On a typical afternoon in a high school in Japan, a man in a white shirt and faded gray slacks was walking down the hall. He has black hair, short length, and with a smile on his face. He approached his classroom, as he was sitting down on his desk. He opened the folder, as he was taking attendance. As he was calling names out, all of them were absent. He saw only one person in her seat. She was wearing a pale green blazer, and with bleach blonde hair. He called out, "Miss Kotobuki! You're NOT in this class! Leave, right now!"
The girl also had pink acrylic nails, and a red highlight in the left side of her hair. The teacher barked, "Miss Kotobuki, I am talking to you!"
The girl ignored him, as he sighed, "Fine. Lemme talk to Mr. Nakanishi about this. Is this about getting me fired, back then?"
She left the desk, as she stared at the man. She whispered, "Gunjo."
She walked out of the classroom, as he sighed, "Finally."
He noticed a newspaper on the table and called out, "Miss Kotobuki, you forgot-!"
He sighed, as he grabbed the newspaper. He read the article:
"Senseless Murder Stuns High School; Killer Still At Large"
He thought, "Huh? Where? This was from yesterday…"
He read the newspaper, as he read everything about a murder that has been going on. However, to avoid drama and controversy, the name of the school was withheld. A 17-year old girl was found dead in an alley in Shibuya. Gunjo sighed, as he said, "Perfect. This Kotobuki is a lost cause. She has no future. She's doing this to spite me. How did she even bring a newspaper to school?"
He left to find Nakanishi's classroom, to find Ran.
A teacher by the name of Gunjo – a man of class, and a top-rate teacher in Hounan High. In just a moment, his life, after being shunned and ridiculed by his fellow students, will lead to a never-ending nightmare, in which there is no escape. One that puts a new term in the word "Victim".
That nightmare begins now… in the "Tales of the Bizarre".
Gunjo arrived at Kotobuki's homeroom, as he opened the door. He called out, "Mr. Nakanishi, one of your students, a Miss Kotobuki, has brought in-."
He paused, as Kotobuki was in her classroom, standing in attention towards Gunjo. She then showed an ice cold emotionless glare, as she said, "Gunjo…"
She held up a gun and aimed it at him. He cried, "Where did you get a gun? Kotobuki!"
Kotobuki said nothing. She aimed, as she was about to fire.
"Wake up…" she hissed.
She fired, killing Gunjo, with a bullet to the chest.
Gunjo woke up in his bed, at home, as he was shaken. The moment he had was all a dream. He sighed in relief, as he said, "What a nightmare…"
He went to the mirror on the wall, as he was getting dressed. He looked at his bare chest, as he saw a huge scar, from a bullet wound, directly on the right side of his pectoral area. He gasped, as he was shocked. He whispered, "This… This… That bullet… It was-. What is this?"
He had no idea what it was, but he was concerned. After getting dressed, he took a day off from the school, and headed to the hospital.
Tales of the Bizarre #32:
The Faded Gold Star Teacher
"I couldn't even believe it, myself," Gunjo said to the nurse, as he was being examined, "It's crazy."
The nurse checked his blood pressure, as she said, "Mr. Gunjo, you have been coming here for five years, getting a check-up. And you can't say that nothing's wrong, beca-."
"NO! Nothing isn't wrong! It just happened! Not really. I dreamt that someone shot me, a high school girl, and when I woke up, I got this!"
The nurse said, "Well, it's got to be third-degree burns. Gunjo, remember last year, when you had a physical? You were depressed, after you were fired from the school, after assaulting and abusing two students…"
"Takazawa and Kotobuki… Yeah, I remember."
"Do you think that you might be telling the truth? If not, I can appoint you to a psychiatrist."
"I knew you wouldn't believe me…" He sighed.
She examined the scar and said, "You know, I read that certain tendencies of stress can cause psychosomatic reactions."
"And you're going to enlist me to a shrink?"
The nurse huffed, as she crossed her arms, "Sir, this girl from your dreams. Do you know her? Is she one of your students?"
He shook his head and said, "No… I'm not sure if she goes to our school… but her face seemed familiar. Why does she want me dead?"
The nurse suggested, "Gunjo, if it's okay with you, I'd like to have a consultant come in, and she'll examine your situation."
He nodded, "Thank you."
