Summer Vacation. Short Story.

Weekend was fun, did a lot of cleaning in Clare. To the point where I am certain that anything I touch becomes sterilised by the mere act of touching my skin, it may be a super power. I may need to come up with a new name/identity. If I do, don’t worry, I won’t tell you about it to protect you, but know if you here of someone stopping villains with the power of germ sterilisation, I am fighting for a greater good.

It was a strange kind of dirt in the house, it was like low level dirt the builds up over time to the point where when cleaning you find, to your shock, the walls were not actually a dull grey, they were white. I don’t think the people that were there before actually cleaned properly. It was gross but necessary.

Overall, it was a fun trip, Dougal, (deerhound/wolfhound lurcher) was fine, he just slept lots, Jessie (a Labrador type dog) was really nervous and wanted to leave the first day, but she relaxed more on Saturday, only to get stung by a wasp, the stinger broke off and stayed embedded in her paw, we think she stepped on it. She was fine, but it was obviously really sore for her, she wasn’t standing on it/hopping around (and, not to sound like an asshole, but it did look funny.) Also, had potentially the best Chinese, it was ridiculously good. Everything was nice, which is rare enough when you get stuff, normally there is one really nice thing, but everything was good.

Also, watched the movie Hanna, it was a strange movie, it was good, but not in a oh my god I’m going to tell everyone to watch this kinda way. Still, it is probably worth a watch at some stage.

Anyway, on with the show!


Summer Vacation.

The bell shrieked shrilly, its noise lasted only a few brief seconds but the silence was broken and replaced with the sound of chattering and shuffling as the children started to pack their bags. Teachers didn’t bother trying to reign order, they knew it would fail. It was the last day of school and everyone was exited. The children in each class had had a small party, everyone bringing in something to share with the class. The party, which began after lunch, was set up for the younger children by the older classes to give them a surprise. The last few moments before the bell finally rung were spent clearing away the mess.

The children flooded from the doors, some running, some walking, each talking excitedly and looking forward to the summer ahead. Teachers finished up their work as the bubbling noise of children faded away, they did not want to stay any longer than they needed, they too were looking forward to the summer. Any and all work that they needed was filed away for the coming year, they would need to work on lesson plans and figure out what methods they would again employ, whether or not to change the schedule they followed the year before, the subject timetables but now, now they were free. They didn’t need to worry about that for another few months, even as it was, it could all be done in one, long tiring day.

The day itself was clear and sunny, the sun shining down, signalling the true start of the summer, a gentle breeze, tinged with the scent of flowers, helped keep the air cool, the relaxing sound of leaves moving on the trees filled the air. The summer promised to be long and beautiful, stretching out in that special way when you’re a child, each day lasting forever.

As the final teacher left, driving away into the endless sunshine, Jason sat in his office, the windows open, giving a tantalising taste of the day outside. He had some paperwork to finish, really, it should have been done days ago, but he kept putting it off. He was married, though he didn’t consider it to be a marriage anymore. They hadn’t been happy in a long, long time. Sometimes he wondered why he didn’t just leave, grab a few clothes and go. He didn’t care about the house, any of that stuff, she could have it.  He’d considered asking for a divorce, but she’d never allow it, she was miserable too, but it gave her pleasure to see him in pain. They had been in love once, he supposed they must have been, they had wanted to spend their lives together, they had gotten married. They were not coerced into it, she hadn’t fallen pregnant, forcing them to wed. No, they had entered the marriage willingly. How things could change. He sighed and scanned through the forms. He had no interest. Really, he could leave this stuff until next year, but he just didn’t want to go home. He’d been staying later and later in work, as long as possible, drawing out every last little thing he could, just to stay away. One day, perhaps one day soon, he just wouldn’t go back. Even now he didn’t think he could face the shouting or even worse, the tense silence. She’d make everything as unbearable as possible for him, he couldn’t watch TV or read a book or listen to music. She’d make little noises, coughing, shifting, just enough to be distracting, but not enough that he could accuse her of deliberately doing it. In their short, yet too long marriage to one another, she had become a master at it. It had only been five years, but it seemed so much longer. Other married couples they knew made it look easy, they looked as though they wanted to be together but Jason knew it was a lie. They were just as unhappy as he was. He could see it, they looks they had, oh they might gaze at each other, make little in jokes, smile on the outside, but there it was, plain in their eyes. Marriage did something to people, it destroyed them. No, it made them destroy each other.

He stood, ignoring the paperwork now, and moved towards the window. The breeze blew through the window, teasing him. The day really was lovely, but he couldn’t do anything to enjoy it. He could sit in the garden and read a book, that was one thing he did still like about her. She was amazing at gardening, coaxing flowers from even the most barren soil, but if he went outside to sit and enjoy it, she’d find something that he needed to do, some trivial little task she could easily do herself, but she would nag and moan and complain until he did it.

