BENCHED, a birthday drabble for Shell Taylor


Ahhh, the glamorous life of a sixth-grade math teacher in Seattle's privileged suburbs.

Door-to-door commute: twenty-three minutes, barring extreme circumstances. Classroom time: eight to two, with lunch duty the third week of every month. Parent-teacher conferences, IEPs, in-service seminars, office hours, and weekly staff meetings. Okay, sure, check, yep, and fine.

Compulsory extracurricular coaching: fall, winter, and spring—a.k.a. the fine print.

"I never signed up for this." My appeal fell on deaf ears.

"Oh, but you did, Edward." Rosalie Hale, Headmistress of Seven Hills Academy, wolf in a fox's clothing.

"Fine," I grumbled, "Math team, chess club, and…"


Author's Note: Happy birthday, Shell Taylor! Thank you for inspiring me with your stories about kiddo's life on the tee-ball field, ranging from hilarious to tender and bringing back some wonderful and awful memories of my own kiddo's brief career as a tee-ball player. I hope your birthday is filled with all the best stuff: love, laughter, success, joy, health, peace, and friendship. I am especially grateful for the last one, especially this year.

Massive thanks to m'Ladyeire for her wildly creative mind. Whether we're collaborating on plot or banners, somehow, through a series of side-splitting misfires, we always manage to come up with something that just seems to work! You're a whiz with the pixels, V, and I couldn't ask for a more patient creative partner! DOUBLE MWAH! A special shoutout to my newish friend, Shad Masen, who found me through Shell but reached out one night to close the gap, and I am so glad you did! You were a natural choice as a pre-reader for Shell's birthday drabble, and I thank you for your insightful comments and your friendship. As I write this, I realize I've been so busy bombarding Chayasara with other things, I've neglected to run this one by her, so please don't blame her for my mistakes. As usual, they're all mine. PS- Chaya, have a few minutes to look at my other chapters? *bats eyelashes*

I plan to post a chapter a day until the story is told, but it's a busy time so I'll just promise to do my best! Also, please don't feel compelled to review every chapter. How about a deal? Hit me when something strikes you (OH, the baseball metaphors!) and I'll do the same with my replies! Just know, I do appreciate all your support and feedback. Cheers!