A Mystery Solved This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Rain crashed like thunder on the roof. Although the noise was muffled by the ceiling. it remained a constant presence. Safe inside the school. Mr. Rydell moved purposefully around the chemistry lab, his wihte lab coat standing out in stark contrast against the darkened room.

It was nearing midnight. He knew he ought to go home, but the feeling of an impending discovery was too exciting to shake. If he went home now, he would never be able to fall asleep anyway.

With one quick motion, he combined two beakers full of specially mixed chemicals into a larger flask. When combined, they bubbled wildly and swirled into a noxious black ooze. Quickly stopping up the flask with a cork, he placed it on a small platform above a bunsen burner.

He straightened his protective goggles and fired up the burner. For a quick moment the bluish flame licked hungrily at the bottom of the flask. Mr. Rydell leaned forward in anticipation, as the black liquid burbled and thrashed within the sealed flask.

For one quick moment he stood, transfixed, and then the beaker exploded. Pain erupted across his face as tiny shards of glass embedded themselves in his soft skin. Thick black muck splattered across the pale white of his lab coat and the poster on the wall, "Chemistry is Fun."

He staggered backward in horror, tripping and falling. A flash of white exploded before his eyes as the back of his skull struck the corner of the lab table behind him and he slumped to the floor.

Desperately trying to clear his vision. he blinked and shook his head. The outside of his goggles was covered with the black substance, and he reached up instinctively to wipe it off.

Although his hand was protected by a laboratory glove, he felt the heat of it on his goggles. Brushing it quickly from his face, he held it up to examine it. The stuff was thick and solid black. completely opaque. It was like nothing he had ever seen.

And it was moving.

It sloshed out of his palm and onto the smooth surface of the lab table where it stopped, seeming to wait.

Mr. Rydell stared in amazement as the rest of the black goop around the room began to move toward the lab table. Slime dripped from the ceiling, slid down the various posters around the room, and crawled off his lab coat. When all of the black slime reached the table, it gathered together into one big, dark blob.

As the astonished chemistry teacher stared on in amazement, the collection of black ooze slipped off the table and, in the blink of an eye, flowed out the door.

A stunned Mr. Rydell tried to follow it, but when he left his room, it was gone. A frantic search of the school yielded no trace of the black substance.

The bewildered man resigned soon afterward, without telling anyone what had happened. The black stuff eluded him that night by slipping into the room of one of the English teachers, where it hid in her filing cabinet. It soaked into all of the papers, twisting and perverting the words into something ungodly and terrible.

When the English teacher found the papers the next morning. she smiled. "This would make a good standardized test."

And that's how that test came into existence. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

frickn'fantabulous said...
May 23, 2011 at 3:34 pm
at first, this reminded me of one of the books from the Uglies series
 
Blondegirl7999 said...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm
Awesome story! i was a bit confused, but it was really good! (:
 
Imaginedangerous This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 10, 2010 at 12:54 pm
Ha! At first I was thinking it was some kind of horror/thriller thing, but the ending changed my mind. Those last two sentences were great! Good job.
 
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