So I haven't really written anything horror in years honestly and this is just a small, little thing I wrote that I guess to try to get back into writing more?
I sorta thought of it when talking to friends about some ridiculous "spooky" rumors that went around in our middle and high schools.
Middle school. Everyone remembers those awkward years of being out of elementary school but not quite in high school. Though I’m sure we all have moments we desire to forget. Which describes a certain middle school experience of mine. A memory that lingers in the back of my brain and haunts me every time I get reminded of it.
See, my middle school’s layout was a bit odd. To this day I’m not sure what quite went through their minds when they decided to build it, but they had placed it right beside an old school that was no longer in use. I can only assume at the time the plan was to connect the two buildings to create one huge middle school due to how close together they are. Of course, that’s only a speculation as such a thing was never allowed to happen. The building had been discovered to be infested with asbestos, and so any possibility of even reviving the school would’ve been shut down if it was even thought of.
Naturally though, due to asbestos, they couldn’t exactly tear it down. It seemed no one wanted to put forward the money for asbestos removal so we got stuck with what many who lived in the area referred to as a “historical landmark.” Even though it wasn’t in any way. But really, what do you expect from old rich folk who refuse to empty their pockets even a tiny bit for something as simple as even school funding?
Now like most schools, it’s only natural my middle school had multiple exits. One such being in the large room that was for the music department. Technically we weren’t really supposed to use the exit, as the stairs and walkway that led you out of it was in a place that the teachers and staff couldn’t really keep an eye on the students. Plus it’s also likely that it was because that’s what the band used to unload or bring in any instruments or equipment they needed to transport in order to take it to other schools to perform.
Though really, my choir teacher (who was also the band teacher, we only had one teacher for the entire music department) never really cared if students used that exit or not, especially since he knew it helped us get to our other classes easier instead of dealing with the crowd that ran through the halls.
However, because of how such buildings were created, the walkway was right next to a set of doors that led into the gym of the abandoned school. I feel it is important to note that the doors were naturally locked up so no one could just enter the building whenever they felt like it, but a good majority of the windows were completely busted. So was the case of the windows on the gym doors. Many of us would stick our heads in through the windows or shout dumb things into the empty void of the building. I don’t quite remember why, but honestly we all did ridiculous stuff as preteens I’m sure.
Of course, along with ridiculous stuff that preteens do, there were also many rumors about what went on within this school. For the record, I have no way to confirm any of this (and searching up the school really does not provide any information on anything horrible actually happening there), and the likelihood is many of these rumors were just made up by students looking to scare their friends.
Students going missing or getting killed in the school, staff members that were murderers, looking back on it they were all rather dumb and over the top. The one I heard the most though, was one pertaining to the gym. Unsurprisingly. Of course a student who passes by it frequently would hear the rumor about it often.
They would say that a janitor had killed himself in that very gym. There was never actually a moment I think that anyone ever explained why he would commit suicide inside a school’s gym, but details don’t really matter much when you’re 12-13. Especially not to me, who was easily paranoid and extremely naive. I completely fell for the story, and admittedly became rather scared of even looking through the gym windows. Part of me actually believed I would look in and see a ghostly janitor looking back at me.
Well, I suppose preteen me wasn’t too far off.
It was when I was in 8th grade that the event had taken place. It all began one day when the other choir students and I were getting out of class. I was talking with my small group of friends but were stopped by a couple of other students as we got to the gym doors.
“Hey do you guys hear that too?”
It was a simple question, but a nervous feeling built up in my stomach as we stopped talking and listened closely.
The noise wasn’t very loud, but it was enough that it was still rather clear to all of us who were standing there. Something in the gym was making a clicking noise.
“What is that?”
I had to ask, despite the fear that came over me. Not that it made any sense for a ghost janitor to be making clicking sounds, but I did have a bit of an overactive imagination.
A few “I don’t know”s were muttered around until finally someone suggested probably the most logical answer. “It’s probably just an animal that got in or something.”
We all had to agree. Though as far as we could see into the gym there was no sight of anything, it wasn’t like we could see the entire area. Whatever it was, it just had to be out of our field of vision. Which made sense to us, it’s not like many wild animals enjoyed being where humans could see them. Besides, we didn’t have too much time to debate it, we still had to get to our next class before we were late.
None of us actually figured the noise would’ve continued. We thought the animal just got in through one of the windows and probably would’ve left that night or while no one was around. Honestly, I’m not sure there was ever a time we didn’t hear the sound after that day. One of my friends had guessed that the animal didn’t like us constantly making noise as we exited the classroom. So it made these clicking, and what later on even sounded like popping, sounds to try to scare us away. Quite frankly, it had been working on me.
Maybe at that point in time I knew that by all logic it could be nothing but an animal, yet part of my preteen brain still believed that it was the janitor. As if he was clicking and popping as part of his plan to exact some sort of revenge on us for disturbing his resting place.
So you can imagine my horror when we started to hear different noises along with the clicking and popping. Granted, it wasn’t as if we heard the other noises every day, but they still happened.
