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This is a short story submitted to EdNC by Rees Payne, an 11th grade student at William Amos Hough High School, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. The story was inspired by Mr. Brian Lefler.  He teaches physics at William Amos Hough High School in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

“This story represents many of the qualities I enjoy about Mr. Lefler’s teaching, like how he holds discussions with the class,” Payne said. “It also references some of the jokes from his class, like when he determined how well the students would do in a zombie apocalypse.”

There was nowhere left to run. I was backed into a corner, and the zombies were everywhere. I couldn’t see any escape from this situation.

Suddenly, a voice called out from above.

“Hey, get a move on!”

The zombies appeared to notice the sound and took a couple steps backward. A figure dropped from somewhere in the rafters and landed in the space that had now opened up. This new presence caused the horde to flee at last. I relaxed and took a closer look at the person who had rescued me.

“Well, that was almost a very bad type situation,” spoke my physics teacher, Mr. Lefler.

“…What?” I could barely comprehend what I was witnessing.

“What are you standing there staring for, Rees?” Mr. Lefler responded. “We gotta move it! Go!”

I nervously followed my teacher as he sprinted out of the building we were in. “Where are we going, exactly?”

“To the ranch. Where else? I already brought the rest of the class there.”

“Your ranch?!? Everyone is there?”

“Yep, but it’s like I said; It’s not easy to get there. Especially when you run into these type situations.”

We were standing at the top of a grassy hill. Below us, another swarm of zombies shuffled about aimlessly on a dirt path.

Mr. Lefler turned to me with an inquiring look. “So, what should we do here?”

“I-I don’t know!” I said, flabbergasted. “Can’t you figure something out?”

“I wanna hear what you think first.”

“O-Okay, well…” I paused to think. “Uh, if we had a car, we could fly over the hill if we drove fast enough to expand the radius of our centripetal motion. We would need to find a car, though. And you would have to drive.”

Mr. Lefler flashed a mischievous smile. “Let’s give it a shot. I’ve got a car right here.”

With a snap of his fingers, a red Jeep appeared next to Mr. Lefler. Before I could let out an exclamation of surprise, he had made his way into the driver’s seat.

“Hop in!”

I nervously entered the passenger’s seat of the car. Mr. Lefler rapidly accelerated the vehicle. In an instant, we had cleared the hill and were flying over a horde of startled zombies. We hit the ground with a large thud and sped off into the distance.

After driving through fields for some time, a building finally emerged on the horizon.

“Ah, home sweet home,” said a pleased Mr. Lefler.

Mr. Lefler parked the Jeep in front of the ranch building. We got out, and the automobile vanished with another snap of my teacher’s fingers. I walked over to the house’s entrance, but Mr. Lefler got ahead of me and stood in front of the door.

“That was some good thinking back there, Rees!” he said. “I think you’re ready for whatever type of situation comes next.”

“Huh?” I had no idea what Mr. Lefler meant by that comment. He outstretched his arm.

“Good luck.”

I took my teacher’s hand and gave a firm handshake.

Mr. Lefler silently opened the door and stood aside. I stepped inside and entered the classroom once more.

Rees Payne

Rees Payne is in 11th grade at William Amos Hough High School. He is interested in computer science and creative writing, and also enjoys biking and playing video games.