She’s On To Us (for my students)
“She’s on to us.”
The classroom of high schoolers shifted uneasily in their seats. Not enough so you would notice, or anyone would notice just casually walking by the open classroom door. In fact, anyone walking by would think Mrs. Wanket was a teacher who knew her stuff better than most. She wasn’t exciting exactly, but she didn’t put you to sleep instantly. The students were amused by her daily attempts to make learning fun. It wasn’t always fun but the attempts were amusing. This was a teacher who read stories aloud in funny accents and who wasn’t afraid to tell a joke or two in the middle of a grammar exercise. The jokes weren’t funny but at least they were something to break the monotony.
Stephen’s wings shook under his wrestling jacket, fluttering against the fabric with a light rustle.
Mrs. Wanket was the kind of teacher who told parents on Back to School Night that she was so grateful to the parents for having such wonderful children. This was the kind of teacher who let you turn your work in a day or two late if you were up past midnight texting your boyfriend or playing video games. This was the kind of teacher who didn’t write up dress code violations for your black striped hoodie. This was the kind of teacher who didn’t give you detention for listening to your headphones in class.
A spark flew out of Mary’s finger. She put her hand in her pocket to snub it out. Today something was up.
“I tell you, she knows,” Elijah said. Morgan shook her head.
“Impossible,” she said.
“She knows something,” Brayden whispered. He mixed his breakfast potion into his faery water and stirred it with his mind like he always did but then he stopped. Looked up. There she was, watching him. He took up the bottle and shook it, smiling like an innocent human boy.
Kate arranged her hair over her pointy ears. Von lifted his hoodie over his.
The room went silent.
“You know, I was going to talk about grammar today,” Mrs. Wanket said. “But I have changed my mind. Today we are going to talk about something real. Something that you should all be aware of. I mean, I know you think I don’t know, but I do know. I know what you all are.”
“No human can know about us,” Andrew said under his breath to Anysia. “We’re going to have to take her out right here.”
“No, not Mrs. Wanket!” Anysia said, though he knew Andrew spoke the truth.
“No mercy,” said Camille. “We have to think of our own safety.”
The plan to mainstream into human society usually worked, but once in a while there would be one human who messed up the plan. One who knew too much. Maybe there was a little bit of Faery Tale Creature in Mrs. Wanket too, who knew? Maybe there was a great grandmother who was a witch or a great uncle werewolf. Perhaps she had a bit of the faerie dust herself through her veins. Whatever, it wasn’t enough to save her. She was human enough to put them at risk.
The students were not old enough to remember the great faery massacres of the late sixties when groups of faery tale creatures made the mistake of thinking the hippies and flower children would be trustworthy friends. They were certainly not old enough to have personal experience with the horrible faery smushing that occurred all over England and America in the early twentieth century when little girls all over took up the hobby of pressing faeries into the pages of books like dried flowers. But their parents and grandparents and great grandparents knew. The students had been brought up with the warnings since their infancy. Do not let the humans know what you are. And if one does see you and realize, kill her immediately.
“I know what you are,” Mrs. Wanket. “I see you. You think I don’t see you? You think I don’t see the dust you leave on the floor, glittering like moonlight? The ways your jackets bulk up behind you to hide your wings? You think I don’t see that you are made of magic? You’re a bunch of Faery Tale Creatures, every last one of you.”
The class sighed collectively in regret and a tinge of sadness. They were sorry about what they had to do. They were so very sorry.
Will stood up. Ben and Josh blocked the door. Daniel cracked his knuckles. They would make it quick. She would not have to suffer.
Mrs. Wanket took a step back towards the cupboard. “What’s going on?” she asked.
“Just be still,” said Von.
“It won’t hurt a bit,” said Katelyn.
“No,” Mrs. Wanket said. “But this will.”
Mrs. Wanket reached into the cupboard and whipped out a giant, shimmering sack. She snapped it out and it billowed, smelling of bad children and the terror of a thousand captured faery tale creatures. It fell over the heads of the students and their wings and pointed ears and fire fingers and magical powers all crashed into one another. Everything went dark as Mrs. Wanket cinched the sack closed on the wails of protest from her high school students.
Krampus came to the door then, his saucy hooves tick tacking against the floor. She passed the bag along to him.
“Thanks Babe,” he said. “You know they taste better when they’re FTCs.”
“Spare me the details,” Mrs. Wanket said. “Just pick me up at 8 and take me somewhere nice for dinner.”
Mrs. Wanket watched him go and then sat at her desk. She had some papers to correct and she hated to get behind in her work.
For more Faerie Tale Creatures and magical mayhem, check out the urban fantasy novel THE ARROW on Kindle for 99 cents.