Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chapter Two, Part Two

Hey, all.  In case you haven't noticed- whether you've read the other versions of this story or not- it sorts of includes certain elements of fantasy.  I think it's sort of a mix.  So if something seems a little like that to you, don't be surprised.

Please do let me know what you think of what transpires here, but rest assured that if it ripples you in anyway, that will probably be smoothed out next chapter.

Thanks for reading!


Bekah’s notebook thunked atop her desk and she snarled over her shoulder when Brian chimed his two cents.

“Mr. Shields, don’t mind Rebekah. She’s a bit of a dunce.”

With hoots, whistles and laughter lighting up the atmosphere, Bekah squared her shoulders, locked her gaze on Shields and waited for him to peel his own glare from the behemoth butthead in the back of the room.

“Mr. Shields,” she said through gritted teeth.  “Forgive the jocks and most of the dimwits in this room.  They’ve been mentally locked in the first grade for almost as long as I’ve known them.”

The few tsks and gasps that followed only made her grin. 

Oh, yes, bring it on, you pack of know-it-all sheeple. "I prefer a straight fight to all this sneaking around."

The new teacher, with his hand stuck on the back of his head, must have been maddeningly searching for a fair and balanced reply to this madness.  The pink that deepened his sun-kissed complexion stole a bit of Gee-Q-ee-ness from his demeanor, deepening her suspicion that this guy had always been a boy scout.  

Yes, she just knew it.  Boy Scout Extraordinaire, and she doubted there were many skeletons in this nerd’s closet. He’d no clue how to handle out of control jocks and bullies, so he might as well have packed up his little puter bag and headed on home.

Surprisingly, he seemed to regain his ground as he dropped his hand and the color left his complexion.

“I want everyone quiet,” he said sternly with his arms folded.  “The next person to provoke this quarrel will be sent to the principal.”

The principal?  Mr. Hack? Was he serious?  If so, then Shields’ uselessness matched Hack’s!  Not only that, but threatening to send these jerks to the principal would only make Shields more of a target.

Not even trying to hide her smirk, Bekah shook her head in disbelief…until Shields’ scowl in her direction seemed to spout a silent threat.

Don’t look at me like that, she almost said.  She hadn’t done anything to deserve any threats and if he thought she felt intimidated enough to run home to Mommy, then he was delusional.

When the snickering returned, she rolled her eyes and considered ‘provoking the quarrel’ so she could blow this insane asylum.  These people were all stupid beyond belief- except for a few who rarely laughed along with the rest of the evil-doers.

Evil-doers who deserved to be fed to a pack of zombies. 

She glanced back at Shields, who now stood with his hands resting low on his hips.

Dan resisted the urge to wipe the sweat off of his forehead. To do so would draw attention to the fact that he was nervous and unsure.  Should he resort to bribery for the second time on the first day of school?  The chocolate hadn’t exactly been bribery, but just a semi-healthy treat to wake the kids up and keep them attentive.  He hadn’t expected what he was seeing now- about half the class sending snide remarks and chuckles in the direction of one, lone girl, the boys in the back leaning over their desks with huge grins plastered on their faces as they appeared eager to receive Rebekah Rose’s next retort.

However, she’d resigned herself, picking her nails and chewing her lower lip, her foot tapping against the floor.  If she wanted to say something, she was either waiting for the right moment or…he doubted already that she was afraid to say it.  She’d already exhibited a fair amount of boldness.

What the he-heck had she done to deserve this kind of treatment?

Probably not much, if he knew anything about kids in general. They rarely needed much of an excuse to harass a peer.

His stomach in a knot and his inner self cautioning him, he reached into his pants pocket.  Rules and advice for dealing with an out-of-control class began swirling in his head- all great guidelines but were they always realistic?  Maybe –sometimes- he needed to pull from his father’s trunk of tricks. 

How often had Oliver Shields given gifts with strings attached?  The puppy, the motorized scooter, the tennis lessons, the motorcycle...

