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Too Ghoul for School

Toosplicedup May 24th, 2019 321 Never
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  1. The sun was starting to set over the massive swamp. Animals and insects began to move as the day and night shift switched out. All were careful to avoid the one road that wound its way through the bog like a gravel colored serpent. Along its back raced a single pair of headlights that cut swaths through the encroaching fog. It squeaked and banged as it hit the many spots of disrepair along its path.
  2. Anon sat in the back of the hired ride and watched the darkening landscape slide by. He had given up trying to converse with his driver and instead put a pair of headphones in to block out the cars constant rattling. He used the last of the fading light to read over the papers in his lap for the third time during his ride.
  3.  
  4. Mr. Emouse,
  5. We found your qualifications to our liking and wanted to congratulate you on passing the online interview. We’d like to offer you a position at our school. Time here will be credited to your doctorate and the pay is negotiable. As stated in the requirements you’ll be required to stay on site for the duration of the school year. If you’re still interested in the position, please reply before the end of the week.
  6. Sincerely,
  7. Ms. Marie Grimwood
  8. Headmistress of Grimwood’s Finishing School for Girls
  9.  
  10. The following was just a back and forth of emails deciding his travel plans and salary.  Anon put the papers away in a nearby folder and quickly returned to his thoughts. Honestly it was a strange turn of events. One moment he was frantically filling out applications and the next he was flying first class to Europe.
  11.  
  12. When he’d chosen to major in education he never thought he’d have issues finding a job. Turns out the market was flooded with new teachers making it nearly impossible to find a good one. The only other application that had come through was one for a high school teacher in Detroit. Fuck that. He didn’t spend five years of work toward his masters just to be shot dead by a student that failed a spelling test.
  13.  
  14. The sky was completely dark now and the swamp had gone black with the exception of scattered fireflies and the reflection of the headlights on the water. He was about to ask how much longer the trip was going to be when he saw a new source of light ahead.
  15. A few moments later the car pulled to a stop outside the school. Stepping out of the vehicle Anon couldn’t help but gawk. It wasn’t as much a school as it was a colossal mansion. At one time this place could have been beautiful with its elegant ramparts, spiraling towers and Victorian era feel. Now it was a shadow of its former glory. Moss and lichen had taken over much of the shingled roof, paint had chipped and faded and the surrounding grounds had become an overgrown sprawl of swamp flora.
  16.  
  17. So busy in his inspection of the house he hadn’t noticed the driver dump his luggage next to him and speed away. Leaving him alone in the insect filled night. Seeing no other course of action, he gathered his things and walked up to the grand entrance doors. There was no sign of a door bell or any type of knocker but there was a large rope off to the right. Hesitantly, he pulled it.
  18. The resulting sound was something between a gong and a church bell that shook his chest and made him cover his ears.
  19. JESUS! Just why? He thought.
  20.  
  21. A minute passed, then two. Anon was considering pulling the cord again when the door opened wide. Behind the threshold was a short, smiling woman. She had black hair held back by a bandana and wore a very form fitting dress. Her face showed her age between 40 and 50, but her body seemed to be holding on to its 30’s.
  22.  
  23. “Hello dear! Come in, come in! You must be Mr. Emouse We’ve been expecting you. How was your trip here?” She opened the door wide and ushered him in, grabbing a few suitcases as she did.
  24.  
  25. “It was excellent thank you. A little exhausting though. I didn’t think you’d be this far out. Oh, and please call me Anon. I dislike the sound of my last name.” Anon took a moment to gawk at the foyer, aside from some dust and cobwebs it was still an incredible site. Large portraits of unknown nobles were spread about the room while pedestals held antiques from every culture. A grand staircase led up to the second level with doors heading to both sides.
  26.  
  27. “Of course, and I prefer Ms. Grimwood. Please let me show you to your room. After that we can introduce you to the girls.” She continued on through the foyer and up the staircase then took a left through one of the doors. Anon followed at a brisk pace.
