The girls at St. Theresa’s private boarding school have had a very busy term, and this was the night before last day of term. Tomorrow they would be going home for their vacation. So of course they were up to all sorts of tricks. And mischief. Especially the seniors, since this was their final term at school and the next day they would be leaving school for good.
The four of them over at the senior’s dormitory were having the time of their lives. After a rather scandalous game of truth or dare, one of the girls, Melissa had snuck out of the dorm promising to be back in five minutes. Until she returned, the others settled down on the floor to watch a horror movie on the laptop, that one of the girls, Mandy, had secretly brought back after going home for the weekend.
“Where’s Melissa? She’s been missing for some time.” Asked Sara after a while, concerned as always for her friends.
“She said she’d be back in five.” Said Mandy curious.
Mellissa chose that minute to sneak back into the dorm, closing the door behind her.
“Well speak of the devil and the devil shall appear.” Said Sara grinning. Though of course Melissa was of course, by all means no devil. More of an angel actually.
“Hey sorry guys. I went to my sister’s dorm to get something to eat. And they had ordered an extra pizza! So they gave it to us”
“Oh thank god! I was starving.” Said Mandy gratefully. Despite her petite and delicate appearance, the girl had the appetite of a… well… pig.
Anyway food was always a welcome distraction at St. Theresa’s. Like almost all boarding schools.So the laptop was put aside, and the four proceeded to eat their pizza.
“Oh... so… good. Why didn’t we order pizza instead of burgers? I told u we would get hungry again in the middle of the night. And today’s dinner was awful.”
Mandy and Melissa had to refrain from rolling their eyes in front of her. As much as they loved Rachel she was an “I told you so” kinda person. And that was kinda annoying at times.
“We didn’t have enough money Rach.” Said Sara patiently.
“Ok hurry up and finish eating.” Said Melissa, the first to finish. “What did u guys decide to watch?’’
“Ooh… I heard that it’s scary.”
“Yeah it is. I watched it before.” Said Mandy wide eyed.
Once they were all done, they cleaned up the place and then started watching the movie. The lights in the dorm were switched off, so room was dark and shadowy except for the light from the laptop screen.
“It doesn’t seem that scary. So far.” Said Sara
“Oh my god!” Cried Rachel scared. The others shushed her, because even though their dorm room was far away from all the other dorms and their matron’s room, their matron tended to roam the hallways after lights out to check on everyone. “Oh shoot what was that?’’ asked Melissa in a low voice. Sara gasped in shock.
“No, no… don’t go down there… just go back upstairs…” whispered Rachel. Suddenly she jumped and started screaming as loudly as she could as a tall figure in a black cloak and hat disappeared quietly through the door.
“Ghost! A ghost!” she shrieked.
The others nearly jumped out of their skins with fear and shock. Mandy was scared witless and shaking.
Mellissa hit pause. “Why the hell did you scream?” She demanded irritated.
“I saw a ghost! Passing through the door! Rachel pointed a shaking finger towards the door.
“I think I saw it too!” cried Mandy still pale with fear. “A tall person wearing a dark cloak and hat.”
“Yes. I think it was Black hat!”
“Black hat? Don't be stupid Rach, that’s just a ghost story,” Cried Sara.
“Then tell us who the hell that was walking out the door. Through the door I mean!” cried Mandy
“Girls, why are you all shouting?” Shouted an angry female voice from hallway.
“Oh crap!” swore Rachel and Mandy. Mandy’s face turned pale once more. “Downhall! Hide my laptop,” She whisper-screamed, slamming it shut and tossing it, to Sara who quickly slipped it under one of the beds.
Just in time. The door opened and the light was switched on, and an elderly heavily wrinkled face glared at the four girls who were now standing in the middle of the room frozen. “What are you girls doing out of bed? It’s past midnight,” she snapped.
“Hello miss Downhall.” Said Melissa, the bravest of the four.
“Melissa what were you all doing? Miss Downhall glowered.
“Just playing a game ma’am.” Melissa grinned innocently.
“A game? In the middle of the night?” she snapped in disbelief. She turned to Mandy and the others. “Amanda will you please tell me what you were up to?’’
“No-nothing m-miss Downhall. We were playing cards…” she gulped and mentally prayed that the huge elderly woman would not start screaming in her face. Thankfully the matron just glared at her and Rachel and Sara in turn and walked away from them. And even more thankfully she hadn’t registered the apparent lack of playing cards in the girls’ hands or even on the floor. “See if I don’t tell your parents about your ‘midnight shenanigans’ tomorrow.” She huffed. Mellissa rolled her eyes discreetly.
“Good night miss Downhall,” cried Mandy, Sara and Rachel, somewhat relieved that the interrogation was short. And it was a bigger relief that she hadn’t screamed or yelled. Much.
“Good night miss Downhall.” Called Melissa cheerfully.
“Goodnight. Now get into bed at once.” Miss Downhall switched off the light and shut door once she left.
The four girls clambered into their beds.
“God she’s so annoying!” cried Melissa.
“I know right!” cried Sara
“I hope she doesn’t make big deal in front of our parents tomorrow.” Said Mellissa gloomily. “I don’t want to start the holiday by getting lectured.”
“Yeah same here.”
“Anyway what the eff were you two talking about?” Melissa demanded turning to Rachel and Mandy. “Did you see black hat for real? Or were you just playing us?”
“What? No we weren’t playing around! I swear I did see him… or her...” Rachel bit her lip.
Mandy was still freaked out. “It went through the door.” She said quietly.
