Professor Johann’s acting weirder than usual.
Sure, he’s always been… odd. A couple of subjects I’ve been under him for the past 3 semesters when I took up Criminology and well, he’s always had this nervous feverish personality. Lively, agitated, and paranoid. Or maybe it’s just me, I’m paranoid too. I tend to overanalyze shit. But now this semester after I re-enrolled (yeah had a lot of catching up to do since I missed the trimester due to some… unexpected bouts of insanity, and I’ll just leave it at that) he hasn’t been showing up in some classes and I didn’t want a bad grade, so I checked up on him every now and then. He stayed in the faculty dormitories provided for professors and he never seemed to leave. Talk about odd. But he somewhat appreciated my visits, asked me to do some simple errands for him like get him some lunch, pick up his dry cleaning, in exchange for the topics to review for his class. At least I had something to do to get my mind off… shit.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one he was getting to do errands. (Which made me wonder, does he ever leave his study room? Are professors allowed to do that?) But yeah, he got some weird Asian kid. Haaku. We had one class together on my first year here, a minor subject, and he was pretty much the class clown, poked fun at himself and people. Didn’t know what happened to him after that, but now here he is, an errand boy of sorts. So we’d occasionally see each other when I drop by the prof’s dorm for follow-ups related to his class.
Today was a bit of a drag. My classes were done for the day, got my papers all written up and notes reviewed, and I still had a few chapters left on that book I’m currently reading. However my research on a term paper one of the professors gave took a while, so I stayed in the university library a bit late. As I was heading out (I realized it was THAT late) I decided to drop by and see Professor Johann, check if he ate or left his room or whatever, and apparently he was still there. He was a bit jumpy when I got there, but relaxed seeing it was me.
“Oh hey Larry, good thing you’re here. Mind if you could do something for me?”
I fought off a shrug and nodded, knowing it would be rude for me to refuse and my social anxiety protocols won’t let me. That, and a prolonged time away from the bed would do good for me right now.
“I have something that needs to be copied right away. Can you and Haaku go to the photocopying room and make copies for me?”
Oh, photocopies, sounds easy. I thought that too soon though, when I saw the Asian kid come in with a stack pile of books covering his face. He tilted to the side, and gave his signature grin. I try to keep my expression neutral as possible.
“Your pile is that one. Thanks!” The professor said as he pointed at a few thick books on his desk before clasping his hands. And so I together with Asian kid silently go towards the photocopying room which was one level below that building on the other end.
I huffed, adjusting the weight of the pile of books in my arms, and Haaku seemed alright with his pile, and seemed to know where he was going. But yeah, must be ‘cause it’s late, or dark, but the corridors after usual school hours looked creepier than usual. Couldn’t help but feel a sense of foreboding, dread. My eyes stray a bit, and I notice a weird… painting along the corridor. Weird, didn’t see this one before. I stopped and stared at it for a bit. Next thing I knew, I was seeing something else.
A bloody smiling woman. Some dead body on the floor. She was holding something. Darkness.
I gasp and tear my eyes away, filled with a crippling fear as I tried to steady my breath.
“Woah what just happened to you? You were staring and… ooh nice painting.” I looked at the painting, and it looked the same now, no creepy smiling bloody Mary or anything.
“Tell me I wasn’t the only one who saw that.”
“Saw what? You were just staring—-”
“The bloody smiling woman! The body on the floor, it was messed up—-”
I was cut short when we heard a commotion somewhere in the corridor. We realized we were close to our destination, but so was the noise.
It was coming from the photocopying room.
I didn’t move. But Haaku did, the dumbass, moving forward with the pile of books covering whatever was there, and he tilted a bit.
Suddenly, a pair of bloody hands grabbed his legs, and we screamed.
It was a woman, bloody. She looked like she was attacked. And… another body was on her.
Our screaming stopped, but the woman, all battered up, could only mutter, “Help… me…”
We scanned the area, and it was a mess. The area was like someone had a bloodbath there, and a wall had a HUGE gaping wall on it, and it looked like something forced its way outta there.
I was panicking. I could feel myself starting to hyperventilate, but Haaku quickly crouched and checked for the woman and muttered, “we have to help her.”
“We’ll have to call for help, bring her to the Professor’s office.” I mutter, and leaving the books we went back to Professor Yohan’s room, and just as we knocked at the door we were faced with the professor who had a fire extinguisher at hand ready to throw it at us, making me and Haaku scream.
“Oh Jesus it’s just you too—-wait what happened? Is that Professor Patell?” A pause, and a grim expression crossed his features. “Enter now. Quickly!” And immediately Haaku and I entered, with me darting for the phone and calling 911.
Crime tape, police lines, and blue and red lights were coloring the darkened university, and the wounded professor, Professor Patell, was wheeled in an ambulance and whisked away.
“I’d like to ask a few questions.” muttered a cop to Haaku and me. I was nursing my nerves with good old nicotine and tobacco smoke, and Haaku did most of the talking. What we were doing that late, the commotion in the photocopying room, the bodies, all with accompanying gestures and facial expressions.
“…and then we were like AAAAAAAHH! And the woman was like, HELP MEEEE! And we brought her to Professor Johann, and then—-”
“I’d suggest you relay the events on a more… dispassionate manner.” shrugged the cop, to which Haaku replied, “Oh, sorry. But yeah, is she going to be okay?”
“Let’s hope for the best. That will be all, in the meantime do try to get home, and we’ll keep in touch. Thank you sir, ma’am.” The cop muttered before stepping away. I took my last drag from my cigarette as Haaku turned to me and asked, “why didn’t you tell about that thing you saw at the painting?”
I looked at the Asian kid with a deadpan stare and huffed. “Dude, would you honestly think that’s relevant? And that’ll just make me look crazy you know? Well, crazier. As if I need more of that.”
I get up to leave, but then I heard a SSSSSSSSSSST! and turned to the general direction of the sound.
It was Professor Johann.
He beckoned for us to go near where he was, and we did. He looked nervous, and he spoke in hushed tones. “Say, mind if you do something for me? Can you see if you can get that footage tape on the photocopying room from the CCTV room?”
I normally would ask questions, and seeing as his mundane tasks brought me to this shit, I would’ve refused. But Haaku nodded, and my social anxiety made me follow suit, as well as curiosity. What did the professor want with that footage?
TO BE CONTINUED LATER EM SLEEPEH