Gemma Keegan an insecure fifteen-year-old girl sat cross-legged
listening attentively to Mandy Parker, as she boasted of her sexual
exploits. Gemma a redheaded flat-chested immature girl with numerous
freckles felt uneasy as her schoolmate went into detail about her
supposed romps. The four girls had opened the conversation with
chilling ghost stories befitting the eerie atmosphere inside the tent,
but the topic as usual turned to men.
Gemma reddened and focused on the dancing shadows of the interior of
the tent, in an attempt to block out the sacrilegious subject. The
cigarette was passed to her and she pretended to inhale as the curling
smoke irritated her piggish blue eyes. A cough was met with scowls of
derision as she passed the cigarette to the raven-haired Kirsty.
"His thingy was about this big," claimed Mandy as she held out her
hands as a boasting fisherman would. Mandy Tyler was a tall blonde with
mesmerising green eyes and Gemma was envious of her large
This was Gemma's first trip abroad without her parents and already she
felt like a grown-up as she listened to the sordid details escaping
from the lips of Mandy, only she did not look like an adult. She was in
awe of her friends and longed to possess even a minuscule of the
confidence they exuded.
"Right your turn now Gemma."
The leering eyes focused on the petite girl and she felt a lump in her
"I have this great ghost story."
"Shit Ginger, we want sex and don't forgo the smut," insisted
"She's still a virgin," offered Lorna Foley the blonde leggy athletics
champion of the school.
Kirsty held up her hands, the cigarette dangling from her lips. "Let
her speak. Come on Ginger, have you popped your cherry or what?"
"I er...I once kissed Trevor Tompkins at my birthday party."
The other three girls looked to each other open-mouthed, as if Gemma
had committed a serious crime.
"You, you kissed Trevor Tompkins; is that it?" Asked Mandy suppressing
"Trevor Tompkins? What a geek," added Kirsty.
Lorna accepted the cigarette. "I bet she hasn't even seen a
"I have so."
"Okay, whose?" Prompted Mandy, her head resting on her hands.
Gemma's head sagged and she fought to hold back the tears, her lips
Mandy continued the cruel onslaught. "She's going to cry, what a baby.
So immature, she even wears her hair in pigtails. Ginger, losing your
virginity is the most precious of gifts; it's priceless."
Gemma slipped into her sleeping bag and turned her back on the mocking
girls. Sleep did not come easily that night; the sexual antics of the
girls would not go away.
Gemma wakened purposely before the others and sneaked off to the
showers grateful that she had escaped the taunts about her undeveloped
body. She dressed in a navy blue tee shirt and white shorts, looking
forward to her introduction to horse riding.
As she left the shower building she almost bumped into Mr Wagstaffe,
one of the two teachers who had accompanied the girls to Dompierre in
Burgundy. She gazed at the bars-chested man carrying a towel, and felt
a ticklish feeling in her stomach. Her crush on the handsome teacher
with the wavy dark locks had not diminished; now she was seeing him in
the flesh and she was not disappointed.
"Good morning Gemma, looks like a wonderful day. Looking forward to
the riding are you?"
Yyyes, Mr Wagstaffe."
"Good. Is there something wrong Gemma?"
She blushed and fought for the words that she knew would never be
delivered to the object of her infatuation.
"No Mr Wagstaffe."
"Well run along child, breakfast is almost ready."
"I'm not a child!"
The teacher frowned as he peered down at the girl. "Of course you're
not Gemma; it was just a figure of speech. Are you sure there's nothing
She shook her head, turned and ran towards the campfire. She tucked
into her breakfast of eggs and bacon and watched with lustful eyes as
Mr Wagstaffe approached looking pristine in his white shirt and jeans.
He ignored her and headed for Miss Sayer, a pretty petite teacher with
short dark hair who was stood besides a tree smoking a cigarette.
Wagstaffe whispered something in her ear and she punched his arm
playfully much to the annoyance of the watching Gemma.
"Do you think he's shagging her?"
