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Messages - Skill Flea

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301
CreepyPastas Only / Rain Rain Go Away by Issac Asimov
« on: 12:55:34 PM 11/20/15 »
NOTE: This short story is an old one written in the 1950s by the great Isaac Asimov. Now he may be the most widely read science fiction author but sometimes, horror can be found in places you never think to look. This was partially rewritten by me in an attempt to make it more modern. Enjoy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“There she is again,” said Lillian Wright as she adjusted the venetian blinds carefully. “There she is, George.”

“Who?” asked her husband, sitting down by the TV so that he might settle down to watch the ball game.

“Mrs. Sakkaro,” she said, “The new neighbors, for goodness sake.” “Sunbathing. Always sunbathing. I wonder where her boy is. He’s usually out on a nice day like this, standing in that tremendous yard of theirs and throwing the ball against the house. Did you ever see him, George?”

“Oh, I’ve heard him. It’s a version of the Chinese water torture. Bang on the wall, biff on the ground, smack in the hand. Bang, biff, smack, bang, bi—”

“He’s a nice boy! So quiet and well-behaved. I wish Tommie would make friends with him. He’s the right age, too, just about ten. I should say”

“I didn’t know Tommie had trouble making friends.” George said sounding slightly concerned.

“Well, it’s hard with the Sakkaros. They keep to themselves. I don’t even know what Mr. Sakkaro does for a living.”

“Why should you? It’s not really anyone’s business what he does.”

“But it’s so odd!” Lillian exclaimed “It’s odd that I never see him go to work.” She turned her attention back to the blinds “I think we should make an effort; the neighborhood should.”

“What kind of effort?” George was comfortable on the couch now, with a king-size soda in his hand, freshly opened and frosted with moisture.

“To get to know them.”
“Well, didn’t you, when she’d just moved in? You said you called.”

“I … said hello but … well, she’d just moved in and the house was still a mess … so that’s all it could be, just a friendly hello.”

Their conversation stopped for the moment and the house fell into silence, except the ball game on the TV. George continued to watch the game, cursing under his breath when his team struck out with the bases loaded. Lillian continued to look out the window studying her neighbors’ house. She continued to look at Mrs. Sakkaro who had suddenly stopped sunbathing. She began surveying the sky, took notice of a few cumulus clouds, and immediately ran back inside her home.
“She’s so odd.” Lillian shouted back at George who was snapped out of his trance.

“Wh-Why do you say that?”

“She’s always looking at the sky; I’ve seen her do it a hundred times and she’s never been out when it’s the least bit cloudy. Once, when the boy was out playing, she called to him to come in, shouting that it was going to rain. I happened to hear her and I thought:

“Oh no, I left the wash on the line!”

So I hurried out and it was broad sunlight. Sure, there were some clouds, but nothing, really.”

“Did it rain, eventually?” asked a more curious George

“Of course not. I just had to run out in the yard for nothing.”

George immediately became lost again amid a couple of base hits and a most embarrassing bobble that meant a run. When the excitement was over and the pitcher was trying to regain his composure, George called out after Lillian, who was vanishing back into the kitchen.

“Well, since they’re from Arizona, I dare say they don’t know rainclouds from any other kind.”

Lillian came back into the living room with a patter of high heels. “From where?”

“From Arizona, according to Tommie. He talked to their boy, in between ball chucks, I guess, and he told Tommie they came from Arizona and then the boy was called in. At least, Tommie says it might have been Arizona, or maybe Alabama. You know Tommie and his non-total recall. But if they’re that nervous about the weather, I guess its Arizona and they don’t know what to make out of a good rainy climate like ours.”
Lillian just shrugged: “I’ll simply just have to make her acquaintance. She looks very nice but … Honestly—

Now, George was out two days later on a reference search in the library and came home with a load of books. Lillian greeted him, her demeanor was different; he noted that she was more giddy than usual.

“Now, you’re not doing anything tomorrow.”

George sighed “That sounds like a statement, not a quest –“

“We’re going out with the Sakkaros to Murphy’s Park!!”

“Wooooow. How did you get that happen?”

“I just went up to their house this morning and rang the bell.” I stood there, jittering, with my finger on the doorbell, till I thought that ringing the bell would be easier than having the door open and being caught standing there like a fool.”

“And she didn’t kick you out?”

“What? No. No. Sh-She was sweet as she could be. Invited me in, knew who I was, said she was so glad I had come to visit. You know.”

“And you suggested Murphy’s Park.”

“Yes. I thought if I suggested something that would let the children have fun, it would be easier for her to go along with it. She wouldn’t want to spoil a chance for her boy. And by the way, you HAVE GOT TO see her home.”

