I aimlessly flung my limp hand sideways, crashing the dock had to control the incessant ringing. Who would have thought such a tiny object could produce so much ceaseless noise. The clock lost it’s footing and careered sideways off my table catching the wire to my light which in turn dragged itself and my prestigious school cup off my desk. I grimaced as I heard the various objects make metallic crashing noises on to my hard floorboards. I struggled to open my eyes, they were glued shut and I could feel the light penetrating my eye lids.
I bundled up my duvet and hurl my ungainly body off my bed, pounding my feet hard on the already disorganised floor. A strong ultraviolet ray peered around my heavy dust ridded curtains, casting an unnaturally eerie, warm light over my bed. I stretched my big toe to the clock and rolled it over. it read 7:40, nearly eight o’clock. My eyes could just pick out the digits. I stumbled over the junk on the floor and kicked open the door with my heel. The house was silent, the lack of noise was deafening.
This was unusual on a weekday, usually my brother Mark was awake and my dad often sipping coffee and putting the world to rights at the kitchen table. Grabbing my dressing gown from the door I lumbered downstairs, the deathly silence creeping up on me like an ogre. The serenity made me tiptoe as I felt insecure with the amount of noise I was waking. I peered over the banisters, it was still fairly dark being the winter, but I could see shadows of normally familiar objects look deadly. I crumbled down the stairs, losing my footing on the last step and hurtling towards the wall.
I reached fast enough to push my hand against the wall and break my fall. I sighed, and noticing the noise I had made, went quiet. Once I had got over the shock it was only then I noticed a sticky substance on the wall. I pulled my hands away and cupped them, drawing them into my chest. Straining my eyes I was a reddish hue tinting the tips of my fingers. Blood. Red Blood. Human Blood. I rolled my hands over, checking them quickly for cuts. There were none. My heart gradually picked up speed and began to beat faster, I was fearing the worst as I always do, but I didn’t know what the worse could be.
My head was buzzing, full of bizarre ideas straight out of a Stephen King novel. I shook my head, think, think of what? I shuddered, I pulled myself out of my not so dreamy daydream. I stared towards the solid kitchen door. It what a murky white, in a DIY store it would be called eggshell or something equally original, indicating they sloshed a bit of yellow or brown into some white and whacked a tenner on top of the price. The solid wooden door was only kept shut at nights, to stop the dog from disturbing everyone at 2 in the morning. It occurred to me that for once she wasn’t whimpering loudly, she must have still been asleep.
On the bottom portion of the doors were greyish scuff marks of people’s shoes where they had kicked the rather stiff door to make it open. The gold door handle was doing its best to sparkle but the dirt encrusted around it made it’s efforts seem like a rather feeble attempt. Where the door had been chiselled away for decoration you could see little chips coming out of the wood, where the pain was starting to wear away. That door was probably the only bit of our house that we never bothered to replace when we moved in. The ornamental carving was so carefully done it must have been hand made.
The flourishes at each end entwined with the lavish curls looked so out of place when the hall was used as a rubbish tip. In an odd way it suited out house, I stared at it, it had some kind of magnetism that drew me closer to it, and almost like a puppet my arm was pulled up by the wrist and my hand floated gently over the handle. The metal was cold and I wriggled my fingers in discomfort as I twisted the handle around and jabbed at the door with my foot. I jittered forward as the door swung wide open, taking my right arm with it. The room was quite, the only sound being the humming of the washing machine in the laundry room.
Straight in front of me sitting on the table was an envelope, I presumed it was just a letter for my mum or dad. I wandered over to the table, yawning as I noticed the clock still only read just before eight. What I thought was a letter turned out to be a piece of paper, crisply folded in half with a small piece of sellotape expertly stuck dead in the centre holding it down. I picked it up and I turned it on its side and as I did so a slivery object fell out and span down bouncing on the floor and eventually landing there. I followed it’s path with my eyes and bent down to see what it was.
A knife, with blood on it, could it be the same blood as the stuff on the wall? Oh God, what the hell was going on, this wasn’t coincidence and it certainly wasn’t normal. I glanced at the clock, I don’t know why, but it was instinct. 8 o’clock, the second hand had just passed the top of the clock. As I looked back down to the knife I remembered the note, I left the knife where it was, it was probably more dangerous on the floor than if I had picked it up but that didn’t cross my mind. The only thing that did was it was a knife, and it was staying away from me.
I picked off the piece of sellotape with my nail and read the note. All it said was ‘8am’. I heard my mum coming down the stairs, instinct told me to hide the knife, and the note. I kicked the knife with my shoe under the table and stuffed the note in my pocket. My mum wandered past the door, humming a tune of some form, and carried on into another room. I listened carefully and once I’d heard her sit down I grabbed the handle of the knife and ran upstairs. My heart was starting to pound, I could hear it inside my head. My breathing rate was increasing, I felt like a criminal facing from a crime scene.
But I think I was the more likely victim. I was so confused, what was I shoved the three things under my bed. I quickly tried to put them to the back of my mind. Late, yet again, I ran up the steps as the 5minute bell rang, span round the stairs my bag zooming off my shoulder and resting on my elbow joint as I burst into my form room. Thirty faces looked up from their desks and my teacher grimaced at me from under he red rimmed glasses. She looked like something straight out of the 70’s, her bright red glasses and her heavily made up face disguised the onset of wrinkles in her old age.
