Word count: 4234
It was the sort of day that made you want to lie back in the grass and stare at the sky. But why was Steel doing it?
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Suddenly there was a great noise from the playground and she gasped. It only took a child a moment to injure themselves and the principal would have her guts for garters if it was discovered she let her students out unsupervised.
Gracie and Susan, inseparable from each other, ran into the classroom, hands clasped. “Miss Jean, you have to come. You have to come now.”
Jean ran after them and saw her class gathered around the playhouse. It had been a gift from one of the founding families and the younger children, especially the girls, loved it. The older students also enjoyed it, but for a very different reason. It was set towards the back of the schoolyard and the perfect place to snatch a kiss or smoke an illicit cigarette away from the watchful eye of the monitor.
She instantly took a head count, much relieved when she hit the magic number. All her students were accounted for, but there was definitely something wrong. They were in huddled groups, clinging to each other, even the boys. Some were crying while others just looked horrified. Larry looked particularly stricken and also greatly relieved at the sight of his teacher.
“What is it, Miss Jean? What is it? Who did it and what does it mean?”