He stepped back from the window, just slightly. The brightness of the day seemed cruel, how happy everyone else was, how happy they could be. He nudged the desk accidentally, sending his bottle of water flying to the floor. He reached for it, his fingers glancing the side, it spun once, then struck the ground, water gurgling merrily from it’s opening. He picked up the bottle and looked at the puddle. Darren, the janitor, would take care of it, he could go and find a mop or cloth himself, but he suddenly felt so tired. He didn’t have the energy. He’d do it tonight, he’d leave for good. He picked up the phone and dialled his house. She wouldn’t be home now, she was always off doing something. It rang a few times, each ring seemed drawn out and he became fearful that she’d answer. He knew if she did he’d come back. He couldn’t say it to her, it was cowardly, but he just couldn’t he heard his own voice and smiled. After being told to leave a message, he did just that.

“I’m not coming home tonight. I don’t know when I’ll be back, if I ever am. We both knew this was coming for a long time, really its best. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll get my clothes and stuff but now I think we need some time apart. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it work.” he hung up slowly, wondering if he had really done it. He could always race home and delete the message but he knew he wouldn’t. This was it, he did it. He was free, they both were. They could move on, live their lives. The day suddenly seemed brighter, better. The future stretching out before him, filled with a thousand possibilities. He whistled slightly, then stopped. He smiled and began to whistle again. He wasn’t allowed whistle at home, she found it annoying, along with a thousand other little things he was no longer allowed to do. He breathed deeply, taking the air as far into his lungs as he could before releasing it slowly. It was a new day, a new beginning, a new life.

He went behind his desk and packed his bag, he’d leave now, the paperwork could wait. There were so many things he would have to do. Though he’d told her he wouldn’t be back, he might swing buy and pick up some clothes, maybe take some money from the safe, after all, it was his money. There was fifteen grand there that he had squirreled away for a rainy day. She’d laughed at him, told him they wouldn’t need it. There was extra money in his bank account too, he’d opened another one and had been putting money in it for awhile. He’d always come up with a reason for doing it, but now he knew it was all in preparation of leaving. He picked up his bag, swinging it slightly, turning, he stepped around the desk and towards the door. He’d forgotten about the water, really, it was of little consequence to him, at least, it was until he slipped.

He landed with a thud, his breath driven out of him. He didn’t feel sore, so there was that to be thankful for. He took a moment, breathing slowly, then tried to stand. His arms didn’t move. He tried his legs, nothing. He tried to move his head, nothing. He realised he couldn’t feel the cold floor underneath him, water should have been soaking into his clothes. He couldn’t feel anything, anything at all. He felt panic rising inside him before quickly squelching it back down. No, he’d be fine. He would, Darren would find him and call an ambulance, then he’d go to the hospital and they’d fix him there. Whatever was wrong they’d be able to fix it. Slowly, he tried to move everything, one by one, but there was nothing, no movement, no feeling. After a few moments, he found he was able to close his eyes and that was it. Still, Darren would find him and he’d be brought to the hospital. It would be fine, everything would be fine.

He remembered his phone call to Stacy. She wouldn’t expect him home at all, not for a few days at least. No one knew he was here. He felt panic begin to rise again. No, it’s fine, it’ll be fine, Darren will be here soon. He’ll mop the floors and then go home, he’d come back a few times a week to make sure everything stayed in order over the summer. He’d be found, it wouldn’t be long now. Not long at all.

The office was getting darker, the sun was setting. He wondered just how long he could last without water. He’d heard someone outside the door, moving around, but try as he might, he couldn’t call out. He was still breathing at least, but he couldn’t seem to control it himself, maybe that meant it wasn’t that bad, perhaps in just a little while he’d start to get some feeling back. The fall might have only stunned some nerves or something.

He’d get out. He would.

Darren stubbed out the cigarette then placed it in the bin, normally he’d throw the end away, but he’d just have to pick it up again later here. He still had some stuff to do, but it was a nice day and he was going away tomorrow, himself and his wife, for two weeks. He had no interest in doing anything. He could do it when he came back, after all, it’s not like anyone would know. He looked out at the playground, the day was warm and bright. He sighed, fuck it. He’d do it all when he got back. He wandered through the first floor, locking doors, he’d gotten to the second floor when he decided that they’d be fine. Everything was closed, no one could scale the wall, and there was nothing to steal. He turned off the lights at the main, really, it was just easier. Before he left he locked the doors and gave the outside of the building a quick scan. Damn. That prick Jason had left his office window open, darren started to pull at the keys, finding the right one. He looked up again, it was a small window really, if it started raining or anything, it wouldn’t go in. after all, it wasn’t open that wide. He located the key and, still deciding what to do, began to slide it into the lock. His phone rang. Reaching into his pocket, he glanced at the screen. It was his wife. He answered the phone and took the key from the lock. The window would be fine. He walked to his car, talking to his wife. As he drove away he looked in his mirror, you couldn’t even tell the window was open, it would be fine until he got back. The floors were linoleum so worst came to worst, he might have to mop up a little rain when he got back.


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
This entry was posted in Horror, Short Stories, Suspense. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Summer Vacation. Short Story.

  1. Rodrigo Pav says:

    amazaing work, keep up the great website.

  2. selegna ac says:

    what a beautiful story i did’nt read but i know just looking its beautiful im just looking for an idea

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