by Burt Yonik
A hired guard keeps watch over an elementary school
|I love the nightmares I dream during the period between wakefulness and sleep. They oftentimes contain useful material for horror short stories. One of my recent dreams I constructed into a horror outline went as follows.
At the end of the afternoon, the security guard enters the glass school doors in preparation for the start of his graveyard shift. Just finishing his work, the janitor passes him on the clean tile flooring and bids him good night. Careful not to be detected, the guard watches the janitor enter his car through a shaded classroom window. As the car passes down the highway and away from the building, the guard’s mind wanders off to the location of the liquor he stashes in a back storage closet. While walking down the hallway, he considers how diligently the janitor cleans the old building, so his mind focus somewhat on fufilling his own obligations.
An idea springs forth. Grabbing a cheap security camera kept near the liquor, he decides on placing the camera on the handrails outside the rear entryway facing the cemetery. A brilliant idea to give the impression he is doing a semblance of his work. Passing down the clean smelling hallway, he barely notices the students’ drawings and paintings posted across the walls. Instead, he considers how bizarre the city planners were to place the elementary school right next to the town cemetery. Only a linked chain fence keeps the children from the rows of family plots.
Haphazardly, he attaches the camera upon the handrail, his mind on intoxication rather than the useful angle at which the camera sits, facing the ceiling.
Trodding back to the storage room, his mind wanders his ascent into blissful drunkness.
A loud sound strike on his phone. Shaking off his brief alcohol induced slumber, the guard’s eyes dart to the time. 12:00 flashes across his cellphone. Something had come in through the back entry way, but the cursed camera didn’t capture a shot. Blasted luck. Nobody to call as a call would incriminate him of both incompetence as well as drunkeness, he briefly mulls over his other options.
Slowly he walks down the same hallway, his attention drawn in by the strong moonlight illuminating the graves lying just past the metal links. A brief chill runs down his spine, but he reminds himself of his background in security and extensive knowledge in how to remain posed in dangerous situations.
The door of the classroom nearest the back entrance stands slightly ajar. Only remembering the doors of the hallway being closed, the guard stands straight and braces for a confrontation. The lights from the first grade classroom remain off, so he feelings along the cold cement wall for the brass plating indication the light switch panel. A quick flip of the switch and his eyes adjust to the bright lights. Nothing peculiar. He bravery marches towards the carpeted front of the classroom. The floors show no signs of dirt and vacuum marks uniformly line the dark carpet under the chalkboard.
Feeling relieved, he quickly strides by the miniature desks and stools, his focus now on returning to his libations. His hand quickly passes over the cold switch as his eyes take one more glance over the darkened classroom.
Fear strikes his heart as his eyes take in various macabre glow in the dark chalk drawings random placed across the room. Graphic scenes with the artistry of an elementary school child, yet graphic scenes not meant for the oldest and hardest of hearts.