She walked to the door, as she said, "Give me a minute. She's right down the hall."
He waited, as he was worried about what he has been through. He then looked into his own medical files and read into them. He noticed some lines written on it. It said "Sudden appearance of a scar; to be a gunshot wound, after waking up." It was his accident recorded. He also saw his disposition and remarks on it. It said that he got high blood pressure and anger issues. He growled, as he said, "Why?"
He put the files down, as the nurse said, "Mr. Gunjo, I want you to meet an associate of mine. She knows exactly what you're going through."
A girl in bleach blonde hair appeared, dressed in a pink tube top, red jacket, denim skirt, and high heel boots, as Gunjo was stunned. He cried, "THAT'S HER!"
Kotobuki held her gun up and said, "Wake up."
Gunjo was shot in the abdomen, as he stumbled down into the examination table.
He woke up, as he panted. He looked around, as he saw his chest, sans scars. He smiled and said, "Thank goodness…"
He got out of bed and checked himself in the mirror. He got dressed, as he noticed a faint red mark on his abdomen. He looked at it, as he gasped, "AGH! What th-?"
He shivered, "What's going on?"
He sighed, as he decided to get dressed and go to school.
At Hounan High, Gunjo was in the teacher's lounge, as he was having coffee. A man in gray hair and a green sweater came in, as he spoke with Gunjo. He asked him what was wrong with him. Gunjo replied that he was having a dream, about a girl he knew in this school. He also explained the girl was in his classroom, as he was taking attendance. But she left a newspaper on the desk, and Gunjo would confiscate it. He was about to tell Nakanishi about this, but the same girl appeared and shot him in the chest. And when he awoke, he got a scar on his chest. After that, he had to go to the doctor, but then the same girl comes in, and shoots him again, this time, in the belly, and then he woke up, feeling like a dream within a dream. Nakanishi said that it was stress, since he got his job back in Hounan, since the incident, last year.
"Well, I blame Kotobuki for this… albeit, I think it's her."
Nakanishi said, "Kotobuki would never use a gun. She's from a family of policemen, but she knows better. I mean, I don't mind contraband on her cellphone and GAL stuff, but a gun? I think not."
Gunjo sighed. Nakanishi said, "I'll mind Kotobuki, today. Maybe I can tell her about this thing you have been having."
He left, as Gunjo was relaxing in the table.
Hours later, Gunjo was talking in the hallway with one of the girls, Takazawa, a girl with brown hair. He said to her, "Miss Takazawa, I know last year was a mess, and your grades are improving, but I want you to know that I'm going to try and be nice to you. But for that reason, I refuse to let you hang with Miss Kotobuki."
She replied, "Yes, sir… I'm sorry. But I didn't want to be here, after this mess. After I screwed up in the Sports Fest, last year."
"That was all in the past. Takazawa, I refuse to let this thing go. You know what happened, afterwards. That girl assaulted a teacher, after I showed discipline. The principal didn't bother expelling her… but let her go with a warning and a five-day suspension. You don't know what I am about. And I'm trying not to blow it, again."
Takazawa walked off, as she said, "Yes, sir. I should go."
He grabbed her arm and said, "Promise me."
He barked, "PROMISE ME! I'm in no mood of being ignored! I want you to stay clear of Kotobuki! Is that clear?"
She whimpered, "Sir, please!"
Gunjo said, "Listen to me! Whatever happens, I refuse to let you be friends with that no-account delinquent!"
Takazawa sobbed, "I'm sorry, sir. But she protected me, after everything that happened."
He ordered, "NO! I won't let it slide, but I cannot afford it! STAY AWAY FROM KOTOBUKI!"
"GUNJO!" Kotobuki yelled, as she saw everything, "Scumbag!"
She approached him, as he panicked in fear, "It's you…"
"Yes! It's me!" Kotobuki cried, "You never learn, do you?"
Takazawa pleaded, "Miss Kotobuki, Gunjo wanted me to tell you that-."
"No need." Kotobuki replied, "I knew it all along."
She hissed at him, as he pleaded, "Look, I have no beef with you. What's done is done. Truce? Don't shoot me!"
"Shoot you?" Kotobuki asked, "What the hell are you talking about?"
Takazawa pleaded to her, "Kotobuki, no! Don't hurt him."
