That morning, at the recess, I had simply gone over to talk to her and she had smiled her usual smile at me. I anticipated entertaining her with my new variation on the Bosco Chocolate commercial jungle, when Jimmy the Hammer cut me off from Patty. Only then, did I get the hint that Jimmy, the schoolyard bully, six inches taller than me and two years of muscle and fighting experience older than me, also had designs on my girl.
Jimmy pushed me aside as I still tried to speak to Patty, now aware that Jimmy had turned mean. The first punch caught me unaware on the right side of my face and sent me staggering. Now she looked at me once in a while during class, embarrassed and, hopefully, sympathetic to my battered soul. As I looked dreamily at her angelic face, her expression changed suddenly and some bulky presence inserted itself between me and the object of my reverie. I looked down and saw the thick ankles appear.
Dread seized me as I raised my eyes to see Mrs. Filled with dread at the coming pain, I held my hands out in front of me at shoulder level, palms up, waiting for the punishment, regardless of its fairness. Oh, no! Not the backs! The whacks of the ruler on the backs of the hands always hurt much more than the caning of the palms. But, of course, she would know that.
Anyone who had been an assistant to Dr. Josef Mengele, in the Nazi camps, would know the best ways to inflict pain. I complied. She smacked my hands five times each as I tried to hold back tears of pain, aware that, if I gave in and cried, I would lose the respect of all my classmates at the hands of this disciplinary menace, her pleasure transparent for all to see.
The cold water assuaged my hands and fear. I dried my hands and my face before the mirror, astonished at the color of my complexion which was a mottled blue and white with red-rash like highlights, puffy around the eyes and swelling on the sucker-punch side and on my nose. I felt dizzy. I had found on previous visits to this austere ward that I had to push hard against some unseen force to push it open and scuttle sideways out of its path before it slammed itself shut like some steel man-trap.
Visits to the Warden of the school were never pleasant. Luckily, the young, thin, dark-haired Miss Jones was there to receive me. I came up to her desk and just looked at the top of her head as she finished scribbling something or other on a sheet of paper. When Miss Jones looked up at me, at first she smiled, and then her jaw dropped in surprise. She rushed around the desk and knelt down in front of me and lifted my chin with a gentle hand. Was it that brute Jimmy again?
Miss Jones enveloped me in her arms and held me close while I sobbed on her shoulder, releasing all the pain and unfairness I had absorbed that day. Finally, the pain and embarrassment reached a pause, my damaged soul having recovered somewhat, and I pulled away a little to look at her face.
I smiled at her. She was one of the few bright spots in this prison existence that I struggled through each day. They were both in on the dark secret at the school, the one that they dare not mention to the wrong people. All they could do is comfort me and others like me who suffered from unkind and unnamed devils at the school.
Remember that, no matter what Mrs. Nickerson tells you.
You understand? Finally, at pm, when the last bell rang, I found my brother waiting for me at the east gate of the iron bar fence that surrounded the school playground, a fence tall enough to keep the most dangerous convicts in. My brother and I walked away, the eight blocks to our home at our usual pace.
Suddenly, the hallway erupted with malicious laughter, a chorus of voices all howling in glee. While it has strong philosophical tones, it is quite existential and offers more questions than answers. My fiance is quite similar, so when he eagerly begged me to let him read me a short story about The Black Farm by Elias Witherow, I knew it had to be good It had pierced through my stomach, obliterating my insides like bloated noodles. The Grand Experiment, by Alberto Chimal.
All Rights Reserved. Baker July 13, Respond.
School is Hell F. More straightforward than much of his other work, it might be the closest thing to a beach read Stephenson has turned out. Mastery practiced at nano-scale.
Its premise—people begin walking out of their homes and heading West, forming a growing flock—becomes both a mystery and a backdrop for Wendig to examine what, exactly, has become of us. The answer's not pretty. A mindbending look at where Pokemon Go and Magic Leap glasses might take us. If you're looking for a starting point, it's this one.
Hint: You'll never think about My Little Pony the same way again. When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small affiliate commission.
The Nicest Part In Hell: A short story eBook: Cole Bauer: teolabfacon.tk: Kindle Store. To ask other readers questions about A Short Stay in Hell, please sign up. ripped from a borges story about a library containing an infinite number of books; every .. The good news: Ahura Mazda is a merciful god, and nonbelievers are not .. Some parts reminded me of Peter Beagle's A Fine and Private Place, others of.
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Daniel Oberhaus. Lily Hay Newman. Eric Adams. Further Reading 'Reamde' by Neal Stephenson For more context about Fall's Richard Forthrast and his niece Zula—or just to prepare yourself—turn to the cyberthriller that introduced them. Senior Correspondent Twitter. Featured Video. Topics augmented reality Books science fiction Wired Book of the Month. Emma Grey Ellis. Reclaiming Sci-Fi's Lost History. Geek's Guide to the Galaxy. Julie Muncy.
Each story takes the tradition of prom night and takes it to paranormally disastrous levels, like fighting demons and realizing that your date is the Grim Reaper. At the start of Damned , thirteen-year-old Madison wakes to find herself in Hell. She quickly gets to know her cellmates, and is put to work as a telemarketer, forced to call the living during mealtimes to ask inane questions. Listen Shop Insiders. Thank you for signing up! Keep an eye on your inbox.