The Terra-Belle Ghost, Chapter 8

As I stood outside of his door, I had to take a deep breath and steel myself up in order to summon the energy it would take to knock and make my presence known. He was the last person I wanted to turn to for assistance… Okay, maybe not the absolute last- I mean, I wouldn’t want to seek advice from Babelsama’s buddies in the Netherworld or something! And although Blaise owes me big time for all of the grief he caused us while staying our home free of charge, I would never request aid from him! It would probably have caused more problems than it would solve! …Anyways, I dreaded going to this guy for support, but he did mention his expertise in the field that I needed help in, and getting the answers from one source seemed much simpler than my friends and I trying to do research on our own, so I didn’t feel that I had much of a choice! I waited several seconds for him to invite me inside, and then…

            “Is the door locked?” Lisa, a charming student who had an unfortunate run-in with Damon when he was alive (Well, he was undead, so technically, he wasn’t living during the incident, just less deceased!), politely inquired to me.

            “Uh… I dunno!” I replied while inwardly hoping my face hadn’t reddened too much from the embarrassment of not attempting such an obvious course of action to take in this scenario! Phoebe and I were running late after attempting to teach Blaise and Miriam how to search for places to live on the internet, so I didn’t have the opportunity to speak with him until minutes before class started, but now that I thought about it, of course the door wasn’t locked! I pulled the knob, and the entryway became ajar rather fluidly! I aimed to cover up my ineptitude by courteously offering for her to go ahead of me, “After you!” As she walked inside, I grimaced and crossed my fingers that this conversation wouldn’t be as cringeworthy as I feared!

            Once Casper had properly greeted Lisa, he noticed my arrival and grew somewhat startled. His shock rapidly dissipated though, and he planted a huge, arrogant grin on his face as he greeted me, “Well, well, well! Look at who we have here! I’m not surprised though- I saw this day coming…”

            Based on his bewildered reaction to my entrance, I seriously didn’t buy an ounce of that claim! “Uh-huh, sure you did! Listen, I was wondering if I could set up a meeting with your after school. I… need your opinion on something.” I chose my phrasing carefully so as not to inflate his already swollen ego!

            My efforts to keep his pride at bay appeared to have been futile! His chest swelled up, and he imperiously regarded me, “You certainly do! I would be happy to dispense my wisdom to you!”

            “Great!” I almost wanted him to have said no because we had been chatting for less than sixty seconds, and in this short span I had spent with him so far, I developed the judgement that this was a terrible idea! I detested the notion of becoming indebted to him in any sort of way, but since that petulant phantom threatened innocent children, I forced myself to bear his insufferable attitude! “I’ll stop by after sixth period and-.”

            “Oh no!” He put his arm around my shoulders and physically steered me back into his classroom, and then he stated firmly, “You need my guidance right away!”

            His embrace made me uncomfortable not only as a result of my severe dislike of his character but also due to the fact that more and more of his students were trickling in! I knew that I needed to hop into my quarters and prepare for my lesson, but his instance made me curious- was there something he foresaw that I did not? “I do?” I concernedly questioned him.

            He boldly asserted, “Yes! I cannot allow you to begin teaching ‘til we’ve had a thorough discussion! First, your presence is too friendly! You don’t command respect as an educator…”

            I lifted his arm off of me and told him, “I don’t need any career counseling!” He widened his mouth to debate that point, but I cut him off prior to him having a real possibility of doing so, “No, really! I actually was interested in learning more about ghosts.” The bell rang, and I intended to zip over to my sector, but then…

            “Ah, yes! I heard about your rather messy experience yesterday!” Casper conversed. “Didn’t I tell you that the school was haunted?”

            “You sure did! I’ll come back later so we can go over-.” My exit was long overdue, but I didn’t want to offend him and ruin this potential resource, so I meant to politely bow out of this interaction, but that was proving to be more difficult than I expected!

            Casper prattled on, “You all made a ghastly amount of errors during that incident! If you had just reached out to me sooner, I-!”

            I nearly blew up at him at this juncture, but luckily for me, Lisa spoke up and saved me from losing my cool, “Mister Von Dutchman, how can you criticize his teaching style if you won’t let him do it?”

            It took all of my willpower to not bust out laughing at the expression he bore upon hearing her say that! I envied how kids had the ability to convey such honesty without worrying about the consequences of insulting someone! I wished I could have taken credit for making him wince like he had gotten slapped in the face! He strove to maintain a dignified quantity of aloofness as he addressed me, “Fine. We’ll dialogue later.”

            Finally! I had the opportunity to leave! I made a beeline for the door and prepared myself to sprint to my class, but as soon as I reopened the door, I became eye to eye with a figure completely wrapped in cloth bandages! I couldn’t decipher much of a visage, but my nostrils got a whiff of a scent that smelled like a mixture of old dust and rotted flesh! My initial reaction was that one of his students had undergone extensive surgery, but when it emitted a hollow but deafening moan, I knew that we weren’t dealing with a regular human being…

            The children responded with alarm, and Casper probed, “What the heck was that?”

            “Nothing!” I slammed the door shut to prevent any of the kids from catching a glimpse of this entity, and initially, I assumed that this barrier would compel it move on down the hall where I could deal with it privately later, but when it tried to barge in and almost took down the door, I knew that the easy route wasn’t going to be a likely prospect for me! I leaned against the door, putting as much of my weight against it as I could, and it seemed effective at preventing it from coming inside, but it also wouldn’t give up on its endeavor and continued to apply visible pressure to the entryway! It made a series of banging noises, so I took my best shot at covering up its cacophony by talking loudly, “On second thought, I think I should stay and learn more about…”

            “Who’s at the door?” Lisa anxiously asked me. “It’s not a mummy, is it?”

