Cult Illustration #18, ball point pen on paper, 11" x 8.5"

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.



The Drill


The day was going pretty well. Ms. X could tell, by the behavior of the kids, that they liked the teacher she was subbing for. The room felt good. Most of them were working quietly. A few were talking though not disruptively.


She sees the Sub Coordinator, in the hallway, wearing her mini skirt and jangling jewelry, walking like a New Yorker, bent forward on high heel stilts. Ms. X sees her pass by the open door and watches as the woman barks into a walkie-talkie, “Three, two, one!”.


Suddenly an alarm sounds and several students groan. Ms. X hears the word fire drill and she asks them, “Is it a fire drill?”


“Yea,” say several girls and a boy, perturbed by the thought of a required walk outdoors. Ms. X moves towards the door, looking for the posted map featuring the exit route. The Coordinator is screaming into her room “Common, common! I can’t leave this area until everyone is out! Common! Fire! Fire!


Ms. X feels frantic now, she is the adult in charge who is failing miserably, and she looks searchingly at the map as she nears the doorway where the Coordinator is grimacing ugly like a troll. Ms. X sees the route in red marker but the ugly woman is in the hall now, shrieking and gesticulating in the place that everyone should turn. The students in front go opposite the dolled up troll, heading for a different exit. Ms. X follows and speaks to the boy in front, “Are you sure this is the right way?”


“It’s a way out,” he says nonchalantly.











© 2017 Lea Atiq, all rights reserved