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Fiction Funny

“Ellie, come out from under there.”

“No, I’m fine right here.”

“Come on Ellie, it’s getting late.”

“I’m staying here.”

“In a pillow fort?”

“Yep.”

“All night?”

“Yep.”

“Don’t you think that’s a little… I don’t know… immature?”

“Nope.”

“Come on Ellie, your bed is much more comfortable.”

“I’m perfectly fine here, thank you very much.”

“How about I get you a nice tub of Ben and Jerry’s and you crawl up here next to me and we will talk about it? Come on. I’ve got Chunky Monkey.”

“Good try, but I think I’ll pass.”

“Pass on Ben and Jerry’s? It’s Chunky Monkey! Your favourite!”

“I’m good. I’m staying right here.”

“Ellie, I’m serious. You can’t stay there all night.”

“Yes, I can.”

“No, it’s not right. Come on now, out you get.”

“Uh-uh! You can’t make me.”

“I’m not leaving you here all night. Come on, enough is enough, already.”

“I’m perfectly fine here, so you can just go to bed without me.”

“Look, this is silly. I’m not going to just leave you like this. Talk to me. Come on, sweetheart.”

“No, thank you.”

“Is it about school tomorrow?”

“Maybe.”

“Are you worried?”

“Maybe.”

“Talk to me, what is worrying you?”

“I’m scared that the kids won’t like me?”

“Sweetheart, they will love you.”

“No, they won’t, they’re mean.”

“Mean?”

“Yeah, they make people cry. And then they laugh and think it’s funny.”

“Look, kids can be mean, I get that, but you have to stand up for yourself. You have to be confident.”

“They will laugh at me, and I will cry.”

“Listen to me honey, you have to take deep breaths and remember that you are every bit as good as everyone else there. Be confident, smile. Kids like it when you smile.”

“But they will say nasty things. I can’t keep smiling when they say mean things about me.”

“Why would they say mean things about you?”

“Because they’re kids. That’s what they do.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Yes, I do!”

“Ok, some kids are mean, but not all kids. There will be nice kids, I’m sure of it.”

“How do you know? Have you met them?”

“Well, no. Not the kids in your class tomorrow, but it’s like anywhere. There are good people and bad people everywhere. You just have to look for the good ones. Do you remember what I told you once before? When you see the bad things happen on the news, like the Twin Towers falling, or countries being devastated by war.”

“Ah-ha.”

“What is it that I say? Do you remember?”

“Um, that there are bad things happening, but look for the helpers.”

“That’s right, look for the helpers. There are bad things everywhere and you don’t have to look too hard to see them. They’re big and scary and horrible and people get hurt.”

“I don’t want to get hurt.”

“You won’t.”

“How do you know?”

“Honey, you need to look beyond the scary situations and see that there are good people, too. They might not be so obvious, but they’re there. Quietly getting on with the job, caring for others, doing good and helping out. Just because the bad is so big, and loud and nasty, doesn’t mean that there is no goodness. It will be like that tomorrow, I promise. There will be the bad kids, the scary kids, the loud kids. But you have to look beyond them. There will be the good kids too. They might be quieter, they might not be so obvious, but if you look for them, they will be there.”

“But what do I do if they’re all scary? They will all look at me like I have two heads.”

“You’re over dramatising the situation. They will be curious, I’m sure. I mean, you’re new. They’ve never met you before. They will all want to get to know you.”

“What if they don’t like me though?”

“What’s not to like? You’re smart, funny, pretty and tell great jokes.”

“You never laugh at my jokes.”

“Well, I’ve heard them all before, but the kids tomorrow will not have heard them. Tell a joke, make them smile.”

“But then they will laugh at me!”

“No, they will be laughing with you, there’s a difference.”

“But what if they don’t laugh? What if they think it’s a lame joke?”

“Then tell another one. Kids like lame jokes.”

“I can’t do it. I’m not going!”

“Ellie, I am going to take this fort apart one pillow at a time.”

“No! This is my fort. Leave it alone!”

“That’s it! I’ve had enough. It’s tough love time. Look at me, Ellie.”

“No!”

“I’m not asking, I’m telling you. Turn your head and look at me.”

“You’re so mean.”

“Listen closely. I love you. I love you more than anything in the world. You are my everything, the best part of me. I think you are wonderful, strong, capable and clever. I am so proud of everything that you have accomplished. You know all this, don’t you?”

