Halloween at School
A cacophonous symphony of shrieking students, blood-curdling laughter, and the shrill ringing of the bell greeted me as I entered the school. How could I forget, it was Halloween! The entrance hall was decked with gauzy ghosts and vampiric looking witches floating in mid air directed by electronic controls. Tangled jumbo spiderwebs supported a vibrantly purple banner with a screaming gold-colored Happy Halloween sign. Whenever you touched a doorknob, a deafening screech would resonate inside and outside the school.
I looked hurriedly at my watch. “Just in time,” I thought, and made my way to the back stairs, a convenient alternative to the crowded hallways.
I got to my math classroom, a large, airy room, offering a view of the old, gnarled tree ornamented with several bird feeders, when the teacher rang the euphonious chime.
The teacher was an anachronism resembling an arachnid (today perfectly fit for the occasion); he wore a black three piece suit, patent leather shoes, antique glasses, and carried a tattered umbrella which was rumored to be his great-great-great-grandfather’s. Most students dozed off to his droning voice until being awakened by a test or a quiz. My innate horror of spiders helped me keep my attention on him out of fear that he can turn into one and spring on me. Therefore I was the best math student.
When I rushed into the English classroom, everyone was absorbed in Greek and Latin roots. The lesson was interesting, but nevertheless my neighbor, (named Rafalk), kept bombarding me with things I couldn’t see. I guess he wanted me to pass something to his friend, maybe a secret message, but whatever it was, it didn’t get past me.
By this point Rafalk was called to the whiteboard, and he tucked an object into his pocket. Returning to his seat, he placed it on my desk. I nearly freaked out; it was a tarantula.
“What is the meaning of the word chronology?” the teacher's voice came from afar, calling out my name. “Spider! Tarantula!” I gasped to the greatest enjoyment of the class. I wanted to bring forward my explanations but the plastic spook had vanished from my desk. At that point, the lesson was over.
At 3:35, the automated megaphone, which didn’t want to synchronize its recordings with the recesses, produced a hoarse honking snort. I skipped out of the building into the golden autumn sunlight. The freshly fallen maple leaves were crisp and crunchy under my feet, and the sky had not a cloud in its vast depths. I raced through the village, scaring up a flock of pigeons, and sat down, breathless, on a bench on the common.
Putting on my right soccer cleat, I felt something inside. There it was; the plastic tarantula!