Hey you! Chapter #4 of 'School of Horror' is here! Enjoy!
As soon as the bell rang, Jubilee cast a covert glance at Fiona, Eva and Kael. All four of them walked to the door and then straight to the end of the hallway. Josh and Marian were already waiting for them there.
"Hey" Josh greeted. "Are you ready?"
"As ready as it gets" Fiona murmured.
"Are we sure it's safe to go up there with all those… things roaming the third floor?" Marion asked with a concerned expression on her pretty, round face.
"Hey, don't worry" Kael said laughing. "The men are with you now, me and Josh. We'll protect you!"
Marian giggled, her cheeks painted a bright pink but Jubilee cast him an awry, sidelong glance.
"Let's go" she said and headed up the stairwell first.
She was determined to search the whole third floor along with her friends and discover all the dirty secrets it hid. She would uncover th–… Suddenly, she stopped in the middle of the stairwell. Her eyes widened as she stared at the top.
"What the…?" she muttered and ran up the rest of the steps. She stopped right in front of the bar door. The chain had been replaced with steel bars.
"What's this?" Josh asked as he came to stand next to her.
Jubilee grabbed the bars and shook them violently. It was no use, of course.
"Fuckers" she groaned. "They sealed it."
"Like that other stairwell" Eva said.
"Damn it!" Jubilee cursed as she turned around to face the others. "We need to find another way."
They went to the second floor again. They agreed to separate into three groups of two and check all the stairwells that led to the third floor. Five minutes later they met outside classroom B27.
"Every stairwell to the third has been sealed" Josh said. "There's no way we can go there."
"The bastards put bars yesterday afternoon" Jubilee groaned and leaned against the wall. "We'll never be able to get to the third this way."
"This is much more serious, Jubilee" Fiona said. She looked concerned, almost scared. "The fact that they put bars to prevent access to the third floor and the fact that they moved that chained boy from the storage room means that they know someone is wandering around the third."
The children stared at each other with frowns.
"Do you think they know it's us? I mean Jubilee and maybe Josh and Eva?" Marian asked.
"I doubt" Jubilee said.
"Maybe it's for the best that we can't go up there anymore" Fiona said trying to change the atmosphere that was heavy. "It's dangerous and it will get us into trouble. And plus, if the stairwells are sealed, any strange, dangerous creatures that live up there can't come down."
Jubilee glared at her friend murderously.
"What?" Fiona asked.
"Don't you have any curiosity about what's going on in here?" Jubilee snapped. "A giant, ugly monster almost smashed Eva's head yesterday!"
"That's what I'm saying! Now that we can't go up there, we are in no danger."
"Wuss" Jubilee murmured.
"Look who's coming" Marian interrupted suddenly and nodded.
Jubilee turned to see who it was. When she saw the girl that was approaching them, she grimaced. Sheila Thomson; the slut of the class. She and Jubilee were rivals since ninth grade, when Sheila called her freak and let it be implied that Jubilee was homosexual. They both disliked each other and always reveled in the others pratfall - metaphorically. Right now, Sheila was dressed in a mini skirt and a skimpy midriff that revealed a lot. She always dressed like that; highly inappropriate for a school girl, according to Jubilee's opinion. Although that was the least. Sheila was flirting with nearly every boy in the twelfth grade; hell, she even tried to flirt with teachers sometimes. Jubilee had noticed her casting suspicious glances towards Falcon. Her all-time prey though was Nigel. She chased him around a lot, although the boy seemed to try to avoid her. He obviously had some standards, Jubilee would give him that.
Sheila approached them and stood next to Josh. She shamelessly threw an arm over the boy's shoulders.
"Hey you" she greeted. "Say, I haven't seen Nigel around here lately. I asked Jim from your class but he said he hasn't seen him either. You're his friend, right? You must know." She gave him a wide smile, her lips glistening from the shiny lip gloss she was wearing.
Jubilee noticed that Fiona was glaring at Sheila. She looked ready to punch her in the face.
