Teri shrugged and was about to turn away for a second time when one of the florescent lights started to flicker. It was hard to tell which level of brightness made the pink tiling uglier. The flashing distracted her, so it took a moment to see it. In the mirror she’d just been adjusting her hair in, there was a reflection. At first she thought it was her, but the angle was all wrong. The squished image reminded Teri of herself, but the hair was messier and darker. In the mirror, the figure was standing right under the flickering light. As Teri turned back to the room, it was still empty. Metal and glass rattled and Teri’s eyes shot back to the mirror to see a shadowed face pressed up against it. The only thing visible between the tangled hair was the whites of the eyes, colored a dull grey by the darkness.
Teri screamed and yanked the door open. Stumbling through, she pulled it shut as fast as she could against the pressurized hinge. A hall monitor was staring at her, eyes wide with shock. Her brain was still crackling, so she was having trouble remembering his name. He looked like he was about to speak, but she whipped around and pulled the door back open a crack. Inside, the lights were all on, giving off the familiar ugly glow. The room was empty, even the mirrors.
The hall monitor was still behind her, obviously expecting some kind of explanation. He must’ve heard the scream.
“The lights were acting up. Scared me to death.”
“I don’t suppose you have a pass?”
The bell must’ve rung when she was fixing her hair. It was hard to hear in there.
“I forgot my pass book in my locker.”
The hall monitor seemed to feel sorry for her being scared, so he waved her away with a reminder to always carry a pass. Teri dashed to the stairs and started heading towards her locker. She needed to pick up her book for Dr. Fiedler’s class. It was strange to think of a doctor teaching science at a high school. No one knew exactly what kind of doctor he was, they just knew if they called him Mr. Fiedler he’d yell for five minutes straight.
Teri was halfway between the first and second floors when she stopped in her tracks. She didn’t need her book. She didn’t need it because there was a test today. Running back up the stairs to the second floor, she stuck her head out to make sure there weren’t any more monitors lurking. There was one at the far end of the hall, so Teri ducked around a corner and headed right for Dr. Fiedler’s room.
Already wincing as she pulled the door open, Teri stepped in and prepared herself for a withering glare. Dr. Fiedler did not disappoint. He stared like he was trying to melt a hole through her forehead and cook her brain. He wasn’t the only one staring either. The entire class had stopped working on the test to look at her as she came in. Keeping her head down, she scurried over to the front desk and picked up a copy of the test. Dr. Fiedler held his grip on the papers for a half second so she would look up and get another disapproving glare.