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the brilliant blue we were used to. We did not know this at the time,
we were about to face the worst time of our lives. But for some of us,
including me, it would be much worse. Of course we didn't know that
then, all we knew was the fear and the confusion. There were so many
thoughts running through my head, but mainly, "Why her?" Because it
was Sarah who had been murdered; my best friend.
"Come along girls, get into your dormitories as quickly as you can,
and lock your doors until further notice! A teacher will check up on
you every ten to fifteen minutes." Mrs Tierney ordered. Mrs Tierney
was our head teacher, and one of the toughest women you would ever
meet, but she was scared. I could see it in her eyes; the way she
couldn't look directly at any of us, as though she was afraid of what
she might see. Before I knew it we were all in our dormitories, I must
have been in some sort of a daze. But throughout all of this I managed
not to cry, Sarah wouldn't of wanted me to, she was all I could think
about. I knew that if she was here now, and it was someone else she'd
have done the same, she wouldn't want to make it any worse for the
other. The next thing I knew Charlotte came running up to me, "Becky,"
she sobbed, "I can't believe it; no one deserves that!" By "that" she
meant to be stabbed - and, of course, she was right.
" I know, but it's going to be alright." I replied, trying to sound
reassuring, but now I come to think about it, I doubt that I actually
did. So we sat there for hours, doing nothing but trying to be strong.
But how could be strong if every time we heard the slightest noise we
jumped out of our skin. To us it didn't feel like Sarah was dead, but
more like someone had savagely torn out our vital organs. Occasionally
we were visited by members of staff, who were just as successful as us
at staying calm. Then, eventually we fell asleep, still embraced in
eachothers arms and sharing a bed for comfort.
"Wake up! Come on girls, get up and make your way to the assembly
hall!" Mrs Tierney's voice rang through the corridors, sounding more
like a lion's roar than a middle-aged woman! Charlotte, ZoÃ«, Laura and
I climbed out of our beds and rubbed our eyes. This must have been the
first time ZoÃ« and Laura left the room without looking like perfectly
made up air hostesses, and also the first time they didn't care.
"Beck, it's only five o'clock, do you think everything's alright?" ZoÃ«
questioned me, her voice quivering slightly.
"Yes, I bet it's just for safety of something" I retorted, really I
was just as worried as ZoÃ«, but she was the kind of person who needed
reassurance. As I opened the door, I saw the corridor the busiest that
I had ever seen it. Students from all years marched towards the hall
like hundreds of lifeless zombies, all with same puzzled yet fearful
expressions on their faces. Then there were the teachers, who were the
only people not wearing the uniform pyjamas, ushering the students
along the corridors. So the four of us joined in with the procession
and that was when I realised that this wasn't just for safety. I
couldn't help overhearing the nervous whispers, some people had
decided to believe that the grounds keeper had gone mad and shot
himself, whilst others thought that there had been another murder. But
no matter how far-fetched the rumours were, I couldn't help believing
some of them, my best friend had been murdered, anything was possible.
Once we were in the assembly hall Mrs Tierney addressed us. "Girls",
she said, her voice now slightly hoarse, "I'mâ€¦ I'm afraid that there's
a problem. After the tragic death of Sarah Johnson, we are now faced
with a new situation." There were a few nervous whispers but the look
of anticipation was on everyone's face. "I'm afraid we'reâ€¦ we're
locked inside the building." She continued, she had to raise her voice
to drown out the cries of desperation, "We don't know how and we don't
know why, but the police and your parents have been informed. I'm sure
that this is nothing serious and soon enough we should be back to
"How the hell can this be normal!" Charlotte exclaimed. I don't know
whether she wanted me to answer this or not but I didn't. I couldn't.
It felt like we were part of a cheesy horror film like ZoÃ« and Laura
So now Hilton Towers, the top boarding school in England, was the set
for a horror film, we spent our nights on mattresses in the assembly
hall. This was where we had to "live", if you could call it living,
and twice a day we were all escorted to the dining hall for our meals.
For two days and two nights this was all we did but just as we got
used to the routine it all changed.
Thursday morning I awoke to the sound of a bell, but not the schools
electronic bell I'd grown accustomed to, but a hand-held bell. Slowly
I sat up and before I'd even opened my eyes I knew that something was
wrong, I was no longer safely in the assembly hall but somewhere
completely different. The first thing I noticed was the smell of the
room, it smelt like bleach, but dirty at the same time. And as I
opened my eyes I found myself in a dimly lit room, the grey plaster
was peeling off the walls like a snake shedding its skin, shelves were
mounted on the walls, hold cleaning fluids and buckets, while mops
cluttered the floor. The walls and the water stained ceiling reminded
me of a prison cell. Then I realised where I was, I was in the
caretakers store cupboard. The same place that Sarahs' body lay only
days before. I began to think, was this what had happened to Sarah?
Had she too woken up in this room? And before I had time to think of
answers, I heard a key in the rattling around in the lock, and in
walked the man who had killed her.
Straight away I knew he had killed her. I don't know how I knew it was
him but I did. And if I wasn't careful I would probably be next
"Good morning," he said to me in his gruff voice, "nice of you to
finally wake up." He looked at me as though I was a piece of meat, and
he never took his eyes off me.
"Why are you doing this? Was it you that killed Sarah? What's wrong
with you?" I asked him, I could no longer stay calm. He looked as
thought he was thinking of a way to answer me, he squatted down next
to me, scratched his gristly grey beard with his bony fingers and his
stare became more intense. The more I looked at him the more he
reminded me of tatty potato sack, his tired eyes were surrounded by
bags of loose skin, his brow was now producing beads of sweat which
attempted to drip down his face, but kept getting stuck in the roles
of skin. As much as I hated this man I couldn't help feeling sorry for
"I'm in love with Sarah," He replied, " well I was anyway I was. I
loved her hair, her smile, everything about her, so I decided to tell
her. So I brought her here. I didn't realise that she would react so
badly. She began screaming, and I got scared, so I, I killed her. I
didn't mean to hurt her, just to scare her so she'd quiet down. But
she didn't." I couldn't believe what I was hearing, the caretaker had
never struck me as being so sick and twisted. We all respected him,
he'd even won "Caretaker of the Year" several times. Maybe this was
why it was such a shock, but to hear that he was in love with her,
that was something else.