The Swamp Child
The world is full of strange things which we humans do not understand nor comprehend, yet most people choose to let go of and move away from, perhaps for their own good. For the more profound the truth was, the more danger lurks beneath its walls, and the harder it was to achieve. However, curiosity, and the desire to seek knowledge is uncanny for us humans. For God, or whoever placed us in this universe, has given us the ultimate weapon to use in search for answers; Our minds.
January 03, 2015
Have you suddenly felt a strong wave of negative energy overflowing your senses for no apparent reason? Particularly when you’re about to to do something, or go somewhere? An invisible red ‘STOP SIGN’ immediately triggering your flight instinct, begging you to turn around and walk away, warning you from great danger ahead. That was the exact same sensation I’ve had as I stepped inside that abandoned looking school. Using the warning posts ahead as guidelines for the upcoming adventure, a bad habit I’ve picked up while trying to feed my adrenaline rush.
It started with an unwelcoming cold breeze right past an odd looking gate. I guess it is fair to say that we were in January and it’s snowing so this could’ve been the reason why it felt so cold inside the building. I don’t know. It’s just that… it was a different kind of cold. It would be difficult to explain. I walked through the deathly quiet hallway gazing at the empty walls like an amazed tourist, assuming of course that the building was empty. Only to be startled to death hearing a classroom door cracking up as I’ve witnessed an army of uniformed children walking out in a flawless order, giving me a strange look which I, being the outsider, did not take much offense from. In fact I’ve felt kind of embarrassed because my so called ‘reliable’ source has informed me that the school is no longer in function while the sight I was beholding was anything but!
I watched the pupils head out with amusement, waiting for their teacher to come out for a chance to speak to. It did not occur to me that I really had nothing to say as I did not come prepared for a conversation. It only hit me as a stunning looking brown haired, blue eyed woman in her mid-twenties stepped out of the classroom door. She looked at me with a glimpse of wonder as I was anticipating the incoming ‘can I help you?’ A question which I really did not know how to address or respond to. But to my utter surprise, as I stood there vulnerable, she did not speak a word. In fact, it felt as if she’s been expecting my presence! She kept staring at me with her inhumanly beautiful eyes which literally felt as if they were slowing down time itself.
Feeling trapped in a weird spot, I’ve felt the necessity to explain myself even without being questioned:
I, I thought this place was abandoned.
It doesn’t look much abandoned to you now, does it?!
I’m sorry. I’m a freelance writer… A friend of mine has told me that this place has an interesting tale. Would you care to answer a few questions?
In my thoughts, I’ve reckoned that shifting the conversation’s path towards her might help me a bit in this socially awkward situation. However, she did not seem particularly interested in the topic to begin with. She proceeded to close and lock the classroom door like I wasn’t even there. Part of me felt unwanted and was urging me to leave, while another part was being more optimistic about the whole situation, believing that if she did not like me there, she could simply ask me to walk out, right? As I was debating my stance, I thought I briefly saw a figure of a little girl still in the classroom for a brief moment before she closes the door.
Ma’am, I think someone is still inside.
There’s nobody in there.
I’m pretty sure I saw someone.
You need to leave
Ma’am, if you insist that I leave I’m gonna leave straight to the cops and report this.
She stopped locking the door as she heard my last line, which drew me to believe in its effectiveness. She then reopened the door for me and I unwaveringly hurried inside, only to find an empty room.
The teacher did not go inside with me. Instead she was standing at the door holding her bulky key chain waiting for me to get out. To tell you the truth, I’ve felt embarrassed this time and also frustrated because from the way she was looking at me it was easy to realize that I had just revoked my only golden ticket of writing a blog. Knowing that I had lost everything I came for, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to express a well-deserved apology.
I’m sorry I… really thought that I saw..
Follow me to my office. I shall answer your questions.
By that point, I realized that nothing about this lady made sense. She was so unpredictable and illogical, which has made her look suspicious. But at that point, that was a must take gamble for a much needed blog. Who’s that lady? What is she trying to hide? And more importantly, what’s the deal with that awful looking place altogether? Many question marks needing answers…
I followed the mysterious lady through the dark hallways with fluorescent lights flickering off and on. There was not a single window as far as I could see. It was so dark in that place that when the lights turned off I couldn’t see my nose. I was also experiencing shortness of breath. I guess it’s fair to say I was a little nervous.
The teacher suddenly stopped next to a door to the left in about the middle of the hallway. It came to my attention that there was another part of the hallway stretching to west of the main gate where I came in. At the end of that hallway there was a big door which looks like it has been heavily yet poorly sealed. It appeared that whoever sealed that door was in a bit of a hurry because you could see the light coming through small cracks in the door. By the time I remembered where I was heading, the teacher was standing next to her office door patiently looking at me. I looked, smiled, then proceeded through the door.
