4

I hesitated outside the detention door and breathed pushing my green framed glasses back up on the bridge of my noses. The students of Bexley weren't bad, not at all, but…the bad kids were really bad and as I said my touch was far too gentle for my own good. Lorraine joked with me that it was a junior juvenile hall, she wasn't exactly wrong. The window with the cross pattern that looked like chain-link on the window didn't help matters.

"Easy, Jane." I told myself. "Just take it slow." The knob budged under my grip and I opened it. I was met with the knife-carved door-frame, my nostrils violated by the smell of nicotine and acetone and God only knows what else. The Goblin Metal music (or I think that's what the kids called it, it might still be called Screamo still? I don't know) roared forth from a Pandora app from a phone. The students were in a semi-circle talking back and forth about…oh I didn't even want to guess! Witchcraft maybe? Possibly summoning the devil? And there was my nephew; in the middle, Jacob as ringmaster.

His eyes flashed to mine from across the room and then rolled. "Oh God, not you!" was the greeting I received. More civil than most, I actually received an audible response this time. Progress!

I wrote my name on the board after erasing the name of the last teacher who had 'the privilege', despite it being the middle of the year and not needing too. In a way, it was for identification purposes if the last one went missing, they would know who to look for.

I cleared my throat. "Good afternoon class, I hope everyone had a pleasant lunch." No response. I swallowed, I swore I heard the click of a switchblade and saw a silver glint out of the corner of my eye to match. "You…you all know the drill, no talking. You may do your homework for another class or read a book if you like." Yeah, right Jane! Like that was going to happen.

After a moment when I thought they were settled, or settled enough where I felt safe to take my eyes off them for a minute I begun to rummage through the office box my boss Tessa Sledge – once Tessa Lane had given me. it was full of memorabilia from 1987; Madonna records, bangles, teen magazines, Boy George posters and clippings from our school newspaper from back then. All of the items nearly as foreign to me as when they came out. "I don't even know what to do with this." I said to myself about the items.

I had been the type who geeked-out when she found out The Three Tenors (a famous operatic group) was going to be televised by PBS and who had every Unabridged Victorian novel in a trunk at the end of her bed along with her retainer from middle school. The only remotely cool thing about me back then besides my sisters was my acoustic guitar.

I was also the only other student in the creative writing class that year. The girl who had a crush on the only other student in that class; he was a senior with bad allergies, social anxieties and a typewriter. Of course, that boy wouldn't recall that little freshman girl when they met again while working in the same high school…not even a hint of recognition, and then in a strange turn of events said boy's fiancée winds up being said girl's best friend, and I am just fine with that.

I didn't need any more complications.

Another glint from that switchblade I thought I had heard flashed against the frame of my glasses. My head jolted upwards. Jacob.

I got up and slowly made my way over to him as he vandalized the desk he was sitting at. He was 16, with long dyed raven-black hair that was buzzed on one side, he had deep blue eyes full of tragedy offset by the black eyeliner, his lack of smile emphasized by the piercing on his lower lip. He was hurting, and I was helpless to do anything but watch. That was all he would let me do.

In the leg of the desk he had scratched in the words. "I hate everything." I frowned and crouched so my lips were level with his ear. He had enough sense to slip the knife into my hand without me reprimanding him until we got home. "I certainly hope that isn't true Jacob Scott."

"It is true!" He scowled.

"Jacob, let me help you—"

"You're not my mom!" the blow was cutting all the same, I had tried. I had tried so hard to make up for Jess's misgivings, she just couldn't handle it when Jillian got into that car accident. They had been twins just like Lilly and Jasmine except inseparable, even being the head cheerleaders on rival high school teams. Once, we had been the J-Waldhorn trio; Jessy, Jilly and Janey Waldhorn but that all ended after the car accident; we had both thought Jilly would have left the girls to Jess, I mean she told me once that I was "the responsible one" but I thought it was a joke. Then Jess just lost it and left Jacob with me.

"We'll deal with this later young man, don't think this is over."

I walked back to my desk at the front of the room stepping through scraps of paper the kids were burning in a trashcan earlier, one catching on the heal of my shoe, I sat returning to the items in the box not realizing it was there until it made a rubbing noise against the floor. I scooted back out and pealed the parchment from my shoe, the edges slightly charred. The inscription on it was handwritten and foreign—as in, in a foreign language. It had to be something from one of those voodoo websites Jacob and the others had on their phones. I had a feeling I should start to worry about this "harmless" gothic cult, Jacob seemed to be starting

I tried the words in my mouth just because of their incongruity.

"Karru Marri,… Odonna Loma,… Molonu Karrano…"

Strange, it felt strange saying it, it felt heavy in my chest as soon as it left my lips. I touched the numb feeling on my bottom lip and dropped the paper away from me as if it was on fire once more. Whatever it was, whatever it meant… I wasn't meant to say it.

The door burst open with very little warning from the nob. I shot straight up sending the chair rolling into the whiteboard behind me. My mouth gaping from the impact of the door's reverberation as it swung.

A gruff voice. "Get in there you hooligan!" a hard shove.

It was a teacher, a very angry teacher personally delivering a student to detention. I let go of the breath I was holding. God, detention duty was so more fit for the P.E teacher…or this guy.

"Plant your ass before I planted for you!" he pointed relentlessly at a desk before crossing his arms.

