Lucas Weismann

Writing Prompt 4 – In a Pink Room

The room is too pink.  Somehow this is the only thing that Johnny could think as he entered the second grade classroom.  Pink winged babies with weaponry he would not be allowed to use in school, pink hearts with white lace, pink streamers and altogether just too much pink.

Miss Winkler always did that.  Every day was celebrating some sort of holiday.  Finally it was Valentine’s day.  The decorations had been up for three weeks.  The unfairness of the world weighed down on him as he thought of how he’d been teased for being in the kissing classroom.  He slunk lower into his seat, wishing he could melt out of the room.

None of the other teachers do that, he thought as he pulled his books out of his desk and slammed them down a bit harder than was strictly necessary.

He looked over at Josh.  Josh looked just as miserable.  So did Dickie and Billie (the class twins).  It was alright for all the girls.  They were supposed to like all that kissing stuff.  No one made fun of them.

Oh well, he thought.  At least tomorrow it would all change.  Leprechauns and Rainbows and Pots O’ Gold.

“Hello Class!” sang Miss Winkler.  Johnny hated that.  People should sing when they sing and talk when they talk.  It was so stupid when people just sang everything they said.  It always made him feel like they were treating him like a little baby.

He turned to the door, bracing himself for what he knew would be one of her ‘special outfits’.  Miss Winkler always wore her special outfits every holidays.  Every kid knew it.

On president’s day last year, she dressed as Lincoln, beard and all.  After Easter Break she wore an easter bonnet and bunny ears, and a normal outfit, but glued a big cotton ball to her butt to make a bunny tail.  (Okay, that one had been funny, but only because no one had seen the tail until she turned to the board to write something).

Oh no.  It was worse than he’d thought.  Her dress was a pink Alice-In-WOnderland Dress with a giant Cupid on it.  That wasn’t the bad part.  The cupid was him.  It had his green eyes, curly brown hair and small pointed chin.  Oh no, this was not going to be good.  he had to get out of there before


Too Late.  Class had officially started. There was no escape and now everyone came to order as she started with Roll Call.  This was terrible!  Everyone was gonna see the picture when she put down the Roll Sheet and then… then… well, he didn’t know what would happen, but he knew it would be bad.

Oh no, she was halfway through the list now.  She called his name and he raised his hand slowly.  Not long now before his school career and friends were over.  There’d be no playing on the cool parts of the playground after this.

Another Winter Gone – 2

Mark.  Mark.  Mark! His head snapped up out of the book he was reading.  Which was it, Jack London or Farley Mowat?  Either way, it didn’t matter.  Books like this had been as better than any drugs to the young Marcus.  Truth be told, they still were, even now.

He turned to face his mother.  What had she been asking?  He had no idea.  He hadn’t even heard her until the third time she’d called him.

“yeah mom, what?” he asked, trying to sound positive rather than grumpy about being pulled out of the world of wolves.

I said, ‘Did you get your chores done?’

“Mostly,” he said.

“so, no.”

“What?  I did get them mostly done.  I did more work than I should have to.”

“Really?” she sounded intrigued.  Crap.  That was way more dangerous than if she would just yell at him.  “What percentage exactly do you think you should have to do of your chores?”

“well, I…”

“no, I’m really interested.  I mean, what if I only cooked you half your dinner?  raw meat and cooked vegetables.  or no meat and raw potatoes and vegetables.  What if I half-did the pancakes?”

“yeah, but…”

“how would that work do you think?”

“it wouldn’t.” She didn’t understand.  God he hated the lecturing. The telling him things he didn’t want to know and acting like it was for his own good.  it made his back muscles clench up and the hairs on his neck tingle just remembering it.

Yes.  Dishes needed washing and laundry needed folding.  But how could that compare to the magic of Jack London, Farley Mowat or Mark Twain.  The guys in these stories went on adventures and explored and found Gold!  No laundry could compare with that.  In the eternal summer of his memory, there was no greater joy than escaping into the woods with a snack, a canteen and something to read by his holy trinity of boyhood authors.

Well, that or books that taught you real skills.  Things like tying knots or wilderness first aid, or starting fires, or which plants were good for medicine.

Marcus loved the First Aid books best of all.  There was something so compelling about the idea that if someone were to get hurt (not that you’d wish for them to get hurt, but if they did get hurt and you couldn’t prevent it), that you could do something! I mean, how cool would it be to stabilize a broken arm until you could get the person to a hospital.  Or that you could staunch bleeding enough to buy the person time enough to get to a doctor or someone who could sew them up right.

How could any stupid chores compare with that?

I mean, as soon as he was able to, Marcus planned to head away into the woods or the mountains so he could be a mountain man like Jeremiah Johnson.

Then he would live in his own cabin and not have to do any stupid chores.  He’d just live off the land and be free.  A free man (boy), not constrained by other people’s schedules or rules.

It’s strange how some lessons only become obvious after you learn them.  It’s also strange how much and how little we know about the future when we’re that age.  How hold had Marcus been?  Five years old, six maybe?

The longer he lived, the more the crayons of his memory melted together in the slow heat of time.  Eventually unusable and amorphous, but still pretty in an odd way.

Scroll To Top
%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar