Welcome back to the final episode of My OLD Writing on Horror-FAIL Friday. It is a sad and yet joyous day because this turd of a story that I wrote over 12 years ago is finally coming to a close. Be it known that it does not have a resolution; my younger self gave up on it, hopefully because I realized that the idea was stupid and moved on to other projects (probably equally as awful). Here’s what we know…
At an up and up photography school in California, Lila Pullman has become strangely obsessed with her biology teacher, Mr. McFadden. McFadden is mysterious in the way that he doesn’t appreciate the function of curtains or watches, thinks that clouds are a topic fit to teach in biology, and frequently consumes chocolate chip cookies and apple pie together. Oh, and he seems to have some kind of strange astral projection power which causes him to spontaneously bleed. Lila goes to his house to further her investigation which leads to weird flirtation and the question of where Lila grows all of her zillions of tomatoes in the dorm. After becoming lost on the way home like a child in the grocery store, her coddling parent-friends Benny and Samus find her. Samus, a man named after a fictional female Nintendo character, also seems to be having some problems with astral projection; namely that he’s flashing back to when his high school friend, Ross, was randomly murdered during a romantic rendezvous with the moon and some candy bars. Let’s see what we can glean from this last, oh so terrible chapter…
Rain splintered on the window of Lila’s dorm room as she fell back on her bed in pure boredom. The week passed by so fast and it seemed that every second was an hour in itself.
The weather was grey and everything else around that was too. Even her attitude was grey and mostly everyone else’s was. The trees were swaying gently, the rain was falling like needles. A slow rythemic rumble vibrated the small room which was a tint of orange from the awkward lighting.
Angelo sat sleepilly on the windowsill and yawned several times from pure boredom. [What is with the “pure boredom” contagion?] The squeaky mouse was under the fridge, Lila was tired and hardly in the mood, and he couldn’t get to sleep with all the booming and crashing going on outside.
The radio was on softly playing some oldie and after sometime, Lila got sick of it and switched it off. She went to the kitchen and searched each cupboard for something that she was in the mood for. [The dorm room has a kitchen?] Coming upon the packet of choc. chip brownies in a tin above the fridge, she let her mind wander over to the subject of Mr. McFadden. [Just when I thought we’d be spared from him being mentioned…]
Every day that week, she had noticed the hesitant pause that lasted for about a minute and then he was always nervous for the rest of class. Surprisingly though, nothing happened like it had that day in third period science. Over the time of days it seemed to get longer but also he would forget a lot of stuff like a big test on bones and muscels of the arm. [A big test on bones and “muscels” in the arm? Seriously?]
Her little thought bubble burst when the door in the next room opened. Without another thought, she took the brownie and walked oddly to the next room. [ODDLY?]
Samus was taking off his wet windbreaker and baseball cap when she entered. He hung it on the bed post and walked to her. She calmly sat on her bed and chewed the brownie.
“So, feeling any better?” He asked.
“Not really. But I took a dose of ibprofen this morning.” She said with a mouthful of food. In her mouth, the taste of cinnamon and chocolate confused her taste buds and she liked the sweet and spicy taste. [I’m confused. Why is there cinnamon in them at all?]
“Did it work?”
“No. I’ve been eating brownies and chicken broth instead. Want some?” [EWW.]
He cringed at the combination and replied, “No thanks.”
Then he added, “That Mr. McFadden was very weird today. He forgot my name and mostly everyone else’s too.”
“Well, it’s only been a week, Sam. You don’t expect him to have it memorized, do you?” She casually ran to the kitchen for the tin, being cautious of the nature thing. [Okay, seriously. STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.] She returned and chewed on another cinnamon brownie. [WHEN DID THEY BECOME CINNAMON?]
“Lila! He forgot how the intercom worked, for godsakes, he even forgot some stuff in the lesson. I swear, eather he’s got some major alzhimers or the entire school is seeing things.” he began, hoping this time she’d understand. [I like that those are the only two options for what could be going on. “Of course! The entire school is on hallucinogens!]