"I won't. Are we alone?"
Gunjo smirked, "No one around… but I have a witness. And if you strike me, I think you know the penalty for assaulting a teacher."
Kotobuki smirked, "Hold me back, or expel me… I don't give a shit, Gunjo."
She punched him in the face, as she sneered, "She won't stand up to you!"
He was on his knees, as he growled, "Big mistake, Kotobuki."
She kicked him in the gut, as she cried, "Not enough? Not good enough to be a teacher?"
She punted at his gut, and stomped on his back. She bent down and said, "Look at you. Your parents are proud of a no-account shithead like you, as a teacher. You never change. You never learn."
Takazawa sobbed, "Miss Kotobuki, enough! Leave him alone!"
Kotobuki said, "Whose side are you on?"
Takazawa said nothing, as Kotobuki said to an injured Gunjo, "My friends are happy that you're back, but in reality, they resented a lowest lifeform like you, since you struck first!"
She punted him in the gut, as he was on all-fours. She said, "Well, this time, I strike first. Who are you going to believe, with no one around?"
She delivered one more kick to the stomach, as Gunjo was down. She walked off, walking past Takazawa, and then said in anger, "Thank god we don't have security cameras!"
Takazawa was shocked, as Gunjo was coughing. He was assaulted by one of his own students, except it was the same girl that ended his teaching career, for the time being. He was struggling to get up, as he was badly hurt. Takazawa cried out, as she called for help. She had to get Gunjo some medical attention.
Moments later, Gunjo woke up, as he panted heavily. But this time, he was in a huge metallic room. He was sitting on a metal table, with a protective mask on, with his face connected with wires. He whispered, "Where the hell am I?"
He saw a window, as he viewed a man in a computer console. He called out, "Hey! Hello?"
He cried, "Sir?"
A man in a white lab coat appeared, as Gunjo knocked on the glass, "HEY! Somebody tell me what is going on here?"
The man said, holding a microphone, calling in the PA, "I'm sorry, Mr. Gunjo, we're experiencing technical difficulties, so, would you please lie back down to the diagnostic table?"
"Tell me where I am!" Gunjo yelled.
The man said, "Please, Mr. Gunjo, you're disrupting the experiment, and you're in no condition to move around."
"WHAT experiment? And what are you doing to me?"
He hollered, as the man looked in the computer, "ANSWER ME!"
The man continued to ignore him, as he grabbed a fire extinguisher, as he roared, "Alright! You won't come out… I'M COMING IN HERE!"
The man halted him, as he went in the room. He explained to Gunjo, as Gunjo was holding the extinguisher up, "Please, Gunjo, put the extinguisher down… Just let me explain."
Gunjo yelled, "WHO THE HELL ARE YOU? WHAT IS THIS PLACE?"
The man said that this is a diagnostic area for a testing facility in VirtuaCorp. Gunjo is a part of a dream therapy experiment to express his nightmares.
"Dream therapy?! Who put you up to this? Whose idea was this?"
He grabbed the scientist, as he roared, "WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE? I WANNA KNOW WHAT IS THIS?"
The scientist cried, "Sir, there's no need to be hostile. I already called security."
"Not until I want answers! I demand to speak to your supervisor!" Gunjo yelled.
A female voice said, "There's no need."
Two security guards came in, as they were accompanied by Kotobuki, who was armed with the same gun. Gunjo gasped, as Kotobuki hissed, aiming at him, "Wake up."
He screamed, as he threw the extinguisher at her. She dodged out of the way.
The bullet went straight into Gunjo's chest, this time on his left side, where the heart is. He dropped down to the table, limp and motionless.
Gunjo woke up in his bed, back in his house. He panted, as he looked at his body, looking for any type of scars left behind. None was all he could find. Gunjo was finally relieved. His nightmares with Ran Kotobuki were all over.
The following afternoon, Gunjo went into the mail, as he pulled out some envelopes. He looked into it and threw away from junk mail. He kept one envelope, as he read the name of the company on the envelope – VirtuaCorp. Gunjo knew of the name of the science lab from his dream. He asked himself if this is still a dream, or a future premonition. He opened the envelope and read the note. All he saw was a bill. He had countless dream therapy appointments, totaling up to over one-point-three million Yen, in which he has to pay; his bill was totaled due exactly 1,333,691 Yen, for countless sessions in Dream Therapy. He was stunned and flabbergasted, as he cried, "This is-. I CAN'T PAY THIS!"