Gemma turned her head abruptly to see who had made the offending
"No! He most certainly is not. Mr Wagstaffe's not like that
"Hmm, he's quite dishy in a certain kind of way. I wouldn't say no to
getting my tonsil tickled by him. I wonder why he isn't married?"
"Mr Wagstaffe's waiting for the right girl to come along," said a
"He's all over her look; he's definitely giving snotty Sayer
"You know nothing you Mandy Tyler." Gemma sprang to her feet and
walked away from the rebellious girl, her hormones in turmoil.
Gemma was lost in a dream as she felt the refreshing breeze caress her
sun-baked face. She had disobeyed the orders of the riding instructor
and urged on her mount as it galloped across the lush green meadow. The
feel of the magnificent beast beneath her and the odour it generated
pleased her greatly. She leant over and tweaked its ear resting her
head against the soft black mane.
Only the rumble of the hooves interrupted the quiet serene ambience of
the gentle countryside with its undulating hills. The pleas from behind
went ignored as she kicked her mounts quarters, generating every ounce
of strength out of the stallion. The perimeter fence approached rapidly
and Gemma prepared to hurdle the barrier but the horse had other ideas.
It dug its hooves into the turf and Gemma was catapulted across the
fence landing forcefully face down.
Gemma lifted her head and a blurred face appeared before her.
"Gemma, are you alright?"
She smiled as she recognised the voice. "Mr Wagstaffe, you do
"Of course I bloody care. Whatever were you thinking of galloping off
like that? You could have been killed."
"Do you like me Mr Wagstaffe?"
"Yes, of course I do; you're a fine pupil."
"No I mean like me in a...You know, sexual way?"
"Good god girl, you have taken quite a fall and don't know what you're
saying. I'll get you to a hospital."
"No! I'm fine."
The sound of several hooves interrupted them and Gemma looked towards
the approaching riders. She held the hands of her teacher and pulled
them towards her breasts, holding them there as she closed her eyes
smiling. Wagstaffe tried to release the girl's grip but she was
determined and pulled on his hands powerfully. She opened one eye to
see Miss Sayer sat astride her mount, a look of shock adorning her smug
face. Mandy, Kirsty and Lorna covered their mouths attempting to stifle
their giggles; a mixture of surprise and incredibility filled each of
Wagstaffe managed to wrestle his hands free and stood erect, his face
reddened and his breathing rapid. He faced his colleague and words were
"It's not what you think Susan. The girl's delirious."
Mrs Sayer pulled on her reins and turned her steed back towards the
green meadow, a look of rejection and disgust on her face. She gave her
horse a slap and they cantered back towards the campsite.
"What are you three looking at? Give me a hand here."
Gemma was not seriously injured and was released from hospital that
same day. The atmosphere between the school party was one of rumours
and Gemma bathed in the notoriety that had presented itself. Several of
the girls and even some boys had quizzed her on her relationship with
Mr Wagstaffe. Her reply was always the same; we were an item but we're
The teacher had withdrawn from any liaison with Gemma and loud
arguments between him and Miss Sayer were now commonplace and a source
That evening as Gemma made her way to the shower room with her head
held high she sensed someone approaching from behind. She swivelled on
her heels and faced the irate looking teacher.
"Gemma! Whatever has come over you? You must tell the others there's
nothing going on between us."
She shrugged him aside and continued her progress into the shower
room. A strong hand grasped her arm.
"Listen you little brat! Don't you realise what you're doing? My
career is on the line here, not forgetting my reputation."
"Then why did you do it David? If you want to end our affair then so
be it, that's your decision."
"What fucking affair? You little minx you, why are you doing
She proceeded to undress and he shook her by the shoulders.
"You evil bitch. I've done nothing to warrant this."
"No David, I'm too young for you."
He followed Gemma's line of sight to see Susan Sayer standing tearful,
her head shaking from side to side."
"No Susan, come back."
"Leave me alone you pervert; I'm reporting you just as soon as we
arrive back in England. If I see you talking to this poor girl again
then I'll contact the French authorities immediately."
