…Just pop in a video and they should be fine.
Right. There were bars on the classroom doors, she'd gone through not one, but two metal detectors and a pat-down, and she'd been told not to go to the bathroom alone- or not to go at all. Yeah, this sure seems like a school where things will be 'just fine'.
She shrugged, ignoring the students loud talking, and popped a dvd into the machine. She pressed play, then went back to the teacher's desk and sat down. The voices of the students were so loud that the video couldn't be heard. Frankly, she didn't care what the kids did, as long as they didn't kill each other, and left her alone.
Molly rose to turn up the volume on the tv. She turned it up to max, then sat back down to continue her search for an attendance roster. The students talking had dulled down, finally. Locating the paper, she rose again, and following instructions, she went around to each student, telling, not asking them, to show their ID cards to verify their identity. She was halfway down one row, when she realized that the students were now talking over the maxed out volume of the tv.
She swore silently. These kids are too loud. She wasn't about to yell over them, and they weren't about to listen to her, that was clear.
"Show me your ID card," she muttered to the group in front of her. They complied, continuing to shout to their friends across the room. After making her rounds around the room, she sat back down at the desk, folded her arms across her chest, already immune to the students unbelievably loud screams and laughter, and stared at the clock.
"Hey, hey Teach!" A young man whispered. She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye.
"You ain't wanna be here, do you?"
Molly snorted with laughter. That was an understatement. To be a substitute teacher in an inner city school was the last thing she'd wanted to do.
Originally, she'd thought that it wouldn't be that bad. With regular teaching, you had no escape. When you were a substitute, you didn't have to write lesson plans, and if your students were hellions, you never had to see them again.
It wasn't as though being a teacher had been her first choice. After Open House, when she realized just how much trouble she was really in, she began applying to jobs online. All jobs, any jobs. She stayed up till 4 am filling out online applications. She even got some calls. But the response was always the same: She'd been a teacher for the past several years, she wasn't qualified for the position they were hiring for. She hadn't been qualified to be a day care teacher, a dental receptionist, a filing clerk, a hotel housekeeper, a hotel desk manager, a general receptionist, an office assistant, or a telemarketer.
She's tried everything and looked everywhere. The answer was always the same.
It wasn't until she got her eviction notice that she finally filled out applications for school teaching positions. Still, no go. Then she applied for substitute teaching. Finally, after months of searching, she had a job. She'd started the next day. But oh, how she hated it.
She looked again at the student and answered, "Nothing personal kid, but I've got things I'd rather do than be here."
He grinned widely at her. "I know what you mean."
She stopped herself before she smiled back, then simply nodded instead.
"Hey," he hissed, "You scared to be here?"
She looked at him like he was crazy. She shook her head. It was true. And if it ever wasn't, she'd be damned if she ever showed fear.
"You should be," he told her. Not in malice, but simple truth.
Molly sat back again and took a sip of her water, glancing at the attendance roster. There were supposed to be 40 students between the ages of 16 and 20 in this high school classroom. She easily counted 60. And the numbers were rising.
The fact that there was a substitute that day spread like wildfire. Students who didn't want to go to their own classes came into her class. And what could Molly do about it? The school building was the size of two city blocks, and four stories high. For safety corridors were blocked off and had only one or two classes in what they called a 'block'. This was to prevent too many students from attacking a teacher at once. To prevent riots. Molly knew this without asking. She wasn't stupid.
The classroom telephone didn't work, nor did the intercom, and the nearest classroom was downstairs from her. What could Molly do? Nothing. So she settled back, resigned to that, determined to be nothing and not provoke these children.
When the classroom filled with 80 students, Molly thought surely someone is noticing the great mass of students heading up this way, during the school day. The great mass of security must be monitoring the situation. She hoped so, as from the shouting and conversations she'd been hearing, something was about to go down.
"Hey Teacher! What you gonna teach us today, huh?"
"Fuck this shit! This is bull shit! I don't even wanna be here."
"This hoe of a teacher, this skinny bitch gonna tell me what to do?"
"Fuck that! We ain't lettin' that happen!"
Molly felt her breathing quicken. The nice boy next to her had vanished from the room about a half hour ago. Maybe I should follow him, she thought grimly.
"I'm tired of this! Ain't you all tired of people tryin' to teach you?"
A chorus of agreement made Molly's ears ring. There were now 80 students in the room, mostly male by this point.
Suddenly she felt her breath catch in her throat. Uh oh.
"Hey, Amruddin!" Someone called out, just as a metal chair flew across the room. "Catch this shit!"
A whole mass moved from the area and the chair clanged to the floor. It was a heavy chair. The sound reverberated in the room.
The group roared with laughter.
"You tryin' to fuck with me, huh?" The man, Amruddin, Molly assumed, approached the other man, fists raised.
He lurched forward, the crowd keeping them apart. Laughter reigned again.
"Hey, let's see how well she dodges!"
Molly heard the words before she could fully process them. She was still in disbelief when she saw one of the heavy metal chairs hurtling directly towards her head.
She gasped and tried to scramble from where her legs were beneath the desk. She succeeded in falling just to the side of the chair as the flying chair slammed into the wall behind her, falling on her shoulder as it came down.
Molly bit back a cry of pain.
"Hey, she's like a cat!" Someone laughed. She heard more laughter then, both male and female.
What am I going to do? Well, what could she do? She rose to her feet, she knew if she showed fear it would only make things worse. Plus, they were blocking the door. She couldn't escape if she tried. So she stood there, looking defiantly at them.
"I got a better idea," another boy sneared.
Before Molly could wonder what that might be, she felt a strong arm grab her around the chest and waist, holding her in front of his body. This boy, was the size of a quarterback. This isn't happening, she told herself, this is not happening. What kind of sick person would actually do this to a teacher?
"Hey Amruddin!" The voice behind her hooted, "Come get her!"
She saw Amruddin's smile cross his face, just before she saw his fist raise.
No way, no way!
She looked desperately around the room. The students were cheering and watching as though it were a tv show.
This is a joke, there's no way he's going to-
The blow sent her sideways, out of the 'boys' arms. As she fell to the floor she heard a loud chorus of "Yeah!"
Then she saw the scramble of feet as more of them headed towards her.
Oh my god. As she saw fists and boots she also saw her life flash before her eyes.
"TOMMY!" She screamed. She screamed with all the strength and energy in her body. Screaming loudly enough, she hoped for Tommy to hear, even in his far away reality. And she wished to God she knew why'd they abandoned her again, when they'd told her themselves that they hated not being able to help her in the other classrooms.
Then, suddenly, he was there. Tommy was standing in the middle of the room, in his martial arts gee. He looked around the room clearly confused as to where he was and why.
"Tommy, help!" She screamed.
She saw his head turn to her like lightning, then saw his eyes widen in fear and rage.
He sounded a loud kiyie, and Molly was grateful that that got the attention of the boys beating her. They stopped.
"This is worse than putties!" He called out.
He seemed to debate whether or not to morph to fight these supposed children, but thought better of it. With a flying leap, he landed on a boys' back, toppling him. His goal was only to get to Molly.
Tommy beat the daylights out of the group surrounding Molly, and she was glad.
When he was finally at her side, she clung to him, and cried in relief and fear. "Tommy, get me out of here!" She begged.
"No problem," he grunted, and pressed his communicator.
As they were teleporting away, she heard him say, "At least I know what your power is now."
The rest of the story to be continued in a story titled, "Kimberly Hart's Dance Studio."