Oo[s! I was just doing my daily blog reading and realized I haven't posted here yet. In my defense, this is my last real day of vacation so I slept in and then had to take Panda to the vet for her water treatment. Mental note, cats in a hurry to get home from the vet do not appreciate going through the drive-through at MacDonald's.
Today's story was written for the June horror prompt at AW. It needs some work, but I was trying to keep it short. The prompt (in a nutshell) was: You’re familiar with the scenario: Individual(s) endure some trying experience(s) that propels them to the point of some kind of mental breakdown, which then, in turn, causes them to do something they would never have done under ‘normal’ conditions.
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“All right, everyone. You need to pay attention to this video, there’s going to be a couple of questions about it on the next quiz.”
The class groaned in unison and stopped what they were doing to turn their attention to the television at the front of the room. Economics was bad enough, but videos about it were even worse.
Once again Claire had to wonder what the instructor was getting paid for. The woman liked to video tape crap off the television for them to watch in class - interviews, debates, editorials - and then she put random questions about these programs on the weekly quizzes. They were supposed to get class time to do their work, but how was that possible when they were always watching stupid videos?
The television itself was small and hard to see, and the way the classroom was laid out, half the class had trouble even seeing it, let alone paying attention to it. The fat girl in the row in front of Claire shifted in her seat. Claire’s hand tightened on the pen she was holding. She didn’t know the fat girl’s name and, quite frankly, didn’t really care. The stupid cow took a sadistic delight in blocking Claire’s view of the television.
Over the last few weeks Claire had tried moving to a different seat, but was told that wasn’t allowed. She tried explaining the problem to the instructor but the instructor was built on the hefty side herself and told her she’d just have to deal with it. Once she even tried tapping fat girl on the shoulder and asking if she’d mind moving to the side, but fat girl told her she couldn’t see if she did that.
Last week Claire slid her chair so far over she almost ended up in B.O. girl’s lap. The girl gave her a “look” and a snide, “What’s your deal?” Claire mumbled an apology and gave up trying to see around fat girl. She failed the quiz that week.
Today’s video was another one of those stupid debates about the economy and how to fix it. Claire stared at the back of fat girl’s neck, at the roll of fat just below the short, dark, hair. Sweat glistened on the porous skin, it was warm in the classroom today. It was too bad fat girl wouldn’t just drop dead.
She shifted minutely to the left and fat girl leaned back in her chair, blocking the entire television. A slow rage began to fill her. What right did fat girl have to keep her from an education? She paid good money to be in this class, she wasn’t about to let some fat cow flush all that money down the toilet.
Claire glared at the back of fat girl’s neck. A freckle stood out on that pasty skin, like a tiny, little target. Her knuckles whitened as her hand tightened further around the ball point pen.
Slowly and quietly, Claire shifted to the right. Fat girl bent forward, pretending to work on her computer. Again, the television was blocked. Claire felt her rage simmering over.
She imagined stabbing the pen deep into that freckle. This was not the first time she’d imagined it. This time, however, she imagined the blood spurting in a glorious arc as fat girl squealed like a stuck pig before slumping forward, leaving an unobstructed view of the television.
She really couldn’t afford to fail another quiz.