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Suspicions

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It was obviously mr walker...

Greendale Primary was a school where nothing bad ever happened. Everything was good. Most of the teachers were loved by all the pupils. But there was no teacher like Mr Morrison.

Mr Morrison was an art teacher. He told the children that there was no point in having an art lesson if you just wrote. And so his classroom was full of projects that classes were working on. It was the best room in the school, most people said. Mr Morrison himself was a middle-aged man, with dark brown hair and green eyes. He sometimes had little scratches on his face, which were from his cat, according to him. He often wore scruffy clothes, but nobody minded. He was Mr Morrison.

There was only one thing that annoyed all of Mr Morrison’s pupils, and that was Mr Walker. Mr Walker was Mr Morrison’s technician. He normally stayed in his own little room where he cut wood and stuff. But nobody liked him. He was an old man, about 55 years of age, and he had a grumpy, sagging face. He never smiled and was grumpy towards everyone. Rumours had been spread that he was really a serial killer, but nobody believed them. They all thought that Mr Walker was just a weird old man.

Now, there was one girl who hated Mr Walker even more than everybody else. Her name was Olivia. She was sure that the rumours were true. Olivia wasn’t normally one to hold grudges against other people, but she just couldn’t stand Mr Walker. Whenever she had to speak with him, she always mumbled nervously.

Then, on Wednesday, Olivia had an art lesson. She walked into Mr Morrison’s room and shivered. She thought it was because of Mr Walker who was hanging around nearby, but then noticed that the window was wide open. Mr Morrison smiled at everyone and closed the window. “Right then, everyone. You all know what you’re doing, don’t you?” The children all nodded and continued to work on their projects.

“If you need anything,” Mr Morrison said. “I’ll be in my office.” Mr Morrison’s ‘office’ was really a small cupboard decorated with pictures, with a small desk on one side. On his desk was his computer and in his desk were some books and grade sheets. He sat himself down on his comfortable chair and began to type.

Meanwhile, Olivia needed some black paint. She went to Mr Morrison’s room and knocked on the door.

“Yes?” Mr Morrison called out. Olivia pushed the door open and went in. “Sir, me and Emily need some black paint. There’s none left on the side,” she said, gesturing to the side of the room where most of the paint was kept.

“Black paint,” Mr Morrison said to himself as he got up and looked for it in a box of paint he kept in the corner of his office. “Hmm, I don’t seem to have any here. Why don’t you go and ask Mr Walker for a new bottle? He’s bound to have some,” Mr Morrison said, getting up and sitting himself back down on his comfortable chair.

“Thanks Sir,” Olivia said, and she went out of the room. Mr Morrison turned back to his computer.

Olivia reluctantly went over to Mr Walker’s office and knocked on the door. She waited for him to say something. He then opened the door and peered down at her. “What do you want?” he said in an unfriendly voice, as if he’d been disturbed from something. “Um, Mr Morrison told me to get some black paint off you sir,” Olivia said quietly.

“What’s that child? Speak up, I can’t hear a damned word you’re saying,” he said in an even less friendly tone. So Olivia spoke more loudly. “Sorry to disturb you sir, but Mr Morrison told me to get some black paint off you as there’s none left on the side.”

Mr Walker grumbled as he looked in a box where there were fresh bottles of paint. He pulled out some black and gave it to Olivia. “Thank you Sir,” she said, and Mr Walker closed the door. Olivia sighed and went back to Emily, who was impatiently waiting for the paint to arrive. They continued to paint their project.

Olivia arrived at school the next morning to find news and television vans everywhere. Everybody was talking and looked worried. Olivia had no idea what was going on, so she found someone she knew, Jade Roberts. “Hey, Jade, what’s going on?” she said. Jade looked at her. “Haven’t you heard? Emily Foster’s gone missing. She didn’t go home last night, and nobody knows what’s happened to her,” Jade replied.

Olivia was shocked, but before she could say anything back to Jade, a news reporter tugged at her arm. “Could you two girls tell us about Emily? Were you her friends?” He said, and they pointed a camera in their faces. “Um, well, I knew Emily,” Olivia said. “I was working with her in art yesterday…,” she trailed off. Jade immediately pulled the camera to point at her and began talking about how she was such good friends with Emily.

Olivia meanwhile had snuck into the school, with nobody noticing. She went straight to the art room. She was sure that Mr Walker had something to do with the whole Emily disappearing. Suppose the rumours were true! Maybe he had her tied up and gagged in his office. Maybe he’d already killed her. Maybe he’d run off to a faraway country…

Olivia thought all these thoughts as she turned the handle of the art room door. Should I go in? She thought. Maybe he’ll take me prisoner too. But I have to find out if he’s got Emily in there! But she went in anyway, as she was certain that he would be shocked by the sight of her and run away. But that was not the case. Mr Walker wasn’t even in the art room. Even Mr Morrison wasn’t there, and he practically lived in the art room. They were both outside, where all the other teachers were, being worried and talking into the news cameras. Olivia realised that this would be the only chance she would get to sneak into Mr Walker’s office and see if there was any proof that he’d kidnapped Emily. She turned the handle of his office door. She hesitated for a second, but then carried on going in.