She turned with a somewhat annoyed look in her eye and continued to chew on her brownie.
“Samus. I do not care,” she said putting a strong tone for each word. “What do you think the school board is going to do? Most likely kick him out when they figure out what’s going on with him.” she tried to make Samus dissmiss the matter but he went on.
“Seriously, Lila, I don’t like this guy. He’s too shady and besides why is it now that you don’t care? You seemed to be all curious at the beginning of the week.” [Yes. We’re all dying to know.]
“If you haven’t already forgotten, now isn’t the best time to be pushing me, Sam.” she angrilly replied, finishing the brownie.
[So, here’s what I’m imagining.]
He backed off and replied, “Sorry,” after a moment’s hesitation.
“Get better, okay?” he offered, as he stood up, took his windbreaker, walked out the door and slowly shut it behind him. […I just laughed for a solid minute at this.]
Lila fell back on the pillow fatigued and picked up the phone. She dialed “5061”, the room number of Benny J. Benny picked up in an instant saying, “Lila?”
“Benny, Samus just came by here saying that Mr. McFadden has been forgetting even more stuff.” [But…but…but you…]
“Like?” Benny cluelessly said.
“How to use the intercom. He totally forgot Samus’ name too.”
“Hooo, now isn’t that pathetic? Does homeboy know what we’re doing?” Benny questioned. [What are you doing, besides spreading rumors?]
“Homeboy?” Lila said, as blandly as possible.
“Samus.” he simplified.
“Not a clue, he thinks that I can’t stand the topic.” she sat up a little better on her bed. [But…why not include him? I’m not sure I understand what your goal is…]
That’s playing it cool. [HOW?] Uh oh, he’s here. Call ya in twenty minutes. Bye.” he slammed the phone down absentmindedly and walked to the entrence. [Little harsh, no?]
“Who was on the phone?” Sam asked, taking the windbreaker and throwing it on the wooden seat.
“I called the pizza place. They gonna deliver a pepperoni and sausage here in about 20 minutes.” he lied. [What is with these guys coming up with lies that can eventually be proven false?]
“Why did you say you’d call them back?”
“Because with all of those orders they got down there, they might forget what I asked for. I don’t want ’em puttin’ onions and small salty fish all over my pizza! Homey’s have gotta be crazy to put anything fishy on my pizza. You know how I hate anchovies.” Benny created a tantrum trying to sway Samus’s suspision. [Ugh. I should title this chapter “Benny Rants”.
“Yep, I do, Benny.” Samus replied, walking into the other room.
“Know what, I ain’t gonna wait 20 minutes, I’m gonna call em’ now, probably already forgot.” he yelled so Samus could hear him. Benny dialed the number of Joel’s Pizza place and softly said, “Yo, Joel. Could I get a large pepperoni + sausage pizza?” he saw Samus go into the bathroom and he loudened his voice, “And no anchovies, onions, or those slimy mushrooms, okay? You’re sure? Kay, cause last time, that ain’t the way it went down, yeah. The first bite, first bite, guess what I tasted. Small salty fish!”
[That’s the end. That’s where we end this heaping pile of nuclear waste story–with Benny ranting about anchovies on his pizza. I really hope that it occurred to me how stupid an idea this story was. Even awkward teenage me lost interest…probably because I had no idea where I was going with it. We will never know what the connection was with Samus’s and McFadden’s visions, nor will we ever understand why Lila was attracted to that dud of a teacher. We’ll never have an answer for Benny’s insane temper tantrums, nor why the cat was so damn important for half the story. We’ll never know who had such a problem with Ross and his romantic candy bar beneath the moonlight evening to the point that they wanted to bash his skull in, and we won’t know why McFadden crashed a car into a lake while trying to out drive the police in his dream. That’s okay though. I can’t waste anymore brain cells in wondering. So, goodbye to you, turd of a story. It’s been fun.]
Until next time,