by Paul Beckman
When the bell rings and the color is announced everyone not wearing the color of the day must stop what they are doing and sit, lie or lean. Today the color is green so the greens can go about their business–and at times their business is monkey business with greens of either sex.
The school is thinking of changing the rule, but today at the meeting to discuss it, the bell and “Code Green” comes over the loudspeakers. The Assistant Dean and the English Lit teacher were in green so they exited via separate doors and met in their lover’s alcove in a rarely used section of the building.
Since the Assistant Dean is often privy to the color of the day he makes the best of it.
A week after the meeting the rules have been modified. Now when the bell rings no one can talk. The people who get hurt the most are the ones having to get to a job or doctor’s appointment so on the down low an insurgent group, The Anti-Colors, has been meeting and planning an overthrow of the school administration to do away with this tradition.
A week later the bell rings as everyone’s settled in their home room and the announcements are made and the color “Yellow” is called out. The Anti-Colors ignore the bell and the loudspeaker and hurry to their assigned locations. First they take over the admin office and grab the microphone and announce, “As of today there will be no more bells and colors.”
Two of the seniors, laying in wait, enter the Dean’s office as he’s about to enter the English Lit teacher who’s bending over his desk, her yellow thong on the floor, his bright yellow sweater askew. He pulls his pants up and she gets off the desk and snags her thong and keeps it balled in her hand behind her back.
“We, as representatives of the students, demand you make an announcement agreeing with the abandonment of colors and bells.” The Dean leaves the English Lit teacher and hurries over to the admin office and makes the announcement.
Students and teachers alike know he was forced into this position. They’re expecting some kind of counter move and are at the ready.
For the first week everything is fine and then a fire breaks out in the back of the auditorium from faulty wiring and the announcement follows: “Code Red, Code Red, abandon the school immediately.”
Code Red signifies danger and could be anything from a fire to a gunman but the students have wised up to their game-playing administration so they sit in their seats chatting away.
Paul Beckman was one of the winners in the Queen’s Ferry 2016 Best of the Small Fictions. His 200+ stories are widely published in print and online in the following magazines amongst others: Connecticut Review, Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Flash Frontier, Matter Press, Metazen, Boston Literary Magazine, Thrice Fiction and Literary Orphans. His latest collection, Peek, weighed in at 65 stories and 120 pages. His website www.paulbeckmanstories.com.