Room 204 This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 7, 2012
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The high-school math classroom, room 204, was silent, quite unusual for a typically rowdy group of sophomores. Everyone was perfectly still, waiting for Andy, the class clown to crack a joke, or Brittany, the girl who has bad allergies, to sneeze one of her dreadfully loud sneezes. Their expectations were dashed however, and everyone held his breath.

“What did you just say?” Mr. Lemons asked eventually, wondering if he had heard wrong.

“I said,” Chris raised his voice slightly, nonchalantly enunciating every syllable. “You are an uncaring, unsympathetic, and undeserving man.”

Mr. Lemons sighed, leaned against his desk, and defiantly crossed his arms. “And, why might you say that?” He asked this question like he did not care what the answer was.

“Because you called us insecure. And only an insecure man would call us that.” Chris decidedly pronounced, copying the position of his teacher by crossing his arms also.

“I called you and your classmates that because you weren’t listening to my explanation of the algebra problem.”

“But you were judging us. That means you are insecure. But there is no such thing as security and insecurity—they don’t exist.” Chris said without hesitation.

“They don’t, eh? What are they then?” Mr. Lemons smirked.
The class was still silent, intrigued by this debate, quite happy that they weren’t stuck doing algebra. With luck, they might not get math homework tonight.

“Security is a just a feeling some people have. It doesn’t actually exist in life. You and your numbers, Mr. Lemons, they can’t prove anything. Even if someone like you, a mathematician, tried to prove it, you couldn’t prove there is such a thing.”

“So, even if I’m healthy, happy, and loving life, I’m ‘insecure.’” Mr. Lemons mockingly used quotation marks.

“Correct. The only way to be truly secure is to die,” Chris affirmed.

“Okay, when my decaying body is being engulfed by tiny microorganisms, and I stink like puke, then I’m secure. Got it,” Mr. Lemons sarcastically said, with as much drama as he could muster.

“Well, then your soul will be rest.”

Mr. Lemons nodded, trying to comprehend this philosophical concept so different from his usual simple algebraic expressions, where A+ B = C, and everything make perfect sense, and can be explained. “So, if the only way to be secure is to die, then, I’m right: you guys are insecure.”

“So are you.”

“Okay, Chris. Let’s end this foolishness. You’ve wasted too much time already.”

Instantly the class groaned, bringing back the normal state of complaining, grumbling, and joking.

“Let’s move on to Problem 2, adding polynomials. Turn to page 157 in your Essential Math text book... now you see here that the constant is-“

A gunshot sounded, breaking normality once more. “Class, follow my directions. This is an emergency. Line up at the door.” Mr. Lemons frantically grabbed the safety sheet given to all teachers and read off it. “Take the stairway downstairs in single file fashion! And then wait for further instruction from the-“

Once again the math teacher stopped talking abruptly. A stout man stood in the doorway. With long, gray hair, a greasy beard, and a double barreled gun, this man was a living replica of the stereotype that scared the world. “Stop where you are.” The man commanded in a strange accent.

“Never mind what I said. Run!” Mr. Lemons started to the window, picking up a painted rock on his desk with the words “Teacher of the Year”, and attempted to throw it.

But the foreign man bounded in, took hold of a stunned Mr. Lemons, and pointed the gun to Mr. Lemon’s heart. “You American people bad. I no like you. To me you bow. I am better. Now!”

The class was in a stupor, too frightened to run or even bow down. The foreign man yelled, “Now! Now! Or I shoot. That be bad.” He shook his finger.

The teens, now scared out of their minds, blindingly obeyed the foreign man. All of them bent on one knee.

“Not fast enough. Too bad!” He laughed menacingly. Without another word, his finger touched the trigger, and pushed.

The bullet went straight into his heart. Mr. Lemons collapsed to the floor.

The foreign man smiled gleefully, and spoke in broken bits of English. “Bye bye. Had fun.” With that he strode out classroom 204, preparing his gun for his next innocent victim.

The class stared at each other, stricken by what had just happened.

Andy, the jokester, said bluntly, “Guess he’s secure now!”

Join the Discussion

This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

wetblanket said...
Aug. 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm
Let's start with the bad and end with the good. The bad: -A couple instances of tense disagreement/mixing tenses.  Ex: "Mr. Lemons nodded, trying to comprehend this philosophical concept so different from his usual simple algebraic expressions, where A+B=C, and everything make perfect sense, and can be explained."  It should be makes, not make, which of course I'm sure you know but you should check these things! -Given that the Chris character just got done with... (more »)
gossamergirl replied...
Aug. 27, 2012 at 9:53 am
i would have to disagree with you, wet, if the story were continued or had a sequel it would be cool to have Chris in cahoots with the gunman. but thats just my opinion. Great job hibiscus!
wetblanket replied...
Sept. 6, 2012 at 2:17 am
Well now you're just spitballing.  Sure, the story coulda been this and it coulda been that but it it isn't.  We have to analyze what the piece offers, not what you "think would be cool,"
gossamergirl replied...
Sept. 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm
yes i am "just spitballing." it was giving ideas for a sequel. yes, we should analyze what was there but we are also allowed tohave and voice our own opinions, which is what i did. 
Hibiscus replied...
Sept. 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm
Thanks for commenting, both of you. I actually made a second version, which is longer and I fixed some of the minor mistakes. I like both types of suggestions, wetblanket, and I'm sure others do too. :) 
MissInkslinger said...
Aug. 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm
:O The ending line! Wowza. Hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time. I do think the ending is a bit random though. Who was the shooter? Why was he there? Why did he want to kill the teacher?
Lacer said...
May 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I'm so sorry for not getting back sooner, but TeenInk has been refusing to post my comments as of late.

You have a very strong point of view, strong but distant characters, which is natural from third person omniscient, and great style!

Your ideas are very provoking and thought out, and your dialogue flow is perfect, which is great seeing as dialogue is the weakest point of most teenage writers.

However, the ending was a little bit of a let down. It was clever to revisit ... (more »)

Hibiscus replied...
Jun. 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm
Thanks for commenting! I agree with you; it did move fast. I origanally wrote this for a 800 word limit contest, so I didn't develop it fully. I should definitely add to the ending, and the charachter of the foreigner. Thanks again for the suggestions! :) 
StarSophia98 said...
May 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm
Very intruiging & interesting!  I love all the descriptive details.  Keep up the good work! :)
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