For Better Or For Worse
"Good morning class!" Monstrophiko, a yellow Grarrl teacher said cheerfully to everyone, getting smiles from some and frowns from others, especially from another Grarrl. "Today, we will cut to the chase and leave out introductions, since we'll know each other progressively; besides," he said with a smile, "Mathematics are so much more interesting."
"Disgrace to all Grarrlhood..." muttered the Grarrl student.
Wordlessly, Monstrophiko checked the class schedule, and checked his name. Looking it over, he seemed to laugh a little, threw the schedule out, and found the real schedule. He then looked up. "You might wonder how I caught on so fast, Meathead." Monstrophiko seemed to note that the yellow Grarrl was surprised at this. "In fact, I was the same kind of troublemaker myself," he continued.
"I doubt it," Meathead said.
"As I think you should. I look too nice, like I simply could not be mean. Well, let me tell you all a story. It happened about let's see... 30 years ago, when I was in the same seat as you are, Meathead." Meathead seemed surprised at this, and the teacher continued. "Yes, that seems right. Now, let me start."
"It was a cool, gusty September morning, the 17th, to be exact. Class 203, history. 2 minutes before the bell.
"'Hey, Monster! What'll we do today?'
"'Wait and see, my good friend, just watch... And learn, of course.'
"With the arrival of the teacher, the fun had started on that day. Pencils were thrown, pain was inflicted, books were eaten, doodles were drawn, and general mayhem took place. It is enough to render any self-respecting teacher mad. I should know, I was a future teacher, though I didn't know it. That's how I got rid of teacher #4. Let me tell you a story. It revolves around me, a Yellow Grarrl. My name is Monstrophiko, and this is the Tale of the Teacher's revenge."
"I can't believe another teacher quit! What is going on in that classroom?!" Principal Dean sighed, and sank into his chair. Dean was a rather dashing Blue Kyrii in his forties, with a few traces of white in his hair, which he couldn't seem to stop fiddling with. *Desperate times come to desperate measures... I suppose it's time to call an investigator.* Dean got up to compose a neomail and leafed through a list of names. "Let's see... Ah! Here we are... Hi, this is Principal Dean Kyrii, from Neo Pian High School. There have been some strange happenings in a classroom over here, and we have need of some investigation... Yes... Class 203, history... You'll be here tomorrow?... Perfect, thanks for your help!" .... "I hope this clears things up..."
I sat a little higher in my school chair, not that I had to; I AM a Grarrl, after all, but I wanted to see the new substitute teacher. Seeing the door open, I almost stood up, when one of my good friends interrupted my brusque move with a little remark, at which I quickly sat back down. Back then, I was a tall yellow Grarrl, who looked nice, despite my species and name; at least, that what everyone told me. Anyway, though I looked nice, my personality was seemingly totally different. I was THE troublemaker. Thanks to my devious mind, Class 203 history was the most feared class by all teachers. So much, in fact, I caused the insanity of one teacher and caused three others to quit in the same month. The door fully opened, and I sized up my new challenger. The substitute was a tired-looking female Elephante, who looked like she held a secret. I truly despised Elephantes, but couldn't remember why.
"Hello, class. I am Mary_Elephant, your substitute teacher, and today, while your wonderful" (someone giggled) "...principal, Mr. Dean, looks for a new teacher, I will be teaching you the great past. First, we'll-"
"Heh. Looks like your owner didn't have much ideas for a good name, did he?" I had interrupted.
"Now young man, my owner is a great person; I do not want you to-"
"That doesn't change the fact they have no imagination."
"That's enough out of you. What is your name?"
"What's it to you?"
"Everything actually, I'm here to investigate the reason to why not one teacher has stayed for over a week, and then give my report to the principal. So. Mind telling me your name?"
"Actually, yes I do."
"Then I'll just look on the class plan... Right. Birds_like_singing, please come with me."
"Who's Birds_like_singing? Last I remember, there is no Birds_like_singing here." Before Mary_Elephant was able to get me to go with her, the bell rang; now that's what I call saved by the bell!
"Heh, see ya, Elephante! Tomorrow, maybe."