            I should have answered her more tactfully, but the concept of this being her greatest fear totally perplexed me! “Mummies scare you the most? How often are you ever gonna run into one?”

            Lisa rationalized her view, “Exactly! It’s so rare that if you do see one, you know shit has gotten real bad!”

            She wasn’t wrong! I still found it kind of strange, but I decided against enquiring about it further when the mummy caused such a huge ruckus that it couldn’t be ignored anymore! The reverberation of its impacts echoed considerably, and the door moved more and more after every hit, signifying that it wouldn’t stay on its hinges for very much longer! Most of the people in the room paid vigorous attention to this enigmatic occurrence, but one did not… “Young lady, watch your language!” Casper chided her.

            “Uh, her profanity’s not the major issue right now…” I pointed out while struggling to keep the entryway standing. I glanced around the room and lamented that I had been so unobservant about this space when I passed by it previously! In my defense, how could I have predicted a shapeshifting ghost would ever haunt the area? I didn’t know how I would discern what object in his premises was not usually there until I realized that Casper would definitely have shown some curiosity if he had an extra piece of furniture or other large object in here! What might turn up in his class that he wouldn’t deem as weird though? I spotted a gaudy, triangular trophy on a site that he clearly used to grade papers, and I grew suspicious about its presence. “Cool paper weight, dude!” I didn’t make that comment with sincerity; I knew it would get a substantial reaction from him, and I knocked on wood (not literally since the mummy was doing a splendid job of that in this moment!) that he would provide me with the response I wanted…

            He corrected me, “That’s not a paper weight! It’s an emblem of appreciation that a student made for me! It says number one teacher on it! It was so thoughtful and so very accurate!”

            I interrogated him, “Do you know who gave it to you?”

            “Unfortunately, no!” he rued. “I can only assume that they will reveal themselves during the period that I-.”

            “Who cares about that crap?” Lisa exclaimed. “What the hell is going on over there?”

            In light of the situation, I didn’t think he would do it, but he did! “Miss Yurei, this is the second time you swore today!” Casper lectured her. “If you keep it up, I’ll have to-.”

            He got interrupted by the door finally buckling! I got pushed straight into Casper, who fell to the floor fairly pathetically! I savored this sight for a split second and then swiveled back to the entryway to deal with this supernatural adversary. The students all screamed, but seeing how the mummy blocked the only way out, they were forced to huddle in a corner and beseech the universe to not let the mummy reach that part of this locale! I raced over to the monster and punched it in the skull, but that didn’t do much except to nudge it backwards a little. I put my hand on its forehead, and it couldn’t move against the force I applied to it! As it fervently sought to resist my constraints against it, I appealed to the group, “Does anyone know how to destroy a mummy?”

            “A silver bullet?” a kid suggested.

            “That’s how you kill a werewolf!” another child reclaimed. “And how’s he gonna get a silver bullet at a school?”

            Casper reproached that student, “Hey, hey! We don’t want to demean people who are doing all they can to-!”

            I disrupted his remark, “Can you quit being bad at prioritizing?”

            “Maybe fire will take care of it. You can use my lighter!” One of the children tossed it over to me.

            “Why do you have a…? Nope, priorities!” I grabbed the lighter, and as I strained to get it to ignite, the mummy renewed its pursuit. The students screamed again, and I expressed to this fiend, “Oh no you don’t!” I used one arm to seize it by the neck, and as I kept it in a chokehold, I continued to tackle the fickle lighter. “Is this empty or something?”

            The teen who passed the lighter over asserted, “It’s probably got some dirt stuck in it.”

            His theory panned out, and a flame got ignited! I pressed the small fire onto the mummy’s head, and it instantly got engulfed in a colossal blaze! For a flash, I got the impression that this ordeal was over, but swiftly following the creation of that inferno, the sprinklers went off! It returned to its undertaking, and as the cornered youths fled to safety, it beheld something that made it halt in its tracks…

            “She fainted!” a young male’s voice denoted as he espied Lisa unconscious on the ground. “Oh well, I guess I’ll wait!” I wanted to holler about having the ability to speak all along, a tidbit that would have been preferable to know at the onset of this calamity since I didn’t have a clue that negotiating was even an option, but somebody else spoke up instead…

            “What are you doing?” Damon called out from that trophy as the mummy sat in a chair that faced Lisa.

            The mummy retorted, “I can’t frighten her if she’s not awake!”

            Damon roared, “Wake her up at once! You’re jeopardizing this entire operation!”

            The mummy dismissed this assertion, “Oh, please! They obviously don’t know how to slay mummies, so we’ll be fine!”

            As Damon’s scolding heightened, my instincts prompted me to pick up the trophy, and even though I had no indication that this would prove successful, I still went forward with this inclination anyways. I invoked all of my strength and bashed the mummy on the very top of its noggin! Not only did the mummy morph back into a fear monger, the trophy smashed into dozens of tiny pieces! Damon’s ghostly silhouette glared at me before it vanished out my periphery!

            “So, as you can see, Principal Palillo, I totally saved the day!” Casper bragged as he came back into the classroom with Manuel. The fear monger had already disappeared, and Lisa had regained her cognition, so all Manuel saw was the entire joint getting totally soaked!

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