• Flux Magazine

"History Was Always My Favorite" by Shelby Liddicoey

James softly opened the first wooden door he came to and slipped inside quietly, so he

wouldn’t disturb the class of younger recruits. He sat on the black marble counter in the back of class as the pasty professor drew a diagram on the chalkboard in the front of the room.

This classroom was different from the rest; it hasn’t be updated with the modern technology used in other classes. It wasn’t full of glistening metal, but instead it was rather wooden and cold as if stuck in an older time that refused to acknowledge that it had been left behind. The professor, who turned back to face his class, acknowledged James with a side smile before returning to the chalkboard. With solid, graceful strokes, the dark greasy haired professor wrote the date 2 September 1666 on the chalkboard then tossed the chalk to the side, sat on the edgy of the mahogany desk, and scrutinized his classroom.

“Can anyone tell me what happened on this date?” The professor questioned in an

unusually gruff voice. The class remained quiet and inanimate. No one wanted to answer the

question nor have the attention drawn onto themselves. 

“I will stand here until someone decides to answer the question… I can awkwardly out wait all of you,” the professor taunted at his stagnant class. Then sluggishly a hand, in the middle of the room, was raised. 

“Yes, Nigel.”

“The Great Fire of London, sir,” Nigel answered timidly as if his answer was incorrect.

“That is correct, Nigel, and how exactly did this fire start?” the professor asked staring

directly at Nigel who was now flipping desperately through the textbook in front of him.

“Well, sir, according to the textbook…” Nigel started not knowing what wrath he had just

brought upon himself.

“What did I tell you was the sole purpose of that textbook, Nigel?” the professor stared

intently at Nigel.

“Kindling, sir,” Nigel answered trying to avoid the professor’s gaze.

“So why, Nigel, has your textbook not taken its proper place among its comrades?” the professor asked as he gestured to the furnace in the corner of the room; he was quite noticeably entertained by this conversation. Nigel, however, was anxious and appeared unable to speak. A loud bell shrieked in the distance, freeing Nigel from any more embarrassment. 

“Fine,” the professor crossed his arms, “next class we will finish our review on the 1600’s. And, Nigel, put that book where it belongs.”

The class exited the room in a cantankerous manor obviously not wanting to spend

another minute in the classroom. The professor looked on in a state of exasperation while pushing back his slicked hair with the tips of his lengthy fingers.

“I don’t remember the class being that bad,” James nodded toward the exiting students as

he wandered to the front of the room then sitting on the edge of the student desk in front of the Professor.

“It’s the same class it has always been. I swear this is the worst group of fish I have ever

had to teach,” the professor sighed and held his face in his hands. 

“But, of course, you haven’t taken time out of your busy schedule to listen to me complain about my students.” He smiled sadly and in the process revealed the tips of the fangs he so desperately tried to hide. 

“What can I do for you, James?”

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