Miss McKenzie

Written by James McCann

 Photograph by  JJ Thompson

Photograph by JJ Thompson

Miss McKenzie was a good teacher. She loved her children, and they loved her, and had it not been for the personal feelings of the parents they may have said she was a great teacher. You see, despite her being a very capable, very enthusiastic teacher, she was also a tall, beautiful blonde woman in her late twenties. She had an amazing body and could have been a man-eating home-wrecker had the mood taken her, but that wasn't who she was. She didn't ever flaunt what physical gifts good genes and the luck of Mother Nature had given her. She rarely wore make-up, always wore professional, loose suits, and was never going to be the type of woman to wear kinky knickers and peek-a-boo bras beneath her everyday clothing.

Fathers of the children found it hard to appreciate her for her brain, whether they wanted  to or not, Miss McKenzie's pure beauty was breath-taking without effort; she just was. And the way she had no ego added to that beauty. It made her all the more alluring that she had no clue how pretty she was, she had no clue as to why men might want to shower her with affection and attention.

Mothers of the children thought it was all an act - it must be. No one could be that perfect, nobody could be so attractive and not know it. They all believed that Miss McKenzie knew her appeal and used it as a weapon. Yes, okay, fine, she was a good teacher, to an extent, and yes, the children seemed to like her well enough, but, well, you can't trust a woman like that. They could just tell,  that this Miss McKenzie had a secret. A deep, dark secret of the juiciest kind. The women, one and all, looked upon Miss McKenzie, and spoke about her, as though she were a super-bitch villain from a poorly-written soap opera.

Although Miss McKenzie wasn't completely aware of what both sexes thought about her, she knew that  a lot of relationships weren't as steady as they tried to appear be, at times even the most loving couple might not stand the sight of each other behind closed doors. This, she thought, was why people thought of her as they did. The men would have a wondering eye but she knew any woman would illicit the same reaction. The women would cast a scornful eye upon her just because she was a woman, and a long, but not too-long, married woman will become suspicious of any other woman.

It was silly, Miss McKenzie thought, because she had no interest in stealing any woman's man. She had no designs on anything to do with those thoughts. No, all that sex just takes up time, gets in the way of living. She had no interest in dressing up in full-length black PVC bodysuits, no interest in frilly or see-through underwear. Being pinned up against a wall and kissed passionately held no draw for her, neither did long walks in a summer meadow holding hands with a beloved, whispering sweet nothings to each other.

All Miss McKenzie was interested in was feeding.

*****

John King was a nine year old boy in Miss McKenzie's class, and although being too young to truly understand his new, underdeveloped feelings, he did feel that he was in love with his teacher and had a feeling that sex was going to be on the cards.

"What's sex?" Lenny Hart had asked.

"It's where you take off your clothes and kiss a girl" John had answered.

And that seemed like a good thing. He wasn't sure when or exactly how it was going to come about, but as long as she didn't try to take his Batman comics, he was okay with being married to her.

So it was no real surprise to John when Miss McKenzie asked him to stay behind one day, only for a few minutes, to help arrange the text books. It was true that the large history books had been mixed in with the large geography books, but John knew that it would be only a matter of days before they were mixed up again.

Miss McKenzie had left John alone, excusing herself briefly, and John thought she'd probably gone to get her bag of fruit. At nine years old, he didn't understand the complexities of an adult relationship, but he'd heard his father talking one time, and evidently if a girl really liked you she'd let you eat her peach. John preferred oranges, but he figured that when you're in love you have to compromise.

He put the right books in the right places, and was startled when he turned around to find Miss McKenzie stood a few feet behind him. She had been so quiet that he'd had no idea she was there. She was smiling at him, which was good. John had done a good job and was hoping to get a gold star on the wall chart. This was, John knew, going very well.

And then things changed.

Miss McKenzie's smile changed. It was still broad, and pretty, but it was false and incredibly creepy. Her mouth opened, and opened. It opened far too wide, and the tongue slithered out; a long, red-pink cone coming to a sharp-looking tip that thrashed just inches from John's face. He was frozen in place with fear, his legs felt like concrete, mounted to the spot. From deep at the back of Miss McKenzie's throat a puff of grey mist shot out into John's face. His eyes grew wide and his breathing slowed, and he stood there, motionless, catatonic.

The teacher's wide jaws opened further, the chin splitting down the middle into two, giving her mandibles that stretched out almost to the same width as her shoulders. The sharp, pointed tongue thrashed wildly and shot through the centre of John's forehead, and gripped the inside of the skull. Her belly rumbled loudly as she tasted the brains. The catatonic child was lifted and pulled forward by the tongue, the head slowly disappearing into the canyon of her mouth. The strong jaws came down, closing over the head first, the skull shattering like an eggshell, then the boy's body.

It was damned if you don't, damned if you do for Miss McKenzie. The smaller children were easier and quicker to eat, but the older children gave more energy and required less frequent eatings. She had to be careful with, when and where, and very importantly who,  she ate, but she was an old hand, having been doing this for over five centuries now. The boy's clothes weren't a problem, they could be digested easily enough, but she drew the line at shoes. Miss McKenzie didn't know if it was the rubber soles or the laces or anything else, but there was something about eating shoes which was binding.

She left two shoes, with the ragged cloth of John's trousers, blood-drenched, clinging to two short stumps that used to be shins. After letting out a belch, she picked up the two stumps and popped them in her handbag. The shoes she'd either burn or throw into the ocean on the way home, depending on how much time she had. The actual legs and feet would be taken home.  Miss McKenzie sometime got peckish at night.