Fire! Fire!

By Connor Long-Johnson

The printer continued its mechanical drone as the sheets of paper were laid out one by one. It was Friday and with most of the children gone a much-appreciated blanket of quiet had fallen falling over the school.

That was until a shout came from the classroom at the end of the corridor, a muffled, subdued child’s squeal. Murmured, I could still make out the words.

“Fire! Fire!”

I turned and smashed my elbow into the nearby alarm, cracking the glass seal and activating the system. The shrill screech pounded overhead, sirens blazing, interrupting the churning of the printer.

I couldn’t leave knowing a kid was screaming and might be in danger – choking or worse – so I ran for the classroom, my heart pounding.

There was no one there and no fire either.

Only a charred scrap of paper, with the word HELP, scribbled in a child’s messy scrawl.

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