THE HEADMISTRESS: From the Notebook Files


       Principal Marshall hadn’t noticed the white-haired grandmother sitting quietly two rows behind him, not until he heard the door to the courtroom open and he turned to see who was entering. His eyes shot past her just as his adversary swaggered in. Hudson Lowe, Sommerset High’s good-for-nothing punk.The desire to beat the shit out of the kid pumped hot in his veins but he managed to keep his face tranquil. Today of all days he would remain a picture of placidity, and he did, even when Hudson Lowe called him an asshole and gave him the finger. He was not about to give the punk any ammunition to use as some kind of possible defense tactic. Principal Marshall wanted Hudson Lowe’s ass to fry.


       Rennis Juvenile Detention Center. The Courtroom.


       The judge entered and took his exalted place behind the elevated desk. He took a small amount of time perusing the brief he had carried in with him. He looked up to survey the small gathering. His gaze turned to a face all too familiar with the court. The dark-haired, dark-eyed youth was staring defiantly back at him, a smirk lifting up one corner of his mouth. Other than the new case worker sitting beside the youth, the judge could detect no change in the boy.


       “Mr. Hudson Lowe, I see you have not heeded the warning I gave the last time you made an appearance in my courtroom.” Hudson Lowe grinned. The judge’s eyes stayed on the juvenile for a moment, before they slid over to the new case worker. “I’ve read your report, Mr. Singe, and that of all three previous cases workers assigned to Hudson Lowe. Is it a fair statement to say Mr. Lowe has made little to no progress from the time of his last court appearance to today?” After Mr. Singe spoke his agreement with the judge, the judge turned to the school district’s attorney and Principal Marshall. “Mr. Samuel, I have read the District’s latest complaints against Hudson Lowe. To say the list has grown exorbitantly is not an exaggeration, and although I am disappointed, I am not surprised. Mr. Lowe appears determined to rack up as many offense as he can. I would like to hear what Sommerset’s principal has to report. Mr. Marshall.”


       Principal Marshall stood. “Thank you, your honor. Mr. Hudson Lowe’s incorrigible behavior has indeed become bolder and more dangerous. I believe he has become a serious danger to the students at Sommerset High and to himself.


       Hudson Lowe snorted loudly. Principal Marshall ignored him and began reading the offenses.


       January 17th, Mr. Lowe managed to hack into the school computer system and replaced a video on bullying with a pornographic film. The bullying video was part of our strong anti-bullying message to the student body. It was to be presented at the assembly held on this day. Instead, the students were subjected to minutes of graphic pornography as it took some time to shut the video down. Understandably, parental outrage ensued and threats, both legal and non-legal, were heaped on me, my staff, and the district.” A bark of derisive laughter interrupted the principal and the judge hurled a rebuke at Hudson Lowe. Principal Marshall carried on. “On the night of February 10, Mr. Lowe entered the teachers’ lounge and spray painted the walls with figures of both female and male genitalia and of staff members having intercourse with various comic book characters. He was caught red-handed by the night custodian as he tried to sneak out of the lounge. Three cans of spray paint were taken from him. All costs to the district for repair and replacement are included in Mr. Samuel’s report. A week later, Mr. Lowe got hold of Coach Roberts’ coffee thermos and urinated into it. This was in retaliation for a week of detention Coach Roberts gave him after three female members of the track team reported having their “rears” repeatedly slapped by Mr. Lowe. Sexual harassment charges were leveled at Mr. Lowe. The District has scheduled a meeting that has yet to take place. During the same week, Mr. Lowe instigated a brawl in the cafeteria. The damage was severe, the clean up costs are high. Several tables were destroyed and had to be replaced. On the following Friday, Mr. Lowe hot-wired the school’s Handicap Van and attempted to drive it off campus. Security stopped him but not before damage was done to the vehicle and a chain link fence. Mr. Lowe’s reason for taking the van was that his diabetic grandmother was having a diabetic seizure and he had to get to her. Mr. Lowe’s grandmother has been in the ground for ten years, your honor. Then–“


       The judge held up a hand. “Thank you, Principal Marshall. I have heard enough.” The judge turned to Hudson Lowe. “Mr. Lowe–“


       Before the judge could finish his words, Hudson Lowe sprang to his feet and spoke out loudly. He pointed an accusing finger at Principal Marshall. “Hey, asshole douchebag, you forgot to mention the video of you banging the English teacher on one of those cafeteria tables I supposedly wrecked. And how convenient of you to forget the photos someone uploaded to Facebook of you wearing women’s panties. You’re a sick, hypocritical, pervert. Maybe the judge should…”


       “Enough! And sit yourself down, Mr. Lowe!” the judge bellowed. “Mr. Marshall is not the juvenile being evaluated here. Your are, Hudson Lowe, and I find only an escalation in your deviant behavior. So much so that I also fear you are becoming a menace to the community. Therefore, I am sentencing you to two years at the Raven Rehabilitation Center. While there, Mr. Lowe, I strongly urge you to make some life changing decisions concerning your future. Court is now in recess.”


       Hudson Lowe turned on his case worker. “Nice job defending me, shithead!” he angrily said. The case worker glared at him. “And what the hell is this Raven Rehab Center. Never heard of it.”


       “Hell, Hudson. It is another name for hell and you just got yourself a well-deserved ticket to there.” The unsympathetic case worker took off and, much to Principal Marshall’s delight, Hudson Lowe was placed in handcuffs and hauled out of the courtroom. 


       A sleek black SUV waited outside the back entrance of the Detention Center. Its door opened when Hudson Lowe was escorted out the building. The door closed and locked the moment Hudson Lowe was tossed inside.


       “Abuse of a prisoner here, assholes! And what about the cuffs, huh?” A second later the handcuffs flew off his wrists. “Shit! What just happened?”


       “Seatbelt is not necessary,” the driver said.


       Hudson glanced at the driver and saw the elderly grandmother of the courtroom. He busted out in laughter.”You’re my driver? Has it come to this? Really? The Medicare shuttle service? Who the hell are you and what if I decide to knock you the hell out? What you gonna do?” 


       The old woman turned a kind face to the juvenile. She smiled. “I’m the Headmistress of Raven. I am here to welcome you to your nightmare, Hudson Lowe.”


       Before he could blink, the old woman morphed into a hideous creature with glowing red eyes. The demon smiled viciously at the smartass punk. Hudson Lowe’s days of mischief were at an end. His days of torment had begun.