​​​

​East Fork:

A Journal of the Arts​​


There’s a round, brown cigarette burn on the shoulder of Pat’s football jersey. He asked me to wear it today and I obliged ‘cause no guy ever asks me to wear his jersey but it smells like a health textbook statistic and I’m regretting saying yes. Pat is kind of nice I guess but he’s not bright and he’s a bit of a racist Disney animal when it comes to culture. Mr. Caldwell is nothing like Pat. He’s smart, sexy, wears nice glasses straight from a Calvin Klein ad, and has these tired hands from taking care of his Seven Year Old Daughter Who Has Epilepsy. I want them all over me. He’s the school counselor and I pretend like I’m depressed or making myself vomit or something so I can go talk to him on Fridays. I walk into his color-blocked office and he flashes his coffee-stained smile at me. I pretend like I can’t see the picture on his wall of him and his fatass wife. Fatass, that’s what I’ll go with today. Last week I was “having nightmares about death-slash-dying.”

 
“Hi, Olive,” he says to me as I plop myself down on the weird seventies combo of beanbag and actual stable chair. I imagine him saying my name like I’m his nymphet and he’s Humbert squared. 

“Hi, Mr. Caldwell.” 

“So how are you today?”

“Good I guess. Except I couldn’t bear to look at myself in the mirror today.”

“And why’s that?”

 
“Because I’m so fat and it makes me want to kill myself. But I’m fine, really. Don’t worry about me, Mr. Caldwell.”

 
“Why do you think you feel that –”

 
Mr. Caldwell’s McDreamy voice is interrupted by the lady cop-esque principal over the intercom, sounding panicked.

 
“Attention: an armed intruder has entered the building. He is on the English floor moving towards what seems to be the cafeteria. Begin armed intruder procedures.”

 

The pulse behind Mr. Caldwell’s trick-or-treating eyes begins to quicken as he mutters shit under his breath. I think I had a dream about this once. This is so hot. 

 

“Come on, Olive. We have enough time to get out of here,” he says, maintaining composure but not without the throbbing vein in his forehead coming out to tease me. I feel his warm, slick palm wrap around the entirety of my twig arm and pull me with so much force towards the hallway that I feel my inner thighs burn into Mount Vesuvius in its heyday.

 

“Where are we going, Mr. Caldwell?” I say, starting to make tears come out of my eyes. Sometimes he puts a hand on my shoulder when I cry. I can hear all these entitled kids on the stairwell screaming and frantically calling their mothers on their iPhones and I wish they would shut the hell up.

 
I’m trying to hear Mr. Caldwell’s hot breath so I can remember this moment forever but I can’t tune into it over all of the noise. I hear a gunshot close by and Mr. Caldwell almost screams but holds back and pulls me in tighter as we continue to push forward. I’m crying heavily now after years of practice, and Mr. Caldwell is all over it. This is delicious. The principal is shouting something over the intercom but I can’t understand it and then the elevator at the end of the hallway opens to reveal a tall man with a black glock in hand and a ski mask over his head. I feel Mr. Caldwell gulp as we are at the front of the pulsing crowd facing the shooter. 

 

“Hey, man, who do you –” Mr. Caldwell raises his rich voice. It is met with fire and bang. 

 

“Mr. Caldwell!” I shout in the dramatic cry I’ve rehearsed in the mirror a million and one times and drop to the floor like a penny out of a loose grip. Blood is spilling out of his white shirt pocket all over the concrete-pretending-to-be-carpet. He looks good in this shade of red. Really good. The mob is trying to run around Mr. Caldwell and I on the floor but  there is no room to escape. Bang. Bang. Bang. The kids are shrieking louder now and the gunshots are so loud that I can hardly focus on soaking up how sexy Mr. Caldwell looks dead. I’m honestly going to be so sad when he has to get buried and I’ll never see his face this heroically slack and bloody again. Bang. 

 

“Oh my god, literally shut up!” I shout at the shooter for ruining my Bond girl moment and bang the metal fills my brain like pancake mix on a hot skillet.

You Know How Bad Girls Get
By: Daisy Bentley