Clutching my call slip, I took my time getting to the principal’s office. All of the new principals hated me upon sight, anyway, so why bother being prompt? This principal certainly wasn’t going to be any different. So I decided to continue musing about what had happened to Megan and Jennifer and the other Blessed and Cursed Ones who had gone to the principal’s office. Was the principal behind their weird changes? If that was true, what would the principal do to me? I didn’t like this principal already.
“Just a quick announcement. Could the next student who has to see the principal please hurry up? Hurry up, please. The principal is waiting. Again, could the next student who has to see the principal please hurry up? Thank you,” announced a tired secretary, probably Kay. I sighed. The principal certainly didn’t want his nefarious plans for me to be delayed. I guessed that everything ran on a tight schedule. It must be hard to fit some fifty extreme hypnotizing sessions in one day. Hmmm, hypnotism. How the hell do you combat hypnotism?
I was definitely not prepared for this. I should have checked out a copy of Hypnotism for Dummies or Molly Moon’s Amazing Book of Hypnotism.
I finally arrived at the main office and stopped by Kay’s desk. “I’m here for the principal,” I told her. Kay looked down at her list. “Anita Sunagar, I presume?” I nodded. “You may go right inside. Mr. Esakon is waiting for you.”
I peered through the door opening to the principal’s office. Nothing much had changed. It was still rather spacious. Sofas sat against the right wall, and pictures and certificates hung on walls. The pictures and certificates had changed, though. The bookshelf was still to the right of the principal’s desk, against the back wall, just like it was last year.
Mr. Esakon was sitting behind the desk. His mostly brown hair had some gray mixed with it and he was scribbling something on paper. He didn’t look all that mean or anything like a hypnotist, but then again, people rarely were what they seemed to be. I didn’t think he saw me, so I cleared my throat. That got his attention. “Oh, Anita, do come in, please,” he said, with a warm smile on his face.
I walked and sat down on the chair opposite his desk. “Would you like a cookie?” he asked, handing me a bowl of oatmeal raisin cookies. “Uh, no thank you,” I said. I didn’t like oatmeal raisin cookies very much. He insisted, though, so I took it. When he wasn’t looking, I stuffed the cookie into my pocket. I’d figure out what to do with it later.
“So, how are your classes going?” he asked. I gave him the same answer I gave last year to the interim principal. “They’re going fine,” I said. “I’m doing rather well in them all.”
“What classes do you like best?” he asked. I told him that I liked history and science best, and that I hated math. “Do you have any suggestions for additional class choices?” he asked. “Or do you have any suggestions on how I could make school more interesting for you students?” And on and on he continued. I highly doubted that he cared about my answers; he always looked bored when I answered his questions.
BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP! I jumped a little at the noise. “Oh, that’s just my alarm,” he said, apologetically, as he took out his alarm and turned it off. Then he gave me a sickeningly sweet smile. “Don’t you hate it when people beat about the bush and don’t get to the point quickly?” he asked.
“Uh…I guess?” Where was he going with this?
“Well, then, I’ll get to the point. I would hate to disappoint you, Anita. Or not. You see, I couldn’t have cared less about your answers.” Not like I expected him to, anyway. “Why would I care about an abomination like you?” The way he said “abomination” sounded very familiar…
They have called the Blessed and the Cursed abominations before, and believe that the Regulars are the only “true” humans. “Y-you’re part of the EIS, aren’t you?!” I gasped.
“Ah, you’re a smart one. But I’m not just a ‘part of the EIS;’ in fact, I’m one of the people who revived it,” he smirked. Crap. My school’s new principal was a Blessed-and-Cursed-hater. “I’m not going to bore you with my childhood or what inspired me to help revive the EIS because, if I’ve learned anything from miserable cartoon excuses of villains, monologuing is an excellent way to let the hero escape and kill you. I’m not saying that I’m a villain. Heroes need to learn from the weaknesses of villains, too…
“So, you must be wondering why I’m a principal, right? Well, I figured that I could get rid you abominations more easily when you all are young. It is rather difficult to lure adults with cookies.”
“What do you mean?”
“You see, those cookies have an immobilizing spell on them. Whoever eats them is frozen into the position that they were in when the spell takes effect. But the head isn’t frozen, but that’s just a minor detail. And that’s what the timer was for. So, now, you are frozen…and you are mine!” He was standing up at this point, with his hands on his desk so that he could be close enough for me to feel him breath. Ugh. His breath stank of salami. He then straightened himself up and strolled towards me. “Now, be a good little abomination,” he crooned as he turned my chair around, “and let me take you to the telecloner…oh, shoot, where is it?” He muttered something and a glass case big enough to stand in appeared in a flash of light. Mr. Esakon touched it with his finger and a touch screen with buttons appeared. “What does a telecloner do?” I asked, hoping to make some sort of distraction.
“It teleports you to where we in the EIS hold you abominations while cloning you so that no one suspects anything,” he replied. Dammit! That was too short of an explanation, and now I knew I had to avoid getting into that telecloner. I had to think of something else…
He put his hands on my shoulders and tried to carry me, so I gripped the armrests of my seat firmly so that he couldn’t lift me. He chuckled. “Wow, you’re heavier than you look. Luckily, I can roll this chair into the telecloner…” I jumped out of the chair. He gasped. “But how—?”
“I didn’t eat the cookie.” And I ran towards the window on the back wall. Suddenly, I was jerked back. “You may not be under the spell,” said Mr. Esakon, “but you’re going to be imprisoned either way.” He grabbed my hand and dragged me back to the telecloner as I struggled to break free. What could I do? I couldn’t go into the telecloner! Desperately trying to escape, I kicked him between his legs. He howled, clutching his groin, as I dashed to the window and hopped out.
Remembering Miss Krystal’s words, “If your name falls into a member’s hands, you’d have to go far away,” I ran as far away from the school as possible. I could not go back there again…not now, and possibly not ever.