“Ah. You had a reason for all this. It comes out. You wanted the Cook’s tour. But, please, spare me the color-scheme details. I’m not interested in the bedspreads, and the size of the closets is a topic with which I can dispense.”

Now, it was the secret of their happy marriage that Lillian paid no attention to George. She went into the color-scheme details and gave him an inch-by-inch description of closet-size. “And clean? I have never seen any place so spotless.” She practically gawked.

“If you get to know her, then, she’ll be setting you up with impossible standards.”

“Her kitchen,” said Lillian, ignoring him, “was so spanking clean you just couldn’t believe she ever used it.

I asked for a drink of water and she held the glass underneath the tap and poured slowly. So that not one drop fell in the sink itself. She did it so casually that I just knew she always did it that way. And when she gave me the glass she held it with a clean napkin. Just hospital-sanitary.”

“That’s defiantly a little weird….” Said George “She must be a lot of trouble to herself. Surely, she didn’t agree to come with us right off?”
“Well— no, not right off. She called to her husband about what the weather forecast was, and he said that the newspapers all said it would be fair tomorrow but that he was waiting for the latest report on the radio. I think they subscribe to all the newspapers, I’ve watched the bundle the newsboy leaves—”

“There isn’t much you miss, is there?” George said with a chuckle
“Anyway,” said Lillian severely**, “She called up the weather bureau and had them tell her the latest updates and she called it out to her husband and they said they’d go. Except they said they’d phone us if there were any unexpected changes in the weather.”

“All right. Then we’ll go.”

The Sakkaros were young and pleasant, dark and handsome. In fact, as they came down the long walk from her home to where the Wright automobile was parked. The Sakkaro boy came running after them, waving something which turned out to be a barometer and all three got into the back seat. Conversation began, with neat give-and-take on impersonal subjects, as they drove off to Murphy’s Park. The Sakkaro boy was so polite and reasonable that even Tommie Wright, wedged between his parents in the front seat, was subdued by example. Lillian couldn’t recall when she had such a pleasant a drive. She was not the least disturbed by the fact that, barely to be heard under the flow of the conversation, Mr. Sakkaro’s small radio was on, and she never actually saw him put it occasionally to his ear.

It was a beautiful day at Murphy’s Park; hot and dry without being too hot; and with a cheerfully bright sun in a big, blue sky. Even Mr. Sakkaro, though he inspected every quarter of the heavens with a careful eye and then stared piercingly at the barometer, seemed to have no fault to find. Lillian ushered the two boys to the amusement section and bought enough tickets to allow one ride for each attraction.
“Please,” she had said to a protesting Mrs. Sakkaro, “let this be my treat. I’ll let you have your turn next time.”

When she returned, George was alone. “Where—” she began. “Just down there at the refreshment stand. I told them I’d wait here for you and we would join them.” He sounded gloomy.

“Anything wrong?”

“No, not really, except that I think he must be independently wealthy. I don’t know what he does for a living. He said he’s just a student of human nature.”

“How philosophical. That would explain all those newspapers.”

“Yes, but with a handsome, wealthy man next door, it looks as though I’ll have impossible standards set for me, too.”

“Don’t be silly.” Lillian said pulling George into an affectionate hug.

“And he doesn’t come from Arizona.”

“He doesn’t?”

“I said I heard he was from Arizona. He looked so surprised, it was obvious he wasn’t. Then he laughed and asked if he had an Arizona accent.”
Lillian said thoughtfully, “He has some kind of accent, you know. There are lots of Spanish-ancestry people in the Southwest, so he could still be from Arizona. Sakkaro could be a Spanish name—Come on George, they’re waving. Oh, look what they’ve bought.”

The Sakkaros were each holding three sticks of cotton candy, huge swirls of pink foam consisting of threads of sugar dried out of frothy syrup that had been whipped about in a warm vessel. It melted sweetly in the mouth and left one feeling sticky. The Sakkaros held one out to each Wright, and out of politeness the Wright’s accepted. They went down the midway, tried their hand at darts, at the kind of poker game where balls were rolled into holes, at knocking wooden cylinders off pedestals. They took pictures of themselves and recorded their voices and tested the strength of their handgrips. Eventually they collected the youngsters, who had been reduced to a satisfactorily breathless state of roiled-up insides, and the Sakkaros ushered theirs off instantly to the refreshment stand. Tommie hinted the extent of his pleasure at the possibility of purchasing a hot-dog and George tossed him a quarter. He ran off, too.

“Frankly,” said George, “I prefer to stay here. If I see them biting away at another cotton candy stick I’ll turn green and sicken on the spot. If they haven’t had a dozen apiece, I’ll eat a dozen myself.”
“I know, and they’re buying a handful for the child now.”

