Explore in Silent Rhythm the Curse
Something’s not right with the teacher today, Keiko thought.
Mr. Moore rarely wrote on the blackboard. And when he did, it was only to emphasize a key phrase or term. Today, he was filling the board up with unintelligible sentences, constructs that violated the very rules of grammar he taught.
It wasn’t right. Mr. Moore was a good teacher, and the class liked him. Keiko dimly remembered a conversation with the man, where he admitted to exploring sacred ruins in the country. She wondered where was the fun in that, but politely smiled as the Westerner babbled about half-forgotten gods.
Her classmates started passing notes. Keiko discreetly took the paper from Rina, and read it.
“What’s going on?”
“Teacher Moore is strange today.”
“What does “explore in silent rhythm the curse” mean, anyway?”
“Man, I can’t wait for the bell.”
Keiko decided not to write on it, finding her pity towards the teacher stronger than the urge to crack a joke on his expense. She passed the paper to Takashi. The boy’s audible chuckle did nothing to break their English teacher’s concentration.
The words didn’t seem to be English anymore. Mr. Moore’s script turned less and less legible, and he wrote with increasing fervor. Something unclean swirled up from his body, as if he had been possessed by a foul spirit.
At any rate, someone had to do something.
Keiko stood up with a bang. “Um, Teacher? How does this relate to our lesson?” She immediately blushed at the incredulity of her question.
The class’s laughter died when Mr. Moore turned. He looked… changed.
Their English teacher’s once-blue eyes were black spots. His face was pasted in a crazed grin. Keiko gripped her chair’s desk with whitening knuckles.
A rift in the void opened at the center of the blackboard, two emaciated hands ripping the fabric of space apart. The hands were simply too big to be anything near human.
Someone started screaming. Keiko wasn’t even sure if it was her, or some other girl.
Mr. Moore didn’t move from his spot, even as the hands enveloped his entire body like a child would grasp a small toy.
Keiko looked away. There was a muffled pop, and a chunk of flesh slapped her cheek with a sickening wet sound. Gurgling noises came from the unholy passageway, promising them all a painful end. The entire class started to run for it, turning chairs over as they bolted for the exits. A student smashed into Keiko, sending her sprawling on the ground.
A grunt of pain escaped from her lips. She pushed herself up, not looking at the monster, not looking at the fragments of bone and gore streaking the floor. Trying. Shutting her eyes only fanned her terror.
Two fingers carefully lifted her up by the collar of her shirt. Buttons began to give underneath her weight, and then she was yanked into the rift.
This time, Keiko didn’t forget to scream, as nothingness swallowed her. The pain, she thought, would last forever.
And, as it turned out, she was right.