Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Knuckleballs
by
Zalman Velvel

Three hundred impatient teenagers formed a mob outside the front doors of Massapequa High School. They were allowed to leave school grounds for lunch, but once out, they had to remain out, until thirty seconds before the next bell.
 
Mr. Dukay stood by the doors. His responsibility was making sure no one came back in early, loitered in the halls, and disrupted classes in session.
 
Toby Atfield stood on the perimeter of the crowd. He looked at his watch – three more agonizing minutes to go. Mr. Dukay was occupied, checking a student's book bag. Toby cupped his hands over his mouth and shouted, "Okay! Go in!" mimicking Mr. Dukay perfectly. The horde rushed in the doors, before the teacher could call them back.
 
Toby was almost through the doors when a hand reached over and grabbed the front of his shirt.
 
"I saw you, wise guy." The hand tightened its grip, twisting the material.
 
"Let go, Mr. Dukay!"
 
They were eye to eye, nose to nose. Both were six feet tall, with the older man having twenty years and as many pounds, over the younger.
 
"Get going to the A.P.'s office!" Mr. Dukay ordered.
 
Mr. Dukay shoved Toby. When Toby slid to a stop, Mr. Dukay shoved him again down the hall. Toby planted his feet, resisting the next shove.
 
"Move it, Atfield." Mr. Dukay reached for Toby's shirt again.
 
"That's it. No more." Toby knocked his hand away.
 
"You got a problem, Atfield?" He stuck his finger in Toby's chest.
 
"Just keep your hands off me." Toby thought about breaking the finger.
 
"Atfield, you want to settle this in the men's room?"
 
"I'm not afraid of you, Dukay."
 
"Let's go."
 

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© Copyright 2012 by Zalman Velvel Inc.
 
 
You may print this story for yourself, but not make copies without author's permission.
 
 
 
 
 

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