What Came Before

At that point the lights in the classroom, with a click of a switch, flicker back into life illuminating the oblong shaped room once more. Again the cream walls result in glare, painful and irritating. But the looks on the children’s’ faces is one of astonishment. Many even sit there with their eyes wide or their jaws hanging loosely giving views of their teeth and tongues.

“What did you think of that children?” Miss Hannigan asks now that she is back on her feet and able to be seen by every boy and girl in the class.

She is forced to stifle a smile as it is clear that this is the last thing they expected to see today. But it doesn’t take long for their honest responses to be given as they declare, “That was awesome.” “I loved it.” “That was the best lesson ever.”

Then come the questions in the form of pleas and begs, “Can we do this again, Miss?” “Yeah, we should do this every lesson, can we?”

Again, Miss Hannigan is forced to repress her emotions and stop herself from laughing.

She is pleased that her students enjoyed the lesson, but it was done for a reason. That is why while keeping a stern expression she casts her gaze over each and every young face before her and then advises, “I understand your enjoyment. However, this was a lesson and as such I must impart upon you the knowledge that it is meant to convey.”

“What is it Miss?”

“Yeah, tell us please.”

“We really want to know.”

Miss Hannigan clears her throat and then informs, “Because of that Flashstorm, 87% of the world was frozen to death.”

Miss Hannigan lets her words hang in the air for a moment before continuing.

“Nothing escaped nature’s wrath that day; whether it lived in the skies, on the land or deep in the seas. That is why, generations later we are still unable to live on the surface. And why you may ask?” Again Miss Hannigan pauses to let her words and rhetorical question sink in for a few moments. The children time to consider. Not long. Children never need long. They’re young. Their brains are fast.

Finally she answers and delivers the point that the students should take from this lesson, “Because of humanities hubris, that’s why. Do you understand now children why we needed to watch this today?”

This time Miss Hannigan, the redheaded teacher, asks an actual question and her students give her a unanimous reply, “Yes Miss.”

“Good.” Miss Hannigan says with a nod of approval, following which she adds, “There will be a quiz on this next time. And I expect all of you to pass it, without exception.”

The students grumble hearing about the test, but don’t go as far as to outright refuse or object.

The truth is they enjoyed the history lesson today and though none of them enjoy quizzes, they know that it could have been far more boring.

“Class dismissed.” Miss Hannigan announces soon after.

In reply, the children begin to collect themselves and their belongings so they can be on their way to whatever the next lesson might be for them.

Meanwhile, high above the windowless oblong classroom they have been sat in, that is dug deep underground, the surface of the world is still covered in thick layers of snow and ice.

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