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just a prank.

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1965,

A fit of giggles erupted as a trio of young boys exited a dark hotel room, patting themselves on the back at the plan they had executed that was no doubt going to be triumphant. They had set up a most devious plan, one to scare their rough and tough leader John to his wits end. They were sure it was gonna work! For who wouldn’t be frightened of what they had planned? They settled behind the swing of a corridor, using the corner to their use in hiding in plain sight as they waited most diligently for the target of their schemes. And they heard him before they saw him as he came whistling from the opposite end of where they resided. A hushing Paul stared down at George and Ringo, almost choking on their giggles in anticipation. Paul gently smacked the top of George’s head and pointed sternly to John, who was in the process of turning and turning his key in his attempt to get that blasted door open.

The moment the door closed shut; the trio sneaked to the door and rested their heads against it, excited to hear the coming yells of shock and surprise. And they were not to be disappointed as they heard a loud exclamation of ‘bloody hell!’ and bit their lips as not to lead their victim onto their presences by laughing raucously. Their plan had three stages, each designed by one of the group, and the way it went was like this;

The first thing the songwriter would see when he waltzed into his room, ready for an evening of peace and quiet before going to find a bird of his choice, was a porcelain doll sitting against the pillows of his bed- staring creepily towards the door, knife in one hand and a red marker in the other. He would furrow his brows and looked furiously around with much confusion, where he then would see the cap to the marker, right next to his trusty notepad- etched into it with a violently handwriting there would say ‘play with me forever and ever, John.’ It would be there he would yell out in fury and bewilderment. He would grab the doll by the arm and force the knife out of her hard ceramic grasp and as he lifted her- her head with a tilt forward with an unknown weight and slowly begin to weep a dark red liquid. Yet again he would yell out in growing frustration and throw the pale doll into the previously unused closet. He ignored the loud crash and the smashed head that seemed to explode with blood-like liquid to slam the door shut with a growl of anger.

The trio giggled with much excitement as they waited in anticipation for the next stage of their grand plan.

It followed quickly when John, filling quickly with frustrated rage, stomped into the bathroom and was quickly stopped in his path when swinging the door open- for a skeleton swung from the ceiling and knocked him to the ground with a ‘thud’. He cursed loud enough for the trio to hear and they shook with excitement. Though an inkling of doubt were started to seep into their minds at the unfolding events. For as his voice grew louder, there was the addition of a tremor to his words and something more than frustration. And it only grew. 

John got onto his feet again, hands shaking as he ripped the plastic skeleton down from where it was swinging and swaying and threw it across the room before finally getting further into the bathroom. He stood in the midst of the room and carefully studied his surroundings- not wanting to be taken by surprise again. But it soon arrived when the lights of the room started flicker and quiet, eerie hymn and chanting slowly filled the room. “No!” He screamed, “no!” He repeated ‘till his voice grew hoarse and he threw himself out of the room and, unknowingly, smacked the door into the faces of the trio. “Uh uh,” muttered Paul as they watched him storm down the hall, just barely seeing his red face and streams of tears spilling down his cheeks. That hadn’t exactly been the reaction they wanted and while George tended to Ringo’s poor phase, which had gotten the brute force of the door; Paul rushed after the fleeing guitarist. 

Paul called out to his friend as he chased him down the unending hallway before John, with a loud and bellowing sob, slid down the wall of a deserted corner. Paul skidded on the carpet flooring as he stopped so suddenly. They were alone. John were hiding his face behind his crossed arms that rested atop of his knees. He had completely closed himself into a tight space, safe in his own arms as he shielded himself from the rest of the world. “I’m so sorry,” Paul whispered, feeling his own tears threatening their release and went to his knees in front of John, and gingerly rested his hands on John’s own and noticed they were shaking with a wild fervour. “It was just a prank, y’know. Only meant to scare you a little,” he told John in a cautious and low voice. John shook his head against the fabric of his shirt, ruffling it up so it exposed his red, warm skin. 

“It was horrible,” he muttered against the skin and finally looked up at Paul as the younger man sat down, his knees finally giving in to the lack of blood circulation. John’s eyes were bloodshot from crying, the skin beneath them pink and sore. “I’m so so sorry,” Paul said, trying to keep his voice steady and free of the waves of guilt that were slowly ruining him. He inched closer to his friend, and squeezed the hands of the singer. “Please, forgive me,” he begged and watched the older man’s pout fade into a wicked grin as he continued, “I’ll do… anything.”

“Anything?” John repeated with a rather sudden change in demeanour, visibly working through the heavy weight in his chest from its earlier stricken state. “That’s quite a promise, Macca,” he joked with raised spirits and playfully winked at Paul, who only giggled and shrugged with ease as John leaned into the touch that still was held so firm on his hands, the shaking long since having stopped and forgotten.