Sunday August 7th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the student.

Twas an uneventful Sunday around these parts, that somehow managed to fly by. Culminated with cooking a whole chicken on the BBQ and then having blackberry pie (Kat made it this morning) for dessert.

I should probably be bringing us back to the House of Mercy this evening, but inspiration is noticeably absent in that area. So I'll aim for tomorrow night.


He clenched his fists in his lap, battling the urge to push his reading glasses higher up on his nose. Ah, such righteous nerd rage. How could I not push more of his buttons?

"It's unfortunate that you did not care to invest your time in studying for this exam," I told him, tapping the thick stack of paper on the desk between us. "I suppose you were too busy playing video games or watching some television show I've never heard of."

"I prepped for your test for hours!"

"Really?" I couldn't contain my laugh. I was just having too much fun. "All that time, wasted on getting 35%? What a pity! You could have put that energy into a more useful area. Like... getting a date, perhaps?"

"I already have a girlfriend!"

"Where? At another university? In some distant, frozen corner of Canada?"

"I will not stand for this sort of treatment!"

"Oh, well, it's a good thing you're sitting down then, isn't it?" He really was making it too easy for me.

"Professor!" He stood up then, at long last. I felt saddened that my fun was about to end. "I am going straight to the Dean to report your... your... utterly inappropriate behaviour!"

"If you must," I said, waving him away with a slight frown and a shrug. "While you're at Mr. Lockwood's office, could you tell Marty I'll be a touch late for our 2:45 tee time this afternoon? Bella Harris is coming in after lunch to see me about... well, about this very same test! And I do like to give her some... extra time and attention, if you know what I mean."



morganna said...

Studying hard
Trying her best to
Despite the difficulties
Every effort made
Never mind the expense
Toiling desperately towards graduation.

Greg said...

@Morganna: your poem reminds me slightly of my sister, who wasn't very academic but was determined to prove that she could do it. It's unusually downbeat for you (on these pages at least) but I like the feeling of effort that it emits, and the acrostic is very well done as well!

@Marc: I think the House of Mercy is at a tricky point -- we're past the midpoint of the year so we need to start finding the climax, but I'm not sure we're really certain what's going on here to derive a climax! I trust you to lead the way though :)
The chicken sounds nice, as does the pie.
Heh, you're usually nicer to your characters, but this student seems doomed to suffer! I like your lecturer's determination to be a complete asshole, and how well he succeeds as well. Each little escalation is neatly done and dovetails with the previous, and the poor kid should have given up before he started!

The student
There was sawdust on the floor, which seemed odd for a supermarket, but I ignored it. Forty miles outside of Buttfart, Arizona (not its real name but it might as well have been), and my car needed gas. I'd gotten out, thrown the keys at some kid with spots that might have been leprosy and told him to fuel her. Then I'd come in here for a soda. I trudged through the sawdust; it was fresh and smelled piney and kicked up in small horse-tail plumes. Until I kicked the corpse.
"Hey! Police scene! You can't come in here!"
The guy shouting was an aisle away strewing the sawdust around from one of those plastic-wrapped bales they use for hamster bedding. He had a long face and sleepy eyes and looked angry and tired. I felt that way myself, and I decided that since my latest identity allowed it I was going to play it up. I slipped my hand into my inside pocket, and he hit the floor. The bale exploded underneath him and he disappeared in a storm of sawdust.
When it settled I was holding out my new ID: a shiny police badge.
"Kevin Landry," I said. "Police. What in the good Lord's name do you think you're doing here, boy? Is Satan himself whisperin' in your ears?" I'm not religious but Kevin sure had been. I'd listened to him babble like that all night.
The kid on the floor twitched like I'd tased him, and I kind of wished I'd thought of that first.
"Landry?" he said. The first icy fingers tickeld the base of my spine. "Oh thank god!"
"You better not be taking the Lord's name in vain, son," I said. "The Lord is a vengeful God and he expects respect from such as us. Sinners, all."
"Sorry sir," said the kid. "I'm Stephen, I'm the student forensics officer. They said they'd called for you, but that was an hour ago."
Icy fingers at the base of my spine again. Maybe I should have turned and gone at that point.
"The Lord has His reasons for His actions," I said. "Where's the FO then?"
The kid pointed at the sawdust covered body on the floor, and that's pretty much when those icy fingers of premonition left my spine alone, reached up, and throttled me.

Marc said...

Morganna - a perfectly captured sentiment, and in acrostic form as well. Nicely done!

Greg - yeah, I feel like we're in a tough spot as well. Hopefully I pushed us in the right direction. Or *a* direction at least.

Hmm, this is a fascinating beginning. So many intriguing details. Would love to see this one continued as well :)

hanna wood said...

With her calm face and cute outfit, she is handed the test. She is nervous but she has studied all week. With clammy hands she picks up her pencil and begins the test. Blank.. Every fact, every piece of information is gone She went blank. The test doesn’t look like anything she has ever studied. She begins to stress and wonder what life would be like if she doesn’t get a degree and if she doesn’t pass her class. She suddenly went from a ball of nerves to a ball of anger. Why had the professor given the wrong information to study? Why would he set them up to fail?? Then it hit her. She realized she was in “Biology 1” and the test was labeled “Chemistry 3”… She was in the wrong class all along.