Painting Day

I posted this last August on a now defunct blog. Because I just stumbled across it again and thought it was enjoyable, let’s re-publish it here.

There was white on the floor. Dylan felt it crunch under him and rip beneath his light-up sneakers. Today must be paint day. Sheets of sun came through the windows, and Dylan felt warm and happy.

Mrs. Hernberger took his hand. “Take your seat now, Dylan.” He couldn’t look away from the long pieces of paper that carpeted the floor, their presence alone making him jittery. He would paint a big brontosaurus, or maybe a pterodactyl, or puppies. Where was the paint? Let’s paint.

Dylan sat next to Meggie. She smelled like Fritos. Charlie said hi from across the table. He had lost two teeth since yesterday and filled their spaces with his tongue as he smiled. “I falled down,” he said.

Mrs. Hernberger called attendance. Sarah was the only one missing. Dylan thought it was sad that she would miss paint day.

“Today is a special day,” Mrs. Hernberger said. She walked over to the big paper cutter, where kids couldn’t go. Dylan turned around on his chair and got on his knees. He couldn’t stop squirming.

Mrs. Hernberger began to yank at the paper cutter. She held it down with one hand, pulling with the other. The blade came loose, and she paused for a moment.

“Kids, Mrs. Hernberger has adult problems,” she said. Meggie giggled. Then, Mrs. Hernberger hit her with the paper cutter. She hit her again in the head. And again. Meggie didn’t scream, just bled.

No one moved. One by one, Mrs. Hernberger cut them down.

There was red on the floor.

And now, because it is the FUTURE, I can comment as the all-knowing, now matured author. My favorite line of the whole thing is probably “let’s paint.” Other comments? Damn morbid. It would maybe be troubling if I wasn’t such a bastion of sanity otherwise!

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