The Scare

We sat on the concrete steps at the entrance to the graveyard, Bob, Brian and I. Relaxing after playing soccer for a few hours. The sun was a huge red disk setting on a warm summers evening. One by one the other players had made their way home to receive their dinner, prepared for them by bored mothers while fathers hid in the local back bar. Eight friends, all around the same age fifteen or so, we hung out all summer and played mini world cup and chased each other on our bicycles passing the time until school started again. Brian stood up, ‘I am off guys, I am going down to the bar with my Mom and Dad.’� ‘They buy you drink in the bar I asked?’�. ‘Yeah they say I can drink what they buy me which isn’t a lot but some other guys down there buy me beer, they don’t notice I am drunk because they get pissed.‘� Brian was six feet tall and sixteen years old, he had grown some facial hair and could easily pass for eighteen, the legal age to drink in Ireland. ’See you later’�; he smiled as he ran off to his house, which was part of the row of eight houses that consisted of the small village where we were from. Brian and Bob lived in the houses near by, I had a few miles to cycle to get home and I was exhausted and decided to wait a while before I set off. ‘Lucky bastard, going to the bar. I bet there are girls down there,’� said Bob. ‘Maybe, but he aint gonna get any’� I said. I was jealous of course, I wanted to go drinking with the adults and meet older girls. ‘You never know Greg,’� said Bob, ‘Well I am sure we will hear about it if he does’� I replied. ‘What time is it Bob?’� ‘Eight o’clock’�. A car drove buy honking the horn, we looked. Brian was leaning out of the window ‘see you later fuckers’� he shouted on the way by. We stood up and gave him the finger, then sat back down on the steps again. We were the only two left now, and bored. When you are fifteen and have something to do you are occupied, when you don’t you go looking for something to do and usually find trouble in some shape or form. ‘Have you any of those dirty movies you found in your parents bedroom still’� I asked. ‘No, my Dad caught me jerking off to one of them when he came home for lunch last week and keeps them in his car now’� he said. ‘Shit man, were you embarrassed?’� I inquired, dreading having the same happen to me. ‘Yeah I was, I tried to say I was only watching it to learn about girls but he said he saw me when he came in through the back door. He said he did too when he was younger and it was ok but to do it in my bedroom so my mother doesn’t see me as it would upset her’�. ‘Do you think they still have sex?’� I asked. ‘I don’t know, I don’t hear them. Maybe he whacks off to the tapes too’� Bob said. ‘Like father like son’� I said. ’That’s not funny man’�. ‘Ok I am sorry, it is funny though. I can see you both sitting side by side in the living room’�.‘� ’Shut up Greg, I mean it, I don’t want thoughts like that in my head’� Bob said with a scowl. ‘I am sorry I will stop.’� ‘Why don’t we go and rob the apple orchard?‘� asked Bob. ’Father O’Mahoney will be keeping an eye out for us after last week’� I said. Recalling how the priest had given us chase through his orchard at ten o’clock at night in the moon light trying to negotiate the terrain and trees with bags full of apples, falling out all over the place. With the priest shouting after us ‘sinners, sinners you are going to hell.’� If I was going to hell for that I was definitely going due to other sins, such as mixing whiskey and wine and bringing it to school to drink with Bob at lunch time or leaving notes saying god is dead on the religion teachers desk. We walked over to the water fountain to get a drink. The water tasted like piss but we were thirsty, we drank it and wet our hair under the facet. Then it came to me, ‘hey Bob I have an idea.’� ‘Yeah what Greg.’� He asked curiously. ‘Well the other day I was in Brian’s bedroom with him when he was showing off his Sega mega drive, we were playing sonic the hedge hog when he got up to close his window. He said the window didn’t shut because he broke the latch one night sneaking in after being out drinking in town.‘� ’Yeah so, what are you getting at.’�? ‘Well Brian and his parents have gone to the bar and Rebecca is in the house on her own. We could get in through the window in Brian’s room and scare her a little, it’s only a bit of fun.