Rated: E · Short Story · None · #2008704
Flash fiction contest entry for 9/8
|Patsy, the new school secretary, walked from her desk outside the principal’s office into my classroom during planning period. She plopped down on the edge of my desk.|
“Well, I was. How’s the day treating you?”
“Could be better. Both of old Anderson’s kids came in today for roughhousin’ on the playground. So I’ll get the pleasure of telling him the news they got detention.”
“Yikes. I’m glad that’s you and not me.”
“Why ya say that? I think you ought to be proud of how you talk. Not like most of us.”
“I’m not worried about my voice. I just get nervous talking with people. I get sweaty, and if it’s an argument, I end up agreeing with the guy even when I don’t want to.”
“Really? I’ve seen you in here talking. I reckon you do alright. Nothing outta the ordinary.”
“Well, I’m in charge here. There is a structure and an implicit agreement as to the roles we fulfill. I teach, they listen. With other people, I don’t know, there are no set rules to follow for communicating. It’s anarchy.”
“Oh, now. It’s not like that. When you talk, people listen. I listen. You get my attention every time,” she smiled with her signature half-grin.
“Oh you’re such a charmer.”
“I’m telling you, it’s not about agreeing on some set of roles. It’s about filling those roles and getting some sure footing. You talk with a steady voice, and nobody’s who’s got a brain is gonna ignore you.”
I listened intently, almost forgetting to respond. “Yeah, you’re right.” I said. I meant it.
“Listen, you know old Anderson’s number?”
“Got it right here on the old speed dial. Them boys are hellians.” she chuckled.
“I’ll make that phone call for you.”
Old Anderson listened.
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