"I don't know" Josh said trying to pull tactfully away from her embrace. "I haven't talked to him lately. He hasn't shown up in class lately."
"Oh. Pity. Oh well." She turned to the others. She gave a snobbish, snorting 'bye' and left.
"Bitch" Fiona swore. She turned to Josh. "Really, where's Nigel? I don't think I've seen him for several days, either."
Josh shrugged. "He hasn't come to class for the last four days."
"Is he ill or something?"
"I don't know. It's strange; I saw him on Monday when I arrived to school, but then he didn't appear in the class."
"Yeah, I think I saw him, too, yesterday at some point" Kael added. "If he came to school, why didn't he attend the classes?"
"That's strange" Fiona said worriedly.
"Whatever about him" Jubilee interrupted their conversation. "What are we going to do about the third floor?"
"What is there to do? We can't go up there, so…" Kael looked around at the others. They all seemed to agree with him. Apart from Jubilee.
"So what?" the girl asked. "We're just going to give up? Just like that?"
The others shrugged. The bell rang at that point. Declaring the beginning of the next class.
Jubilee was pissed off during the rest of the week. She was pissed off with her teachers who had made sure to block every possible access to the third floor. The girl had spent almost all of the breaks searching around the second floor for a way to get to the third. No use; she would constantly find bars and chains in front of her. And any teacher who happened to notice her wandering around the second floor would give her suspicious glance and tell her to go outside during the breaks. She seriously disliked those morons.
But Jubilee was also mad at her friends. They had quickly forgotten about the whole matter. It was like they didn't care much about what happened just above their heads, on the third floor. Even Eva had accepted their defeat.
And lastly, there was yet another thing that troubled Jubilee. Apparently, Nigel had completely stopped attending his classes. Several children had spotted him coming to school every morning, but he never showed up in the classroom. What was the deal with that? Jubilee couldn't understand. Fiona also seemed pretty concerned about that, too. She asked Josh about Nigel with every opportunity. That made Jubilee quite annoyed.
During the weekend, Jubilee spent most of her time playing Halo 2 and trying to come up with a way to get access to the third floor. She failed in both, so by Monday morning, her temper wasn't the best it could be. Things grew worse during her first classes. Krozoff announced they were going to write a surprise test in physics and Veriga sent her and Kael out of the classroom for talking during the class. By twelve, she was completely pissed. And the worse part; it was time for her English class.
At first everything ran smoothly with Reghard teaching and Jubilee drawing a two-headed dragon on the back of her book. That was until…
"…tomorrow we'll talk about the appropriate style for your essays. Now we'll see how… Clark!"
He had called the boy's name so loudly that everyone in the class jumped in their seats. The teacher glared at Ryan Clark, a boy who sat in front of Kael, and walked towards him. Even Jubilee forgot her drawings for the moment and directed her attention to the teacher. Reghard came to stand next to the boy, Ryan, with a forbidding expression on his pale face.
"Give it!" he ordered.
The boy gulped and sank in his seat.
"W-what?" he asked stuttering.
Reghard snorted, his eyes blazing with rage. "Give it!" he ordered again, sharply.
Slowly, the boy lifted his book, revealing the sports magazine he had hidden underneath when the teacher noticed it. Reghard grabbed it rudely and held it before him.
"What's this, Mr. Clark? Is it so much more interesting than English?" the man asked.
The boy shrugged. "I-I'm sorry…" he started.
"Sorry? You're sorry, Mr. Clark? Do I remember correct or weren't you sorry last time I caught you reading this piece of trash?" the man asked harshly.
The boy remained silent.
"I told you before, Mr. Clark; I will not tolerate this kind of disrespectful behavior in my class."
He walked to the front of the room, picked up something from his desk and walked back to the middle row. Jubilee frowned when she saw him holding the long stick he usually used to point at the blackboard. Now, he was holding it firmly on his right gloved hand and tapping it on the other palm threateningly.