“I offered Mr. Sakkaro a hamburger and he just shook his head. Not that a hamburger’s much, but after enough cotton candy, it ought to be a feast.”

Lillian shook her head in agreement “I know. I offered her an orange drink and the way she jumped when she said no, you’d think I’d thrown it in her face. —Still, I suppose they’ve never been to a place like this before and they’ll need time to adjust to the novelty. They’ll fill up on cotton candy and then never eat it again for ten years.”

They strolled toward the Sakkaros. Mr. Sakkaro had the radio to his ear and was looking anxiously toward the west. “Uh-oh,” said George, “he’s seen it. Suddenly all three Sakkaros were upon him, polite but insistent. They were sorry, they had had a wonderful time, a marvelous time, the Wrights would have to be their guests as soon as it could be managed, but now, really, they had to go home. It looked stormy. Mrs. Sakkaro wailed that all the forecasts had been for fair weather.
George tried to console them. “Come on guys! It’s hard to predict a local thunderstorm, but even if it were to come, and it might not, it wouldn’t last more than half an hour.”

At this comment, the Sakkaro youngster clung to his mother burying his face against her thigh. Mrs. Sakkaro’s hand, holding a handkerchief, trembled visibly. “Let’s go home,” said George in resignation.

The drive had no conversation to speak of. Mr. Sakkaro’s radio was quite loud now as he switched from station to station, catching a weather report every time. They were mentioning “local thundershowers” now. The Sakkaro youngster piped up that the barometer was falling, and Mrs. Sakkaro, chin in the palm of her hand, stared dolefully at the sky and asked if George could not drive faster, please. “It does look rather threatening, doesn’t it?” said Lillian in a polite attempt to share their guests ‘attitude. But then George heard her mutter, “Honestly!” under her breath.

A wind had sprung up, driving the dust of the weeks-dry road before it, when they entered the street on which they lived, and the leaves rustled. Lightning flickered. George said with a reassuring smile, “You’ll be indoors in two minutes, friends. We’ll make it.”

He pulled up at the gate that opened onto the Sakkaro’s spacious front yard and got out of the car to open the back door. He thought he felt a drop. They were just in time. The Sakkaros tumbled out, faces drawn with tension, muttering thanks, and started off toward their long front walk at a dead run. “Honestly,” began Lillian, “you would think they were—”

The heavens opened and the rain came down in giant drops as though some celestial dam had suddenly burst. The top of their car was pounded with a hundred drum sticks, and halfway to their front door the Sakkaros stopped and looked despairingly upward. Their faces blurred as the rain hit; blurred and shrank and ran together. All three shriveled, collapsing within their clothes, which sank down into three sticky-wet heaps. And while the Wright’s sat there, transfixed with horror, Lillian found herself unable to stop the completion of her remark:

“—made of sugar.”

302
General Discussion / Re: Layout?
« on: 09:33:07 AM 11/20/15 »
I like it but what's the top half of the screen used for when you sign in? Its just a bash background with my profile pic and a logout option. Maybe that's an area for improvement.

303
General Discussion / Re: Midnight Marinara Suggestion Box
« on: 12:59:25 AM 11/19/15 »
I enjoyed the "NoEnd House" series by Brian Russel, maybe that can be your new multi-part Undercooked series to replace 1999.

I've already said this to Palette once but one of the first short stories I ever read was "Rain, Rain Go Away" by Isaac Asimov, originally written in the 1950s. Asimov is, of course, well known for his science fiction stories but not for his works in the realm of fantasy. It's a bit old, needs a re-write to keep it fresh/modern but the skeleton of the short narrative is that of a creepypasta that I think you would like.   

305
Your Stories / Trivial
« on: 12:53:56 AM 11/16/15 »
Tall leafy trees towered over the area, my mind tries to provide the illusion of swimming in an exotic resort, but it just doesn’t feel right. You cannot get a tan no matter how hard you try and there are no indoor areas to avoid the rain. The lack of Wi-Fi and cell usage didn’t help combat the loneliness. I’m so bored all of the time.

By the fourth day, my wounds were healing up nicely and I felt a little stronger. Today, I would take a look around. Aside from the trees above, the only bit of shelter in this area is an old grayish charcoal-colored shed. I had to check it out.

My senses heightened as if I was approaching something dangerous. To make it worse my common sense started screaming at me, telling me that there was nothing to be fearful of. Then the fears and the mind engaged in a civil war until the body committed to a response.

It was eerie being next to that shed, but with it came a wave of excitement to quench the empty feeling of boredom. I eventually grabbed the handle of the shed’s blackened door. It was rusted pretty badly and dangled off the door by its bottom hinge. Upon contact, I felt a sensation similar to that of touching the tip of a rusty nail. I went to open the door, fearing that some kind of animal had made its nest in the rotting structure. So there I was, safely behind the battered door as it creaked open.

