The Children of 666 Middle School
It was an old building of red brick, three
stories tall with a basement, heated by an ancient furnace. Built in the
1940’s, but still in use, it extended from the corner to half the block. At
recess, saw-horses would be set up so children could play outside. Around the
corner was a tavern owned by a criminal, well-known to police. If you’d have
asked the owner what he did for a living, he would cheerfully say, “I’m a
At eight o’clock, the first class (History)
was taught by Mrs. Grace Jones. She was starting her discussion when she
noticed the children staring at her. She felt her chest tighten. “What’s the
matter?” she asked.
“Don’t you feel history is boring—all those
dates.” As they stared, she felt pinned, unable to move. A group of kids began
to circle her, muttering “boring, boring, boring.” One girl placed a plastic
bag over her head. The teacher couldn’t scream, since her air supply was cut
off; as her heart gave out, she sagged to the floor.
One student informed the principal of Mrs.
Jones’s heart attack, and her body was removed.
After one hour of the pupils being
unattended, Mr. Paul Wilson came to teach geography.
“Well, children, what do we know about
“We know where the entrance to hell is –
would you like us to show you on the map?”
“Hell?” Mr. Wilson asked.
“You know,” the boy said, “like Gehenna,
Hades . . . hell!”
“Oh, I see.” The teacher’s attention
was focused on some munchkins in the back row. “What are those scholars doing?”
A girl tittered. “Oh, them. They’re
experimenting with nooses; another test to see how long it takes to turn a face
By now, Wilson was slowly backing out of the
“Don’t you want us to show you on the map
where the entrance to hell is?”
“Oh,” the instructor said, “I think I know.”
The children watched as he fled the room, and down the block as fast as he
Old Jake Raines had been janitor for the
middle school for years. He was in the basement, stoking a fire in the furnace.
Suddenly he became aware of voices behind him.
“What are you kids doing down here?” he
A group of three girls and three boys crept
closer. “We wanted to see if you got a good fire going.”
“Pretty good,” he replied. “But where the
heck is my shovel?”
“Here it is.” A large fellow brought it down
on Jake’s head—once, twice, three times. The janitor slumped forward.
Three shadows then dragged the janitor’s
body inside the crackling furnace and locked the door.
The heavy door muffled the blood-curdling
screams that came from inside.
Lunch time; all the grades played outside.
Mrs. Barnes supervised them. Principal of 666 Middle School, she was somewhat
grayed, with bifocals and a charcoal suit. She saw a group of youngsters
standing in a huddle, and approached. “Did you have a good morning, children?”
“Oh yes,” they replied, “we learned so
“That’s wonderful,” Mrs. Barnes exclaimed.
“You’re such a bunch of little angels!”
“Yes,” they replied. “Angels!”