They knew their teacher wouldn’t be there today. What they’d wind up with was another story. Subs weren’t what they used to be, not that they’d been around all that long but long enough to know something wasn’t right with the young ones who spent more time on their cell phones than they did talking to the class.
The eight of them were gathered outside the classroom door. Locked! Up the stairs she came. “Don’t tell me they’ve locked us out” she began to say when one blurted, “we’ve got the witch!” She looked at him but he was happy, and had excitedly thrown his hands in the air in celebration. “Witch! Because I have curly hair! Witch!” She turned to see who she could find with a key as a monitor reached the top of the stair and let them in. “I didn’t mean anything. I wasn’t talking about you” the boy had nervously sputtered. “You didn’t say anything until you saw me.” She wasn’t about to let him off the hook.
They all got situated. “Come up front and sign this sheet. We’ll use it for attendance. You know,” she said as they gathered round the desk, if I were a witch I’d have turned you into a frog by now and wouldn’t turn you back until you’d caught an insect with your tongue and swallowed it.” “I ain’t eatin’ no bugs’ he nervously replied to everyones’ laughter, his eyes darting around the room. “Einstein had hair like this. Wouldn’t you be better off saying ‘hey it’s that teacher with the crazy Einstein hair’?”
The others went back to their seats smiling but he hadn’t replied, distracted by a partially webbed fly on the windowsill.