The Old Schoolhouse is my submission in the “Scare the Dickens Out of Us” contest held every year for Halloween. The contest ended on the first of October so I can now share the story with all of you…..I hope you enjoy it….and I hope I win;-)
The schoolhouse actually exists. I’ve been there at night with friends a long time ago. The picture above is not the actual school. I had to find a picture as close as I could get since I do not have one of the real school (which is even creepier). On one of my many visits to Georgia (before I finally moved here), we decided to explore some old buildings. Why? I don’t know but it was fun and harmless. There isn’t much to do around these parts so we make stuff up for excitement. The story is real in the sense that there is nothing to do around here and there are several reports of hauntings, witches and demons in many areas of this county. In that case, I guess I could say this story is “based on true events”;-)
The Old Schoolhouse – by Tammy Holloway
“Stop that Jared! I hate when you do that! This place is scary enough without all your jokes. Where’s Kaley? I know she’s hiding too. You two are made for each other.” Surprised, Jared looked directly at Samantha. “What do you mean ‘where’s Kaley?’ She’s with you right? Please tell ma ma me she’s with ya ya you Sam.”
Jared stuttered when he got real nervous. “Ha! The jokes’ on you now Jared. Kaley’s getting better at it than you. “She done left ya down here to get skeert with the rest of us.”
It was September in this small town of Mineral Bluff, GA. It was comin’ a gully washer…as folks say ‘round here. That’s a down pour like nowhere I’d ever seen before. I can understand the reason for the strange lingo. It poured buckets on this lil’ town. Jared, Kaley and Samantha were best buds. Jared and Kaley were boyfriend and girlfriend but didn’t seem to mind Sam following along from time to time. Sam didn’t mind it either. Jared was 16 and had two things the girls liked; a license and an old beat up car that took them away from home and off on adventures.
Tonight was the same as many nights. Find an old building, explore, and scare the crap out of each other. There are so many stories goin’ ‘round about this place. Outsiders come and try to snoop around and find nothing but the occasional shotgun in their face, cocked and ready to shoot. Why we’re famous all over the internet with ghost stories and witch sighting and such.
The old schoolhouse was new territory. The witch graveyard, the haunted church and the abandoned orphanage were old hat. The same routine was in place. Jared stayed in the back in case someone came at them from behind. He figured these places were good hideouts for druggies or homeless folks. Sam was always in front because she loved this stuff and feared nothing and Kaley stayed in the middle. She was afraid of everything.
It was unlike Kaley to run off and play the scarin’ game. I understood completely. Heck I can’t remember any time where Kaley was trying to be bold. She was a screamer. I guess that’s the good news. No screams have been heard from her. Jared grabbed a hold of Sam’s arm and headed back the way they came in. He carefully shined the flashlight in each crevice and corner he could find. The paint was chipped off in a lot of places. It smelled like ten year old rain and rotten concrete. A room led back around to the right. They didn’t go in there yet so maybe Kaley was a hidin’ in there. Jared felt a jolt on his arm. Sam jumped back and caught her breath. The hairs stood up on the back of her neck. In a small whisper Sam said; “what in tar nation is that thing hangin’ from the ceiling Jared?”
…They slowly backed away. Jared, shaking, raised the flashlight to see what it was. Shadowy monsters began to crawl down the walls as the light beamed off of the old school desks. The light went higher and gleaming walls dripped with moisture as the rain seeped through the cracks in the old structure. Even higher still….suddenly, Jared dropped the flashlight and ran! “Wait!” Sam yelled for Jared and chased him all the way to the car.
“What are you guys doing?” Kaley said in her “whatever” voice. Jared was surprised but happy to see her. He was too concerned about getting the heck out of there then to take notice of her sarcasm/motherly talk.
