Mr. Thorne

3 min

Hello! I am a mere high school student who loves to write and wants to share my stories with like minded people  [+]

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The bell rang to end third period on the first day of school. I had one class left, English with Mr. Thorne. I met up with my friend Jeremy on the way to his room.
“Hey Stuart, are you going to Thorne too?”
“Yes, all the sophomores said this class is so easy.”
“I know, for once I’m not dreading an English class.”
“Dude, same here.”
We entered his classroom. Everyone was standing and a mild buzz went throughout the crowd. I sat my bag down next to a random desk and looked to the girl to my right.
“What’s going on?”
She shrugged and pointed to the teacher’s empty desk.
“No one has seen Mr. Thorne and the bell rings in a minute.”
Immediately the tardy bell rang, and still no teacher.
“Hey who’s heard of the rule where you can leave if the teacher doesn’t show up within fifteen min--”
“Yes Daniel, this is old news,” a lanky kid named Reed retorted. “It isn’t even true.”
“Yes, it is!”
As we got into a debate over this “rule,” the door suddenly slammed shut. A man stood inside the room, unmoving. His skin was as pallid as the whiteboard he stood in front of, blending him in perfectly. He wore a sharp, deep black suit with tears decorating his sleeves and pant legs, which were covered in mud. The veins bulged out on his face, neck, and hands like they were trying to escape. He had next to no hair, and wrinkles shaped his face in an unsettling way. He stood and stared at us for what felt like hours. He didn’t even blink. The class went silent. At last, he spoke.
“That’s much better.”
His voice sent a chill down my spine. It sounded scratched and forced, like the sound of sharp nails digging into a chalkboard. He walked slowly over to his desk, feet slapping the ground hard with each step. It looked like he had a hard time walking. It was more unnerving stumbling than walking. I glanced over at Jeremy and his horrified expression matched mine. We didn’t even try to whisper, even though he was sitting on the other side of me. The room was quiet until he spoke again.
“What’s the matter? You look like you’ve seen a dead man.”
He smiled. I couldn’t help but cringe. His teeth had a decayed look, almost like molded cheese. That word stuck with me. Decayed.
When no one answered him, he sat down at his desk.
“Now, let me take attendance,” his voice rasped. “Jerry Anderson...”
I zoned out, fascinated by the pencil skritches on my desk that formed some unbecoming words. How long have they been there? Who wrote them? A bored student sitting in this class maybe. Maybe many years ago. I wonder what they thought about this teacher.
“Waynes? Stuart Waynes?”
I snapped to attention.
“Uh, here.”
He frowned.
“If I were you, young man, I would pay attention. Now that’s everyone. After attendance, we will start every class with a journal prompt. Get out a sheet of notebook paper and I’ll put the prompt on the board.”
The rustle of papers being unclasped from binders took the edge off my anxiety now that there was some noise in the room. Glancing around, everyone looked the same as how I felt. I looked to the front and Mr. Thorne now stood next to the whiteboard. His skin against the whiteboard brightened the black of his torn suit. He turned around to write. The veins in his hands flexed and enlarged.
“Here is your prompt for today.” He paused. “What are three things you would like to do before you die?”
His eyes swept the room. As he finished his sentence, my stomach felt like it dropped. I don’t know why; it was only a journal prompt.
He seemed to recognize the slight fear in our faces, and he smiled with his teeth in response.
“Regrets are the burden of your existence. Especially for you as freshmen in high school, a chance you missed could haunt you for the rest of your life. You never know how long you will be here.”
Again, silence. I decided to go out to the restroom to clear my head. I raised a shaking hand.
“Mr. Thorne?”
He turned to face me, his eyes meeting mine with a blank stare.
“Can I use the restroom?”
His expression remained the same.
“Yes. Hurry back. You have no time to waste.”
I nodded and got up, walking faster than intended to the door. I breathed a huge sigh in the hallway. It was much warmer here. Once I remembered where the bathroom was, I headed in that direction, feeling much more relieved, passing an infinite amount of “Drive Safely” posters. A really tall student, probably at least a junior, walked down the hall on the other side coming towards me. I hoped he wouldn’t say anything, but my hopes were too high.
“Hey little freshie, what class are you in?”
I rolled my eyes, and muttered “English with Mr. Thorne.”
He stopped and looked me in the eyes.
“Wait, who’s your teacher?”
“Mr. Thorne, he’s sorta creepy though.”
“Is he tall, bald, and wearing a black suit? He wore one every day.”
“Yeah, actually, but its super dirty.”
This made his mouth open a little and he froze.
“That isn’t possible.”
Now it was my turn to be confused.
“What do you mean?”
His eyes widened and he held the stare.
“Haven’t you seen the news? There’s supposed to be a substitute. Mr. Thorne was killed in a car accident last week.”

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