I always knew that, even though it was probably a bad idea, I'd have
to follow up on First Year Camp.
So, the Year Sevens go ghost hunting again (my friends and I were
obsessed when we were that age, okay?). Fitz attempts to stop them,
but nothing's ever that simple. And Donna watches telly.
Then Do That Over: Ghosthunting
by V Jewitt
In which a group of Year Sevens (First Years) attempt to track down a
ghost, even if there isn’t one to find. Meanwhile, Fitz trails them
and Donna watches Nameless TV.
Fitz’s School Log
Have decided to continue with log as it is useful for looking busy in
staff room. Plus, could be evidence in case of any future
retrospective volunteering. Not much else for surplus PE teacher to
do, except tutor Victoria or Polly in basic guitar-playing. Have got
PE lessons down to a fine art as follows:
1. Wait for children to get changed. (On absolutely no account go
anywhere near the female changing rooms. For some reason, everyone
convinced I’m going to try. Are they crazy?)
2. Announce that it is cross country again. Set stop watch and shout
at them all to run.
3. Wait for them to come back. Do a bit of jogging up and down on the
spot to look active and make notes on paper, supposedly about timing
and PBs. (It’s not.)
Sometimes I have to go hunt for stragglers, but it mostly works and
Maxil is all for losing aliens in boggy fields. (It’s great for
thinning out surplus Dalek population.)
However, got caught by Maxil first thing today and forced to agree (at
gunpoint) to a ‘suggestion’ of his. Our vice-principal was not in a
good mood. (When is he ever?) Demanded that I find out what a gang
of Y7s are up to. Seems to think I ‘bonded’ with them while on First
Year Camp. Not much choice, but sounds like work to me.
Minutes of the First Meeting of the Ghostwatchers (crossed out)
Ghostbusters (crossed out)
By Toshiko Sato (on sheet of A4)
Motion proposed by Chris Doctor that we hold secret club to discover
mystery of school ghost.
Transcript of following debate:
Jack: What ghost?
Chris: I dunno, but someone told me there was one.
David: Yes. In the loos!
Chris: There’d better not be. If people are going to write flippin’
Harry Potter crossovers, they should bother to put *which* loos
they’re writing about. Gave me the shock of my life.
Jack: Hey, there’s no harm in Myrtle. We get on well.
Chris: As long as she keeps out of the bog when I’m in there, you’re
welcome to her.
Jackie: Ooh, what’s that you’re writing, Tosh?
Martha: That’s a nice pen, Tosh. Is it new?
Rose: This is so naff. When are we going to do something cool?
Owen: Tosh, you’re not writing minutes, are you?
Chris: I told you when we started, we don’t need minutes.
I’m writing the minutes now – this is ace. Chris is shouting at
Tosh. He says this is a secret club and we don’t want to go round
leaving a whole essay about it for teachers to read. Tosh is trying
to say stuff back but they won’t let her. Jack is looking at me and
saying, “Hey, now the little squirt is at it as well,” and Chris looks
cross. He’s coming this way -.
[Writing becomes a jagged black line that tears the paper]
The Scientific Journal of Martha Jones, aged 11 (and ¼) [A gift type
journal in tasteful lilac with sequins. It has a lock.]
We began our ghost hunting club this afternoon. I think it is a
really good idea and I am going to keep a journal so we can track our
experiment with the paranormal. I am not sure there are really any
ghosts, but I will write it down here anyway.
The only thing we did today was have a big row about the name and then
a fight about Tosh doing the minutes and Miss Wright told us all off
for being in the bushes where we were Out of Sight and might get
killed by any passing Cyberman without anyone knowing about it. It’s
just as well or Owen and Chris and David might have really hurt
someone apart from Jack. I do wish David would stop asking if John
can join. He spoils everything. That’s boys for you.
Anyway I will record our progress here. Maybe one day it will be
published. I am going to be a famous scientist when I grow up, or an
author. Or an ambulance driver.
Donna’s Diary (a scrappy notebook with much doodling of biro hearts
and fierce Keep Out messages)
Went to school. Lessons were boring. Went to Chris’s ghost club.
Load of rubbish. Came home and watched Rassilon Street. It was
really exciting today. Flavia has lost the President’s Key and still
won’t tell him about it and he is going to try and get it vallewed by
Ian and no one has worked out who the weird old woman is yet, but she
is Really Annoying. I would hit her over the head with the saucepan.
Adric proposed to Nyssa, but he still doesn’t know that she is
plotting to kill him and get that money he won in the Maths Contest.
He is SOOOO stupid. If I were her, I’d bump off both of them.
Had tea – boiled potatoes, peas, carrots and chicken. Boring. Did
Miss Wright informed me this morning that she caught about ten Y7s in
the bushes yesterday after school when they should have been going
home and then wanted to know what I was going to do about it.
This is so unfair. Besides, how should I know whether they’re
supposed to be home or not when I can’t keep up with whether or not
we’re a comprehensive or a boarding school from one day to the next?
