 2023 Horrorscopes: How You’ll Die at a Posh Private Academy
What with this heat we’ve been having, students might actually be excited to leave the summer behind, and enter into the cool hallways of these venerated academics. However, even posh private academies have their hidden dangers, and it’ll remain to be seen if these collective zodiac signs survive until the winter break.
Disclaimer: As always, these are mock “horrorscopes” and should not be considered as predictive or indicative of any specific person or persons, posh private academies, or the (fictional) demises that take place within the ivy-covered walls. Or suggestions to try any of these activities at school…or at home.
Virgo (August 23—September 22). Virgos, while academically brilliant, are also the most quiet and unobtrusive sign that’ll be in attendance at the posh private academy. Their grades will be the best, they are in high demand as tutors for the rest of their classmates, and they are their teacher’s prized pets. While they may be suffering quietly under the extra coursework they’ve taken on, their boarding school experience will be mostly drama free and uneventful, unless the care package from home doesn’t include their preferred ink pens, that is. They’ll escape the tragic fates that await the rest of their zodiacal schoolmates as a result. However, these industrious signs aren’t totally free from danger. Just wait until the school trip happens, especially if it means a visit to a prestigious library’s private archives. The Virgo will already be reading the masses of research they’ve amassed even before they return to the school’s luxury sedans. Sadly, the professors on field-trip duty may not be able to make it through the group of chattering students in time to stop the Virgo from stepping off the curb—right into the pathway of a city transit bus. What’s on the (Catered) Menu: Organic, non-GMO oatmeal with dark sweet cherries (organic also, of course), simmered to perfection in small-batch gourmet maple syrup.
Libra (September 23—October 22). Libra students may struggle with class attendance issues. Unless it’s swim class. They’ll definitely excel at their Olympic training curriculum, racking up medals at both the local and the national level. Luckily, they’ll cultivate a strategic friendship with their more scholarly Virgo classmates, leaving them with plenty of time to sneak out of their dorm room afterhours in order to have the pool all to themselves. They’ll spend many a late night splashing around happily in the saltwater grotto pool. Unfortunately for the Libra, they may not be as coordinated on land as they are in the water, and they risk slipping and falling in the pool’s shower facilities, and not be discovered until the following morning. But they may become part of school lore, as the Libra ghost is said to haunt the pool, splashing water everywhere when there’s no students to be seen on the camera. What’s on the (Catered) Menu: Nothing but the finest of fresh sushi for Libra, but they’ll settle for a rich lobster ravioli in a pinch.
Scorpio (October 23—November 21). Scorpios are the most brazen, nonconformist students among their classmates. They’ll be decked out in the finest punk-rock rags money can buy, and they’ll start the first ever heavy metal band in school history. Scorpios are clever, though, and they’ll know how far they can push the professors and the rest of the school staff. Until one day they tire of their too-comfortable lifestyle, and they’ll pack up their high-end vintage electric guitar and disappear into the urban jungle. Or into the wilds of the nearby mega mall food courts, until they show back up at the school gates, clutching pizza crusts and wearing actual rags instead of their artfully, and expensively, disheveled couture. Luckily, school comes easily to this sign, and they are often weeks ahead in terms of assignments and academic projects. They’re readily welcomed back into the hallowed halls, as the professors were getting bored of the insulated private academy environment. One of these times, though, the Scorpio might not return from their escapade, and their fate will forever remain a mystery. What’s on the (Catered) Menu: Definitely not pizza, no matter how gourmet the toppings are. Hungry Scorpio will dig into a savory stir fry with custom ingredients of their choice, topped off with the fieriest hot sauce the school has.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21). Like the Libra, the Sagittarius will find it hard to be cooped up in a classroom. They’ll excel in a science field, especially in one of the natural sciences. They’ll spend their days exploring the school’s extensive grounds under the supervision of their academic advisor, identifying local species, and conducting scientific analysis of the local ecosystem. When they manage to escape from the supervision of their advisor and professors, they’ll be hounding the groundskeepers about their use of toxic pesticides and the impact it has on the environment. They may even be caught breaking into the landscaping sheds in order to steal the harmful pesticides and dispose of them in the trash dumpsters behind the cafeteria. Fortunately, the academy has plenty of extracurricular activities planned for their students, including a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo. This is probably a mistake on the part of the school’s staff, as Sagittarius hates seeing animals cooped up in pens in much the same way as students are confined to classrooms. They may take it upon themselves to launch an animal liberation initiative, but they may run afoul of the very creatures they’re trying to liberate. What’s on the (Catered) Menu: Restless Sagittarius may find it hard to sit through a full meal, and prefer to grab a meal to go in between their adventures. Good thing the school’s dining hall offers a wide selection of gourmet sandwiches that can easily be eaten on the run. Or tossed in the direction of a grumpy, and rather large, liberated feline.