‘� ’That’s a great fucking idea man,‘� he said laughing. ’Lets go do it then’� I said. We walked slowly down the footpath to an alley between Bob and Brian’s house. As we walked down the alley we could see the flickers of the TV coming from the living room where Rebecca was watching TV. She never went to the bar with the rest of her family. ‘She is in’� I said to Bob. ‘Ok, lets go around the back and get in,’� he said excitedly. We turned the corner and walked up to the window. It was getting dark, the giant red sun had set, I looked up into the night sky and could see the stars sparkling and wondered if anyone was watching. I gently open the window and climbed in being quiet as I could and Bob followed me in. We could hear the TV on. I looked around the corner from the bedroom at the living room door; it was closed over with only light from the TV coming through the crack in the door. The hallway was dark but you could see enough to sneak around. I went out of the bedroom and turned left to Rebecca’s room. I put my hand on the handle of the door and closed it making a bang and jumped back into Brian’s bedroom. We hide behind the door. The TV went quiet and Rebecca opened the door to the living room and stood there for a second and closed it over again. The TV turned up again. We laughed under our breath. Bob said ‘my turn’� and walked out into the hall, he went into her parent’s room and I could see him looking around for something to make a noise. He picked up a remote for the stereo and pressed the on button. He jumped at the sound of the music, which was up loud and tiptoed awkwardly back to Brian’s bedroom trying not to laugh. As we got behind the door I saw Rebecca walk by us to her parents room and entered, looking around cautiously. She picked up the remote and turned off the stereo. She ran back to the safety of the living room and shut the door completely behind her. By now tears were rolling down our faces from laughing and we had our hands over our mouths to stop ourselves from giving us away. ‘Watch this,’� I said as I walked out of the bedroom into the hallway. I went into the bathroom and Bob followed me. I put my hand on the lever of the toilet and looked at Bob for approval. ’Don’t do that,‘� he said sniggering. I pushed the lever down and the flush of water sounded like a waterfall in the circumstances. We quickly returned to the bedroom to hide. We stood silently waiting for a reaction; a minute went by then three then five. ’I wonder if she is ok?’� asked Bob. ‘I don’t know man, maybe she got too much of a shock.‘� ’Well it would frighten the shit out of me,’� he said. The door from the living room opened with a squeak, ‘hello, is any one there’� she said sheepishly, ‘hello, who’s there?‘� I could hardly stop my self from laughing out loud and bob had his face in a pillow to muffle the giggling. She shut the door again. We left the bedroom again and crept out into the hall and went up to the living room door. Then we started to scratch the door slowly, making ghostly noises, ’wooh, woooohhhhhh’�. ‘Go away, go away leave me alone what ever you are,’� she shouted, and crying. We looked at each other ‘oh man I think we have gone to far ’ I said, ’let’s get out of here’�. Turning to leave we heard ‘leave me alone, leave me alone.’� We jumped out of the window quicker than we entered. ‘Shit she is really scared’� Bob said with a concerned look on his face and then broke into laughter. I couldn’t stop laughing either although we both felt bad. ‘I have an idea’�, ‘not another one’� Bob said. ‘Not like the last one, we should ring the door bell and pretend we were just calling in to look for Brian. That way she wont consider it was us who frightened her,’� I suggested. ’ Yeah we should do that, if she knew it was us she would tell her dad and he will kill us for upsetting his daughter’� Bob said. Brian and Rebecca’s dad was a big man, built out of Guinness and steak and could crush us like flies. He would have to catch us first but we both did not want to deal with that situation. ‘Ok lets do it then’� I said as we walked off up the alley way and then turned onto the footpath. When we got to the path down to the front door I could see all of the lights were on in the house. We reached the front door and I pressed the doorbell. I say her coming to the door through the glass door. She opened it and I could see she was sniveling and shaking slightly. ‘Hi Rebecca, is Brian home?’� Bob asked her. ‘No he has gone to the bar with mom and dad.’� ‘Are you ok I asked.’� ‘Oh, yes, I am ok. I was just watching a scary movie that’s all’� she said. ‘Must have been a really scary movie’� Bob said. I elbowed him in the ribs. ‘Well do you want us to come in and keep you company for a while’� I asked her. ‘Yes I would,’� she said with a start. ‘Would you like some tea Greg, Bob?’� ‘That would be really nice of you’� Bob said with a serious tone. We went inside, I noticed cartoons on the TV. There was an iron poker beside her chair and a bible on the table beside it. I poked Bob in the arm and pointed to them, he choked on his laughter. ‘Sit down guys, thank you for staying with me’� she said. ‘I am feeling a little scared tonight on my own in the house, they say there are fairy rings in the field behind the houses here and I think the farmers might have disturbed them when they found the grave the other day. Did you hear about that?’� ‘I saw that in the paper Bob said.’� ‘Its no problem Rebecca’� I said ‘what are friends for.’�

The Scare


Arklow, Ireland

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Artist's Description

Short story of a childhood summers evening with nothing to do

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