The woods

Roncalli Central High
Port Saunders, Newfoundland

By Heather L. (Grade 10)

"Oh wow!" exclaimed Kathy as she closed her locker with a bang. "This is going to be the best trip ever, no parents, no teachers, just you, me, Johnny and Slug." I looked over at her and grinned because, even though I looked forward to the adventure as much as she did, I didn't know how to show it, for I'm not as outgoing as my talkative friend. The grand adventure that we were talking about was a four-day camping trip up in ForÍt de Mort (Forest of Death).

It all started one night when we were all talking and the subject about the Forest came up. We had heard all kinds of creepy stories about people disappearing and strange noises coming from the woods. So here we were, a couple of teenagers out for the thrill of a lifetime.

... and as she leaned in for a kiss the prince said, "Come on Kate hurry up and get up or you will be late." Kate turned over with a groan and slowly slitted one eye open, glaring at the sunshine and resenting the intrusion of her wonderful dream. "Why is it always time to wake up at the best part of the dream," Kate wondered to herself. Excitement started to build as she thought about the day ahead. Hurriedly she dressed and gathered her stuff for the trip.

She was just leaving the house when she was bombarded by Kathy. "How can you just be standing there so quiet? Don't you realize what we are doing today?"

"Hi to you too," I teased.

"Sorry," Kathy apologized. "I think I had one coffee too many this morning."

"It's all right, I'm excited too," I said.

"So, what are you waiting for? Lets go get the guys," hurried Kathy.

Soon all four of us would start on what was going to be the greatest adventure of our lives. "Gosh what a perfect day for our hike. I couldn't have picked a better day if I tried," Slug said.

As we were walking, the sun was shining and a cool breeze was blowing."Hey, wait up!" called Johnny as he and slug huffed and puffed, trying to catchup.

"Jeez, hope you guys are in better shape tomorrow or else it will take forever for us to reach the lake," said Kathy.

"Don't you little ladies worry. We will be there to protect you from those mean monsters," smirked Slug.

"Oh give me a break!" moaned Kathy. "You couldn't protect us from a fly."

"Come on," beckoned Johnny. "Gosh you girls like to talk a lot."

Everywhere that you looked, the brilliant colours of the wild flowers spilled all over the forest floor. Taking a deep breath, I sighed. What a perfect day! I almost laughed out loud at the crazy antics of the playful squirrels and the timid rabbits. We were walking for what seemed like hours before I noticed that the sky had clouded over. So absorbed I was in the scenery that I didn't see the weather change until it was too late.

"Brrr," shivered Kathy as a sudden wind came up.

"Where did that come from?" Johnny wondered aloud.

"Umm, guys, I don't think that it was a good idea to come here today," murmured Slug.

"Don't be a crybaby," said Kathy. "It's only a little storm."

From somewhere in the woods, I heard strange voices. "What's that?" I asked.

Kathy, being the adventurous person that she was, said, "I'm not so sure, but let's go investigate."

Creeping slowly through the woods, we came to a clearing. Ever so slowly, we parted the bushes only to find. . . our teachers! But they were doing some strange ritual around a bubbling cauldron. Our language teacher, Mr. Deaupre, was dressed up in some Indian oilskins with his face painted similar to Marilyn Manson's. Our principal, Mrs. Mouse, was dressed up in what looked like a bearskin rug, only it had skulls for eyes. Our physics teacher, Mr. McMaster, was dressed as a Pigmy, only taller. Finally, our literature teacher, Mr. Doore, was just standing on a large platform and it looked like he was the leader.

"They look like our teachers," murmured Slug.

"They sound like our teachers," whispered Johnny.

"But," I said "Are they our teachers?"

"I always knew they couldn't be human," declared Kathy. "Who else could give that much homework and still have a soul?"

All of a sudden, Mr. Deaupre let out a blood curdling scream. "It is time," he announced. They all started chanting in some strange language. It sent shivers down my spine. "Ugala, Ugala," they chanted over and over. All of a sudden a force beyond our belief rose from the cauldron. It was the head of Mrs. Homestead, the scariest teacher of all. THE MATH TEACHER. Ahhhhh!!!!!!!!

All was silent as she began to speak. "I'm hungry. . . need student suffering to survive."

"We have brought you all of the students' homework," remarked Mr. Doore.

"Excellent," she purred. "Give it to me, then explain how they suffered."

"Well," said Mr. Deaupre, "I gave each student a 200,000-word narrative essay; due in two hours, on my desk, typed and double-spaced, worth 99% of the year's work. For every second late, I deducted 35%. The highest mark was -200%."

"Very good," she said with a smile.

"For my activity," said Mrs. Mouse, "I put everyone who failed Mr. Deaupre's paper in one hour of detention for every per cent that they lost. Then we tied them to chairs and played Barney videos nonstop. They were begging for mercy after the first five minutes."

"How delightful," she proclaimed. "Next... this should be good."

Mr McMaster grinned. "For my fun, I made the students calculate in their minds the acceleration of sound when passing from water to air. Needless to say, after the first eight hours, their brains were fried."

"Ah, the best so far," she said.

"That was just child's play," said Mr. Doore.

"I made them read War and Peace four times before they left for dinner. Did I mention that during that time I had all of the windows open and I was eating box after box of Bridge Mixture?"

"Positively evil," she smirked. "You have all outdone yourselves. I'm proud."

It was at that time that I sneezed. Not one of those quiet twinges but a full-blown, air horn, kind of a sneeze.

"What was that?" demanded Mrs. Homestead.

"Sounds like students," said Mr. Doore, "and they are over there!" he said pointing at us.

"Run!" Kathy yelled.

But it was of no use, they caught us and brought us back to Mrs. Homestead.

"Well, what have we here?" she asked.

"Your worst nightmare," sneered Kathy.

"Oh, a brave one are we? Well, from here on, it looks like you are the ones out of your league, not us."
"Yeah, well once we tell everyone what you're doing, you are going to go to jail!" shouted Johnny.

She laughed, "That,my dear, is why you're not going back. We have something good in store for you."

At Mrs. Homestead's cue we were all brought over to the cauldron. As we looked inside ...

Buzzzzzzzzzzz. The alarm sounded in Kate's ear. She rolled over with a groan and peeked at the clock. "8:00 am" it read.

"Hurry up or else you will be late for school," Kate heard her mother call.

"School?" she asked herself. Then it hit her. It was just a dream. Or was it?

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