“Mrs. Pettyjohn’s School of Knowledge” Chapter 4

“We must be careful not be seen or heard, so everyone be quiet and follow me.” Andrew said in an ominous whisper as he crept around a dilapidated ancient stone building, leading the way into town.

“Do you even know where we are going?” Jinnee inquired.

“Yeah, we are going to see where they are meeting at tonight.”

“How do you know they are even meeting tonight,” Nancy whispered. “It seems to me that there is not a light on in any of these buildings. And as far as I can tell…”

Her words were cut off as Trevor reached over and clamped his hand tightly over her mouth. She started to shove him away when she heard the shushing sound coming from Andrew. Listening to the sounds of voices in the distance, that were rapidly coming closer, she was finally able to make out what was being said.

“You mark my words Seth Williamson, my mother is right about that school, there is something strange about Mrs. Pettyjohn and that school of hers,” Bertha said in her most pompous voice.

“Now Bertha, are you sure it’s not just that you and your mother are upset that you were refused admittance?”

“Of course not, Seth, in fact, Kathy and James Mays both swear that they saw flashes of light, followed by a burst of flames coming from the top of the mountain, more than once. I was outside with them the other night, when dark clouds started rolling in and stopped over the top of the mountain. Then there were whooshes of air that made the clouds circle faster and faster, and then there were flashes of lightning inside the clouds. But the strangest part was that when the clouds parted they did so immediately, and we saw what looked like a woman, standing in the clearing on the mountain, looking up.”

“You truly saw that,” Seth said, his voice filled with awe.

“We sure did see it. I for one think it is time we have a closer look at that school. Kathy told me that other people have seen even stranger things than that. So tonight we are getting together at Laura’s barn to talk about it. I want to hear what the other kids say about what they have seen. Now are you coming with me or not?” Bertha said as she started walking towards the end of town.

“Yeah, I’m coming, but I am not sure I believe in all this hocus-pocus stuff about the school. I have never seen anything strange happening on the mountain,” Seth said a little too quickly and sarcastically.

“Then obviously you have never gone outside at two in the morning. I have started setting my alarm so that I can watch, and it happens at least twice a week.”

“Have you told your mother this?”

Bertha stopped and gave Seth a disgusted look, “No, of course I haven’t told her. She would just start yelling about witches and sorcery.”

Laughing, Seth asked, “And what would you call everything you have told me then?”

“Aliens,” Bertha said as she started walking again.

“Whoa there Bertha, you can’t be serious. Do you expect me to believe that you have seen aliens?”

“I do not know for sure what I have seen, but I hope to find out tonight,” She said as she walked out of hearing distance.

Looking at each other, Nancy said, “uh oh.”

“Uh oh is right, and it seems that these people have seen other things also. I think we should follow them to that barn they were talking about,” Missy whispered.

“I agree with Missy. We will need to tell Mrs. Pettyjohn about what we heard Bertha say, as well as what else we learn tonight,” Ngame said thoughtfully.

“Ok everyone,” Andrew said as he pulled his dark cape around him. “You stay here, and I will shadow them until they reach the barn they were talking about, then I will come back for you.”

“I think we should all go together,” Jinnee said as she shivered and looked around as if she were frightened.

“No Jinnee, we may be seen if we all try to follow closely behind them. I should be the one to follow, and Andrew you should stay to protect everyone. You have the strength to protect, while I can observe them from above,” Ngame said as she unfurled her wings, and lifted into the air.

Andrew’s dark brows furrowed as he looked up to see Ngame’s dark silhouette in the dark moonless night, “There may be quite a few kids out tonight, and I hope no one looks up.”

Everyone silently agreed with Andrew.

“We need to get a move on and start following her, before someone sees us,” Trevor whispered to Andrew.

Nodding his head, Andrew looked around the side of the building. He was listening for voices, after a few moments he motioned for them to follow him across the large open span of land between the buildings. After they had finally reached the last building, he had them wait as he disappeared around the corner in search of Ngame. He had lost sight of her when she flew beyond the tree line, heading out-of-town.

