Little Digits (Short story from Irredeemable)

Little digits hold long metal rulers. Children. Third graders.

Miss Janice sits in a desk, her bony knees pointing upwards at awkward angles. She writes the punishment phrase over and over.

“I will not talk in class.”
“I will not talk in class.”
“I will not talk…”

Her fingers cramp and the pen stops moving. There’s a blur of movement as metal rulers slap against the back of her hand. The flesh has swollen and peeled apart in several wide gashes, exposing tendons and the white of bone.

The children elbow each other for a turn with their ruler.

She wants to scream. But she’s learned the hard way that there’s no talking in class today. Only her tears talk.

From my collection Irredeemable
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