The Substitute Reader

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: 'The Odd Ones'
Wallis Jones is a nice boy who loves to library. He loves listening to Ms. Adrianna, who tell stories every friday. But this friday is different. Ms. Adrianna didn't come. Instead, there was a substitute reader and her name was Ms. Rodes.

Submitted: March 14, 2016

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Submitted: March 14, 2016

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Wallis Jones is a nice kid who loves stories.

Every Friday after school, he rides his bike to the library so he can listen to Ms. Adrianna in her reading session, sharing classic fairytales and other kinds of short stories. Wallis loves the library. Ms. Sandra, the librarian, and Ms. Adrianna are both nice to him and he enjoys his time there.

 

He felt a buzz in his pocket. He took out his phone and saw his mom replied to his text. He shrugged and shoved it back inside; he didn’t know why his mother bought him a smartphone; his parents didn’t have phones when they were 12, but Wallis weren’t like other 12-year-old’s. He didn’t need one.

 

“Good afternoon, Ms. Sandra!”

Wallis greeted Ms. Sandra Avocet, the librarian. Sandra smiled as she sees the boy. Wallis has been attending Ms. Adrianna’s reading sessions ever since he was 3-years-old. Sandra has known him ever since he was 3-years-old. She sees him as her own child.

 

“Oh, good afternoon, sweet Wallis!”

“Where’s Ms. Adrianna?”

He asked curiously, as he looks to his left and right. Ms. Adrianna usually waits at the librarian table, while she stares at the whining kids that were forced by their parents to stay at the library to listen.

 

“She couldn’t come today, but she’s okay! There is a substitute volunteer, though, so no worries!”

 

“Oh, really?”

 

Ms. Adrianna never skips a day. After years of attending her reading sessions, Wallis knew that Ms. Adrianna never skips a day. He was worried.

 

“She’s fine, dear”

Ms. Sandra said with a small chuckle.

“I’m sure you’ll like the new substitute…you’ll be fine, Wallis”

 

Wallis glanced at the time and nods. He waved to Ms. Sandra before he starts walking to the reading room with his hands stuffed in his hoodie pocket. Inside, there were a few 6-year-old’s, and there were 10-year-old’s too.

 

Wallis sits near the corner of the room, while he listens to two 10-year-old girls having a conversation.

 

“I don’t get it! Why does my mom still want me to come?”

A girl with pink streaks in her hair whined.

 

“Ugh, I know right? Like, I’m almost a teenager, I don’t need to know these bullcrap stories”

 

Wallis cringes as he tried to ignore their conversation. If he had recorded it, and showed it to them 5 years later, it’ll be a totally cringe-worthy recording.

 

“Hey, Wallis!”

A voice said. He suddenly sees Hugh, a boy from his class.

“Are you babysitting too?”

 

Wallis looked around and saw that Holly, Hugh’s little sister, was in the room.

“No, I’m always here every Friday”

 

“Are you serious? Dude, my mom literally dragged me here, and you came here willingly? If it weren’t Holly’s first day, I could be playing my PS4 right now…you know how lazy I get”

 

Wallis nods, although he weren’t really paying attention. Soon, Ms. Sandra came in the room, with a lady following behind her. The lady stared coldly at the group of children who were on their smartphones. When her eyes landed on Wallis, he gave her a smile and what surprises him, was that she smiled back at him; a warm, grandmotherly smile.

 

“Guys! Ms. Adrianne couldn’t come today, so Ms. Rodes is here to substitute her for the day! Be good to her!”

 

Ms. Rodes sat on the chair, as she stares at everybody in the room. She knew that most kids here were either forced by their parents or babysitting the smaller kids.

 

“Gather around, children”

Her voice said. The little kids started to gather around her, bouncing excitedly while some of the older kids rolled their eyes.

 

“Man, this is going to be boring”

Hugh said, but Wallis wasn’t listening. He listened to Ms. Rodes.