Nothing immediately rushed out at me and I felt confident enough to take my first peek inside. To my surprise, there was nothing except a small work bench along the right side. A single nail was partially driven into the wall above that bench.

The floorboards were rotting away, the possibly of them giving out increasing with every second I stood in there. As I continued to look around, a single item appeared near the leg of the bench. A hacksaw or at least what was left of it. Now nothing more than a twisted, rusted piece of metal with dulled teeth that could barely cut through butter. Regardless of the tool it once was, here it is reduced to mere scrap metal. I decided to hang it back on the wall before leaving. It was the right thing to do.

Before continuing my exploration, I turned to take one last glimpse of the shed. I noticed something irregular on the outer back wall. A message was carved into the wood by another human being. My astonishment of being here with another person was immediately dulled by the nature of the cruel message:

"There is no way off this island.”

306
General Discussion / Re: Writer's Block & Solutions
« on: 09:36:13 PM 11/15/15 »
Nice! I am really into FPS matches, that's a really good idea with the video games! Think I'll give that a go!

307
Story Critique / Re: Custom Creepypasta, Just A Dream.
« on: 09:33:17 PM 11/15/15 »
I think that's what the author wants when they post work in the critique area. The author is basically saying "Hey, tell me what you think!" and is then opened to any type of criticism. Now, I don't think G. Preeb is out of line or anything, I think he/she is just giving an honest opinion about the work being shown. There's a difference between criticizing the content and criticizing the person, and in this case he never says "You are a shitty author!"     

In fact he even says, "Don't let it discourage you, the only way to get better is to have someone point out the flaws.", he's not trying to be mean. He's trying to be as honest as possible so that the author can become a better writer. And that's what the author wants anyway.   

308
Featured CreepyPasta / Re: Grad Night in the Haunted Mansion
« on: 02:26:28 PM 11/15/15 »
You mean this Slime? Also, its still a classic creepypasta David! Well done!

309
Story Critique / Re: Custom Creepypasta, Just A Dream.
« on: 12:36:41 PM 11/15/15 »
So pretty nifty idea for a story. Jogging at night in the dark with a mysterious entity following close behind. I think you know what a creepypasta should be, so I'm going to advise you to work on your grammar/spelling. 

You have to capitalize all of your "I"s, its a pretty crucial concept for any good story. I got confused on the first sentence until I realized you had meant to say "nearby" instead of "near bye". Try to use "the local park" instead of "the park near bye". 

"In this jog, i had the feeling i was being watched, and this feeling was there, but i didn't have a bad feeling like you would in real life if you felt like you were being watched, i didn't feel uneasy." - This is a run-on sentence that over explains the protagonist's feelings of being watched. Try this:

"The leaves crunched underneath my feet as I continued to jog forward. Surrounded on all sides by complete darkness, it slowly dawned on me that I was being watched." - or something like that.

Also, keep in mind that the reader is going to ask questions as they read. Your character is jogging by a park. Why is the character doing this? Your character feels no emotion. Why not? I'm not saying you should answer every question a reader might have but its important to approach your own stories as a reader too.

Keep working hard, press on forward, and you will do great!     

310
General Discussion / Re: Introduce your (spooky) selves
« on: 11:27:20 AM 11/15/15 »
Good evening folks! I am a fan and aspiring author of creepypasta. I have a youtube channel that is dedicated for both stories that are horrifying and stories that are horrifying to read. I made a video about whether or not the famous creepypasta "1999" plagiarized off the YouTube persona Alantutorial  I've written three creepypastas so far (Missing the Mark, It's Mreley Yuor Prespcetvie, and Trivial). Although I'm more of a writer then a narrator, I've recorded myself narrating over some of my own stories.

Finally, I'm going to start something along the lines of a "Scar Your Friends" podcast (name pending). Where I take some of my friends IRL who have never even heard of creepypasta before, force them to read some really fucked up shit, and record their reactions!  HOORAY FOR FRIENDSHIP! It will fill my heart with joy when they begin to question what kind of person I really am.  ;D

I can't wait to meet the community on this website and witness thy bounty of pasta!

311
Your Stories / Re: Missing the Mark
« on: 11:17:23 AM 11/15/15 »
"WAAH THIS ISN'T THE CRITIQUE SECTION!! GET OUT NEWB!! DO YOU EVEN WRITE BRO!! ONE V> ONE ME, NO SCOPE< MTNT DEW AND DORITOS - COD STYLE (CALL OF DRAFT)!!"  ;)

All kidding aside, thank you for reading my first creepypasta. I made it a few months ago and have been posting it around and you know what - out of all the comments I get on this one, yours matches up with pretty much all of them. Some of them include sentences like:

"Interesting story"
"Great Story!"
"A bit long in the tooth"
"Some sentences are to long"
"It's spelled "facility" scrub!"

