In which Ellen finds her voice
Original? sprawled in stark, red letters across the top of the page of each of the four stories I had submitted to the substitute teacher, accompanied by big, fat zeroes. My face burned with underserved shame, matching, I was certain, the scarlet ink that called me out for a crime I had not committed.
Plagiarism. The substitute glared at me over John-Lennon glasses as she dropped the sheets onto my desk. “Principal’s office after class,” she said, her disapproval writ in every inch of her oh-so-perfect skin.
She couldn’t have been more than twenty-five, yet she reminded me of the caricatures of bitter librarians who hated any hint of enjoyment within the hallowed halls of the libraries they haunted, their own lives sere and joyless.
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