campus roar

The Conqueror- part 2

As it neared 3am, the seething, roasting temperature peaked- though no one had slept. Students lay awake, sweating and shaking, curled up into themselves with sodden bed covers held close.

To the West, at the University fountain, the water steamed and spat as Reality shimmered and cracked. A mirage-like texture hung in the air above the fountain, breaking and folding in upon itself and flickering maddeningly. Whispers, spoken in an archaic tongue designed to tear the minds of mortals, stabbed through the stained-glass fracture and the university undulated violently in response to the whispers.

It was a call to arms.

In an instant, as the campus shuddered and groaned in response to the Voice that tore into the material world, previously barren and empty spaces came alive at the sound of the Voice’s whispers. The campus bubbled with movement: shadows flexed and thrashed from their corners, thousands of eyes gleamed from every direction, deep howls and shrieking laughter echoed through the night, and the Fair Folk, every single one, appear to answer the call.

The Courts stood as legion, a defensive line surrounding the Grand English Building that they had made into their home, into their stronghold.

A lean, eight-foot tall Fae, with cloven feet and a skeletal face wreathed in antlers and flame, stood alert beside a feminine figure with a fox’s head and a flowing crimson gown. A hundred floating eyes orbited its twitching ears- a hundred eyes all staring in one direction.  

Anna Monday waited alone, its sea glass form twinkling like a disco ball, as unmoving as the armless mannequin that the Other resembled.

Amid a wall of ordinary flowers and vegetation, a huge emerald-green rose bush stretched toward the sky, its pink petals opened to reveal human faces, each with five eyes, as vines, dotted with thorns, spread outward like arms.

Beneath a flickering street light, an emaciated blond woman with thin horns and a long, tufted tail smiled, waving at a figure hooded by a cream tinted cloak- perched atop a white chest, it absentmindedly rubbed its mask with a hand adorned with golden rings and pointedly ignored the wave.

A pale fleshy Other crept out of a drain pipe. It blinked rapidly at the various Lords and Ladies surrounding the stronghold. Suddenly, it seemed to come to a conclusion about something, and quickly made its way toward the Grand English Building, scuttling along upon very human-like hands, as its long tail dragged behind.

Dozens of androgynous Fair Folk milled about nervously, still cloaked in Glamour: their hair, eyes, and skin a menagerie of every conceivable colour. Some of them even look surprisingly human. The vast majority did not.

A huge shadow with multiple limbs and spider eyes sat patiently next to an empty dumpster, as a grey skinned creature covered in jewellery and pastel pink silk loomed beside it, staring impassively and drooling from long crooked fangs. The grey skinned creature offered a hand-rolled cigarette to the shadow, which it accepted and the pair smoked in silence beside the dumpster.

Standing by a tree a little way off from the fountain, a pale-purple being softly glowed and twisted her tendrils anxiously around the six arms that were split off from her elbows. Two other beings emerged out of the tree to stand alongside to the first, speaking in hushed unintelligible tones; the Buck, with its golden eyes, said something to its companion, who hissed angrily, her skirts flared up around her and her head sickeningly swivelled to a 180-degree angle while the Buck laughed.

A vantablack nightmare prowled along the perimeter of the English Building. It was normally the size of a horse, but now the skeletal humanoid thing was as large as an elephant.

An unprecedented number of teeth lined the thing’s mouth, with small, gleaming white chunks of all different shapes and sizes crammed into its maw. It was a nameless nightmare. A tooth stealer paying for its loot with fairy gold, taken from the hoard beneath the Grand English Building.

Indeed, the Fairy Hoard was filled to the brim with jewels and precious metals, but far more precious treasures were also kept there: first kisses and lost daisy chains, billions of odd socks and traded voices kept in glass bottles, small mountains of pebbles and stones with no perceivable value, bleached bones of stolen first born children, the names of every human foolish or desperate enough to tell them, piles of hair tied in ribbon bound clumps, nine-thousand years’ worth of offerings brought from the Fair Folks homeland, and nine-thousand years’ worth of memories disguised as fat golden coins, hidden amongst real fairy gold. If given to or taken by humans, the fairy gold would become damp leaves or acorns; but sometimes the human would also remember fragments from a life that they had never lived.

Though the Hoard was an integral part of life for the Lords and Ladies of Elsewhere University and an important aspect of the Treaty, it was the keystone of the vantablack nightmare’s existence. Without gold to leave behind, how could it get more teeth? And without teeth, what was its purpose? It couldn’t afford to find out.

Soon, all the Fae were present. Lining the alleys and pathways, crouched on rooftops, they waited. The Seelie formed imprecise lines of defence, groups clustered together that made the bulk of the Gentry force, whilst the Unseelie stood alone or in smaller groups.