As far as the "facility" thing, I already went in previously to fix that in an earlier version on a different website. I guess I missed a spot.

UPDATE: I can't find the sentence(s) where it is read as "faculty" and its driving me crazy. If you can do me the favor of pointing out where that shit is, it will be fixed.  8)

I pretty much understand where you are coming from. This story was actually written in the span of 3-4 months, changed many times, and is somewhat based on true events that I did witness/ live through. Originally, it was going to be more focused on the creepiness of a classroom featuring an odd bunch of 16 kids that are "kept away from the other 4th graders".

The pooper/ Popper thing was made very early in the story's development and was meant to build up the "character" that is this mysterious classroom of children. Then I remembered this "thing" that had happened to me this one time and "Mark" was added in as the main antagonist instead of the classroom. I then left the pooper thing as a joke that I really liked.

Again, I well never confirm any questions but its true - my style of writing is always based on something that really did happen to me or something that I witnessed. Even if its loosely based on something. I will confirm this: There really was a Mark that I personally knew, he did disappear, and I don't know where he went :'(

312
General Discussion / Writer's Block & Solutions
« on: 08:55:43 AM 11/15/15 »
Hey everyone! I'm Skill Flea, an aspring new creepypasta Youtuber/author and I'm new at creating creepypasta content. As a new writer that is pretty much doing all this for fun, I'm inexperienced and am currently chipping away at some really thick writer's block. I've only written a handful of creepypasta so far, yet as I continue to chip away at the blockage, my pickaxe is losing its "edge". I've ironically renamed my recycling bin "Unfinished/ Failed Pasta" and right now every idea I have seems to end up there. 

I figured I start a discussion thread about writer's block, since I'm sure every writer has had this happen to them at some point. Also this forum is specifically for creepypasta authors, so all the better a place to post. This isn't just about me, I wanted to have a neat little area for writers to flock to should they face what I'm facing at this time.

So, what do you do to get past really thick writer's block? Are you the type of person that keeps hitting the grindstone over and over again until you just work through it? Or do you just take a break and do other things for a while until you feel ready? Maybe a little of both? Maybe something completely different? IDK. Just share any ideas you got and maybe we can all help each other out as a community of writers.   

313
Your Stories / Missing the Mark
« on: 08:28:32 AM 11/15/15 »
I’m writing this in the hope of finding somebody who may already be dead. Someone who I haven’t seen for a few days, he’s only a minor. The problem with going to the police is that he’s not technically “missing”. If I tell my side of the story maybe someone will come forward and give me a new lead.

It started when I was hired for my first real job. During a cashier shift at Subway, the principal of my old elementary school came in for an Italian sub on flat bread. She was my 7th grade teacher back in the day and somehow remembered me.

We began talking about the past and what we were each doing now. She mentioned that one of the new teachers had an unfortunate surfing accident and was missing an extended amount of time. A last second replacement was needed before the school year began and a teaching opportunity was at my front door. 

“Call me if you are interested,” she said, taking her “food” with her.

You don’t need to know much about me and no I’m not giving any personal information. Just know that I made some “mistakes” like any other human being and when I graduated college I couldn’t get a teaching job right away.

If I were offered this job out of college I would have declined. I am fine with children in general but being a grade school teacher meant teaching other subjects I didn’t care for: science, social studies, etc. It also wasn’t the highest paying job and having my college loans looming over my head didn’t exactly help.

However, I was desperate enough to take a grunt job at Subway, so a teaching job would be a huge step up. I was desperate to get out of the shithole I called my apartment and desperate to prove to my old man that I could be successful without his help. If someone were to ask me what I did for a living, I could honestly say “I am a teacher”. No more cashier work nor anymore toilet scrubbing. I now wanted to teach and seized the opportunity. An interview was set up for me and I got the job.

Aside from cramming 4th grade material in two weeks, my first official job as the new teacher was to attend the school’s orientation. I had the chance to meet some of the substitute teachers and they didn’t seem to care for me. Perhaps they were hoping for a promotion and the newly open teaching job. Now that I think about it, I never found out why they needed a new teacher at all.

The other two 4th grade teachers had each been doing their jobs for more than 20 years. They had classrooms of thirty 4th graders each while mine only had sixteen. I didn’t mind though, I was new and less students meant less paperwork, right? I walked into my classroom on an early Monday morning, Room 206, and was greeted by the sound of laughing children.

“Kane?” I called out.

