The Temper Tantrum

I should simply be happy that she showed up for work today. At the same time as I did. She’s made only the rare appearance over the chaotic summer. Chaos has a way of sending her pouting into a corner.

My “Little Miss Muse.”

Not an angel, by any stretch of the imagination, so don’t let the graphic fool you.

More like a mischievous winged imp. Coming and going as she pleases. Concocting self-proclaimed brilliance and dumping it on me—usually at two o’clock in the morning when I’m no where able to process what she’s doing.

Rarely when I sit down to begin a project.

And especially not when I’m trying to finish one.

She’s that part in all of us—especially alive and well in younger children—that generates ideas (brilliant, genius, dastardly, dangerous) that seem to “come from nowhere.” Those sparks of thought that raise our eyebrows and sprout goofy grins.

Those what-were-you-thinking moments.



For Mr. Thompson, the yearly show-and-tell used to be a point of light in the year, but recently it’s been a parade of electronics and apps, and he’s grown tired. That is until little Oliver brings something out of the ordinary to show to the class, launching the weary teacher into a traumatic reverie…

The week after spring break in Mr. Thompson’s third-grade class was always reserved for show-and-tell and had been for thirty-five years. Two decades ago, the children brought Cabbage Patch dolls and Transformer robots. Occasionally a pet dog or cat would visit the class, with special permission from the office. The class always loved the animals, but the animals didn’t always enjoy the visit.

The strangest item so far had been a half-set of dentures from Melissa Spencer’s deceased great-grandfather.

Sometime in the last decade, though, Joe had noticed that his students stopped bringing those innocent mementos capable of sparking creative play and imagination and dreams. Instead, electronic devices with intrusive alarms and bells had replaced the teddy bears and trains that blew real smoke from their stacks.

Joe was tired. Not of the students, not of teaching, just tired. Maybe it was all the tech. Maybe too much too fast. Maybe he was longing for simpler times.


Thank you for hanging out for a bit. Check back on the first week of every

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Copyright © 2019 by B.A. Paul
All work is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed herein are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. All work published on this site, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

Beth's passion for writing started in grade school with an epic outer space adventure scribbled on 158 sheets of wide-ruled notebook paper with not-sharp-enough pencils. That manuscript was lost in a basement flood.

Thirty years, marriage, two kids and several dogs later, she's garnered enough story fodder to resurrect her passion—and this time she backs up her work!

She currently resides in Indiana with her family and a couple of meowing fur babies who enjoy walking across her keyboard.