Voltaire and Vulture

February 12, 2017

“In 1789, the French Revolution started. It marked the beginning-“ his head cocked like an interested dove. His nose was always shriveled, but today it was like a raisin. After an austere stare, Mr. Johnson continued. Old, shriveled, pissed-off Mr. Johnson.

“It marked the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was a time of questioning ideas and beliefs, and the king’s power.”

But Johnny, in fact, had not listened all year. He had just learned his schedule correctly a few days ago.

Why do I have to sit here, in class, with stupid Mr. Johnson telling me what to do? , he thought.

“For a long time before, France had been an absolute monarchy- the king and queen, the royal family.”

It’s always Mr. Johnson for seventh period. It’s been like this for the whole year, he thought.

“And now, France was split up into Estates. The first. The clergy of the Catholic Church. They made the others pay a tithe, and were wealthy as a result.

He looked around the classroom. The geeks in left back row, he thought.

"Then there was the second estate. The nobles. Landowners and advisors to the first estate, they were greatly powerful over the bottom estate. "

He spun his head to the right. The nerds in the top right corner, he thought.

"Almost the whole population, and overtaken by the minority of wealthy, respectable men. This majority consisted of the commoners. They had been poor workers and peasants. The bourgeoisie, however, consisted of educated men that also wanted a say in governed France and the taxes they paid."

He shimmied his chair back. That was most people- ordinary, average, he thought.

“WHAT… AREYOU… DOING?” Mr. Johnson’s lip had curled up from fury, and his toupee started to sink.

Furiously, he continued.

“Soon after, the National Assembly was formed by the Third Estate- they too wanted a say. They wanted to represent the majority of French people.”

Mr. Johnson couldn’t not be grumpy - it was his nature. He popped like a bubble in front of a toddler, and burst out of the room.

Johnny stood up on his desk, like a 20th century activist, and proclaimed, “Who hates history class?”

A few raised their hands, unsure what would happen.

“Who hates Mr. Johnson?”

Some more raised their hands. The room went silent.

“Who thinks that seventh-period History is the worst? That weekend homework is so corrupt? How we’ve never done anything but read out of this stupid book!” He kicked the black book of his table, and most people cheered, for it had been all they wanted but couldn’t do.

The nerds and geeks just smirked, and turned back to their desks, waiting for Mr. Johnson to come back and continue the lesson.

But he didn't. But, in fact, a very pigeon-sized man walked in the classroom. Without looking out at the students, he muttered, "Mr. Johnson will not be with you anymore… he has resigned." An evil grin shone through his face. He turned to the board, and on it, he scribbled, "Napoleon".

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Nadia said...
Feb. 14 at 8:51 am
"Voltaire and Vulture" - it is a great beginning of a young author!
Nadia said...
Feb. 14 at 5:45 am
I loved this story! It is short and sharp! It reminded me my school years! Thank you!
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