by Christian Smith
Ms. Green glances at the third graders trapped in the room with her. Their outdoor recess has been cancelled due to an impending storm. To her, the hour of peace she normally enjoys at lunchtime is well worth the risk of losing one or two of them to lightning.
She looks out the window. The view bothers her. Power lines thrown in silhouette against an unnaturally dark and roiling sky. The scene recalls a dream she’d had the night before. The details elude her, but the power lines had looked exactly like that. The fluorescent classroom lights cannot exorcize her sense of invasive, creeping darkness.
A scream snaps her from her reverie. The children are capable of banshee shrieks which cause her every nerve to twinge. Outdoors they can be heard for miles. In here the sound is trapped by the walls and the echoes never die. This scream has been loosed by actual injury. Jacob Frost has bitten Donnie Stephenson. Jacob, a serial biter, flashes her a bloody tooth fairy grin.
Before she can reprimand him, she recalls more of her dream. Blood, hers, caught with a strand of hair in the cracks of a shattered windshield. Splattering rain falling on her devastated skull. The dark power lines looming above like a god come to claim what was owed.
Donnie’s scream grows louder in her broken head. She realizes the accident had not been dreamed.
She’d always said hell to her would be like indoor recess.
[Christian Smith is a stay-at-home Dad (dream gig for a writer) living in Flagstaff, AZ. with his wife and two kids. He's also a writer for Coyote Radio Theater, a very unique audio comedy troupe based in Prescott.]