He had to get to the bottom of this. He decided to rush over to VirtuaCorp, and get answers on this huge million Yen bill.
Hours later, at the main building of VirtuaCorp, Gunjo was waiting in the waiting room, as the secretary, a woman in black hair, was typing in her computer. He asked, "Excuse me, I'd like to ask about the bill I got?"
The secretary said, "I'm sorry, sir… But all staff is busy."
Gunjo replied, "I understand."
He took a seat, as he waited for someone to arrive, only to explain everything about his bill. However, no one came to see him. Two hours passed, and he was furious. He asked the secretary, "Can this hurry along? I wish to speak to your supervisor."
She asked, "Do you have an appointment?"
"Then, you should've called, so we'd-."
"I don't give a damn! I'm not a client! I've waited two hours! TWO HOURS!"
"Yes, but according to our records-."
"I DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOUR RECORDS! I didn't sign-up for this Dream Therapy bullshit!"
"Yes, you did… when you signed the contracts."
Gunjo asked, "I what? Show me! SHOW ME WHERE I SIGNED!"
The secretary got up and said, "Mr. Gunjo, calm down. I'll go find someone who'll answer your questions."
Gunjo said, "Thank you!"
She left to find someone to assist Gunjo. As she was already gone, two men in white coats entered a door, as it was by a sign that says "Authorized Personnel ONLY". As they went in, Gunjo decided to sneak in, so he can find out what is going on. He caught the door and crept inside. He walked down the stairs, looking around for a room that holds dream therapy. He kept walking down the long stories of steps, until he arrived at the examination room. He found the same chrome table and light where he lied in. He went into the control room and looked around. He saw three monitors, all with different backgrounds: one from school, one from in the hallway, and one from in the exam room. He growled, as he was confused. He noticed four compact discs, still inside their plastic CD cases, on the table. As a matter of fact, he found a row of CDs, in each slot of a CD holder. There were almost a hundred CDs. And each of them has the insignia of VirtuaCorp. And below it was Gunjo's name, and the number disc he was played in. And he then noticed a small newspaper clipping. It was the same article from one of his dreams, in which a high school student was brutally murdered.
"What is this?" He asked, "What has it got to do with me?"
The monitor showed a video, as he played the news report on the left monitor. It showed a girl being carried away in a stretcher, with her entire body in a black bodybag. The paramedics carried her away, as a woman in blonde hair and a pink business suit was reporting the scene.
"We are LIVE in Shibuya, where 17-year old Hounan High School student, Ran Kotobuki, was found dead, in an alley near Shibuya. According to a report from a Miss Miyu Yamazaki, a fellow student in Hounan High, Miss Kotobuki went into the dark alley, and was shot to death. Investigators later claimed to believe that she was lured by a man in a suit, holding a gun, and shot her, minutes after a heated brawl in the alley, with Kotobuki beating up the man and unmasking him, seconds before she was shot and killed. A suspect has been notified, and is being apprehended; however, the man's name is being withheld."
Gunjo was shocked, as he saw himself getting arrested. He was shocked to learn the truth: He killed Ran Kotobuki. He cried, "No… Thi-This… This can't be real… It's not true… I didn't…"
A siren was made, as he ran off, escaping the lab.
"Intruder detected! Computer breached in Lab #15! Security alert!"
He ran out of the building, as the attack dogs chased after him. Gunjo made it to his car, and dove inside. He locked the door and began to drive off. However, he turned the key, and noticed that his car wasn't starting. He growled, as he was turning the keys, trying to turn the motor.
"Come on… Damn it, WORK!"
He then was about to leave his car, but Kotobuki was in front of the car. She held the gun at him, as she cried, "BASTARD!"
Gunjo shrieked, "NO! PLEASE DON'T!"
Gunjo was shot in the heart, again, as the bullet smashed through the windshield, and pierced into his chest.
"GUNJO!" A voice echoed.
Gunjo woke up again, as this time he was in the teacher's lounge. Nakanishi was confused, as Gunjo looked at himself. He cried, as he lost it, "No! NO! NO! NOOOOOOOOO! NO! NO! NO! NOOOOOOOOO! THERE IS NO END TO THIS!"
