© EHWalter 2015
Clive hadn’t been back to the school since his last child had left for the local secondary. It was an old place now, echoing with the memories of his own schooldays as well as those of his children. Even back then it was said to be haunted, an old lady had been seen roaming the halls at night. Someone even said they saw her at the back of the audience during the Christmas concert once. Clive hadn’t paid attention to those stories back then, it was more likely that someone had seen a teacher working late. Now though, stepping out of the misty night and into the artificial light of the school, he wasn’t so sure. Schools were meant to be loud places, full of boisterous excitement, youth and life. Schools weren’t meant to be seen after hours when they were dark and still and foreboding.
The entrance lobby was decorated for Christmas, little holly leaves hanging like paper chains. He remembered with a smile the day he had collected Rosie early because they had booked to go and see Father Christmas on a train. She had thrown herself into his arms and covered him with kisses. She had been so excited.
He walked past the hall. The venue of a hundred nativities and concerts. He’d been a fixture of the audience for eight years as his children had moved through the school. They’d even given Sam the same donkey costume he himself had worn as a five year old. Clive had been sick that year, so sick the school had wanted to give the part to someone else but his teacher, Miss Drummond, held firm. Clive would be back at school to celebrate Christmas with his friends. And he had been. Helped no doubt by her visits every few days to check on his well being and to encourage him to get better.