's 2013 Horror Write-off:

"Back to School"

Submitted by Erickson Warne-Coles

From the window of my bedroom I can see a light coming from Vivair High School, a school closed down thirty-eight years ago due to a lack of funding. It used to be the light just shone, but recently it began flickering.

“- .... . / ... ..- -- -- . .-. / .. ... / --. --- -. . .-.-.- / .. - / .. ... / - .. -- . / - --- / -... . --. .. -. / .- --. .- .. -. / -.-- --- ..- -. --. / -.-. .... .. .-.. -.. -.-.-- / -.-- --- ..- .-. / -. . -..- - / ... - . .--. / .. -. / - .... .. ... / ...- .. -... .-. .- -. - / -.-. --- -. - . ... - / --- ..-. / .-.. .. ..-. . / .... . .-. . / .. -. / - .... . / .-- --- -. -.. . .-. ..-. ..- .-.. / ..- -. .. - . -.. / ... - .- - . ... / --- ..-. / .- -- . .-. .. -.-. .- -.-.-- / -.-- --- ..- .-. / ... ..- .--. .--. .-.. .. . ... / .- .-. . / .- ... / ..-. --- .-.. .-.. --- .-- ... ---... / .--. . -. -.-. .. .-.. ... / .--. . -. ... / -. --- - . -... --- --- -.- / -... .. -. -.. . .-. / -- . .-. -.-. ..- .-. -.-- / .-. .- - / -... .-.. --- ---”


The morse tends to break down after that, but it seems that “deep faith” and “money for the lunch lady” were among the supplies.

Electricity hasn’t flowed through that building in many years. After first translating the message, I went to sleep wondering if I should do anything about the prankster across from me.
I woke up with a pain in my head, neck, and back and a face covered in drool. It was pressed against a wooden desk. I jolted up to see a classroom, and at the front was a balding, slightly stocky man in a dress shirt and slacks with his back turned to me. He was writing on the blackboard with quick yet readable strokes I couldn’t emulate with chalk. Something only a teacher could do.

“Mr. Chelsea, Chem

September 3rd

Today we will be learning about calcium.”

I noticed that the date was off (it was July 15th when I went to sleep) and that an anatomy model stood in the corner, which seemed like it would be more in place in a biology class than a chemistry one, before I actually thought to ask what the fuck was happening. I yelled at Mr. Chelsea. He turned around.

What faced me was not the same. An emaciated humanoid with pallid, yellowish, and very dry skin looked at me with bulging, unblinking eyeballs. It had no lips to hide its teeth, which were a rainbow of cylinders, with one missing. It slid the chalk in its hand into the empty spot in its gums. It started walking towards me slowly and stiffly. I jumped out of my seat and backed away as it approached. I grabbed a chair and threw it. Mr. Chelsea crumbled into dust as the chair flew through its body. The legs stumbled towards me slightly before disincorporating. The cloud of dust flew into my face. Tears welled up in my eyes and I started choking. I rushed outside the classroom to escape the chalky fog.

I was met with a hallway that alternated between states of decay. In some places the fluorescent lights shone brightly, in others they flickered, and some lights didn’t work at all. Lockers varied between those covered in shiny blue paint and those completely rusted over, and everything in between. The ground and walls were broken up in random places and the the ceiling similarly had splotches of water damage and missing roof tiles. Then the bell rang.

I was sent into a panic as stumbling figures began pouring into the hallway. I could never look at one of them for more than few moments. I noticed one with multiple syringes stuck in it like a pincushion. One that was very tall and spindly with legs ending in points that knocked loudly against the floor. One that was actually two bodies fused together that slumped against the lockers. Rounding the corner, I saw a huge, indistinct mass that barreled over the other figures. I heard some of their bodies crunch under it. Some scrambled up the walls and others simply passed through them as if they didn’t exist in order to avoid the giant lump. I quickly ducked into another door to avoid it.

It was a public restroom. There was another anatomy model in here, of all places. This one was posed as if it were sitting down, though there was nothing for it to sit on, and its hands were above its crotch, looking like they were grasping something, even though there was nothing there. I was shocked by the sudden sound of breaking porcelain and spraying water. I looked to the stalls, one of which had a puddle quickly forming under it. A small, apelike creature jumped up onto the stall door from inside, struggling to pull itself up. The stall door swung inward under its weight, slamming the thing against the stall wall. It let out a yelp and dropped into the puddle. It scrambled out of the stall, slipping in the water. It looked at me. It had portholes over its huge eyes, making it look like a comical owl creature. It ran for the door and I jumped out of its path. It smelled horrid as it passed me.

I re-entered the hallway after it did. The huge mass had passed by. As the small, smelly thing ran down the hall, a larger monster chased it down. It caught the thing and began tearing it apart. There was a cacophony of high-pitched squeals and guttural growls. The large beast had a metal plate over the top of its head and a cage covering its face, which it ineffectually shoved its fingers into in an attempt to lick off the gore. I backed away from the display, rubbing my body against the lockers. One of them opened next to me. Inside was something similar looking to the toilet monster, but the top of its head was flat, and it had pencils and pens stuck in its chest. It reached out to me with an almost skeletal arm. I slammed the locker shut. The large thing heard me. It rushed towards me. I narrowly escaped by entering another room. I could hear it bang against the door.

This classroom had “Health” written on the blackboard. There was another anatomy model, which made more sense here, but it had two heads. I stayed sitting with my back against the door to keep the metal-faced monster from getting in. Right after I noticed a bookshelf on one side of the room, books began falling out of it. Some flew across the room. It was a moment before I noticed that some of the books on the floor had body parts sprouting from their open pages. Twitching arms and legs, one open book on the floor had an erect penis sticking out. Four books then joined together at their spines. Three of them formed a tripod. The two front ones were a left arm and a left leg, the back a right arm. From a book on top I saw a head slowly emerge. The head’s eyes were shut, and a very long, glistening tongue puffed out from its mouth. The book amalgamation began to move in my direction, toddling as though it only sort-of knew how to walk. I dared not move for fear of the other fright that knocked the door against my back.

The book beast was on top of me. Its long tongue slobbered across my face. This thing had fierce halitosis to spread over me. I tried to wrestle it off me, and I somehow closed one of the front books. The front arm was severed. Blood began gushing from the empty book, drenching one side of my body, and the arm twitched on the floor. The blood smelled off, almost poisonous. I started getting dizzy. I tore open the door. The monster behind it tackled the books. One caught its tongue in the cage of the other, who bit down on it, spraying more blood. I left the noxious, violent room.

I did not find myself in the hallway. I was in another classroom. There was another anatomy model lying on the floor. Its body looked plastic, but it moved, flopping and making gasping faces as a fish. Some of the organs seemed meaty and glistened with some sort of bodily fluid, but there was no blood to be seen in the thing. Other organs were simply plastic. I left the room. I was back in a hall, but it looked like a different one.
I wandered through the school for what seemed like more than six hours. Its layout seemed to change almost every time I entered a new hallway. I saw stairways hanging over pits that were too deep to see the bottom. Sometimes I found myself walking on the ceiling. I saw two parallel hallways very near to each other, one terminating in the entrance to a large gymnasium but the other going much farther than that. Every time I found a double door that might lead outside, there was only more of the school behind it.

On what I think was the tenth of these double doors, I entered into an empty room. The only one I had seen before without an anatomy model. All there was a blackboard with “HOMEROOM” written in large letters. I turned to leave. There was no door.