“I do.”

“You also know that you are being silly right now. You have to go to school tomorrow. You don’t have any choice.”

“There’s always a choice and I choose not to go. I don’t want to do it. The kids will be mean and I just can’t deal with it. I’m not going.”

“Those kids are not going to be mean to you. I won’t let them.”

“You won’t be able to stop them. You won’t be there.”

“There will be others there to help. I told you. Look for the helpers.”

“What if I can’t see any?”

“Then find them.”

“I’m scared. I can’t keep starting again. Every year starting from scratch. Learning new kids, trying to fit in. It’s too hard, and I don’t want to do it!”

“You’re good at fitting in. You will get to know the kids very quickly. Just focus on one or two new faces each day, and by the end of the week, you will know them all!”

“It’s still too hard. I’m not going to go.”

“You have to go, those kids need you.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re their class teacher!”

September 02, 2023 07:32

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41 comments

Delbert Griffith
13:39 Sep 07, 2023

LOL Great twist at the end. I was sure that we were dealing with teenage angst at a new school. At the end, after the reveal, I was hoping that the teacher's kid was the one doing the cajoling part. I suppose it was the spouse? This was a great dialogue-only tale, Michelle. You MUST be a teacher. I recognize the symptoms, my friend. I taught foe decades, and that excited/anxious feeling happens every year. I take it that this is a new teacher, so it's even worse. I remember my first day of teaching. Now I want to drink heavily and forget it...

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Michelle Oliver
13:47 Sep 07, 2023

Thanks for reading. Yep, I’m a teacher. There’s that moment of fear the night before you have to face a new cohort of kids, when you think that perhaps lion taming or snake handling are much more appealing career choices. As for who the significant other is in the story, I was thinking spouse but child would be even more amusing.

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Chris Campbell
08:55 Sep 07, 2023

Michelle, HA! Funny, did not even see that punchline coming. A teacher with beginning of school year PTSD. Well done!

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Michelle Oliver
09:47 Sep 07, 2023

This is me every year!

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A.B. Writer
19:50 Oct 15, 2023

Love this! I've read a book like this, and I never imagine the twist at the end. Please do more!

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Michelle Oliver
22:18 Oct 15, 2023

Thanks for reading this Avery. I don’t think there’s much difference between teachers and students at the beginning of the school year.

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Amanda Lieser
15:48 Sep 23, 2023

Hi Michelle, Oh my goodness! What a great take on this prompt and what an amazing twist! I did feel that you were a little bit hard on the protagonist; especially because I initially imagined them to be a child. However, the arc of the story proved much more fulfilling. Once you got to the very end, I also appreciated that this conversation took place outside eight teleport. That was just a delightful cherry on top. Nice work!!

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Michelle Oliver
23:15 Sep 23, 2023

Thanks for reading it Amanda. It was just a bit of light hearted fun. Being a teacher I often have this internal conversation with myself, haha.

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Charles Corkery
06:10 Sep 14, 2023

Great convo. Clever angle and twist Well done

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Michelle Oliver
09:52 Sep 14, 2023

Thanks for reading.

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Oskar Reiss
19:57 Sep 12, 2023

Ha ha very funny. My parents were both teachers, and I’m sure they would both attest to the fact that there is nothing worse than the summer ending!

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Michelle Oliver
22:34 Sep 12, 2023

Thanks for reading. I think so many teachers feel the same. Just some light hearted fun this week

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Rebecca Miles
06:09 Sep 11, 2023

Teachers of the world, build that fort and unite! At heart, we have the same fears, it's just the profession calls us to hide them. I hope you've found the helpers behind the scary ones. I dismantled my pillow fort last Tuesday; I'll always be thinking of back to school with this metaphor in mind now! Just curious, are you part time like me? I couldn't find time to write otherwise.

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Michelle Oliver
08:57 Sep 11, 2023

Thanks for reading. Im glad you can relate. Yes we are the master actors, and the Oscar for best performance in a real life drama goes to … all the teachers out there. I’m full time so if I don’t get my story written over the weekend, it doesn’t get written.

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Rebecca Miles
09:48 Sep 11, 2023

Wow, you deserve a double Oscar for full time drama/ teaching and then scribbling so successfully at the weekend 🤗

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Nina H
21:46 Sep 10, 2023

Lol! I think all the teachers/school crowd (🙋🏼‍♀️) knew where this was going because it happens every year!! Love it!

