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| Category: || General Fiction |
Posted:|| June 19, 2017 Views: 204|
in the wrong hands
Darkness surrounded me as I opened my eyes and groaned. I tried to stand but something held me in place and as my fingertips brushed against the object, I realised it must be a chain of some sort.
“So, you’re awake, are you?” I heard a female voice whisper in my ear.
I feel hands grip my hair and yank my head backwards. In the background, there is more laughter.
She shines a torch in my face and I blink at the sudden light in my eyes.
Another woman’s voice penetrated the darkness. “The way he squealed, like a baby girl…”
“Yeah, I didn’t know if to burp him or smack him,” yet another voice scoffed.
How many were they? What did they want?
Someone lit a candle and, after the sudden glare subsided, I saw the silhouette of five girls hunched up together.
“What is the meaning of this?” I croaked. “Let me go at once.”
A voice spat in my ear. “Well, Mr Burgess, your time is up.”
I shivered as a face appeared to float in front of me. It didn’t look human. The pale white face looked like a clown with its painted lines on its eyes and what was that on its mouth and hands. My eyes opened wider, that wasn’t paint; it was blood. A flash of a girl's face shot across my memory.
“Jenny Hawkins, is that you?”
The face came closer and I could see its eyes; a clear blue, stare into my soul.
“Got it in one, Sir,” she cooed.
I tried to stand but the chains held me down. “What the hell…”
She slapped my face. “Now, Sir, we won’t have you swearing. You a teacher and all. It’s bad for the younger children to hear it.”
“What’s this about? If you untie me we can discuss it like adults. I can see you’re upset…”
She laughed. “Yes, Sir. I am upset.”
Her eyes looked glazed and out of focus.
“Is this about your last paper? I know you got a bad mark but…”
I heard a snigger to my left. “He thinks this is about some poxy paper. You low life scum… You…”
Jenny laid her hand on the girl's long white coat and smiled. “It’s okay, Jodie. He will pay for what he has done.”
“Done; what have I done?”
Jenny shook her head. “You remember my little brother. He was only five when he was assigned to your class and had trouble with reading. You called him thick and made him stand in the corner with a dunce’s cap on. Every opportunity you got you picked on him. You bullied him because you could and no one could do anything. Life got so unbearable that at eleven years old he took my father’s shotgun and blew his brains out.”
My heart skipped a beat as a vague memory of a little boy who stuttered and wet his pants came into focus. I remembered him well. He used to cry when I called him to the front of class to read aloud. The other children used to mock him and I enjoyed the power I had as a teacher to make that happen. Well, you got the kids who are victims and the survivors in this world. As a teacher my job was to work on the survivors and toughen up the weak links or get rid of them.
The other girl kicked my leg. “Are you smiling?”
The girl called Jodie grabbed the front of my shirt and pulled me towards her. Our faces were inches apart “Do you remember a sweet kid called Violet? She was an outgoing kid but after your class she seemed reserved and quiet. We tried everything to make her talk but she just shook her head and seemed to dissolve from within. It was only when she took an overdose and I caught her in time that the story about your abuse came out. How you used to touch her and what you made her do. How you used your power over other children to manipulate them and ridicule them for being different. How you…”
“Look, I never did anything….”
“Liar,” the five girls shouted in unison.
A cold, clampy, invisible hand took hold of my heart and squeezed my heart. I gazed around the room; hold on a minute, these are just girls. What can they do? I mean sure they got you tied up and they can scare you a bit but what else? They can’t kill you or even expose you; who would believe a group of dumb girls over a teacher anyway.
I smiled. “So, what now?”
Jodie grinned and the dried blood around her eyes and at the corner of her mouth cracked. “Now, we leave.”
My heart started to beat faster. “You can’t leave me here. They will find me and when they do…”
Jodie shook her head. “He hasn’t realised, how cute.”
A memory of a newspaper report about the tragedy of a school fire in the science lab surfaced from my muddled brain. I had been abroad, teaching. Twenty school children had died in the blaze two of them were Jodie and Jenny. I remembered because the reporter made a big issue out of 'haven’t the families suffered enough…'
Jodie nodded. “Now you’re up to speed, boy. You’re already dead but the powers to be decided to let us have you for a while. The two big men decided it was only fair, and now… I can see the time is up. Have a good life in hell, Sir.
I screamed as the girls disappeared one by one and the darkness swallowed me up.
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