To be honest, I was mesmerized by the look inside of that teacher’s office. The place was utterly staggering. Everything was in a perfect order. Clean, organized.. It felt almost as if I just stepped inside of a different dimension and time. There was also familiar music playing on an old looking record player which evoked a very powerful and unpleasant Deja-Vu within myself.
La Pasión según San Mateo by J.S. Bach. Nice choice Miss?
My name is Sarah
Nice choice Sarah. A fan of Bach’s or just a random playlist?
You can say I little bit of both…
I beg your pardon?!
So what brings you here? Did you say you’re a writer or something?
More of an enthusiast. I heard the rumors about your school.
Oh really? And what’d you hear?
Something was really off about that woman. You would’ve had to be there to see it. She was too… comfortable. It felt as if she was anticipating every word I said. Almost like we were practicing an audition. It doesn’t make sense I know. Though It could’ve been the music playing in the background that made the atmosphere feel that awkward. But clearly that woman was being too friendly. Something my experience has taught me to always watch out from.
I’ve heard about bad and mysterious things happening in this building which caused it to be closed by the board of education. Is that true?
Mysterious?! What are you like a ghost hunter or something?
Realizing that if I told her the truth she may very well kick me out. But I’ve never been used to or comfortable with lying. Besides, there was something about her bright blue eyes giving the impression of a very intelligent being who knows what I’m about to say before I even say it. Taking chances with lying was certainly out of the question.
A ghost hunter?! Don’t be silly! Of course I’m n… Okay I am a ghost hunter… More like a mystery hunter to be exact.
Well I hate to disappoint you, but there isn’t much mystery in here.
I’ve felt kind of upset that moment. Not only because of what she said, but the way she put it. I’ve felt like I was being taken lightly. I just don’t know why this particular time that made me feel bad among all of the other incidents I was mocked at by people who somehow believe in the paranormal, and yet they choose to not believe when it crosses their path.
Instead of allowing desperation to take over my senses, I’ve reached silently inside of my pocket to turn my recorder on as my reporter’s intuition, or perhaps my wishful thinking has told me that this conversation is about to get interesting. A good part about the laws in that town was that you are allowed to record any conversation without anyone’s permission for as long as you’re part of it. This has made such places a heaven for investigators like myself.
You said the school is officially closed. How come I just witnessed a class taking place?
Well, a while back the city council decided that the school was getting too expensive to maintain because it’s old. So they shut it down and transferred all of the students to the county center next town over.
I see. And you’re doing exactly what right now if you don’t mind me asking?
I’m just here…
What about those kids? Do their parents know they’re here?
Suddenly she looked up at me with a strange guilty look as the atmosphere dramatically changed and I felt that depressing feeling from earlier getting ten times more powerful. It became clear to me that the children’s parents were not aware that their kids are still attending the old school regardless of the shutdown, possibly against their will. But I’ve felt a need to take things slow and not try to antagonize that woman.
Sarah. You realize that this building is very old and may very well be dangerous. You and the kids will have to get out of here.
We can’t.. leave.
Because… We’re not really here.
All of a sudden I started hearing an extremely powerful pounding outside of the office. It was the kind of pounding which puts pressure on your ears and makes you panic. The lights also started flickering very badly. Sarah appeared extremely frightened and was covering her ears with her hands.
I stepped outside to see where the pounding was coming from. It was coming from the other side of that strange looking door I saw earlier at the end of the hallway. It was so loud and powerful you could literally see dust falling from the walls as the lights flicker really bad and you could hear children cry and scream.
Sarah, I don’t know what’s going on here, but we need to get you and the children need to get out of here, quickly.
I heard no response coming from Sarah, so I looked inside the office shouting her name once more. And to my shock, the office was empty.
At that exact same moment the lights finally gave up and the darkness took place. I went back inside the office searching for a flashlight using my cellphone to shed some light. Although it was difficult to see anything, but it appeared as if the office was… different somehow. Like it was not as tidy and clean anymore. It looked old and filthy and there was a terrible smell in there. My cellphone’s battery decided to give up too although I had charged it the night before but somehow my battery was drained quickly. I then realized that my search for a flashlight is probably useless, and I did not have much time with that pounding which felt like someone was viciously destroying the building. So I decided to take my chances and stumble in the darkness following the children’s screams and try to get them and myself out.