  28. “Oh there’s no need to wake them, I’m sure I can meet them tomorrow.”
  29.  
  30. “Wake them? Oh, no. They’re already up.” She snapped her fingers on her free hand. “Now that I think about it I forgot to mention the schedule. The school day starts at 3 P.M. sharp and ends at eleven.”
  31.  
  32. “Three to eleven? That seems a bit… out of the ordinary.” Ms. Grimwood chuckled.
  33. “You’ll find that this school doesn’t cater to normal traditions.”
  34.  
  35. Conversation continued to move normally about scheduling, curriculum and his list of duties as the two weaved through an endless maze of halls. Finally, after what felt like twenty minutes of walking the duo arrived at Anon’s room.
  36.  
  37. “Here we are.” She said cheerily as she opened the door. For a third time that night Anon found himself staring in awe. It wasn’t so much of a room as it was a presidential suite. The hallway door opened up to a modest size living room complete with a work desk and sitting area made up of a couch, coffee table and two comfy looking chairs in front of a large fireplace. Anon set his bags to the side as Ms. Grimwood gave him the tour.
  38.  
  39. “Since your education included a minor in psychology you’ll be the new counselor. I believe this will cover everything you’ll need for an office.” She walked over to the door on the left and beckoned him to follow.
  40.  
  41. “Unfortunately it came with one of the smaller bathrooms, but that’s the exchange.” The bathroom was not small by any means with its jacuzzi sized tub, glass paned shower and double sink.
  42. If this is small, then what’s a big one look like?
  43. He then followed the headmistress to the next door.
  44.  
  45. “And here’s your bedroom.” Just slightly smaller than the office room this one showed off a massive king sized canopy bed, giant wardrobe, a smaller fireplace and large mirrored vanity table.
  46.  
  47. “I do hope it’s to your liking, if not I’m sure we can make a change somewhere.”
  48.  
  49. “Ms. Grimwood this is amazing! Are you sure this is okay?” She waved he hand at him.
  50.  
  51. “Nonesense, you’ll be teaching, listening to and working with a house full of women. This is the least I can do. Now let’s go meet them. After that you can have the rest of the night to settle in.” She waited for him to move his things into the bedroom then walked over to a barren patch of wall next to the main door. She knocked against it twice and a trap door sprung open revealing a small phone hidden behind it.
  52.  
  53. “If you need to call someone or make an announcement there are phones all over the school. Just dial zero. Six, six, six if you need to dial out.”
  54. Well that’s spooky…
  55.  
  56. “All girls please report to the dining hall in ten minutes. Our new instructor has arrived.” She quickly put the phone back on its hook and closed the door.
  57. “This way Anon, everyone is very eager to meet you.”
  58.  
  59. “Sure. If you don’t mind me asking, what happened to the other instructors?” Ms. Grimwood turned and gave him a knowing smile.
  60. “The girls are… a handful I guess you could say. Not everyone is able to deal with their quarks. I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.”
  61. Oooooooooh, ominous!
  62.  
  63. “Also, this may sound a bit weird but… Why choose a male teacher for a girl’s school?”
  64. The headmistress laughed. “I was wondering when you were going to ask. The girls haven’t had much contact with men aside from their families, and ever since the cadet school across the way was abandoned their experience has been extremely limited. This was a good opportunity.” She looked back at him and winked.
  65.  
  66. “Aside from a few school girl crushes you’ll be fine.” I’m not sure how to feel about this…
  67. They strode the halls at a leisurely pace thanks to his guide’s knowledge of the mansion. Anon was attempting to catalog the turns so he’d be able to find his way back to the room but each added turn increased the difficulty.
  68.  
  69. “How large of a class will I be working with?” He asked as they reached a new flight of steps.
  70. “We currently have seven students attending. Five regulars and two newer girls.”
  71. “Only 7? That seems like a small group for an establishment this large.” Noted Anon.
  72. “They come from very select families who wish for their affairs to be kept private. Thus the location.”
  73. Oh, old money. Neat.
  74.  
