Ten Questions for a Fictional Character: Mr. Parker of The Assignment

Photo by NovemberRainDrop at morguefile.com

Photo by NovemberRainDrop at morguefile.com

***SPOILER ALERT!!!*** This post contains information about my story The Assignment. If you haven’t read this story click here before reading on.

Mr. Parker sits on the steps outside of the high-school, autumn leaves tumbling at his feet. Dark clouds tumble through the sky overhead. Seeing me, he stands to shake my hand. “It’s not every day I attract this much attention. Sit down,” he places a folded blanket on the concrete step, “please.”

“My readers were moved by your story. Especially by your care for Peter. Did you have to send that picture to the dean?”

“Wow, right into the interview, huh? I thought I might be able to ask you a few question about how this is usually handled first, but okay.” He claps his hands together, rubbing them vigorously. A smile flicks up the edge of his mouth. “No, because I didn’t actually take one. The camera on my phone hasn’t worked in months. Thankfully Butch didn’t demand to see it. If it weren’t for Peter’s involvement I’d use Butch as an example of how stupid pot can make a person.” He grunts in disgust. “But the important thing is that my bluff worked to Get Peter back into school.”

“What happened next?”

“I took him straight to the police. That isn’t the exact protocol we’re trained to use, but I felt that was the best option.”

“Did Peter cooperate with you on that?”

He leans his head back. “No. Not at all. Like any child, and to anyone out there that would disagree, a sixteen year old boy is very much still a child, he loves his dad. I’d be willing to bet he hates him too, but he’ll defend him to the death if that’s what it takes to stay with what he knows. But wouldn’t we all?”

“Why in the world would Peter want to stay with his abusive father if there was a way out?”

“Our imaginations can always conjure worse fates beyond the confines of any reality we’re living in.”

“What about Peter’s mother? Where is she in all of this?”

“Mary. Her name is Mary. She is a sweet, kind, wonderful woman who loves her son dearly. Unfortunately, she’s also bipolar and often refuses to take her medication, so, more often than not she’s in the hospital.”

“You seem to know a lot about Peter and his life. Do you take this much interest in all of your students?”

He takes a breath and rubs his stubbed cheek. “It’s always my mission to reach the students. A lot of times I double as guidance counselor or adviser, since the school doesn’t have one, but Peter is of particular interest. I grew up with both of his parents. Mary was my best friend, and I’ll admit I fell in love with her, and so did every other man who met her. She was someone special. But, she chose Butch instead of me. When Peter walked into my class, I knew immediately who he was. He looks just like her, but he’s got more than too much of his dad in him too.”

“Where is Peter now?”

“Child Welfare Services were able to place him with an Aunt who lives upstate.” He sighs, running a hand through his hair. “You should have heard the way he screamed at me. The police had to restrain him. He accused me of giving him the marijuana Butch had been smoking. Of course they tested my fingerprints against the bag, and searched my house, and found nothing. Butch’s, however, where all over the bag and he tested positive for the drug.”

“What happens to Butch next?”

He raises his palms toward the sky. “Honestly? I don’t know . Our futures have yet to be written.”

“What would you like to see happen?”

“I’d like to see him pull his head out of his sphincter. Is that too much to ask? He’s got a kid that needs him and loves him. I’d like to see him realize that!”

“Final question, what’s next for you, Mr. Parker?”

He stretches, smiling. “When my suspension ends, I’ll let you know. I guess the board doesn’t take kindly to teachers “threatening,” as Butch put it, students’ parents.”

Thank you all so very much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this story and I appreciate your spending a little time in my imagination. This story prompt was chosen by one of my amazing readers. Click here and found out how you could be able to pick the next one!

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