"...Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm. There won't be a next time, Mr. Monstrophiko..."
I heard her get my name right, and turned around. "What?"
"Nothing that concerns you... Or does it? Hmm, hmm, hmm... I think it's time you met Mr. Tremblay...."
"Hey, Monster, how was school?"
"It was great! I learned lots and lots!"
"Ok then, I'm guessing it was a successful day, then," said my owner, a kind guy called Cole, who had dark brown hair that seemed to change color in the sunlight and dark blue eyes.
Cole knew me too well."New Elephante teacher, looks right evil."
"I smell a record."
Snorting, I headed towards the fridge, still one of my favorite objects in the world, and opened it to find that all that was left was a Jar of Olives, which was there for me, since no one else in the household was able to open it. "Meh, passable enough," I had said, mocking my owner, and opening the Jar of Olives with ease. "Hey, bro, how was school?" came a voice from behind me.
"Shut up, Hissilizer, just because you don't go to school anymore doesn't mean you have to rub it in."
"Oh, sorry, don't get all emotional, eh? I'm only here for *sigh* ANOTHER omelette... HEY! COLE! WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO LEARN THAT NEOPETS NEED VARIETY?!"
"You DO have variety! There's Bacon omelette, Bacon & Broccoli, Carrots and peas, heck, there's even omelette with gummies on them! But that kind's too expensive!" Cole yelled from the living room.
*sigh* "Will we ever get REAL food?! See you later, Monstrophiko," Hissilizer, a Shadow Hissi, who was a little on the chubby side following a Pumpkin Negg incident, hissed, before slithering off to his room.
I watched my brother slither off, and began to talk to myself. "Hmm... All I can think about is tomorrow at school... That Mary lady looked weird at the end... And what did she mean by "there won't be a next time?" ...And how did she know my name?! ... Hmm... Well, I'm feeling a mite tired. I'm off to bed."
"Talking to yourself is a sure sign of insanity, Mon," Aeongus, a rainbow Lenny, slyly said next to me.
"Thanks, Brainiac. I really care. Anyway, since you're here, 'night."
"MONSTROPHIKO! BREAKFAST!" I heard Cole yell. "I know he wouldn't miss breakfast for the world."
"I HEARD THAT!"
"THEN GET DOWN HERE!"
Going downstairs, my thoughts had once again turned to Mary_Elephant. What was she planning?!
Oh, great. A rock.
"Cole, just because I'm a Grarrl and can eat anything, doesn't mean I LIKE to eat garbage. When I hear the word breakfast, I expect ... well, breakfast, not... a rock."
"Fine! If you want something good, then earn the money, I'm busy saving... for something." Cole retorted.
"It's always the same here..." I said, defeated.
"It could be worse. You could....... Wait, no it can't," Hissenizer, a white Hissi and another one of my brothers, added, making me snort my water.
"All too true, Hissenizer," I acknowledged.
"Very funny. Well, on my watch, it says school time. Aeongus, Hissenizer, Monstrophiko, get going," Cole countered, putting us all, except of course Hissilizer, who grinned, in a slump.
Getting up from the table, I couldn't help but wonder once more, what was the investigator-lady planning?! I got more and more anxious, maybe she was a little more evil than she looked; a little bit like me...
"All right, here's the plan. We're going to "test" the new teacher, ok? Any ideas?"
"I heard that having Tremblay as a last name was very common," said my best friend, Carl, a green Skeith, who wasn't one of the morbidly obese blobs with wings, and was actually quite athletic.
"Thanks, Carl. We have 'making fun of' done. Any other ideas?"
"No time! He's here!" said a voice unbeknownst to us. We all turned, and saw a rather gangly Shadow Jetsam with a briefcase. "Good morning, I'm Mr. Tremblay. People say I have a common name." (Damn! I muttered.) "But moving on, we are here for history, are we not? Very well, let's get started!"
With his back to the blackboard, I motioned the other students to pretend they're sleeping, which they did promptly, then I did the same. Soon, all we could hear was quite a loud fake snore. Mr. Tremblay turned around, muttered something along the lines of "how cute!", and took out an Air Horn, and blew it. If we all didn't jump a foot in the air, then my name is not Monstrophiko. Anyhow, then and there, we knew that Mr. Tremblay wasn't your average teacher...
