by Liam, Indiana, Peter, and Jason

“Ivan Kowolski, stop daydreaming. Pay attention.”

That snapped me out of my trance. I looked up to see Mr. Gray, my English teacher looking at me with beady eyes.

“Come see me in my office after class.”

After class, I stepped into Mr. Gray’s office, and a musty smell hit me. Mr. Gray was sitting at his desk with a monitor to his side and a ruler laid out on the table. I walked in nervously. Would Mr. Gray phone my parents? I would be in trouble then.

“Sit down,” said Mr. Gray.

I put my coat on the coat hanger by the door and sat down.

Mr. Gray ruffled his papers, seemingly searching for my parents’ phone number. He picked up a folder, a grim smile of satisfaction on his face.

Where was that musty stench coming from?

Through the corner of my eye, I noticed something strange.

Was that an ostrich foot sticking out from the closet?

The door was slightly ajar and from inside I could see…there were shrunken heads hanging from the doorframe, with a bowl of some red liquid set to the side. It looked like he may have taken a drink from it, with the surroundings stained red.

Was Mr. Gray’s coat wiggling on the coat hanger? The coat looked like a leather trench coat, but it gave me a wriggling feeling in my eyes when I looked at it. I blinked and looked away, but not before noticing inside the jacket’s pocket there was a metal gauntlet, straight from a medieval armor suit.

There was a weird sound from the corner. It was a huge spider. I stopped looking around, paralysed with fear. It had seven tall legs, and a bloody stump where the eighth would be. It had eight blood-red beady eyes and two fangs with evil looking liquid dripping from them. It stayed where it was… for now.

However, before I could look at the spider in more detail, Mr. Gray’s voice interrupted my thoughts.

“Ivan Kowolski. I’ve been waiting to engage with you all these years…”

Then I turned toward Mr. Gray and stared into his eyes. No… Not his eyes. His empty eye sockets, cold, dead and evil energy radiating from them.

Mr. Gray was not human anymore. He was a grey skinned, eyeless zombie in rugged, now torn clothes.

He snarled, “hasta la vista, Ivan.”

He leapt up and was about to attack me… Until he was blasted by a white light in front of my view. When the light faded, Mr. Gray wasn’t there and there was no trace that he ever existed.

In the closet, there was a small squeaking sound, following the muffled words.

I opened the closet carefully to find my friend, Andy, tied up and gagged with duct tape.

“MMMMM UH!” He snarled. I ripped off the tape. He sputtered.

I asked: “Why did Mr. Gray turns into a gray Zombie? Do you know something?” I asked suspiciously.

The bonds instantly fell off, he said: “No time to explain. Just follow me. You are not safe here anymore.”

As I got up to leave, I grabbed Mr. Gray’s coat, thinking it was mine. As I headed for the door, I heard an ominous clicking noise. When Andy and I slowly turned around, we saw the spider creepily marching toward us.

The spider came in, with legs flying every which way. It quickly chased after us as we ran out of the school.

As we rounded a corner, we found ourselves in an old ratty alleyway trapped at a dead end.

The spider multiplied into many smaller spiders — thousands of them flooded the alleyway from left to right.

As it slowly advanced on us, we had to think of something fast.

Andy looked at me in fear. “I forgot the gauntlet. Mr. Gray took it from me.”

I said triumphantly, “ There was a gauntlet in the coat, is it yours?.”

“Yes that’s it!” Andy said excitedly. He quickly grabbed it from me before all the spiders rushed us and shoved it onto his hand.

A burst of bright light broke out of the gauntlet as Andy put it on. The bricks began to glow. I saw a purple wormhole open against the yellow bricks. It moved like a snake toward us, then it surrounded us and we succumbed to the light.

A loud voice echoed around us, coming from nowhere

I saw the creation of the world. I saw the First Magician cast his first spell, and I saw the world evolve and grow. Monsters ravaged the land, but when Merlin the First slew the monster king Wardrock, they went into hiding, and never showed a soul. That is, until…

I closed my eyes.

“El guantelete” was published in 826NYC’s Novelist Squad Write Away Workshop, celebrating National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Did chapter 1 of “El guantelete” leave you on the edge of your seat? Check back in for another chapter of Liam, Indiana, Hana, Peter, and Jason’s fascinating novel!