Writing Prompt: How could he have known?

Good morning all and welcome to a rainy Thursday morning. I love the sound of rain, don’t you. It is so soothing. Admittedly in the morning it just makes me want to curl up and go back to bed, but it is still a soothing sound. Instead of curling up, let’s take down the morning writing prompt then have a nice cup of coffee. Ready? Good.

Not my favorite this week, I have to admit. I was really on a roll with stories I’d really like to continue this week and this one might be interesting but doesn’t grab me like the others did. That doesn’t mean it won’t be useful later on. These prompts often are, especially when I am trying to figure out characters later oddly enough. And the purpose isn’t actually to provide a useful story it is to wake up the brain and get me writing. So it’s job is accomplished. Everything else is just gravy.

Thursday, October 21st: How could I have known?

How could I have known?  I stared dumbfounded at the paper in front of me.  The seals were correct.  The watermark, when I held it up to the light, perfect.  Every single piece of evidence was exactly where it needed to be to let me know that this missive was legitimate. 

I kept my face impassive not letting my surprise show to my audience.  I let my eyes scan the details once more, mostly so I could compose my thoughts on the matter.  Again the thought rose to my mind.  How could I have known?

The inevitable conclusion was that I couldn’t have.  “And the only way I would have not known was if it was deliberate.’

I didn’t know where the thought came from but I blessed its appearance.  With the thought came a decision on how to act.  I lowered the page and stared at the student sitting, no lounging in my visitor’s chair.  His smug expression firmed my resolve.  He knew what the paper said when he handed it to me. I knew the reaction he expected.  He was about to be disappointed.

“I fail to see how this in anyway relates to your disciplinary action,” I told him. I kept my face blank, calm and perhaps slightly curious.  He blinked.

“Perhaps you didn’t read it properly,” He replied.  While his smirk faded his posture remained relaxed.  He was accustomed to easily sliding away from trouble. Of being shielded from the consequences of his actions.

“I read it,” I told him.  “I simply don’t see how it applies to the situation at hand.”

“You don’t,” he said.  It was more of a statement than a question.  His body lost some of it’s casual pose as he straightened in his seat.

“We have many students here of notable parentage. Many more notable than your own.  They are sent here because who they are matters less than what they do with it. You broke the rules and were caught, you will suffer the punishments inherent with your actions.”

“I…” He began, something like fear flickering across his face.

“You will report to the room you were assigned and complete the tasks given to you.”

“My father…” He started.

“Will be apprised of both your actions and the disciplinary measures taken to ensure that you do not behave in such a fashion in the future.  Once you have left I will be contacting him.”  The blood drained from the boy’s face.  I suspected his father would not be pleased to learn of his son’s behavior. I looked at my watch.  “I believe you are currently ten minutes late.  I am certain Master Huffington will adjust the time of your punishment to compensate.  I should warn you he tends to double the extension.”


“Yes if you are ten minutes late then you will stay an extra twenty to make up for it.  If I were you, I’d hurry.”

I stared at him and for a moment he merely looked back at me, blinking in surprise as though incapable of processing my words.  Slowly he rose from his chair, turned and walked away.  Technically he should have asked my leave to go, but as I had told him to hurry I decided to let it slide.  My door thumped closed behind him and I heard the sound of rushed footsteps on the stone corridor. 

‘He’s hurrying at least,’ I thought.  I leaned back in my chair.  That was one problem taken care of.  I looked back down at the page laying on my desk. To call or not to call?  Each choice had ramifications.

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