"WHAT IN THE WORLD?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!" I yelled.
"It's not what's wrong with me, it's what's wrong with you, kiddos." (At that, we all shuddered.) "I've been told that you all are a VERY disruptive class, and I'm going to put an end to that behaviour! Any questions?"
I raised my hand. Several students gasped, aghast at such respectful behaviour. "I'd like to know how you intend to actually do that. Seeing as, well, there is NO way you are going to change us."
"Too true. I am unable to change you all, but perhaps I can make a chain reaction..." He muttered this last to himself. "Monstrophiko, you are obviously the ringleader..." To this, I motioned for someone else to bite the bullet, but found no takers. Lousy friends, never there when you need them... Mr. Tremblay continued with a grin: "... So I'd like to see you after class."
I don't know what made me do it, but staying after class turned out to be the introduction to the biggest mistake, and yet the best, of my life.
I was intrigued, my curious side coming into control. I just HAD to find out how he was going to TRY to make me behave, seeing as there was no way possible for me to change my ways, or, so I thought. *ahem* Moving on. This is what happened after class:
"Don't forget to study James Jetsam, as there will be a test on him next course!" ("Yeah, when a Garbage paint brush is released!" I heard someone chuckle.) "You are all dismissed! Except for Monstrophiko, of course. We have a talk to have."
Seeing everyone leave, Mr. Tremblay started talking in a completely different manner. He seemed somewhat pleasant. Then I heard what he was saying.
"Monstrophiko, you are a disgrace. You never study, you drive teachers crazy, you bully smaller students, meaning just about everyone, and you cause all around mischief. What have you got to say for yourself?"
"Being truthful, I really don't know what gets into me. I suppose it's Grarrl code. Just being a Grarrl makes me mean and evil, and stuff," I replied.
"That's no excuse! Grarrg of Tyrannia is a Grarrl battlemaster, but is someone of the good side! You have such nice features! Why can't you act the way you look?"
"Fine. Being nice gives me a headache. Looking nice doesn't mean I have to be. You are one confused Jetsam, Tremblay."
"...Very valid points. Alright then. You have no homework; however, I want you be nicer."
"What, are you going to make me?!"
"That is for the future to decide. Go home. I will know if you've been mean. Just know this, Monstrophiko, I'm watching you, and you WILL change your ways, whether you want to or not."
Walking home, I noticed a shadow in the bushes. It emerged, revealing Mr. Tremblay, who warned me one last time that I would suffer the consequences of my actions. I then made a huge mistake, and taunted him; by swiping some little Usul's ice cream, and laughing at the kid while she cried. I then looked to see if Mr. Tremblay was still there, so I could spite him, but it was as if he was but a mirage. Puzzled, I headed home for real.
"Hey, Monstrophiko!" came a voice from behind me. I recognised it as Carl's.
"Heyyyy! What's up?" I said, turning around, but seeing no one there. "Whaaa?! Now this is weird..." I started home again, where I saw Carl right in front of me.
"BOO!" I must have jumped, for I saw Carl make a silly grin of triumph. "Come on, Monstrophiko, that's the oldest trick in the book! What's on your mind?" he inquired. I then proceeded to tell him all that Mr. Tremblay had said earlier that day, that I saw him stalking me, me taunting him, and him disappearing. "Whoa, man, that is seriously one messed up teacher."
"Tell me about it. Anyway, what are you doing here?"
"Just that, I came to find out how meeting with Mr. Tremblay was. And from what you told me, he's quite different."
"Got that right. Anyway, see ya tomorrow!"
I then watched as Carl trudged off. I then started wondering what exactly what consequences there were in store for me.
For one of the first times in my life, I was scared.
I dreaded the dawn, and had very little sleep that night. The sunlight weakly poured in as the sun slowly came up. I had decided not to go to school.