She searched the desk first, for any papers that might have any evidence. But there was nothing. She searched in all his drawers, and every single shelf she could see. But she found nothing. She glanced around the room before she was about to go, and then noticed his computer. HIS COMPUTER! She ran towards it, and turned on the screen. It was on, but it had been locked. What would Mr Walker’s password be? She thought to herself. She typed in the name of his big, scary Rottweiler she’d sometimes seen growling at her cat. But that didn’t work. She looked around the room for any clues that might help her to find out what Mr Walker had done with Emily.

She was still looking when she heard the art room door open. Mr Walker’s going to kill me if he finds me and Mr Morrison won’t be too pleased either, she thought. She looked for a hiding place, and then hid in the storeroom. She hoped that Mr Walker or whoever it was wouldn’t look in it. She heard somebody come into the office. She peeked through the keyhole. She couldn’t see much through it, but she could see Mr Walker’s hands at the desk.

“Have you forgotten your password?” he read, confused. “Have you tried to go on James?” James was Mr Morrison’s first name. He must’ve been there too.

“No,” she heard Mr Morrison’s voice say. He must’ve wanted something of Mr Walker. She heard Mr Walker typing in his password, and then she heard the art room door open again.

“Mr Walker?” she heard a voice call. It was the secretary, Miss Briggs. “You have a parcel at the reception. It’s far too heavy for me to carry. It must be some art supplies or something.” Mr Walker grunted and walked up out of the room. “I’m coming. Just wait there, James, I’ll be back in two ticks.” She heard Mr Walker slam the art room door, and Mr Morrison humming to himself as he waited for Mr Walker to come back. Olivia could tell he was walking around, and she hoped that he wouldn’t look in the storeroom.

Then Mr Morrison spoke. “You can come out now,” he said. What? How could he know that I was here? Olivia thought. She pushed the door open and solemnly walked out.

“Olivia? I didn’t expect it to be you,” Mr Morrison said, as she stood there.

“How did you know I was in there?” Olivia said in surprise. “I was sure you couldn’t tell.”

“Mr Walker couldn’t tell,” he said. “I have quite sharp ears. I could hear you breathing behind the door. Now, what were you doing in there?”

Olivia told him all about how she thought that Mr Walker had kidnapped Emily. Mr Morrison listened. He wasn’t angry, he was just quite serious. “Now, Olivia, I know that Mr Walker might be a bit strange to all of you, and he might not be the most popular teacher in the school, but I know that he’s not the kind of person who would kidnap a child. I mean, he has three children of his own. Of course, they’re all grown up now, but he still does love them very much indeed. Now I can assure you that Mr Walker had not kidnapped Emily, or any other child for that matter, okay?” he said kindly. “Now, I think that lessons are starting in about five minutes, so you’d better hurry along.”

Olivia smiled and went out of the room. She brushed past Mr Walker returning with his parcel, but he didn’t notice. She was satisfied about Mr Walker not kidnapping Emily, but was not so sure about him being a normal person. Still, she hurried along to her first lesson, which was history. Her history teacher, Mrs Pool, was not very popular, though not nearly as unpopular as Mr Walker. Olivia sat down at her desk and pulled her history book out of her bag.

“Well, I hope you have all calmed down from this morning’s events,” Mrs Pool began. “I know I have. Anyway, even though Emily is not here, everybody can still show their presentations, can’t they? Or is there somebody who hasn’t done their homework?” A boy called Dominic put his hand up. As Mrs Pool told him off, Olivia thought about how Mrs Pool didn’t really seem bothered about Emily disappearing. Maybe it’s her! Olivia thought. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t really care, ‘cos she knows the truth- that Emily is tied up in her house- or worse- dead!

“Olivia!” Mrs Pool shouted at her. “Why are you not concentrating! Is Hannah’s presentation hurting your eyes or something?” Olivia sat up straight and looked at the Hannah’s presentation, which was actually very good.

At the end of the day, Olivia walked out of school. She saw Mr Morrison getting into his car. He smiled and waved at her. She waved back.

“Olivia! Come on!” she heard her little brother call. She swung around and saw him and her mother waiting in the car for her. She ran over and told them all about what had happened as they drove home.

Mr Morrison arrived at his house. He kicked off his shoes when he got to into his house. It was very untidy, just like him. He sat down at his desk and looked at the newspaper that had been delivered to him that morning. EMILY FOSTER STILL MISSING, it read. He threw it back down onto his desk and thought for a while. He pulled on a pair of latex gloves. He then opened the drawer, pulled out a pair of scissors, and began to cut out the letters of each headline. He glanced into the corner as he did, checking to see if Emily was still there. He began to arrange the letters into a message. The ransom note that the police had been waiting for.

Like I told you, there was no teacher like Mr Morrison.

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