Shaking Spears

"What is this shit?" He grits his teeth and shakes his head; once for emphasis; twice because of momentum; thrice to affirm the fact that he doesn't know what the hell he's doing here.

The teacher frowns. He sits up a little straighter.

There is a girl in the corner who lacks coloring in any way. She has her eyes closed, but opens one and fixes a monotone gaze upon him. The blue is the only pinpoint of color in the classroom.

He cannot breathe. "I mean, Shakespeare was such a plagarist. And he wrote in Old English."

This confession makes him uncomfortable; it is blasphemy and suddenly his mind races, does Hail Marys at breakneck speed. He's not sure he'll survive.

The girl throws a chalkboard eraser, half hitting his ear. The dust sticks to his skin like little shavings of bone. She laughs, closes her eyes again, and murmurs, "It wasn't Old English." The teacher clucks unattractively.

He thinks, suddenly, I'd rather be dead.