All of them could smell brimstone. The harsh odour wafted along the scorching breeze, involuntarily causing the army to shudder at the stench, as resonant thunder rumbled threateningly above them. Streaks of lightening stabbed viciously from the night sky and boiling winds tore through the campus, roaring past like a sandstorm.

Fear swept across the Fae legions, aching within them as the darkness of the night gurgled with storm and burning heat. The terror they experienced reeked almost as much as the terrible aroma of sulphur and chemicals that was bursting forth from the East.

Weaker Fae fled in their rising dread, gibbering and screaming pitifully as the others stood trembling, but resolute in their defence.

As the storm grew in ferocity, awful shrieks could be heard from inside the dorms lining the campus. Students screamed and cried from their rooms. Wretched terror shattered their fragile human senses as they flailed and relieved themselves in paralysing fear. Some begged for death or howled to the Heavens, blubbering for their mothers to save them. Most merely twitched and shuddered, holding themselves tightly as their minds were overwhelmed. They moaned and yowled in the night. The noises they made were barely identifiable as human.

Amidst the screaming and the thunderous pounding of the storm, a titanic beast emerged in the distance, breaching the Edge of Things within view of the Gentry stood sentinel around the Grand English Building.  

The ground trembled as it moved and more of the Fae army deserted their posts.

The Wyrm had come.

High school Teacher AU

The students had a strong perception when it came to teacher relationships. They had pegged Mr. Jackson and Ms. Chase’s latter romance before either even knew they liked one another. To then it just made sense.

The Marine Biology teacher was a complete goof ball and his room was coincidentally next to the AP Math teacher who was rather strict but gentle when need be. Of course when it was discovered that they two teachers at the high school had a thing going on the entire student body freaked out in excitement. The two teachers were adored all across the campus.

No one was safe from the students’ knowing eyes. There was the sweet art teacher Ms. Levesque and the very loveable P.E. teacher Mr. Zhang. The students had groaned for an entire two years while the two made complete fools out of themselves and animatedly denied their feelings for one another until Mr. Jackson had forced them to go on a date together. At least that was what he said.

However there were two teachers that were extremely intimidating to the students. Well, at least the freshmen, once you got to know them they were some of the favorites of the students. There was Ms. Grace of course the history teacher.

She looked like she could fit in with the other kids. With her wild hair and punk clothes it was a surprise she wasn’t fired for not following the dress code. When asked the reply was, “Oh the dress code? Yeah they just gave up on me.”

The class was never, ever boring, the students were constantly paying attention because if they looked away they would most likely miss something rather hysterical.

Then there was the language teacher. Who’s room rested across the hall from Ms. Grace’s. Most of the students had the language teacher as well which proved to be rather humorous at times.

“Okay today we are going to learn about Ancient Rome. What comes with that my friends is a lot of Latin that I cannot read to save my life. So, I have a friend who is going to help. It took some convincing because it’s her prep period but please be nice. I’m talking to you Jeremy no sarcasm.” The class laughed and joked around a bit before agreeing. “I will be back in like five seconds.”

Ms. Grace, or Thalia in this instance as that was her first name, three open the door with a dramatic flair earning snickers from her class. She never took anything seriously, including opening a door. Four steps later and she was peeking into the room across the hall.

“Hey, you’re not busy are you?” The Carmel skinned, Puerto Rican woman glanced up from her desk with a small expression of surprise.

“Oh no. Is this the thing you told me about needing help with yesterday?” She questioned.

“Yeah if you wouldn’t mind. If you’re busy I’m sure I can manage.” Thalia didn’t want to irritate the other teacher. She’d seen what her tamper could look like, particularly with her more difficult class.

“I’m free. I have nothing better to do.” She smiled and stood up from her chair following the history teacher across the hall.

“That was more than five seconds Ms. Grace.” A girl pointed out with a small smirk.

“My apologies.” Thalia pretense to be wounded by her lateness. “Forgive me I beg of you.”

“Okay…” The girl laughed.

“Thank you.” Thalia smiled catching the amused look from the language professor standing next to her desk. “Some of you, most of you may know Rey-Ms. Ramírez.”

“Yah she’s the bomb!” Jeremy spoke loudly.

“Hi Jeremy.” Reyna smiled lightly at the boy who waved spastically.

“Jeremy I told you not to scare her.” Thalia frowned playfully earning a loud apology. The kid did not know how to speak quietly. “Anyways you have the floor please enlighten us.”

“Will do Ms. Grace. Watch and learn.” The students laughed at Reyna’s remark. Thalia sat down on the edge of an empty desk at the back of class watching as the other woman took command of the class easily. The students payed her attention while she spoke.

Thalia had watched her teach before and it was interesting how their styles varied. While Reyna was more serious she threw in the occasional joke and kept he nodded casual and relaxing while encouraging the learning minds.

The bell rang signaling the end of class and the students gathered their things before bolting for the door. The classroom was empty in a matter of seconds. Thalia clapped slowly from the back of the room.

