The legend of Rachel Young was a grim reminder passed down from year group to year group., a final warning of just what they were selling into, one last attempt to save the girls. Before it was too late. Then again it may just have been a fun scare. But one thing remains fact in the sea of fiction. It is a spine chilling tale.
“It was the year 1999. Twenty years ago at Redwood”. Begins Maddie, a childhood friend of one particular Roxanne India Myers (aka myself). She sat on the pavement near the IT department, the sunlight reflecting off her dusty blonde hair and her clear blue light glasses. Her rolled up Redwood summer uniform was creased under her legs. Sitting around her are several little kindergarten girls who came to the High School campus for a new buddy program and stayed to hear the Legend of Rachel Young……..
“There was a student. Rachel Young''. Maddie continues “She was absolutely perfect, good grades, nice friends, never got into trouble, at least, no-one thought she did. She was in year twelve studying for her HSC. One night she had stayed back late. Till around nine o’clock. She wasn’t supposed to be therebut the librarian had to work late and said that she could supervise her. The librarian got up to use that bathroom. She was only gone for three minutes, four at the most. But it’s funny how it only takes a few minutes for something to spiral from calm, peaceful and ordinary to treacherous, disastrous and horrible”.
“Well that’s a bit dramatic don’t you think. ”. I interrupt.
“Well ok then , do you want me to continue or should we let Rocks (my nickname) over here finish it for us.” She says addressing the small group of kindergarteners. The girls all eagerly protest in unison and Maddie smugly continues.
“So The librarian returns from the bathroom to see, or rather to not see Rachel anywhere. All her stuff was still there and The librarian would have seen her leave the room. She searches for her. And then… she sees it”.
“See’s what”. One of the little girls asks early, about to burst from the curiosity that comes with hearing the story.
“I’m getting there”. Maddie says. “Stop interrupting me”.
She pauses for suspense. Allows the dark omen in the room to settle, to torture each and every girl with the seconds of unknowing. “The librarian see’s a note, written with her own stationary it readI have Rachel, Don’t ask for her back she’s not coming back. A life for a life.
The note wasn’t signed. The Police were called and upon arriving they found a bloody handprint underneath the desk Rachel was sitting at.” Each girl squirms and screams, like if they scream loud enough, maybe, just maybe it will change how the story goes, that Racel is found, and alive, was never taken to begin with. But that’s not how the story goes. I’ve heard it one too many times to have any doubt.
Once the girls settle back into their eerie silence Maddie continues in a spine chilling tone.
“Years go by that the police still haven’t found Rachel’s Kidnapper.”. Maddie Pauses for suspense. “But”. She says slyly. “They say if you sit at the desk that Rachel sat in. at the stroke of 9:00 the kidnapper will come for you too”.
The choir of screams amongst the three kindergarteners sitting in front of her reunites.
“Why do you scare people with this story”? I ask.
“It’s just a stupid old tale. Means nothing”. She replies.
“Well I actually think it’s real”. Says Chloe, one of the kids.
“Me too” I say. “Well not completely real. I think that some kid named Rachel Got abruptly pulled out mid year with no explanation. Kids gossip, rumours fly. The story of Rachel young is born”. I finished dramatically.
After much debate over Rachel Young and several retellings of her stories causing one little girl called Jasmine to cry out of fear the bell rings and the Kindergarteners get up to return to the haven of the Junior school. Jasmine, Chloe and Hilary ran so fast as if their own campus was any sort of escape from the hell of Redwood. How young and how foolish.
Once the girls are gone Maddie and I are left by ourselves to wait out the rest of Lunch.
“So you really think there’s some facts to that story”? Maddie asks casually.
“I think there’s some fact to every story”. I respond. “Otherwise people wouldn’t be interested and the inspiration for the story wouldn’t be created in the first place”.
Maddie’s eyes widen, her lips curl into a smile that I recognise all too well . But before I can say anything. Maddie says “Want to wager”.
“What”. I am rapidly hooked on her vague proposal.
“If you can prove that some Rachel Young kid really did go to Redwood then I'll give you twenty bucks. If the disappearing story is real I'll double it”. She suggests. I pause. “Fine. and what if I don't find anything”.
“I get twenty dollars and all the starbucks I can down in one hour”.
I barely need to think before concluding. “Deal”.