This time it had been one of my friends from my small group that I shared choir class with who heard it first. She stopped in the middle of walking as we went to our next class before stopping all of us as well.
A scratching sound. Coming from what sounded like far back in the empty gym. Now by this point they had begun to make jokes about our little animal friend and this only really added to it.
“Oh, he’s probably scratching to look for food! We should give him something!”
“We don’t even know what it is! What if we give it something that could hurt it?”
My friends broke out into a small, rather joking argument as we continued on our way. I couldn’t shake that nervous feeling though.
I kept telling myself it was just an animal. Through the clicking, popping, scratching, and even when we began to hear tapping sounds that sounded like claws walking across the floor. But since we never even saw an animal, telling myself didn’t really help much.
Which eventually lead to the day that still haunts me. It was a simple thing, my choir teacher had asked me to go get a box of music sheets for the band students from the front office. They were needed for his next class and he forgot to get them earlier, but he couldn’t really leave us unattended. And hell, a middle schooler suddenly has any reason to get out of class? I certainly wasn’t gonna turn that down.
I exited through the door that led to the walkway without thinking, and it was much too late once I already did so. I didn’t wanna go back in there to exit the other way because then I would have to explain that was I afraid. ‘So I have to pass the gym doors? No big deal.’ I told myself that over and over, yet as I made it to the doors I just really could not help myself.
I don’t know why I decided to be so dumb. Maybe part of me believed if I looked through the windows and saw nothing I would feel at peace.
But that was not I saw.
It was a silhouette, standing in the darkness of the gym. And had I took just a quick glance maybe it would’ve just seemed like a simple human or even my shadow casting into the gym. But despite looking vaguely human, it definitely wasn’t. That was only confirmed by it lifting one of its arms.
The only way I can truly describe them is like bat wings, but if you stripped away the skin and left nothing but the bones. Bones that curl up and move like fingers. One making a motion indicating it wanted me to come closer.
I swear I didn’t want to. Not a single part of me wanted to walk up to that gym window, but my body moved on its own. The clicking and popping sounds were very clear in that moment, confirming to me this was what had been making them. And this thing that had been making those noises was now coming towards me.
I screwed my eyes shut with the bit of strength in my body I could muster up since no other part of me seemed to be letting me move except how the creature wanted me to.
I heard the tapping of it’s sharp nails across the gym floor, getting closer until they suddenly stopped. Then I felt it. The bone-like finger running across my cheek. Pointed enough that it actually cut into my skin, which finally seemed to allow me to take back control of my body.
My eyes snapped open and I ran for it, barely catching a glimpse of the creature in front of me. Though everything at that moment has become such a blur in my mind, I do still remember its large, bat-like eyes.
Admittedly I was terrified and out of breath by the time I got to the front office. I had to come up with some excuse that I was hurrying to get back to class quickly and me tripping is how i got the cut on my face.
Honestly, I'm still not quite sure what I saw. I never took the time to find out either. From that day until the end of the school year I avoided exiting out or entering through that door. I always used the excuse that I wanted to walk with my friend who was in a different class, even if that wasn’t the truth.
I didn’t really have to deal with it again though. Before I started my first year of high school my family moved to another state to be closer with the rest of our family. I did keep in touch with some of my middle school friends, however, which is how I found out about something I still think is connected to what I saw.
It was almost a year later when one of them told me what happened to our choir teacher. He had been found dead out on the walkway. She never did tell me the condition they found him in, but I can only imagine based on the fact she said the police believed he had been murdered.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that sometimes I wonder if I hadn’t been able to run when I did, would I have ended up like my teacher?
With no reason to ever go back to that city or that school though, I’m very thankful that I’ll never have to find out.
Well, the formatting is annoying. It makes the story look way longer than it is.
The exposition takes up about half of the story; it's needless and pointless. You don't tell anything important or interesting for half of the story. You simply drag it along to add some more wordage. It's not good. Longer stories aren't always better. It can be short and still effective. Cut off anything that does not add anything to the plot.
Some of the plot lay out is stupidly conviniet. You don't build a door into a space that leads to a sealed off building and just keep it like that after you decide that the sealed off building stays that way. You tear that door off or seal it and build another passage. It's just pointless and willfully wasteful.
You're telling me some ten or eleven year old kid came across a creature that could eat it, but didn't because reasons?
Bat eyes aren't exactly creepy or weird; they're somewhat like smaller darker dog eyes. Assuming the creature lives in the dark, it has eyes that are either extremely sufficient for poor light conditions, thus unlike bat eyes (which are somewhat useless to bats in overwhelming darkness) and would look like cat eyes, or have a reflective color, like deep sea sharks, or cats or something or just have deep dark, tiny useless eyes which are again not very bat like.
The ending is also dry, "oh I got traumatized but not really."
the teacher randomly dying is just random and doesn't create any sort of effect.
It's just not doing it for me; I don't feel the character or the fear I'm supposed to feel because you don't provide that. You don't try to make me believe this is real and this is scary.