Mr James

A short Ghost Story in five nights

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2. Day Two - Friday

“Funny that;” said Daniel’s father at breakfast. “I got up in the middle of the night to get a drink and I just looked out of the window as I was going back upstairs. That Mr.James opposite had his lights on in the house - all of them.”

“He’ll waste a fortune in electric.” commented Daniel’s mother.

 

Daniel and Jason met in the street and walked together to school.

“I’ve done the homework.” said Jason proudly. “Just in time too!”.

They walked together through the cutting and down the slope to the woods. It was a cold morning and the ground was misty in the woods. The boys approached the stream.

“Let’s see if that rat’s about.” said Daniel.

They both looked along the river bank for signs that the rat had been there, but without luck.

“Ahh. It must’ve been a dog.” decided Jason “I’ve never seen any rats about here anyway.”

They continued into school. In class, just after registration, Mr. James asked to see their homework. The class handed in their work and Mr.James sat marking the work as they got on with drawing, followed by a maths lesson. Mr. James was quite strict about talking in class but everybody thought that he was much better than Mrs.Peters, who had been universally hated in the three weeks that she had taught them. After lunch time, it was English and Mr.James handed back the homework poems before starting the lesson. Jason looked at his book. There were a few spelling corrections in red pen, but at the end was written in the same ink: “Very interesting and unusual subject - watch your spelling  B+”. Jason was pleased; he had rushed the homework and still got a B+! He looked over at Daniel, who was looking in puzzlement at his book.

“What’s up?” He whispered.

“Don’t know;” replied Daniel “I haven’t been given a mark - and this is weird.”

He pushed his book over to Jason. There on the page was Daniel’ poem “Lost Tigers” but at the end of the poem, in the same red pen was written “Remember the whisper of the willows by the silent lake”.

“What is it?” he whispered to Daniel.

“Don’t know.” said Daniel “Maybe it’s from a poem or something.”

At the end of the lesson Daniel went to see Mr.James.

“Sir.” he said “I don’t understand about the willows.”

“What?”  Mr. James looked suddenly surprised. “I’m sorry - What did you just say?”

“On the homework Sir. You’ve written it. ‘Remember the whisper of the willows by the silent lake’- What does it mean Sir?”

Mr. James’ eyes flashed behind his glasses. His face paled and he froze as if rooted to his chair.

“It’s here Sir, look..” said Daniel opening the book to his poem. Mr.James stared in horror at the page that Daniel held out in front of him. Daniel glanced down at the page. There, at the bottom of the poem was written clearly in red ink “Excellent verse. A-”.

 

That night, as Daniel looked out of his bedroom window, Mr.James’ lights were full on again all night.

 

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