Lactose Intolerance

Growing up, I would always take packed lunches to school. From an early age, my parents showed me how to prepare meals for myself. Among my favorites was anything with cheese. Unfortunately, I also dealt with severe lactose intolerance. Even a little dairy would get my stomach going and much like an erupting volcano, once it got going, there was no stopping it.

However, it was because of this affliction that I was able to avoid a brush with death. During my sophomore year, a group of students foolishly chose to mess with the dark arts. I overheard them discussing it during lunch one day. They believed it would help them improve their grades so they wouldn’t be grounded. Our report cards were due soon so I guess they were desperate.

I of course dismissed this as nothing more than a bunch of nonsense. Looking back, I really wish I tried to talk them out of it because it would’ve prevented a whole mess of trouble. A couple weeks later, it was a special occasion for me, my birthday. I decided to treat myself by packing some cheesecake into my lunch bag. Along with it was pizza, string cheese, and Gogurt.

I enjoyed it all while reading Return Of The King. Then I remembered I forgot to take my Lactaid tablets. I would always have some with me in case of any dairy-related emergencies. They helped prevent my digestion issues. While turning the page of my book, I reached into my lunchbox, pulling out the box of tablets.

I turned it over, expecting to hear the sound of a pack falling on the table. When I didn’t, I stared at the box and shook harder. Nothing fell out. Panicking, I turned it over, poking my finger inside of it in a desperate attempt to find even a single tablet. I even tore it open, but part of me knew it was hopeless. A storm was about to begin brewing inside my stomach and there was only one place I could be to wait it out.

The bell rang for the next class and I mentally cursed. This wouldn’t have been such a big deal if I could’ve just explained the situation to my teacher. However, my next class had one of those “you should have gone before class” teachers. It was a serious catch twenty-two and I was scrambling to figure a way out of it. As I was walking to class, I tried reassuring myself.

“I’ve never asked to go during her class before. Maybe she’ll let me go just this once,” I thought.

Part of me knew this wouldn’t be the case. It was a known fact among the school that Ms. Weaver didn’t have good days merely ones that weren’t as bad.

“Oh no,” I whispered upon entering the room.

She was setting test sheets on everyone’s desks. Somehow I completely forgot that we were taking one that day. I groaned, already feeling my stomach bubble as I sat down. There was no way in hell I was going to last until the next class. I figured there couldn’t be any harm in at least asking.

Despite me pointing out this was the first time I was asking this of her, she said no. I tried to plead, but she told me if I kept pushing, she’d write me up. Dejected. I did my best to keep it all in so to speak. The discomfort was intense. Thankfully, luck found me in the form of Ms. Weaver being called away by the principal.

She told us not to try any funny business or we’d regret it. During my schooling, I would always follow the rules and never made waves with my teachers, At that moment, though, the call of nature outweighed my apprehension of consequences. I quickly slipped out of class and headed for the restrooms.

Before I could enter, someone sild in front of me, blocking access to the entrance.

“Well. Well. Well.”

Groaning, I found myself face to face with the school hall monitor, Seth. When it came to writing students up, his trigger fingers were itchy. He had the eyes of a hawk and when the halls were empty, you could hear a pin drop so sneaking around was almost pointless. I was someone he had a grudge against. Even though he never explained, I got the feeling it was because he couldn’t get me on anything.

That was about to change.

“Hey, Seth…”

“Evan,” he smiled. “Why are you in such a hurry?”

My stomach bubbled again, causing me to wince.

“I’m dealing with a bit of a bathroom emergency.”

“Oh, I see and I assume you got permission to leave class?”

He already knew the answer to that.

“Not exactly,” I confessed.

He tsked, shaking his head.

“Then you can’t be out of class right now.”

“Dude, just give me a break this one time, will you? I’m doing all I can to keep the dam from bursting if you catch my drift.”

“The only thing I’m catching now is you for breaking the rules and the only thing you’re about to catch is a detention after you go back to Ms. Weaver.”

Without even thinking about it, I brought my knee up, hitting his crotch, and making him drop to the floor in a fetal position. I jumped over him and went into a stall.

“I’ll have you suspended for that,” he screamed at me while getting back to his feet.

Soon, he was in front of my stall and hammering furiously on it.

“Unlock this so I can whoop your ass,” he screamed.

“No,” I replied, keeping a foot on the stall door as he was ramming into it.

Eventually, he went away, cursing under his breath. Anyone who’s seen the movie Dumb and Dumber would have a pretty good idea of what the next few minutes were like for me. Now sweating from the ordeal, I made a mental note to always make sure I have Lactaid tablets on me. I wrinkled my nose at the smell and wiped some sweat off my forehead. I was actually starting to nod off when I heard a concerning noise from outside the bathroom.

