Everyone’s heard of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, the famous series of children’s horror fiction novels. Hell, they were a staple of my childhood. But what of their lesser known cousins, Heebie Jeebies, written by degenerate author B.J. Slime? We found these never before released stories; and just because nobody demanded it — we’re sharing them with you fine folks, the readesr of AiPT. Readers beware… you’re in for a weird ass time.
The day we decided to play the ultimate prank on old Mrs. Vickers was the day of our History mid-term.
Decrepit hag had it coming — always giving the most impossible quizzes; stuff on there she never taught in class; stuff that wasn’t in the book or she’d put on there just to bust your balls come test time. Maybe she was just mad that back when she was in school, there was no history class. (That’s the joke.)
Mrs. Vickers only made two kinds of faces. When she wasn’t scowling that baleful, evil scowl, she would have a stupid, self-complacent little smirk on her face. Especially when it was time for her to hand tests back, damn near all of them with a big “E” stamped across the top and beneath that a sardonic, “Try harder next time,” scrawled in red pen.
Every day just sitting there behind her desk there like some kind of self-appointed royalty. Wearing those big ass bottle bottom glasses beneath which her eyes pulsed and squinted like some little mole’s.
We’d show her.
And I’m not talking some amateur, Bush-league bullshit like turning all our desks around the opposite way when Mrs. Vickers left the room to fool her into thinking she’d come back to the wrong classroom or walking up to the chalkboard with our cocks hanging out when she asked us to solve the math problem of the day or even crushing up Smartees packages and sprinkling the powdery stuff on a mirror and leaving them on her desk alongside a razorblade and then subsequently taking pictures and sending them to the principal to make it look like she was a raging cocaine addict. Been there, done that. No, we needed something really good this time. And we were about to deliver.
My best friend and I had a plan. You see, every day when we came back from recess, Mrs. Vickers would dawdle her pruny old ass over to the window on the eastern wall and crack it open to, “Let a little air in so all you little lovelies can breathe,” as she put it. Rain, shine, oil spill, nerve gas attack; it didn’t matter. She opened that damn window. She’d do it tomorrow too, same time — right after recess. Only this time we’d have a surprise waiting for her.
* * *
Recess the next day was a solemn one. There was no time for dodgeball or freeze tag. Only deep, ruminative contemplation. If we wanted to nail the old bitch, we were going to have to go in prepared. And prepared we would be.
Kevin Coleman, my best friend since Kindergarten, had drawn out a diagram of the plan. Had it spread open along the steps of the playground slide where we mulled over it with the air of conferring generals, completely engrossed, fingers stroking absently along our chins the entire time. We studied that thing up and down for the entire thirty minute recess. Went over possible impediments and hiccups and their solutions; even discussed back-up plans for our back-up plans. We were ready.
When Mrs. Vickers hobbled back into the classroom after recess, the window was already cracked. A cold wind sucked in through the opening and rifled past the eastern bookshelf, riffled the pages of the textbooks there like a deck of cards being shuffled.
“Well, ain’t that the queerest thing. The window’s open. Who opened the window already?”
“Go on, speak up. That window didn’t open itself.”
She asked again. Not a word from the class. This happened a few more times with the same results. Not to worry. Everyone was in on it. We were going to make this shit happen.
“Alright, fine. You can all just sit there and stew in your own aggregated body heat then if you don’t want to enjoy the nice breeze today, for all I care.”
She wandered over to the window. Her old person’s sneakers from Payless scuttling over the floor like little mice. Everyone was silent with anticipation. You could have heard a pin drop. When she got to the window and started to close it, I jumped up and pointed and hollered.
“Oh, Jesus,” I said. “Oh goddamit, look, Mrs. Vickers. It’s Kevin!”
Sure enough, as she leaned to look out the window there was Kevin sprawled out on the ground, halfway between the grass and the cement walkway, twenty feet below, one of his pantlegs all twisted and hanging slack with his leg bent all irregular in an upside down L-shape towards his body. His basketball shoe was floundering every which way, a red and black, suede-covered fish out of water. It looked so damn real. We had done good.
“He must have fallen,” I said in a panic. “Oh, Kevin. With God as my witness — he’s broken in half. You left the window open, Mrs. Vickers. Oh God damnit. Why’d you have to leave the window open?” I poked my head out the window and cupped my mouth and said, “Kevin. Just hang in there, buddy. Help is coming.”
He let out a crescendo of anguished shrieks in response. That wonderful bastard, Kevin. Really selling it.
Mrs. Vickers’ face was turning red. A wooden hand, riddled with purplish veins clasped her neck, turning the beads of her necklace over and over again. “Oh, jumpin’ Jehoshaphat,” she was saying. “By the shaking, jumping ghost of Jehosaphat,” and, “No, I had that window shut. I know I had that window shut.”
