The First Day

by Fred Miller

Their faces reflected an excitement that she knew from long experience would remain a remembrance of the first day of school. With verve and a smile she recited the rules each would need to learn for unexpected emergencies first graders always face once they realize permissions are needed to leave a confined, group environment. As she held up posters and pointed toward stick figures with raised hands, she heard the first shots, a pop-pop-pop noise much like a car backfiring off in the distance. Seconds later a louder pattern reverberated down the long, empty hall nearby. Never losing contact with widened eyes now glued to her movements, she continued her directive while she closed and locked the classroom door, and turned to face her new host of expectant souls. And waited.


Fred Miller is a California writer. Over fifty of his poems and stories have appeared in publications around the world in the past ten years. Many may be seen on his blog.