"Stand up, Mr. Clark" he ordered the poor boy. Ryan obeyed. "Now raise your hand a bit and keep your palm towards the ceiling" Reghard commanded.
The boy stared at the teacher with wide eyes. And so did everyone else in the classroom.
"Unless you prefer for me to call your parents right now" Reghard hissed.
The boy looked at him and then around, at his classmates, with desperate eyes. Then, he swallowed hard and lifted his hand.
Jubilee was dumbfounded at the surrealism of the whole scene. Was this really happening? They were in twelfth grade, for crying out loud! Was the Nazi really going to hit a pupil? What the hell? Reghard raised his arm, ready to strike down on the boy's palm. There was a sadistic, almost demonic, expression on his face. When the stick came down, the boy let out a groan of pain. And that was when Jubilee finally came out of her trance. She stood up so abruptly, she caused her chair to fall back behind.
"What the hell are you doing?" she shouted.
Reghard, as well as everyone in the classroom, turned around to stare at her.
"Sit back down on your seat, Mss Galvin" the teacher hissed. "Now!"
"No, I won't!" the girl objected. "Are you nuts?! Corporal punishment is illegal! What's wrong with you?"
Reghard's face took a furious expression.
"Sit down and shut up, you insolent brat! I'm gonna run my class whichever way I want!"
"Run your class? You're insane. I can't believe someone let you be a teacher… Don't they make you go through any psychological tests before?"
The teacher's eyes widened at the hearing of the girls disrespectful words. He walked towards her with wide strides. Within a moment, he was right in front of her with the stick ready in his hand.
"You little brat…" He held the stick raised above his head, ready to strike.
"Touch me and you're gonna regret it" Jubilee hissed venomously, eyeing him defiantly.
The man stood mere inches from her, his arm lifted threateningly, for a few seconds, during which everyone in the room held their breath. Finally, Reghard put his arm down slowly. He looked at the girl with hard eyes. Jubilee returned the glare. Then, the teacher turned around and walked towards his desk. He sat on his chair and, ripping off a sheet of paper from a notebook, he began writing something on it.
"Mss Galvin" he called when he was done.
Jubilee pouted, but she walked towards the desk. The man arose from his seat and handed her the folded note.
"Go to the headmaster's office and give this to him" Reghard said. As the girl reached her hand to take the folded piece of paper, the man grabbed her wrist. He squeezed her hand painfully. "And don't dare read it in the meantime" the man warned. Jubilee pulled her hand free, glaring at him. Turning her back to him, she headed for the exit. She walked out and banged the door behind her.
"Fuck you" she swore once she was outside.
She looked down at the note she was holding. That asshole… She was tempted to unfold it and read it. But then again, what was the point? She could imagine what that moronic, Nazi pig had written. She snorted dismissively and walked down the hallway. She wasn't in the mood to go to the principal's office and get an earful again… Wait a minute. Not again. That would be the first time she was sent to the principal's office since the change in management. That could actually be a chance for her to finally see the mysterious man that hid inside the principal's office; the man that no pupil had yet to see. Jubilee was intrigued.
"What the hell…" she said and took the familiar way to the principal's office.
She stood before the door and knocked. A second later came the answer from inside. Jubilee opened the door and walked in. She looked around her at the changed room. This used to be the foyer, something like a waiting room, in front of the principal's office. It was a simple room with two couches. Now there was only one new couch, three armchairs and a desk. A young woman was sitting behind it. Jubilee raised an eyebrow at her; she was around twenty – twenty-five, she had blond hair with lots of pink locks. She had heavy makeup on her face and was at the moment painting her nails a bright pink colour. When Jubilee entered, the woman stared at her with a vacant expression. From what Jubilee could see – sitting as the woman was behind her desk – she was wearing a skimpy pink top. Not very appropriate for a principal's secretary.
"What?" she asked and Jubilee noticed that she was chewing a gum.
"Mr. Reghard sent me to the principal's office" the girl said dryly.