“Here!”

“Lauren?”

“Here!”

“Margret?”

“…”

“Margret? Is there a Margret in here?”

“Oh sorry, I’m here! Everyone always calls me Maggie.”

“Thank you, I’ll call you as Maggie then.”

“Ok, Mark? Is there a Mark in here?”

Nothing.

“I guess Mark is missing the MARK for day one. Haha.”

No one laughed at that brilliant ice-breaker but a small hand from the back of the room started waving back and forth. The owner of the hand stood up and pointed to himself.

He was a large kid, much wider than his peers but also taller. He had an unsure look on his face and a large ketchup stain on his white t-shirt. However, his bald head was the most notable feature.

The top of his head had red marks and small cuts on it, not the cuts from a knife but the same kind as one would get from shaving. It looked like someone had run a razor over the top of his head without using shaving cream. And they weren’t gentle either.

“Are you Mark?” I asked, still taken aback from his appearance.

The kid smiled and nodded at me. That smile quickly dissipated into an agitated frown when the rest of the class began to smirk at him.  I told him to sit down and finished the rest of the attendance.

I would start the day with English class. The principal had specifically asked me to grade each student based on how well they could read and to hand her a report by the end of the day. It had something to do with the New York State IOWA exams.

The class’ first story was a classic: “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”. I asked around to see if anyone had ever read this book and was answered with a room filled with blank stares. A few students even said they didn’t have to read the book because they had already seen the movie. This was going to be a long year.

When we started reading the book, I couldn’t believe what was happening. The children started to laugh and have fun! I was doing it, I was being a great teacher on my first day!

It all started when this kid named Derek accidently said the word “Pooper” instead of “Popper” and the class had broken out into laughter, even I was laughing. It was Derek that unintentionally broke the ice and he was laughing at his own mistake. The class was laughing in unison, not at him but with him.

My class also read very well. A few mistakes came up, thanks to Derek, most of them were intentional mispronunciations of the word “Popper”, but kids will be kids. However, they surpassed my expectations and I found them to be very intelligent. They made jokes, corrected each other’s mistakes but there was never any animosity towards any of the readers. When I was in grade school, the first day always felt like a funeral for the passing of a summer. Times have changed.   

After a full period of hearing giggling students, it was almost 2nd period. I realized that the entire class had volunteered to read except for one student, Mark. He had been hiding in the back of the classroom with his head face-down on his desk. The red bruises of his shaved scalp were still visible and now I could see yellowish skin surrounding each mark.  I couldn’t wait to meet this kid’s parents.

However, the period was almost over and he still needed to read something for me.

“Ok class!” I said, “Mark will read this last paragraph and then we will take out our Math books!”

The class went silent.

One second there was the sound of innocent laughter and it all stopped on a dime. The smiles, the happy attitude of the children turned into cold expressionless faces. Mark’s head continued to lie face-down on his desk as if he didn’t hear me. Every other pair of young judgmental eyes were on him as if he had done something wrong. I was dumbfounded. The moment was very surreal, it was like a dream or a trance.

“Mark! I want you to read this passage from the story. I haven’t heard you read yet…”

Mark stood up. Violently knocking his desk over as he broke into a sprint. Heading for the door with tears forming in his bright blue eyes, his shorts were wet and were dripping on the floor as he ran out. One of the kids, screamed out:

“Oh my God! Mark peed his pants!”

The room than erupted into laughter once more but it was not the same. This was the kind that aims to hurt. I ran toward the door after him and tried to think of something “tough” to say to the class to get them to stop their aggressive laughter. It sounded better in my head:

“Stop laughing and take out your math books!” I had yelled.

I could still hear my class laughing even as I ran down the west hallway. It was the voices of both boys and girls alike, I had to assume that all fifteen students were shouting and laughing. However, the strangest thing wasn’t their reactions. It was the reactions from the neighboring classrooms or the lack of any reaction.

None of the teachers poked their heads out of their classrooms. They had to have heard something, even when I caught up to Mark I could still hear the faint sound of howling laughter. Every facility member knew that I was new and if my class was acting up, someone would eventually intervene or complain. Even the few idle students near the water fountain acted like they couldn’t hear it. 

I remember not even trying to strike up a conversation with Mark or make him feel better in any way. I just wanted to drop him off at the nurse’s office and get back to my classroom. I placed my hand on his shoulder as we walked, hastily pushing him along while avoiding pee droplets on the way.

When we arrived, I explained what had happened to the school nurse.  I’m no mind reader but from her reaction, I could tell this wasn’t Mark’s first visit.

“You can go now, I’ll take care of it,” she had told me.

