Have you ever passed by a school house late at night? After it has been forsaken by it’s young pupils, after the grounds have stopped echoing with screams and laughter, and the blackboards have been wiped clean? The school, then, looks sad and forlorn – a dark, silent looming entity.
This was what I thought as I passed by the Springdale School on my way home at 10 last night. Built before Indian Independence by an Englishman, Lawrence Crawley, whose statue now stood outside the gate, the building was an interesting representation of Gothic splendor and excess. Lawrence Crawley looked over all who passed with a benign smile, his hand half-raised as if in blessing. With his flowing beard and knowing smile, he looked a wise, old man.
As I passed, I suddenly sneezed. Wiping my nose with my handkerchief, I was wondering if I was falling sick, when a voice interrupted: Bless you!
I swiveled around sharply to see the ghost of Lawrence Crawley beaming at me from over his stone shoulder.
The only thing that kept me from screaming and running away in terror was the fact that he was, at the most somewhere around 4 ft. 11 inches. It is practically impossible to be scared of a pearly white entity, that barely reaches your shoulders. So instead I asked him, “Who are you?”
Sir. Lawrence Crawley at your service. Now if you will pardon me asking, are you a girl with short hair, or a boy with long hair?
“I am a girl!” I spluttered indignantly. He looked me up and down, with a puzzled look.
Well I am sure you can understand my confusion. Why would you cut your hair so short? Long tresses are the pride of any beautiful woman.
“I can think of a number of exceptions” I retorted hotly, but he was on a roll now, and barely heard me.
These new-fangled notions of fashion are so ridiculous! Pardon me for swearing in a lady’s presence…..but ladies nowadays swear just as much as, if not more than men!! What is the world coming to! You can’t live a gentleman’s life on it, anymore.
“You shouldn’t be anyway” I pointed out. He grinned maliciously:
Haven’t you heard that sneezing under a statue, calls upon its ghost?
Well I am sure it does, according to some superstitious belief of some group or cult, somewhere in the world. Doesn’t really matter. We’re moving away from the topic. Now, tell me, which young lady sneezes so loudly? Ladies sneezes are delicate things, like a baby’s laugh, not an elephant’s trumpet.
I blushed, and muttered a little defensively “There was no one around”.
That is not the point. It is a matter of etiquettes! Not that I would expect any lady wearing male trousers to understand manners and etiquettes!
He snorted derisively.
“They are jealous 21 jeans” I cry out, eager to defend my favorite pair of denims.
Jeans? You mean denim trousers – only the laboring class wears that! And what’s that on your feet? Flippety-flops? Floppity flips?
What kind of name is that?! What kind of footwear is that?!
“It’s comfortable!” I argue.
Ladies don’t dress for comfort! They dress to look pretty! Did you know that in China they force baby girls to wear metal shoes so that their feet remain small and delicate?
I started saying, “I am pretty sure they don’t…” but he was like a rolling barrel. Impossible to stop!
And what is a young lady like you doing out on the streets alone at this time of night? Without a male escort too!!
In my time there was none of this mumbo-jumbo about equality between men and women. How can women work with men? They don’t have the mental capacity to understand matters of finance and business. It’s a fact! I am not being biased. Women are good at other things that men can’t do – like bake cakes.
…..why are you making that abominable noise?!!
“I am coughing”, I said. “Don’t you know, if you cough in front of a ghost, he has to go away”.
What nonsense! Who says that?
“It’s a very widespread belief in Hogwarts” I said. He looked mystified:
Where is Hogwarts?
“It’s near Scotland” I told him. He looked annoyed.
Damn these new countries! They sprout up like weeds.
I coughed again, significantly. He sighed huffily:
And with one final glare, he vanished.
I walked briskly and did not look back till I reached the end of the lane. Maybe it was a trick of the indecisive street lamp, but I could swear I saw the statue of Sir Lawrence Crawley wink 😉
Daily Prompt : Time for another Odd Trio prompt: write a post about any topic you want, in whatever form or genre, but make sure it features a slice of cake, a pair of flip-flops, and someone old and wise.