MOUNTAIN FIRESTORM - MG Adventure Feb 17, 2021 11:46:08 GMT -5
Post by Jeanne on Feb 17, 2021 11:46:08 GMT -5
White triangles on a blackboard. A metal desk. A square math book. The only soft thing Walker could see in the entire classroom was Mr. Anderson’s pudgy arm, jiggling as he wrote numbers in the angles on the board. Chalk dust drifted through sunlight slanting in an open window. Hemmed in by hardness, breathing in all that chalk, Walker felt desperation welling up.
That window. If I have to escape, I could jump out that window, she thought.
Then, like a jeweled necklace glinting in the sunlight, she saw the perfect dimensions of a spider web across the window frame. Walker stared at it for a breathless moment. She could learn more about angles by studying the symmetry in that web than from a boring math book. Every kid could.
Stan, between her and the windows, noticed where she was looking. He elbowed his neighbor and pointed at Walker. He mouthed “Nerd” and “Nature Girl”, snickering.
Walker felt her face redden and turned away. Everyone’s book was open. Making sure Mr. Anderson’s back was still turned, Walker slid Raven’s Nature Encyclopedia on top of her math book. It was bookmarked with one of her Magic the Gathering cards. She stealthily flipped it open to where she’d been reading about carnivores. Stan smirked, raised his hand and coughed, trying to get the teacher’s attention. Walker stared at her book, ignoring Stan.
That’s when Ellen, next to the window, screamed.
Everyone jumped. The teacher spun around. Ellen pointed. A large, yellow and black spider had dropped onto Ellen’s desk. It crawled across her math book towards her. She scraped her chair backwards, whimpering.
Mr. Anderson shot Walker a desperate look. In fact, everyone in the room turned to Walker. She sighed, stood up, pulled her pencil case out of her desk, and weaved through the desks to Ellen’s. The offending spider was large, yellow and black, beautiful. Garden Spider. Page 18 in Raven’s. An orb web weaver. Harmless.
Well, if you weren’t a fly.
The spider’s web shimmered in the sun and gentle wind that wafted through the window. Walker still wanted to leap out the window and run. Run from the wall-to-wall hardness of sixth grade in a lifeless, concrete city and escape into the mountains where she had more than once felt her heart crack open. Instead she did what was expected. She pulled down the window, a barrier between that natural beauty and the hard reality of math and her classmates. Ellen stifled another small scream. Walker rolled her eyes, coaxed the spider gently into her pencil case and closed the lid. She noticed Ellen turn to glare at Stan, who leaned back smirking.
Walker took the spider out the door, down the stairs, and past the school secretary who looked up, smiling, and asked, “Another classroom visitor, Walker?” Then Walker was out the front door of the school. She released the spider in the school’s butterfly garden, a tangle of blooming shrubs she had helped design.