I smiled sheepishly and glanced up at the clock. I’d made it with just over a minute to spare. ‘Gemma, how nice of you to join us, and so promptly as well, 8:58’ Miss Gibson was always good at the quick throw away lines. I smiled sheepishly, she knew just as well as I that I wasn’t late, and with a certain displeasure she began to register us. My heels made that almost comforting ‘click-clack’ noise as I walked down the aisle down to my seat, I could feel eyes on the back of my head and felt like a bride with all the people watching me!
It was quite surreal in a way. Jess stuck her tongue out at me in her oh so welcoming way. I pulled the squeaky chair out as I answered my name. I had always been last in the register, since my first year at nursery and for some quaint reason I felt proud about it! As I had just sat down and started whispering to Jess about how I hadn’t done my homework and had she still got my mascara when my Gibson called my name again. ‘Gemma there’s a letter for you hear’ She spoke with a firm tone but one that was trusting.
I frowned at her, I never got letter’s through school, in my mind I looked back over last week, I hadn’t got in trouble and hadn’t asked for anything. I strode over to her desk and picked up the letter, I stared at it in disbelief. Same paper, same tape, same… everything. My eyes suddenly became extremely wide, I was like a cat that had spotted a fox at the end of the garden. Jess clicked her fingers in front of my face ‘God Gem, what’s up with you, feeling a bit rough! ‘ I knew she was only joking, but in my state of shock and panic I snapped back I’m fine OK, just leave it yeah’. ‘What’s got into you this morning’ ‘Jess can you just leave it! ‘ I think she understood I wasn’t in the mood for a full blown argument and she turned away and started playing with her hair. I stared back down at the note which was still clasped firmly in my hand. Miss Gibson was talking to a few people about something or another, I could hear her voice rattle on in my head as I carefully pulled the tape off again. As I unfolded the piece of paper the bell went, but I couldn’t resist seeing what it said. ‘9am’ read the message.
I was now very scared, my heart rate had picked up again. I stared up at the clock, yes, it was nine o’clock. In the same second that I stuffed the note into my pocket I heard a scream. Not just an scream, and ear piercing, heart pounding, gut wrenching scream. The whole class started shuffling like a pack of wild animals towards the door. I was right at the back and somehow managed to worm my way through the people to the front. Miss Gibson was blocking my view but I could hear her calling for some help. I pushed through the mass of bodies ignoring the calls of ‘hey! ‘ and ‘what are you doing! and stood by Miss Gibson, she was so concerned with what lay in front of her she didn’t see me, let alone tell me to get back inside.
A girl, no more than thirteen lay flat out on the marbled floor of the corridor. Her bag still on her shoulder, she looked peaceful, there wasn’t even a look of pain on her face. Her face a flushed magnolia, with red lips planted on her face like the skin of a cherry, eyes still open, they looked like cardboard. There was no natural, spherical shape to them, no shadow in the corners, not at all blood shot, just plain white, like pearly teeth or frosted ice crystals.
She can’t have been the one that screamed, she was being administered to by another teacher, still bawling her eyes out. I stared down at her in disbelief, the noise around me was masked out, and my breathing was the only thing that I was really aware of. My vision was blurry and I was in a state of confusion and panic, there was a steady thump in my head, too many thoughts, too many things happening. Almost simultaneously I heard a mechanical whirring noise, the lights started flickering and a slow thud signalled the end of the lights. As we were thrown into pitch black, with only the light from the small windows as a comfort, I froze.
Looking down at the girl, I could just make out a piece of paper under her body as a teacher rolled her over. She was dead, even though people were trying to hide it, she was stone cold dead. I saw a sparkle of silver and a black handle spouting out from her back, yet there was no blood pouring from the wound. I stared at the paper, it was familiar, too familiar. I knew exactly what it was, with a gasp I sped out down the corridor, elbowing people out of the way, losing my footing and stumbling into things but I knew I had to get out. I was trapped.
I shook at the heavy beige metal door, pulled on the emergency exit bar but it wouldn’t shift. I screamed out, but no sound was heard, my lips were moving but no scream was produced. I could only muster a faint cry as I slumped down by the door. I put my head in my hands, I couldn’t bear to look around me even though all I could see was shadows. A sudden bang on something made me stop my sniffling, I didn’t even know what I was crying about. I heard a locker shake from side to side like the pendulum on a Grandfather clock before toppling over, vibrating the floor like a mini earthquake.
I felt the ripples of vibration from under my feet travel up my spine, painfully shaking my body and knocking the protruding bones in my knee caps together. Instead of looking up I buried my face further into my hands, stuffing a bit of my jumper sleeve into my mouth to stop and noise coming out. I curled up closer, I didn’t want to look I was afraid to see what was going on. I could feel a presence around me, a strange warmth like a forcefield encircling my curled up body. I didn’t look up, I sung happy songs inside my head, trying to mask out all senses I had.
I bit my teeth on my jumper, I could feel the thick wool tickling my nose and it became more and more itchy as I clasped my teeth tighter around the fabric. I felt a withdrawn feeling as my mind almost came apart from my body, I felt a need to look up, and did so, I squinted hard, but all around me was black. As quick as lightening I saw that gleam of silver and that paper, a black hand held it up over what must be a face. Without warning it was released into the air, spinning violently cutting through the air straight towards me. I couldn’t move, I was stuck, it was as if somebody had pressed pause on a film; but the knife wasn’t listening.