Stanley Smith’s gast, had never been so flabbered, in all its life. He had always thought Mr Huff was a bit of a meany, but he was becoming meaner than mean. Mr ‘Meany’ Huff just expected too much. How was anyone supposed to do reading, writing, mathsing, sciencing and all those other ings all in one week? After almost six weeks at his new school, Stanley simply couldn’t take it all in.
Running out of the class before the bell had finished ringing, Stanley ran as fast as a cheetah. He didn’t even worry about messing up his spiky, brownish hair, which he was normally extraordinarily protective of. Hurrying all the way into the playground, Stanley’s only concern was to tell someone about his horrible teacher. His best pal Drew would have to listen, even though he probably wouldn’t understand; he was the lucky one—he had Miss Dove as his teacher.
‘Stan,’ Drew called out. He was always happy to Stanley.
Almost leaving the soles of his shoes behind, Stanley didn’t slow down until he reached his friend. ‘We need to talk,’ he said. ‘In my office.’
Whilst they walked, Drew fixed his glasses on his nose. ‘What’s up?’ he asked. ‘Is it Mr Mean?’
‘Meaneeeee,’ Stanley corrected.
‘What did he do this time?’
Once they had arrived at the part of the playground, where hopscotch was marked on the concrete, Stanley felt much more important. ‘He just wants everything,’ He said, panting a little after his mini sprint. ‘And he wants it, before I can even remember what it is he wants!’
‘Hmmmm,’ mumbled Drew, rubbing his chin until it started to turn red. ‘I may have…the very thing…that will help you with such a crisis.’
‘Go on,’ Stanley said. He could feel his excitement trying to make him smile.
Drew looked left, then right, then up, and down. Once he had finished, he looked down, the up, then right, then left. He even looked down his bright yellow school-shirt. Yet Stanley had no idea what it was he was looking for.
‘Found it!’ yelled Drew. Although he didnt really need to shout that loud.
Reaching into his pocket, Drew pulled out a small, wooden trinket box. It had to be small to fit in his pocket in the first place. The edges of the box were tatty and worn, but that in some way made it look more appealing.
‘What is it?’ Queried Stanley.
Drew grinned cheekily. ‘The answer to your problems,’ he said. ‘Just don’t open it. Wait until you really need it.’
Before Stanley could ask any more, the ear-piercing bell destroyed playtime. Drew passed Stanley the box and nodded, but offered no other explanation. With no time left, Stanley took the object quickly, and stuffed it into his own pocket, then rushed back to class.
Mr Huff was still being mean. He was mean when he spoke, mean when he marked homework, mean when he made offers to help, and his mean eyes were everywhere. Stanley couldn’t even trump without Mr Huff noticing.
When Stanley decided to take a break, Mr Huff approached. Stanley didn’t notice at first, but it became much more obvious when a ruler crashed down on his table, shattering his daydreams.
‘You seem to be doing very little…Master Stanley,’ screeched Mr Huff. His voice made everyone turn, and now the whole class was staring at him.
‘I’m not sure what to do. Can you help—’
‘Help?’ Mr Huff laughed in a sinister way. ‘Help? Don’t you think you’ve had enough help?’
Enough time had been wasted, and it was time for Stanley to take matters into his own hands. He just hoped Drew’s answer would work. His hand shot into his pocket, and without delay, he yanked out the trinket box. On the top of the box was a tiny red button that Stanley hadn’t seen before, and next to it, a label that read ‘Push In An Emergency.’
Thinking for a whole half a second, Stanley decided to push the button. The lid of the box sprang open, and to Stanley’s surprise, out of it, flopped what looked like a slimy slug. The creature was reddish in colour, and coated in ooze. It was impossible to know which end was its head, as it wriggled around on Stanley’s table.
Mr Huff looked astonished. Then he looked stunned. Then he looked angry. Then eventually, when the object that Stanley had released began to grow, Mr Huff looked flabbergasted; which was a feeling Stanley often felt, when given more schoolwork to complete.
‘What…’ Mr Huff boomed. ‘Is that?’
Over just a few minutes, the slug thing continued to swell and get larger. Much larger. All Stanley’s classmates screamed—especially the boys—whilst the weird beast grew. Once it was as big as the table, it rolled onto the floor. With one popping sound at a time, green tentacles emerged from the sides of the slug’s body. There were eight tentacles in total, and Stanley was beginning to get a little worried.