Nakanishi asked, "Mr. Gunjo, what are you talking about?"
Gunjo cried, "It never ends! These nightmares! These dreams! I keep having these dreams, and there's no end to this! Every time I dream, I wake up, but every time I wake up, again and again, and I think that it's real, I'm back at the same nightmare!"
He pleaded to him, "Please… Please tell me that I'm awake, and Kotobuki is here… Please, Mr. Nakanishi… Please say it. Please say I am awake… say it's NOT a dream."
Nakanishi then let out a glare, as he said, "You're gonna wish this was a nightmare."
Gunjo asked, "Huh? What are you saying?"
Nakanishi stated that the Kotobuki Family have arrived to school for a somewhat Parent-Teacher Conference. Nakanishi knew about Kotobuki's assault on Gunjo, recently. Gunjo smiled, as he knew that Kotobuki will get what she deserves, from her parents. But that's not all. Nakanishi held up the very same newspaper article from before. And then said to him, as Gunjo was completely stunned, "You mention Kotobuki? Her father brought the police with him… Someone attacked Kotobuki, last night. Miss Yamazaki found her dead. And they asked for a word with you."
Gunjo was shocked, as he whispered, "No… This is not happening…"
Nakanishi asked, "Did you do this? I wanna know. Did you kill her?"
Gunjo pleaded, "No. No, I didn't do it."
Nakanishi said, "Mrs. Kotobuki is arriving with her husband, the chief of police, right now. I'll send them in and explain…"
Gunjo suddenly panicked, as he pleaded, "NO! No, don't do it! No, don't let them in."
He grabbed his collar, as Nakanishi asked, "Wait, what is wrong with you?"
Gunjo cried, "Don't let them in. Not again! Please, let them wait it out!"
Nakanishi said, as he figured it out, "You did kill her, didn't you?"
He slapped himself in the face, as he cried, "I need to wake up! WAKE UP! I WANNA WAKE UP! Please be dreaming… Please be dreaming! DREAM! NOW!"
The doors busted down, as a woman in a blue policewoman's uniform appeared. She held a gun at Gunjo and cried, "FREEZE!"
Gunjo roared in fear, "NO!"
He stumbled down, crashing into the floor, as he crawled to the corner, in tears. He raised his hands up and saw the policewoman's face. It was Ran Kotobuki's face. He sobbed, as he said, "No… Please… end this… Don't do this…"
He sobbed, as he had his hands raised up. As he was crying, he remembered…
Ran was in her attire, with her red coat on, walking down Shibuya, about to go shopping. She noticed a man in a mask, as she cried, "HEY!"
She saw the man, as he ran into an alley. She trapped him, as he held a gun up. She said, as she pointed at him, "Put the gun down, scumbag!"
He lunged at her, as Kotobuki kicked him in the gut. She punched him in the face, and then removed the black balaclava, revealing to be Gunjo. She gasped, "Gunjo-Teach?"
Gunjo pulled the trigger and shot Kotobuki in the chest, directly at the heart. She dropped to the ground and fell dead, with her eyes blank and blood pouring from her gun wound. Gunjo panted, as he smiled lightly, knowing what he did. He knew that he finally sought revenge on Ran Kotobuki. Unfortunately, the cops heard him, as he ran off. He put his mask on, as the police chased after him. Miyu, a girl with short blonde hair, ran to Ran, who was dying. She coughed, as she said to Miyu, "Miyu… … …It was… Gun… jo… Te-."
She collapsed, and suddenly died. Miyu sobbed and bawled at her best friend. The World's Greatest Gal was dead. Ran Kotobuki was shot by Gunjo, the very same man she met, who abused Takazawa, one year ago, after his class lost the Sports Festival to Mr. Nakanishi. And he was removed from his teaching job, after assaulting a student, who, in return, struck back, getting a suspension out of it.
Gunjo heard the words in his head, from last year, "No more golden plate… Gunjo, you tool! Hold me back or expel me… I don't give a shit, Gunjo! Not as long as I knock you off your pedestal! You're a scumbag, Gunjo!"
Her words echoed into him, as he cried, "No… NO MORE! THAT IS ENOUGH, KOTOBUKI!"
