The English Teacher

Sample Dialogue #1

A Dialogue by Mary G.

Somewhere to the right the San Juan Islands, the mainland of British Columbia and home and to my North, South and West the wide-open sea and freedom beckoned to me. Spindrift waves crested slowly in the morning sunshine and the sail flapped slightly as the wind calmed momentarily. It was a beautiful, brisk spring day like I hadn't seen for a few years. Out in the distance a lone seagull screeched; a long and lonely cry. It seemed sorrowful even, and out of place in the morning. I glanced over my shoulder and to the Southwest where gray clouds had begun to gather. Their darkening bodies surged towards each other in a violent dance. The seagull screeched again before falling into the rolling sea and what had been a quiet breeze now began to build, throwing spray into my face. The waves that had previously been so gentle were now reaching great proportions, heaving themselves up from the depths to violently break the surface. The sails flapped madly in the changing winds. Suddenly a huge form loomed in front of the ship and the sickening sound of splintering wood was heard.

A sudden click startled me from the nightmare, a quiet scraping sound and the click sounded again. I was fully awake by then. My arms and legs felt stiff, like they hadn't been stretched in forever and I couldn't see. A blank panic swept over me when I realized I was blindfolded and bound. I laid on the hard warm surface and thought about the material of my bindings. It didn't have the harsh biting quality of rope, but felt more like a stiff, immovable sheath from my shoulders to my ankles. Suddenly someone spoke.

"Look at it! Isn't it fantastic?" It was a medium voice with timbre of a child or a young adult. I opened my mouth to speak but another voice spoke.

"Its just a human." This voice was heavier and older it had a tense rasping quality to it. I opened my mouth once again, only no sound came out. Again I tried to speak and again there was nothing.

"Its not just a human. It's my human. I already had Doc Philiz bind it up in case it should wake up and panic and give it a muscle relaxant. He even gave it one of those voice things..."

"Voice inhibitors," Interjected the older voice. "And honestly I don't care a wit about Doc Philiz. Its just some indiscriminate, mutt human and you need to take it back to where ever you found it." I began to side mentally with that disapproving rasping voice, I wanted to go home.

"But I found it! It was all alone on the ocean and..."

"All the better reason for taking it back. Those types never make good pets. They probably bite and carry all kinds of diseases and that's why they aren't on the mainland. You need to take it back."

Diseases? I though incredulously, I don't carry any diseases.

The young voice began to whine, "But Aunt Bechii just got one of those young ones and she thinks they're great..."

"Yes, but this one is older and they never train up as well and probably doesn't have any house manners anyway. I can't very well have it tearing around the house and breaking things now can I?"

I'm not a dog, I yelled, but the voice inhibitor did a good job and not a sound emerged. I waited in seething irritation, routing for the older voice, which I decided, was the father.

"It wouldn't be like that though. I would train it really well and keep it exercised and everything and it would be great. You wouldn't even know it was around," claimed the young voice.

"But that's jus the point," the father sighed irritably, "I will know its around. Humans are dirty and smelly and they cost too much and I would end up being responsible for it. NO, you definitely have to return it."

Go Dad, I thought, let the little human go home.


The father stopped the plea though, "No, you just need to take it back to wherever you found it. Have Doc give it a memory deletion injection and return it to the wild."

Yes, get me out of this nightmare, I pleaded silently.

"But my teacher said that the human population is already getting much too large and she said that if we don't start regulating their numbers they will die of over population," the young voice argued. "There isn't any point of my turning it back out to die."

The older voice remained to reason though, "That is nature though. And if its really that bad maybe we should start exterminating them and not taking everyone we find as a pet. They are dangerous animals. Humans fight and kill each other and get themselves into trouble. We don't need that sort of thing around the house."

I held my breath again.

"But you have always said that I need more responsibility and I can work at the Chai House once in a while to pay for it. Come on, please let me keep it."

"Its not just some little toy you can give up after a few weeks though. Humans are a lot of responsibility for years. And that's all I need around the house, some stinky little human leaving stinky dirty hand marks everywhere. Ha!"

I gave silent congratulations to the father, but I worried all the same about the worn note that had replaced his previous determination. I stretched my legs out and tested the binding, hoping that my actions would provoke a quick and decisive 'No' from daddy dearest.

"Oh, look, it's waking up. Don't you think I've already shown enough responsibility by silencing it and everything? I would really like to keep this human. Please?"

"I don't know though..." came the worn and defeated tone. "You have to promise to take full responsibility for this human, feeding and exercising and keeping it healthy. You would have to clean up the dirty hand prints and actually bathe it regularly. I don't ever want it bothering me or causing a problem when my friends are over."

I froze, horrified at what was transpiring.

"I promise," answered the young voice happily.

"Well, you had better get it up and name it so that I know what to call it when it gets into trouble."

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