“Bravo. Wonderful lesson.” Reyna rolled her eyes at the Punk Teacher’s words.

“Thank you. I’m glad I could help no need for special thanks.” Thalia nodded getting up from her seat at the back of the room.

“Your help was appreciated.” The history teacher held out her hand and the language teacher took it. Thalia noted that the other teacher’s skin was smooth but she gave a firm shake. Admirable. Most people Thalia shook hands with gave a slackened grip, a sign of weakness according to studies.

“I must go I have another class.” With that Reyna dropped her hand from the hold.

“Right. If you need help any time soon let me know.”

——–

As it would turn out the two teachers helped each other often. They practically shared classrooms by the end of the year and students would see them in the halls talking animatedly to one another.

It was odd whenever the two teachers were spotted without one another even in the smallest amounts of free time. Of corse the students took note and immediately began to whisper amongst one another as they had with former teachers wondering if they would ever get together. Over the summer however most of these speculations were forgotten.

That was until the next school year rolled around. When the Christmas season came about the new history class lost their minds when they walked into class to see their teacher decorated as a Christmas tree.

“What happened?” A boy asked wide eyed.

“This is what happens when your co workers need a Christmas tree.” Thalia responded. Class went on as usual until half way through the language teacher everyone had come to know waltzed into class with a Christmas tree topper in hand.

“The others forgot one very important thing.” Thalia frowned as the star was place on her head to the great humor of her students. “Don’t pout. Every Christmas tree needs a star.”

“How did you even get this?” Thalia asked with an appalled look.

“Bought it during lunch.” Reyna shrugged and with that she left. Once this little incident spread around there campus the speculation roared up once more.

The final straw for the students was when they walked into language to find Ms. Grace standing on a desk and trying to fix their teacher’s projector.

“If you fall in going to laugh.” Reyna smiled watching the frowning expression of her fellow teacher.

“I am not going to fall. I have impeccable balance.” Thalia grumbled ignoring the confused looks of the students as to why the history teacher was on a desk in the middle of the class room.

As it turned out the history teacher did not have impeccable balance. Her foot slipped just as she was finishing up her task. Needless to say Reyna did laugh as well as the entire class.

“Ooooooowwww.” Thalia groaned sitting up and looking at her arm which had a bleeding cut on it.

“Don’t whine like a baby. I warned you.” The laughter of the classroom died down and they all looked at their teacher expectantly, curious to see what she would do.

The language teacher beckoned Thalia over to her desk and held up a box of band aids. “I’d give you normal ones but I’m certain you’d like the princess ones best.”

This resulted in another spirt of laughter from the students at the grumpy look on the history teacher’s face.

“You know me so well. Princesses are my absolute favorite thing in the whole world. They are so cute.” Thalia grumbled opening the box.

“Well I’m glad you think so.” Reyna mused. “Now thank you for fixing my projector but I have a class to teach.”

“I’m the better teacher right?” Thalia turned to the class with an expectant look and the students all nodded. “Knew it.”

“Right.” Reyna laughed before Thalia made her way back to her class. The incident spread like wild fire and as he other teachers learned of the rumors they too began to secretly root for the two to get together.

It all came to a head when Reyna’s car broke down in the driveway after school. Without missing a beat Thalia slipped off her jacket, rolled up her sleeves, and set to work. The weather was rather cold which was a down side but the history teacher wasn’t going to quit until the language teacher had a working car again.

“Almost done.” Thalia grumbled her hands working at the greasy inside of the car.

“Than you very much. I swear I don’t know what I’d do without you.” Reyna sighed watching intently.

“Well princess your chariot is officially fixed yet it out.” Thalia took a step back and lowered the hood. Her hands were covered in grease and her cheeks were smudged with the same substance.

Reyna turned her car on and sure enough the engine roared to life. Getting back out she went to apologize for the inconvenience but instead pointed out that Thalia had grease smudges on her face. Without hesitating Reyna used the sleeve of her jacket to wipe at the smudges. “There good as new.”

Thalia’s cheeks were a slight pink but Reyna was certain it was due to the cold until the punk in a spurt of courage pressed her frozen lips to Reyna’s

Reyna paused for a moment before sighing and kissing back. Thalia made sure to keep her grease covered hands from ruining the rest of Reyna’s clothes as she wrapped her arms around Reyna’s waist. The kiss was a long time coming and the two were only interrupted when he sound of cheering greeted them.

Both teachers turned completely red in the face I see the entire girl’s soccer team clapping and yelling excitedly. Thalia, without missing a beat, gave a theatric bow. Reyna face palmed for the millionth time that day.

“Hey, you guys think she should go out with me?” Thalia yelled.

“YES!” Came the collective shout. Thalia turned back to Reyna with an expectant look. After collecting herself from her embarrassment Reyna nodded. The soccer team screamed louder and more excitedly than before. And that was how the two loner teachers on campus got together.