flash fiction / Uncategorized

Inmate #56031

There was a time when I was in Advanced Science, you wouldn’t believe it now, I know. Science class with Simone Hobbs, her white face just like Snow White with bloodlust lips. That school was all of us from the Far Hills, us advanced kids, the top of the pile, one up from the really poor kids, we didn’t have Jordans, but at least our water was on at home so we didn’t wear dirty clothes when we colored in ovals on tests about atoms, plant systems and the definition of work. That one was my favorite, the meaning of work. Work hard, Johnny, they said. Work your way right out of the Hills into the water plant. They’ll pay you $550 a week, honest work too, keep on studying. Step away from that window, don’t listen to the gang calls that chase you deep into your nightmares and leave you grappling for the edge. It’s a fine edge too, gleaming and sharp as a razor. I was also in Advanced English, but that was only for 8th Grade. I somehow got lost between the purpose for writing and the main idea. My English teacher said my thesis was loose. After that, it was all downhill in 9th Grade.

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18 thoughts on “Inmate #56031

    • It surely would be, Debbie. It does take resources in the form of afterschool programs, mentors, volunteers in public schools. I wish that as a country, people would value our public school system. If we did, the world surely would be a much better place for all of us. xo

  1. Powerful and sad. The words teachers say stick. So do the words peers say. Especially in 8th and 9th grade. I remember someone saying that a child was definitely going to be a leader; perhaps a leader of a country, or perhaps a leader of a gang. Yes, a fine edge, gleaming and sharp as a razor.

    • It is sad, Jennie. I wish we had more support for our public schools. I wish we had more mentors and volunteers, afterschool and meal programs in poverty-stricken areas. I wish all the people that criticized the public school system would help volunteer to make things better and stop wasting time running it down. I know full well that you understand what I’m talking about. Thank you for being a teacher. xoxo

  2. Honest living seems dull in comparison to the fool’s gold of gang life and cheap thrills. I don’t know what parents or teachers can tell kids to get them to understand it. I think some mistakes, we just have to make for ourselves. 🙂

  3. This is a sad one, Lana. It amazes me how little of our resources as a country we invest in our children. They’re the future and they deserve every helping hand they can get. Heartrending writing.

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