Set Play!

“Make way, make way! The star is coming through!” The broad shouldered youth bruised his way through the crowd of his peers, huddled in clusters back stage in the auditorium at their school.

“Pfft, I don’t know where he gets off.” One child thought, scowling. “All his brains are in his shoulders. That’s why he’s so short.” 

It was true. Jamal was the shortest boy in all the class, but that never slowed him down (except in gym class. It’s hard to run fast when your legs are only an inch long). He never acknowledged his shortness; seemed entirely oblivious to the fact quite honestly, but subconsciously it pushed him all the more to strive for achievement. Which he did.

“Miss Greece, Miss Greece,” Jamal said, occupying the teacher in charge of the annual school play (whose opening night it just so happened to be). “I will be the tree in the front, right?” He said confidently, hands on hips.

“Yes, you will.” Miss Greece turned from her clip board, passion ablaze in her eyes. “You’ve worked very hard to get here, it is only right you should be rewarded. You will be center stage, a grand sage of wisdom whose branches reach into the very heavens!” They exchanged a quick handshake known only to them (the results of many late night rehearsals) before Jamal strutted away to makeup.

“Honestly, he doesn’t even have lines…” Another child thought, overhearing the conversation. “What’s the big deal?” 

A little bit away sat Darrel on the floor, seemingly without a care in the world. “Darrel,” Miss Greece approached the boy. “I know you’re nervous, I can see it in your eyes. This is a big night for you. This is opening night. Your big debut as a leading man. The audience will be watching your every move, listening to every syllable. But I have the utmost confidence in you. Is that a mouse?”

“Yes,” Darrel held up his pet mouse, whom he’d been petting quite contently. “His name is Jasper, on account of my favorite band. Wanna pet him?” Darrel. Indeed, leading man material. Average in regards to height and weight, he stood a few inches taller than his classmates owning to his well maintained fohawk. He was quite unique in many ways but very much liked, the result of a wonderful house and home with his grandmother, whom he and Jasper adored very much.

“Unfortunately, there isn’t time for petting Jasper.” Miss Greece said. “Hurry into costume! Everyone hurry! Time is ticking!” 

“I have to admit: I feel a bit silly.” One girl commented to another, gesturing to her sequence tulle.

“Alright class. This is it.” Miss Greece began, gathering the children to her. “All your hard work this past week, no, your entire lives, has lead to this very moment. I want you to know, regardless of what happens out there, I’m proud of every single one of you, and I only hope! you’ll look back on this night the same way I will: with pride and a sense of victory. Now, are you ready you fools?”

“What’s this play even about?” One child asked no one in particular.

“Beats me.” The girl next to him replied, shrugging.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” the announcer began. “Please welcome this year’s fifth grade class, lead by Miss Greece, and their production—”


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