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Michelle Oliver
22:32 Sep 10, 2023

Yep, the dread of each new year. If only we could build a pillow fort and hide away until it was over! Thank you for reading.

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Kevin Logue
06:49 Sep 09, 2023

Ah you got me good, ha! Thought this was a wonderful mother daughter situation to the very end, well done. Had to reread for that factor and it went from caring to comical, that's just a stroke of genius right there. You get an A* from me! 👍

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Michelle Oliver
07:00 Sep 09, 2023

Thanks Kevin, something light hearted and fun this week.

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Tom Skye
20:27 Sep 08, 2023

Haha, that twist! Your bio says you're a teacher. I really truly hope this story is non-fiction ;) Another brilliant job Michelle. A very funny read!

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Michelle Oliver
00:53 Sep 09, 2023

Thanks, just some light hearted fun this week.

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Audrey Knox
18:02 Sep 08, 2023

This is a really fun, fast read. I also like the punchline at the end because it speaks to a painful truth: kids are mean and cruel and terrifying no matter how old you are. I do think I would have taken more away from the story if the main lesson the "cajoler" was trying to say was something more original than the "look for the helpers" Mr. Rogers line I have seen before on the internet many times. Also, the twist at the end would be even more satisfying if there were hints in the story so that if we were to look back and read it, it sudden...

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Michelle Oliver
01:04 Sep 09, 2023

Thanks for reading it. I do agree with you about the message.

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Michał Przywara
21:39 Sep 06, 2023

Heh :) I had a hunch :) The pillow fort seemed childish, but something about Ellie's language seemed too mature. Teenager was a possibility too. Nevertheless, very funny - and a little sad. I've never been a teacher, but I *have* been a student, and I definitely see this as a recurring battle at the start of each school year. Thanks for sharing!

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Michelle Oliver
09:49 Sep 07, 2023

I’m a teacher, and although I love my job and the kids I teach, starting again from the beginning every year is exhausting, so those first weeks fill me with both excitement and dread.

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Ty Warmbrodt
13:33 Sep 05, 2023

This is brilliant and so funny. My sister is a teacher, and this is what she goes through every year. Great story, Michelle!

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Michelle Oliver
13:37 Sep 05, 2023

Thanks Ty, the beginning of the school year finds me quietly rocking in a corner too! Haha

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Lily Finch
15:43 Sep 03, 2023

Michelle, this is hilarious. The teacher fever that begins every year at this time runs high. Great suspense and reveal. I had a suspicion that it was a teacher. LF6

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Michelle Oliver
22:42 Sep 03, 2023

Thanks Lily. A bit of a lighthearted story this week.

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Mary Bendickson
18:34 Sep 02, 2023

Had a suspicion it was the teacher's first day back. Thought maybe even the husband? God bless on this year's adventure.

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Michelle Oliver
23:47 Sep 02, 2023

Thanks Mary. I’m a teacher in Australia so we are halfway through our adventure here. It’s been a long term, and finally drawing to a close.

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Mary Bendickson
01:15 Sep 03, 2023

Stay the course 📚

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15:08 Sep 02, 2023

Thats a great twist at the end. The dialogue rang so true for a parent child conversation i could totally picture it, so i really fell for the ending. Well done!

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Michelle Oliver
15:16 Sep 02, 2023

Thanks Scott. I’m a teacher and I can tell you sometimes the dialogue rings true for me too. Haha.

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08:13 Sep 02, 2023

That was funny 😂. Great story. How did you get it out so fast?

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Michelle Oliver
08:20 Sep 02, 2023

Thanks. I’m a teacher. This is me at the beginning of every school year, haha!

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Kay Smith
16:18 Sep 09, 2023

LOL!!! Throughout this entire story I'm sitting here wishing that the mother was my mother! The mother gave such wonderful and sound advice to the child! The twist at the end cracked me up! I laughed out loud for real. Fabulous story!

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Michelle Oliver
23:46 Sep 09, 2023

Thanks for reading and I’m glad it made you laugh. Just a bit of light hearted fun this week.

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Mary Bendickson
18:34 Sep 02, 2023

Had a suspicion it was the teacher's first day back. Thought maybe even the husband? God bless on this year's adventure.

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Mary Bendickson
18:34 Sep 02, 2023

Had a suspicion it was the teacher's first day back. Thought maybe even the husband? God bless on this year's adventure.

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