The Berenson Times was a student-run newspaper. Covering everything from sports highlights to who made the honor roll, the weekly paper addressed various school topics.
The latest topics this week were Miss Long’s new hairstyle, the new addition of “breaded pork fingers”(also known as “Mystery Meat Special”) to the hot lunch menu, and frightening proof the cafeteria was haunted.
The Berenson Times was headed up by the 8th grade English teacher Mrs. Eweson. Her love for all things ice cream showed in her writing, in her choice of stickers when grading, in the posters on the walls of her classroom, and in her dress size.
“So you wanna work for the Times, huh?” said Mrs. Eweson as she adjusted her glasses.
“Yes Ma’am,” said Roger.
“You’re rather late in the season to be applying. We’re full for the quarter. If you apply in January, we can have you on full time. But we can always make room for part time, volunteer, reporters,” said Mrs. Eweson, “Tell me why you want to write for the Berenson Times?”
“I want to explore topics and places in the school normally not covered.”
“And what do you have in mind?”
“I want to cover what other places around the school might be haunted,” said Roger.
“Now we’re not in the business of ghost hunting,” said Mrs. Eweson, “And we’re not a tabloid.”
“That’s fine, just let me write,” said Roger.
“However,” said Mrs Eweson, “You are in eighth grade. And you’re making straight A’s in my classes. I can make an exception for you in that regard.”
She smiled a knowing smile to Roger. Mrs. Eweson was one of the few teachers who approved of Roger’s sneaking into the cafeteria to prove it was haunted.
“What are you saying, Mrs. Eweson?”
“I’m saying write what you wanna write, kid!”
Roger was estatic.
“But first let me know what you’re covering.”
Roger walked away with renewed vigor, staring at his newly issued Press Pass. As long as he had this, and it was relevant for a story, he could go places others could not tread.
Principal Gordon Luthar was reading a newly pressed copy of the Berenson Times. There was an article here written by some Mr. Roger Flair. Hmmm. Was that the guy who trespassed into the cafeteria? It must be. He wrote about his findings about the Red Veil Phantom. And about, who was that? “Hector Hundred?” Blood on the walls? How barbaric. It shouldn’t be in a school paper, relevant or not.
Principal Luthar looked at his watch. It was Monday. Almost that time again to make an appearance. Visiting her was a random visit. He made sure, every quarter, to visit the others and remind them to who it was that put them there. He never predicted that his appearance would be witnessed, or that the witness had on hand, of all things, a mirror. Who could have guessed that he’d get caught by a student? He thought detention would make him not do it again and keep quiet. Now he’s writing about it in the newspaper?
Principal Luthar got up from his desk and addressed his secretary.
“Eugenia, I’m going out for a bit. When I return, have Mrs. Eweson come to the office.”
“Yes, Mr. Luthar,” said Eugenia. “Um, she’s in class right now.”
“She’s in class you say?” he asked, “Fine. Send her in when her class is over.”
Principal Luthar calmly went outside and to his car. In the glove compartment was a syringe full of dark green liquid. He injected the needle into a strange, soft green stone attached to a necklace he wore around his neck. He wore it hidden, under his shirt at all times. The soft stone briefly turned a brighter shade of green and became shiny again.
The Briostone once again showed exuberance. It was a hassle to satisfy. One had to inject ether harvested from other specters, or it would shrivel like a raisin and reveal who he was. But it was one of the few ways to remain physical and among the living.
From “Fall from Autumnway” from the curiously long book of short stories, I am lettuce, who are you?
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