I do not know what do scholars of to-day do to avoid bad marks in their diaries. I remember I tore out a page or scratched a bad mark with blade, somebody threw the diary away into the bushes. My cousin Mark was type-A overachiever. He knew everything and was going to be the Prom King. But he did not do this due to one unpleasant person.
- You know, sister, there are some people you better not to run into on your way. They dislike you. – Mark told me. – When I was studying in the High School our old physicist had gone, so he was replaced by a young teacher Miss Birmingham.
The teacher turned to be a disgusting person: shscandalous, picky, and hysterical. I still do not understand why Miss Birmingham had disliked me. She disliked me at first sight. I gave Physics much time, respected this science and knew it well. The previous teacher was in good standing with me and I participated in various competitions. But Miss Birmingham was sore at me and I didn’t know how to make a hitch of it: I was never rude, late, or missing. But I was always punished. She regarded me to be an idiot and upstart, and that's it. I could stand it all, but she spoiled my reputation. She gave me bad marks aforethought and soon I became a C pupil. It was awful.
Soon Miss Birmingham convinced other teachers that I was lazy and a full idiot. After that incident all teachers that were previously proud of be began nodding their heads on me guessing how could I drop to an all-time low.
I couldn’t stand it anymore and once I mouthed it off to my friend Larry:
- What the hell this Miss Birmingham do in our school? I lived happily ever after without her. And now I'm ready to rub Aladdin's lamp to ask a gin to drag her. I will never become the Prom King, dammit!
- Hey, Mark, listen to me. I know nothing about Aladdin lamp, but my grandpa told me that there is one old cemetery in the Turnberry Village. An apricot tree grows there behind the fence. One hangman was buried under this tree. Grandpa says that every month on the 5th day brave man may see the ghost of this unhappy hangman. He hangs right on the apricot offshoot. So, the one who dares to approach him and touch his leg, will be rewarded – the hangman will fulfill any desire of the brave man. Grandpa says that some people visited the cemetery in extreme situations and finally got what they want.
- It would be cool if this hangman would outlive this scank out of the school! – I dreamed.
- Don’t dream in vain, Mark. Today it is October, 2. You will tell your parents that you decided to spend the night at my place and you will go to the cemetery instead to visit the hangman. The Turnberry Village is not so far away from here and it is not so cold in the night yet. The matter is in your braveness – would you dare to walk around the cemetery at night? – Larry answered.
I felt creepy after Larry’s story. But I decided to do it as soon as I remembered the face of the naughty physicist.
On the 4th of October I told my parents that I was going to stay at Larry’s place. Than Larry explained me in details what should I do. I sat in a bus and went to the village. I was going to sit at the cemetery for a long time so I took Larry’s coat and some sandwiches with me. I found easily the needed cemetery and a grave. It was so unweeded that it was impossible to see the tomb. A huge apricot tree leaned above the grave. I had much time and some pocket money, so I decided to go around unknown village’s streets. I was anxious for I didn’t know where should I sleep. Besides, I was afraid that my parents would visit Larry and see that I was missing (there were no cell phone at that time). There was a little church near the cemetery and I went to sit there. I was still unknown of the horrors of the forthcoming night.
I was smart enough and decided it would be more convenient foe me to wait the ghost in a distance from the needed grave. I sat on a bench near an unknown grave hidden by the soft wood. As the night fell, the beadle closed the cemetery’s fence and I stayed all alone. I was afraid.
The twilight came quickly; I ate my sandwiches and rolled myself up in the coat. I realized suddenly that I was sitting all alone in a dark cemetery and no one knew my location. I was upset but I had nothing to do for there would be no going back. I had already done so much. The weather spoiled: it was rainy, windy. Some large strange birds were flying in the sky. They flew cutting the air in the sky and didn’t look like swifts, they were larger than ravens and were even dissimilar to owls. They flew in the dark sky quickly and noiselessly as if they intended to afraid me. I laid myself down on the bench and put the capuchin on the head not to see those creatures. I didn’t know why I wanted to sleep – maybe for the reason that the bench beneath me began waving as if it was a lullaby. “Stop! Why should the bench wave? May be dead are raising from the tombs and wave it?”
I flew down from the bench as if I was stung. I wanted to run away, but my legs disobeyed. I fell down on my knees, raised my eyes and saw a man hanging on the tree. I was nearly unconscious from horror but I overcame myself and crawled to the ghost. Those creatures flew over my head flapping with their wings. I crawled to the hanging ghost and grabbed the rotten leg at last effort. Then I had a complete failure in the memory.
I came to myself in an unknown room. The beadle noticed me and pulled me in his lodge. I was not the first man whom he tried to revive by giving a cup of tea. There were plenty of nuts who were eager to meet the hangman.
- What the hell are you doing here? I am sick and tired of people like you! I will better retire, - he dropped a sigh and tried to clean my clothes from dirt.
I thanked the man and went home by the first bus. Larry met me happily. We succeeded in our charm – my parents didn’t noticed anything suspicious. I lied that I fell into the puddle, explaining the dirt on my clothes. I told Larry about my adventures. We were both guessing whether my desire would be fulfilled.
I was bug out the next week for I got an awful flue with temperature, cough and weakness. When I was cured, I returned to school and knew the news: Miss Birmingham had retired. As it turned to be there was a scandal in the school in a salary day: the teacher of English language lost her purse. Teachers remembered who had visited teachers room, and searched through the tables of suspects. The purse was found in Miss Birmingham’s table. She was offered to write an application for dismissal on her own free will to hide up a scandal. So, she did it. It was clear that she was set up – she was evidently a pain in somebody else’s neck. All I had to do is to surprise. The hangman fulfilled my desire.
I was happy, but not long. My reputation had already been spoiled, so I could not be the Prom King anyway. Besides, some time later I had some problems with health. I had troubles with the thyroid gland, I had a feeling of noose around my neck, and I often woke up escaping the nightmare in which my neck was tightened by the noose.
I was free from nightmares a year after the incident. But I still got problems with thyroid gland. Now I can observe my problem from a distance and surprise why had I visited the hangman with such a worthless request. It was not worth my sufferings. Besides, I was pity about the teacher…