11 June, 2012

Flash Fiction: Golden Years

             Two janitors walked down an empty school hall. Dim lights illuminated the hallway at the doors to desolate classrooms. Just only a week ago, the school was filled with children running about and teachers attempting to teach them, even through the childhood squabbles.
            The custodians were cleaning up the last remnants of papers scattered around. One of them, sweeping some study guide scraps and construction paper, kept glancing at a photo. It was a band picture, embossed in vintage shades of brown and black; the band of nineteen-fifty-something.
            “Hurry it up,” The other custodian said. “Lockdown’s comin’ fast.”
            His partner just nodded and muttered an, “I know.”
            It was hard to let go of the fact that the local board of education had voted in favor for the school’s shutdown. It served as a foundation for the community in the face of adversity and misbehavior during school hours. It also was the home for local recreation programs after school; some of the town’s best athletes started out from there.
            Problem was that in this day and age, with lightheaded politicians and an ever-growing population, it became more a sardine can. It was just reeking of small fish crammed in small classrooms. The politics behind it also smelled foul, but that was always wafted into the air by a fling of, “Nothing to see here.”
            “Johnny,” The custodian said. “We’ve got no time for sightseein’.”
            “Yes, I know,” Johnny replied. “But aren’t you going to miss this place?”
            “What’s there to miss? It’s just work.”
            “Says the guy from out-of-state.”
            “Ugh! Why would you wanna remember a place like this? It’s just poop and papers, that’s all we do.”
            Johnny sighed, “If you had kids here, you’d understand. We had some of the best teachers back in the day. Even the politics wasn’t that bad, and you could speak your mind at the meetings.”
            The custodian continued to sweep, taking papers down from nearby bulletin boards. Children’s drawings and notices for nearby classes were easily thrown into that portable trashcan he pulled around.
             “It was like a dream come true…almost anyway,” Johnny continued.

For Flash Fiction Project: Prompt 37

Also, the piece was inspired based on local events; slightly exaggerated since I grew up in the education system and attended the mentioned school for about a year.

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