Flash fiction with the phrase 'This is the last straw'
|Atanu had retired into relative obscurity. A lifetime of living on the edge had ill prepared him for this new chapter but the job of a school teacher suited him well.
That day started off like any other. The students walked in with their usual chatter and took their time to settle down. He waited, a rare smile playing on his visage.
“Sir, Hema has taken my pencil box,” complained the cherubic child in mock outrage. Atanu said nothing but turned towards the culprit. She returned the box with a show of reluctance.
He cleared his throat. “Today we will start on simple algebra.”
A commotion outside the school stopped anything else he was going to teach that day. The class emptied even before he could say a word. He followed in exasperation.
He stared in disbelief at the scene unfolding in front of him. About ten large swarthy men were beating upon a young woman.
The grip on his unused cane tightened. Without a second thought, he jumped into the fray to shield the woman from the mob.
The men took no heed and added him to the receiving end of their punishment. At least the woman was being spared from the brunt of the attack.
Hema could not see her teacher getting beaten. She rushed at one of the men and tried to wrest the misshapen wooden club from his hands. The man turned around in surprise and lifted her by her neck and flung her away.
‘This is the last straw,’ fumed Atanu.
Years of service in the country’s most elite fight force stood him in good stead.
His ineffectual cane became a deadly weapon. The ten men were on the ground writhing in pain in a few seconds.
He sighed. So much for the peaceful life.