"Ah, okay" the woman mumbled and picked up the phone that was in front of her on the desk. "Mr. Hesser, there is a pupil who was sent here by Mr. Reghard."
She obviously listened to the answer from the other end of the line for some seconds and then she hung up. She turned to Jubilee and pointed to the couch.
"Sit there, please. The headmaster will see you shortly."
Then she went back to painting her nails. With a confused expression on her face, Jubilee walked over to the couch and slumped heavily on it. Who was that woman? Something like a secretary? She definitely looked like a lame one… Whatever…
After five minutes she had grown unbelievably bored. She played with the folded piece of papers in her hands while regretting her decision to actually come to the principal's office. She should take a walk around the school. Now that there was a guard outside the gate of the school, she couldn't even leave before the official end of the school day. Just as she was thinking about it, the door to the principal's office opened. Jubilee rapidly raised her eyes up; she was about to see the mysterious man for the first time… But the one she saw wasn't the principal; to her surprise, she saw Nigel coming out of the office. She frowned. The boy caught glimpse of her when he passed in front of her, but as Jubilee was about to talk to him, he stormed out of the room. Something about the way he looked had Jubilee alarmed. She stood up and made to follow him when the secretary spoke.
"Mr. Hesser will have you now" she said. "You can go in."
Jubilee looked at the half closed door that led to the principal's main office. Then she turned to the door that Nigel had just left from. After a moment of indecisiveness she sighed and walked to the inner door.
Upon walking inside, her jaw dropped. This wasn't the office she had been sent to so many times in the past. Dowels' office, as Jubilee remembered it, had been a plain principal's office, simple and frugal, matching for a neglected public school. Now the room had converted into a luxurious, richly decorated office. There was a rich carpet covering the once naked floor while paintings and tapestries adorned the walls. There was a brown leather couch at the east wall and a large bookcase filled with hard-cover tomes. The big window on the wall behind the desk was half bore with heavy curtains in crimson and gold colour. The desk itself was much bigger than Dowels', made of some dark wood. Two chairs were placed in front of it.
Once Jubilee had taken in all of the changes in decoration, she finally noticed him; the headmaster. Or, to be more precise, his back side. The man was sitting in his large chair behind the desk with his back turned to her and his face towards the window. Jubilee had hoped to finally see his face, but the only thing she could make out was his long, slick black hair. Even that was quite unusual. He probably had the most beautiful hair she'd ever seen; perfectly straight, jet black and shiny. Not even women had so pretty hair.
Rapt as she was with all this, she almost jumped when she heard his voice.
"Mss Galvin" the man called with the strangest voice Jubilee had heard. It was actually stranger than what it sounded from the speaker. It was hoarse and kinda hissing, but at the same time mellow and treacly. It also sounded somewhat androgynous; deep and low, but androgynous.
"What brings you here, to my office, Mss Galvin?" the man requested, putting her out of her trance.
"Eh" Jubilee began. Suddenly she realized she had lost her words. She shook her head to clear her mind. "Mr. Reghard sent me here" she said.
"And why did he do that?" the man asked calmly.
"Mr. Reghard gave me a note for you. Explaining the reasons, I guess" the girl said. 'Isn't he going to turn around and face me?' she wondered inwardly.
"Leave it on my desk" the man said.
Jubilee walked over to the desk and placed the piece of paper on the shiny dark brown surface. Then she took some steps back.
"Now tell me why Mr. Reghard sent you to me."
"It's in the paper" Jubilee said.
"What was the reason Mr. Reghard sent you to me, Mss Galvin?" the man insisted naturally.
Jubilee was surprised by… she wasn't sure by what she was surprised. But there was something about this office, about this man… The air felt heavy and thick. Jubilee gulped.
"When Mr. Reghard tried to beat a kid's palm for reading a magazine in the classroom I objected. I told him I thought it was wrong and he freaked. He threw me out of the classroom and told me to come here and give you this note."
