After an exhausting night of ghost chasing, Mia turns in and rests late Friday night. Saturday was spent on campus.
Saturday Morning 8:30 am – Cafeteria
“You got any coffee?” a girl who came late to breakfast said. She was the last student to arrive at the cafeteria that morning. Her long, dark hair was a mess and her clothes looked like they had been slept in.
Kids don’t need coffee,” James said. The dull look on the girl’s face and the reddish tint to her eyes told him that she hadn’t had enough sleep the night before. Class hasn’t started yet, she couldn’t have been up studying, He thought to himself.
A huge yawn took over the girl’s face, squeezing a few tears out of the corners of her eyes. A serious look of pleading was shot James’ way.
“Fine, wait right there,” the dishwasher/kitchen helper went to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee for the girl. He filled up a Styrofoam cup that was usually used for hot chocolate or tea by the children. Only the staff was allowed to drink coffee.
When he handed over the coffee, the girl flashed him a huge grin. “My name’s Mia.”
“James. I used to help out in the cafeteria at St. P’s until they caught me sneaking coffee to little girls.”
“Keep it quiet. Got it,” she replied. James could have sworn she even winked at him before heading down the line were Maggie, the cafeteria lady, was spooning out what were supposed to be scrambled eggs. That girl is trouble, he thought to himself.
Sunday 1:00 am – Administrator’s Office
Something was wrong. The door to the admin office was unlocked. That door was to be locked whenever a staff member was not present to protect the confidential papers inside. Student records, staff files, financial receipts were all kept safe behind those doors. This isn’t good, he thought to himself.
Janitor Nelson clipped his keychain back onto his belt. He didn’t need the key tonight apparently. Either someone was careless and forgot to lock up, or something was amiss.
With his left hand holding the keys, preventing them from jingling, he quietly opened the door and made his way inside. The lights were out. Ok, so maybe no one is in here. Nelson almost turned around to go back out and get his cleaning cart but something in his gut told him that there was someone here – someone in the darkness.
He checked around the desks and under them. No one was in site. A few computer monitors glowed, their screen saver password prompts undisturbed. Anyone who wanted to break in here quickly would hit up those computers first. Everyone knows the computers are the fastest route to a lot of information. Since the computers were not being used, it seemed paranoid to think that someone had broken into the administrator’s office tonight. Too many late nights up cleaning, probably, Nelson evaluated his own paranoia.
Out of the corner of his eye, something caught Nelson’s eye. A dark shadow – a line really. The door to the old file room was cracked open. It seemed very dark in there in comparison to the sea of general shadows that encumbered the rest of the admin office. As Nelson crept up to the room, a small light flickered past the door briefly. Ah hah! I was right.
Mia, the girl who negotiated a sandwich last night was now in the old files room searching for something.
Nelson had let the girl get away with breaking her imposed curfew and ended up divulging information about the school’s ghosts to her. The problem seemed to be solved and Nelson was sure that Mia used the information he gave her. The dean was gone, but Nelson never trusted him and thought he was somehow behind the ghost problem.
Nelson thought he owed the girl a chance to explain herself. This should be good, he thought. In a very rough and loud voice, he hollered, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!”
Mia screamed for a second, dropping her Maglite into the filing cabinet. Nelson grabbed the flash light and pointed it at the girl. “Wow, you are jumpy.”
“For crying out loud! You scared the crap out of me,” Mia protested.
“You mind telling me why you’re going through these files?”
“Yes I mind,” Mia replied abruptly.
“You’ve got to give me a reason to not turn you in.”
“These are MY files that I’m taking. I’m going to see that my school records are… distributed. I need a bit of a reputation to keep the older girls off me so that I can do what I need to do.”
“Well, I suppose since you’re only taking your own file there’s no harm done. I could forget about catching you here, if you open that filing cabinet over there,” Nelson said as he pointed to the far corner of the old files room.
“Why? What’s in there?”
“The staff files. I’ve got a bone to pick with Mrs. Leech.”
After the two of them got the files they wanted, Mia photocopied her school record to make about a dozen copies. Fortunately, Nelson knew the password for the copy machine. Before parting for the evening, Nelson added, “Next time just ask me if you need to get in anywhere.” He jingled his keys to get his point across.