I stand in front of my students, looking into their scared eyes. They know to focus on the flag hanging above my head, but they can’t help but
glance at the soldiers standing on either side of me.
“Attention!” I say sharply, and all twenty students straighten in unison, hands held sharply at their sides. It is an unnatural posture for six
year olds, and something inside me cracks wider.
“Salute!” I call. Instantly hands slap over hearts. It only takes a quick glare from one of the soldiers for a couple of students to switch to
their correct hands.
“Pledge!” I announce. I pivot sharply to face the flag, my hand held over my heart, and lead my students in the new pledge.
Inside, I am screaming. But to show my true feelings is more than my miserable life, or the lives of my students, is worth. And while I could care
less for myself, my students will not suffer for my reticence.
“I pledge allegiance, to the flag,”
I glare at that flag. The Star Spangled Banner is gone, replaced by a red, white, and blue monstrosity. Three white stars, arranged in a pyramid
shape on a field of blue. On top of the pyramid is the All-Seeing Eye. At the bottom is a clenched fist; I wonder if it resembles my knotted
“Of the Sovereign States of the New World Order,”
The words stick in my mouth. I feel bile rising. “Keep it together,” I tell myself grimly.
“And to the Triumvirate, for which it stands,”
Monsters, the lot of them. They rose to power on the dead bodies of millions, financed with the money from the elite the world over.
“One world government, united for all,”
Laughable. Only I don’t feel like laughing.
“Serving the people of the world.”
The students trail off, and I can feel the weight of their gaze. I take a moment to collect myself, to gather my wits. I will need them very soon
I turn to face my students, and twenty scared eyes look to me for reassurance. I smile, but it feels fake.
“Be seated,” I tell them, and twenty chairs scrape backwards. They are silent, eyes watching the guards.
Eyes watching the guns.
I open the powerpoint presentation the new government mandated we show. For the next thirty minutes, I walk among my students, lightly touching
shoulders or patting backs in an attempt to offer comfort.
I can feel the tension in their muscles. My comfort falls short. They won’t have forgotten the executions so soon.
I pray they never forget. Maybe, in twenty years, those memories will fuel a new revolution.
The day ends, and my students line up and shuffle silently down the hall. I smile at each, but receive no smiles in return. It is still too soon for
them to smile, the blood in the hall too fresh.
But this is the last day they will face these hallways and their horrific memories, the last day they will smell blood and cordite.
Tomorrow, when the soldiers arrive, my colleagues and I have a little gift planned.
The school opens to the students at 7:15. The teachers and soldiers arrive at 6:50.
The bomb will blow at 7:00.
edit on 5-9-2012 by smyleegrl because: (no reason given)