Kotobuki went closer, as she aimed her gun at him, the very same gun that Mr. Gunjo used to kill her. She let out a cold glare, with no emotion, as Gunjo pleaded to her, in tears.
"No… Just, wait a minute… Kotobuki… I… I'm sorry… I'm sorry that I killed you… I was lost, I lost myself, I saw you, and I wanted to be rid of you… the same girl that ruined my life… but, I can't take it! Please don't shoot me again. I can't take it, anymore! I'm sorry! Okay? I'm sorry I killed you. I snapped! I didn't know… what I was doing…"
Kotobuki stared at him, as Gunjo was pleading for his life, "Please… I just want this to end. Lemme have my peace. But it hurts. Put the gun down. Please… Please don't hurt me anymore. I'll change. Make it go away. I don't want to hurt anybody, anymore. I can't bear it. Please. Just leave, and go away! Just leave me alone! I'm sorry… I AM SORRY! But this whole thing… Please… Please, no more…"
Kotobuki them responded, as she whispered to him, "Wake up."
Gunjo screamed in terror, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
Gunjo was shot by Kotobuki, once again.
And then, everything went white…
Gunjo was on a table, connected with wires, and in a glass pod. This time, he didn't wake up. He was inside a pod, fidgeting and twitching, as he was being examined by numerous scientists. A female scientist, one in long black hair, said, "…by extracting key moments from the convict's memory, we're able to virtually create, in our computers, the scene of Miss Kotobuki's death, and all the events surrounding the crime… including the recreation of this facility."
It was VirtuaCorp, and Gunjo was locked inside a glass pod, in a motionless state, still twitching, reliving each moment, in different dream scenarios. This time, it was real. As it turns out, Gunjo was in VirtuaCorp, all along, after he killed Kotobuki, and was sentenced to experience what it felt like, killing an innocent girl, at gunpoint. The female scientist said to a policeman in blonde hair, "Now, in the case of Mr. Gunjo, here, we designed a repeating dream scenario, where he will experience murder, in the same manner as he did to Miss Kotobuki, except only to himself… with a gun… and of course, the killer with the gun, in every dream, is usually with your sister, Miss Kotobuki. Of course, a virtual likeness of her, anyway."
Ran's brother asked, "And this is real to him?"
The scientist replied, "All 100% real and painful. Mr. Gunjo has just moved on from the Acceptance phase of the scenario, to the Retribution phase, where he will suffer the same forty-seven different deaths that he's been sentenced to. Each one, more traumatizing than the last. In ten years, we hope that this will make prisons obsolete."
Ran's brother said, "I agree… but from what it looks like, he's getting off easy. What I do not understand is why an ex-teacher would sought revenge on Ran, after what she did, standing up to him."
He and the scientist left, as a male scientist with blonde hair was supervising the project, as Gunjo was suffering through Dream Therapy, for a couple more times, again and again… all because he killed a student; the very same girl that ruined his life.
Mr. Gunjo's prison: NO walls, NO bars, not even a single guard. It's simply a state of mind, from which there is no escape.
Sweet dreams, Gunjo.
Kotobuki's voice echoed, "Wake up…"
Miz-K Note: This is yet another "The Twilight Zone" retelling, this time, from the 2002 failed revival (since it lasted ONE season). This is a retelling of the episode "The Pool Guy", which stars Lou Diamond Phillips. In this one, it's a somewhat sequel to Episode 23 of Super GALS, where Gunjo assaulted Ran Kotobuki, after he abused and punished Takazawa, harshly. That episode in the anime was the worst out of the series, aside from the S-bombs from the English Dub, but it feels like something from real-life drama.
Anyway, back to the fic, this retelling parody gives Gunjo a starring role, despite being a bit character and minor antagonist, and how he killed Kotobuki, in a different manner, gaining vengeance for what happened. I even added how he killed her in detail, since they never showed in the show how the guy killed the man, while he was "watching TV at home". I mean, you gotta dig deep into what happened.
This is one fanfic in the Bizarre series that I am NOT proud of… as it did show a teacher, shooting a student dead. I'd scrap it, but what's the point? This was drama gold. But for those who are offended by it, I apologize, as no characters (or TotB victims) were hurt, in the writing of this fic.
Good night out there… Wherever you are…