"MONSTROPHIKO!" Cole called from downstairs where, of course, another rock or boot was probably waiting for me. I'd have to skip breakfast if my plan was going to work anyway. I got out of bed looked in the mirror and put up my sickest face, and shakily went downstairs. "There you are! Wait... are you feeling okay?" Cole looked worried, and I knew my plan was a success... until I saw a shadow out of the corner of my eye. I dropped the act, and instead dropped my jaw, since I was looking right at Mr. Tremblay.
"Um... Monstrophiko, what's the matter? Is there something there?"
My vision focused itself and I realized I had been hallucinating. Faking the sickness again, I turned to Cole.
"There is s-something the matter... I'm not feeling to good... I think that I might ugg be coming down with ugga ugga... Ugga!"
"Wow. The cures for that are way too expensive... Wait... I have an idea!" Cole then proceeded to take out a book with the words "Home remedies" written on the cover. I gave a startled yelp, wolfed down breakfast (which happened to be a rockfish), quickly said bye, and ran to school, top speed. "Heh, heh, heh... Works every time," Cole chuckled to himself.
"Hey, Monstrophiko! Wait up!" Carl called from in back of me. "This must be the first time I've ever seen you run to school! What's wrong?"
"Two words, Home Remedies. Looks like no hookey today..." I said, out of breath. Exercise wasn't my greatest quality.
"So I see. So what's going to happen with Mr. Tremblay?"
"I don't know, and I don't want to talk about it."
"All right, everyone! Test is over! Let's see how much you all know about James Jetsam, now shall we? I'll read a test here... Ah! Monstrophiko! How much do you know about him? Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, aaaand wrong! Oooooh! Better luck next time, eh? I'll see you after class. We have important things to discuss, and you know it! Anyhoo, class is dismissed. NO HOMEWORK!" The last line made everyone leap in joy, then run out of the class, except for Carl and me.
"If you don't mind, Mr. Tremblay, I'd like to stay too, seeing as Monster is my best friend," Carl loyally requested.
Mr. Tremblay then got rather aggressive. "No, Carl, you are to get out, and stay out. I want no interruptions. I don't care if Monstrophiko is your friend or not. GET. OUT," he finished, almost yelling.
"Yes, sir! Sorry, man..." Carl then got out of there as fast as he could.
"All right, Monstrophiko, now it's just you and me. I remember that little Usul girl. She did not deserve that. I also remember you faking your sickness this morning. So, now I'm going to tell you what is going to happen to you. I am going to-"
"So I DID see you this morning! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO STALK ME!"
"SHUT UP, GRARRL! YOU WILL LEARN YOUR PLACE! YOU WILL SHUT UP, AND YOU WILL LISTEN! YOUR END IS NEAR! DON'T MAKE THIS UNPLEASANT FOR THE BOTH OF US!" I abruptly stopped yelling at him, and whimpered in my chair, despite being much taller and broader than the Jetsam teacher.
"Go on, Mr. Tremblay," I managed to get out.
"Good! What I am going to do... Is..." I saw him take a syringe with a viscous black fluid in it. "...THIS!" To which he very quickly jabbed me with the needle. I immediately felt darkness overcoming me, and I fell to the ground, gasping for breath. I then heard Carl come bashing through the door and yelling at Mr. Tremblay, before he seemingly met the same fate as me.
Then I let the darkness in, and I fainted, knowing that when I woke up, nothing would be the same.
I woke up, unable to tell one thing from another. Was it the next day, the same day, or years later? What time was it? Where was I? I got up, dizzy and almost blind. What was it that that Mr. Tremblay injected me with? I fell back down, hard. I tried to cry out in pain, but found out my voice seemed to be missing. I looked at my surroundings. It looked like the classroom, but things seemed a little distorted. My vision finally cleared while I checked my hands. They looked fine, so I looked around. Yep, this is definitely the classroom, I thought to myself. Something wasn't quite right about it, though... I took a good hard look, and saw a pair of beady eyes were staring back at me from the black board. I approached it out curiosity, only to see it multiply all around me. My voice seemed to have returned, since I let out a yell. I heard a familiar voice behind me.
"Mon... ster..." I spun around, to see the eyes had somehow disappeared without my noticing. Then I noticed Carl lying sprawled out on the floor.
