They loved him, the students. They absolutely loved him. Tommy Jargons once told him the only reason he shows up to school at all is to see his experiments. That made him feel good.
Mr. Reynolds opened the door to his classroom, and looked out at the sea of smiling faces, his class. He was tired; he’d been up the night before too excited to sleep in preparation for today’s experiment. About a month ago, he had set his desk on fire, much to the amazement, and a little horror, to his students. But that was easy. A compound, heat-resistant, that he had spread on the surface of his desk to protect it. It would be nothing compared to this.
The teacher smiled broadly, and waved a friendly hand in the air. “Greetings, class. Hope everybody is doing well. Today I have a very special-“
Before Mr. Reynolds could say another word, the door crashed open, a strange-looking man dressed in a long trench coat entering the room. He wore shades to cover his eyes, and there was a visible lump underneath the coat. Mr. Reynolds backed up to his desk, still flawless despite the fire he had once set to it. “Can I help you?” he nervously asked.
The man opened his trench coat, not speaking a word as he pulled out a 12 gauge shotgun and pumped the next round into the barrel. He aimed it at the teacher, and a loud blast and a spark of light later, Mr. Reynolds was laying face-up on the floor, a gaping hole where his chest used to be. Blood ran from the wound, from his mouth, congealing in an inky puddle on the floor. By now, his students were screaming, frozen in place with terror, their eyes rapidly shifting from the man with his shotgun to their fallen teacher.
Still silent, the man moved closer to the teacher, being careful not to step in the puddle of spreading blood. He pulled out a flask from one of the pockets of the coat and held it up so the class could see it. He then opened its screw top and tilted it sideways, allowing a small stream of bright green liquid to fall on the shotgun wound.
It sizzled as it hit the teacher’s chest, but it did more than that. A lot more. The blood flowed back into the hole, the wound stitching itself closed. Pale skin resumed its peachy color. After a moment or so, Mr. Reynolds blinked, and started breathing again. He jumped to his feet and yelled “Tah-dah!!” The students were too panic-stricken to do anything but stare with open mouths and wide eyes. Just as he intended.
But a good teacher has to involve his class in the experiments. Mr. Reynolds quickly grabbed the shotgun from the man, a look of elated happiness on his face. Or shear madness. He pumped another round, and fired it aimlessly into his crowd of students. Karen Thompson’s head exploded into a thousand tiny fragments, skin and bone flying on her desk, her chair, Jimmy Williams, everywhere.
Now the kids did get up, running toward the rear of the room, screaming for all they were with. Mr. Reynolds chambered another round, and pulled the trigger. Tommy Jargons, who loved his experiments so much that that’s the only reason he ever showed up for school, lost the lower half of his right leg. He dragged his stump across the tiled floor, leaving a bloody trail as he cried like a baby. Mr. Reynolds’s smile grew bigger.
He continued to fire, continued to pump one round after another, continued to fire some more. The room smelled of sweet blood and buckshot. He pressed on, not caring that the alarm had been set off, not caring that several of his students had managed to escape, not caring that he wouldn’t have enough of the green elixir to mend the destruction he had caused....
Mr. Reynolds woke in his bed, his forehead drenched with sweat, his hands shaking. The television was still on, turned to the eleven o’ clock news. He wiped his hands on his face, and shook his head to clear the lingering effects of the bad dream. He considered getting something to eat, but decided to read a little more instead so he would be able to go back to sleep. Mr. Reynolds picked up the Stephen King book he was currently absorbed in, opening it to the page that he had dog-eared to mark his place. A mechanical groan issued from behind the closed door of the closet. He paid it no mind.
Mr. Reynolds knew that the experiment would be ready for tomorrow.
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