Gum Belle, Episode XI, Part IIRecess is only fun for those who are too old to have it anymore.
To these individuals, who enter adulthood looking back over their shoulders through rose-colored glasses, recess is a childhood idyll, of pint-sized sportsmen playing stickball under a golden noonday sun, of chubby-cheeked cherubs in pinafores and pigtails playing jump rope, of breathless laughter and joshing jackanapes.
These sad optimists were the ones who misspent their own recess nose-deep in a book that was two grades higher than their reading level. How else could they have missed the real thing?
For recess is a concentrated mirror of real life, the parents concerns and rat-race jockeying reduced and distilled into a more flavorful and totemic versions of themselves, the muted colors and subtle shadings heightened and rendered more brightly and creatively than before. The child idolizes and imitates its parent, and what troubles the one often traumatizes the other.
Francis Chapel Elementary School was no excep
Miss Twist: PrologueEast Berlin, December 14th, 1965. 8:30 PMMiss Twist: Prologue5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
It was snowing on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall.
The woman in black burrowed deeper into her coat and rubbed her hands together beneath her fur hand muff. It couldn't be warmer then fifteen degrees Fahrenheit, and the harsh, blustery wind made her face numb and stiff. No wonder the lovely lads in the press department called this the Cold War.
She turned down a narrow, dingy alley, her boot-heels clicking briskly on the cobbles. Something vaguely human was huddled beneath a pile of white-dusted rubbish. She made the effort not to look too closely at it. She couldn't afford pity. She was on the clock.
The alley opened onto a street. Across the way was a local bar. Its small-paned windows were too frosty and fogged up to see inside, but two drunks slumped by the front door, singing boisterously in German. Best to move now, before they saw her and wondered why the pretty lady was skulking in the shadows. The woman in black twitched her s
Gum Belle, Episode IIGum Belle, Episode II7 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
a spray of gas bombs hit her square in the face and blossomed into sickly green fumes. Gum Belles eyes rolled back in their sockets and her head fell into a stack of her own coiled neck. The crooks van roared off, its six heavy wheels leaving deep tire tracks in the unconscious womans shapeless body. Bum Frank coughed and sneezed and struggled against the belt that kept him tied the deathtrap that was now the freighter Confidence, but to no avail.
Just then, FBI Special Agent Lionel Ricketts awoke with a gasp and a pounding headache. The Confidence was littered with bodies, and there was a big pile of some rubbery red sheeting in the middle of the deck. The custom armored jobbie was long gone, but the cloying stench of the gas was everywhere.
What a mess, he grumbled. Leave it to the criminal element to vomit all over six months hard work. Jenkins was still curled in a fetal position next to one of the gangsters, whose gas mask ha