Crooks and Grannies

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about Alarra



The Towel
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home of Aquila
Bored of Life
home of Melaura
F1 Rejects
pimpin' for Noch





a short story by Alarra


You’d said, Sir?
And he’d said Shh.

And you never uttered a sound after that, not even when you came, hard, pressed into the mattress of your dorm bed, pillow to one cheek. Not even when he dug his beautifully kept fingernails into your bare shoulders as he poured himself into you.

He would have made your life a living hell if you didn’t do as he said. He had the power to. The other teachers never had any complaints about you, but they didn’t hold your life in their hands every night. They never said words that ran chill fingers up and down the bones of your spine, even as his body warmed yours beyond bearing; words that you repeated every night after he left, to sing yourself into a stupor. All the other boys could see you, but nobody saw anything. They were just glad they weren’t you.

He was your lullaby from the first day, his image the last thing you saw behind your eyes every night after that. He smiled with a twinkle in his eyes to greet all the first years as they walked through the imposing doors; eyes that rested upon you a touch long as you entered, awed and afraid. You knew this was a school you had no business to be in, save that some lady had more money than she knew what to do with; but in the midst of the fear this kind-looking man smiled at you, and you believed it was fate. Here was what you had been looking for, here was someone you could love and trust for the first time in your lonely life.

You were a fool. Because when he finally came to you, it was to teach you that wanting leads more to giving than getting.

You learnt, in time.

He was your lullaby still, but now you never wanted to fall asleep again. Now he was in your nightmares, where once he had been in dreams you were ashamed of, cheeks flushing in class. Maybe if you hadn’t thought such perverted things then the torture of high school would only be getting the shit kicked out of you by the bored class bully and his minion-like friends. Anything, really, but this: little red crescents fading to white, marking your back, marking you as his. You never let the scars fade away. Everyone needs a permanent reminder of their greatest folly.

You aren’t surprised to find yourself back at the school as a teacher. The years pass, and you can still feel his hands on your shoulders every night, shaping your life. And then one day you find yourself looking upon his latest protégé with a kind smile of your own. Only second year, and looking so much like you it would be inevitable. Better you teach him what is to come, because his eyes shine trust, and you can’t bear to see it lost. Better you, and not the man who made you, who would make him.

He says, Sir?
And you say Shh.

September 2002



feedback welcomed