"Get off that child!"
The class turned to face the person at the door.
Randall yelled in delight, "Miss Finster!"
"Miss Finster, I-", TJ tried to say.
The woman did not look good. Her jaw was completely swollen, as were her cheeks. She was flushed and looked generally quite haggard.
"Detweiller, what are you doing here?" She asked hoarsely.
TJ winced unsure of why he had come. He didn't know what he wanted here. But in his dream Miss Finster had made him feel so safe. It had just felt so real, he thought she could really give him that security. As foolish as that may sound. Sure he had seen her in action, but it wasn't realistic for Miss Finster to take on Reilly.
"Detweiller, what happened to you?" She asked concerned only now noticing the horrible bruise on his face and the awkward way he walked.
TJ looked over his shoulder, feeling somewhat paranoid that Reilly had followed him there. But the street was empty, save for the occasional stray cat. "What do you know about the man that is substituting for us?" TJ asked.
"Reilly?" She croaked and TJ shuddered just hearing the man's name. "He was the only available substitute in town but he came highly recommended".
"Why?" She asked narrowing her eyes.
"He's bad", TJ said, tears pricking at his eyes. "He's a bad guy".
"Bad? What are you talking about? Bad how?" She asked confused.
"He hits us", TJ gasped and instantly put his hands over his mouth. He couldn't believe after so many days of fear he had just blurted that out.
Miss Finster instantly opened the door and ushered TJ inside. She showed him into the living room, which he had once seen when Spinelli had stayed with Miss Finster. There was a blanket on the sofa, where Miss Finster had obviously made a make-shift bed.
She sat him down, keeping one hand on his shoulder. TJ tried his hardest not to cringe at the touch. He just couldn't bear having anyone touch him after what he'd been through.
"Now", Miss Finster said looking pale, "You need to tell me exactly what you mean by 'he hits us'", she said.
"He slaps us, and kicks us, and he had the whole class wrestle me because I did something wrong", TJ cried. The gates had opened and TJ didn't feel like he would be able to stop until everything was out in the open. Well everything except that. "And I said something bad to him and he hit me with his belt".
Miss Finster's face paled and she paused for a moment, "You do know what you're saying is very serious. It's not something you can joke about-"
"I'm not lying!" Cried TJ. She had to believe him. She was his last hope.
"Reilly, what do you think you are doing?" Asked Prickly shocked as he entered the classroom behind Miss Finster.
Reilly froze, like a deer in headlights. Principal Prickly set his face like stone, "Miss Lemons, call the police".
Reilly charged suddenly knocking Miss Finster off her feet and tore out of the room. Prickly yelled in shock before running after the sadist. Miss Lemons quickly picked Miss Finster back up onto her feet before running from the room, presumably to call the police.
Miss Finster turned to TJ, "You neglected to mention this".
TJ sobbed and ran into Miss Finster's arms. Before long every child in the class was weeping in relief. Prickly entered the room followed by Miss Grokey who immediately enveloped several children into a hug.
"Oh you poor children. Are you alright?" She asked worriedly.
"He got away", Prickly informed Miss Finster. TJ gasped and turned fear filled eyes to Principal Prickly, "But don't worry", he continued, "The police will get him".
"You're safe now", Miss Finster whispered.
"Now Principal Prickly. We need you to tell us everything that happened", said detective Dan Person. He had been on the force now for twenty three years and never before had he encountered this level of sadism as was being described to him. The entire day felt like a blur, with one interview melding into the next.
"I hired Reilly when our usual teacher Miss Finster went off sick", said Principal Prickly.
"I have the mumps, so we wanted a substitute that could take over for the 2 week duration. Reilly was the only one available", said Miss Finster in the next interview.
"According to Principal Prickly he came highly recommended", Miss Grokey said in the interview after.
"It wasn't ten minutes into our first lesson that he hit TJ the first time", Gretchen informed him.
"He pinned TJ's arms behind his back when TJ tried to fire a spit ball at him", said Gus.
"After that TJ got his first detention", said MIkey without his usual flamboyance as tears ran down his face.
"We were on the playground when Reilly started to choke TJ for saying he was going to tell the principal", Ashley A said.
"After that he was really mean to TJ all day. He kept kicking him and hitting him", Hustler kid said.
"He had lunch time detention but we got him out of it by faking some papers for Mr Reilly to sign", said Menlo.
"He had detention after school, but we had a plan to get him out of it, but then they went missing", said Ashley Q.
"We rounded up all the kids in the playground to help look for him", Lawson said.
"We didn't know what happened in detention 'til the next day", admitted Digger Dave.
"TJ was late to school and then we found out at recess that Reilly… that he… raped him", said Ashley T with tears streaming down her face.
"Because TJ told us what happened Reilly punished him for being a snitch", shivered Randall.
"He made the whole class do a German Surplex on TJ and when I hit him, Reilly did a piledriver on him. He was knocked out", wept Spinelli.
"We don't know what happened in his lunch time detention, but when we got back Reilly was in a good mood", said Digger Sam.
"After the class had left Reilly told us… his exact words were "Detweiller will be getting his brains fucked out", cried Vince, and Pearson closed his eyes, feeling quite sick. "Later TJ left my house in the middle of the night and we didn't see him until the next morning".
