Flash Fiction Friday

Stories in under 500 words.

Madam Mallory stood at the front door of St. Angela’s Academy glaring at the press gathered in front of it. Wrapped in a scratchy winter coat, the headmistress squeezed her hands squeezed together behind her back. The press, with its cameras snapping and its pens scribbling, stood behind the purple tape in irritation, though the fact that the tape was purple was enough of a story by itself.

“Madam Mallory?”

The headmistress jumped. She turned to a sleepy-eyed man. “What is it, Professor Dinken?” she snapped.

“The police are ready for you upstairs, Madam,” Dinken replied.

“All right.” Madam Mallory turned and swept inside.

When Madam Mallory arrived upstairs, she knocked before she was admitted into the sitting room. As she lowered herself onto the sofa, she glanced into the door to her right. A shriek pierced through her lips.

“Good Lord!” she cried. “Could you at least have the decency to close the door?”

One of the two policemen got up and shut the door.

Madam Mallory stared down at her knees. Though the door was closed, she still saw what loomed behind it: Ronald Thomas, sixteen years old, lying on the bathroom floor, his sweaty brown hair pushed back from his eyes. His lips, red as a dying sun, fell open and the blood gurgled forth.

“The boy’s name stricken from your school records,” said one police officer. His mustache quivered when he spoke. “He never went here.”

“He never existed,” the second officer said. “If his parents call, if the other students ask, you know nothing about him. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of the consequences if you do not comply.”

Madam Mallory looked from one man to the next and tried to decide when one of them had done the deed. “No, you do not.”

“Wonderful,” said mustached officer. “I am glad we are on the same page. That boy committed an unforgivable crime by living. The world is safer without his threat.”

“Yes, sixteen-year-olds have been known to cause mass panic,” Madam Mallory said coolly.

“Don’t be cheeky,” the officer said, pointing his thumb at Madam Mallory. “I’m sorry a descent woman like you had to get caught up in this, but you know the law. His kind much be eliminated.”

The other man nodded. “They are too dangerous. Magicians are at threat to society. Let us be lucky this one revealed himself so early.”

Madam Mallory clenched her teeth and squeezed her fists to keep from screaming. Think of the other students. They still need you. “Yes, lucky.”

“The crew will be by within ten minutes to clean up,” the mustached officer said. He stood and brushed off his pants while his partner opened the door. “Remember, not a word.” With that, the men left Madam Mallory alone on the couch. Slowly, slowly, she got up and went to the bathroom door. Opening it, she stared for a moment at the boy lying there, then sunk to her knees and wept.

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