by Shirley Golden
Mazie coloured the clouds orange and scribbled an increasing ball of blue for the sun. Standing on guard was a Roman senthingy—she was learning about old time Rome at school. She wished she could remember more from her history classes or any other class.
“We can’t all be clever clogs,” Mrs Rainer told her, and smiled kindly.
Mazie was arty; Miss Clarke said so, and gave her C grades for her sketches. Miss Clarke said she could achieve higher if only she would make her work representative of reality. Mazie wasn’t really sure what this meant but had a feeling Miss Clarke would prefer cats without wings.
Mazie chewed on the end of her pencil. The Roman senthingy didn’t need armour because the wars, in her picture, were over—she couldn’t remember what armour looked like, anyway. She drew on a hoodie like her brother wore, and included a cigarette, same angle as her dad used to fashion when he used to smoke. She added a mobile phone instead of a sword. After all, they were useful in emergencies—everyone said so.
When Mrs Rainer asked how the Romans might have communicated during battle, Mazie suggested texting. The other children laughed and even Mrs Rainer smiled, and it didn’t feel so kind.
She imagines the click of Miss Clarke’s tongue when she sees the colour of the sun. But Mazie can’t see why her Roman senthingy shouldn’t text a friend.