Room 204 | Teen Ink

Room 204

May 7, 2012
By Hibiscus SILVER, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Hibiscus SILVER, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
9 articles 1 photo 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"None of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." - Mother Teresa


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!”


The author's comments:
Enjoy! :)

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This article has 9 comments.


on Sep. 7 2012 at 5:19 pm
Hibiscus SILVER, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
9 articles 1 photo 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"None of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." - Mother Teresa

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. :) 

on Sep. 6 2012 at 8:19 pm
gossamergirl GOLD, Nowhere, New Hampshire
15 articles 1 photo 53 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." ~ Moulin Rouge

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. 

wetblanket said...
on Sep. 6 2012 at 2:17 am
wetblanket, Crosby, North Dakota
0 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
In my mind's eye my thoughts light fires in your cities. -Charles Manson

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,"

on Aug. 27 2012 at 9:53 am
gossamergirl GOLD, Nowhere, New Hampshire
15 articles 1 photo 53 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." ~ Moulin Rouge

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 said...
on Aug. 22 2012 at 5:33 pm
wetblanket, Crosby, North Dakota
0 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
In my mind's eye my thoughts light fires in your cities. -Charles Manson

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 an out-of-the-blue rant about death, the entrance of the Foreign Gunman character does come off as too convenient.  Deus Ex Machina.  And seeing as this is a standalone story--it seems--it's way lucky that both these events would happen in the same day seconds apart.  It would've been more believeable--if it's realism you're going for--if a couple days or months had passed, I think. The good: -The Foreign Gunman character is interesting and well-characterized.  I like his dialogue. -It's an interesting topic that a lot of others might shy away from.     Keep it up, but don't get too far-out.

on Aug. 22 2012 at 1:33 pm
MissInkslinger BRONZE, Lexington, Kentucky
4 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love argument, I love debate. I don't expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that's not their job. Margaret Thatcher

: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?

on Jun. 2 2012 at 2:12 pm
Hibiscus SILVER, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
9 articles 1 photo 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"None of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." - Mother Teresa

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! :) 

Lacer GOLD said...
on May. 29 2012 at 5:14 pm
Lacer GOLD, Highland Village, Texas
19 articles 0 photos 74 comments

Favorite Quote:
The thing about philosophy is that it often runs dry when thought of so shallowly.

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 the security debate, but if your going to do it in a witty way with a joke, you have to make it ironic. The teacher died and became secure, so make him do something that's insecure as he struggles for his life. Throwing a book and panicking is human nature, he needs to do something extra insecure to make it fully ironic. Ransoming children, mayhaps? Plea bargains, flea bargains, throw in something much more ironic.

Also, the foreigner was a little too hastily done. His emotions move too quickly. He starts homicidally angry, spoutign racist propaganda, to a mix of amusement and anger when he taunts him, then to amusement when he laughs at him. It's too quick, and too out of character. Also, he just walks out? No, I don't believe a homicidal, racist maniac will simply walk out when his intentions are to kill others. Some thing to distract him, throw in another teacher (proving his security, maybe?) to distract the gunman so the children can be safe.

 

Overall, you have a great writing style, you take on the point of you well, and you know how to forge a good dialogue! Problems; you need to go more in depth on things like irony, including twists, metaphors, and other underlying truths.
Great job!


on May. 21 2012 at 8:11 pm
StarSophia GOLD, Wauwatosa, WI, Wisconsin
18 articles 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
“But it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it'll shine the clearer." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

"For I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

Very intruiging & interesting!  I love all the descriptive details.  Keep up the good work! :)