Hauntingly horrible, just like Mr. King promises. and guaranteed to keep you up at night, wondering. A great story.
This is a classic Stephen King horror story. Though only a few pages long, it manages to grip and chill with its vision of innocence and evil.
The story centers around a small town teacher who rules with an iron fist, dealing out punishments to keep her students in line and after a long career, has an unblemished record and is looking forward to retirement so she can be free of the little monsters. Her students are neat and orderly and she uses her glasses to make sure they stay that way, spying on the room while her back is to them. In her glasses, she sees kids goofing off and punishes them.
Then, she see something that scares her. One of the children in her class is looking at her differently. His face seems to have changed into something else entirely while she peeked through her glasses. Something not human. The stressing teacher pushes the image away, sure she has seen something that is not there but the child’s knowing eyes follow her to her home and into her dreams. Just what had his face turned into?
When she goes to school the next day, it seems to her that more and more of her students are changing. They seem to know what she suspects and when she hears a conversation between two little girls in the bathroom, she is convinced something is very wrong with the all of her students. The next day, the first little boy confirms her suspicions, his face changing openly into a monster and she runs screaming from the school and is almost hit by a truck. She takes a leave of absence without telling anyone what she has seen, not only to avoid being marked as crazy, but also because she’s afraid for her life.
When she returns, she has a plan and knows just what has to be done. One by one, she leads the students to a basement room in the school for a ‘special’ test and shoots them in the head with the gun in her purse. She has rid the world of 13 evil ones before she is caught and locked up in Juniper Hill, an infamous sanitarium that is found in many Stephen King novels.
Once settled in and no longer considered a threat, she undergoes therapy that involves reading to very small children. The psychiatrist watches the interaction closely and is troubled by what he sees in the eyes of the children. The teacher ends up committing suicide in her padded room and the shrink now becomes the one watching for the faces of the children to change.
The graphic violence in this story is so vivid! I could only give it four and a half stars instead of the five is deserves. Shocking! Horrifying! And happening daily.