“Through the door?” Melissa glanced at Sara who was listening in disbelief. She caught Sara’s eye and shook her head slightly.
“I’m not crazy you know” cried Mandy.
“Yeah me neither. And that door was closed by the way.”
“Nobody said you were.” Replied Sara dryly. “Let’s just go to sleep…”
“Oh hell no, not after that.” Mandy wrapped her blanket around herself and sat on Rachel’s bed, huddling next to her.
“Yeah we’re not going to get any sleep after that…” Melissa remarked dryly.
“We’ll see how you react if you see the ghost.” Muttered Rachel annoyed.
Mellissa frowned at her and opened her mouth to retort but Sara stopped her. “Hopefully “black hat” won’t bother us again.”
Unfortunately at that moment on of the dorm windows banged open and an icy cold draught rushed in. Mandy yelped and cowered under her blanket, Sara clutched at Mellissa’s arm and Rachel squeezed her eyes shut, whimpering. Melissa swallowed and laughed softly. “Its ok guys I think I forgot to lock that window.” But that was a complete lie and the others knew it.
“Mel… please put the light on…” whispered Mandy.
Melissa glanced at Sara again. “I’ll come with you,” she said shakily. They walked to the other side of the large room and Melissa switched the light on.
“See much better…” said Sara trying to make light of the situation. But then her eyes caught sight of something on the left side of the room and she froze.
“What?” asked Melissa fearfully the hairs on the back of her neck rising. Sara pointed behind Melissa her face pale and her eyes filled with fear.
Melissa spun around slowly and saw a small girl wearing a pale night gown sitting on the windowsill. Her hair was short, straight and messy and her skin was pale. Sitting next to her was a large black cat, licking its left paw. The child stroked the cat gently while the icy night air ruffled her short hair.
“Oh...my…God…” whimpered Mandy from the other side of the room, trying to hold back tears. Rachel was hugging her tightly on hand clutching the silver cross she wore on her neck.
Sara and Melissa were still frozen watching the unexpected visitor sitting on the windowsill, seemingly oblivious to the four much older girls. Sara licked her lips, nervous “Uhh...hello little girl…” she said slowly. “What brings you here?”
The cat eyed Sara and Melissa. Its eyes were the yellowish, Cats-eye green which were accentuated by its coal colored fur and only served to further increase Melissa’s heart rate.
The little girl/ ghost smiled. “Hello. I’m Eliza. I was looking for my Dad.”
Rachel found her voice. “Your-r-r D-Dad?” she stammered, her eyes wide.
Eliza nodded. “Yes. He came this way, you would have seen him.”
“Ohhh we did alright…” replied Sara smiling nervously.
The little girl smiled again, widely, showing a set of perfect, white teeth. Her dark, storm-cloud grey eyes glinted.
“Sara…” murmured Melissa fearfully, “This isn’t going to end well…” she clutched her best friends arm tightly.
Mandy whimpered loudly this time, and Rachel still held her tightly. The cat snarled viciously.
“Easy Midnight…” Eliza stroked its head again. She studied the four girls their faces pale in the light of the fluorescent bulb and then hopped off the window, her feet not even making the slightest sound on the hard wooden floorboards. And then walked towards them, slowly.
Mellissa and Sara started backing away towards the door. Rachel and Mandy cowered in the bed shaking. Mellissa caught hold of the door knob and turned it once, twice. The door stayed locked.
“Oh fuck,” she cried frantically, “Downhall locked the damn door from outside!”
“Why would she do that?” Sara tried to open the door in vain, but it would budge. Mandy started screaming. “I don’t want to die! No God…please… No!” she wailed, tears streaming down her face. Rachel grabbed her and dragged to the far corner of the room, tears coursing down her own face.
Mellissa started banging on the door, yelling and rattling the door knob. “Miss Downhall! Open the door!”
Eliza was three away from Mellissa and Sara. Sara ran and grabbed a heavy book from on top of her chest of drawers and hurled it at the ghost. She ducked and the book sailed past hitting the far wall with a thud. She hurled another book, Eliza ducked again and this time the book hit the cat. It leaped off the window hissing and spitting angrily, its hackles rising.
“Why don’t you stop throwing books at me and stop screaming your lungs out and let’s talk shall we? Eliza inquired her voice sugar sweet.
“What do you want?” demanded Sara, now angry as well as scared.
“To have a normal conversation,” Eliza replied innocently.
“Leave us alone!” cried Mellissa. Midnight yowled angrily and leapt at her. Mellissa screamed at ran towards Rachel and Mandy. Sara grabbed a pair of shoes and threw it at the cat the, knocking him back to the floor.
“Midnight stop it! You’re scaring them.”
“The cat’s not the only one,” snapped Sara. “What do you want kid?”
At that moment a tall, dark, shadowy figure walked through the door. Literally.
“OhmyGod!” wailed Mandy louder than ever.
“Shut up idiot!” cried Mellissa.
Rachel was shaking, “I told you we were not crazy.”
Sara was staring at the ghost her mouth open in shock and fear. “No… No, this isn’t real.”
The tall man clad from head to toe in black didn’t say a word. He merely motioned for Eliza to move towards the window. She nodded understanding. “We’re sorry we spooked you,” she told the girls, “But anyway we’re leaving now.”
Black hat shook his head slowly and then again gestured for Eliza to leave. She stared at her father a minute, picked up Midnight in her arms, and walked to the window. Black hat turned back to the girls, all four now huddled together in one corner of the room, in fear. Black hat walked, his footsteps menacingly soft. And then the light went out.