There were some moments of silence.
"I see" the man behind the desk said. Another moment of silence. "I've been getting quite a lot of complains concerning you, Jubilee. From several teachers. It seems that your… behavior is rather problematic."
"Some – no, most of them have very unorthodox ways of teaching" Jubilee said. "Their way of teaching isn't normal and I just-"
"Are you a teacher yourself, Mss Galvin?" the man interrupted her.
Jubilee blinked. "No, bu-"
"Then, how can you possibly know which the right way of teaching is?" he went on, leaving her no time to finish. "Don't you think that people – scientists – who have gone through training would know better than you? It appears that you have no respect for the teachers of this school. And from what I found out reading your files that the last management kept, it seems that you have been causing problems throughout all your years in high school. I'm afraid that shows antisocial behavior and delinquent tendencies."
Suddenly, Jubilee realized that her whole body was tensed, her palms had started to sweat and she was nervously gnawing on her bottom lip. Abruptly she stopped it and wondered why she was having such a reaction. During her years in high school she'd been sent to the principal's office a million times. It would be unusual for her if she didn't visit Mrs. Dowels' office at least a couple of times a week; it was really a routine for Jubilee. And she never really cared much. Usually, she would look around at the office while the principal lectured her and pay little to no attention to the woman's words. Then, she would mumble a disrespectful 'yeah, yeah' and leave.
But this time it was different. For some reason, listening to this man, whose face she hadn't even seen yet, made her feel nervous and uncomfortable, almost timid. His words, spoken softly and quietly with that hoarse, yet mellow androgynous voice of his, caught her attention and kept it to him. She was almost mesmerized. Why was that? Why was this strange man having such an effect on her?
"The kind of behavior you exhibit could cause several problems, not just now, but in the future, too" the man continued. "Many teachers have asked me to make sure you are punished and corrected. I believe that an expulsion would be highly unfavorable for your record. You already have plenty of absences; there is a possibility that you will miss the year." He paused. "What are your thoughts on that? Don't you want to finish high school and go to college?"
"Of course I want to" Jubilee said. "It's not like I'm trying to get kicked out of the class." 'Most of the time, at least.'
"I understand that it might be difficult for you to follow the rules. But you are in a school. You have to obey your superiors" – Jubilee flinched at the word – "and abide by certain rules. Disobedience and Anarchy cannot be tolerated within a school. I hope you understand that. Now, I want you to spend some time thinking about what we've said carefully. And I want you to try to improve your behavior. Are we agreed?"
Jubilee was somewhat stunned. She licked her lips and swallowed before she muttered a quiet 'yes'.
"Very good" the man said with his mellow voice. "You may go now."
The girl remained still for some moments. Then, she turned around and exited the office with numb movements. She passed by the woman in the outer office, who was at the moment thumbing through a magazine, and walked out. As she walked down the corridor she wondered what had just happened. She had been in the principal's office a hundred times and yet, it was the first time she had actually listened to the principal talking. And… had he even punished her? She didn't remember giving her detention, or expulsion; he didn't even call her parents. Strange… Wait a minute! Had he made her promise that she would think about her behavior and would try to be nicer? What the fuck…?
Angry at herself, she headed for the east wing. She sat at the first stairs of the stairwell outside classroom B28 and waited for the break.
"So, what was he like?"
"Was he very old?"
"Is he actually a man?"
Fiona, Kael and Eva surrounded her as they walked towards the yard. Generally pissed as she was, they kinda annoyed her.
"I told you, he was sitting behind his desk with his back to me" she said.
"During the whole time?" Kael asked surprised.
"Yeah, the whole time. I only saw his hair. Long and black."
"Are you sure he is a man?" Kael repeated his previous question. "I mean, the voice reminds me of an old lady's and the now hair …"
"No, he's most definitely a man" Jubilee assured him. "And what does the hair have to do with it? You have long hair, too."
"Yeah, but mine is like, manly, masculine long hair" the boy said laughing.
