Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Mischief Managed

“The monsters are coming, the monsters are coming,” yelled the teachers. The students ran aimlessly looking for the exits with no monsters. “They are here, they are here,” screamed the parents in unison.
No one expected this reaction of panic, after all the students had been taught what to do in case of catastrophe. Single file to the right, exits right; single file to the left, exits left. Everyone gathers in the yard, either to the right, or to the left, accordingly. They practiced it so often, mornings on a row. The parents bragged about this school being the most efficient and safe, of all schools, also the most expensive. It built up the curriculum, it had a sound name, and it would open doors. It would, but not if everyone died at the hands of the monsters.
The running around, the screaming, the shoving lasted a few minutes that felt like an eternity. Well, they lasted up until the moment the director of the school arrived from an unexpected meeting at the National Board of Education, much to his aggravation, because he always wanted to welcome the students and their parents on the first day of school. He could hear all the yelling all the way from the end of the driveway. He could see the monsters too. As he stepped outside of the car, he blew his whistle, the one he always carried around his neck for rebellious emergencies, and brought students, parents and teacher alike to a halt.
“What is going on here?” he asked. “The monsters, the monsters,” someone screamed. “These?” and the director pointed at the gigantic plastic tentacles peering through the windows. Everyone felt a bit silly. They were made of plastic and no one had noticed.
The students and teachers went sheepishly to their classrooms. The parents were embarrassed. The director headed back to his office smirking. “They will never know what hit them.” When he took his hand out of the pocket of his jacket, it wiggled, and it was a tentacle, but not a plastic tentacle.

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