Capricorn (December 22—January 19). Even at a young age, Capricorns are fascinated by details. How things are constructed, how things operate, and they are always coming up with better, more efficient ways of doing things. Nothing is safe from the Capricorn’s discerning technical eye. The academy’s professors will be at their wits’ end in trying to keep this stubborn sign out of the off-limit areas, such as the school’s boiler rooms or electrical stations. Many a time the school’s maintenance staff has been reprimanded (or fired) for leaving a ladder unattended. Capricorn has an innate ability to discover the equipment left unsupervised, and will be using the ladder to climb to the rooftops to discover the source of the leak in the third floor philosophy classroom, or dismantling the school’s riding lawnmower to find the rattling noise that’s been distracting them during their Thursday morning Algebra class on the first floor. This driven student will either be channeled into a fitting engineering-themed internship, or they’ll be found posthumously near one of the school’s open electrical panels, with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver lying nearby. What’s on the (Catered) Menu: Anything they can eat one-handed while tinkering with whatever bits of mechanical junk they’ve found laying around. Probably something along the culinary lines of a hearty stew or a robust paella—dishes that efficiently combine an array of nutritious and sustaining ingredients into one meal.
Aquarius (January 20—February 18). The Aquarius student may be a bit of a cipher even to the school’s administrative and records department. They may just show up unannounced in the middle of the school term, having somehow skipped orientation. Somehow, all their bills are paid, and they have an ample school expense account. Not much is known about this student’s family or background, and, while their grades are adequate, even the professors are unsure about what academic goals the Aquarius is pursuing. Even their extracurricular interests are a mystery. Their dorm room is Spartan, and their clothing is utilitarian, and free of any distinguishing designer labels or style identifiers. They seem to be well liked, and are often chosen for clubs and on sporting teams, but also don’t seem to have a lot of close friends among the other students. They spend most of their time sitting around thinking. Or watching the stars. Or birds. Or bugs crawling along the brick sidewalk. It’s only after they graduate the academy that suddenly they’ve attained recognition by winning the Nobel Peace Prize, or even becoming president of an entire country. That is, if they’re not bitten by an exotic, and venomous, insect and expire almost instantly. Which may make them happy in the afterlife, as said insect is a previously unknown species and is named after the Aquarian student. What’s on the (Catered) Menu: The young Aquarian is an adventurous foodie in the making. They won’t hesitate to dig into the dining room’s theme nights, indulging in everything from insects to worms to sea urchins and other unique fare.
Pisces (February 19—March 20). Pisces is the artist of the school. They’ll most likely already have an extensive portfolio of work before they arrive, and their family will have sent them to an academy that will nurture their creative, sensitive spirit. The hard part for Pisces’ professors is finding enough creative projects to keep them from sliding into a mopey melancholy. There’s only so many murals the Pisces can paint without impacting the school’s historic landmark status. The school will have to organize extra theatre and dance performances to give the Pisces a chance to design and create all the sets and costumes. Luckily, Pisces is also just as content to putter around their own private art studio on the campus, though special attention is still needed to ensure that the dreamy fish stays hydrated and eats meals on a regular basis. The Pisces’ creative ventures tend to take over their entire existence, and they may not only forget about important things like drinking water and eating, they may also forget to turn on the studio’s top-of-the-line ventilation system. Concerned classmates may find poor Pisces on the floor, having asphyxiated on fumes from the materials they were working with. But, as they had a paintbrush in hand, it can be assumed that they died happy, doing what they loved. And just think of all the masterpieces they’ve left behind, which just tripled in value. What’s on the (Catered) Menu: While the Pisces loves fine food, they also prefer food that makes them feel safe, warm, and loved. They’ll be counting down the days until pizza night, or mac n’ cheese nighit, and they’ll love the creative inspiration as provided by gourmet twists on these comforting classics.
Aries (March 20—April 19). Aries may have to fight to find their place within the graceful walls of a prestigious private academy. They may risk being expelled because they started a secret fight club, or they challenged the authority of the professors beyond the usual limits as imposed by the wealth and status of their family. Even the best boarding schools as determined by sports they offer may not provide the active and competitive Aries enough outlets for their boundless energy. The school staff won’t have to worry about the Aries stealing ladders or tinkering with the school’s electrical system like they would the Capricorn, but they will have to worry about liability issues all the same, as the Aries organizes an afterhours parkour run around campus, or dare their fellow students to see which of them could reach the top of the clock tower first. Nine times out of ten, it’s the Aries who not only wins, but does it without significant bodily injury—amazingly enough, without climbing ropes or helmets. The tenth time, however…well, let’s just say the Aries luck ran out after they challenged a train speeding down the tracks. What’s on the (Catered) Menu: As Aries likes to stay in top physical condition, they won’t want to test their luck by eating an unhealthy diet. They’ll become staunch vegetarians, if not vegans, and they’ll subsist on fruit protein smoothies, salads, and other meals made with the best organic vegetables obtained from a local farm.
