The First Floor Is On Fire

But that's ok, because the second floor is flooded.

Mike Russell

Mike Russell
Portland, Maine, USA
July 16
baby vegetable murderer
The Yoko Ono Scream Catchers
I grew up in the country in Arkansas, spent 12 years in Philly, was widowed at 30, taught five years in a rough inner city high school in Philly, then moved to Maine in 2007 to be with my hubby. At this rate, we'll be living at the North Pole when we're 60. Being with my hubby Jason is the best thing that ever happened to me. I believe I've created a powerful novel and want to show it to the world. It's available on Kindle:


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OCTOBER 11, 2009 9:14AM

First Floor on Fire, chapter seven

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Chapter Seven: Nevaya Briggs

Ms. Dee all in my business again, asking me why I ain’t paying her no nevermind. She don’t need to know, and she better back off before somebody kick her ass. I ain’t trying to listen to her corny English class. She gonna make me lose my composure.

I rested my right cheek on my desk. “I can’t concentrate today. I got a real heavy period.”

Ms. Dee kept her flow. “You told me the same thing last week, and the week before that.”

“No, I didn’t!” That is not right. Teachers need to know that if I start talking about my period, they supposed to get embarrassed, say I’m being immature and leave me the fuck alone. Men teachers just about faint when I say “period.“ Ms. Dee ain’t right if she don’t even blink when I talk about bleeding all over.

“Oh, yes, you did. Now, how do you manage weekly periods? I’m very impressed. You should tell the world. You’ll be famous.” Oh, that bitch think she so slick, trying to get over on me like that. She better fall back, stop trying to give me mad trauma.

“Fuck outta my face! You got a nerve trying to tell me what happening in my own pussy! My tampon giving out, so there gonna be blood all over the motherfucking floor.“

“Nevaya, that will not fly in my classroom, and you know it.” I would pay real money to see that woman lose control. All year, she been acting like nobody ever got over on her. I know that a lie. Somebody always get over on every teacher.

“Blood can fly anywhere.” I stared right in her eyes. My face dared her to say I’m wrong. Just try to call me out my name.

“You’re better than this. Everyone in this room deserves better than the nonsense you’re giving us.”

No, no, no, I can’t take no stupid bitch who can’t fall back and leave me the fuck alone. “I ain’t trying to stay here. I need to leave. I got bathroom problems.”

“You’re changing your story.” Oh, my fucking God! Who the fuck Ms. Dee to tell me what my story is?

“You ain’t no doctor. You can’t be telling me I don’t have bathroom problems! Where you doctor certificate on the wall? Nowhere! You don’t know!” I jumped up and ran to the door.

“Nevaya, stay in your seat!”

“You got a big ass head. It so big it gonna fall over and snap off you fat neck.” I stayed just to hear the class roar and scream.

The classroom phone rang. Ms. Dee really felt some kind of way to be interrupted. When she hung up, she looked at me. “You’re wanted in the office.” What, they got cameras in the classrooms now?

“That phone call wasn’t nothing about me! You just want to send me out!”

“You wanted to leave, anyway.” Motherfucker, did she smile at me? She tried to hide it, but that bitch almost smiled about me having to leave. Why I ever think she was different?

“So fucking what? That ain’t got nothing to do with it!” I slammed the door behind me. Ms. Dee need to get some sense.


No cameras, just another meeting with Price. I made sure the school camera saw my best side on my way in. Price always look so proud. I bet he already gave himself credit for saving my life.

“Nevaya, how are you today? Close the door. I am very much looking forward to seeing what heights you have reached with that fine mind of yours.” Oh, he think he slick, coming up with a sneaky way to call me “fine.” Only nasty oldheads say that shit anymore. “How is the paper you promised me on nonviolence progressing?”

“It coming along.”

“Excellent. I’m glad to hear that. What would you say is the most fascinating fact you’ve discovered so far?”

“Well ….” What a fake-ass question. He know I ain’t done shit. He better stop playing games and just say what he want. The longer anybody take to say what they planned to say, the less I want to hear a word.

Price stood up from behind his desk and sat next to me and asked very softly, “Is there anything you need to tell me, Nevaya?”

