There were once four teenaged girls – Juliet, Clara, Susan and Simone – girls who had been more excited than they’d ever been in their lives at going on a residential school trip. No Mums and Dads, no annoying siblings, just them (and the 2 teachers and a bunch of other kids but let’s not digress) and they were going to have the time of their lives that they would remember forever.
And that they did.
It was exciting, being dropped at school with their suitcases. Being seen off by mothers with worried frowns while they themselves did not give two shits about being set free from school life (ish) for 3 days. The bus was loud, louder than Dad’s farts in the bathroom while everyone was trying to sleep. There was singing, shouting and someone rattling a crisp packet way more than a crisp packet needed to be rattled. Eventually they arrived at Holstein Park. They couldn’t wait to get off the bus, pushing and shoving commenced. Clara elbowing Juliet into her latest East 17 wannabe crush, the teachers shouting at everyone to stop shouting. It was bedlam. And it was bloody brilliant.
They wandered inside lugging their baggage, which they’d way overpacked and someone started whining they’d lost a shoe. They were mesmerised at how big the place was and the huge staircase right in the entrance hall rising to no parent Heaven. A stampede to choose the best bed deafened everyone in a 10 mile radius and the group chose a room where just the 4 of them would be sleeping. Juliet chose a bottom bunk and sat on it, smiling to herself. The others chose their beds, plugged in the cassette radio and they chattered utter bollocks to a background of Gabrielle’s Dreams.
After a day’s events attended in very unflattering waterproofs and boots no one dared smell (a bit like those dilbert daps when you go bowling, if you don’t think too hard about it you can pretend it’s all fine) they went for a wash and brush up ready for the evening meal. Later, downstairs the sounds of food intake were deafening. Not that they were pigs with no manners (well, some were) but they were excitedly chatting about events of the day gone by and laughing about the teacher who had stepped in a giant steaming cowpat. Then silence descended just as quickly as they all watched in horrified slow motion as Jason shook the Heinz tomato sauce bottle a little too vigourously after Matt had failed to put the lid back on properly. A thin line of sauce shot across the table and landed unceremoniously across the white curtains like a scene from Taggart that nobodies Mum allowed them to watch but they did anyway. A collective sharp intake of breath quickly gave way to laughter and pointing while Jason went an red as the 22,000 tomatoes packed into that glass bottle.
Sent upstairs in disgust to relax before bed they all laughed about the evenings entertainment and got into their PJ’s. As they eventually dropped off to sleep one by one, Juliet awoke with a start to find she could barely breathe. As she came round she suddenly realised there was something on her face. Something peach terry towelling. As she attempted to scream and punch the item was removed from her face and she saw 3 faces staring down at her disapprovingly. “What the actual hell are you doing?” she shouted at her deadly room mates. “You were snoring! They hissed. Juliet led there quietly as the lights were switched back off hoping they’d all drop off before her so she wouldn’t face a certain death by peach terry towelling bathrobe again.
Clara suddenly whispered “don’t move” and they simultaneously shit their beds in fear. “Don’t look now but there’s a ghost over there!” “It’s an old lady with a walking stick sitting in the rocking chair.” they all led frozen in fear as Clara said “after 3 all turn around and look…”
As they turned in unsion they saw the ghostly figure in the corner just as she’d said, they screamed and jumped out of bed faster than a Dad hearing the central heating switch being touched and legged it out of the room and into the room down the hall housing some of the other girls.
You could cut the fear with a knife as they tearfully recounted their story to the other girls who listened in shock and excitement, just as the only girl who’d been asleep starting crawling across her bed. Asleep but with her eyes wide open. Dreaming but moving around like a wolf hunting it’s prey. Another blood curdling scream rang out and the girl screamed back, eyes rolling just as she woke up terrified, not knowing who or where she was. This time the teachers burst in and told them all to stop acting like a bunch of idiots and to go to sleep. And they all led there listening to the radio in the pitch black wanting nothing more than their Mum’s.