The Break Room

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A boy has had enough and just needs a break. cover picture credit:

Submitted: April 24, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 24, 2017



The powder went flying. It sailed through the air in a glorious arc, dumping black powder that would never come out of whatever surface it met. For what seemed like an eternity, it sailed towards the boy. Then, it hit him and his pristine, white shirt. He stood there for a moment, stunned.

His teacher’s jaw dropped and she stared at the boy. “WHAT! DID! YOU! DO!? Do you even know how long it will take me to get that off all the counters and floors? It will take forever. I bet you don’t even care.”

The boy was awe struck. The rest of his honors biochemistry class stared at him, then at their teacher, then back at the boy. None of them could believe their teacher. Nothing had been done on purpose. The boy had merely slipped and hit the container of carbon powder on his way down. Now he was embarrassed, lying on the floor, covered in powder, and angered beyond belief.

The boy stood up and looked his teacher in the eye. “Mrs. Anderson. I am going to wash myself off now. I am also going to leave the room before I smash your desk in half. I think this will work out better for the both of us.”

Without another word, the boy left the room. As his teacher screamed at him, he ignored her and kept on walking. Once he got to the door, he opened it and slammed it behind him with enough force to shake the building and bend the metal frame the door was sitting in. He walked the short distance to the bathroom, trying and failing to keep the powder from falling onto the floor.

He turned on the faucet and started washing his face and hands. He took off his shirt and tried shaking it out. When that didn’t work, he tried washing it out under the faucet. The boy began speaking to himself quietly, “Oh, I’m so sorry about your counters. I definitely did it purposefully. It was all just a big joke. Ha, ha, ha.”

This was not the first time this teacher had done something like this. She constantly yelled at him for talking when she completely ignored the conversations around him. She mistook his intentions and made them seem malicious. The boy was legally able to test in separate rooms with the doors closed, because he physically couldn’t focus when around others, but the teacher refused to let him be alone and would often keep all doors open so he could hear everything his fellow students were doing: tapping on tables, whistling, scratching their paper, and everything else in between.

He was sick and tired of all of it. He had tried to be nothing but respectful, but to no avail. A friend of the boy brought the boy his backpack and the boy went home. Once the boy arrived, he went into his basement, away from his family, not so he wouldn’t hear them but so they wouldn’t hear him. He went into a small room, closed the door behind him, and turned on the light.

There wasn’t much in the room. The walls were covered in tarps and there was a cheap looking shelf on the wall. The shelves held a baseball bat, a sledge hammer, glass vases, glass plates, wooden boxes, empty cans, and anything else the boy could smash. In the middle of the room, a tree stump was present and came to about waist level.

The boy grabbed the sledgehammer and a shell of a former washing machine that wasn’t more than a box at this point. He set the box on the stump, lined up his shot, and swung. He let out a scream of rage as the hammer connected with the box and flung it into the wall. Before the box hit the ground, the boy gave another swing and sent it sailing to the other side of the room. He walked over to the box and gave it swing after swing after swing, until his voice was hoarse from screaming and his arms were dead from swinging.

Afterwards, the boy sat down on the stump, set his tool beside him, and examined his work. The washing machine was dented beyond belief and could never be bent back to normal. The boy felt better about life now. He wasn’t happy about it, but he was ready to deal with whatever crap his teacher decided to throw at him. The boy had realized a while ago that sometimes, you just need a break, and sometimes you just need to break something. 

© Copyright 2018 Joshua Rowe. All rights reserved.

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