The Math Teacher is a scary story about a teenage boy who can’t stand one of his teachers. After a series of bizarre accidents, he begins to suspect that the teacher may somehow be involved.
When I was in school, our math teacher was a man named Mr. Stigson. He was quite young and the girls in my class thought he was handsome at first. He had piercing blue eyes and always looked like he was in need of a shave. However, from the very first day he came to our school, everybody hated him.
He had an incredibly violent temper. At the slightest thing, he would fly into an uncontrollable rage, ranting and raving at anyone who had the misfortune to cross his path. He could often be heard screaming and shouting abuse in the corridors and the classrooms. Sometimes he would even physically threaten the students, but he never actually hit anybody. Even so, my entire class was terrified of him. Even the other teachers seemed to be afraid of him and they tried to stay out of his way.
One day, a girl named Beverly was late to class. She opened the door just as Mr. Stigson was in the middle of lecturing us. He just snapped and began hurling insults and abuse at her. He got right up in her face and was trying to intimidate her, wagging his finger at her and forcing her to back up against the wall.
Beverly was usually a quiet well-behaved girl and she didn’t deserve the horrible things he was saying about her. He was way too close and invading her personal space. She tried to push him away, but when she put her hands on him, things got much worse.
Stigson suddenly drew back and slapped her across the face. We were all completely shocked. Even Beverly couldn’t believe what he had done. She stood there dumbfounded for a few moments, then ran out of the classroom, sobbing and clutching her cheek.
Stigson continued teaching as if nothing had happened. The classroom was completely silent. The tension in the room was palpable. You could have heard a pin drop. Nobody wanted to risk setting him off again. We all knew that Mr. Stigson was going to be in big trouble.
The next day, Beverly’s mother showed up during class and demanded to speak to Mr. Stigson. He went outside to talk in the corridor and closed the door behind him. The whole class stayed silent, trying to eavesdrop on their conversation.
Beverly’s mom started screaming at our math teacher, cursing him out and calling him all the names in the book. She said she was going to get him fired for assaulting her daughter. When we peeked out the window, we saw that Stigson was just standing there in front of her, not moving a muscle. There was a furious scowl on his face, but no matter what she said, he didn’t react. It was quite unnerving.
When Beverly’s mother finally stopped shouting, she stormed off and Stigson came back into the classroom. His face was bright red and there was a boiling rage in his eyes. Ignoring us, he sat down at his desk and just went through his papers until the bell rang at the end of class.
The next morning, when I got to school, I heard the shocking news.
When Beverly and her mother had been driving home the day before, they had been involved in an accident. Their car crashed into a telephone pole. The mother was killed on impact and Beverly was in a coma.
I was horrified. Some of my classmates were crying. Others just sat at their desks in stunned silence. Everyone was devastated.
Everyone, that is, except Mr. Stigson. He spent the entire day with a huge grin on his face. I had never seen him so happy. It was as if he was delighted by their misfortune. I never imagined the truth.
A few weeks passed and gradually everything went back to normal.
One day, during math class, a cell phone went off. Mr. Stigson went crazy and started running around the classroom, demanding to know whose phone was ringing. When he eventually found the source of the disturbance, he grabbed a boy named Jared by the throat and pulled him out of his seat. He dug through Jared’s pockets until he found the cell phone and confiscated it.
After class, when Jared went up to get his phone back, Stigson refused to give it to him. Instead, he locked it in his briefcase. Jared was furious and, as we walked home together, I came up a plan.
The next day, when class was ending, I distracted Mr. Stigson by asking stupid questions about a simple maths problem while Jared went through the unattended briefcase and stole his phone back.
We thought we had pulled a fast one, but after school, as we were walking home, I got the feeling that we were being followed. I turned around and was shocked to see Mr. Stigson’s truck slowly cruising along in the street behind us. He was sitting in the driver’s seat, staring at us with his cold, blue eyes.
Before I could say anything to Jared, Stigson’s truck suddenly stopped dead in the middle of the street. I looked to my right, just in time to see a speeding car hurtling past the intersection. It ran straight through the traffic lights and came barrelling towards us.
“Look out!” I screamed and dived for safety, but I was too late to save Jared.
The car smashed into him, throwing his body into the air. It was horrible. I lay on the ground, dazed and confused. When I looked around, I saw Jared’s broken and bloodied body lying in the middle of the road. He wasn’t moving. Stigson’s car was nowhere to be seen.
An ambulance showed up a few minutes later and took Jared to hospital, but there was nothing the doctors could do for him. An hour later, he was dead.
It was a few days before I was felt well enough to return to school. Witnessing the accident was incredibly traumatic. In maths class, Stigson just glared at me, never saying a word. He never mentioned anything about the accident or Jared’s death. However, he did have a sly smile on his face.
One evening, I got a call from Beverly, which really surprised me. She was still in hospital, recovering from her injuries, but she had come out of her coma and was well enough to speak on the phone.
