Scent of chalk and books

I remember benches, scent of chalk and books. We had teachers; I had dreams and pigtails.

I remember when they first arrived. Two men with guns, and how they tried to smile before they separated men and women.

I remember things that should be forgotten. When they shot the men and what happened in the unlit rooms.

I remember being saved; the education and finally fulfilling dreams.

Soon there will be benches here again, there will be scent of chalk and books. I’m the teacher and my students come with dreams.

But first I need to wipe the blood away.

When I saw this picture I immediately thought of deeds being done in Africa and the Middle East. I hope at some point in the future a new future will be built on top of the rubble.

Rochelle selects the picture and set the bar for storytelling, and it gives us all an opportunity trying our style and skills in story telling. If anyone is in Stockholm June 11, we have a book release for a collaborative effort of connected short stories. Drop me a line, and I will send you more details.

May 24, 2017

52 responses to “Scent of chalk and books

  1. You are, as I have said many times before, at first a poet, and your poetic sensibilities serve you well with this story. I can’t help but wonder if you could insert the small word “the” in front of “scent of chalk and books”.
    I remember benches; the scent of chalk and books.
    This would fit nicely with the second sentence, with its semi-colon thoughts.
    And again at the end:
    …there will be the scent of chalk and books.
    A very powerful piece, Bjorn.

    • I had that “the” inserted first, but removed it for two reasons… the first reason was the rhythm where i stumbled on the extra syllable (I always try to read my pieces aloud…) the second was the to fit exactly 100 words which I always try to do… but yes I do agree that there should be a “the in front of chalk and books”…

  2. A sad story, but you gave us hope through the suffering. Brought to mind the Beslan school seige in Chechnya – over a decade ago now. A school held at gunpoint and the authorities storming in. Almost 200 children dead. Such awful deeds and all so senseless because they never achieve anything, do they?
    Well written tale Bjorn

  3. Your words drew me into this dark, horrifying world. I love the hope at the end.

  4. I admire your prose as much as your poetry now…the vision of possibilities seen through an educator’s eyes, violence does not overcome in the end.

  5. Very difficult to ‘like’ this one. Very well told; the sense of fear and loss along with the determination to carry on.

  6. It’s despicable what heartless, damaged people are doing to others, especially children who should happily be attending school and learning for the future. How wonderful some dedicated educators are coming back and teaching the remaining children. Good writing, Bjorn.

  7. Interesting how many writers saw this as a school. Yes, the children living in the hardest places need teachers.

  8. Oh, hell. What a world. Thank goodness for those who survive atrocities and are strong enough to help others have a better life. I was listening to something on the radio last week, about a school in Greece where they teach refugee children to speak Greek and then integrate them most successfully with the local children in the school. I just thought what wonderful energy and optimism the teachers had, which translated into excellent positive results. They were an example of if you believe in a better world, then you make a better world.

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