There is one more coming, and it is the best of them all. But, as it has not yet been sent to me, I cannot yet give it to you.
HIGH NOON FOR THE HIGH-BROW EYEBROW
There is a great and terrible power that dwells on Mr. Appel’s forehead. His left eyebrow, though small and hairy, proved a fearsome foe. Originally I knew it only as a friend. Like Balaam’s ass, it would turn freshman fools from the anger of the Lord—quivering suspiciously whenever our answers were leading us out onto the skinny branches of believability, as if to say “why don’t you stop while you’re ahead?” or “actually, that’s a heresy.” But I remember the day I finally provoked that awful eyebrow to wrath.
For several weeks I had passed Lordship lectures submissively, quickly lowering my eyes when, in the course of his pacing, Mr. Appel’s domineering gaze would meet mine. However, familiarity breeds stupidity, as they say, and I soon found the courage to hold my head up. The next time our eyes met, mine stayed put, and his widened in interest; what was this, a challenger? Then we battled. Across rows of tables and unknowing students we battled, grappled silently, unmoving, unflinching.
By some strange trickery my eyes were instantly parched and itching; I could feel them shriveling like little grapes in their sockets, but I was already committed to this fight and not about to blink. Sensing my resistance, his gaze narrowed—the way a cottonmouth coils and condenses before it strikes. Then, whip-crack! went the eyebrow as it leapt to the middle of his forehead, delivering the fortieth lash to the fleshy backside of my soul. My spirit utterly undone, I cowered in defeat, and the wrath of the eyebrow was satisfied.
Word Count: 254
April 22, 2008
Well Done, Sister Suffragettes!
Against the Offensive Notion that Men Own Everything Simply By Existing
It was war: full-out, cross-that-line complete annihilation on the church lawn. The boys started it by transgressing the ancient boundaries. Their sticky-fingered adolescent selves insisted on taking over the giant fir tree that was, coincidentally, the girls’ fort. We, being the superior of the species had snagged that prime real estate long before their sordid clan had learned intelligent speech. Our tree had a lore all its own, its blood-red trunk boasting tales of murderous carpenter ants infesting its cavernous interior. The boys were relegated to the only remaining land of any strategic value: a giant divot in the lawn, a stone’s throw from our tree. Their pitiful little hollow that was woefully unprotected. Our tree, by contrast, was a bastion of female security. It was far superior and their primitive eyes burned with desire and cast scheming glances at our branched fortress. One Sunday afternoon, as we skipped in daisy dresses across the lawn, we were met quite unexpectedly by the sight of their smug, smeared male faces peeking out from behind the maternal boughs of our fort. Well, we had squatters’ rights on that tree and no amount of masculine invasion was going to change that. Nose to nose with the snot-faced Neanderthals, we demanded our rights, but brandishing their rudimentary weapons, they only threatened us with grunts and sticks of fury. Our shrill voices raked the silence on that breezy afternoon in the daisy field between the divot and the tree and there was a line drawn and it meant war.
Word Count: 261
Dreams are Truer than You Think
Behold, in my dream the red brick walls of New Saint Andrew’s College, my new institution of learning, towered before me. Its walls seemed to be as thick and tall as the mightiest of fortresses. The ominous sky behind it bubbled like lead, full of malice and hatred. It seemed as if the entire principalities and powers assembled against NSA prepared to vent their rage.
Suddenly I looked, and behold! I saw Dr. Atwood standing atop the school, and over his head he held the giant leather-bound book with the name of all the students there were and who were to come. And he spoke with a voice like thunder; “Come!” and Behold a teacher with a white tie sprang forth from the fortresses’ walls. In his left hand he held a Latin textbook and in the other a projector’s remote, and he said, “Latinam aut mortem!”
Again Dr. Atwood’s voice shook the foundations, “Come!” and behold a second teacher sprang forth with a tie the color of crimson. The wearer was permitted to take happiness from the Liberal Arts students by making them take all of the quadrivium.
Again “Come!” summoned a teacher; this one wore a tie of blackest night, with a pen of deepest red in his hands. “Augustine, Calvin, and tales of food and wine right before lunch are in what I delight!” was his cry.
For a final time Dr. Atwood cried “Come!” And Behold! A teacher with a tie the color of a corpse, and to him was given authority to crush freshmen’s spirits and ridicule them; and his name was Nate Wilson.