“Hold it right there!” She shouted, as she chased me through the forest.
I had no intention of holding it there, or anywhere. I was a fifteen year old fugitive on the run. My crime? Taking the day off to go swimming with friends.
A thought has just occured to me. I can’t remember any rainy days at school! All my memories happened during warm sunny days. Or maybe the Irish weather was simply better back then.
I didn’t care much for any subject on the curriculum. I was handy at some and desperate at others. Whatever I learned happened naturally. It either caught my attention or it didn’t. I wasn’t big into studying in my my spare time. The teachers never really bothered me much, unless to share a laugh.
I was one of those who stayed under the radar, unnoticed for the most part. I had a friend called Mike. He could roll a cigarette with one hand. Now that’s a gift! You can’t teach that.
The both of us had it susssed. We played the system like a grand piano, with two stools. If we wanted to have a day off, we took it! We knew every loop-hole in the attendance records. We took truant and turned it into art. We were the best.
But like all wiseguys there came a day when our goose was cooked.
We were on our way back from a day’s swimming and smoking at a small unused pier outside of town. Up ahead we saw two females. Mike goes “I’ll have the good looking one.”
“Sure you can, whenever I’m finished with her.” I replied.
“Oh Shit!” said Mike, when he realised it was a sports teacher and her friend.
We jumped over the low stone wall to our left and made our way deep into the forest. To our amazement, they followed.
“Split up.” I said as I ran.
“Good luck.” He answered and disappeared in the opposite direction.
I can still feel my heart pounding as I remember that chase. Running through the dense woods and hearing her untiring footsteps behind me.
“Hold it right there!” She shouted.
She watches too many movies, I thought to myself. I would have shouted “Don’t shoot!” back at her but this was no laughing matter.
I came to a large eight foot high wall. There was a gate equally as high. As I approached at speed I could see it was padlocked.
It’s funny what a person can do when pushed to the limit. I scaled the gate like a commando. The landing was a bit messy but as I got to my feet I could hear her approaching the gate.
“I know you, ” She screamed. “Get back here.”
I looked back to see her with her face squeezed between two vertical bars on the gate. It reminded me on that scene from The Shining.
She was shaking the gate like a mad woman. I turned and ran on. I almost thought I could hear her shout my name over and over as I ran, “Frankieee, Frankieee…” I dismissed that as just voices in my head.
I was wrong. She had indeed been screaming my name, until she damaged a vocal chord or something. She was quite hoarse the following day as she explained to the Principal what had happened.
I said nothing. It was game over. I was on the watchlist from then on.
And I would have gotten away with it too…if it hadn’t been for those meddling teachers.
Thank you for reading,