Ch 7. High School Ritual: Class Time (SepSceneWriMo)

Four high school students encounter an evil spirit. Thoroughly cliched and hopelessly derivative.

On the Monday morning following the game, Vanessa, Chad, Natalie, and Mikhail were seated in their first period English class.

Natalie held her head up with one hand, her face curtained by her faded green hair, stared down at her notes, and tapped her pencil on her desk. She didn’t wear her signature black glitter eyeliner, as she still suffered the effects of a weekend-long crying jag.

Vanessa furiously twirled a section of hair and stared at Chad, who was reading a magazine he had placed inside his textbook. He sat a little to the front diagonally, where she could observe him but he couldn’t see her. She studied him to see if there were any obvious effects of her incantation on him.

Mikhail sat next to Natalie, but may as well have been alone on the moon for all he noticed of his classmates around him. He hadn’t bothered to bring his books. He was pissed at himself for having let another weekend pass by. He said the same thing to himself every Friday morning, and every Monday he’d still find himself sitting in first period English.

“Natalie, pull your hair out of your face and please read the first two stanzas,” the teacher said as she went past the desk of Natalie, who was now sketching Mr. Squeaks on the book’s margin, on her way to open the window.

 Oh God. She tucked some of her hair behind her ear, swallowed and began,

“I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the Heaves of Storm –

“The Eyes around – had wrung them dry –
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset – when the King
Be witnessed – in the Room.”

“What? A fly?” Chad dropped his magazine and waved his arms around.

“Mikhail, can you please finish the poem?” the teacher asked.

He continued to stare in the general direction of the chalkboard. Every Friday morning, he made up his mind, and every Monday morning, he was in class.

 “Mikhail? Finish the poem, please.”

His attention turned to the teacher. “The poem?”

Natalie, unable to bear another’s discomfort, held her book across to him and pointed to his stanza. Without taking the book from her, he leaned his head and read, with increasing interest,

“I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away
(“I hadn’t considered that angle,” Mikhail thought)
“What portion of me be
Assignable – and then it was
There interposed a Fly –

“With Blue – uncertain – stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –“

“Vanessa? What is Dickinson trying to express?”

“Um, I dunno—she forgot to buy Raid before she died?” The class laughed.

“You’re a dolt. Can anyone answer this?”

The room was silent.


A thin snake of smoke slipped through the window and up along the ceiling. As the teacher berated the class for its lack of preparation and ability to think, the smoke seemed to be searching for something. Vanessa, with heightened senses, saw it immediately. She watched with glee as it swirled first around Chad, and then Natalie and Mikhail as they read the book. All three of them stood up, coughing hysterically.

The smoke alarm went off and everyone had to evacuate the room. School was canceled for the rest of the day.

12 thoughts on “Ch 7. High School Ritual: Class Time (SepSceneWriMo)

    1. I use the omniscient when I need everyone brought up to the current moment, and then use a limited form in other “chapters.” Hit it and quit it. I don’t know how much Virginia Woolf you’ve read, but I’ve been reading “Night and Day,” and she was amazing at switching POV’s without your even realizing that you jumped from one person’s head to another.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I liked this, it’s a natural progression which gives us an opportunity to watch the characters reaction to the situation. It was great for providing insight into their mindsets. Looking forward to the next instalment

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah the plot thickens! I love the image of Vanessa studying Chad intently, not like to flirt with him, but to check if her curse is working.

    “She didn’t wear her signature black glitter eyeliner, as she still suffered the effects of a weekend-long crying jag.” – Something about this detail is bugging my inner beauty product junkie. Like what does this mean exactly? That she still has eyeliner streaking down her face? (in which case, girl, use some makeup remover!) I know you probably meant that her eyes were red and puffy, but I couldn’t get that image of Natalie going to school with streaks of eyeliner down her face out of my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I’m glad to get a feminine perspective. I was picturing a makeupless, pasty, puffy-eyed face. But she does have her face streaked with makeup half the time. Thanks for your input, any more questions about details, let me know!


Leave a Reply to Jewish Young Professional "JYP" Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s