In honour of Betsy Palmer, aka Mrs Voorhees, the murderous mother from the original Friday the 13th, who died earlier this week, I have decided to give a slasher horror story I wrote years ago a rewrite and an airing.
All Fall Down.
Schooldays, the best days of your lives? Whoever said that had never been to Little-Feet, Big Steps Primary School.
Over the years there had been a constant rumour that the school had been built on top of an old Indian burial ground, but that was a ridiculous rumour spread by the folks of Coalville who sort to distract people from the real tragedy that had happened. The school had in fact been built on top of an old coal-mine that had been closed down in the late 1800s after the tragic loss of one hundred and fifty coalminers who had been gassed to death when someone had swapped the canary for a wooden one on April Fools’ Day.
Dear reader, I digress, from the real story I want to tell you, the one about poor Johnny Flynn who from the day he joined the other children at Little-Feet, Big steps he’s life was made a misery by the gang of children, Bella Donna, Rose Petal, May Flower, Cherry Blossom and the only boy in the group, Dan D’Lion who all thought it was such a horror to have someone as poor as Johnny who had no mother or father and lived in the orphanage, run by the nuns, would be allowed to go to their school.
As a consequence, Little Johnny Flynn spoke to no one and no one spoke to him for fear that the posh kids would pick on them as well. The only thing that made things bearable for Johnny was that every now and then he would catch Cherry Blossom looking at him and they would secretly exchange a smile.
Although Johnny was poor and had been abandoned at birth and none of the nuns at the orthanage paid him much attention, he was in fact a bright lad who just needed somebody to give him a chance. That person could have been, should have been his school teacher, Miss Hickory, but being a bit of a snob herself, Miss Hickory paid little attention to Johnny, preferring to praise the posh kids as she hoped upon hope she would eventfully be allowed to move within the circles of their parents allowing her to move out of her tiny flat to the posh part of Coalville. Yes reader, apparently there is a posh part of town in Coalville.
If ignoring Johnny wasn’t bad enough, when Miss Hickory was on playground duty at lunchtime, she would purposely turn a blind eye whenever she saw the posh kids pick on Johnny. A particular favourite game the posh kids liked to torment Johnny with was by singing, Ding dong bell, pussy in a well, who put her in? Evil cat killer Johnny Flynn.”
The children would then each gather hands, capturing Johnny inside their ring and call out, Johnny Flynn, Johnny Flynn, evil,evil cat killer” over and over again until eventually Johnny would breakdown and cry.
Unfortunately for Johnny, the bullying continued with even more venom when he and the other posh kids moved on to Big Feet, Wide Strides Junior school. Johnny had hoped upon hope that his new teacher would be a little more understanding and perhaps see a glimmer of his potential but was horrified to see that Miss Hickory had also been transferred to Big Feet as part of her training which in turn was helped along the way via the head of board of governors, Mrs.Hubbard, with whom Miss Hickory was having an illicit, lesbian affair with.
And so Johnny tormentors carried on their bullying, while Miss Hickory continued to turn a blind eye. Unbeknown to the posh kids and Miss Hickory, their individual actions on this particularly hot afternoon in June, would lead to the most terrible of tragedies.
With the sun scorching down hotter then ever, Johnny asked Miss Hickory if he could spend his time inside during lunchtime, as his skin so easily burned. Much to Johnny’s amazement, Miss Hickory, squatted down in front of Johnny, stroked the side of his cheek with the back of her hand and said, “Does the sun really effect you that much?”
Johnny nodded, and was about to say thank you, when Miss Hickory suddenly stood up, looked down her nose, over her glasses and said, “Sorry kid, I hear what you’re saying, but I’d have to stay in the class room with you and in all honesty I need a ciggy and some caffeine so you’re going to have to quickly scarper out there and shelter under a tree of something”.
With that Miss Hickory opened the door leading out on to the fields at the back of the school and mouthed out the words, ‘Goooo’. ‘Nooowww’, which made Johnny feel a bit spooked out and so he darted out into the heat of the sunshine towards the old oak tree on the other side of the field.
