Thursday, October 31

Mama Kat Thursday: The Case of the Invisible Boy

       Prompt topic today is: "a spooky story someone once told you."
     I don't know whether my grade school chums were just imaginative or I just gullible, but whatever the case, they pulled off the best, most believable scare story I ever heard.
     It was around 1965 when I was either in 2nd or 3rd grade and it was during recess.  In those days the whole elementary school emptied out at recess time and we were allowed to roam freely over it's football field size acreage.  I guess we could roam inside freely, too, since that's where the bathrooms were.
    On this particular day, four of us had gone back inside the quiet school: me, Merry Jo, Robin and Diane. I'm pretty sure it was Robin's idea. She was the ring-leader in the affair.
     Our elementary school was comprised of two parts: a two story brick building built around 1910 and a modern single story wing. The antique building housed 3 school rooms upstairs and, downstairs, the cafeteria.     Of those school rooms, only 2 were in use a the time; the third was mostly empty and being used as a "sick room."
     The middle room was Mrs. Crow's room. She was infamous for yelling at students in a loud screechy voice and she had something of a witchy-look with her black, gray-streaked hair always in a bun and black-framed glasses perched on a hawkish nose.  Everyone knew they would eventually be in "her" 4th grade class and dreaded it.
     I remember standing there with Merry-Jo, Diane and Robin in the hallway just outside the cafeteria, where the staircases ran to the second floor on both sides and Robin, who would later prove to be a liar of notorious proportions, pointed up the stairs that led to the sick room, toward the locked door of a walk-in coat closet.
     "They keep a mummy case in there," she whispered. "That's why they keep the door locked."
     She and Merry-Jo then led us cautiously up the stairs, Robin spinning more of her weird tale:
     "There's an invisible boy who lives in the sick room," she explained. "He used to be one of Mrs. Crow's students, but she spilled invisible paint on him one day when she was mad and he's been stuck living here in the sick-room ever since."
     At the top of the stairs, I stared briefly at the door hiding the mummy case as we walked past it into the "sick room."
     The stairs, the doors, the floors were wood painted a silvery-gray color. Against the wall under a row of blackboards was an empty fold-out cot made up with bedding for a sick kid to rest in, though it was rumpled as if recently used.
     Robin pointed at the cot. "There is he now."
     We all stared at the empty cot with it's rumpled bedding.
     "He's getting up now," Robin said.
     Merry-Jo stepped forward and held out her hand to shake hands with him. Then, with a loud, "Ow," she winced and suddenly snatched her hand back. "He squeezed my hand!" she exclaimed.
     This was the selling point for me. If I'd had any doubts before, I now totally believed. The invisible boy had to be real.
     "He's coming after us!" Robin cried. "Grab him and throw him out the window!"
     In a panic, led by Robin and Merry-Jo, we "seized" this invisible boy in pantomime fashion and "threw" him out one of the tall, floor to ceiling windows.
     Robin then peered out the window toward the ground, as did we all.
     "He's crawling up the wall!" Robin warned, "And he's mad!"
     With that, we all fled in terror down the stairs and back outside for the remainder of recess time.
     Their terror was probably pretend, mine was real.

     Later, in 4th grade, that "sick room" was turned into another classroom and I ended up in it! There were too many of us baby-boom kids in my 4th grade class to all fit in Mrs. Crow's classroom. So, I got put in that "sick room" as part of a split 3rd and 4th grade class; the 4th grade being on one side and 3rd on the other, with one teacher taking turns teaching our respective subject matter. It was very old school house.
     Everyday I hung my jacket or coat in that very walk-in closet reputed to be "mummy storage," and often smirked to myself I that had ever believed that.
     Merry-Jo and Robin, however, got their just desserts---they ended up in Mrs. Crow's class and I didn't. Ha.


1 comment:

Mama Kat said...

Sounds like you came out on top! I would have thought about it everyday in that same classroom too!

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