I dashed towards the door and shot Mrs. Vickers one last glare before opening it. “Don’t worry,” I said. “I’ll save Kevin from your fuck-up. As you were, class.” Then I opened it up and pretended to run down the hallway.
A putrescent stink washed over the room. Like week old garbage and souring milk. Like the inside of a Porta Potty after seven construction workers had taken seven tempestuous, consecutive, steaming shits. Right after lunch.
Mrs. Vickers was just standing there in the same spot, not moving. A dark green pool of some viscous substance had formed at her feet. It looked like raw sewage. Some of it mantled her shoes. More still was going down her pockmarked legs and a big clot of it poked its way snakelike from beneath her frumpy dress and then curled sluggishly down her inner calf. Mrs. Vickers had shit herself. Badly.
Half the class pinched their noses shut. Others buried their faces in their arms, on their desks, in their own t-shirts or jackets. Anything to relieve themselves of the stench. Still another kid tossed a diaper up at the front of the class, which clapped against the blackboard and kicked up a great cloud of chalkdust and then landed at her feet. God knows why someone was just carrying around a diaper between classes, but the odd precision of the joke had the crowd in stitches, alternating between uproarious fits of laughter and then fanning their faces from the stink.
We knew we’d scare her; maybe give her a slight panic attack. But this? A full on pants-shitting attack? This would go down in infamy. And secure myself and Kevin’s status as legends.
* * *
We didn’t think she was going to show up the next day. We were wrong. She was there even brighter and earlier than usual, before everyone else — humped over her desk like an enormous vulture with her frumpy floral dress hanging off her arms like enormous batwings and her tiny fingers with the pukegreen fingernails tapping, tapping, harshly tapping over the timeworn wood of her desk.
The class was no more talkative than usual. Kevin was going to stay home for the first three classes and then come in late; and that’s when we were going to make our big reveal. Then when the bell rang, everyone just sat there. Waiting to see what Mrs. Vickers would say. Would she announce her retirement? Sob inconsolably? Shit her drawers again?
Finally someone cleared their throat. Started to talk. It was Melvin, the kid who always had boogers running down his nose at recess. We called him “Boogerstache,” because the stuff always crusted to his upper lip.
“Um, Mrs. Vickers?” he said, meek as a little rodent. “Can I just say something that I’m sure we’re all thinking?” Boogerstache, the poor, brave fool. What the hell was he going to do, apologize?
“I just wanted to say-“
She cut him off. “Oh no. No, no. That won’t be necessary, Melvin. Why don’t you just let old Mrs. Vickers do all the talking today, hmm?”
He nodded obsequiously.
“And for fuck’s sake, wipe your damn nose off. Didn’t your mother teach you any manners?”
Melvin recoiled piteously in his seat, shielding his nose with his hands.
Mrs. Vickers smirked and slapped her hands flatwise on the desk and propped herself up and then hobbled over to the door and locked it shut.
“Hey,” a girl said. Little Janine Karklin. Probably the smartest girl to ever walk the vaunted halls of our school. “Pardon the intrusion, Mrs. Vickers. But if we’re going to be prudent regarding the welfare of our class, that door should not remain locked. To cite the Student Handbook, page fourteen, Article C, under the Fire Safety Regulations heading, that door must remain unlocked at all times due to the spatial dimensions of the classroom in proportion to the number of students.”
“Oh shut your prissy little mouth, Janine,” snapped Mrs. Vickers. “You damn know-it-all brainiac. Nobody likes you.”
This was getting to be too much. The incontinent old sow couldn’t treat us like this. I stood up from my desk and said, “What the hell’s going on, Mrs. Vickers? Just because you can’t control your own sphincter doesn’t mean you have to lock us up in here and make fun of us.”
“Shhhh,” she said. Putting a finger to her lips. “Do you hear that?”
She shot a glance to the closet. The door rattling like it wasn’t attached right, you could hear the metal hinges squealing incessantly. Then a growling sound came from it. Low at first. Like an angry dog. Then louder. Louder still. A lion’s roar so loud we could feel it rumbling through our shoesoles and up our backs. Deep and hungry sounding.
There was something in there. Something trying to get out. But what?
Mrs. Vickers had a huge shit eating grin spread over her old wrinkled face now. The entire class froze in place. No one dared move a muscle or even look at each other from the corners of their eyes.
She was laughing. Strange, squealing laughter. Like nails over a chalkboard. It was so goddamn aberrant. We’d never even heard her laugh before, and now here she was, cackling, her laughs and the thing, whatever the hell it might have been’s growls forming a cacophonous symphony.
“Class,” she said, slinking up from behind the desk, walking over to the closet door.
“I’d like you to meet Teacher’s Pet. Now who wants to be the first to get some extra credit and make up for yesterday’s silly little antics?”