You walk stomping in an urgent pace through the corridors of the old school. Your footsteps echo throughout the abandoned building intruding a comfortable silence that reigns.
What was it like? You wonder. What was it like when I studied here? Garish laughter, childish screams, pitter patter of tiny feet assault your memories and a loss of the days long gone envelops your being.
Your foot steps slow down and you can almost hear the clanging of bells just like it did for lunch break. Another ten minutes, that is all it will take. You tell yourself. The huge sack you carry on your back weighs you down.
You hear a light giggle from some where behind you. You turn around, your heart rate shoots up and sweat trickles down your forehead.
“Who is it?” You ask. Loudly. Louder than you actually meant to. “Who is it? Who is it? Who is it?” Your voice echoes through the empty corridors mocking you. Your own voice reverberating, ricocheting off the walls, reminding you that it is truly YOU who is the intruder here. The fine hair in the back of your neck stand hard, hard enough to cause a subtle, buzzing pain down your spine.
You wait for the echoes to die down and shine your torchlight all around you. All you see are tiny rodents skittering about in search of another rodent to eat.
Yet you can’t shake that feeling of claustrophobia that engulfs you, everytime you experience extreme fear. You have only experienced that twice in your life before. One was twenty years ago when you were almost smashed into a pulp by that lorry driven by a drunk driver.
Another was exactly thirty-two years and five months ago when just like now, you had walked the empty corridors of this school in the dead of the night.
And like that night, even tonight, you walk to the nearest window, barely breathing, your chest expanding, contracting, clutching and pushing to exhale that breath you have been holding onto since you heard the giggle.
You exhale, inhale and exhale again, and then sigh in relief. You look out the first floor window, at the vast ground and the gate beyond. A ground that used to be lit with halogen lamps thirty-two years ago but now only boasts of a hundred watt bulb on the pillar by the gate.
You think you see someone standing there. A tiny figure, barely four and a half feet with a shock of unmanageable hair. Had you looked harder, you might have realised that the figure wears a one piece white frock. Just like it did when you last saw her. But you don’t, you don’t look harder because your don’t want to stop breathing again. Instead your swirl yourself around, your back facing the open window, your eyes straining, and tight shut.
You chide yourself at being finicky, at being panicky, at being a pussy. You were fourteen then and you are almost fifty now. Some things have to change, right? Like just now how your heart has clenched in fear when you feel a tiny, cold finger tug at yours.
You are alone, aren’t you? In this huge abandoned building you are all alone. So, who touches your finger? You wonder as visions assault your senses; visions of grotesque bodies of three; eight year olds piled one on top of another as you and your friends bury them behind the half done walls of class 7th C.
Could it be possible they are still here? Could it be possible they never left?
You are haunted by the memories of when you walked this corridor three decades ago. The jokes about the flabs that covered your body then, the jibes from third standard kids that spread across the entire school so much so that even your teachers started calling you “The Pig”.
You have tried, tried real hard in the last three decades to justify what you did. To justify using your cricket bat and beating those little kids to death. Yet, you have failed, and every single time you failed, you have cut yourself. The jagged scar on your right arm burns in the memory of the first time you cut.
“The Pig” is a baby killer “The Pig” is a baby killer “The Pig” is a baby killer….
Chants haunt through the corridor as you increase your pace. You curse the weight of the bones of those three tiny bodies in the sack on your back. They slow you down.
You curse the conglomerate that will start the demolition of the school to construct a residential building.
You curse the fear you live in every single day. What would happen to your wife and children if the bodies were ever to be found? If an investigation were to ensue? If you were to be arrested?
You hear cries, wails, moans from somewhere behind you. Your heart sinks at their pitiful eternal existence. They shouldn’t have called me “the pig”… You tell yourself again. This time loudly as you dig your nails deep into your thigh, deep enough to create a bleeding wound.
The cries get louder and louder until they seem to be coming from inside your head. You dig deeper and deeper until your sharp nails scrape the fibula.
Yet you keep walking.