I sat up, listening closer. It was a loud guttural sound. My school was located not too far from the woods, so I thought a bear must’ve wandered in somehow. Thinking that I figured the safest option would be staying put. As time passed, it dawned on me that it would be pretty improbable for a bear to just wander in without being noticed beforehand.

The noise came again only not alone. I felt my heart thump steadily quicker as I heard the other sound, screaming. It wasn’t just one person. It had to be an entire class. This was followed by two distinct noises.

The first of which was akin to someone breaking several large sticks in half at once. As for the second, it sounded like several bodies hitting the floor. At this point, my oh shit meter was in the red. Then I remembered my phone. I dialed the police and explained the situation.

They told me they’d be sending help right away. I could only hope that they got here before whatever was causing all this trouble, reached me. To my dismay, I heard the thudding of heavy footsteps. I shrank back as they got closer. Then the stall next to mine was quickly opened and closed with someone breathing heavily inside.

The person’s voice was familiar.

“Seth?” I whispered.

There was a pause before he responded.

“You’re still in here, Evan?”

“I told you it was bad. Didn’t I? Anyway, do you wanna fill me in on what the hell is going on?”

“You wouldn’t believe me. I wouldn’t either and I just saw it with my own eyes.”

As an aside, that phrase has never made sense to me. I mean, who else’s eyes would you be seeing something with? But I digress.

“What did you see?” I asked, worried about the answer.

“It was Ms. Weaver. I don’t know what’s wrong with her. She was attacking everyone. I saw her lift two students like they were nothing and throw them at the wall.”

“Do you think they’ll be alright?”

“No. I heard their skulls crack. We tried to run, but she was fast. There was so much blood.”

“I don’t understand. How could she do this? She’s just an old lady.”

“That’s what I thought too. I only managed to escape by hiding in here. Wait…Do you hear that?”

I perked my ears and they were met with the sound of skittering. I’ve seen enough horror movies to know that couldn’t be anything good.

“You moron,” I hissed. “You led her here.”

“Just shut up. Maybe she’ll go away.”

Ms. Weaver came crawling into the bathroom. We waited with bated breath, hoping she’d go away.

“This is it,” I thought, trying to keep my stomach from bubbling. “She’s going to hear this and that and then break in here and rip me apart. Why didn’t I check to see if I still had tablets?”

At that moment, Seth sneezed. That was good news for me and quite the opposite for him.

“No, please,” was all he had time to scream out before Ms. Weaver broke into his stall.

I winced, hearing the sounds of him being mauled. Bones broke and blood splattered onto the ceiling. Any remaining waste in my body quickly evacuated itself. Seth’s agonized cries soon fell silent and what followed were sounds of chewing. She stopped and I saw her shoes slowly come in view of the gap underneath my stall.

I thought I would be next for sure.

“Freeze,” someone yelled, coming into the bathroom along with several other people.

Ms. Weaver’s attention was now on them. She snarled and lunged, giving them no choice but to fire upon her. I cursed when she hit the floor. Her eyes gazed underneath the stall, meaning the last thing she saw before she died, was me on the toilet. Not one of the better ways to go out I imagine.

Several of the cops gagged upon seeing Seth’s corpse. Then again I may have also been a contributing factor. They must’ve heard me gasping because the same guy asked,

“Is anyone else in there?”

“Yeah, I’m just finishing up.”

“What’s that smell?”

“The blood?”

“No, the other smell.”

“Oh, that. Lactose Intolerance.”

“Ah.”

Once I was out of the bathroom, I answered some questions as best I could. The following week, I learned that the students I mentioned near the beginning of this post were found dead in the principal’s office. Apparently, some people who passed by it could hear chanting and the police found some red candles plus a sheet of paper with some kind of inscription on it. My theory is that they used a weak ritual to control Principal Herrick and get him to lure Ms. Weaver. However, it didn’t go so well when they tried a strong ritual on her.

Two lessons I learned that day. The first is to make sure I’m prepared before consuming dairy and the second was to study. True it’s a pain, but at least it’s better than having some weird ritual going wrong and getting me along with a bunch of other people killed. Now if I may be excused, there’s a rootbeer float with my name on it.

Author’s note: I hope you enjoyed this story. If you did and want to throw some money my way, you can do so on either Cashapp or Kofi.

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Rosé Black

Rosé Black

Hello, I mainly write horror but also blend it with comedy, sci-fi, or fantasy. If you’re a fan of these genres, I hope you’ll like my work.