As he was running, he suddenly heard his name being shouted out which made him stop dead in his tracks. With the sun glaring in to his eyes he put his hand up to his face and squinted only to see the posh kids standing by a bunch of bushes on the other side of the perimeter school fence. Fearing that they would push him in the spiky bushes, Johnny went to run off when he heard the distinctive bellow of Bella. Johnny looked back over at the crowd and saw that Bella had her hands on her hips and called out again, “Johnny Flynn come over here this instant.”
Johnny hesitated, then shouted back, “No, it’s okay, you’ll only want to say something horrible to me.”
Again, Johnny went to leave when Cherry suddenly piped up and said, “No we won’t Johnny, we just want to show you something.”
‘Well, Cherry wouldn’t tell a lie’ thought Johnny to himself, but unbeknown to Johnny, Dan D’Lion had pinched Cherry’s arm and made her call out to Johnny.
As Johnny walked towards his nemeses, the frightened voice in his head screamed at him to run in the opposite direction but then Dan pinched Cherry’s arm, making her call out again, “Please come over Johnny.”
Although Johnny noticed the twang of anxiety in Cherry’s voice, he still ran over and crawled threw the hole in the fence as he looked up at the fixed smiles on the children’s faces. Bella spoke up first and said, “We’ve just seen the most amazing thing and wanted to show you too.”
The voice in Johnny’s head got louder, but instead of running he looked over the bushes and said, “What is it, what did you see?”
Rose and May both piped up in unison, “The white rabbit, the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland”.
Johnny’s eyes widened, “Where is it now?”
Dan then stepped to one side and pointed to a large hole behind the bushes and said, “He darted down the hole, but if you call down after him he’ll call back”.
By now the voice inside Johnny’s head was screaming itself horse, but the white rabbit was Johnny’s favourite story time character, and the thought that he’s prayers had been answered, that The White Rabbit had really come to take him to a place far from this cruel word was more then he had ever hoped for.
Johnny’s head was so full of wonder and delight that he didn’t even hear the children sniggering as he crept towards the old mine shaft, believing that he was about to speak to the White Rabbit.
As he walked closer to the open pit, he felt the earth shift slightly beneath him which caused Cherry to call out, “Be careful Johnny!”
Looking over his shoulder, Johnny nodded and fell to his hands and knees as he crept closer to the hole and peered down into the eternal darkness and called out, “Mr Rabbit, have you really come for me?”
The children all looked at each other and giggled some more, except for Cherry who so wanted to shout out for Johnny to step back, but Bella then said, “I think he’s a bit deaf, you’ll have to put your head right in the hole”.
The voice in Johnny’s head was now little more then white noise as he pushed his hands forward and peered down into the hole and once again called out, “Mrrrrr. RRRRRaaaaabbbbbbiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttt?”
When once again there was no reply, Johnny began to doubt that his friend The White Rabbit was there at all and went to stand up, only for the ground beneath him to shift, pulling him down into the hole. While everyone else stood still, Cherry dived forward and grabbed hold of Johnny’s hand but she too felt herself being pulled forward. Cherry looked at Johnny’s terrified face then back at her friends and called out for then to help. Bella, Rose and May all stood frozen to the spot as Dan dashed forward and gave Johnny’s hand an all mighty whack with a stick. Cherry let out a cry as Johnny fell backwards and disappeared into the dark, dank long abandoned coal pit.
The children all looked at each other unable to say a word when they all screamed when a voice from behind yelled out, “What on earth are you all doing over there? Get away from that pit, it’s dangerous!”
Terrified, the children dived through the hole in the fence, and grabbed hold of Miss Hickory’s dress as she tried to calm the children down. Eventually the cries became whimpers, as Miss Hickory looked at the children and said, “Thank goodness, you’re all here safe and sound,” which caused Cherry to let out a yell of despair. It was only then that Miss Hickory noticed that she had not seen Johnny Flynn in the playground, She then stood up and looked over at the disused coal pit and said, “Ohhh, shit.”
Miss Hickory then sat the children down and said that it would be in all their best interest if they all kept their mouths shut about the accident, “I’ll tell the police that Johnny never turned up for class, with any luck one of the nuns can take the blame.”
Despite a high profile appeal in the Coalville Times, Johnny was never seen again. The parents of the posh kids were all to happy to except that Johnny had done a runner. The same parents were equally pleased when the orphanage Johnny had called home was closed down after it was said a Nun had gone crazy.
All Fall Down
The School reunion
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