24. Janet
© Bruce Goodman 3 November 2013

Janet hated frogs — so it was perfectly understandable that her enemies at school put them in her desk, and in her bag, and under her chair, and in her lunch box.

When she discovered one lurking, she simply ran. Anywhere. And would leave her freshly opened plastic sandwich container, or her books, sprawled all along the track of escape. In fact, her teachers could find her simply by tracing the artefacts of flight.

One teacher was a particularly nasty piece of work. He’d drink at night and take the resulting irrationality out on his pupils the next day. Twice he’d followed Janet as she escaped from a threatening amphibian, and twice he’d terrified her back into the classroom by throwing a frog at her. He thought it was funny. Personally, I think he was a toad.

One day things went overboard and nearly everyone in the class produced a frog at the same time. There was no escape. They were in her desk, her lunch box, and in the hand of every one between her and the door. It was the frog season. She just blubbered, and sat there, and blubbered. The teacher didn’t mind — he was the frog-throwing shit.

So she just blubbered.

A number of years later, she lived with a man. And a few years after that, and a baby, she discovered that frogs were nothing by comparison.

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