Effects of the Substitute

October 18, 2011
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Those dumb white seagulls cruise past the smudgy classroom window. What are they doing here?
Go away. I warn, glaring enviously at their sleek winged figures. Go somewhere warm and sunny and beachy.
The classroom is dark, as someone behind me murmured that the teacher doesn’t believe in using up electricity during the day time. Mud also speckles the ugly tan tiles. I had to bike to school today through the rain. That stupid red bike.
Kids are chatting. Some in pairs, some sitting three together at a desk. I am one of the loners. There are five of us loners, and we are coincidentally all sitting to the front of the classroom while the chatters crowd at the back. I am the only one out of five that doesn’t have ear buds in. I guess it’s their escape, their subtle way of saying, “See? See? I’m not a loser. iPod? Earphones? Sunglasses?”
I don’t need any of that. All I need is the window open so I can hear the rain and smell the leaves that blanket the chilly, saturated ground. It makes this room feel a little less like a prison cell.

There is unfamiliar handwriting on the chalkboard. Ah, the effects of the substitute teacher. The chalky letters are simple and spaced too far apart, like a young child’s. It’s really starting to get to me. All of us loners, quiet and focused as we are, have finished the assigned work twenty minutes ago. The rest of the chatters behind us are far from done.

Sigh…this is getting boring. I wish I had the guts to just pick up and leave like that loner, Joe, just did. The substitute didn’t even give a second glance.

Now the seagulls are back again.
They perch on top of the flood lights surrounding the football field to taunt me. I wonder why they’re allowed to be free while I am doomed to sit trapped in this place for one more whole years of my life. I contemplate…
We do have bigger brains, I guess.
“To whom more is given, more is asked.”
Eight…more…minutes. Just eight more minutes, and I’m free to go to my next holding cell with desks.
I hate sitting for this long at a time. As I peer out the window with literally nothing else to do, I observe that the clouds are a mesmerizing shade of navy and grey, and they look as if they belong over the sea instead of this grungy city. But that doesn’t matter now. Only three more minutes….
See you when I’m free.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Gingersnap777 said...
Oct. 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm
A very smooth read...great job!  If I was being picky, I'd say I'm not sure you justify your title, that part of your story is a little un-developed, and it feels slightly like it doesn't go anywhere, but it's one of the better stories I've read so far.  Keep up the good work!
LASwan said...
Oct. 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm
Ha! This doesn't have much of a point... but that's the point! Lots of fun.
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