Taurus (April 20—May 20). Out of all the zodiac signs, the Taurus student may have it the hardest when trying to adapt to life at the private boarding school. It’s hard to say what’s worse: being away from their close-knit family, being separated from the familiar security of their home, or having their daily routine disrupted to such an extent. While they will definitely be homesick for a lot longer than the other students, they’ll also start to build themselves a surrogate “family” of friends that’s just as close knit as the one they left behind. Still, for a Taurus, the pangs of separation never quite go away, and they might find themselves pining away due to heartbreak or loss. They also may find it hard to adapt to the more rigorous scholastic environment of a posh private academy. It’ll take a Taurus just as long, if not longer, to find their niche in the study halls. They may send their family back home long letters (handwritten and snail mailed, because the Taurus is a traditionalist in many ways) begging to be homeschooled or have a 21st century version of a (gender fluid) governess. What’s on the (Catered) Menu: If they survive the first couple of weeks (or first couple of days) without fatally succumbing to heartbreak, the Taurus student will typically go for simple meals—tacos, posole, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, rice and beans, masalas or dal, turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy—anything that’s evocative of family coming together over a meal. They do risk taking comfort foods to a whole new level, and may decide to eat nothing but French fries or ice cream for the rest of the term.
Gemini (May 21—June 20). Geminis will have a similar problem in theory to Taurus, but from the opposite end of the spectrum. They’ll be so adaptable that they will sign up for every campus group and extracurricular activity there is. Academic classes don’t rank high on Gemini’s level of interest, typically, so their grades will take a sharp nose dive. They’ll be so busy, however, with all their activities that they will probably forget to attend classes whatsoever. Due to their popularity, their schoolmates will probably help cover for the Gemini, even helping them complete assignments in exchange for their participation in groups and in events. But, inside, Gemini will still feel like an outsider—one simply used and taken advantage of—and they may descend into rare bouts of depression and insecurity. Not to mention the fact that they will soon become overwhelmed and bored with all the responsibility of the social activities and groups they’ve signed up for. Gemini may, simply put, become burned out, and, as they don’t cope well with that kind of stress and emotional and mental burden, they may end up having an untimely myocardial infarction. At the very least, Gemini will have to be shipped off to a restorative spa in the south of France. Talk about boredom, eh? What’s on the (Catered) Menu: Like Aries, Gemini will seek to keep their energy up, but not by way of healthy eating. They’ll live for coffee, tea, energy drinks, and lots and lots of sweets. And even the posh private schools caters to students’ sweet tooths. Gemini can at least stave off the dreaded and dull responsibilities of school with the wide variety of delectable desserts—waffles with lavish gourmet toppings, baked Alaska, fountains of melty chocolate or caramel fondue, and entire tables full of decadent cakes, pastries, and pies.
Cancer (June 21—July 22). Cancer’s probably the sign that will best embrace the private school life. They’ll thrive on all the drama and intrigue, and they’ll set themselves up at the center of it all, perhaps even in a position of power, pulling all the strings of their classmates and even those of their teachers. And what could be more romantic than attending school that’s been around for over a hundred years? It will be even better if the academy is in Europe or Great Britain. Cancer’s active imagination and gothic-fueled passions will be wonderfully stimulated by the hallowed atmosphere. They’ll also love the individual attention they receive from the professors and staff. Cancers will relish feeling like a member of an old-world elite. The crab’s problem will not be navigating the private school environment, but in coping once they return home to a more potentially prosaic existence, They’ll lose some of that romantic buffer they’ve created around the school environment, and a good deal of their social power as well, as they are still a child within a potentially powerful, dominating family unit. Cancers may try to run back to the school, and get lost along the way. Or worse, as the Cancer has led a sheltered lifestyle up until then. What’s on the (Catered) Menu: Anything from the spread that suggests old-world glamour and prestige. They’ll load up their plates with lamb and mint jelly, Cornish game hens, crown roast of pork, Beef Wellington, and other dishes guaranteed to make them feel like they inhabit another era in time.
Leo (July 23—August 22). All the world’s a stage, even at an exclusive private school. Still, the stage might not be big enough for the Leo student to really shine. Although this regal lion will relish being pampered and having every need attended to by the cadre of professors and school staff, it’s still a smaller microcosm of the world they’re used to moving through, as the child of celebrity parents. They’ll sorely miss the sparkling social events, the constant attention from the media, and the opportunity to show off the latest fashions of the season. Not to mention jet setting around the world with their darling family. Nobody even notices when Leo makes their grand appearance in the academy’s dining room. Of course, they are limited in the statement they make by the school’s uniform, which still looks like every other students’, despite the fact that Leo worked all night in bedecking it out as best they could. Leo may start exhibiting signs of frustration and start lashing out at those around them. They may even find a way to bring the party to the school, with potentially lethal consequences to poor out-of-the-spotlight Leo. At least their funeral may get them back into the eyes of the world, at a terrible cost. What’s on the (Catered) Menu: Leos will insist that the school’s catering staff replicate their favourite dishes from their travels around the world—from full high teas to the finest in Italian dishes, with handmade pasta. Still, the global cuisine cannot take the place of actually being there, and if the Leo survives the boarding school party scene, they may jump on a plane to find their family. Or just spend the rest of the semester traveling in style, school be damned!
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“Bringer of Nightmares and Storms.” Horror writer Willow Croft is usually lurking deep in the shadows of her writer cave, surrounded by formerly feral (but still fierce!) cats for company. Visit her here: http://willowcroft.blog, or check out her other services here: https://kirsten-lee-barger.mailchimpsites.com/.