I also had the pleasure of meeting the school’s lone janitor, Gary. A nice old man whose happy demeanor quickly changed when I had to explain why my room and the west hallway smelt of piss.

Until recess, my first day resumed as normal. The kids were behaving again and even looked sorry for what they had done. Perhaps I could’ve reported their behavior but I thought better of it. It sounds silly in hindsight but it was my first day teaching. I didn’t want my new boss to think I couldn’t handle my class. If none of the other facility was going to complain then neither was I.

I taught math second period and then for third period taught 4th grade “rock science”. Half my students were falling asleep by 3rd period and I couldn’t blame them. Finally 4th period came around, which was my lunch break and time for my class to attend “Music” class with Mrs. Fielder. And throughout all of it, Mark never came back.

My classroom was empty during recess and I decided to complete those reading reports so that I could go home early. It was simple enough, I just had to fill out a questionnaire for each student.

I specially remember doing a questionnaire for Justin. I was recalling how he needed extra help with his R’s and S’s when I began to smell a strong stench that could only be urine. I turned to the door, and saw Mark staring at me with the same expressionless look. He still had his shorts on which were dry but still smelt terrible. How long was he standing there?

“Hey there, Mark!” I said with a smile. “Do you feel any better?”

He continued to stare at me. It was like I was speaking another language. Hell, maybe I was.

“Um…. why don’t you go outside and play with the other kids?”

In response, he walked up to my desk and punched me on my right arm.

Yes, I know that sounds crazy. I couldn’t believe it at first either and I was on the receiving end of that punch! Literally, one moment I was talking to a 4th grader about recess and the next moment he hits me! How could I have known his intentions as he was walking up to me? His face was completely expressionless.

It hurt too. This 4th grader was easily around 130 lbs. and only a head shorter than me. There was sudden jolt of pain that ran up to my shoulder and I was shocked by what had just happened. Did this kid seriously just punch me? My mind was racing but I tried to remain calm and polite.

“Mark?” I asked, trying to hide my shock, “Why did you do that?”

He continued to look up at me with the same look but he was getting red in the face. He began shaking as if he was holding his breath and his fingers were fidgeting. Another fist flew at me and this one connected with my jaw.

I felt the sensation of blood trickling out of my mouth as I grabbed him by the collar and dragged him to the principal’s office. He was yanking at my arm, viciously trying to free himself. I wasn’t supposed to grab a kid like this and knew for sure that I would get chewed out at the very least when the principal found out. But I was furious. Furious that this stupid kid was ruining my first day.

My mind was racing, trying to think of the right words to explain myself to the principal. It was a familiar feeling of dread, one that I hadn’t felt since high school. Maybe Mark had punched me because I had asked him to read? Maybe he thought I was the reason he peed his pants in front of everyone. It was the only rational explanation I could think of.

I dragged him into the office and explained to the principal that Mark had struck me. What was she going to think? My first day and already it looked like I couldn’t control my class.

I remember that Mark was in complete silence. He had been silent this whole time even when struggling to free himself. He was also quiet as I was practically shouting at my boss about what he had done. Most kids would at least try to explain themselves if a teacher had clearly caught them doing something wrong. Mark had nothing to say for himself.

The principal eventually stood up at her desk and I thought I was going to get fired right there. All she did was thank me for bringing his actions to her attention.

“You can go now, I’ll take care of it,” she said.

Nothing else happened. She didn’t look concerned for my actions nor Mark’s actions. She raised her voice and asked me to leave her alone with Mark. I complied.

The rest of the week went by quickly and Mark was never in class. He was probably suspended, although the principal would not confirm this. I didn’t press her for the information though. I was already walking on egg shells with her and must have gotten really red in the face when I had dragged Mark into her office. I needed to lay low for a while and focus on my work. Luckily, I was beginning to connect with the rest of my students.

They were happy, cheerful and best of all there was a really strong union with this class. Everyone was friends with each other. When I was on recess duty I saw all of my students play together and I overheard a few of them talking about their weekend plans to hang out. Their happiness was very intoxicating.

Another week went by and they even began to take a liking to me. I walked into my classroom in the middle of my second week and found all of my students standing in front of my desk. They had made a colorful poster and taped it to the front. It had my name in giant block letters with all of their names and drawings orbiting around it.

However, this innocent cheer began to bother me as my second week was ending. It occurred to me that none of my students had seen Mark since he had peed his pants. Getting past the hilarity of that fact that was almost two weeks ago, during 1st period of the first day.

At some point, we were all kids. We all have been in a class that had the not-so-popular student. Perhaps you were that student but even if the most unpopular kid in school went missing for two weeks you would at least notice.

