Under The Desk
The girl hadn’t meant to hide in the principal’s office. She only wanted to get away from that harrowing class. But now, the teacher was looking for her, with a stern look on his face as he moved from room to room, calling her name.
She snuck into the office with bated breath and hurried under the principal’s desk. But what she found pinned under the plywood had her trembling in place.
But this wasn’t the first time Stacy was running away from class. She’d been having constant nightmares over what her seventh-grade science classes taught.
Running away had become a sore habit. The teacher, Mr. Kelvins, had realized Stacy was never around during class. One day, he decided to follow her, not knowing what the girl’s fear would eventually lead to.
Stacy Gallagher was only eleven years old when she discovered she had a fear of bugs. It started with the occasional fright that comes with seeing a spider crawl up the wall next to your bed.
But one day, she’d woken up to a cluster of tiny spiders all over her bedsheets. Her fear of bugs immediately erupted into a crippling dread. She’d scream whenever any critter or small animal would appear in her peripheral view. She had no idea what her fears would lead her to uncover.
Her Love For Education
Stacy was like many eleven-year-old girls in Brookshire Middle School in Olathe, Kansas. She loved all the new and exciting things she learned in class and was always elated when she walked into the school grounds.
She enjoyed almost every subject. But her love for education usually took a backseat whenever the bell rang for science class.
Stacy usually loved science. From machinery that made work easier to planetary bodies such as planets and stars, she loved it all.
But her love only existed when the teacher, Mr. Kelvins, didn’t parade insect after insect before her and her friends. It would only be a matter of time before it all got to her.
Soil And Earthworms
Stacy knew she had a crippling phobia of insects and small animals on her first day of seventh-grade science class. Her limbs locked in place when Mr. Kelvins walked in with a glass box filled with soil and large earthworms.
Beads of sweat raced down her forehead, and she felt her heart pound all over her body. She could barely sit down while the class continued.
The second science class was worse. Mr. Kelvins brought a variety of spiders, some smaller than the point of a pencil while others larger than a balled fist.
The spiders rendered Stacy speechless. Although they were safely locked inside a glass habitat, she could feel them crawl up her skin. She knew she wouldn’t be able to sit through the third class.
Stacy usually had three science classes every week. The first was on Monday, the second on Wednesday, and the last on Friday.
For the first class, Mr. Kelvins had brought earthworms. Spiders had been the honorary visitors in the second class. Stacy could only imagine what horrors the teacher would walk in carrying in the third class. She wasn’t going to stay around and find out.
Forming A Habit
Throughout Thursday, she sat thinking about how she could avoid attending the class. She could feign a stomach ache and go to the school nurse, perhaps spend the entire period there.
She even considered ditching school entirely and riding her bike home – anything to keep her from Mr. Kelvin’s class. She had no idea that this would be the start of a nasty habit.
Friday quickly came, and a desperate Stacy started putting her plan in place. She’d settled on faking a stomach ache. She only hoped the nurse wouldn’t give her a pill or injection and send her right back to Mr. Kelvins.
Her heartbeat increased as the bell for the second period rang. She watched as her classmates took out their science notebooks, eager to see what horrors their beloved teacher would bring to class. This was Stacy’s cue to leave.
Where Are You Going?
With her fists clenched, she closed her eyes tight, summoning all the tears she could. She hurried to her feet, her eyes wet, and rushed to the front of the class.
“Where are you going, Stacy?” one of her friends, Emilia, called out, and Stacy turned around, a fake look of anguish painted all over her face. “The nurse’s office,” she answered. “I don’t feel so good.”
Stacy hurried out of the classroom, almost bumping into Mr. Kelvins, who was heading in. As expected, he carried a massive glass box filled with bugs.
Stacy couldn’t even bring herself to look at what manner of creatures he’d brought today. But she was sure it would be far scarier than earthworms and spiders.
At The Nurse’s Office
As she’d planned, Stacy raced to the nurse’s office, complaining of sharp pains in her stomach. She even pretended that she couldn’t sit up, prompting the nurse to ask her to lie down.
The nurse ran a few tests, asking Stacy if she had eaten anything that might have looked or tasted stale. “I had some milk in the morning,” Stacy lied. “It tasted funny.”
Stacy had never been a liar. But today, it felt necessary. Just thinking of spending another minute with bugs in her immediate vicinity made all the air vacate her lungs.
Her head heated, and sweat-drenched her palms and soles of her feet. Her tummy grumbled as bile bubbled up her throat. As far as she saw it, this was more than warranted.
The Nurse Is Onto Her
The nurse allowed her to lie down for an hour, which was all Stacy needed. She planned it all out, and as soon as the bell rang, she told the nurse that she was feeling much better and quickly left her office.
But the nurse knew what had just happened. Stacy had taken her for a fool and used her to ditch class. She raced after the girl with furrowed eyebrows. But this was just the start of a massive disaster.
