Story Go Round 10/21/2006, round 2, #4

Into The Pot

(post-titled by John)

"Nothing a little brimstone won't cure, I dare say." Mrs. Calloway's stern face peered down at us. Lou returned the skin cream to his desk, the gift for her birthday, hoping she hadn't seen. The time was clearly not right - with her mad at the whole class - to ask for the candy, but every child shifted restlessly in their chair, wanting it. Their substitute teacher's costume, a long-nosed witch, face covered with hairy warts, had them all fooled. Gulled, in fact. This new substitute teacher was a fright to look at, but they weren't so sure she was as mean as she looked. After all, she measured them all with a tape measure and said that they would all get their own "costumes." A large pot from the cafeteria bubbled in the corner. Louis had never seen a fire in the classroom before, but thought it was supposed to be a no-no. The first child in to the pot was too astounded to protest, and sank down beneath the surface of the water smoothly, never to be seen again. the next tot that Mrs. Calloway called up to solve a problem on the board looked around at the others questioningly. Still hopeful of the promised treats, but unsure whether the risk was worth it, she went slowly to the front of the classroom. As she passed, Louis slipped a note into her pocket and coughed noisily. At the board, she pretended to think then wrote the answer Lou gave her.

"Wrong!" The teacher cried. "Into the pot!"

Lou's face twisted in horror.

Children in the class shifted restlessly again. They were beginning to see a pattern, and they weren't sure how many of them would have to be acidicly dissolved before they got their treats. A child in the front of the classroom sneezed from chalk dust.

"What did you call me?!" screamed the witch, and dragged sniffing freckled Jo to the now roiling brew.

"I want candy," Jo screamed petulantly, pommeling her new teacher with her tiny fists. The other kids were up in their chairs, pounding on their desks now.





Then one of Jo's fists hit Mrs. Calloway square in her hideous proboscis, and it flew off. With a screech the teacher dropped Jo and covered her nose with one hand while turning to look for the nose.

"That's it!" cried Lou to his classmates. "Get her!" He reached for his cell phone and began dialing the principal's office. But by the time the principal arrived, all she saw was orderly students sedately munching on candy bars, with the most delicious-smelling stew in a pot in the corner. So she grabbed a bowl and served herself.