Usul Tales: The Ghost Of Locker 13
You are walking on the beach, the foamy waves crashing against the sandy beach. Weewoos coo overhead, and your stay is very serene. All of a sudden, there is a bright light, and you are no longer on the quiet beach. You are in a small room with black walls. Cobwebs decorate each corner, and you could've sworn that a spyder was staring at you with its many red eyes. It is pitch black, and you cannot see anything. The only source of light there is is a glowing, thick red book sitting on a dusty brown table. You walk over to the book. "The Usul Tales" is scribbled neatly on the cover in golden letters. A purple ribbon, probably a bookmark, is sticking out from the thin wafer pages. Out of curiosity, you open the book. The pages are blank and yellow with age. You groan. All of a sudden, color spill onto the pages, moving images of a school in Meridell and tale about several Usuls. That's when you realize that you are watching the story from a book! You watch the story, curiosity overcoming you... as you listen to the words...
"Eww! Slorgs!" Manna squealed, dropping her text books to the floor as slorgs oozed out of her locker, leaving thick, gross green trails of slime all over her books and decorations. "I knew I shouldn't have come to Meridell Middle School! There are slorgs everywhere!" the chocolate Usul shrieked.
"Suck it up, you're exaggerating! So what if the school's right next to Merry Acres Farms? Farmer Dan has to put those annoying slorgs some place! And there aren't slorgs everywhere!" Manna's twin sister Lane, a pink Usul, said before she waved to the janitor to get his attention.
"Oh yeah? There were slorgs in the science lab, slorgs in the locker room, even slorgs in the girls' bathroom! And now my locker is RUINED!" Manna squealed.
"Calm down, calm down. I'll get rid of them," Mr. Dell, the red ixi janitor, said. He clawed the slorgs off Manna's things and dropped them in a bucket. "I'll just drop these in the rubbish dump with some garbage and they'll live us all alone..." he muttered as he examined the slime.
"What about my locker? It's RUINED! I can't put my things back in there!" Manna said, a chocolate tear slipping down her cheek. Lane nudged her younger sister's shoulder.
"Er, you can move into locker 13. That one's been vacant for years..." Mr. Dell mumbled as he strolled away with his janitor cart, the soapy water inside his bucket swishing back and fourth.
"This is so dumb... I can't believe I have to change my locker for the third time this week! Really, what's with this slorg problem?" Manna spat as she gathered her things from the locker and started down the hall with her sister, toward her new one.
"Don't blame them. Slorgs were meant to slither around like that... leaving trails of slime wherever they go," Lane said with a giggle. "It's actually kind of cute."
"Cute? Leaving trails of icky green slime on ALL my books is CUTE? Are you nuts?" Manna asked furiously. Just when she was finished talking, Manna and Lane's third sister, a faerie Usul named Cathy, hurried over.
"Hey, I overheard Mr. Dell talking about you getting a new locker again! So, what number is it this time?" she asked, her golden hoop earrings bobbing up and down.
"Locker 13," Manna said. Cathy stopped and gasped. Lane and her sister looked at her, perplexed and rather confused.
"What's wrong with Locker 13?" Lane asked.
"You've never heard the story of Locker 13?" Cathy asked. The girls shook their heads. "Well," the Usul continued, "They say that a long time ago, there was this Uni who just came to this school, and she got locker 13, and 13 is an unlucky number. But she didn't believe in luck. On the first day with the locker, she was running through the halls, screaming that a ghost with big, round red eyes was staring at her when she looked in her locker. Of course, nobody believed her. Years later, it happened again, and so on, and so on. The point is, anybody who gets that locker is destined to see that ghost..."
"That's garbage. That obviously can't be true," Manna spat as they arrived at the locker. Its door was slightly rusted and it creaked when she opened it. Inside there was nothing but dust and cobwebs, and a shattered mirror.
"They say the ghost lives inside the mirror, and one year, a girl who had this locker was so scared she threw her comb at the mirror and it shattered," Cathy said.
"Oh, rubbish," Manna mumbled, waving away the cobwebs and slamming her books against the rusted metal. "There's no such thing as ghosts."
"You so sure? One girl said that, and one of her classmates dared her to destroy the mirror. She did. But the next day, it had returned as good as new, and she met eye-to-eye with the ghost of locker 13."
"Fine fine," Manna rumbled. "Watch this." She grabbed the mirror and threw it against the ground. It shattered into a million pieces and flew against the tile floors. "And guess what. There will be NOTHING but my books and my decorations in my locker tomorrow!" she said and stormed off.
* * *
School had just finished, and students were starting to clear the halls for a well deserved rest at home. Manna and Lane were standing by locker 13, waiting for Cathy to arrive. The clumsy faerie pet always seemed to be late. Finally, the Usul was running down the hall, tripping and bumping into students several times, her Jeran backpack almost flying away.
"Sorry I'm late," she said, out of breath. "So, open the locker already!"
With a sigh, thinking that it was a complete waste of time, Manna tossed open the locker. There were no more books sitting in the rusted locker, and the decorations had been ruthlessly torn off the scratched and cracked walls. And, hanging full and smooth, was the mirror, unshattered and all. And, in the pitch blackness of the dark locker, were two large, round red eyes.
High-pitched and shrill screams pierced the sound barrier as three completely terrified Usuls were sent running down the hall in terror, waving their arms like crazy, crying out: "Ghost! Ghost! GHOOOOOST!!!!"
The students looked in awe and woe as they were galloping out the school building like crazy whinnys that had just been spanked. Mr. Dell chuckled to himself as he approached the locker. "You can come out now, Lori," he said in a friendly tone. The Halloween slorg opened her eyes and slithered out of the locker and into her owner's arms. The red ixi hugged his petpet gently. "That'll teach them to shatter a mirror and not pick it up. I got lots of cuts from cleaning that up, you know." He laughed to himself. "Ghosts. They're rubbish." Then he, and his slorg, walked away.
At midnight that very night, harsh laughs flew through the halls of the deserted school.
And in locker 13 were a pair of glowing, round red eyes.
The color disappears, and the words "The End" scribble across the page in golden letters. There is another bright light, and you are lying on the couch. Your pets are playing with plushies on the floor. Was it all a dream? You have no idea. But you do know that you are going to the beach tomorrow!