For years, Dan had despised his father for the games he’d played, but with time he’d realized that pulling those strings wasn’t always a bad idea.

Licking his upper lip, he whipped the tickets he’d stashed in his pocket over his head and waved them from side to side. 

Seemingly one-by-one, Rose’s mockers began to shut up, squinting to make out the writing on the ‘gold.’  All except Rebekah herself.  She was still busy picking her nails.

“What’s that?” some of the kids began to ask, but Dan simply pretended to zip his lips.  If they wanted to know what treasure awaited a few, lucky winners, they’d have to earn the right to know.

Aslan’s roar shot a chill up his spine.  He’d read through every Narnia story, impressed by the Biblical allegory and influenced to imagine Christ’s chastisement in the form of the great lion’s bellow. 

However, the real Christ understood what Dan was doing and why.  The school faculty might not have understood, but hadn’t other teachers resorted to rewards such as this for good behavior?

He’d sort it out later and he’d find better ways of dealing with these kids.  Individually.  He’d the feeling that Brian Cruise especially needed some individual instruction.

He suppressed a grin as the harassers fell silent.

Bekah peeked around the room.

It was quiet. 

Astonishingly quiet.  Not a peep, not a whisper, not a snicker to be heard. 

Shields had resumed his position behind his desk, casting weary glances here and there as he pressed buttons on his laptop keyboard.

What the…what the heck had she missed?  Look away for a minute and one would think the entire class had dropped dead.

But no…Miss Priss Kelly McBride was busy filing her long, red nails. Chelsea Prennis sat behind Murphy, picking at the paper of her uneaten candy bar.  To Bekah’s right, the cheerleaders gazed with open mouths at 
Mr. GQ, and the guys in the back of the room…?

Bekah spun around.  Brian, as usual, sat slouching with his legs practically blocking the aisle way.  Although his ball cap shadowed his expression, she caught him peeking at her before plastering his attention back on Shields.

What the…?

Had she been transported to the Twilight’s Zone?  Shields must have waved a magic wand to silence this pack of wolves.

Though she rarely spoke to her harrassers, she nearly grabbed Eric Payton’s arm and begged him to tell her what Shields had done to shut up the heathen. 

Had he done anything or had she blacked out for a few minutes?

Dang it, at least the gods could have arranged for Alice to share this class with her. At least then she’d have someone trustworthy to ask, but hey…what about Kevin Murphy?

Her head throbbed as she sought to distract the big nerd from sorting through his stack of multi-colored folders, and then Shields cleared his throat.

“So, I apologize for my silence this morning, but I’ve had quite a bit going on at home, hence the reason I was late.” He rounded his desk and leaned against it with one hand in his pocket and the other pressed against a dark blue tie.  “I’m not mentally all here, but I’m sure I’ll improve as the day goes on.  Right now, I’d like to go over the plans for this year and lay out some simple rules.”

He snatched some papers from beside his laptop and began passing those out as he’d done the chocolate, row-by-row.  When at last he came to Bekah’s desk, he produced a smirk, giving her the impression that he not only knew the depth of her confusion but also savored it.


She screwed up her brows as much as possible, the questions teetering dangerously on the tip of her tongue, but he simply moved on.

The rest of class time rolled by in a big ball of kiddiegarten rules and outlines of lesson plans.  All done in such a monotone that she doubted Shields would rise high on the popularity charts.  Somehow he’d struck gold on the first day, managing to silence all the jerks.  But it wouldn’t last. 

Still…what had he done to shut them up so quickly and so permanently (at least for today)?

When the bell rang and a flock of students quickly marched to Shields’ desk, Bekah slowly grabbed her books and stood.  And as though he couldn’t see what was right in front of him, Brian bumped into her left side.  Of course, he made sure to smirk down at her, his green eyes aglow like that dude’s from the movie Wolf. 

