eBookMemoir

Punishment

A cold wind spins and moves the autumn-dried leaves around in the courtyard. The cellar entrance reminds me of the gate to the dark interior of the school cellar hiding many hideous secrets. I go down the stairs, slide my hand on the moist wall and throw the switch. Damn! It’s out. I grope my way for the far end of the cellar and pick up a jar of pickles. My feet are cold and sore. Everything around me is black.
I can hardly see Al, our school janitor. His dark clothes have mixed him well with the surroundings. He is standing a few paces away, lingering. My ear is still sore from the unexpected slap that landed on my face in the absentees’ lineup. I just have to hand him the letter written by my brother. He will read and nod. Then, he will signal with his hand that I could go—and I run free and go to the class.
The coal has been piled up at one corner. What is supposed to happen to me? Most of all, I am afraid of his eyes. They fool you. He stares into the eyes of the student next to me but I know he is looking at me. Before I get a chance to give him the letter, …

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