"And he didn't punish you at all? With how furious Reghard was, I expected you to get at least a five days expulsion" Fiona commented.
Jubilee shrugged. "He didn't say anything about punishment." Then a sly grin spread throughout her face. "Reghard was mad, huh?"
"He had a hard time resuming the lesson" Eva affirmed. "The anger was obvious on his face."
Jubilee laughed. "Oh, I just love making him mad."
"You got to be careful, though" Fiona advised her. "You were spared this time, but you're gonna get yourself in trouble if you continue like this."
"Yeah, yeah. Okay. What do we have next?"
"Carmus" Eva informed.
"Now, I'll really have to try hard not to get myself into trouble in his class" Jubilee said.
It was a whole week later when she finally thought of it. It was Sunday night, around twelve. Her mother had told her to go to bed early or else she wouldn't be able to get up in the morning. Jubilee of course didn't bother to obey. She was sitting at the edge of her bed, playing Silent Hill 3. She had just gotten on the carousel in the amusement park when it dawned to her. Her hands loosened their tight grip on her play station pad, her face lightening up.
"The old chemistry lab" she whispered to herself.
"The old chemistry lab?" Fiona asked.
"Yeah. We can get to the third through the lab."
"How do you know they haven't sealed that stairwell, too?" Marian inquired.
"Why would they do that? They need a way to get to the third, too, right? I bet they get there through the lab. There is an internal stairwell in the second room of the lab that leads straight to the third, remember? After all, the lab is locked and pupils aren't allowed to go there, so…"
"And that's exactly the flaw to your plan" Fiona noticed. "We aren't allowed to enter the lab."
The chemistry lab on the second floor of the north wing actually consisting of two large rooms and was out of use for more than five years because it had been evaluated unsafe. Another smaller one had been constructed on the first floor later and that was the one they used now. No one went to the lab of the second floor anymore. But Jubilee wad not going to be deterred by that fact.
"I'm gonna do it" she said determinedly.
"The old lab is right next to the teachers' office" Marian reminded. "If you're caught, you're in for big trouble."
"I'll take my chances. I'll go there tomorrow. Who's with me?"
She looked at the two girls as they walked towards their classrooms. Her eyes narrowed when she saw no reaction.
"Eh" Marian squirmed under her friend's fiery blare. "I'll-I'll come if one of the boys comes along" she said.
Jubilee pulled a face. "You're a disgrace to the feminist movement, you know that?"
"Don't pressure her, Jubs. What you're planning is dangerous and risky" Fiona scowled her friend.
"What about you? Are you coming? Or is it too risky for you?"
"I'll think about it. Bye, Marian."
The blond girl waved at the two as she went to her own classroom. Jubilee and Fiona entered their classroom and headed to their seats. Eva and Kael were already there. Before Mr. Rooks came in for the first class of the day, Jubilee used the time to announce her plan to them, too. As she had expected it, Kael found it exciting but Eva was hesitant. Later, during the second break, Jubilee found the time to talk to Josh, too. Marian had informed him about it earlier. They all agreed that it wouldn't be wise for them to go all together at once. They would definitely be caught. It had to be two or three of them. It was only natural that Jubilee would be one of them. And when Kael said he wanted to go, too, Marian hurried to declare her own membership. They decided to do it during Jubilee's and Kael's gym class. Marian had History of Arts at the same hour.
"It's set then" Jubilee said grinning. "The three of us will go to the old chemistry lab tomorrow at twelve."
Next chapter: 'Laboratory'. Jubilee, Kael and Marian go to the old chemistry lab only to find out that it hadn't been exactly out of use lately, as they believed. Also, the headmaster makes an announcement that changes everything.
In the meanwhile, please review and I'll try to update as soon as I can. Smooch!
(P.S.: I don't know if I described the headmaster's voice adequately. Anyway, for those of you who have watched 'Naruto' it sounds like Orochimaru's voice, something between the English and the Japanese dub.)