Jessica stood outside of an old dilapidated school building. The place didn't look like it had been used in years. She checked the paper the Johnsons had given her, no doubt about it, the directions lead her here and this was the address, but still, it didn't look like there were any signs of life. Not to be deterred she got out of her car and started for the front doors, determined to figure this out. The closer she got to the school the more it looked like a haunted house and the more she wondered if she had just dreamed the whole encounter with those two men. She clutched the paper they had given her, physical evidence that she wasn't crazy. She walked up the steps, and reached for the door handle.
"Hey! You!" a voice called out from the street that made her jump. Spinning around she saw an older-model car parked on the street and a man moving towards her. He was tall and scrawny, with long, black, oily looking hair that went down to his shoulders. He wore an old beat up trench coat and as he got closer Jessica could see that he had three long scars running down his face. "You must be the new teacher."
"Oh, yes!" She said, hoping this meant she wouldn't have to go in that building. "Am I in the right place?"
The man joined her on the top step. "Yeah, your, uh- 'students' and inside. Except one who's still on the road." He grabbed the door handle and pulled. Jessica squirmed at the thought of going in there and that there were children in there but when she saw the inside she was pleasantly surprised. The inside looked clean and bright and actually like a school. "I'm Eric Harther, I'll be in charge of security here." He led her inside and started walking down the halls. Not knowing what else to do she followed him. "The students have living quarters set up here and we'll be keeping a careful eye on everything going on here. This is your class room." He opened a door to show her. There were five desks and the teacher's desk in the room. Two of the desks were smaller than the others and one of the larger ones seemed to be in a glass box. Jessica was about to ask about that but Mr. Harther kept moving. "This has been converted into a state-of-the-art facility, if you ever have an emergency just pull any of the fire alarms and we'll be down here before you can say 'Ahhh! My face is melting!' Swat teams, mercenaries, commandos, whatever you need."
"Is that all really necessary?" She blurted out.
Mr. Harther turned to face her. "These aren't your normal children, They're dangerous."
"I'm sure they're not that bad, the way you talk you make it sound like they're a bunch of monsters."
Mr. Harther chuckled, "Maybe you'd like to meet your students."
"Maybe I would."
He resumed his brisk walk again moving quickly down the halls with Jessica trying to keep up. Suddenly he stopped in front of one of the lockers. One locker stood out from all the rest. It looked older, and a different style and color that all the others. Mr. Harther pulled back a fist and slammed it against the locker's door.
"Up and at 'um, McDouglehimer! Get outta there!" He yelled pulling the door open. Jessica gasped at what she saw. Inside the locker, upside down was a boy. He was dressed like it was the 50s and looked very geeky. He tumbled out of the locker and, much to her surprise turned into a billowing mist. The mist formed into the boy again only now he was sitting on the floor looking at his watch.
"Jeepers, Harther, what's the deal?" The boy said, "Class doesn't start today for another half hour."
"Got a special friend here for you. This is Miss VanBrown, your new teacher." Mr. Harther then started pacing like a military general, "You will show her respect, any discourteous behavior will be punished, am I clear?"
"Yes sir." The boy replied half heartedly.
Mr. Harther turned to Jessica. "Miss VanBrown, meet Gary McDouglehimer, the ghost. We found him haunting that locker," He jabbed a thumb towards the locker, "in a school in Idaho. Been there since the 60s, never finished his education-"
"Kinda had a good reason." Gary interjected.
Mr. Harther continued, "As long as we have control over the locker, we have control over him."
Jessica was quickly shaking off the shock of meeting a ghost and determined to do her best to help this child. "Hi, Gary! It looks like I'll be your new teacher, I hope we'll be great friends!" She held out her hand to shake. Gary just stared at her for a few uncomfortable moments and then started snickering. Jessica felt lost for a moment, the Mr. Harther piped up.
"McDouglehimer's completely ethereal, you can't touch him and he can't touch you." He the turned back to Gary, "Alright McDouglehimer, get back in there and wait for class.
Gary sighed. "Out of the locker, into the locker. Honestly Harther, sometimes I swear you're bi-polar." Gary turned to mist again and floated back into his locker. The locker door slammed shut behind him.
Mr. Harther continued down the hall and went towards what seemed to be the cafeteria.
"These next two shouldn't give you too much trouble, they're some of the ones that came to us." Harther swung open the door and marched in. "Tempis! Gossie! Fall in!" Jessica wondered why Harther had to yell, the two children he was speaking to were sitting at a lunch table fairly close to the door, playing some card game. One was in his teenage years with black, slicked back hair and a surprisingly pale complexion. The other was a little girl, maybe nine or ten years old, with red hair pulled back in a pony tail. The two quickly jumped up and stood at attention. Harther marched back and forth in front of the two like a drill sergeant.
"This is your new teacher, Ms. VanBrown, she is not food. If you even look at her the wrong way we will have you both de-clawed and de-fanged , am I clear?"
"Yes, Sir." the two said together.