As they drove away, Kaley asked again what was going on. “I ss ss saw something in th the there.” “Wow! You never stutter anymore Jared. What did you see?” Jared tried to gather his thoughts to try and explain what he saw. “There wa wa was a pa pa pair of sh sh shoe shoes on th th the ssss ssss sssseil ceiling…aa aaa aannnd a a……” Sam lost patience with Jared; “Oh nevermind! Let’s go back. I didn’t see anything too strange Jared. Besides curiosity killed the cat..not the human. I want to know for sure. It was probably just an old pair of shoes hangin’ there with some junk thrown in Jared. You know people always feel the need to throw stuff and try to get it stuck.” Sam reassured him. “No way!” Kaley scolded. “I did not want to be there in the first place. Why do you think I came back to the car? Let’s go home Jared, please?” O o o kay K K Kaley. I na na need to dr dry off anyway. Ma ma my clothes are ss ssoaked.”
It was well after curfew. Anyone out now had cool parents or parents that just didn’t care much where they were as long as they were out of their hair. Jared and Sam’s parents were the cool ones. Well, Sam’s parents were divorced and she stayed with her mom full-time. Sam’s mother knew she was safe with Jared and Jared’s parents knew Sam would keep him out of trouble. Parents – so naive. Kaley had the “other” type of parents. She never spoke of ‘em much but it was understood. Unexplained bruises would show up now and again and Jared would ask if she was okay and if he needed to take care of something for her. Kaley would just smirk at him and respond with “Nothin’s wrong”. He always hated takin’ her home.
Friends of theirs gathered at the local hangout but it was still comin’ a turd flutter. That there’s another one of them slang words for heavy rain. Everyone sat in their cars and played with the radio. Not but 2 stations comes in ‘round here though. Most have iPods or some other form of device that holds a crap ton of music. Sam decided to open her big mouth. Something she was quite good at. “Jared saw something up at the ol’ schoolhouse.” That was all she needed to say.
The testosterone flowed freely amongst the young teenage boys. They challenged each others’ fears and then it was decided. Nothing to do but visit some old rundown schoolhouse and teen testosterone loaded guns makes for a bad combination. Sam knew this and her plan worked. Kaley’s arguments were no match for all that and she sure wasn’t going home to deal with what was waiting for her there. Anything was better than home; Even some scary thing hangin’ from the ceiling of an old schoolhouse.
As they pulled up to the old school house again, the lights cut through the rain. Heavy drops of shimmering light fell slanted from the sky in front of them. They could barely make out the building. Mud splashed and splattered the windows of that old beat up car of Jared’s. Kaley took in a heavy breath “Who’s that?” She pointed toward the back end of the building. Neither of the other two saw it. “Maybe you should stay in the car.” Jared told her. “I know you hate this stuff but I also know you love it in some twisted kind a way. Let me and Sam go in and we’ll come back and git ya when the coast is clear.”
Three other cars pulled up alongside Jared’s. It was Tina and Colton in one car, Heather and Brice in another and some other people she didn’t know. She knew their faces from school, but no names.
Kaley’s view from the car was nothing but a sea of flashlights and raincoats runnin’ for the entrance. Her heart started pounded as the lights faded away. The sounds of laughter and chatter faded also. She was all alone in the dark…again.
Kaley opened her eyes and looked around. The rain stopped and the night was still. There was no sign of anyone yet. She looked at the phone! “It’s three in the morning!” She hit 1 on speed dial to try and call Jared. It was the perfect set up for a scary movie out here. Her phone said “No service”. Living in the mountains, it tends to be touch and go with service. She figured they had to be in there for more than 3 hours. It wasn’t that big of a school house.
Something hit the roof of the car. Kaley froze in place. Her heart was now in her throat. “Jared! This is not funny! Stop playing around!” A steady drip came from above. What was it? She knew she had an active imagination and figured she was just comin’ up with her own crazy thoughts. As she settled down, she grabbed her flashlight and began to look around outside of the car. A shadow came down over the front of the car as she looked high up through the windshield. It was a branch. Relieved, she reached for the door handle. As she went to pull on it, she looked out and saw lights coming. “Finally!” They all stopped at the doorway, looking at Kaley; looking at the car. They were looking….up.
