On the first day of first grade…
Jeffrey found his seat in Ms. Johanson’s classroom, sat down, and scanned the walls for…the Job Chart.
“There it is,” he said, relieved. It was hanging on the closet door.
Jeffrey read the list of jobs:
1. Clean white board
2. Feed hermit crab
3. Turn lights on/off
4. Office Messenger
5. Line Leader
"Good. I can’t wait to be line leader,” he said.
“Why?” Jeffrey’s tablemate, Bobby, asked him.
“I love being first out the door. And it’s fun being at the front of the line. When do we get our jobs?”
“I have no idea,” Bobby said.
A short time later, Ms. Johanson shook a jar of thin, brown sticks. “Each stick has a name on it,” she explained. “When I call your name, you can pick your job for the week.”
The class sat silent.
Ms. Johanson reached in the jar and pulled out the first stick. “Bobby,” she said. “Which job do you want?”
Jeffrey held his breath. He hoped Bobby wouldn’t choose line leader.
Bobby said, “Feed the hermit crab.” He whispered to Jeffrey, “I want to see if he bites me.”
Ms. Johanson pulled another stick and asked, "How about you, Missy?
"Missy smirked at Jeffrey as she said, "Line Leader."
"You miserable mortal fool!" shrieked Jeffrey, unable to contain his wrath. "Soon I will crush you all as insects, cast a thousand plagues before your trembling souls, and destroy all humanity with a sweep of my forked tail. I shall wrest the very stars from the heavens and turn every shaft of sunlight into bolts of blackest doom. And when I clutch the dust of this feeble universe in my hand, spitting blood into its lifeless ashes—"
"Jeffrey?" Mrs. Johanson said.
Jeffrey took a deep breath. Then he mumbled, "I'll do the lights."
Opening: MC.....Continuation: Whirlochre