As I headed out to the hallway, I saw strange yellow beams coming out of that door at the west side where the pounding was coming from. There was an extremely intimidating yet welcoming feeling about it. It’s hard to explain. I stumbled against the wall following the screams, but it seemed that the further I went, the further the screams went. It appeared as if the crying was coming from within the thick concrete walls. There was also this invisible, magnetic-like feeling attracting me towards that gate of hell. I shouted loud asking the children to help me find them as I hardly stumbled against the wall. Until I finally reached that gate…
The pounding has suddenly stopped. The crying has stopped as well. The atmosphere has suddenly became very quiet. I gazed towards one of the cracks on the door to peek through. There was a huge, swampy looking field. The land was covered by a strange looking yellow soil with cracks all over them and some weird yellow gas coming from them. The emissions were so massive even the sky turned yellow. There was also a dreadful smell close to that of rotten eggs. I wondered as I was gazing through the other side of that gate. Suddenly I saw something with the right corner of my eye. I’ve tried to look at it but it was painful to my eyes. I’ve never felt anything like it. It was as if my eyes were not ‘equipped’ to see such a sight. For a brief moment I thought that I saw a person, a child. Soon enough, I started feeling dizzy and my legs turning to jelly. The next thing I know I was on a stretcher accompanied by a bunch of people wearing hazmat suits. With ringing in my ears. I remember passing by Sarah’s office, and the place was looking dreadful, I was pointing towards the office and I was trying to say something but one of the people who was tending to me asked me to remain quiet so they can help me as he/she put a mask on my face and I passed out hearing the noise coming from the device. The next thing I remember was waking up in a hospital. A doctor walked in and was explaining to me that I was exposed to some sort of a pathogen which caused me internal bleeding. He said I was lucky to be alive and I should be able to get out of the hospital the next day. He did not seem the chatty type. He didn’t ask me what I was doing there, so I naturally assumed that I was in no trouble. Right? Wrong! The moment I was released I was interrogated by a couple of unfriendly looking cops regarding my ‘unauthorized entry’ into the school. The talking officer was not nearly as ‘chill’ as the teacher from earlier. He did not answer any of the questions I’ve had, and he was firm about delivering me a little ‘shake’ so I will not attempt such a stupid act in the near future or the far one. Those were his exact words. I don’t really blame him. I guess he was just doing his job. Shortly after the interrogation I was escorted to my car and was then followed to the city line by the cop and his partner who was not any more friendly than he was. All of my belongings were given back to me, including my recorder, which had everything on it still but the interview track. Of course being the clever detective I have chosen an advanced type of recorder with some handy features such as uploading all of my recordings to the cloud promptly. Thinking I’ve got it all covered, I was mistaken…
There was a new audio track in my cloud drive. However, it did not exactly look or sound similar to what I’ve had. All I could hear was mostly static despite of the filters I’ve applied. In some part though, I can almost hear someone say Sarah, but then again this could be my wishful thinking. Another strange part was that the recording was presumably uploaded in January the 3rd of 1942, same day and month as today, but with a different year, which can be an error of course, the first one I’ve encountered though.
You probably wonder what has really made me decide to visit that school to begin with. Well, the urban legend goes as follows:
Once upon a time, there was a school which used as a model for the entire region. Until one day a strange unknown pathogen started leaking from the soil in the courtyard area. The pathogen was highly poisonous and caused severe physical and mental trauma. A rumor goes around saying that a Seven year old student was misbehaving that day and his teacher became so frustrated with him that she locked him in the courtyard as a punishment in the same day where the tragedy took place/. Some say that the teacher has forgotten about the child due to the trauma caused by the evacuation, while others say she went in to recuse him and they both never came out alive. A few months after my experience I’ve read an interesting news article regarding the mysterious disappearance of an entire class in that same town. Authorities have classified the investigation shortly after it took place because they did not want any ‘outsiders’ to invade their private lifestyle and they wanted to handle their own business. Strangely though, digging more into that story using my so called ‘reliable’ source I have come to a unique piece of data about a teacher by the name of Sarah W. who used to teach in that school prior to the contamination incident. I’ve also came across another piece of information which was a photograph of a former teacher who looked stunningly like the one I’ve previously met. Except this photograph has dated back to 1942. The same year my recording error has made. A strange coincidence indeed. There were no further records were to be found.
I still dream of that incident up to this day. The most vivid image I see in my dreams is one I do not particularly remember seeing in that school: An image of a pale little boy with bleeding yellow eyes giving me a sad look like he needs my help. There is one more fact I could not wrap my head around. The symphony that was playing in Sarah’s room. I have no memory of hearing it prior to that day… I thought it might have been another ‘hallucination’ as I was told by the officials about the whole thing, but when I looked it up on the internet I couldn’t be more staggered realizing that it is actually a real symphony.
Today, I continue my quest in trying to reveal the truth behind the mysterious incidents which have no clear explanations. For the world is full of strange things which we humans do not understand nor comprehend, yet most people choose to let go of and move away from, perhaps for their own good. For the more profound the truth was, the more danger lurks beneath its walls, and the harder it was to achieve. However, curiosity, and the desire to seek knowledge is uncanny for us humans. For God, or whoever placed us in this universe, has given us the ultimate weapon to use in search for answers; Our minds.
To be continued..