Bekah forced a flat grin, surprised to see him mosey up to Shields’ desk with the rest of the schmucks. About half of the other kids simply left the room, including Murphy, who kept his eyes fastened on Bekah the entire way.

Shuffling toward Shields, she paused behind Kelly McBride and cringed when she heard the redhead’s obnoxious gum chewing.

“What are those, Mr. Shields?” someone asked and Brian added, “More importantly, who gets them?  Doesn’t look like you’ve got enough to go around.”

“Shhh,” Shields pressed his index finger to his lips and Bekah stood a bit on her tiptoes to see between shoulders and heads.

Shields caught her eye and raised his brow as he’d done earlier.

Oh no.  Bekah lowered back to her heels. Please, God, if you’re there, don’t let him hold out one of his goodies to me.

“Here you go, Chelsea,” she heard him say.  “This will make up for the chocolate you didn’t like, right?”

What a dork.

“A ticket to the homecoming dance?” Chelsea sputtered and the other kids let out tsks and sighs, much like they’d done when Bekah had referred to them as mental first graders.

Smirking, Bekah thought she’d found her queue to march happily out of the room.  Maybe Shields wasn’t such a big dope, after all.  He’d tricked them into being quiet just for some homecoming tickets?  She nearly tossed her head back in laughter…until she heard him shushing them and bursting through their protests.

“Look, guys, behave yourselves and I’ll have something better to give you later.  This is…let’s call it a token.   Whoever gets these and continues to act like a mature, young adult while in this class room will get something better down the road.”

Oh, brother.  So, he was bribing them?  And  for a split second, she’d thought he was more resourceful than that, after all. 

Bekah rolled her eyes, debating whether to hang around and harass him or simply walk to her next class.   
Heck, she was used to walking in late, so why not have a little fun with this guy?  He deserved it, maybe as much as Towers had.

The anticipation of mocking him allowed her to endure the snotty looks she received after the mob of popular bullies turned to find her standing there.

“You’re not getting one these,” someone whispered, but Brian simply resumed smirking at her while rubbing his grand ole prize between his giant fingers.

“See ya, Rose,” he drawled, winked teasingly, and then chuckled before marching with his wittle fwiends into the hallway. How ever would they handle the mass of big kids swarming in their path?

Shields, his arms folding across his broad chest, cocked his head and studied her. “Would you like one, too?”

“What?” she pursed her lips.

“Interested in homecoming dance tickets?”

“Not quite.”

“Didn’t think so.” He shrugged one shoulder.  “Interested in the ‘grand prize?’”

“Even less.”  Teachers who offer too many prizes should always be held in suspicious light.

“Then why are you here?”

She twisted her right ankle lightly, trying to decide which snotty comeback to pull from her mental arsenal.   
“Just wondering what you’re going to do when your bribery fails.  Run home to mommy?”

His frown produced lines above the bridge of his nose and he briefly bit his lip as though holding back and equally snotty retort. Oh, how fun that would be!  Verbal sparring with the nerdy, new teacher who hadn’t a clue how to deal with real bad boys. Just wait until he was forced to break up a physical fight!  She wished she owned a phone just so she could snap a picture of his reaction.

“It’s not exactly ‘bribery.’” He peeked at his watch, allowing a few arm hairs to slip past the cuff of his shirt sleeve. “You’re going to be late for your next class, Miss Rose.”

“Then what would you call it?”

He leaned forward with his hands pressed against the edge of the desk and studied her, both brows perked and a small smile playing on his lips. This imparted the distinct impression that he was enjoying an inner joke or knew something she didn’t. 

Maybe his little ticket-pulling trick wasn’t what it had appeared to be?

She felt her books slacking in her arms as she narrowed her eyes. 

“Get going, Rebekah,” he said firmly.  “…or you’ll be late.”

CHAPTER THREE, PART ONE:  http://bloodyroseandthorn.blogspot.com/search/label/Ch%203-1

1 comment:

  1. Why couldn't I have teachers like him? *sigh*