Kaley jumped out of the car and ran towards Jared. He backed away as she approached. “What’s going on Jared? What took you guys so long? Quit jokin’ around. Let’s go home.” Just then Kaley turned her focus on the car. It was hovering just above it. The shadow was dark and menacing. Something was dripping from its mouth. It was blood.
It shot back into the night and disappeared. The teenagers ran in separate directions. “Where’s Sam?” Kaley screamed out and didn’t get an answer. Everyone kept their distance from Kaley. “What is going on? What is that thing?” Kaley ran as fast as she could to get as far away from it as she could. Jared kept a close eye on her but from a distance. “Why did you g g go ba ba back to th th th the car Kaley?” “Go back?” she thought. “I Never came in Jared! Why are you avoiding me? What happened in here? What is that thing out there hovering over your car?”
Jared slowly approached Kaley. “Y y you na na never ccc cccame in?” “No Jared, I fell asleep in the car and woke up just before I saw all of you come out. I heard a crash on top of the car and saw it was a branch…or so I thought.” Listen K K Kaley, you were with us almost the whole time. Y y you have to believe ma ma me.” Just then, Sam came running up. “Sam! Thank goodness you are alright!” “No thanks to you Kaley. What were you thinking anyway? You just better be glad you’re my friend or I’d have to give you a good wallop on the head.” Jared broke them up; “She dada doesn’t remememember being in here Sss sa ss Sam.” “What? That’s crazy! Of course she remembers. Don’t you Kaley?” Kaley looked at Sam, puzzled and shrugged her shoulders. “I was asleep in the car the whole time.”
A noise came from the darkness. They held hands and faced the source of the sound. Each of them raised their flashlights at the same time. The sizzling sounds of water hitting a hot surface filled the air. Steam came from the shadowy figure. It was in pain. In an instant, it was gone. The creature feared the light so they now knew they could get away. They had to get out of there.
Jared called out for the rest of the crew. “Ba Ba Brice! He Heather! Ddd Dd Da Devon! Ch Chase!” No answer. They had to go look for them since they were the ones to get them to come. Well, Sam was the one but Jared drove so he felt an obligation to make sure they were alright. They stayed close together as they searched the small rooms in the school house; each room scarier than the last. The shadows crept as they walked slowly along the back wall. The ground was flooded from the heavy rain that just passed. The sound of splashing footsteps was the only thing they could hear.
Something moved in the back of the room. It was hiding behind some old furniture. They stopped and held their flashlights on it. None of them wanted to move for fear it would come where light didn’t shine. It slowly rose from behind the furniture and stood there. “Jared? Is that you buddy?” Brice and the others came out from hiding. “Boy are we glad to see you guys. It’s afraid of light you know.” “Yeah, we figured that out too.” Kaley spoke but the others hesitated in listening to her words. “Let’s get out of here.” She continued. They all kept close together along the wall with flashlights shining at the darkness. As they moved toward the doorway, they came upon the room where Jared saw something the first time they went in. “Watch my back.” Sam said and started her way into that room. “Ss Sa Sam! Wh wh what are y y you doing?”Her flashlight rose up to the ceiling where the shoes had been. Jared fell to his knees and began to vomit. The others followed suit. Sam screamed, “NOOO!” Kaley was dead.
They all faced the reality that they had to get out of that place and fast. Things were happening that they couldn’t explain and there was something lurking in the darkness that was evil. They made a run for their cars and jumped in. The cars were running before their feet hit the pedals. Jared and Sam were so shaken they didn’t speak a word.
…From the back seat; “What’s going on Jared? What took you guys so long?”
“The keys on your keyboard are the controls to your bulldozer. Take the keys and drive until you are finished. Everything else will kindly move out of your way or be forced to become a part of your path to success.”
Have a sci-fi day everyone! TLH