Elephant Scabs

by Phyllis Rittner

We were thirteen, clutching our loose-leaf notebooks to our developing chests, singing Olivia Newton-John’s, I Honestly Love You, when the boy by the lockers shouted Mongoloid. You stiffened, so I steered us down the hall, avoiding your slanted eyes as you dragged your left leg behind you. While the others followed, jeering, I fantasized about stabbing the boy’s chest with my protractor. Instead, I pushed us through the cafeteria doors and waited silently until you stopped wheezing. At least there’s pizza, I said, grabbing us two plastic trays. Elephant scabs, you muttered, a half-smile on your lips.


Phyllis Rittner writes plays, poetry, flash fiction and creative non-fiction from her home in Watertown, Massachusetts. Her work can be found in HerStry, NAMI.org, Thisismybrave.org and Friday Flash Fiction. She is a Grub Street Free Press Fiction Contest winner and a member of The Charles River Writer’s Collective.