Sunday, August 17, 2008

Miss Pickles is by no means boring

"SOOO!" Miss Pickles bellowed, skipping down the rows and waving her hands in the air. "Tell me, duckies. What have we been studying?" She did a cartwheel in the back of the room and leaped into the air, perching on the filing cabinet like a bird. Mason stared in fascinated awe. He had never seen a adult who was so crazy. In fact, he had never seen an adult do a cartwheel, now that he thought about it. Miss Pickles kicked her feet against the drawers and pointed to a girl waving her arm.

"Tell me, duckie, what are we doing today?" Mason turned and groaned. Beatrice Tucker was standing up. Her smirk was as wide as the flouncy skirts she wore every day. Everyone hated Beatrice. She was your standard teacher's pet who made it her mission to make everyone do lots of homework every night.

"Well," Beatrice began. The class groaned. "In English we were reading Where the Red Fern Grows. In science we were studying chemistry, in math fractions and in history...." The children heard a strange buzzing noise and looked to the back of the room. Miss Pickles had flopped over and was snoring. Her head hung off of one end of the filing cabinet, her feet from another. She looked like an electrocuted Barbie doll.

"Is she alive?" Ralph whispered. He nervously fingered a packet of chips. "If she's dead, do you think we'll get lunch? They wouldn't let us starve, would they?"

"She's simply making a point," Mason whispered. At least, he hoped she was. Miss Pickles was the only interesting thing that had ever happened at O.E. He would have hated it if Beatrice's monotone whine would have killed her.

"...and in P.E. we were studying dodgeball," Beatrice finished her tirade and took a deep breath. Miss Pickles sat up straight, shook her frizzy hair and slid off the filing cabinet.

"Rubbish!" she bellowed.

"Excuse me?" Beatrice blinked and turned pale.

"Brainless blathering!" Miss Pickles shouted, leaping to the front of the room. Mason watched in wonder as she hopped between the desks like they weren't even there. "A ridiculous waste of air! It makes me want to gag and shove a pencil in my eyeball!"

"What does?" Beatrice asked, slowly sitting in her chair. She looked around nervously, her eyes wide.

"All of--this!" Miss Pickles exclaimed, flinging her arms around. She seized a science textbook off a child's desk and thumbed through it. "Boring, stupid, outdated, terrible!" She flung the book in the trash and picked up a math book. "Bogus!"

The class stared at her in a mixture of horror and delight.

"Is she seriously throwing our books away?" Don whispered. "That's state property. I don't think she's allowed"--

"Let me ask you a question!" Mason suddenly realized Miss Pickles was standing in front of his desk. She peered down at him, waving a ruler with ribbons taped to the end in his face. "What's your name?"

"Mason." His cheeks flushed when he realized his voice had cracked. He heard a few girls giggle and slid down in his seat.

"Mason, duckie," Miss Pickles continued. "Do you actually learn anything in school? That you remember?"

"Is that a real question?" The words were out of his mouth before he could even form a thought. Mason clapped a hand over his mouth and stared up at Miss Pickles with wide eyes. Most teachers would have sent him to detention for that.

Instead, Miss Pickles beamed. "Precisely!" she bellowed. "You children have not learned anything! You're bored, you're tired, you're herded in and out like cattle. You know what I think you need?"


"What?" the class chorused. Every child was leaning forward in their seat, their gaze focused on Miss Pickles. Their cheeks were flushed with excitement and their eyes sparkled for the first time since their first day of school.

"An adventure." Miss Pickles smiled broadly as they whispered and murmured to themselves. "An adventure tomorrow. So pack whatever you think you might need."

Mason slowly raised his hand. "Where are we going?" he stuttered. Miss Pickles stuck her tongue out of the corner of her mouth. Her eyes crinkled at the edges as she smiled.

"No one knows. You don't plan adventures, you find them. That's why it's an adventure, duckie."

A sudden rush of adrenaline flowed through Mason's veins. Don chewed on his tounge as he thought and Ralph tore into his bag of chips, his fingers tapping the desk nervously. As Mason stared into Miss Pickles' wild eyes, he realized she was serious. They were going on an adventure. Instead of memorizing spelling or drawing circles to represent fractions, they were actually going to do something.

He had never been more excited in his life.

8 comments:

Bunny said...

you have me on the edge of my seat little one!!! I love this!!

jenjen said...

I can't wait to see what happens next!!!

Marie said...

And "I" have never been more excited in my life either! I can't wait to see what happens next Duckie!!! This is fabulous! Absolutely fabulous!

Lore said...

Wish I had a Miss Pickles as a teacher!!! At least I can now pretend I'm joining the class for the adventure. I've already packed all I could think of :D

noble pig said...

I've been reading to my kids this lovely story. Thay adore it.

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

I can't wait to read the next installment. I think that is the best compliment a writer can get. Very well done!

Prudy said...

Hooray! We need Miss Pickles around here! I felt like I could see Miss Pickles when I was reading. Can't wait to see what happens next.

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