Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Caretaker

The adults were checking out the stalls on the summer fete and the three boys had been racing around for some time. Finally exhausted they stopped for a rest and grabbed a glass of lemonade each from the picnic table their parents had set up on the edge of the green.

Tommy and John were twins but Tommy had always been the more daring and more boisterous of the two. Alan loved playing with them both as he was an only child and loved the company. He though it would be great to have a twin who you could play with all the time rather than just when his mum let him go over to see the twins. John was not so sure, he thought being an only child would be much more fun. Then he would have been able to read his books without being picked on all the time.

After they had got their breath back and finished their lemonade it was obvious that Tommy had got bored of racing around playing formula 1 and was looking for a new adventure. Tommy noticed Mr Carstairs the school caretaker working hard on putting the finishing touches to a banner and called the other boys around him and started to outline his plan.

Mr Carstairs had been the caretaker of Kingston Magna's elementary school for the last twenty years and had four children of his own. His children were now all in their twenties but he had learnt the body language of eight year olds up to no good a long time ago. He put the finishing touches to the banner and out the corner of his eye noticed Tommy and his little gang. Whatever they were whispering about was not going to be good. As the boys headed towards the front door of the school, which had been left open for people to use the toilets, Mr Carstairs decided he needed to put his paint away in the stores and he headed around the back of the school to the old coal bunker.

Once inside the school John started to get nervous.

'What if someone sees us?'

'We say we were going to the loo. It is allowed you know,' replied Tommy exasperated yet again by his brothers unwillingness for adventure. We need to find out what old Carstairs keeps in the room at the bottom of the corridor. It must have all the footballs and cricket ball that ever got stuck on the school roof.'

'Do you really think so Tommy?' Alan asked, excited to be involved in such a great adventure.

'But it will be locked and this will all be a waste of time,' complained John.

'It might not be. He's been busy today and might have forgotten. Let's just go and see.'  

The walk down the corridor seemed to take forever and John was praying that some adult would come in to use the toilet so they would be sent outside again, but no such luck.

Then they were outside the door. Tommy leaned forward and slowly turned the handle. It opened.

'Quick get inside before anyone sees us,' Call Tommy excited by the treasure they were about to behold. Once inside the room was very dark but there were no windows so Tommy reached up and put on the light. The office was empty, not full of hundreds of footballs and cricket balls that they had been hoping to get their pick of.

'Where are all the balls Tommy?' Alan asked, feeling very disappointed that the big adventure had all come to nothing.

'Wait they must be here somewhere.' Tommy was not about to be defeated.

They looked around the room and suddenly Tommy say at the back of the room a door.

'Look. That must be the ball cupboard.'

Tommy excitedly led the way and carefully pulled at the door. It was locked. There really was nothing he could do now.

'Right let's get out now,' John called relieved this adventure was going no further.

'Wait, look what I've found,' called Alan as he appeared from behind the lone desk in the room waving a bunch of keys.

'Well done Alan,' cheered Tommy. Alan beamed from ear to ear happy to have done something Tommy approved of.

The third key they tried opened the door. They slowly pulled the door and looked inside. No balls but instead a set of stairs descending into a basement. This was more like it. A real adventure. There was no light switch they could see but Alan soon found a torch.

'I really think we should leave now.' John insisted.

'Not so fast,' Shouted Tommy. If you want to stay in the adventurer gang you have to be brave enough to go down the stairs.'

'Come on John. You do want to be in the gang don't you?' Alan beamed up at him.

Tommy grabbed the torch and started down the stairs.

'The adventurers club starts here let's go.'

Alan happily followed him. John knew if he went back on his own people would soon ask where the others were and he was no snitch so he reluctantly followed. As they were heading down the stairs they heard scratching.

'What's that?' shuddered Alan.

'Probably just a rat,' John informed him. He may not have wanted to be there but he knew rats couldn't harm them.

Two more steps.

'Arrrrrrrrgh.' A deep moaning noise can from the bottom of the stairs.

'That was no rat,' Alan whispered

'Come on adventurer gang let's go and have a look.' Tommy called sounding a lot braver than he felt.

'Arrrrrrgh' as they got to the bottom of the stairs the moaning was getting louder.

Tommy slowly shone the torch around the basement room and the beam fell upon a sight they never expected to see.

'AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH.' Three small boys turned on their heels and raced up the stairs, no stopping until they had got out of Mr Carstairs room, along the corridor and back out into the sun. They sat at the picnic table desperately trying to get their breath back.

'W-w-what was that,' whimpered Alan desperately trying not to cry in front of his friends.

I don't know but we should never tell anyone what we have seen. It is an adventurers club secret. Okay.' Tommy whispered

'Agreed.' chorused Alan and Tommy together.

Just after the boys had made their pact Mr Carstairs reappeared besides the Head Master chuckling.

'Ah Mr Carstairs I've been looking for you. Is everything okay.' asked the Headmaster

'Oh yes everything's just fine. I just had to sort out a problem in the basement but I think everything should be okay from now on.

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