Picking up the Pieces on AO3
Picking up the Pieces on TWCS
“On your marks…get set…GO!” I yelled as a waved my flag. The third graders who were running the hundred yard dash for our field day took off in a dead sprint. There was squealing, laughter and joy. Field day was an annual event at the elementary school. The morning was spent with various races and games. In the afternoon, the fire department and several deputies helped with lunch, grilling hamburgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers while we finished setting up the carnival in the gym and outside. This year had several new attractions with pony rides, a petting zoo and inflatables. At the opposite end of the field, Alice blew the whistle, bouncing up and down, congratulating the fastest boy and fastest girl in the race.
After all of the races, we were going to determine the fastest boy and girl for the primary grades, kindergarten through second grade and another set for the more intermediate grades, third through fifth grade. There also other various competitions, games and such going on during this bright, warm day on the field of Forks Elementary School. Inside, arts and crafts were being made in the classrooms, along with face painting and a book walk, similar to a cake walk but the prizes were pulled books from the library. The kids loved it. So did the parents. The staff, we hated it because it was a lot of work. The field day was structured but not. Having twenty-four kids in self-contained classroom. Having nearly three hundred children running around, trying to keep them with their teacher was like herding cats.
Thank goodness today was the last day of school. For the kids, it was the last day of school. For the teachers, they had an institute day tomorrow to clean up their rooms so the desks could get replaced, the carpets cleaned and a fresh coat of paint on the walls. For Alice and me, it was the beginning of scheduling and all of that craziness with the secretaries, registering new students and reassigning any staff that needed to be shuffled around. In July, the school shut down completely so the main office could get scoured, so I got the month of July off. But, June and August, were going to be jam packed with a lot of work.
“Is everyone ready?” I asked the next group of kids. They eagerly nodded, bouncing on their toes. “On your marks…get set…GO!!”
During lunch, I’m sitting on one of the lunch tables, munching on a hot dog. I’m sweaty, tired and ready for a long nap. Walking toward me was one of the grill masters, Edward. He was carrying another plate and two water bottles. He plopped down next to me, handing me one of the bottles. “You should be in the shade, Ms. Black. You’re awfully pink.”
“I’m just hot,” I said. “I can handle the heat but coupled with humidity, my face gets red.” I chugged the water. “Are you freed from the grill?”
“More like banned. Mr. Schwartz yelled at me because the hamburgers I cooked were apparently raw. Stick to being a police officer, he said,” Edward snorted, nibbling on his hot dog. “I decided to take a break and join my favorite girl eat her lunch.”
“Well, Grace is over there,” I teased, pointing to a gaggle of little girls, squealing happily.