Am resolved to keep a close eye on the whole lot of them. Can’t stand
being lectured by smug vice principals with silly hats and even
smugger, endlessly superior English teachers.
Notes torn from Rose’s History book:
ARE WE ON FOR TODAY? SAME TIME, SAME PLACE?
Are you asking me out?
MICKEY, WILL YOU PASS THE NOTE TO *CHRIS* AND STOP POKING YOUR NOSE
YOU CAN COME, TOO.
Miss Smythe’s Punishment Book:
Gave 250 lines to Rose, Christopher and Mickey, for passing notes and
50 to Owen for sniggering about Mickey, Christopher and Rose getting
Rose’s exercise book:
I must not pass notes in class (x249)
Mickey’s exercise book:
I must not pass notes in class (x245)
I must note pass nots in glass (x2)
I mist not pass knots in cars (x1)
I must not piss in glasses. (x1)
I must not piss in class or else. (x1)
Chris’s Exercise book
I must not pass notes (x1)
Write that out 250 times? Isn’t that a bit daft? With respect, Miss
Smythe, that either means you have short term memory loss or you think
I do. It’s okay, I got the message the first time and I will never
pass notes in your class again. I will make sure that I do it during
Physics or something. Is that okay? Can I go?
Owen’s Exercise book:
It is not kind to laugh at other people’s misfortune. (x50)
HA HA HA
Chris’s Exercise Book:
[Teacher’s red ink] Just do the lines or it’ll be a detention and I
shall be passing notes – to your parents. There is nothing clever
about flippant remarks. Any more and I’ll make you write another 250
Flipping heck. Okay, if I really must, but this is a bigger waste of
everyone’s time than passing notes.
I must not pass notes in class (x250).
Rose’s Exercise Book
[In red Teacher’s ink] Rose, unlike you, I can count.
I must not pass notes in class (x1)
Mickey’s Exercise Book
[In red teacher’s ink] You lads may think I’m old, blind and stupid
with no memory, but I did notice. Please write the last five lines
I must not pass notes in glass. (x5)
[red ink] Oh, for heaven’s sake.
Miss Smythe’s Diary
Note to self: tell Miss Wright to see if Mickey Smith is dyslexic.
The TOP SECRET Minutes of the Ghosthunting Club written in tiny coded
writing in invisible ink?
“No,” said Chris flatly. “Tosh, I said NO MINUTES.”
Martha’s Science Journal
Ghosthunting Club again today. Rose brought Mickey. He had some
stupid ideas, so I will not bother writing them down. Tosh has been
to speak to Victoria in the top class, because she is nice and kind
and pretty and has been here a long time.
She said she did not think she knew about any ghosts, but that Jamie
has told her that there is a phantom piper in the clock tower and that
Patrick Doctor says there was a horrible murder years ago and the body
was hid in the school cellars and not found for months and months.
She said she would ask the caretaker if he had ever noticed anything
odd down there because Zoe says that none of that sort of nonsense is
true anyway. Except for the murder.
We are going to camp out in the clock tower one night to uncover the
truth, but we are not sure how to do this without being noticed.
David brought Jenny and he says that they could do it, no problem. He
asked if John could join us again.
Chris told him to keep quiet, but I think that David might still try
to get into the clock tower. I’m not sure that anyone ever goes up
there any more. I might have to keep an eye on him. Jack was more
interested in the murders in the cellars and said we could all stay
down there one night. Rose said No way. Donna just said what and
then we all realised that she’d been listening to her ipod for the
last 20 minutes.
Then we had to go before someone found us again. Mr Kreiner was
hanging around the drive frowning, but we made it out okay. I think.
Caught David Doctor at the school gate, grabbed him by the collar and
demanded to know what he was doing.
He stopped with a yell and then turned and gave me a great big smile
and looked like I was his long lost best friend. I won’t write
everything he said after that or my arm might fall off, but I got no
sense out of him and by the time I’d finished with the brat, there was
no one else in sight.
School – boring, except that Rose had to do lines and now we have to
Hate Miss Smythe. She is a mean old bag. Ghosthunting club after
school. I think something bit me in the bushes and my batteries went
Got home and watched Panopticon Hill. The Outsiders won’t let Fred
join their club and Sally-Ann is not sure which side she’s on. Lila
has been caught by the guards and she had her knife, so now she has
been arrested and Harry is still stuck down the sewer. I don’t think
Benj is ever going to ask Polly out and they are so CUTE. She will
probably go out with Jimmy Mac instead, even though he is the leader
of the Outsiders and he has a knife as well. And he wears a skirt.
What’s that about?
Dinner – Toad in the Hole. Why is it called that? Makes it sound
Homework. My whole flipping life is so boring.
Letter from Victoria Waterfield to Toshiko Sato:
[On beautiful cream writing paper, in Victoria’s best copperplate
I have been to see the caretaker, Mr Jackson, and asked him whether
he has come across anything odd in the cellar (e.g. strange noises,
bagpipes, inexplicable chills or white floating ladies).
