Elementary Beast

January 8, 2008
By Molly Greenfield, Georgetown, TX

Natanya. Her name was slimy and left a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Sure maybe we have always called our teachers by their first names, but this name was different. For this name belonged to the cruelest teacher of them all. This teacher was feared by all and I was about to walk into the death trap that I call Elementary. Nothing could save me no from the beast owning the name Natanya.

I stumbled almost as though in a daze towards the first day of Elementary where the figure known as Natanya waited. The shadow became more clear as I got closer and I began to see her features clearly. Natanya had hair like a lion. It was yellow and looked as if a scraggly bush had sprouted out of her orange head. She was a petite lady with wrinkles all over her face. Her clothes were, at the age of 8, what I thought and archeologist would wear. Standing there looking fresh out of the desert, she offered her hand for a handshake.

I shook her hand timidly and even though it was probably a bad idea, I made eye contact. She gazed at me like a hawk, just waiting until we were alone where she could pick me apart. “Hello!” Natanya bellowed. The especially loud greeting almost caused me to fall backwards. “Are you the new kid?” “Y-y-y-yes,” I stammered, afraid to say anything else. I was shaken up more than ever before. “Wow, someone shorter than Natanya!” Corbin giggled. Natanya hurried over to the laughing hyena, took him by the ear, and stuck his face in the wall. I gawked at the horrifying sight and realized that if I was ever going to get caned, it was going to be by her. I looked over at the circle of children and no one seemed surprised.

A chill went up my spine and I was trembling all over. “Now back to our next suspect,” She said, pulling my leg, but after what I just saw I had a feeling she was serious. “You interrupted our song time! I guess you can join us since you’re stuck here,” she announced. I felt like a leaky cauldron as a single tear drop trickled down my cheek. I was definitely not in a singing mood, so I decided just to listen. I soon found out that the song time was really for Natanya’s pleasure and no one else was really singing. It was just Natanya making a fool of herself. It was then that I realized we were her slaves.

The clock on the wall read 11:00. It seemed like days had passed, but to my dismay, it was only a few hours. I sighed and headed for the desk with my name on it. I was about to sit down when the principle beckoned me over from the classroom door. More trouble, I thought. What had I done? I went to the front of the classroom where the principle and the beast were talking. When I was at the front of the room, the principle told me that one of my best friends and soon to be savior, Kate, was too afraid to come to Elementary and asked if I could go back with her for a day and try to convince Kate to come with me. I gathered my materials, smiling like a pageant queen, and began to head out the door, escaping. That’s when Natanya grabbed me by the shoulder and snarled into my ear, “You’ll be back!” Her breath smelled like garlic and gave me goose bumps.

Back at my own classroom sitting beside Kate felt heavenly and I cherished every moment. “I’m scared, Molly,” Kate whispered. “I’ll be right there with you, just take your time,” I said, meaning it more than she could know. I then remembered the words I’ll never forget: “You’ll be back.” I realized it wasn’t over yet. Tomorrow I would be back, but this time I would be ready to face my fears.

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