A few minutes later he appeared so quickly he startled Missy and she let out a small squeak.

“Hush,” Nancy admonished, but jumped when she saw Andrew standing so close to her.

“I can’t help it Nancy. It always startles me when he appears that way,” Missy said pouting.

“It’s ok Missy, You are not the only one who feels that way. How do you think the vampire stories started back in the eighteenth century? John William Polidori wrote “The Vampyre,” which was inspired by the life and legend of Lord Byron. However, I do not believe he was a traveler, but instead he was simply intrigued by what he had seen. From everything I have researched, Polidori had seen travelers who were simply looking the town over, but forgot to stay well hidden,” Nancy said in her encyclopedic reciting voice.

“Yeah,” Andrew said grinning, “My grandfather told me about scaring the star-dust out of those two that night. What he did not tell in his story was that he and his friends were so drunk they were falling all over themselves to get away.  You see grandfather and his two brothers had found a blueberry bush and were eating some they had picked when Polidori and his friends came around the corner. Grandfather shoved a handful of the berries in his mouth and some of the juice ran down his chin. He said that when he smiled at the men, they started yelling for help. That’s when grandfather and his brothers morphed out of there, but not before noticing the wet spots on the men’s trousers.”

Everyone was laughing, until Nancy shushed them, “We will be heard if you don’t quiet down.

At that moment Jinnee pointed up and said, “Ngame’s back.”

After landing beside her friends, Ngame retracted her wings and Missy helped her to once again close the back of her blouse.

“I followed her to the barn, which is not far over that hill, if we cut through the woods,” she told them. Then she went on to say, “There are some small overhangs on the other side, but I don’t believe we will have any problems if we stick together, and help each other when needed.”

When they all agreed, Ngame started leading the way. Once they were through the trees they came to what Ngame had said were small overhang.

“I thought you said that they were small overhangs. I am not sure I can climb down these, “Missy said looking down doubtfully.

“It’s ok Missy, we will help you,” Trevor said looking out across the land at a large barn, visible only because the large doors were open and lantern lights shone brightly from the entrance.

Missy took deep breaths as she watched first Andrew followed by Jinnee then Nancy, start down the side of the overhang. Ngame opted to walk down rather than flying, saying it was so close that it was not worth the effort, and then Trevor urged her to go down.

“Missy nodded her head and started down the steep trail. Trevor followed as closely as he could, but halfway down Missy’s foot slipped and she started tumbling down.

Andrew and Trevor moved at the same time, with Trevor grabbing Missy’s outstretched leg, and Andrew using his body to stop her fall. Once Missy was helped to the bottom, Nancy gasped when she saw Missy’s hands, elbows, and knees, which were badly scraped and bleeding.

“Oh my stars, Missy is hurt. Trevor you will need to heal her before we can go on, and the next time you promise to help her, try holding on to her,” Ngame said sternly.

Looking contrite, Trevor apologized to Missy, as he cupped his hands and then said, “I will need everyone to gather around us so that no on their way to the barn sees the light.”

Once the others had gathered as close as possible, Trevor released the healing light from his hands and quickly let it hover over each of her wounds. As they watched, the torn skin was replaced by healthy new skin.

“Thank You Trevor, I feel better now. I know it wasn’t your fault, I should have walked down sideways like everyone else,” Missy said sheepishly.

After about ten minutes of walking, they were standing on the north side of the barn, since it was the only side facing the fields and no one would be coming from that direction.

Missy and Jinnee immediately sat down on the ground and started focusing their minds, once again, so that they would be able to see and hear what was going on in the barn.

“I saw the clouds and lightening also,” a small dark boy was saying.

“When did you see it Lester,” Seth was sitting on a bale of hay and looking at the boy with obvious disbelief if his smirk.

