Discover more from Fiction Attic Press
Center of Center
A new serialized novella-in-flash by Chris Wiewiora. Episode 1
I drive disguised. Instead of an untucked button-up over jeans, I wear my Torideo blue polo tucked into black slacks. I don’t put in contacts anymore; I wear my black-framed glasses. I grew a beard, but I don’t know how long it will take to mask my memories.
I heard the sirens between my first and third classes. Usually I heard the garbage truck beeping as it backed up to empty the dumpsters behind my corner rear classroom. It was delivery week and at the end of my second class Alec Beckett (A-) was giving an informative speech about how to communicate if you’re pulled over by the Polis Patrol. He continued through the sirens screaming along Center Street and seemingly along Center Circle in front of Voci Hall. I couldn’t believe that the sirens were from Patroller cars on campus because only buses, delivery and garbage trucks, and limited administrative golf charts were allowed during the day.
At the door of the next and final of my back-to-back-to-back classes, Amanda Muler (C+) told me, There’s been a shooting. Amanda was blonde, frumpy, wore glasses, and undeclared. She always required a quiet room and extended time on exams. I didn’t believe her. Then, Kyle Morehouse (B-), this built kinesiology major, nodded his bulky head. Kyle said he had seen Polis Patrollers shoot someone in a truck with a trailer as he rolled past on a Torideo bus. He said it was a Divided boy in a black suit and a blue flipped-back Jays cap. Kyle didn’t say why he said the student’s origin or mentioned the clothes. He didn’t want to answer me if the person looked like his classmate and my student Jonathan “J.J.” Jones.
Zoey Odland looks right through me as she boards my bus. Zoey was one of my best public speaking students and admirably focused on policy equality (her persuasive speech that requested the university to hire a woman for every man and compelled her audience to not sign up for general education courses with unbalanced instructors earned an A+), but now she doesn’t give me a hint of recognition. David Bogman (B+) keeps looking at my rearview mirror as he sits by the back doors, trying to figure out who I am, who I was. David was a guy who skimmed along through the academics of class (giving an informative speech about subliminal messages), but he gave off a genuineness and care about his work (his holo-work had a watermark that gleamed B+ on my office’s wall-screen). Of course, I still know my students’ last names as well as their final grades, while I’m only getting to know the other drivers. My old teaching semesters blur together like my face must to my former students. I’m just another one of many BLACK route drivers who pick them up at the park-and-ride lot by the Alumni Center and chauffeur them to central campus.
CENTER of CENTER is a serialized novella-in-flash by Chris Wiewiora. Go here to start at the beginning. Paid subscribers have access to every installment of our serial fiction.
About the author: After Chris Wiewiora earned his MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University, where he taught public speaking, he worked a variety of odd jobs including driving a bus. His writing has recently been anthologized in Back to the Lake, Two Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents, and What Doesn’t Kill You. His travelogue memoir, The Distance Is More Than an Ocean, about growing up and going back to Warsaw, Poland was published by Finishing Line Press. Read more at www.chriswiewiora.com