Quiller pulled open the drawer of his great walnut desk and withdrew a short ebony tube. Next, he withdrew a squat glass bottle of some dark fluid. I looked up and met that familiar stern gaze. At length, he turned again to the bottle, removing its cap. He picked up the tube and then I noticed it had two halves; with a couple of twists, he separated these to reveal a brilliantly golden triangle at one end. I was fascinated to watch him place this end inside the bottle’s neck and pull on a tiny lever concealed along the tube’s length. He then handed me this tube, minute flecks of blue liquid adhering to its glinting, triangular point.
While I marvelled at the device in my hand, Quiller had slid a large sheet of white paper in front of me. I looked up at him again. He tapped the sheet.
“Please write out one thousand times, ‘I must cease abusing this planet’s resources, either wilfully or mindlessly, for the rest of my days.’”
We are all guilty, me too.
I know that “lines” are a universal punishment for kids having watched the opening credits of the Simpsons with Bart writing them on the chalk board before whizzing off on his skateboard. Officially, in my school, it was called “imposition”, and done at home on paper and given in the next day. It was, I think, considered the most lenient and less serious punishment but I would happily have been detained or whacked any day. Lines is a form of prolonged psychological torture.
This week’s photo prompt provided by Yarnspinnerr. Thank you, Yarnspinnerr.
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