The student was lanky with dark, slicked-back and yet wild red hair and bright green eyes, a round eerily boyish shape face with dark lips, that strangely held a serpents' charm that was beyond his years, he wore skinny jeans and a white tee with a cocky smile, half laughing. Clean cut and yet there was something irrepressibly savage in his face, more so than the kids that were trying to put forth that image. I had such an odd feeling in my gut at his sudden appearance, foreboding and awful, not that I didn't feel that way about the other kids in detention but this was tenfold.

As if on cue, the boy jolted to catch my stare, and held it. "What are you lookin at four eyes?" he snapped.

I blinked and shook myself out of it. I touched my cheek as an unwelcome blush bloomed in them. "Nothing…nothing." Compose yourself Jane. "Have a seat."

"Don't mind if I do Lady." The student replied snarkily, putting his feet up on a desk. "Bells going to ring any second anyway."

Again, as if on cue from this boy the bell rang. The students filed out, the boy gave me an off-putting wink as he passed. "Later toots."

I shuttered, the gruff voice from earlier rang out from beside me again, calling after the boy. "Don't think this is over Alistair! We will deal with this later!"

Hadn't I just said something like that to Jacob? Jacob, I had wanted to catch him in between classes about his behavior, since I already would have to give the girls a talking to when I got home… hopefully Lorraine got a jumpstart on it. But when I turned he was already gone and halfway down the hall.

I sighed.

"Idiot." The angry teacher next to me gave the doorframe a frustrated thump and then heaved out a breath before turning to me. He was my age, chiseled featured and cleft-chinned, he too had green eyes. he wore and Easter-egg blue polo shirt in which his arm slightly bulged with the tension of a clenched fist, reddish hair standing at attention. Whatever his encounter with that Alistair student was really rattled him, I couldn't blame him.

"Jesus, that kid makes me angry!" He admits to me.

"Wh-what did he do?" I dared to asked, the other teacher just glared into the hall where Alistair once was.

"Lets just say if I ever wanted to commit suicide I'd choose to jump from his ego into his I.Q."

I couldn't help but crack a small smile. "I've never heard it put quite that way before."

"Damn kid made me miss the end of my shop class!"

I was glad he said it, I would have been too embarrassed to ask; knowing too well by my first encounter with Robert what it felt like to be on the other end. "So you're the shop teacher?!"

"Yeah, names Mahar." He says. "Frank Mahar, but I'm not into formalities, so just Frank is good enough for me." there was a slight hint of a Brooklyn lilt to his voice

"Frank." I smile the biggest smile I had smiled in a long time. "Nice name." He turns to me at last eyes meeting eyes. He straightens finally seeming to come down from his anger but finding himself at a disadvantage. "And you are?"

He was so handsome, overwhelmingly so, that I forgot my name just a moment and then I stuttered out, adjusting my glasses. "Jane, Jane Waldhorn. Chorus teacher and partly subbing for English."

He held out his hand and shook mine with an impressive grip. "Chorus eh? Not my strong suit. Other side of campus right? Forgive me I'm new here."

I giggled. "Welcome to the funhouse then, and you're right, other side of campus."

He smiled too. "Thanks." He eyed my box for the reunion and pointed to it. "Here, let me carry that for you."

It wasn't that heavy but in a breathless whirlwind from the gallant gesture, I simply uttered. "Thanks."

We began walking down the hall together since it was awhile before the hall split off in separate directions.

"What will you do?" I ask breaking the silence and he raises an eyebrow.

"Hm?"

"About that student, Alistair?"

Frank scuffs. "If it was up to me, capitol punishment!"

I laugh at his boldness.

"Its true." He stops and takes in my smile. "But it ain't up to me so I gotta settle for the next best thing."

"And that would be?" I questioned.

Mr. Frank Mahar pointed to the opposite wall where there were flyers tacked up messily for the latest committees and clubs. "Community service. He says finally.

I flush remembering I would soon have my own committee up in the array for the reunion and shuttered to imagine the possibility of 'that kid' being in it. A gut-wrenching, awful feeling.

The bell rang again and Frank handed me back my stuff having reached his classroom door. "My stop." He announces. "I'll let you know if there's any development."

"Yes, please do." I reply honestly, hoping for the best.

"Hope to see you again soon." Was his last words to me, leaving me in the hall alone or so I thought. I turned and there waiting for me pressed up against the exit door was the student Alistair, smiling a sickeningly dominate smile. I had to do a double take if the hall really was empty except for he and I... it was. he looked like was going to eat me alive, a look far more unsettling than any of the punk kids ever gave me… a kind of ticking-bomb insanity.

I swallowed, there was no out, I would have to pass him or try to. I sucked in a breath and made my way to him slowly…slowly. He locked his eyes on my step for step and I felt my nails digging into the cardboard box until finally we were face to face. He towered over me.

He moved over at the last second with a look of indignant and definite ownership. He held the door open for me and I was grateful to feel the gust of air from the outside world of this…horror land.

He let me pass but not before leaving me with this horrific thought to muse on.

"Looks like I'll be seeing more of you, Ms. Waldhorn."

I glimpsed those mad green eyes over my shoulder with only one thought…

"God, I hope not."

Okay, okay...not bad for the first horrorish suspense attempt fic its getting better I think. I feel like I have to put a small disclaimer in my Jane Waldhorn has nothing to do with the real life Jane Waldhorn married to R. L Stine aside from her name.

And I'm battling two twists in my head aside from my dead set one and I think I have a good set up for either way I choose to go with it.

Hopefully someone likes this enough to leave me a comment

PLEEASSE