  75. With a final turn they reached a large pair of double doors. They swung inward easily without even the slightest squeak. The dining room had all the flair of the rest of the house. High, mural painted ceiling, an incredibly long table set with fine dishware and candles, and chairs that look like they had been hand carved. Sitting near the end of the grand table was a very pale, very attractive girl with eye catching head of purple hair.
  76.  
  77. “Ah, Sibella, are you the first?”
  78. The girl turned a large and incredible pair of crimson eyes to the headmistress.
  79. “I was actually here when the announcement came through.” The older woman tsk’d.
  80. “Really dear, you mustn’t snack so much. It’s unlady like.” The girl smiled revealing dazzling smile and much larger than normal canines. “This new flavor has me going batty though!” she emphasized her point by taking a long drink from her glass of…
  81. Tomato juice? Ew. But it’s working for her.
  82.  
  83. As if she felt his thoughts her gaze turned to Anon. She quickly dabbed her lips and stood smoothing out her dress as she did. The young lady then curtsied. “It’s a pleasure to meet you Mr. Emouse. My name is Sibella.” She stood straight again and gave him a smile that would have killed most teenage boys.
  84.  
  85. “Nice to meet you too. Please, just call me Anon or Mr. Anon.” Her smile grew a bit bigger.
  86. “Of course Mr. Anon.”
  87.  
  88. “I’m here Ms. Grimwood!” Called a low female voice from behind them. Three heads turned to behold the newcomer, with one of them going wide eyed. The girl was tall, almost eye to eye with Anon with black hair that stood like a frizzy afro pillar. Her revealed skin was a patchwork of stitches and staples. Each line acted as a barrier between different skin tones. She wore a loose sports jersey and basketball shorts. As the girl moved into the room Anon noticed her movements were stiff and clumsy. She walked over to Anon and held out a heavily stitched hand. Holy shit.
  89.  
  90. “Nice to meet you, I’m Elsa.” Anon snapped himself back to reality once he realized he was staring at the offered hand. “OH, so sorry. I’m Mr. Emouse but please just Anon or Mr. Anon.” A jolt of static ran through his arm as he returned the handshake. He flinched but didn’t let go. The girl smiled at him and moved to sit next to Sibella.
  91.  
  92. A small tug on his shirt made him look down at the newest arrival. He jumped when he saw a bandaged wrapped girl no higher than his navel. She was wrapped head to toe in clean white cloth with only her mouth and sparkling blue eyes showing. A bow atop her head seemed to keep the bandages held together.
  93.  
  94. “I’m Tannis Mr. Anon.” Her voice totally clashed with her wrapped appearance and made something twist in his heart.
  95. This poor girl. What happened to her? Burn victim? Disease? Goddamn… No wonder this place is so private.
  96. Anon leaned down and took her small hand. “It’s good to meet you Tannis.”
  97.  
  98. “Are you going to be our new teacher?” She asked with a voice that almost gave him diabetes.
  99. “For some subjects yes.”
  100. “Are you gonna run away like the other ones?” Wut.
  101. “Why would I run away? I just got here.” He said somewhat confused.
  102. “All our other teachers left after a few days. So everyone is wondering if you will to.” A bolt of disbelief shot through the new teacher. They ran? Because of what these girls looked like? That’s… That’s… Disbelief turned to rage. That just pisses me off! Fuck no I ain’t running. Not after this.
  103.  
  104. He got down on one knee so he was eye level with Tannis. “Well I’m not like them. I won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.”
  105. “Yeah? That’s a big promise new guy.” Came a new voice. Anon turned towards the new voice and felt himself freeze up. She had red hair, pointy ears and was covered head to sharp clawed toe with ginger fur. She wore a pair of cut off shorts with a flannel shirt that looked a size too small for her.
  106.  
  107. What the fuck.
  108.  
  109. “What the…” His mouth clamped shut before the rest came.
  110. “What? Never seen a werewolf before?” She asked. Processing.
  111. “Winnie, manners. This is our new instructor.” Processing.
