Afterschool

Mrs. Johnson checked her wrist watch. Twenty past three. It had been snowing for almost 2 hours now. Looking out the window behind her, she could barely see the playground across the court through the thick white flakes of snow, falling in a slanted direction under the northeastern wind gusts.

Rake was sitting alone at her desk, flipping through the pages of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. Her thin jacket was zipped up to her chin, the hood pulled over her head. The pink straps of her Dora the Explorer backpack slid off her shoulders as she slouched in her chair and swung her feet—in pink and green polka dot rubber boots—back and forth.

“Maybe I should call your mom again?” Mrs. Johnson said.

Rake shrugged her shoulders. “She don’t get off work ’til six. She won’t be here ’til six.”

“Surely with the weather this bad—”

“Mama don’t like being called out early. She say it mess with her paycheck.”

What kind of mother, Mrs. Johnson thought. She sat her chin in her palm and drummed her fingers on her desk. Hank should be home with the boys by now. She picked up the framed picture of them at the beach last summer, Hank buried up to his neck in the sand, her youngest, Trey, balancing his red pail on top of his father’s head.

Why did the board even schedule school for today, knowing a foot of snow was in the forecast? It was bad enough they included Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a snow make up day in the school calendar, having to make up last week’s snow fall. At this rate, the kids would be in school all through Spring Break, and possible deep into their summer vacation.

Mrs. Johnson looked out the window again. The roads were already treacherous. Another hour, and they’d have to spend the night at the school and more than likely freeze, as the heat was already struggling to stay on.

“Do you live far? Maybe I can drive you home?”

“Don’t got nobody to watch me.”

“Not a grandparent? Your father?”

Rake shrugged again.

Mrs. Johnson sighed. Is this what Dr. King’s dream has come to, she thought, innocent children being abandoned at the schools during a blizzard—the parents too poor to leave their minimum wage jobs to pick them up?

Mrs. Johnson took her coat and scarf from the coat hanger. “Come on. We’ll have a sleepover at my house.”

Rake closed her book and put it under her desk. She hopped from her chair and tightened the straps on her backpack.

Mrs. Johnson took her hand and lead her out of the classroom. “Do you like hot chocolate?”

“Oh, yes!” Rake licked her lips. “With marshmallows!”

—Nortina


spf_1-18Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge for writers to create a 100-200 word story (sorry I went over 😦 )using the provided photo prompt. Click the froggy icon to read other stories inspired by the photo and add your own.

Hot Head

From her small balcony, the witch watched the world go by. At the bus stop, Jake and Donnie played Taps with Donnie’s basketball, jumping in the air to catch the ball and pass it back before their feet touched the ground.

Jasmine sighed audibly. Yesterday had been her last day in a public school after she’d set Mrs. Robertson’s hair on fire. That woman was too sexy to be a teacher, anyway. She’d still have a scalp if she didn’t shove her tits in Jake’s face to “help him with a test question.” It was only a matter of time before she’d be arrested for sex with a student . . . Well, probably not now . . .

The Christmas decorations lit up in flames as Jasmine dug her nails into the banister. Her mother burst onto the balcony, flung a dusting of snow from her hands to extinguish the lights.

“Please don’t burn down the house, honey,” she said, her droopy eyes pleading. “Again.”

word count: 149

—Nortina


Mondays Finish the Story: a flash fiction challenge where we provide you with a new photo each week, and the first sentence of a story. Your challenge is to finish the story using 100-150 words, not including the sentence provided.

Click the froggy icon to read other stories and add your own.

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