Two Dimensional

     Mrs. Kelley droned about passive voice, prepositions and the evils of adverb abuse. Holly should have been listening. Knowing her luck there was sure to be a pop quiz she’d be ill prepared for if she didn’t. The old battle-ax had warned her not once, or twice, but three times that doodling in corners of her loose leaf binder was tantamount to checking out mentally. She had warned there would be consequences in the form of notes home, remedial homework and maybe even a failing grade. Holly knew all this. It even sort of bothered her. The old man would have things to say about how she was wasting his hard earned money on private school. That if she was just going to squander it slacking she was welcome to do so in public school. She stilled her pencil for a moment, set it down and straightened her posture. For a full interminable minute she listened to the monotonous cadences on the proper punctuation of dialogue tags. Tick, tick. The clock on the wall measured out the hour in dry, easy to understand, increments. She took up the pencil again, made hatch marks, vines twisted up and down the margins interspersed with stars, flowers growing out of pots, a man in profile peeking around a corner his eye lidded, his finger beckoning. 
“Little girl,” a voice whispered. 
She glanced furtively around but Kelley’s back was to the class and her classmates, their uniforms so neat and pressed. So uniform. A rebuke to her rumpled shirt, her food stained tie, the scuffs on her mary janes. All of then were bent in studious note taking. 
“This way.” The voice was coming from the page. He had turned, no longer in profile. He had a large nose and deep set eyes, the corner of his mouth pulled in a half smile. He reached out, fingers emerging from blue lined wood pulp, knocked aside her pencil, wrapped tight about her pointer finger and pulled, pulled, pulled. The sound of scratching pencils and the teacher’s voice faded. Holly closed her eyes tight, and when she opened them everything was flat, two dimensional and monochrome. The man, taller than she’d imagined, let go of her hand, turned and motioned for her to follow him toward the horizon line.

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