  112. “Yeah, yeah I heard. Nice to meet you and all that.” Error. 404. File not found. Retry?
  113. “Werewolf?” He asked with a voice that sounded underwater to him.
  114. “Uh yeah? Howl at the moon, fur, walks on two legs? Any of this ringing a bell?” She asked leaning back against the wall. As he was attempting to fill the blank space his mind currently held two more girls turned the corner and walked into the dining hall.
  115.  
  116. The first looked like a teenage anthromorphic goat complete with black fur and curling horns. She wore a modest pink dress and had a small Hello Kitty handbag slung from her shoulder. She had hands but instead of feet there were two shiny black hooves visible below the dress.
  117.  
  118. Beside her and looking a similar age was a girl wearing torn skinny jeans and a black shirt with some band plastered across it. All visible skin was covered in small green scales. Her hair was a mass of writhing snakes that cascaded down her back to her waist while also covering her eyes like swaying bangs.
  119.  
  120. “Anon, this is Belinda and Laphomet.” Belinda nodded while the goat girl quickly raised her hand and waived before looking away. Anon was trying to focus on the girls in front of him, he really was but the sheer disbelief he was feeling was making it hard to function. Anon looked over at Ms. Grimwood. His mouth was agape and his hand was pointed at the group of girls now sitting at the table. The headmistress smiled at him and raised an eyebrow.
  121.  
  122. Slowly, Anon pulled out a chair at the table and sat down. His eyes moving from one girl to the next until he stopped at Winnie. He pointed at her.
  123. “Werewolf.” He said. She gave him a slow sarcastic nod. He moved his finger to Tannis.
  124. “Mummy.” “She just smiled at him. He pointed towards Elsa.
  125. “Frankenstein?”
  126. “He’s my dad!” she said proudly. Anon blinked and nodded. The finger moved to Belinda.
  127. “Gorgon.”
  128. “On me mums side.” She replied. His point turned to Laphomet.
  129. “You are…” He trailed off as he gained a blank.
  130. “I’m uh.. well my mom is kind of..” She stuttered and wrung her hands as she spoke.
  131. “She would be the daughter of Baphomet.” Chimed in Ms. Grimwood. Anon’s eyes widened and his finger dropped. He cocked his head to the side as if there was an afterthought and turned towards Sibella. The pale girl had obviously been expecting it. She smiled wider and clicked a nail on her massive fangs.
  132.  
  133. Fangs… Ooooooohhh. He stared at the now empty glass beside her. Oooohhhhhh.
  134. “Hmm.” He said as he leaned back in his chair and stared at the ceiling.
  135. “Um, Mr. Anon? Are you okay?” Asked Tannis from across the table.
  136. “Mm hmm.” He hummed. Words were still out of reach at the moment.
  137. “Welp, we broke him. Better get another one Ms. Grimwood.” Said Winnie.
  138. “Oh he’s fine dear, just a little surprised is all. Now where is-“ The headmistress was cut off as a translucent girl with white hair burst through the table in front of Anon.
  139. “HI MR. ANON! I’M PHANTASMA!” Her sudden appearance and high volume greeting was enough to push him off the ledge he’d been walking and into the abyss. With a very unmanly scream he kicked off the ground and practically threw himself backwards chair and all. Between the stress and the hard tiled floor, he was unconscious within two seconds.
  140.  
  141. Oblivion was only temporary though. Anon woke to a pounding headache and a crackling fire. Through squinted eyes he could make out the room that was meant to be his office. Ms. Grimwood sat in a chair across from him stirring a tea cup. He was laying across the couch with his right arm hanging down. There was something cool and wet pressing on his forehead. With a grunt he picked up the wet towel and slid it further down so it covered his eyes.
  142.  
  143. “You didn’t mention they were monsters.” He said without moving.
  144. “That’s not something you can explain through email.” She replied.
  145. “They aren’t supposed to be real.”
  146. “There are plenty of things in this world that aren’t supposed to exist.”
