“The Glass Hall is haunted,” I overheard a fifth-year telling a younger boy who looked at the fifteen-year-old with wide eyes of awe and wonder. I had heard the story many times before, but I will recite it for you: Dragonstar Hall was once an old mansion with many secret passageways; one such was a tunnel that led from a courtyard to the outhouse. The courtyard was enclosed by the new dorm building on one side and a glass Hallway that went from the new building to the old one. Many years ago, the young wife of Richard Carrington was having an illicit affair with the Ostler, and the lord of the manor found out. He killed the Ostler in the tunnel beneath the glass hall, so now the ghost of the Ostler haunts the corridor.
“Wow, how do you know that?” the eleven-year-old replied with excitement in his voice.
“Mr Townsend’s dogs all have refused to go through that hallway,” I added to the mix. The boy turned his head to me.
“Come on, Jack, I was telling the story,” my classmate Rob whined.
“Stop trying to scare my brother, or I’ll give you something to be scared about,” I growled at Rob. He grumbled at me, and I turned my head away, looking out over the playground. On one side were classrooms, but they were basically trailers, while on the other side was the old building. The three of us were settled on concrete and wood seating.
“So when does the ghost appear?” Bobby, my little brother, asked. I tuned him out. I never believed the old stories about ghosts; sure, Dragonstar Hall was ancient, but it was about as haunted as my left pinkie.
“Jackie, haven’t you got a medical appointment?” Rob reminded me.
“I hate it when you call me Jackie,” I growled at him and looked up. Daylight was fading fast, during the winter nights came earlier in this part of the UK, but the sky was beautiful. As the sun fell, streaks of crimson, sapphire and indigo were arrayed across the sky. “I’ll be back soon.”
I left them in the playground and followed the school building around, entering the new part close to our housemaster’s office. Soon I found myself in a hallway; I passed stairs to the younger ones dorms, then the door into the showers, a little past that was a door to the toilets, and soon I pushed through a door but stopped dead: I was in the glass hall! It curved around, the right-hand side connecting with the old building after a door to the outside. The left-hand side looked completely onto the shingled courtyard and a small statue. Something prickled my skin, making the hair on the back of my neck shiver with anticipation; at that moment, time seemed to slow down.
I felt the sweat slowly carve a path down my back as I looked around in wonderment at the array of colours being conducted before my very eyes. The sun was refracting off the glass, splitting into a tiny rainbow, as the air seemed to shiver with heat. I walked forward in a daze until the glass met the building when I was abruptly rooted to the spot. As I watched, the shimmering become more distinct then began to solidify into a figure of a man. All at once, the smell of hay and horses was bought to my nostrils, and I sneezed; when I finally opened watery eyes, a shimmering man stood before me. I took a step back in shock and took in his appearance; he wore dark trousers, and a white shirt rolled up at the sleeves, his features were indistinctive, but I could tell he was undoubtedly male.
“C-can I help you?” I stammered. I did not expect a response and did not receive one. All at once, a howl came from the man scaring me and as suddenly as the apparition appeared, it disappeared, leaving me standing like a lemon.
I took a deep breath and still felt like icy tentacles were walking up my spine. I shivered and moved on; quickly passing into the old building, I made my way through some corridors until I reached the Nurses office. No one was outside the office, so I decided to just knock on the door. I stepped up to the white door and had my hand up to knock when abruptly the door was opened, and I come face to face with the Nurse.
“Jack!” surprise etched across her face.
“I’ve come for my appointment,” I said to her, immediately her face changed from one of surprise to annoyance.
“Well, you are extremely late. Your appointment was twenty minutes ago,” She told me; this time, it was my turn to be surprised.
“But Miss Calder, I only left a few minutes ago,” she pursed her lips together and looked me over.
“Come on then, Mister Thomas, I’ll make an exception this once,”