113 - The Cellular Phone

Enter Hillhurst Elementary after hours through the Girls’ Door. Do not use The Key to get in, as the school no longer stands in the desiccated world it opens onto. Instead pick the lock through a more conventional means or secure the key through some legitimate method. Then climb the stairs. The school has collected a handful of ghosts like all buildings; echoes of sound and heartbeat reverberate through the air. But the dead here are slow and calm.

Climb to the top of the building and enter the cloakroom at the top of the staircase. It will be empty at this hour other than a leather jacket too large to belong to the children. You will hear the sound of a cellular phone’s ring from the moment you walk in the room, and after a moment’s effort you will find it in the jacket’s pocket. The phone is an old nokia. Open it and hold it to your ear, but say nothing. Do not even breathe.

For as long as you can remain silent, the person on the other end of the line will tell you everything you need to know to solve whatever problem you’re currently faced with. But once you breathe or speak, she will stop mid-sentence and scream. The scream will be deafening, and you will pass out quickly. Explaining your presence in the school at night, in the cloakroom, will prove surprisingly easy. Claim you came back to reminisce. The principal will ask if you were a student there once. Tell him you like to think you are always a student. He’ll recognize you as an acolyte and allow you to leave, but from then on you will owe him a great and grievous favour.

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