  147. Anon lay silent for a moment
  148. “I wasn’t trained for this.” He said quietly. Ms. Grimwood chuckled.
  149. “I don’t think there’s anywhere that could have trained you for this, but those girls need you Anon. I can only do so much for them. They haven’t had a proper male model in their lives for years, and even then he was just a temporary gym teacher.” By now the headache had started to recede. Anon sat up so he was looking at Ms. Grimwood. She had a very serene look on her face, but her eyes were watching him intently.
  150.  
  151. “Besides, are you really going to leave after what you told Tannis?” Anon frowned and clasped his hands together.
  152. Goddamn. She’s right. He thought back to the rage he felt when Tannis told him about the previous teachers. If he left now, he’d be like all the rest. Worse actually, he’d leave a hypocrite.
  153.  
  154. “When you put it that way, I don’t think I can.” He rubbed his face. Suddenly this job didn’t seem so different than Detroit.
  155. “Alright, you’re gonna have to help me on some of this Ms. Grimwood.” Her eyes lit up and a playful smile came to her lips.
  156. “Of course dear. I wasn’t going to leave you afloat.” Sure, just in a pit of teenage monster girls.
  157. “Thank you.” He said instead. “Now where are they? I need to make a better impression than fainting. And how long was I out?”
  158. “Twenty minutes, I had Elsa carry you back here. The girls are waiting outside, a few of them were worried about you hitting your head too hard.” Anon stood up and cracked his knuckles.
  159. “Nonsense, I survived five years of Michigan’s toughest campus. It’ll take more than brain damage to stop me now.”
  160. “Well said Anon. I look forward to working with you.” Said the headmistress as she rose from her chair.
  161. “And I with you Ms. Grimwood.”
  162.  
  163. The two headed to the door and pulled it open, revealing a group of unique and ghoulish faces waiting in the hall. They all looked at Anon, who was careful to meet all of their gazes.
  164. “Ladies, I apologize about my reaction earlier. I have to admit I was a bit surprised by you all, but I’m sticking to what I said earlier.” He smiled at Tannis. “I’m not going anywhere.” She in turn smiled back as did some of the others. There was a barely audible snort from Winnie.
  165.  
  166. “Now, due to the circumstance I’m going to have to shift my teaching plan around. I need to start by getting to know you all. Starting at 3:30 tomorrow I’d like you all to be right here. I’m going to interview you individually and work out a new curriculum. Is that alright Ms. Grimwood?” He asked turning to the black haired woman.
  167. “I don’t see any issue. We’ll have our regular day in the meantime and you can call them over the loud speaker.”
  168. “Excellent. Until then ladies I wish you all goodnight and I’ll see you tomorrow!”
  169.  
  170. A chorus of “Goodnight Mr. Anon” came from the group followed by their dispersal. Ms. Grimwood also wished him goodnight and headed deeper into the mansion. As soon as the hallway was clear he turned back towards his new accommodations. A blue, translucent face erupted from his door. Causing him to jump back. “Mr. Anon!I’msorry!Iwasn’ttryingtokillyouIpromise!” Came the very fast and somewhat loud voice of the specter.
  171.  
  172. Anon took a moment to compose himself. “Apology accepted. No harm done.” Goddamn this girl has some crazy eyes on her. She beamed in response and started giggling.
  173. “Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you! I was really worried! Ms. Grimwood says I’m too active and I try not to be but I can’t help it! Then Winnie said I killed you but I didn’t think I did cause then you’d be a ghost too! But you weren’t so I knew you were alive.” Yeah, crazy for sure.
  174.  
  175. “Right, well thank you for worrying. I appreciate it. Now if you don’t mind I’ll be going to bed. I’ve got a lot to do tomorrow so…”
  176. “Right! New teacher, got it. Sleep tight and don’t let the spiders bite!” With a laugh that would give you shivers on a warm night Phantasma flew the rest of the way out of the door and straight down through the hallway floor.
  177. “Aaaaalllllrighty then.” Said Anon as he walked into his new chambers and closed the door for the night.
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