Avatar Author: RicoLaser Another Ficlets refugee. Collaborated on the unfinished, late, lamented (at least by me) Lake Derry Murders story with a fine writer whose name I'm ashamed to say escapes me right now. I live in Los Angeles and I'm an ... Read Bio

Dean Al French was sweating. He was always sweating. Students called him the Wet Towel. But this was different. This was unhealthy, had to be. If he kept his job he was finally going to use that union insurance, go see a doctor about this sweating thing. Probably glandular or something. It was the dead of December, and his office was like a sauna, and it was getting hotter by the phone call.

He sighed, stared at the ceiling, then out the window. Somewhere out there the superintendent of schools waited, with his brown teeth and bolo tie and his blocky, ridiculous shoes (nothing like Al’s own peppery bow-tie-and-sweater-vest ensemble), and wondered why men like himself, men of vision and talent and – yes! God forbid! – humor, needed to answer to soulless gremlins like the superintendent.

Al’s eyes alighted on the black and white photograph at the edge of his desk. Handsome woman. Bow tie. Long skirt. A jolly smile.

“They’ll never understand, will they?” He asked it.

The photo didn’t answer. It never did.

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Comments (2 so far!)

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  1. Avatar 32 ^2

    Rico, I wish you visited more, this is excellent, the brown teeth scared the hell out of me, and the Wet Towel made me laugh.
    Behind-the-scene happenings are hard to write. Your story doesn’t take the challenge literally, but it’s still all about the challenge, I love it! Your characters are phenomenal.

    Did you mean to write alighted? “Al’s eyes lighted on”. Or do you mean his eyes lit up?

    The mistake could only be in the interpretation, not in how you meant it to be read, so really not a big deal.
  2. Avatar RicoLaser

    Yep. I did mean “alighted”. No wonder I was a character short. :)

    Thanks. I’ll try to make it more of a habit to come around. This one was easy because I remembered reading this news story a week or so ago and wondering more about who the hell thought this was a good idea than what it was like for the poor kids who had to go through it…