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The Ringing Bell (Mock Epic Poem)
By Kathryn Shaughnessy
As he strolls up the stairs to room 413, he glances at his watch and see it’s 7 a.m. He is proud of the fact he is on time yet again. He looks closely at himself for a brief moment while passing the reflecting bulletin board. While reaching for the door, he struggles to insert the key, as his hands are full of everything ranging from graded pedagogy dialogues to baby bottles, to his limited-edition James Joyce Analyzing Goggles. Finally, getting the key into the door in the correct direction, he opens the door with a slight turn of his wrist. He flicks on the light and adjusts the temperature of the room. Bell stares at the ceiling fan, glaring with envy; jealous of its loving fans.
He then moves on, not lingering on his thoughts. As he moves towards his desk, his young daughter trots in to bid him farewell before she returns to the daycare.
“Daddy, I, I wuv you,” she says.
Unfortunately, Martha Stewart’s recipe fails him again. She throws up, unable to finish her sentence, projecting her breakfast all over him like water shooting out of a fire hydrant. She responds with wide eyes.
“Sowwy daddy!” she says. “I get janitor?”
Sir Bell, wrinkling his forehead in disgust, observes the addition to his outfit. He then softly looks at her with the ever-famous Bell look and says, “Should you?” with a smile.
She gets confused and in a soft voice asks, “Yes?”
She trots off to get the janitor while Bell changes. He puts on his long-sleeved blue shirt and his honourary plaid cardigan, given to him as an award for his analytical studies with the James Joyce International Corporation of Mind Illustration. He then buttons all but one button on the cardigan, the bottom button. His daughter, returning with the janitor, questions her father’s motives,
“Daddy, you forgot a button!” she says.
“You don’t know honey! This is the new swag!” he says and re-evaluates himself. “Oh God, look at what my students have done to me! They’ve crossed the line, altering my vocabulary!”
His daughter leaves with a confused look. Once she’s gone, Bell clenches his fist, extending every joint in his body.
“To the coffee maker!” he says.
He swoops over to the magical machine, holds his hand under the dripping residue from yesterday’s coffee and realizes he hasn’t put in the coffee packets yet. Immediately, he travels to his wooden closet and reaches into the back. To his amazement, he’s out of coffee packets. Reminiscing on his actions of the previous day, he remembers he had just bought a full package of coffee bags.
“Damn it, Avi!” he says.
With his cardigan’s powers, he closes his eyes for two minutes as he imagines a bag of coffee in his mind. Instantly, a bag of coffee appears and he places it into his Kruger 5000. Once his coffee has finally let out its calming aroma, Bell sips it. He likes it black. With a satisfied look, Bell soon realizes today is going to be a long day. As he contemplates this, the bell rings and children shuffle in and he waits for silence. As time passes, his hair turns white, yes, all of them. He softly clears his voice after a brief moment of frustration and murmurs the world parliament. A wave of silence washes over the students as they are captivated by his booming and calming voice. Halfway during the period, a student sitting in the left-hand corner of the room abruptly discovers the apple cider and hot chocolate longing to be opened. As mini marshmallows are chucked across the room, Bell studies every mini sphere being tossed into the air; how he longs for the period to end. The sound of redemption is heard and the students file out of the class. As the last student leaves, Bell runs to the door and locks it. He pivots around, his cardigan flying in the breeze produced by his enemy. He jumps over his desk, papers flying everywhere and catapults himself onto the window ledge. Bells looks back into his classroom scanning for any clues that may give away his identity. He takes one more sip from his coffee mug and extends his arm, lifting him from the ledge and out of sight.