The Burning Question

The teacher placed the stack of papers on the table and addressed the class. 
“Thank you for your essays. Are there any final burning questions?”

Most deliberately avoided her gaze, but one girl raised her hand, initiating a chorus of groans.

“Yes?

“Why do you always wear black?”

Insolent laughter erupted around the classroom.

The teacher nodded. “Fair question. It’s camouflage for my sense of humour— or my soul. You choose.”

She shrugged, and the collected papers behind her burst into flames then powdered into ashes.

She smiled at their silence. “Perhaps you’ll all be more respectful from now on!”

Classy Humour.

The teacher stood at the front of the room, textbook in hand, as the students settled down to business. 

“Please open your text book to page four hundred and four, and… yes, James?”

The teacher looked with anticipation at the young man sitting in the second row, hand raised and an awkward smile on his face. 

“That page cannot he found.” 

His classmates looked confusedly at James, and then at the specified page in their own books.

The teacher frowned. “Are you sure? There must be some kind of mistake.”

James’ smile became a triumphant grin. “It’s an error 404.”

***

Credit for this story must be given to my student, James, who actually did this in one of his classes, and gave me permission to write it as a drabble.

A Unicorn or Nothing.

“I want you to come in to work tomorrow.”  

“But it’s my day off!” Cassie pouted. 

“I realise that, but tomorrow’s meeting is important.” 

She remained silent.

“Look, I’ll give you a day in lieu a little further down the track.” 

Cassie almost snorted. “A day in lieu? Might as well be a unicorn.”

He frowned. “How so?”

“People like to talk about them, but everyone knows they don’t actually exist.”

“Cassie–“

“No. I must be owed ten days in lieu by now.  It’s a unicorn or nothing.”  She resumed typing, but the silence lingered until he walked away, defeated.

What’s Cooking?

A powerful new aroma rose drew demons from near and far to the enormous kitchen. 

“I smell sea salt,” moaned Festus as he wiped his drool on his sleeve.

“Do you really? I smell Vegemite!” exclaimed Provokus.

“You’re both wrong. It’s meat pies! That smell of melting, bubbling flesh is unmistakeable.” Cocky and confident, Argumentus sneered at the obvious errors of the others.

“Damn, I wanted some January 26 lamingtons, or a pavlova.” Minimus, the smallest of them all, who also had the sweetest tooth, looked very disappointed.

“Hey boss, what’s cooking?”  Festus asked.

Satan snickered as he answered: “Australia.”

Copyright 2019 by Joanne Van Leerdam

Facing The Monster.

2018-11-26 23.55.57

 

Defiant, I stood as tall as I could and faced the enormous beast.
Towering over me so that I was lost in the cold of its shadow, the monster met my bravado with silent derision.

I carried no sword, nor any other weapon, but deep within, I knew I could win this fight by using my wits. With all the strength and conviction I could muster, I growled, “As intimidating as you are, remember this: I created you, and I will defeat you.”

No longer able to maintain its composure, my to-be-read pile barely held itself together as it laughed and laughed.

 

©2018 Joanne Van Leerdam

Mind Blown

“I still don’t know what to do.” Greg’s words hung in the air, the atmosphere pregnant with frustration as his classmates’ faces mirrored the teacher’s umbrage.

The teacher glared, deliberately silent as heat flushed, dark red, up his neck and across his face. His mouth opened, but no words came. The sound of his pulse reverberated around the room, growing louder and faster as he fought for control.

The explosion, accompanied only by a vague squelch, spewed bloodied flesh and grey matter across the room. A disembodied eyeball on the floor continued to glare at Greg.

“Whoa!” he gasped. “Mind blown!”

©2018 Joanne Van Leerdam

Belly Ache.

Belly Ache

“Ohhh, it hurts.” He squirmed on his bed, gently rubbing his belly with his hands.

“Does it?” She sat on the edge of the bed and patted his arm.

“Yeah. Here… and here.”

“That’s no good.” She laid her hand on his slightly distended abdomen, finding it firm and warm to the touch. She could feel his muscles contracting as his intestines roiled and gurgled underneath her palm.

“And I’m hot.”

“Yes, I can feel that.”

“I want it to stop hurting.”

“I know. It will, soon,” she said, suppressing a wry, satisfied smile as she looked at her watch.

 

 

©2018 Joanne Van Leerdam

The Shadow.

ShadowThe child skipped down the sidewalk, laughing as she landed on her shadow. She began to stomp, landing her feet harder with each step.
Then, without warning, long shadowy fingers wrapped around her right foot while another dark, translucent hand reached through the pavement for her left. She tried to keep it in the air for as long as possible until, overbalancing, she fell to her hands and knees. As spindly, shady fingers swiftly grabbed each limb and pulled her down into the ground, her shadow leapt up, stomped hard with both feet until she disappeared, and laughed as it skipped away.

©2018 Joanne Van Leerdam

Flash Friday: Not Safe.

Not Safejpg

 

At 2.39pm, Caroline finally found an opportunity to escape from her desk as nature had been urging her to do for the past hour.

The only cubicle free was the last in the row, where a sign on the door read, “Not safe for use.”

“Don’t care!” she muttered.

She sat, then recoiled, certain something had touched her buttock. Before she could stand, cold fingers took firm hold of her like a bowling ball and pulled her into the bowl.

And the sensor on the auto-flush winked with satisfaction as it surveyed the empty stall with a locked door. Again.

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