You knew already how this would end,” said Luthar.
Horus Corley held his hand to his face. He winced in pain, limping away.
“This isn’t over, Luthar,” said Corley, “Or should I say, ‘Hector Hundred.’ Perhaps your beloved school should learn the truth?”
“They will never believe the truth if it comes from a kidnapping thief,” said Luthar.
“Oh, well I’ll just take that to heart. I might take on the protective persona too.”
“But not without this,” said Luthar. He held Corley’s Briostone in his hand. The latest knife stroke removed it from Corley’s neck.
Corley looked wild eyed. He kept feeling for the Briostone. His beloved “children,” now free of his control, vanished. The specters’ dual for dominance was over.
“Thank you for your patronage,” said Luthar, “This will provide that I stay in charge a little while longer.”
Luthar held his own Briostone with Corley’s. The former absorbed the latter and became more translucent.
“Mine proves the stronger,” said Luthar.
“Oh, Yeah? Well, watch your back, Luthar. Cause there are others. Just like me,” sneered Corley, “Know that we don’t like you as Principal. So watch. Your. Back!”
As he said it, he tossed something at Luthar. Instinctively Luthar dodged the projectile, but the missile was not seen or felt. What was it? Was it even real?
“What did you throw at me?!”
Corley only grinned surgically enhanced sharpened teeth. He tipped his fedora and vanished.
The local TV news had by now arrived and were able to cover Principal Luthar exiting the gutter drain with Shawn Skipperson. The seventh grader was taken to the hospital to make sure he was ok, which he was. At the insistence of the reporters, Luthar made a brief statement.
“Accidents happen,” he said, “I’m so glad it did not end in tragedy.”
One reporter asked why he went in himself.
“I’m principal of Bernard Berenson Middle,” said Luthar, “It is my responsibility to look after ALL of my students. They are MINE, even as they are yours. Even the deviant skateboarders. Mr. Skipperson is important to me as everyone else.”
Roger was at home. He had finished his homework that afternoon and was working on an article. It wasn’t something he was particularly excited about: construction for a new building dedicated to science and math. The teachers and staff were mostly upset about it because it would take up parking space. It would take two years to build. Roger would not see it until his Sophomore year of high school.
But then Principal Gordon Luthar was on the news. Footage was seen of him coming out of a gutter drain with a boy in his arms. Apparently he had rescued the boy, who had been trapped. Somehow Roger could not believe that. There had to be more to the story than that.
Wait. There. It was brief. Roger paused the DVR. On Principal Luthar’s left shoulder was a red patch staining his dress shirt. Blood. Anything could have caused it. But in a gutter drain?
From “Fall from Autumnway” from the curiously long book of short stories, I am lettuce, who are you?
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