‘Ewwwww!’ sang all the other children, at exactly the same time.
After just a minute, the blobby, alien thing lifted, and only its gungy rear end supported its weight. Stanley could make out the head, which almost touched the classroom ceiling. Four eyes stared at him, and the animal’s tentacles did a strange sort of dance. Stanley’s gast was now even more flabbered.
‘Erm…greetings,’ Stanley called out, when the thing’s mouth gaped. ‘N…n…nice…to meet you.’
All of a sudden, the classroom door flung open and Miss Dove made an entrance. ‘Mr Huff,’ she said. ‘I’m wondering if you could help me with…aaaarrrrgh!’
Stanley was sure that her long, dark hair stood on end when she saw the monster; even though that was surely not possible. Miss Dove wasn’t much taller than Stanley, but now she seemed even shorter. She froze, as though magically held in place, watching as things took an ugly turn.
‘Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhh,’ she screeched again, when the slug looked directly at her.
‘No!’ yelled Drew, hurrying in the room behind his teacher. ‘Stanley—’
He was interrupted when tables bounced around the room. The creature was heading straight for Miss Dove, and knocked everything out of its path as it went. All the children spread around the edge of the classroom, and Stanley noticed Mr Huff cowering under his desk.
‘What is it?’ Stanley yelled over the commotion.
Drew looked petrified. ‘It’s…it’s…a Teacher Deleter.’
‘How do I stop it?’
The boys were too late to stop anything, and could only watch as Miss Dove’s legs were yanked into the Teacher Deleter’s mouth. It looked like the thing would eat her.
‘Not Miss Dove…not Miss Dove…not Miss Dove,’ Drew chanted over and again.
‘Drew,’ Stanley shouted, glancing at Mr Huff, whose face was wearing a sinister smile. ‘What do I do?’
Miss Dove’s legs had completely disappeared, but Stanley realised that the Teacher Deleter was see through. The alien being was swallowing Drew’s teacher whole, but she started to giggle whilst her body was sucked inside. Oddly, being eaten by the Teacher Deleter was somehow tickling her. Mr Huff cackled whilst he watched.
‘Drew!’ Stanley bellowed again, not entirely sure what to make of it all.
‘Push the button in an emergency!’ replied Drew, tugging at his thick, black hair.
As fast as a speeding Stanley, Stanley grabbed the trinket box from the floor where the Teacher Deleter had knocked it. Shaking, his finger only just managed to press the button, and he instantly heard a sickening belching sound. Then another—and another!
Sprawled on the floor, Miss Dove had been thrown from the Teacher Deleter’s mouth. She was covered in a red gunk, and scrambled for the door. The monster was shrinking, and had sicked up Drew’s teacher. Miss Dove had been saved.
‘Yay!’ cheered Drew, bouncing up and down, when his teacher crawled passed him and made her exit.
In a flash, the monster was reduced back to a tiny slug. No more tentacles, and no more scary eyes. Drew ran across and scooped it into his hands.
‘Stanley, open the box,’ he cried, scurrying toward his friend with the thing sliding in his fingers like jelly.
All the other children remained in their positions; backs to the wall, and their jaws wide open. Needless to say, they were still in the middle of their flabbergasts.
When Drew reached the box, he slid the Teacher Deleter inside, and slammed the lid closed fast. ‘Okay,’ he said. ‘Maybe that didn’t go exactly to plan.’
Mr Huff emerged from his hiding place growling. His stubble looked menacing, and his eyes tightened behind his glasses.
‘Drew…go and check on Miss Dove.’ Stanley smiled at his friend and nodded to reassure him.
‘Close the door on your way out,’ Stanley jumped in. ‘Make sure there are no other teachers around.’
Drew grinned, then sniggered when he glanced at Mr Huff. ‘Gotcha!’
Leaving the classroom, Drew made certain the door was closed behind him. Stanley turned to his teacher when he could see it was secure. Holding out the trinket box, he marched in slow motion toward Mr Huff. It was fun to watch his horrible, meany teacher feeling so intimidated. Mr Huff’s eyes were wide and he held up his hands in surrender; he was as white as the information board behind him.
‘You always say that we should share,’ Stanley said. ‘Well…now it’s your turn.’
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