"Carl!" I rushed towards him, then time seemed to have stopped for me, as Carl got up supernaturally, like as if his neck was somehow attached to an invisible string, and pulled backwards, putting him on his hind legs. Then I noticed the dead gaze the Carl-like creature had. I regained my movement, and started backing up slowly. "Carl? What happened?"
"Mon... ster..." the Carl-creature repeated, and started lunging towards me. That's where I took the opportunity to run, leaving the Carl-creature behind. Tears in my eyes, I bolted to the exit, only to find it locked.
"WHAT'S GOING ON?!" I yelled to no one in particular.
"Hey, Mon... stro... phi... ko, huhhh, how... was school?"
"Wha?!" I then saw my entire family, with the same gaze Carl had. Hissilizer-creature was the one who talked.
"It... could be... worse... no, it can't... huhuhuheheheh..."
"Hissenizer?! What's going on?!"
"N-n-n-night-t-t-t... M-mon... geh heh huhhhh..."
"You DO... have a lot... of variety..."
At this voice I snapped around. Everyone I truly cared about was here. What kind of monster is Mr. Tremblay?! I thought to myself. "Hello, Monstrophiko!" a voice coming from seemingly nowhere said cheerfully. "Welcome to your mind! Like it? Goood! You see, you'll be staying here for a while, but don't worry! I've arranged for your best friend and family to keep you company. How is it they are in your mind, you ask? Well, that's a secret. Have fun!"
"MR. TREMBLAY! YOU WON'T GET AWAY WITH THIS!" I yelled to the ceiling.
"Heh, heh, heh, we'll see about that. Have a good time, now. Oh, and there is an escape, but for once, you'll find it yourself, seeing as everyone else here is trying to kill you. Actually, I WILL help you. There is a classroom, your favorite; beware, though, don't think that only your friends and family are here. I have a couple of surprise guests. I think you will be surprised at who they are. Well, to leave you a chance at this fun game, I'll give you a 10 minute headstart, starting now! Best of luck!"
At his last line, the world seemed to go topsy-turvy, and I saw that things were even weirder than before. I wondered how this could be my mind if I had no control at all. Seeing that a big watch appeared out of nowhere saying I had nine minutes left, I rushed to find my favorite classroom, where the most good memories emanated from... Not the History course, but the course that Mr. Tremblay himself used to teach. There was a time that he was my favorite teacher, and was always nice to me. Then he was replaced with another teacher, Ms. Elephante, an evil elephante who hated me with a passion.
I then realized that Mr. Tremblay wasn't the real enemy, and set off to free myself from my personal prison.
I rushed off to my old favorite class, which was Mathematics. Running there reminded me of when I was a straight-A student, and people respected me, not for my troublemaking, but for my eagerness and my intelligence. Suddenly, the timer ran out of time, and all the doors in the school opened, revealing all the teacher that I used to love, but got replaced, one by one, by a family of Elephantes that all despised Grarrls, and took it all out on me, seeing as I was a large one myself.
"No! I'm so close!" I screamed. I started sprinting as fast as I could, towards Math, reaching it, and getting inside before the ex-teachers could reach me. Though inside was not what I expected. It was a beautiful clearing, devoid of anything remotely evil. Next to a tree sat a lone figure.
I smiled, remembering that that was what Mr. Tremblay used to call me, the same as all my friends, and how it always made me get red in the face. "Sir, how did all this happen?"
"It didn't, Mon. Don't forget that none of this is real. We are both are still in the classroom. Yes, you are trapped in your mind, but you reached me in time. We can go now. You know why you started being mischievous and mean. I can tell you won't be that way anymore. Don't worry about your friends and family; like I said, we are in your mind, and none of them are real. They are fine. Carl came bashing into the door and tried to get to you, but I injected him with a sleeping dose. I'm just here to tell you this, Monstrophiko. It's not too late. You can always chase your dream. We can go now. I think you know what to do." I still remember how I gave him that last hug before returning to the real world...
Yes, kids, that's where I decided to become a teacher. I'm just telling you...
Never forget your dream.