by Jeff H.

Maxwell transferred from Merkel Prep to Geisel High and his first quiz was impossible: “If Ms. Bedelia has five eggs but then cooks one, how many elephants can the circle square?”

How am I supposed to know that? Maxwell thought. He didn’t go to Escher Middle School or the Dalí Institute like the rest of them. He hadn’t learned underivatives or nonce poetry or taken any anti-rhetoric! Frustrated, Maxwell scrawled “Why don’t marshmallows have bones?!” for the first question, and for all the rest he drew faces with tongues sticking out.

The next day Mr. Carroll handed back work. Maxwell didn’t turn over his quiz immediately—he was sure he’d failed, just like he’d failed to synthesize flubber and polywater in his alchemy class.

But eventually, curiosity got the best of him. He flipped the paper and lo and behold! There was an infinity symbol at the top of his quiz, and below it, “Your work is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”

A torus-shaped lightbulb went off above Maxwell’s head. Well… maybe he’d learn to fit in after all.

Jeff H. is a high school English teacher. His short fiction has been published in The Drabble, Eunoia Review, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine. He runs Batch & Narrative with his wife, a dietitian. They write about cooking, writing, and everything else.




Image credit: Pixabay



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