“Excuse me, please.”
Sarah stared down at the pretty teenaged girl who sat on a wooden bench in the school playground, gazing at her phone. Her familiar crimson jacket with its yellow stylised St.George's dragon badge made Sarah shudder nostalgically. The girl looked up, seemingly startled, but still asked politely.
“Hi. Can I help you?”
Sarah forced a smile. “I hope so. Do you know where Miss Fallon is? I've been waiting by her car in the staff car park, but...”
“Oh, she's still in Room SC4. She was doing a Science experiment with some chemicals but it went a bit wrong, so she's clearing up the mess before anyone finds out.”
“I see. Are you in her class, then?”
“Only for Chemistry. I don't really like the subject but I have to do an A-level in it after my GCSE so I can become a doctor.”
Sarah's stomach tightened. “Your parents must be very proud of you. My son wanted to be a doctor, too, but it didn't work out.”
“Did he fail his exams?”
Sarah swallowed. “No, he, er...died.”
The girl gasped, her blue eyes wide. “God, how awful!” She frowned. “Hang on, aren't you Josh's mother?”
“Yes, I am. Did you know him?”
“A little. He was in the sixth form, so I didn't see Josh much except when he played for the school team and me and my girl friends stood on the sidelines and shouted stuff to him.”
“To encourage him to score?”
Sarah noticed the girl's pale cheeks pinken. “Er, yes, but not at football. He was quite fit.” She sighed. “I'm so sorry. What a tragic waste. Didn't he drown, Mrs Harrison?”
“Yes, in a canoeing accident, or at least that was the inquest verdict. It's a year today since Josh was killed and having talked to several people who were there, I'm more convinced than ever that he needn't have died. Even a useless scientist like Jane Fallon should have realised the river was too swollen with rain to go anywhere near.”
“Christ, she was supposed to be supervising the group, wasn't she? I remember now. Are you going to tell her how you feel?”
“In a way. Well, thanks for your help. I'm sure you and your lovely friends made Josh smile.”
“Okay. It was very nice to meet you, Mrs Harrison.”
The girl got self-consciously to her feet and hurried off. As Sarah marched toward Room SC4, a boy in school uniform came out.
“My Mum says if you don't leave us alone, she'll call the police!” he shouted.
“I think they may be too late, Isaac,” Sarah replied, recognising Jane Fallon's beloved only child.
Sarah drew a large kitchen knife from her coat pocket and stabbed him through the heart. He slumped, gushing blood, to the floor.
She stepped over the boy and headed for the classroom.
© Author to be revealed at the end of the challenge
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