Grimson Reaper

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My Papa

Beth Williams

I follow the strange boy to my next class, my curiousness being the only thing on my mind. I try not to overthink things.

“What are you?” I blink a few times.

“What? oh.. I’m a s-shapeshifter.” He looks at me like I’m crazy.

“Shapeshifter. Hm... are you sure?” Is he seriously teasing me? “You look like a normal human girl.” Okay, now that’s just offensive. “I mean, you’re obviously not a Dragonborn. You don’t have fangs so you’re not a Vampire or a werewolf. You don’t have wings, blue skin, red skin, purple skin. No pointed ears,” He turns to me, walking backwards, “shall I go on?” I roll my eyes.

“No. You shan’t.” He looked a bit surprised at my response. “And what about you? I mean, you’re obviously not a Dragonborn. You don’t have fangs so you’re not a Vampire or a werewolf. You don’t have wings, blue skin, red skin, purple skin. No pointed ears," if this was how he wanted to ask me, I'll ask him the same, "Shall I go on, human?" I smile a bit.

"Ouch." I laugh. I freeze, but keep walking. Did I seriously just laugh like that? "No, I am none of those. Matter of fact I am something completely different." He takes his hood off. I stare. Red. The first thing that comes to my mind. He had red eyes. I kid you not, he had red eyes. I pretend to not be interested. I fold my arms.

"So what are you? A demon?" He shrugs.

"Something like that." He stops in front of a door. "Here it is. Gardening and Herbs." It was at that moment that I realized we were outside and in front of a large greenhouse. Had I seriously bed distracted by him this whole time? He opens the door for me and I walk in. He walks in after me. Some teens start to stare and whisper. A fThe greenhouse had vines growing up the walls, the air cool and humid. Plants were everywhere, even on the desks.

"Hey, Mr. Derwin. Sorry we're late." the boys says. An old man looks up at him.

"Oh, Grimson. You're wanted in the Headmasters office." Grimson. That's his name? Grimson runs a hand through his hair, looking annoyed.

"Ooh, you're in trouble." Someone says. He ignores them. Grimson turns to me as he starts to walk out.

"I'll see you around." He whispers then leaves the greenhouse. Well, that happened. Tasha waves at me from at the back of the classroom. I hurry over to her and sit next to her.

"You didn't tell me you knew him!" She says with a rather fan-girl tone.

"Who?" She rolls her eyes.

"Grimson Reaper! Duh!" I look at the door. Reaper. Why am I surprised.

"Reaper? As in-,"

"The Grim Reaper? Uh, Yeah!"She whispers. "He's been kicked out of three schools just last year! And I heard, he was expelled from another today."

"Today? But it's the first day of school."

"I know." I book is set on her desk. We both look up at the Gardening and herbs teacher. He had large pointed ears and a short trimmed beard. His skin was slightly tinted yellow. He's a Pixie. No. Not the one's with a too-too and a wand. They are actually a lot less friendly than those in story books.

"Am I hearing chat back here, or are my hearing aids failing?" I swallow. Grandfather was one of his students. He told me he likes students that are honest.

"You were hearing chat. She was just telling me about..." He lifts an eyebrow.

"About what?" I don't want to embarrass Tasha. I stay quiet. He lifts his book from Tasha's desk. "Miss Williams I would like to see you after class." I nod. He watches me as he walks away for a second, before walking to the board. "Now, for the first day of class..." I slouch in my chair a bit, but listen. What will he say? Will he call my parents? I pay attention to the rest of class, but couldn't shake the feeling that he was going to call my parents.

He walks me to his office and shuts the door behind him. I chew my lip and mess with my necklace.

"Take a seat." I sit down at a chair that didn't look like a throne. He sits across from me. "Do you know why I brought you in here?"

"To talk to me?" I say nervously.

"Well, yes. But there is another reason."

"Because I was talking in the back of the class." He leans on his knees, holding his hands together.

"No." No? I'm not in trouble? "I brought you back here to talk to you about what I expect of you." So it's a lecture. He stands up. "My next class will be here in a few minutes, so I don't have very long. Beth, I was very close friends with your grandfather. He was an excellent student and always... whats the word? Pushed himself to his limits during class. Tried new things, tested himself." Okay, where is he going with this? "I know that you can do the same. But first..."

"Whatever it is that I need to do to make up for my bad first impression, sir, I will do." He looks at me with lifted eyebrows.

"That is what I look for in a student. Honesty." He sits down again. "You told me you were chatting instead of lying. You had the choice, but you did not lie." He looks at me like he was proud of me. On the first day? Wow. One heck of a day for Beth Williams. "You look confused."

"Well, my papa- I mean, my grandfather would tell me that Pixies would be mean to people that aren't like them." he chuckles.

"Oh? And what did he say about me?" he asks. Tell him papa told me he likes honesty? Or lie and lose his trust?

"That you like when students are honest and that work hard in or out of your classroom." He smiles as if reminiscing.

"Well, he isn't wrong." I can't see where he's going with this.

"I'm sorry, but why am I here?"

"Oh, uh, you can go now." He waves at me. I stand and go to the door but stop.

"Why was I here?" I ask. He shakes his head.

"I just wanted to see how much you are like him. That's all. Have a good day, miss Williams." Confused, I leave his classroom.

"So? Are we expelled?" Tasha asks from the door. I shrug.

"I don't know. He just talked about my Papa."

"He knew your dad? Oof, he's old."

"No. No I... I call my grandpa Papa."

"Nevermind. He's not old. Hes ancient!" she says in a weird voice. I burst out laughing.

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