He was not very helpful, I am afraid to report, and said that he
hadn’t found anything at school that wasn’t weird yet. He asked me
why I wanted to know, to which I replied with perfect truth, that my
friends claimed that there was a ghost down there.
He told me very kindly not to worry and that there wasn’t anything of
the sort and, even if there was, he would soon scare it away. This
was quite reassuring, but I suspect you wished for something a little
If I hear anything else, I will be sure to let you know. I hope you
and your little friends have fun with your new club.
Transcript of Proceedings of Ghosthunting Club, secretly recorded by
Toshiko Sato by means of a cunningly concealed microphone. (So there,
CHRIS: Right, are we all here?
[Silence as everyone nods]
DAVID: John’s not. Can John join? Please, please, please -.
EVERYONE ELSE: NO!
CHRIS: No minutes today, Tosh?
TOSHIKO: No. [NB. I did have my fingers crossed]
CHRIS: Right, well, tell them about the letter.
TOSHIKO: There is no ghost in the cellar. The caretaker says so.
DONNA: Well, what if he’s not very psychic or whatever? Some people
are more sensitive than others.
OWEN: Aww. Are you sensitive, Donna?
OWEN: *Ow* What did you do that for?
CHRIS: Will you lot stop mucking about?
ROSE: Can we go to the shop and ask for cigarettes?
MICKEY: Rose! They’re really bad for you.
ROSE: If things are going to be this dull, I might as well die young.
CHRIS: Well, you shut up, then, or we’ll never get started. Girls.
[Lots of arguing follows]
ROSE: How about we have some chips while we talk?
MICKEY: Hey, great idea!
CHRIS: Yeah. Why don’t you go and get us some?
[Pause as Mickey leaves]
ROSE: Do you always have to be mean to him?
DAVID [bouncing up and down]: But the phantom piper in the tower?!
That means we have to investigate that and Jenny and I will do it.
CHRIS: I said no, squirt. Dad’d do his nut.
JENNY: He’d never know. Trust us.
CHRIS: Trust you two up the school clock tower at midnight? No way.
You’d probably manage to blow up H G Wells or something. Besides, I
always end up getting blamed.
OWEN: What about ghosts?
JACK: Why not go talk to Myrtle?
DONNA: I saw a ghost once.
MARTHA: Did you really?
ROSE: Bet she didn’t. She makes stuff up all the time.
DONNA: I did see a ghost! I was walking home, along by the canal and
there was this eerie quietness everywhere and then I saw it.
OWEN [sounding nervous. Hah.] Saw what?
DONNA: This weird white thing floating along the top of the water,
like a lady in a long dress. My Gran told me afterwards that a woman
drowned herself just there, eighty-one years ago exactly to that very
day. Right on that spot. And you know what? She’d had a locket on
her and it was missing. So every anniversary of her death they say
she comes back to look for it.
DONNA: It’s a bit pathetic really. I’m not gonna hang around any
rotten smelly canal looking for a tatty old necklace when I’m dead.
If I was a ghost, I’d go round having fun spooking people or watch
telly all day or something.
TOSHIKO: I’m not sure that I believe in ghosts.
OWEN: I reckon I’ve seen one too. I saw this hand, right, coming over
the wall at home, all grey and sort of see through.
ROSE: What did it do?
OWEN: I don’t know. I didn’t stick around to find out. What do you
take me for? I went and hid under the bed.
CHRIS: Okay, we need a plan. We need to find out -.
MICKEY [bursting back in through the bushes] Scram, everyone!
Kreiner’s out there and he’s coming this way.
CHRIS: Knew we shouldn’t have let you out.
[Sound of rustling and then TOSHIKO’s breathing as she runs and
struggles to turn the hidden mic off]
Sure I nearly caught them today. Am getting annoyed now. I will get
the troublesome lot if it kills me. Unfortunately, knowing these
kids, it actually might.
I don’t think I’m going to bother hating Miss Smythe cos Rose wasn’t
all that nice to me either. I don’t care if she doesn’t believe me
but I did see a ghost. Well, it might have been a polly bag but I’m
sure it was a white lady. So there.
Rassilon Street was naff today. Nyssa’s dad won’t let her marry a
Rassilon, as he hates them because he wanted to buy the shop and he
thinks that they are newcomers and he is a snob. Owen wanted to kill
him, too and Nyssa had a strop. Steven wants a holiday, but his mean
boss Mr Tellan won’t let him. He lied and said he would if Steven
worked extra, but he won’t. Weird lady wasn’t in it though.
Cottage pie and peas.
Chemistry homework worst ever. It doesn’t make any sense and they
should not give us first years hard stuff like that.
Note slipped by Jenny to David at breakfast:
I no a way 2 get into clok tower. Will explane leighter at usal
“Cool,” said David happily, as he ate his Rice Crispies and stuffed
the note in his pocket. “Hey, did you all hear that snap, crackle and
pop? Don’t you think that was the best yet?”
Chris thumped him.