Armand Rosamilia

Armand Rosamilia

BIO:¬†Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not watching zombie movies, the Boston Red Sox and listening to Heavy Metal music…

“Highway To Hell” and “Dying Days” extreme zombie novellas are part of the growing Extreme Undead series of books/stories created by Armand…

He is also an editor for Rymfire Books, helping with several horror anthologies, including “Vermin” and the “State of Horror” series, as well as the creator and energy behind Carnifex Metal Books, putting out the “Metal Queens Monthly” series of non-fiction books about females into Metal…

Simple Arithmetic

The teacher turned to her class and smiled. She felt a bead of sweat sliding down
the back of her neck but tried her best to ignore it. Any small distraction would be her
life. She gazed just over their heads, avoiding all eye contact.

“Does anyone know the answer?” she asked as calmly as she could. Soothing
voice, sweet and relaxed. I can get through this without a scratch.

When no one answered, she gave a quick glance at the three small children in the
front row, who immediately tried to lock eyes with her. She turned back to the
chalkboard, her heart pounding. “It’s simple arithmetic. I’m sure, if you thought long and
hard, you can all figure it out.”

That was the wrong thing to say and she immediately knew it, as thirty-three
children all tried to latch onto her thoughts at once. She fell against the chalkboard, a
wave of revulsion slamming into her.

The crackle of the overhead speakers broke the contact. “Miss Dickson, if you
can’t teach the class we’ll need to find a substitute. Is that understood?”

She smiled. She could do this. It was better than the alternative. She found the
piece of chalk on the floor where she’d dropped it and tapped the chalkboard with her
finger. “Alright, back to our math problem. If you have sixteen apples and your friend
Susie gives you three more apples, how many apples do you have?”

“I can’t eat apples,” one of the boys said and the class laughed.

She kept her focus on the math problem on the board, willing herself to not look
at them. Any of them. It would be over soon. Twenty more minutes until the bell rang.

Her training as a school teacher returned and she smiled. She once again turned
and looked over the kids, at a small drawing one of them had done the other day with
crayons, a night setting with a family rising from their coffins and a big moon in the
background. “How about this? You have sixteen, um, pints of blood and your Maker
gives you three more pints of blood. How many pints do you have?”

“What’s the blood in?” someone asked.

“In two people. One has sixteen pints and the other has three.”

“A male can have between ten and twelve pints, and a female between eight and
ten. Your question makes no sense.”

She almost looked at the boy asking the question but smiled and looked at the ceiling. When she saw the dried blood from Misses Rathburn, the last teacher, she looked back to the drawings. “Alright, then what if you had a man with twelve pints of blood and another with three pints?”

“That’s not the question.”

Now she wanted to scream, and she could feel the sweat beading on her forehead. She knew she wasn’t allowed to deviate from the planner, but she had. Maybe they hadn’t heard her or noticed.

The static crackle of the speakers came back on. “Miss Dickson? I’m afraid we won’t be needing you anymore.” There was a pause. “Children, take an early lunch.”