I left Claudia's office in an even huger temper than I'd entered in. Having failed to convince her that immediate action needed to be taken about this Stephen Redding, I'd stormed out before I did something stupid like tip her desk over, or worse.
I got to the empty Arts building, stormed inside, and let out a huge roar from deep down inside me. One that had been building up since that class when Victoria had asked me about human art. I'd told her the truth - humans did amazing work in the past, and continued to. But aside from that, they were cruel and selfish and biased, and one such human was here, in my school, threatening to destroy it and ridicule all of my amazing, bright students. And all of the energy that tensed my body, wishing for that human to be ripped to shreds in my hands, flowed out of me in an explosion of sound.
"Mr. Taur?" came a quiet, curious voice that contrasted with my shout.
I turned to see Victoria, her shiny black snakes hissing ferociously, standing in the building doorway.
"Victoria." I cleared my throat, tried to compose myself. She was a sweet young girl, I didn't want to frighten her with this side of myself. I guessed that was why her snakes seemed so worked up. "I'm sorry you had to hear that."
But she stepped closer to me, despite the protests of the snakes on her head, with a smile on her young, eager face.
"Sir, I want him gone too," she said.
"Who?" I asked, though I had a bad feeling she'd seen me with Redding earlier. "Okay, stupid question. There's nothing we can do, Victoria. I've already reported the situation to the Head. It's not up to us, it's up to her."
"Sir, if everyone left everything up to someone else, would you even have a subject to teach?"
For a moment all I could do was stare at her and blink. This was why I loved teaching; being in the presence of students like Victoria, who I knew would go far. I didn't fight the proud smile that twitches across my face.
"I believe I'd be working in a fastfood joint at this stage," I answered.
"I'd have pictured you driving a bus," she said absently. "But that doesn't matter." She quickly snapped herself back to reality.
"So what are we doing, Miss Meduse?"
Her smile broadened. "We're running this monster out of our school."