I did not hear my class even mention Mark. Even smartass remarks and jokes about him peeing his pants hadn’t been mentioned since the first day of school. Could this class, where everyone was close friends with each other, be targeting Mark? No. Even bullies have to remember the ones they torment. My class had completely forgotten about him.

It was the beginning of my third week and I was taking attendance as usual. I noticed that my class was being quiet. The cheery nature of my class that I had grown accustomed to was silent with every head face-down on their desks.

“Perhaps they have a bad case of the Mondays,” I thought. 

“Kane?”

“Here”

“Lauren?”

“Here”

“Maggie?”

“Here”

“Mark?”

“…”

“I guess Mark isn’t here…. What a surprise.”

Then I heard the soft moan.

I looked up and saw a hand from the back of the room. There he was, slumped over in his chair. I could tell he wasn’t slumping over out of laziness. He had been badly beaten.

Both of his eyes were swollen half shut. He had an open cut above his left eyebrow that had not healed properly. I couldn’t tell if this was a recent injury or an old one that he re-opened because it was slowly oozing a yellowish reddish mixture of puss. He also had a small slash mark on his right cheek and new marks on his bald scalp, the same kind as his older ones. These new marks left deeper dents though none of them broke the skin.

“Mark? Your head, it’s… I’m taking you to the nurse.”

I remember I slowly approached him and tried to control the situation without causing a scene in front of my class. However, I saw his eyes begin to close and panic kicked in. I grabbed him by the hand, almost yanking his arm out of his socket, and ran for the door. None of the kids even reacted.

When I arrived, I could barely enter the nurse’s office. The small office crowded with at least 20 adults. There was the sounds of yelling, crying, and moaning all coming from different sources in the large crowd. I thought the worst, maybe Mark wasn’t the only victim.

I dragged Mark by the arm through the crowd, I still needed the nurse’s help. I saw a red-faced man in an expensive-looking suit shouting into his phone. I heard the words “sue” being used a few times and thought his swelling cranium would burst if any more liquid rushed to his head. Next to him was a crying blonde-haired lady using a purple handkerchief, probably the man’s wife? Gold, pearls, jewelry you name it and this woman was wearing it from head to toe.

Some of the people I knew, namely the facility. I could clearly hear the principal and the nurse asking for the crowd to give them some space. Mark could barely stand and I had to get to the nurse.

Now I was pushing my way through the crowd towards where I thought the nurse was. The crying was getting louder, the screaming became even more ear-piercing, and I dreaded the scene that I would soon come upon. I saw the clearing where the nurse’s beds were and made a final push to get through.

There, using one of the three beds was a little girl. She had a slash mark on her right cheek but otherwise she was completely fine. I don’t even think she was bleeding when I got there, yet there was the nurse, the principal, two EMTs, and an older kid all huddling around her. They seemed panicked, none of them even heard me when I spoke up. 

“Hey! I need some fuckin help here! I have a student that needs serious medical attention! He’s been attacked!”

The group of people surrounding the girl turned to see who I was. A glass shattering scream came from the blonde-haired little girl. In that moment, everyone turned back towards the girl with concern but I could have sworn that the older boy had turned towards her and glared.

Without hesitation, she screamed out that “It was him! He’s the one that did this to me!” all while pointing at... Mark. She began pulling something wrapped in a bloodied piece of paper towel out of her jean shorts pocket. A pair of scissors.

Mark began to violently shake as the room’s attention turned to him. I swear I tried to do something for him, he seemed so helpless. I tried to reason with everyone by saying that Mark was a victim too but they wouldn’t hear it. The red-faced man I saw earlier began walking towards me and politely asked me to get out of his way.

The rest is a blur of emotions echoing throughout the room. Thankfully there was enough facility to keep the man at bay. There were way too many people in that small room, but in those moments the adults were the ones acting like children.

Mark is definitely expelled now, although to this day I have not been officially informed of anything. It has been a few days since I last saw him. I am no longer a 4th grade teacher and am working as a substitute until the end of September.

It wouldn’t have worked anyway. The young woman from the surfing accident came into work last week for a “surprise visit”. Everyone was impressed and happy to see her, she’s coming back by Halloween, and I’m shit out of luck. I guess they thought I couldn’t control the classroom and to be honest I’m relieved.

If you have read this far, then you are wondering why I even wrote this. Why would I try to find somebody who ultimately ruined my potential teaching career? Well, as I mentioned earlier, I’m concerned about Mark’s safety.

The last time I saw him, I was in my classroom during recess – alone. In the window, I saw Mark being led by the hand of an adult male. They were walking towards a real junk car that was a rusted green color. As the man is fiddling with his keys, Mark saw me looking at him through the window. He stared at me with that same expressionless face one last time before making a finger gun with his right hand. He pointed it at his right temple and he pulled the trigger.

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