 

“Today, we won’t be reading any books”

She said simply.
“I have my own story to tell, and I remember this story by heart…this story is called the armless kid”

 

Some kids cringed, some rolled their eyes, but Wallis raised an eyebrow. He was curious.

 

“Once upon a time, lived a kid who was born in a very rich family. His name is Richard”

 

“Richard was handsome, and he was liked by all his friend, but he was a very lazy person. He’s got his own driver, maid, cook, and everyone else to do his jobs for him. “Clean my shoes!” he would scream…”Buy me food!” He would command”

 

“His parents were too busy to notice, so he didn’t give any cares. He orders everyone around him, and everyone was blinded by his charm and money! Until one day…his personal nanny quits. His parents quickly hired a new one for him”

 

“It was a lady, and her name was Ms. Grunger. Ms. Grunger knocked on the door of his room. “It’s not locked!” he screamed. He glanced at her quickly, and he didn’t acknowledge her arrival. Instead, he clapped his hands and said, “Get me the water” but the water was on the table”

 

“”The water is closer to you” Ms. Grunger said to him, but he didn’t care. “Well, it’s out of my reach, so fetch it for me”. Ms. Grunger didn’t say a thing. She smiled, and grabs his water for him”

 

“Days went by, and Ms. Grunger was ordered around like an animal. He even asked Ms. Grunger to change the TV channels for him! Until one day…”

 

“He went home, all sweaty and tired. He almost failed his PE test! People were surprised he didn’t order someone to run for him! When he got home, he directly throws himself on the sofa and yelled for Ms. Grunger. “Get me some lemonade soda from the fridge!” Ms. Grunger sighed and folds her hand infront of her chest. “Did you know that sloth, or laziness, is one of the 7 deathly sins?” but Richard didn’t care! He kicks a cushion off the sofa and yelled, “Did you know that dehydration can kill a person? Just get me the damn drink, lady!”

 

“Ms. Grunger didn’t say any other words, although when she left, she was muttering words…words that Richard didn’t understand. When she came back with the drink, he directly gulps every drop. After he ate some snack, he napped up in his room”

 

“He had a great, peaceful nap. Everything seemed okay for Richard. But after he woke up from his nap, he couldn’t get up. He noticed his hands were missing! He yelled and screamed, but nobody came. Until finally, Ms. Grunger walked in and smile, saying, “Now you don’t have to do anything ever again!”

 

At the end of Ms. Rodes’ story, some of the smaller kids were hugging each other, terrified. Ms. Rodes smile.

“There, there, children… you all are brilliant, and you wouldn’t do what Richard do, would you?”

 

“No!”

They chorused together, making Ms. Rodes smile.


“So did you get the lesson?”

 

A small, redheaded kid raised her hand and said excitedly.

“We shouldn’t be lazy!”

Ms. Rodes clapped her hands.

“Excellent, my dear! We should always do productive things while we still can do it ourselves! Imagine, if you wake up without—“

 

“Are we done? I want to go home and buy some pizza”

Hugh suddenly said, cutting off Ms. Rodes.

 

“Oh, are you going to buy some on the walk back home?”

Ms. Rodes asked. Wallis raised an eyebrow secretly; that was an odd question. Why does Ms. Rodes want to know?

 

Hugh laughed.

“No, I asked my mom to pick me up…I’ll order some later”

 

“Why don’t you just walk or bike home?”

 

He shrugged, getting a little bit annoyed at the lady’s nosiness.

“Too lazy”

 

Ms. Rodes smile, but this time, it was different, and Wallis noticed. It wasn’t the grandmotherly smile he saw earlier; this was different.

“Well, young man, you and I needs to have a little…talk”

 

Wallis saw as Hugh suddenly stare blankly ahead, and followed Ms. Rodes. But he shrugged it off.

When he walked out of the room, he saw Ms. Sandra, who sighed in relief when she saw him.

 

“I knew you were going to be okay”

 


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