Harther turned back to Jessica, "This is Vincent Tempis," he pointed at the boy, "A vampire, and Bella Gossie," he pointed to the girl, "werewolf."
"She smells like cat!" Bella blurted out.
Jessica smiled and stooped down to look the girl in the face, "I do have a cat. That's a very special talent you have there, Bella."
"I got it from my daddy!"
"Well, it's a real special thing." Jessica stood up while Bella glowed. She then turned to Victor, "It was Vincent, right?"
"Yeah," the boy replied, "but everyone just calls me Vince."
"Well it's great to meet you, Vince." She would have continued but at that moment Mr. Harther's cell phone began ringing loudly. He pulled it out and began answering loudly.
"Harther here. Yeah. Yeah. Alright, bring her in!" he snapped the phone closed and looked at Jessica. "Your last student's here, let's go meet her." Without another word or thought he marched back into the hallway. Jessica glanced at Vince.
"Is he always like this?"
Vince shook his head, "Oh, no, you've caught him on a sane day. You should see him the rest of the time."
Jessica took a deep, cleansing breath and stepped in the hallway. Harther had already marched a good way down so she had to jog to catch up with him. Soon after she caught up with him he came to a dead stop. They were back in the hall with Gary's locker and Harther was staring at the end of the hall. Jessica could hear a lot of foot steps franticly rushing through the halls. It took a few seconds before she saw the source. Dozens of armed men in matching uniforms. They lined the walls in formation and all pointed their guns down the hall. When all the men seemed to be in place Jessica heard something else. At first she couldn't quite tell what it was. She was staring to get a little scared. Harther had said that all the other students were dangerous but after meeting them in person she figured Harther was just paranoid. This this, however, she thought there might be a little danger.
The source of the noise finally revealed itself, it was a moving dolly being pushed by one of the men. Tied to the dolly and wrapped tightly in a straightjacket was a girl. She didn't look much over sixteen or seventeen, though it was hard to really tell, since her stringy, black hair hung over most of her face. It problem was increased because of a muzzle she was wearing.
"Miss VanBrown," Harther said, rather loudly, "meet Vanessa Karlsteen. You'll want to keep an eye on her. We picked her up after she robbed a couple hundred graves, built a doomsday device, hypnotized a whole town to be her slaves and supposedly created some sort of monster."
"Supposedly?" Jessica asked, not sure how there could be much doubt about something like that.
"That means," Vanessa chirped in, "that they still haven't found my little baby! Poor Fritz! I hope he's alright, out rampagin' all on his own." She said sadly, throwing in a few sniffles for good measure. Vanessa ran her eyes over Jessica for a moment as like a cat stares at a handing piece of fish. "This the new teach? Did ol' Hudson finally SNAP!?"
Completely and utterly ignoring the question, Harther started his drill sergeant walk, pacing in front of Vanessa. "You will not be allowed to leave the premises of this building, if you even try to set foot out of your bedroom outside of class hours, we will know. If you try to build anything, we will know, if you even think about escaping, we will know. If you sn-"
"Hey, Harther" Vanessa interrupted, "Do you ever think it's creepy that you spend seventy-five percent of your waking life stalking children?" She asked in the same way you would ask someone if they had the time.
Harther stiffened up. "It's my job, Karlsteen. When you people stop being so dangerous, then I'll stop, deal?"
Vanessa scoffed and tilted her head, "Alright, but if you start putting cameras in the toilets I'm calling the anti-creepy police." Jessica had to chuckle a little. Since meeting Mr. Harther she had grown a steady disliking towards him, and seeing him being taken down a peg made her feel pretty good. Jessica stepped forward, past Harther who's upper lip had started twitching an stood in front of Vanessa.
"Hello Vanessa, I'm Ms. VanBown. I'll be your teacher from now on. If there's anything you need just ask alright?"
"You know teach," Vanessa answered, tilting her head back so her hair was no longer in the way, "I like you, even if you are a cat person."
Jessica stared at the girl for a moment, "How did you know?"
"Phhhht! You got cat hair all over! Looks like a Persian or something. You probably named it Fuzz-Butt or Fluffy-Bum or something like that. People never realize how easily you can peg them."
"Well, that's a wonderful talent. I'm really exited about teaching here."
"Well, Woop-dee-doo for you! Boys!" Vanessa leaned her head back to the man pushing her dolly, "I think it's about time I saw my room. Let's get rollin'!" Harther seemed incredibly upset by this point, probably because his men were now actually listening to Vanessa and moving down the hall in formation. When they had all gone out of sight Jessica looked to Mr. Harther.
"So, where's my last student?" She had seen five desks in the class room but had only met four students.
"Heh, don't worry about that one, you'll never see him." Harther said cockily as he started digging through his coat. "Ever since he came here he's done nothing but hide under his bed."
"Well, I'd still like to meet him."
"Room 136, but I'm telling you, you won't ever see him." Harther finally pulled a manila folder out and handed it to Jessica. "Here's you lesson plan for the day and briefs on the students. History, things to watch out for, what ever you need." He then put on a cruel smirk before turning to leave, "Have fun."