Under the Desk

I glance out the window. A man ambles about the playground, whirling the merry-go-round, dangling from the monkey bars.

“Bobby, what is twenty-one divided by seven?”

The doors slam with a harsh thud. His steps click on the tile floor. He pauses outside the room. I glimpse his face; it’s puckered and drips of sweat. He notices my gaze. His lips twist into a smile. Do I know him?

“Bobby, what is twenty-one divided by seven? Bobby?”

I slip under my desk and quiver. The sound is like a sledgehammer against thick metal. Mrs. Roberts swivels and drops her chalk.


Paul Rousseau is published in sundry literary and medical journals. A lover of dogs, he lives in Charleston, SC, and longs to return home to the west. Twitter: @ScribbledCoffee.