The Substitute
"She’s late."
"I wonder where she is."
"Don’t know." "Oh wait, here comes someone."
"Sorry I’m late but I had to um… do something." "Oh well lets just get inside it is cold out here." "Okay class my name is um… Miss Vanderbong." "Your teacher couldn’t make it today, she… had an accident and couldn’t come."
She looked middle-aged with her dark black hair, bags under eyes as if she had gone without sleep for a couple days, she was about 5’8, thin , an reeked of smoke.
She carried a duffel bag, it seemed really weird, it was large, large enough to hold a body. She didn’t really seem to like being separated from it. She kept looking at it as if there was something really important in it. Class ended early when dismissed us an hour early. A friend and I were curious of her queer behavior and hid in the closet. For the first few seconds all seemed normal and then a minute passed. The silence was broken by her bolting out of her chair and locking all the doors and pulling all the curtains. Seating herself back into her seat she began rummaging through the duffel bag. She stopped and seemed to hesitate for a second slowly scanning the room as if to check that she was alone. She went back to her foraging and before long she had pulled from the bag a small black box. Engraved with the letters P, O, and another letter that I could make out were on the cover of the box. The final detail that I noticed about the box was that there was a small socket on one side. After setting the box down on the desk she took out more items from the bag, a gas mask and a box of matches. The mask and the box snapped together and she placed the mask over the face, then lit a match, opened the box, and lit whatever was in there. Seconds later smoke filled the mask and excess smoke permeated from the mask. We watched intently after a few moments of undisturbed silence except for the occasional deep breaths taken by Miss. Vanderbong. It seemed like a decade passed before we decided to see what had happened. Moving as slow as the hand of the hour hand of a clock we approached her expecting her to her jump up and ask us what we were doing in there. She seemed disoriented and did not seem to notice us. She was slightly chortling to herself and was acting extremely weird. We began going through the stuff on the desk and then noticed the duffel bag. We opened it up to find the carcass of our missing teacher’s… dog

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