Don’t Ask

When the alarm went off, Samantha tried to open her eyes but she was too tired. Besides, she hadn’t studied for the test in Biology. She kept her eyes closed and tried to ignore the shrilling of the bell. But it wouldn’t let her sleep.

She reached out her hand and groped around. Her fingers must have hit the play button instead of off, because the sound of voices and rhythmic beats replaced the alarm. She groaned. Really, she didn’t feel great and it didn’t seem fair that she had to get up and go to school.

Instead, she kept her eyes shut and drifted back to sleep. Then the alarm went off again…

She hated that snooze button…and she hated being cold. She groped for the blankets and didn’t seem to be able to find them. Maybe her ratty little brother, Adam had sneaked in and yanked them off.

She was shivering now. Maybe she ought to get up…she could put on her new sweater…should make the effort to go into school and do the test. But it seemed too hard to focus on what she needed to know for biology, as though everything she knew was running together in her head like syrup.

She really must be sick. It was way too hard to think all this through. She might as well sleep…and the stupid alarm was shrilling again…

“Wake up, Samantha,” her mother was insisting.

“Mooom,” Samantha moaned. “…don’t feel good…”

Her mom kept calling to her…and now her dad. Why weren’t they at work?

There was something wrong…maybe appendix…her stomach hurt so bad…and she was so tired. If she missed the test, Mr. Kennedy would make her do it on Monday.  She really didn’t want to…

She just wanted to sleep. Just sleep. Samantha felt herself drifting down…plunging down…she felt so terrible. There was the nightmare…but she had to sleep…


“I’m sorry,” the medic whispered. “The bullet hit an artery…your daughter bled out…”

He turned away to the next victim, tried to block his ears to the screaming of the families. And so it goes.



As a teacher, I am heartbroken over the murders of our children. I see the kids’ faces and my head is full of their voices. Hence the genesis of this story. Many of my short stories are light, but a few deal with the issues kids face. My other stories and blogs are on my website at

Several of my books deal with bullying and the difficulties teens have to navigate – they are all available through my website, Amazon or other ebook platforms.