They locked me in this room because they said I was crazy
. They didn't really think I was crazy; deep in the pit
of their guts they knew I wasn't, but they were afraid
The few of us, teachers and pupils, who were staying in the school during the holidays, were trapped. We gathered
ourselves into a classroom on the ground floor of the school and lit some oil lamps and candles. The unnatural
hurricane had been raging around our old Victorian building for two weeks. Heat and electricity had gone in the first
few hours of the storm and we were beginning to wonder just how long we would have to remain here, bored out of
our heads listening to Sister Callistus' endless catechisms.
Though still day, malevolent black clouds held most of the light at bay, leaving the school enveloped in a
perpetual twilight and sending shadows prowling through the corridors and halls. We all
huddled together in the chilly room while the wind shrieked at us hysterically from the other side of the windows, and
battered at doors and windows trying to gain entrance.
I'm trapped here in the room next door to the one I've just described. I decided to sit in the corner and put
the single candle they left in front of me, that way I can see
anything that comes towards me. It's not much comfort.
It began with Sister Callistus. She sent me over to the kitchens in the east wing of the building to get more food. She insisted that I go alone, even though she
knows that I am afraid of the dark. She was either being spiteful, or just amusing herself. How I pleaded with her not to send me! But she remained unmoved at my tears and sobs. Mrs Wolfe tried to get her to at least let someone go with me. She would have none of it. Then she grabbed me, digging
her fingernails into the flesh of my arms, and pushed me out of the door, locking it
So I walked along the corridors, trembling in the dim, grainy light, forcing each foot forward with every step. They
say that when you're that scared you can hear your heart beating loudly in your ears. All I could hear was
the screaming wind, thumping against old wooden doors, and the teeth-clatter rattle of windows in old frames, which
it seemed to me were perilously close to shattering and letting that mad wind sweep through the school. Despite all
this, I managed to get the food, and make the journey back.
All the way back down the corridors, through the writhing
shadows, I felt as though I was being watched with eyes angry and eager. Briskly, I walked back the way I had come,
feeling as though I would never reach the door of the safe room. I fought with every step the sensation that someone was
right behind me, with every step I had to suppress the panic and overwhelming urge to bolt along the corridor.
When I reached the hallway of the safe room, I stopped and my heart lifted. There were all my friends and teachers and the nun standing at the opposite end. I had almost missed
them at first, it had become so gloomy! I thought they were waiting for me, they stood so still. So I
walked on, past the safe room to them.
But the closer that I got to them, the more I began to see the figures clearly. Like the wind, my chest
fell as it gasped out a breath. Like the wind, my heartbeat rose up into my ears and pounded at my
skull as I realised that they were not who I thought they were. Not at all. And when I was so close that I could see their
real appearance, they began to move towards me. God, how could I have mistaken these
figures for my friends? I almost tripped, backing away as they crept quietly closer.
I raced back to the safe room, grabbed the doorhandle and pulled. It was locked! I threw my whole weight against the
door again and again, crying at the top of my lungs to be let in, begging them to open the door. After such an age, I
heard the nun's footsteps. She walked slowly, calmly to the door while the figures advanced
silently. They began to whisper softly, viciously, as the nun inserted the key into the lock and turned it to admit me.
I didn't hesitate. As soon as I heard the lock catch I pushed at the door with all my might, sending her flying
on her back, and I slammed it shut and locked it behind me before scrambling to the other side of the room,
spluttering out what was going on outside the door.
They refused to believe me. Though I screamed and wailed like the wind, they opened the door.
There was nothing there.
When I wouldn't quiet down and stop roaring at them to close and lock the door, they locked me in here. But they knew I
wasn't crazy really, so they locked their own door too.
For a long time I listened to them talking. Most likely talking about me. Sister Callistus' voice was raised and
irritated, Mrs Wolfe's was once again soothing. Ms Brett sounded like she was desperately trying to change the subject, and
my friends were murmuring amongst themselves.
They were all so busy talking that they didn't hear it at first, but I did: a soft, entreating
rap on their door. The tears started flowing again, but I held my breath once more and let them come.
Then it came again, and this time they heard it, and it shut them all up. I heard their hurried whispers - should we open it? Ah, but they knew not to. There it was
again, much louder this time, with a menacing susurration from the shrouded corridor along with it. I heard some of my
friends start to cry. Sister Callistus burst into earsplitting prayer. As she reached 'agus saor sin ó olc', 'and deliver
us from evil', there was a great splintering crash, a chorus of screams, and the desperate scrambling of feet. Underneath all of it, the chilling whispering continued, as if the wind were hissing out its
secrets of hatred and violence.
And then there was nothing but the wind outside. So I began to write, and it's comforting somehow. It makes me feel
almost like I'm telling the story to someone, almost like talking. I ran out of ink a little while ago.
There are other pots in the room, but I'd have to venture into the shadows to get them. So I pricked the palm of my left hand, and what I could drain into the ink pot is working
just as well. My hands are so cold that it didn't hurt one bit.
Now I have to stop writing. I'm going to blow out my candle and hold my breath.
I just heard a whisper outside... and someone is knocking at the door...
For the Quest: Everything Quests: Scary Stories