Charlie, Charlie

A little tongue-in-cheek story.
______________________________________


Foyer of a dark abandoned house at night. Wind howls outside. A sheet of notebook paper lies in the middle of the dusty floor encircled by candles. Two pencils lie across one another, the one on top slowly rotating to the left.

Boy A – What the… Dude! What did you do?
Boy B – What did I do? You’re the one that said the words. I didn’t want to come to this firggin’ house anyway.
Boy A – Man, we’re screwed. Look, it’s spinning!

A thumping sound from upstairs.

Boy B – I can’t stand up! I friggin’ can’t stand up! Oh god, oh god, oh god…
Boy A – Ahhhh!
Boy B – What! What!
Boy A – Something is on my shoulder! Get it off…shit man… get it off!
Boy B – I can’t see anything!
Boy A – Oh god, it hurts. Get it off… get it off!

Candles flare up momentarily before extinguishing.

Boy B – Shit man… it’s not human. I saw it. It’s not human! I can’t move. Oh god, please, please, please…
Boy A – You gotta help me, man! Oh god it’s going inside me. You gotta….Ahhhhhhhhh!

A scraping sound on the floor.

Boy B – (whimpering) I’ll be good. I’ll be good. Oh Lord. Our Father who art in heaven…

Scraping sound is closer. Thumping sound is now behind Boy B.

Boy B – …hallowed be thy name… No…no… Ahhhh… god…please no…no…Ahhhhhh!

Room goes to black. Spot light on two pencils on a sheet of paper in the middle of the floor.

Curtain

The lights in the Nelson Junior High auditorium came up. Mr. Colson, the thirty something theatre and speech teacher approached the stage, legal pad in hand.

“Well, Nathan that was interesting to say the least. Should I share my notes or just throw them away? You’ve just set eight-grade theatre back a couple of thousand years. Not that I would inflict this on the Greeks.”

Nathan Turnbull sat slumped in a second row seat with his feet resting on the seat in front of him. His sweatshirt hood covered most of his face. The other thespians in the auditorium giggled. One called out, “Nathan “Slenderman” Turnbull: author.” The other students roared with laughter.

“You tell us to write from experience,” Nathan muttered, sketching “Yes” and “No” on a page in his tattered, wire-bound notebook.

Mr. Colson approached Nathan. The students quieted. “I’m sorry. What did you say, Nathan?”

Nathan looked up from his hood at Mr. Colson. “I write what I know.”

Mr. Colson looked around at the other students, who were smirking but with curious looks on their faces. “So you’re telling us that this meat-grinder of a flash play is from personal experience? Maybe you are as weird as everyone says.”

Laughter filled the space. Some students threw wads of paper at Nathan, who scribbled more and more forcefully “Yes” “No” “Yes” “No”.

“You can’t say that to me. You’re a teacher,” Nathan whispered, his voice lost in the din of laughter and taunts. “No one says that to me. Not even those two losers. I showed them.”

One girl sitting close to Nathan went silent as she saw what Nathan was doing. He laid his notebook in his lap and placed two pencils crosswise. The words “Yes” and “No” were above and below and to the right and left of the pencils. She heard Nathan mumbling.

“Charlie, Charlie, are you there? Charlie, Charlie are you there?” Nathan’s voice became louder and louder with each chant. “Charlie, Charlie, are you there?”

The girl beside him felt a smack on the back of her head and ran screaming from the auditorium. The suspended lights overhead swayed back and forth, and the floor of the auditorium rumbled. “Earthquake!” yelled a few students. Then all of the students dropped their books and ran to the auditorium doors.

Nathan rocked back and forth in his seat shouting, “Charlie, Charlie, are you there?” The pencils flew off of his notebook and pierced Mr. Colson in his stomach. He slumped over and fell to the floor. Nathan began to laugh maniacally. Every seat in the auditorium buckled and creaked until the bolts anchoring them broke. The seats shot straight up toward the vaulted ceiling, hovered for a moment as the terrified students looked up. Then all at once the seats flew towards the auditorium doors, crushing everyone. The lights overhead exploded, as well as the lights on stage, which sent sparks in all directions, setting the drapery on fire. Within seconds the auditorium was ablaze.

Nathan rose from his seat, the only seat still attached to the floor. In a shower of water spewing forth from the overhead sprinklers, Nathan walked to the side door, moving chairs and bodies out of his path, leaving his destruction behind. He opened the door and headed home, the sound of police sirens in the distance.

About Til Turner

Til is a writer, artist, and musician living in the Shenandoah Valley. He is an associate professor in the Languages and Literature Division at Northern Virginia Community College and is a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Art with an MFA in Creative Writing. Til has published poems online, has written a teacher's handbook on ESL writing, and he has recently completed his second novel for young readers. Please feel free to visit his instructional website at www.EnglishIsKillingMe.com.
This entry was posted in Fiction for Young Readers, middle grade fiction, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Charlie, Charlie

  1. Julian Beach says:

    That’s extraordinarily kind of you, Til. I shall reciprocate today.

    Like

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