As a substitute teacher, it would have been nice to have had a black belt in judo or karate. I knew one sub that did, and he started every a class with a demonstration of his skills.
Once the class from Dante’s Inferno was mine, I moved the desks around to create a better arrangement for controlling the hyperactive squad of boys.
I moved the teacher’s desk and placed two bookshelves behind it to form a space large enough to hold one desk so no one could make eye contact with James.
Another recent substitute experience.
The problem was, James wouldn’t sit still. I had to keep my sonar turned on. When I sensed he was moving, I’d throw my arm up as if it were one of those arms at a railroad crossing to keep James from getting out and cause a train wreck.
At times, when it was too quiet in that cubbyhole hemmed in with bookshelves, I’d turn to see James on top of his desk spinning on his head like a top with his feet in the air.
If I saw anyone from the wild bunch lifting a fanny off a chair, I’d fling myself across the room twisting my face into a Marine Corps drill sergeant, evil, killer mask.
“Don’t move another inch,” I’d say in a menacing tone that threatened bodily harm. There was never a dull moment. It was in that class that I perfected the killer stare that would serve me well for the next thirty years.
His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.
And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.
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