So, I write fiction. This is not fiction. It’s a little different. I don’t do this all that often, or I do, but I don’t talk about my life.
When I was a kid and going to school, there was this story that floated around. It’s weird because I can’t remember how I’d first heard it. I just know it – about the room in the high tower. No one sat me down and read it. I don’t think it’s even really written down completely anywhere. I’ve looked it up before and really never found all that much of anything. There are facts I’ve since confirmed were true, but others I haven’t and can’t. Those important last bits of it are the kinds of things I don’t even know where I’d begin to look up and every time I catch myself trying. I think, I’d better not. This is just one of those things I don’t want to know exactly if it was real or just a rumor.
So, like I said, I was in school. I was a kid. I loved this school because it was beautiful and old, so old. It’s ancient and run by the Catholic Church – I’m a catholic, by the way. It’s just something about me that I guess I don’t share all that much. So, yeah, I believe in things like life after death and I grew up in a small, little bubble where everyone else did.
When I was a kid, I was always wandering. Like I said, it was a beautiful school. I walked with my chin up, eyes on the walls, the columns, the wood-beamed ceiling. I loved how there were portraits of headmasters and headmistresses. Every part of this place seemed to want to remind you that it had been here for a very long time. It had a history and a long one at that. People said things like I’d had my head in the clouds. I didn’t mind it. Maybe it was true.
But it was looking up that I found the room in the high tower. The first time I saw it, I went right up to it and twisted the handle. It was an inconspicuous door at the top of a narrow stairwell. I had been looking for someone’s office and miscounted the floors for some reason. I’d led myself there. I hadn’t even tugged at the door before a passing teacher asked, “What are you doing? You can’t be up there.”
I apologized and told her who I was looking for. She softened immediately and gave me the directions I’d needed. She glanced up at that door though a few times while she told me this. “Don’t try that door though. There’s nothing you need up there.” I probably wouldn’t have remembered it had it not have been so weird. Like something out of a movie. At that point, I knew nothing about the room. It had been an innocent mistake, but at the same time, I still remember the way she’d looked at me up there. Like I was about to detonate a bomb or something.
I went off to wherever I’d needed to go. It was awhile back so I don’t really remember where I went, but I thought about that door a lot. I saw it every time I went down that hallway. It drew my eye and what was stranger is that I already knew there was something really wrong with that. I don’t think I told anyone about it – understand in an old school like this, there are lots of strange and potentially creepy things that we just were used to. Cemeteries outside classroom windows, broken stone statues of saints, ivy that grows on everything like a weed. You can overlook a lot when you grew up with it. It was always the new kids who’d point it out. It was a good laugh, if anything really. So, this door wasn’t that weird. There were others like it, but nothing else made me feel that uncomfortable.
This is a longer story than I thought it would be. I’ll tell more in a few days. Watch for Lizard’s Ghost Story: Part 2.