(not in any way, at all, based on the school I go to. not at all.)
The heavy door of the women's bathroom swung shut behind the girl. Her wedge heels made soft thuds across the tile, the sound echoing in the empty room. Brushing back a long brown hair from her face, she ducked into one of the stalls to grab some toilet paper to blow her nose, balancing her laptop and textbooks in one arm. Stupid allergies. Of course she hadn't brought any Kleenex with in her purse today. She'd ended up fighting a runny nose all through her speech class.
She paused mid sneeze, thinking she heard a sound. Nothing. Shrugging, she finished and tossed the toilet paper into the garbage can. Her movement activated the water faucet in the sink nearest to her and she started. Gosh, she needed to stop being so skittish! She worked at a haunted house for crying out loud, she should be used to noises and - wait, what did her job have to do the water in the bathroom. What was up with her? All day she'd been jumping at noises and sights out of the corner of her eyes.
Rolling up the sleeves of her purple sweater, the girl stepped up to the sink to wash her hands and double checked her reflection in the mirror. Assured that her eyeliner was intact, she reached for the paper towel dispenser and froze. The water faucet at the opposite end of the row of sinks was on. How on earth.... she was the only one in here, wasn't she?
The girl licked her lips nervously as she dried her hands. She watched the water streaming into the sink, and started backing towards the door. The water turned off. Then it turned back on again and so did the next one closest to her. Then the next one, and the next, each one getting closer and closer. She panicked and whirled to the door. It wouldn't open.
Her heart pounding now and the sound of water faucets turning on getting closer she pulled as hard as she could. The door gave way and opened, and as she darted out of the bathroom she could hear the water shut off.
The boy pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and checked the screen.
Hey sweetie! Want 2 meet me in parking lot at T?
Sure. B rt there. He texted back, shoving his heavy pre-med textbooks into his backpack. The sun had more or less set all the way, but he decided to walk around to the parking lot outside rather than cutting through the buildings. He stood up from the table in the cafeteria, stretching out before shouldering his backpack. The cell phone went back into the pocket of his faded cargo pants and he headed out into the evening.
The night air was still mild and a gentle breeze brushed across his dark skin. In the distance he could hear the last of the summer's crickets chirping and a frog croaking down in the pond. He followed the brick lined path through the set up of tables and chairs and along the small grove of trees in the center of campus.
He stopped in the path, across from the small white school house that sat in the middle of the grove. His head tilted as he listened, brow furrowing in puzzlement. There it was again. It sounded like...
Yes, that was definitely giggling that he heard. He looked around to see if there was couple sitting out at one of the picnic tables or a couple of girls walking down the path. No, no one there. But he could have sworn her heard the sound of laughter. Wait, there it was again! It was – child's laughter?
His mouth suddenly dry, the boy turned and looked again at the old wooden school house. There were no lights, no sign of movement anywhere, but he was certain that the laughter had come from that direction. And there it was again. A little louder this time, and unmistakably the sound of a child laughing. Of children laughing.
There were no children around.
He took a deep breath, scratching the stubble of a beard on his chin while he steadied himself and then quickly began walking away, willing himself not to run. There was the sound of laughter again behind him, and he bolted off into the night.
Ah, the night before Halloween – it never failed to be crisp and calm and suspenseful, as if it was holding it's breath in anticipation of the mischief and ghosts of the day to come. Her cheerfully grinning jack 'o' lantern earrings bobbed up and down as the young woman walked briskly out of the school and into the night. In her mind she was going over again all the elements of her costume for the next day.
Bat wings, check. Ears, check. Black pants and top, check. Oh, she couldn't wait to see everyone's costumes!
She pulled her keys from the pocket of her teal plaid coat, clicking the button to unlock her car. The headlights blinked on and off in a welcoming response. Sliding her faux leather laptop bag off her shoulder and juggling it with her waterbottle and lunchbag, she opened the back door of her little Chevy and plopped her things in the seat. As she straightened up, she found herself looking at a what looked like a (rather short) person, staring at her a few parking spaces over. She blinked and looked again – and saw no one. Slowly closing the door to her car, she looked around again, the hairs on the back of her neck prickling. There was no one in sight.
Shrugging it off, the young woman slipped into her car, automatically pressing the lock button as she shut the door. She inserted her car key into the ignition and gave it a turn. There was no response. Puzzled, she turned her key again and the car sputtered, than died. “Come on baby, what's wrong?” she murmured, starting to feel frustrated. None of her lights had been on, there was no way the car battery could be dead.
All of a sudden her headlights flashed on and the car engine started up with a roar. She jumped, gasping and placing a hand over her pounding heart. What on earth was up with her car? And hadn't... she looked down and stared at her key. It was in the off position.
The car died again. Heart now pounding wildly, she took a shaking breath and turned the key in the ignition one more time. The car started normally. Okay, this was really weird. “Come on,” she chuckled nervously, “you love spooky stuff like this.”
Yeah, not in real life.
“You're just on edge because it's the night before Halloween,” she talked out loud to herself. “If this was any other night of the year, you wouldn't care.” Talking out loud didn't keep the feeling that someone was watching her grow stronger. She backed out of her parking space, glancing around as she did for a sign of anyone. No one was around. Then why did it feel like...
No, there wasn't anyone watching her. She shifted into drive and drove through the parking lot a little faster than might have been approved. This was ridiculous. No one was watching her. No one was in the back seat of her car.
The back seat of her car? Why had she thought someone could be in her back seat? Her imagination was running away with her, she was the only one in the car. The only one, no one else was here.
She peeled out of the parking lot, barely pausing at the stop signs as panic mode started to take in. What the heck was going on with her tonight? She sped up the private road out of the college, unable to shake the feeling that eyes were boring into the back of her neck. A red light greeted her at the entrance to the main road, forcing her to stop and wait to turn left. Nervously, she glanced into her rearview mirror at her back seat. There was nothing there. Nothing at all.... how on earth had her waterbottle gotten into the passenger seat? She knew she had put it into the back.
The light turned green and just as she moved her foot to the gas pedal, the back door of her car flew open and slammed shut. Her hand flew up to cover a scream and she flew forward, leaving behind the school and whatever it was that had opened her car door and taken the sensation of being watched with it.