“I’m good.”

“Are you sure you don’t need any help?” Price put his damn hand on my leg. And he had the nerve to make his face try to front that he had no idea how his hand got there. I knew from the first he’d be walking this path. He been acting too concerned for too long. I didn’t know exactly what he gonna try, but I knew it wasn’t about me going to college.

“Mr. Price, what you think you doing?!”

He jerked his hand back and tried to look hurt. “I did not do anything. I am merely offering my hand in order to show you some support. You can understand that, right? I have given you no call to be unhappy.” And then he put his hand higher up my leg.

I was a damn fool. Even though I knew better, for one short minute, I actually let myself think he wanted to talk about that fucking paper. All that fancy, I-care, look-to-the-future talk. He gonna save me from myself, from being too ghetto. Bet he’d promise extra rainbows in the sky if he thought I might believe it. Underneath it all, ain’t nothing but rudeness, lewdness and nudeness from the clueless.

Price smiled and grabbed my breasts with his other hand. “Come on, Nevaya, I am one of you. I am just like you, working hard for you to save your future. It would be only logical and right for you to show me some appreciation.” Oh, hell, no. He did not say something so fucking corny through that slimy, fake-ass smile while his nasty hand snaked under my shirt.

So I smiled back. “Mmmm hmmm, you know I appreciate that. Here, let me show you.” My leg rushed forward. My shoe just about crushed his balls. I don’t care if they PayLess; they do the job. I knew the main office folks all working in the next room, so I did what I did with almost no noise. I leaned over him and whispered, “Bitch, you snitch on me, I really got a story to tell. You can say I’m a lying nigger bitch all you want, they still have to investigate if I file a complaint on you nasty molester ass.” He just moaned back, so I took that as meaning we understood each other. I could see in his eyes he couldn’t believe I just beat him. He might not know much, but he know now that I don’t play and never will. But I gotta be tougher, cause for a minute, I almost thought he wanted me to write that paper. Must have done lost my mind to even imagine crazy shit like that.

I already said I ain’t no dyke – that one time several months back don’t count – but I could still live a long, happy life with no men around. I walked fast as I could out Price’s office without seeming like I was running. Gave nothing away. Just a normal meeting. This the first time I actually had to hit him. Not sure what he gonna try to do back to me. I knew he wouldn’t let it go. No witnesses, nobody seemed to have heard a thing. Nobody in the office stared at me or acted like anything different. Good. His word against mine, and if he say shit, he know I’m a carry out my threat to snitch on him. Telling on a principal or a teacher ain’t real snitching, cause they don’t do nothing but snitch theyselves. Then they act like they full of honor and better than me. They can’t tell me shit.

Fuck school. I’m leaving early. I never danced much, but I wanted to dance so hard I’d make the sidewalk split open, til I saw two skyscrapers holding each other, fighting, dancing the Wu-Tang until they cracked theyselves into a million pieces, millions of shining glass and steel knives flying down from the sky to stab the whole city to death. Yeah, that dance is assed out, but so’s Killadelph.

Guards stood and sat at the front and back doors, so I left through one of the side exits. Fire codes say the doors have to stay unlocked, make sure nobody ever be trapped inside. Well, here’s a shout out to the fire codes; they made my life easier today.

Opened my phone. “Donyair, I just left school. Where are you?”

“In the stairwell. I can’t stand my corny classes today.” He never could. To keep from losing his mind, he might relax in the stairwell, get in a fight, or meet a boy so they could find a bathroom or someplace in the basement to enjoy theyselves. Sometime later on, he might have to fight the same boy if the traitor wanna show off in front of his niggas and call somebody else a faggot.

“Get out here, then. I gotta do something so I won’t snap. Don’t know what, but I need you here.”

“Sis, what went down?” He knew I meant it. I almost never tell nobody I need nothing.

“Get out here, and you find out.”

“Well, who make you so mad? I’ll sock the shit outta them with a live baby shark.”

“You so crazy.”

“Ha ha ha, I knew I could make you smile again.” Only Donyair could hear me smile over the phone.

(c) Michael Russell

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