Storytime with Mrs. Rickles

The children sat in a circle. Jeff and Matt were shoving each other and laughing. Lisa, Nancy, and Tori were giggling about some shared secret that was no longer a secret. Joannie was staring out the window. Kevin sat silently, watching it all. Mrs. Rickles walked over and just stood there, towering over them, slapping a ruler against her palm, making just enough sound for everyone to notice.

And notice they did! After a few brief seconds, the room was silent. All eyes gazed upward at the direful, gargantuan matriarch of the classroom—indeed, of the entire school, since it was she who had been there longer than any other, far longer even than Mrs. Rawknash, the equally terrifying school principal.

“Children!” Mrs. Rickles’ deep voice boomed. “Now it’s time for us to share a story. Each one of you will contribute.” She smiled a strange smile down at them. A long rolling laugh eminated from deep in her chest and began to reverberate across the room.

“It will be fun, don’t you see?” Slapping the ruler…

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