“It was Saturday morning before daylight. Robert and I had a camp out sleepover, and we outside of our tents, talking, by the campfire. Robert had his back to the mountain, and I looked up and that’s when I saw the clouds start building up fast. One minute they were not there, the next minute the mountain was completely covered by black roiling clouds. I told Robert and we both started watching the strange clouds, when all of a sudden lightening started flashing around inside the cloud,” Lester told the fifteen or so kids gathered in the barn.

“Yeah it was just like he said, except that the lightning was not lightning, it was different color lights flashing inside the cloud. Then the cloud started to rise higher and higher, then with a loud whoosh, the lights and cloud was gone.”

“Did you see anything after that?” Bertha asked him hopefully.

The two boys looked at each other, and then looked down at the ground, shaking their heads, entirely too adamantly for Bertha to believe them.

“Come on, you can tell us what else you saw,” she coaxed them.

“You promise not to laugh at us?” Lester asked timidly.

“We won’t laugh, I promise. Just tell us what you saw,” Bertha said, standing and placing her hands on her hips.

“We saw… Angels, I think,” Robert said in a subdued little voice.

“Angels, what kind of idiots do you take us for,” Seth said sounding highly agitated.

One of the girls spoke up saying, “I saw them too, but not Saturday morning. It was one evening last week, a little after dark, and I was outside swinging my little sister Susie on the tire swing, when I looked up and saw them over the mountain. Well, it could have been extra-large birds,” she said with a shrug.

“Ok Lucy, just how large was these birds you saw?” Seth asked, suddenly seeming interest in what they were discussing.

“Large enough to be people, I think,” Lucy answered him, looking him straight in the eyes.

“Why are you so interested now Seth, have you seen something yourself?” James Mays asked him.

“I may have, but then I saw something else on the same night that I saw the large birds. What I saw or rather what I thought I saw, were two men standing in the field on this side of the schools fence. They looked like they were talking, when they suddenly looked up and three large birds, or angels, swooped down and walked over to them. It looked like they were talking, but when I rubbed my eyes and looked once more, the men were gone and the birds or angels were flying away,” he told them.

“Has anyone else seen something, which we have not heard about yet?” Bertha asked the group, looking from person to person.

Standing up and shuffling her feet, a tall blond girl who seemed to be all gangly arms and legs said, “I was following my daddy once, when he snuck out of the house late one night, after mama was asleep. I was staying in the shadows when I saw two boys sneaking around the edge of town, and were also following my daddy. I watched them, then one of the boys, who was dark and dressed in black and wore a black cape, was in one place one minute, and then the next second, he was a block away listening at the door of the bar my daddy went into. It scared me, so I moved back farther into the shadows, but close enough that I could still see the other boy. The other boy just stood there until in a blur the dark boy came up beside him. They talked a few minutes, when all of a sudden, they disappeared.”

“Tina, are you sure it was boys that you saw?”  Seth asked disbelieving.

“No, I am not sure what I saw,” she answered truthfully.

“Ok then,” Bertha said forcefully. Then I say we need to stay up all night, in shifts, and always have our cameras with us. If we can get enough proof, we can call in the military and get that place shut down, and we will all be famous.”

“How would we become famous for finding a bunch of witches and warlocks,” Laura asked Bertha.

“Not witches and warlocks, Laura, but people from outer space. Or better known as Aliens,” Bertha said looking from person to person to see how they reacted to her words.

Missy and Nancy dropped their concentration and looked at the others in horror.

“Now what genius,” Ngame asked Andrew in her most sarcastic voice. “You two thought you were so smart sneaking into town, and now they know about you.”

“Yeah, we goofed, but if we don’t get out of here quickly, they will see all of us,” Andrew said just as angrily as he could manage.

“I suppose we should get back to the school and tell Mrs. Pettyjohn what we found out tonight, even though we will be in big trouble for coming here,” Jinnee, said sadly.

To be continued…

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