She said that she had heard about Jared’s accident and asked me if I had been with him when it happened. I told her that I was with him and then I told her that Stigson had been there as well.
“I knew it!” she cried. “Just before my mother swerved off the road and hit the telephone pole, I saw something. I looked out the window and saw a truck in the lane next to us. Mr. Stigson was in the driver’s seat. The rest is just a blur, but I remember him clearly. He was just staring at us…”
Basically, she said Stigson had somehow caused the accident. I didn’t know what to think. It all sounded so crazy, but if Stigson was at the scene of both accidents, he had to be involved somehow. It was too much of a coincidence.
Beverly told me to watch out for Stigson. She said he was dangerous and I could wind up being his next victim. I didn’t know what to think.
The next morning, when I left for school, there was a pick-up truck parked at the end of the street. It was Stigson’s truck. I couldn’t see the driver and as I approached, the truck’s engine started up and it roared off down the street. It was enough to freak me out.
I became a nervous wreck. At night, I would look out the window and see Stigson’s truck parked outside my house. Sometimes, he would allow me to see him, sitting in the driver’s seat, staring at me with those cold blue eyes. He was trying to intimidate me.
After a while, it became obvious that there was something wrong with me. I lost my appetite and seldom ate a thing. I began to lose a lot of weight. I rarely managed to get any sleep and when I did, my dreams were plagued by thoughts of Stigson.
My parents assumed I was struggling in school and eventually, Mr. Hawthorne, my science teacher, stopped me in the hallway and told me he wanted to see me in his office.
“Is there anything you need to tell me about?” he asked. “Something you need to get off your chest? Something involving… Mr. Stigson, perhaps?”
My jaw dropped. I just nodded. Everything came pouring out. I told him about my suspicions that Mr. Stigson was involved in the accidents.
When I finished, Mr. Hawthorne had an odd look on his face.
I sat there, expecting him to call me crazy and throw me out of his office. Instead, he patted me on the shoulder and told me that he believed me.
He said that, a few years ago, he and Mr. Stigson had been teaching at another school. He also revealed that there had been a couple of very strange accidents at the school, during the time Mr. Stigson had been teaching there.
Initially, there were problems with vandalism. A few students broke into the classrooms and spray-painted graffiti on the walls. They also broke into the teachers’ desks and stole some equipment. The last classroom that had been broken into was Mr. Stigson’s.
The next day, three students had been killed in a horrific car crash. Some of the items that had been stolen from the teachers were found in the trunk of the car and there was a can of spray paint lying in the back seat. It was obvious that they had been the ones who vandalized the school.
Everyone at the school was horrified. All except Stigson. Mr. Hawthorne grew suspicious when he saw how happy and pleased Stigson became when he learned about the accident.
Some time later, the school had to let several teachers go. Mr. Hawthorne and Mr. Stigson lost their jobs. The next day, the school administrator who made the cuts was hit by a car. He later died in hospital.
Mr. Hawthorne said that when he left the building, he saw Stigson standing in the doorway, just staring at administrator. He described the same cold, seething glare I had seen. He told me that he had been keeping an eye on Stigson ever since.
I was astonished and didn’t know what to say. I told Mr. Hawthorne that we had to do something. If Stigson was responsible for the accidents, we had to stop him. We had to contact the police.
Hawthorne shook his head gravely.
“There’s no proof,” he said. “Stigson can’t be tied to anything. Even if the police believed us, they could never make a case. No jury would convict him.”
“Then there’s nothing we can do,” I said hopelessly.
“Don’t worry about it,” said Mr. Hawthorne. “Let me take care of it.”
That evening, I was walking home from school when I got the strangest felling that I was being watched. The hair on the back of my neck stood on end. I looked around and saw Mr. Stigson’s pick-up truck.
It was parked on the other side of the street and he was standing right in front of it. A chill ran down my spine. His face was twisted in rage and he was staring at me intently, his eyes cold and filled with malice.
The next thing I knew, I felt a squeezing sensation around my neck. He was choking me. I couldn’t breathe. My lungs were fighting for air. I was terrified and started clutching at my throat.
I was beginning to black out.
I was going to die.
Then I heard a terrible sound. It was a deafening screech, followed by the crunch of metal on metal. The squeezing sensation around my neck stopped and I could breathe again.
When I finally managed to sit up, I saw what had happened. A car had crashed straight into the pick-up. Stigson was crushed between the two vehicles. he top half of his mangled body was lying across the hood of the car in a pool of blood. He was dead. His corpse had been so crushed that his guts were forced out through his mouth. It was a sickening sight to behold.
The car door opened and a figure stumbled out. He had survived the crash, but he was badly injured. He fell to his knees in the middle of the street.
I ran over to help and when I saw his face, I stopped in my tracks. It was Mr. Hawthorne.