A pen hit the back of Miss Glowlit's head. She yelped. Admittedly, it was a goose quill pen, but still, the nib was iron. She drew in a deep breath and slowly turned from the board on which she was inscribing the Rules of Magic with swirls of her wand.
Jaelina. The little wretch was smiling unashamedly.
"Hey, Miss Got-No-Tits, I've gotta pee!"
"Then you should put your hand up, Jaelina. And it's Miss Glowlit."
"But I'm about to pee my pantaloons! And you had your back to me, Miss Go-Eat-Bricks. How could you see my hand?" Everyone sniggered.
"You could have simply asked."
"You told us not to call out in class." Everyone guffawed.
With a ragged sigh, Miss Glowlit turned back to the board. By doing so, she knew she had conceded defeat. She should have hauled the girl straight over to the Sorcerer-Disciplinarian's Hall: Jaelina had assaulted her! But last time Miss Glowlit had tried to discipline Jaelina, she had had the paint work on her carriage scratched. The very same afternoon. Jaelina might not have learned her lesson, but Miss Glowlit certainly had.
"I can't control them! They walk all over me!" said Miss Glowlit, weeping into her sodden lace gloves.
"You're so young. This is only your first twelvemoon teaching," said the Head Sorcerer. "It will get easier."
Briel, professor of warrior spells, stormed into the tearoom. "I heard that horrid Jaelina boasting in the playground. Little wretch! Take her up to the disciplinarian, Melia."
"I can't. She'll wreck my carriage!"
Jaelina wrecked it anyway. When Miss Glowlit went to it - her spirits soaring at a few hours respite from the abuse and degradation - she discovered new scratches, all along the door panels. Her heart plummeted. And caricature of a skinny woman, painted in brown, defaced the shiny blue rear. Written under it in appallingly unschooled letters was: Miss Got-No-Tits. Miss Glowlit bent closer to sniff the brown paint. Doggie waste, hardened with magic. Indissoluble. Except for a spell far beyond any lowly class teacher's skill. She straightened up, and squared her shoulders in a determined way. This time, Jaelina had gone too far.
The following morning Miss Glowlit made certain she arrived at work early. She sat in her glass and ivory classroom with the door wide open. Ten minutes before the first chime of the day, Jaelina sauntered in.
"Hey, Miss Go-Suck-"
Miss Glowlit interrupted her by reciting a spell expressly forbidden to teachers.
Ten minutes later, the rest of the class arrived. "Now," said Miss Glowlit in an unfamiliar, steely voice, "you are all to copy down my new classroom rules."
One. Respect teachers always, she wrote on the board.
"Chalk!" exclaimed a student. "You're so out of touch, Miss So-Many-Zits."
Miss Glowlit clenched her jaw and kept writing until all the chalk was gone. Then she faced the class and, with one mighty blow, blasted the chalk dust from her hands. A white cloud gusted over the students. Coughs and splutters ensued.
"If any of you are wondering where Jaelina is today, I'm afraid I transformed her into a piece of chalk. Now, who'd like to break the next rule?"
Copyright © 2005 Karen Maric.
This story was one of the commended stories of the 2005 Magic Casements Flash Fiction competition sponsored by Infinitas Bookshop.
This page last updated 16th September 2008.