Gemma followed Mrs Sayer out of the shower room, looking back at the
broken man with mixed feelings.
The tears rolled down Gemma's cheeks as she cycled to the local
village. She had been nominated to call at the bakers for the daily
supply of bread. It was a fine sunny morning and Gemma should have
relished such a wonderful holiday but her heart was heavy. Yes her
popularity had prospered and she was the talk of the camp after her
assumed affair with Mr Wagstaffe had reached all, but her normally kind
nature invaded her thoughts, as she was in conflict with her
She had not slept that morning and had made up her mind to reveal the
truth. No longer could she watch the demise of this fine teacher who
had only showered her with kindness. She would reveal herself as a
charlatan just as soon as she returned to the campsite. Her thoughts
for her own welfare had long since diminished, besides she only had a
few more months before she left school.
She cycled through the village square, smiling at the locals who waved
at her from the benches. Her bicycle she parked outside the bakers and
entered inhaling the aroma of freshly made bread. The portly baker with
a few strands of hair combed across his head grinned at her
unnaturally. His yellow teeth repulsed her but like the polite girl she
was, she approached with a smile.
"Do you speak English?"
"Why of course. What can I do for you little girl?"
Her smile turned to a grimace as the annoying words reached her
"I'm almost sixteen."
"With a queue of boyfriends I bet eh?" He winked at her.
"As a matter of fact I have one. His name's David."
"So what can I do for you Madam?"
"I would like six loaves of bread please."
"You're from the campsite aren't you?"
"Yes. The bread please."
"But of course, you've distracted me with your beauty."
She blushed and handed over the money, his grubby hands purposefully
touching hers as he leered at her, the spittle hanging from his thick
lips. Gemma was glad to leave the bakers and made a mental note not to
visit the village again.
She cycled past the woods, the whistling birds and the bounding rabbit
making her feel good. After her confession a great burden would be
lifted from her tiny shoulders. The sound of an approaching vehicle
forced her to hug the inside of the narrow road. The vehicle slowed
down and she tried to look over her shoulder motioning for it to
The green van pulled up alongside her and kept pace with the motion of
her bicycle. She peered through the window to see the hideous face of
the baker smiling at her. The van veered violently into her forcing her
from the road She crashed to the ground rolling down the grassy bank
towards the woods.
Her attempted recovery was met with a cold feeling between her legs.
The drooling baker was groping her and she tried to roll over but he
was on her instantly pinning her to the ground. Gemma had difficulty
breathing, as she looked up at her attacker, his manic stare and
drooling lips surely a faction of her imagination; she would wake up at
any time now.
She turned her head away, trying not to inhale the fumes off his
garlic breath. He reached down towards his zip and she struggled
fiercely trying in vain to dislodge the baker. He punched her
powerfully in the face and she lay dazed, feeling the warm trickle of
urine running down her legs. Again he punched her and she tasted the
salty blood mixed with her dislodged teeth.
Gemma felt herself being dragged towards the woods, helpless against
the much stronger man. She pleaded in vain, her words muffled by the
blood and teeth. The hands around her throat were surprisingly cold;
the sounds of the birds abating as she felt her windpipe being crushed.
She kicked her legs but this only made her attacker more determined as
he watched the tongue of Gemma protruding from her young mouth, her
frightened eyes bulging out of their sockets. Then there was
Three days after Gemma had gone missing; the police turned up at the
campsite. Wagstaffe observed from the shadow of his tent as Susan Sayer
broke down in tears. The conversation between the detectives and the
teacher was intense and he watched as Susan's finger pointed him out.
The policemen looked sternly towards him and marched with purpose in
their stride as they approached.
The schoolgirls huddled together sensing something was not right as Mr
Wagstaffe was led away. Miss Sayer shuffled towards them with the bad
news and the girls wept, consoling each other. Gemma had died ravaged
by an evil man who had indeed bestowed on her the priceless act Mandy
David Wagstaffe would see out the rest of his days in a French prison,
his crime kindness and trust. Gemma's confession was never to be