Going After Her
As she ran after the young girl, she called her name. Stacy pretended not to hear her and quickly tried to make it to her next class, but the nurse was faster than her. She gently grabbed ahold of Stacy’s arm and stopped her in the middle of the hall.
When the young girl turned to face her, tears were already streaming down her cheeks. The nurse knew what she was doing. Her heart dropped. What if they sent her to the principal’s office? She had always had an off feeling about him, but she had no idea how bad it really was.
She Was Terrified
Stacy was terrified of going to the principal’s office, and there was a good reason for it. She began pleading, asking the nurse to let her go.
The nurse’s eyes softened as she noticed the distress in the young girl’s eyes. She let go of her arm and decided to speak to her calmly, “Is something wrong? Why did you decide to ditch class?”
Stacy hesitated as she stood frozen in the middle of the hall. Students had already made it to their classes, and now she was standing there, all alone with the nurse. She was embarrassed and didn’t want to give the nurse a reason.
“My stomach hurt,” She decided to lie again. She knew that her fear of bugs wasn’t a good enough reason to skip class. Stacy had no idea that her actions would lead to a terrifying discovery.
She Could Tell
The nurse could tell that Stacy was lying to her, but what could she do? She couldn’t force her to speak. But could just let the girl walk off and get away with skipping class? She didn’t know what to do.
“Alright then,” The older woman sighed, “But next time, if I suspect that you are skipping class, I will take you to the principal’s office,” She let Stacy off with a warning before heading back to her office.
The little girl let out a sigh of relief and wiped the small beads of sweat from her forehead. Perhaps it would’ve been easier if she’d just gone home with her bike.
She couldn’t wait for the weekend to start, but a feeling of dread overwhelmed her when she remembered that she would have to come up with a new plan for Monday’s lesson. How could she have known what sinister secret she would uncover in the following week?
Stacy couldn’t go back to the nurse again. She needed to find another place to hide. She still had Monday’s classes to worry about, all of which she knew Mr. Kelvin’s bugs would be in attendance.
She spent her entire weekend trying to figure out the best way to escape the tormenting class. But soon, she’d discover something she wasn’t meant to see.
For the past seven years, the school principal has been a beacon of excellence in Olathe. Under his guidance and teaching, the school had soared to new heights, producing some of the best students the city had ever seen.
Teachers and parents all loved the man dearly. They all thought they knew him fairly well, but they were about to learn something about the man they trusted around their children.
He had worked at several schools in the city for many decades and had even taught some of the students’ parents back in the day. Everyone around town knew who the man was. He was a walking, breathing legend.
But no one could have ever known that the man who had championed so many souls into greatness had a dark secret hidden under his desk.
he principal, Mr. Hudson, was a Californian by birth. He had an excellent track record as a teacher and had moved from school to school, imparting knowledge.
Brookshire Middle School had been struggling academically before he came. With his arrival came a few changes that set the school on a path of greatness. But all this came with a dear price.
A Few Transfers
You see, for the few years that Mr. Hudson had spent at the school, a handful of parents had had to pull their children from the school.
The school kept the circumstances regarding these student transfers strictly confidential, even going as far as banning the remaining kids at Brookshire from talking about it. But everything would come to light soon.
Charming And Sociable
Mr. Hudson’s supporters never really questioned why this would happen so often. As far as they were concerned, he was the perfect principal for their school.
He made sure to greet employees and parents whenever he saw them around town. He was charming and sociable, taking the time to learn every student and parent’s name. No one doubted him for a second, but everything would come to light soon.
A Hidden Truth
Most parents that had enrolled their kids in this school had no idea what was happening behind the scenes. They trusted the principal, praying he’d guide their kids to greatness like he’d done the hundreds that had passed through his hands.
But they would all be speechless when they got wind of the truth. It would all start with Stacy’s need to avoid science class.
The Next Week
When Monday’s science class rolled around, Stacy managed to avoid it successfully. Instead of riding her bike home or going to the nurse’s office, she decided to find an empty class where she could work on some of her homework.
She had instructed one of her friends to tell Mr. Kelvins that she hadn’t attended school that day. She was relieved to get out of class once again, but trouble was lurking just behind the corner.
In order to avoid Wednesday’s class, she took a different approach. This time, she made her way to the cafeteria. Once again, she decided to lie. Walking up to the lunch lady, she offered to help her clean, telling her that she had a free period.
The lunch lady gladly let her help. Grabbing a bag, she walked around the cafeteria, gathering trash from lunchtime. Once again, her friend lied to Mr. Kelvins about where she was. But Stacy wasn’t going to get away with this much longer
A New Week
It was Friday afternoon when it happened. Stacy had successfully avoided the new week’s previous classes and was looking forward to escaping Fridays.
