Page 103 - November 2020
P. 103

                                                                                       November 2020

                                                 An Army of Frogs

                 Mark Blickley is a widely published author of
                 fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama. Blickley
                 is  a  proud  member  of  the  Dramatists  Guild
                 and PEN American Center whose most recent
                 book  is  a  text-based  art  collaboration  with
                 fine  arts  photographer  Amy  Bassin,  Dream
                 Streams. (Clare Songbirds Publishing House).

              “I don’t want to go to school today, Ma.  I don’t feel well.”

              “You  felt  well  enough  to  stay  over  Lamont’s  house  two  hours  past  your
              curfew,playing video games.  Now get up and get ready for school.  And I mean now,
              Gregory John Burton!”

              The boy jumped out of bed.  He knew that when his mother called him by his full
              name instead of the familiar Greg, she could not be argued with and was primed for
              the yelling that would most certainly alert his father and bring him into the conflict.

              As  he  scuffed  his  way  towards  the  bathroom  he  thought  about  explaining  to  his
              mother why he had distracted himself to the point of disobedience at Lamont’s last
              night.  They were both trying to erase the fear and anxiety of what was sure to be the
              most horrible day of their seven-year education the next morning.

              His father flung open the bathroom door, his waist wrapped in a purple towel as he
              delicately  dragged  a  large  comb  through  his  thinning  brown  hair.    “It’s  all  yours.
              How’s it going, Sport?”

              “Terrible,” answered Greg.  “This morning we’re going to cut up a frog.  Yuck.”

              His father paused his grooming to put a hand on his son’s shoulder. “Don’t worry,
              Greg.  I remember not being too thrilled by the dissection my science teacher forced

              us to do, but he reminded us that we don’t kill the frogs, that they were already dead.
              And if we didn’t learn from their sacrifice, then their deaths were wasted. He also told
              us to pretend that we were surgeons cutting into a patient.  It turned out to be quite
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