Sarah huddled shivering in the dark corner of the cellar.She suppressed a cough caused by the dusty accumulation of broken chairs and other cast-off paraphernalia from the PRU in its past days. There were boxes scattered about full of junk; the cellar used to be a storeroom for the school kitchen and there was evidence left in the form of rusty implements and dingy, dented pans.
She shifted uneasily in an attempt to get more comfortable behind the piled- up tables and adjusted her black robe and billowing white wig. It was a stupid, stupid idea to let herself be persuaded to dress up in order to scare the Year 6 kids but part of her relished the idea of giving the little yobs a fright. In particular, she hoped to seriously freak out the little monster she secretly called ‘Chucky’ after she had witnessed him going for a teacher with an upraised dinner knife! She hoped that this was going to be ‘Childsplay! …hahaha!
God knows why she had taken this agency job but she needed the money, even though the pay was piss poor. She marvelled how anyone would want to do this ,full time, for a living…The kids gave her the creeps…overturning tables, effing and jeffing. ..fixing their horrid, stary eyes on you…and the adults weren’t much better! The head was particularly weird…hugging the kids and rocking them in her arms just as they were about to kick seven bells out of her! F*****g nut job! !!
The silence in the cellar settled over her in a cloying mantle and she began to feel not a little claustrophobic; where were they? Jane was taking Spider class on a ‘ ghost hunt’ and the cellar was the culmination of it; along the way the kids would encounter skeletons in the old outdoor toilet and a ghost by the nearby wall. Then…finally!….muffled voices, some nervous giggles and footsteps at the top of the stone stair. Sarah crouched lower…It wasn’t time yet!
“Missss”…Danny’s whiny voice drifted down the steps…..sounds of shuffling, whispering…”I’m not going down there..”
Jane…brisk tone..: “Come on! You’re not scared are you..big lad like you!” (laughter) “Look I’ll lead the way”
Sound of Jane’s light footsteps and the faint (deliberate) rays of a torch came sweeping near Sarah’s hiding place. “See there’s nothing here! ”
George pushing past in a bravura attempt to be macho. “Nah! Nothing here! ” Brandon appearing behind him…Other shadowy faces now clustering…
“AAAAAARRRRGGGHHH! ” Danny’s thin scream made them all jump…” I saw something move….Over there!”
Sarah had taken the opportunity to silently rear up and was momentarily framed in black and white like a negative in an old horror movie!
Seconds later the face of Chucky swam into view; his features were indistinct in the half-light but his bright, interested malice pierced the gloom. Sarah pushed further behind the stack….suddenly she didn’t want the kids to know she was there; a paralysing sense of fear began to take hold and she shielded herself from Chucky’s gaze. She started to remember……
…even though it definitely wasn’t the right time to be having flashbacks of….helping to push, sorry ‘escort’ (in TeamEducate parlance) a struggling Chucky to the time out area and managing to land a swift punch in the ensuing melee….serve the little psycho right….His protests were ignored but Sarah knew from his furious, narrowed gaze that she had made an enemy….well, serve him right! Still, it was a good job they frisked the kids each morning for possible weapons…!
She focused on the present again and it seemed , after a lot of joshing and fooling about, that Jane was ready to take the children back to class. The plan was that Sarah would wait a few minutes until the coast was clear and follow them, still in her outfit…cue relief, ‘knew it was you miss! and so on. She heard footsteps receding and Danny still loudly insisting he had seen a ghost. It was quiet and still….as still as death..down in the cellar.
After some moments Sarah started to ease her way out…she was conscious of being all alone now and was impatient to get away from the mustiness which was making her nose itch….Then she froze…she thought she detected a slight movement in front of her, illuminated by a sliver of light from the cellar door. She felt a cool draught and then something pressed against her, hard..and a fiery pain burst along every nerve. Her last waking memory was the feel of six inches of steel slicing effortlessly into her side…like a hot knife into butter.