But unknown to her, Mr. Kelvins had realized that she’d ditched both classes and was keeping an eye out for her. By the time Stacy realized he was watching her, it would be too late.
A Tight Escape Window
The bell for the period rang, and as she’d done throughout the week, Stacy quickly shot to her feet and made her way through the desks. She hurried out of the classroom, hoping she wouldn’t run into the teacher as he entered the class.
She was sure that she would be able to get away with it once again, but Mr.Kelvins knew the truth, and he wouldn’t allow it.
She took a quick peek outside the classroom and rushed out, seeing that the coast was clear. Today, she hoped to spend the period in the cafeteria or gym – anything to save her from dealing with the bugs.
She walked in the opposite direction from his class, relieved that no one seemed to notice her walking in the wrong direction. But then it happened.
But she wasn’t even out of the main hall before Mr. Kelvins called out her name. Her instincts kicked in, and she broke into a full sprint. She could already see the spiders and caterpillars crawl up her arms and neck.
She screamed in terror, pumping her little arms for more speed. He had caught her, but she couldn’t stop herself as she ran from him.
She turned the corner and paused before looking outside. From her peripheral view, she saw Principal Hudson enter his car in the parking lot. As he drove away, she knew where she was going to hide.
Her legs ached as she kept running as fast as she could. She could still hear Mr. Kelvins behind her, and she had to get away. But she was about to get herself into deep trouble.
Missed Too Many Classes
Mr. Kelvins wasn’t giving up. She had missed too many classes, and he needed an explanation. His classes were important, and at this rate, she was going to fail. He was trying to help her.
She turned another corner and saw the office at the end of the hall. If she could get in there fast enough, she would be able to escape Mr. Kelvins. Surely he wouldn’t search for her there, right? But she had no idea what she would find in there.
Into The Office
The girl rushed to the principal’s office. There was no way Mr. Kelvins would look for her there. Shutting the door behind her, she slipped behind the principal’s massive mahogany desk, hiding underneath.
She took deep breaths as Mr. Kelvin’s heavy footfalls rang past the office. “I am safe,” she whispered. But then her eyes inched up, and she saw it.
What Was It?
She squinted as her eyes trailed over it. The lights were out, and the curtains were drawn closed. The principal made sure that no one could see into his office from outside. The room was too dark.
Her eyes widened as she kept staring, and then her lips parted before she let out a blood-curdling scream.
Stacy wasn’t sure what she was looking at. But whatever her young mind registered was enough to scar her for life. The principal had pinned several photos under his wooden desk, each more disturbing than the last.
Stacy let out another scream as she stared at the faces before her. She couldn’t believe her eyes.
Her continuous screams filled the small room as she helplessly stared at the photos above her. It didn’t make sense. Why were these images here? What was she looking at?
Stacy saw crimson splattered in these photos, saw faces of kids she’d known before they mysteriously changed schools.
These were the children that no one ever spoke about. The ones that left without a trace and that weren’t allowed to speak of the principal or the school. She recognized their faces immediately.
She felt like she was going to be sick as bile pushed up her throat. She had to get out of here, and she had to tell someone about this.
Get Out Of There
The little girl scurried back, moving on her elbows as she tried to get away from the gory images. She’d thought insects and tiny animals were something to fear.
But what the principal had pinned under his desk blew all of them out of the water. She moved away from the desk, and as she did, Mr. Kelvins appeared at the door. “What is it, Stacy,” he asked.
Oh My God
Stacy couldn’t formulate any words. She only pointed at the desk, trembling in place. The science teacher followed her finger before rushing to investigate. “Oh my God,” he said, taking out his phone.
The next hour saw several police vehicles converging at the school’s parking lot, with all learning stopping immediately. What they would uncover would leave the entire neighborhood shaken.
A Sick Man
The authorities studied each photo the principal had pinned under his desk. They discovered that he had done some very unspeakable things to a few kids in his seven years of leadership.
A sick man through and through, he’d taken photos of each child he’d put his hands on, reliving the sickening memories through the images. It was clear he was going to strike again.
The authorities also discovered that the principal had kept everything under wraps through the school board. He’d been collecting compromising information about them and constantly threatened them against telling anyone about his evil nature.
He’d even threatened the parents of the children he tormented. The issue was so disturbing that the entire neighborhood went on a rampage, wanting the principal to pay for what he’d done.
The authorities took Principal Hudson into custody immediately. They launched an investigation, which quickly confirmed everything they’d feared. The town learned that under the veneer of the perfect principal lived a dangerous, insatiable monster. They wouldn’t rest until he got what he deserved.
As for Stacy, she’s still fighting her way back to her old self. This wasn’t something someone with her innocence was meant to witness. She’d only wanted to save herself from entomophobia and zoophobia. Who knew she’d unwittingly end up saving her entire community?
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.