Voice of the High School (Excerpt)

by Bob Francis

My locker is on the ground floor, number 713. It’s the second one from the corner where the hall to the cafeteria and the stairwell meet. I hate it because couples are always up against that corner locker like Siamese twins attached at the face.

I used to play with them. I’d sneak up to my locker, open it quietly and then slam it shut as hard as I could. Got them out of the mood faster than a couple of cold showers.

But I stopped after I shocked this girl so badly, she almost bit a guy’s tongue off. He pushed off her, grabbing his face. Flecks of red flew out all over the place. I remember the girl was wearing a white T-shirt and little red specks were soaking into the material. The guy ran up the stairs, screaming and gurgling. She was screaming too, blood dribbling out of the corner of her mouth like cherry syrup. I got out of there as soon as I could move again and didn’t go back to my locker for two weeks. I just carried my books with me all day long.

Bob is one of several In Print members to have his work on Public Displays of Affection featured at the Allegory Project, an art space and exhibition co-sponsored by the Art Matters Artist Coop and the Rockford Area Arts Council. The Allegory Project plans to have a theme that is explored in various art forms: painting and sculpture, photography, repurposed objects, and the spoken and written word.