"Detweiller came to my house asking for help", said Miss Finster, "We went to school and I got Principal Prickly".
"When we entered the room, both Spinelli and LaSalle were on the floor and Reilly was unbuttoning Detweiller's pants", finished Miss Lemons.
Detective Dan stood in the hospital waiting room waiting on a nurse to get back to him. The nurse came over with a frown on her face. "Detective, Theodore Detweiller is in X-ray but his parents is in the family room".
Detective Person thanked the woman before proceeding to the family room. In the room sat three people, an older couple and a teenage girl. The girl looked up as the detective entered the room. "Mom", she said standing up. Mrs Detweiller stood with her husband, holding his hand tightly.
"Mr and Mrs Detweiller, I'm detective Dan Person, I hope you don't mind me asking you a few questions", said the detective.
"What's this all about? What's happened to my son? I get a call at home telling me to go to the hospital and no one will tell me what happened", cried Mrs Detweiller, "Please just tell me what is going on!"
Detective Pearson sighed, "What do you know about a man named Jason Reilly?"
"Mr Reilly? He's TJ's new substitute teacher. I spoke to him on the phone once. He seemed like such a lovely man. Why has something happened to him too?"
Pearson took a seat and indicated for the Detweillers to as well. "Mrs Detweiller, I'm sorry to have to tell you this but we believe Jason Reilly has been abusing your son".
There was a moment of extremely tense silence, before Becky broke it, "Abusing how?"
Pearson closed his eyes for a second, this was the part of his job he hated; having to tell bad news to families, "Verbally, physically and sexually".
Tears poured out of Mrs Detweiller's eyes, "Sexu- what are you talking about?"
"According to interviews with the students and teachers at 3rd street, Reilly has been constantly terrorising your son for the past two days", Person said. "He raped your child Mrs Detweiller".
"Not my baby!" Cried Mrs Detweiller.
TJ looked up to see a middle-aged man and young woman enter his room. He couldn't help it, he froze when he saw a strange man coming near him.
"TJ, I'm Detective Pearson, and this is Shirley Temple, she's a child protective officer", said the man, now identified as a detective. TJ relaxed a little, knowing that this man would be the one arresting Reilly. "I need to ask you some tough questions. You don't have to answer them, if you don't want to, but the better you do, the easier it will be to put Reilly away".
TJ nodded slightly, "Okay".
"Now your friends have told us a lot but we need you to fill in the blanks. There were times that it was only you and Reilly", TJ shuddered slightly just hearing the man's name, something which did not go beyond the detective's notice, "Can you tell us what happened in your first detention?"
"The class left for lunch and it was just me and him", TJ said, tears pricking at the corner of his eyes. He couldn't look into either of the adults' eyes, it would be too hard to tell them, "He asked me why I was in detention and I said I didn't know so he hit me".
TJ took in a shuddering breath as tears leaked out of his eyes and down his cheeks, "He said that was the wrong answer and picked me up and kissed me", he choked openly sobbing now.
The CPO handed him a tissue which he accepted without looking at the woman. Pearson nodded, "You're doing well TJ, what happened after school? Your friends said you went missing".
"My friends pulled the fire alarm to get me out of detention but Reilly took me to the room behind the clock. He tied me down… and then he put his finger… and then… and then", TJ tried to speak through his sobs but couldn't say the words.
"He raped you", supplied the detective, to which TJ nodded, still weeping. "Do you need to stop?"
TJ shook his head and wiped the few stray tears still on his face away. "I can't stop 'til this is over", he said.
"Okay what happened the next day, you were home sick, right?" The detective prodded.
"He called me at home, spent ten minutes buttering up my mom, she loved him. Then he told me if I didn't come in he would go after Vince. So I went in, and then at recess everyone found out, and Reilly made me pay for it", said TJ with the occasional shuddering gasp.
"He had the whole class wrestle you", the detective nodded, looking over his notes from the earlier interviews. "And then he wrestled you".
"I was really dizzy and confused and next thing I hear his zippers going down, and his thing is in my face", TJ cried, starting to hiccup, "He made me… you know. And then he made me swallow it".
The detective nodded, adding this into his notes. That explained why the other children had said he seemed to be in a good mood, at the child's expense. "And after school?" He asked knowing what was coming. The vulgar words still rang through his head, that the LaSalle child had said their teacher told him.
"He said he was going to… going to… rape me again. And I got scared and called him a pervert, so he took off his belt and he hit me with it, over and over. I felt like I was going to pass out, and then he raped me anyway!" TJ exclaimed.
"Then you went to Miss Finster", the detective filled in.
"She aid she would help me, and she did. She went to get Prickly, and I went into class, so he'd be caught red handed. But when I got in I was cheeky to him, so he threw me over his desk. He said he was going to show the class what we got up to in private. Vince and Spinelli tried to stop him, but he was too strong. Then Principal Prickly came in and Reilly ran and-"
"It's okay", the detective said reaching forward and pulling TJ into a hug. TJ froze instinctively before relaxing into the embrace, "It's all going to be okay".
So sorry for the long wait but here's another update.