Fiction in a minute: Pizza Day

Flash Fiction Friday
1

Jacob led the line of second-graders into the east entrance after the first recess bell rang. Even on pizza day, the hallway smelled musty and sweet just as he remembered from his own school days — a nostalgic combination of floor cleaner, old books and pots of paste.

He pretended not to notice Emily, the assistant principal, leaning against the lockers. Her face was red and blotchy, her forehead slick with sweat.

She’d eaten up his lunch hour blathering about “child-centered data-driven emergent literacy learning quotient” after hearing this was his first substitute teaching job.  Jacob tuned her out. He wasn’t here to babysit seven-year-olds. He’d been hired to kill an unloved, inconvenient but well-insured wife of a man who was trading up for a newer model.

Jacob followed the last child into the classroom. He heard Emily’s heavy footsteps behind him and gritted his teeth.

She grunted strangely, and he turned to see her slumped on the floor like a giant bean bag.

A burst of kids’ laughter, then silence. Jacob bent down and saw panic in her brown eyes.

“I think someone poisoned my pizza,” Emily gasped.

“It was the pudding, actually,” Jacob whispered. “But I thought it would work faster.”

 

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Writing
Book Review: You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

This review first appeared in The Same on March 28, 2018. My freshman year of high school I crushed on a boy named T. After months of in-class flirting and meaningful looks, T. asked me to go to the movies with him one afternoon after school. My first date! I …

Writing
Book Review: Darkroom by Mary Maddox

Characters in Mary Maddox’s 2016 thriller, Darkroom, don’t crack many smiles. They live in a bleak world as full of shadows as the old-school darkroom where photographer Day Randall had developed her artistic images. When Day goes missing at the start of the novel, her absence sets her roommate Kelly …

Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Girl Scout murders

The summer of my eighth birthday was overshadowed by a grisly crime made all the more harrowing because of its child victims. On a humid and rainy Sunday in June 1977, the idyllic memories of summer camp I had shared with my friends shattered into shards of horror when three …