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The English Teacher

Todd stood at the front of his class, looking out over the loosely formed rows of desks, searching for a glimmer of interest among the students who looked miserably toward the open door or slouched in their chairs, their feet sticking out into the aisles. One young woman sat twirling her hair in an absentminded way that infuriated him. A boy from the frat house kept nodding off, then waking with a start that made the others around him giggle. Even had they read the assignment for today, which he was sure they had not, he was convinced they would never be able to see the symbolism of the light at the end of the dock. Or anything else, for that matter. He wondered what it would take. Even his retarded brother put forth more effort than this. He imagined bringing his gun to class, holding them hostage until they learned something. Half of them are scared of him anyway. The rest just think he’s crazy. The way he rages on about particular passages, sometimes standing on his chair to make a point, gesturing wildly, once killing a wasp barehanded for emphasis. If they only knew how trapped he felt.

Flash Fiction by Marcie McGuire

Published in Autumn 2017


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