The posters were stuck to everything along the street and it was only after the third one that I noticed who was on them. The very ugly face of my high school history teacher, Mr. Creaster, stared back at me, though he looked a lot older then my mind remembered. Putting my heavy shopping bags down, I studied a single poster tacked to the post box.
Yes, it differently was him. That face was too recognisable with his long hooked nose, small black eyes, very wide forehead, forced back straggling grey hair and sneering pale lips. There was almost a Victorian-esque look about him and from my memories; I recalled his manner and personality being very similar to that era of teaching master. In bold red letters above his head was BEWARE PEDO! And underneath, CHILD STAKER AND RAPEST.
Frowning in worry and concern, I glanced over at a cluster of the same poster, which had been strung up all around the trunk of a tree. Different words appeared on some of the others; molester, monster, fiend, danger, paedophile, stay away from our children, mothers beware, have you seen this man? Call the police and report him now!
Picking up my shopping, I hurried down the street, but everywhere I glanced I could see his eyes staring at me and the red words becoming imprinted on the back of my eye lids. Who could have done such a thing and were the posters’ proclamations true? Also, how had they gotten away without being seen? The street looked like a parade had gone by; the posters were stuck to cars, front doors, lampposts, trees, walls, hedges and many others were laying scattered across the pavement and road.
I reached my gate and going to open it, found a poster tied across the metal bars. Mr Creaster leered up at me demanding my late homework. Kicking open the gate, I bolted up the path and to the front door, but there was a poster taped up there too and this time Creaster yelled at me for not knowing the answer to the year Germany had invaded Poland. Dumping the bags, I ripped the poster down and crushing it into a ball, throw it over the gate.
Struggling to catch my breath, I searched for my keys in my handbag and finding them, opened the door with shaking fingers. I rushed in, slammed it behind me and lent back, dragging in deep breaths and trying to stop the storm of memories from descending. It’s over, it doesn’t matter anymore, I told myself then spoke out, ‘you’re an adult now. A PA for crying out loud, you have to deal with domineering men all the time.’
I pushed myself off the door, took off my coat and went halfway down the hallway before realising I had left my handbag and shopping on the front step. Turning and laughing loudly, I opened the door and without looking up, collected my things and brought them in. It was then I noticed the white envelope on the floor. With my hands full, I had no choice but to leave it and come back, however my mind wondered what it could be all the way to the kitchen.
After I had put things away, calmed down and was in the process of making a cup of tea, I went back for the letter. The postman had already been, I had been running late and so taken my post out of his hands on the street. Picking up the envelope, I saw it was blank of both stamp and address, just junk mail then, nothing to worry about. I walked back into the kitchen and almost put it in the bin, instead the kettle had just boiled, so I put it on the work surface and made my drink.
Out of habit, I picked up it up alongside my cup of tea and packet of biscuits and went into the living room, placing them down on the coffee table, I took off my shoes and curled up on the sofa. My hand reached for my tea and then turned to the letter. Opening the cheap envelope, I pulled out a few sheets of folded paper and smoothing then out, saw Mr. Creaster eyeing up my breasts with a large grin on his face.
I screamed and throwing the paper away, covered my face with my hands and rocked back and forth, muttering to myself to calm down, but I just couldn’t stop the rush of feelings and thoughts. I was back there again, in that old fashioned classroom, smelling of chalk and sweat, leaning over my desk and staring at the floor, whilst behind me I could hear heavy panting and felt welt covered fingers slipping under my knickers.
I grabbed a cushion and tried to smother myself into it. Every breath caught in my throat and I was choking on hot tears. Finally, I fought back those memories, locking them back down again and got up. Wiping my face and pulling back my shoulders, I looked out of the window. I could see some posters stuck to a tree trunk, though I couldn’t make out anything on them. Getting up, I went into the kitchen and found a black bin bag and a pair of scissors.
Going to the front door, I put on my coat and wellington boots, before going outside. I checked my garden, but found no posters. I stepped out and took the one off my gate. Then I picked the ones up at my feet and slowly, made my way up the street collecting them all in the bin bag.