A Comedy of AR's

by: Sammderr | Story In Progress | Last updated Jul 6, 2024

Chapter 99
Chapter 99: Testimony

Chapter Description: Clark's ex coworkers take him aside and tell him who's really been in his corner all along.

Chapter 99: Testimony

“Excuse me Mrs. Beouf,”  Jasmine Sosa popped her head in.  “Can I borrow Clark?”

Beouf frowned in confusion and looked at the clock on the wall as if to confirm.  Tuesdays were common enough for Speech, Occupational, or Physical Therapy to pop in, but that happened well after morning activity centers.  “Um…sure,” she said. 

Sosa stayed with one foot out the door.  “Awesome,” she said. “Just trying to make up for lost time before progress reports go home at the end of the week.”

“Got it,” Beouf said. “Anybody else?”

“Nope. Just, Clark.”

The so-called teacher pointed towards the door.  “Alright Clark. Hop to it.”

“Why?”  My gaze was unwavering and a challenge to her.  I might as well have not have heard her command.

“Clark, my love,” Zoge said from across the room. “Please go with Miss Sosa.”

I stood up out of my chair and pushed it in. “Yes Mrs. Zoge.”  Every word felt like a jab right into Beouf’s throat. “I love you.”

Zoge fluttered, then stiffened. “Go, please.”  She made a point to avoid eye contact and to immediately restart her own center activity.  We’d put her in a pickle.  She was the only Amazon any of us would listen to without complaint or question, but Beouf was also her superior.  Everytime she helped she was indirectly undermining her supervisor’s authority. They had the option of running us through their curriculum or derailing themselves in trying to correct only slightly objectionable behavior.  How wonderful would it be if I was causing professional strife between the pair?.

I yanked my pants up and pulled my shirt down and made my way to the door. Stretchy waistbands and bulky plastic backing had never been a great combination.

Sosa held open the door for me and allowed me to walk out by myself. I veered right so we could walk around the building as usual. There was an extra skip in my step that morning. Without prompting or asking, the ‘why’s’ and ‘love bombs’ were continuing.  Some one-on-one to antagonize Sosa was sweet sweet icing on the cake.

Overstepping my bounds or not, I still had an ax to grind with her.

“Hold up, sir,” Sosa said three steps in. “We’re not going that way.”

I paused.  “We’re not?”

“This way.”  Sosa thumbed to the left.

“But that’s towards Skinner’s room,” I said.

“I know.”  She started walking away.  “You’re going to work with all three of us. Come on.”

I set my jaw. “Sure.”

The crinkle in my walk sounded louder. Or maybe that was just stress, but I power walked until I was side by side with Sosa while she opened up the door to the Speech Therapy room.

“Good Morning, Clark,” Winters waved me in.  She was sitting at the smaller table where the Littles and Kindergarteners did their speech exercises.  Skinner was at her desk clacking away on her keyboard. 

Right away I took a seat so as to seem cooperative.Just in case, I pulled my pants back up (they needed it) before I sat down.  I tucked my hands and gripped the bottom so that if I was picked up by any of the giants the construct of plastic and steel was coming with me.  

“Miss Winters,” I said. “Miss Skinner.”  That got me the curtest of nods. I threw my head backwards towards the door and stared at Sosa upside down. “Jazzie-licious.”

Sosa didn’t reply but her eyes practically leapt out of her skull. I could practically see the smoke coming out of her ears.  That got her a big toothy smile from yours truly. 

“Are you sure we want to do this?” she asked Winters.

Winters said nothing but took one of the bigger chairs and sat down on my left. Skinner grabbed another and sat to my right.  Skinner got off her computer and took her usual spot across from me. I was surrounded, again. These three particular ex-work friends had zero fuzzy maternal feelings for me and much less history.  Depending on how much they lied to themselves, I was either a cheeky brat that needed a spanking or a problematic prisoner that wouldn’t get with the (re)program.  Maybe both.

I figured: Why not play the part?

“So…what are we doing?”  My voice was gratingly playful. My tone nails on a chalkboard.

Winters took the lead. “Clark. We wanted to talk to you about some thi-”

“Shouldn’t we be doing introductions?” I interrupted.  “You know? Name and occupation?” I sat up a little straighter and folded my hands on the table. “Hi I’m Chandra Skinner, Speech and Language Pathologist? Hello, I’m Maxine Winters Physical Therapist? Hello I’m Jasmine Sosa, Occupational Therapist?”  I made double sure to enunciate every last syllable in Sosa’s name, just to piss her off.  “That sort of thing? Don’t we need the Resource Compliance Specialist before we start?”

This trio had backed me up so many times for countless years and talked me up to dozens of parents, only to turn on me the second I had an accident.  They were no better than Beouf.  The only reason I hated them less than her was because they were never really friends.

“This isn’t an I.E.P. meeting,” Sosa said. “And you know it.”

“Do I, Jazzie? Do I?’ I smiled but I didn’t feel it. There was nothing whimsical or comical about my emotions.  Class clowns were always the least likely to actually find things funny.  “Hm? Do I?”

“You do, Mr. Grange.”

“Miss Sosa,” Winters gently redirected. “We’re getting off topic.”

“Why didn’t you spank her and diaper her to put her in line, Winters?” I spat. “I know you had the urge.”

Winters kept her cool and plowed on over my baiting.  “Sweetie, we know you’re really smart and you’re having a hard time adjusting to things. We know.”

Bullshit they knew. They didn’t know a damn thing, and if they did that only made them worse.  If they knew, if they had any idea, then that made them Ambroses in Janet’s clothing.

“No.” I said, flatly.  “You don’t.”

“We wanted to talk to you by yourself,” Sosa said, having regained her composure, “because we know you like performing and making people happy.”  I turned my head to look at her and let my fake smile completely drop. So much past tense was needed to correct that sentiment.  I liked performing. I liked making people happy. The only thing that gave me satisfaction was frustrating Amazons and their wet and waddling pawns.

Winters made my head pivot again with, “Right now, it’s just you and us, buddy. You don’t have anybody to impress or show off for.  No one to embarrass us in front of.”

I eyeballed Skinner and watched her shift uncomfortably.  Not quite.  I kept my gaze straight ahead at her. Sosa and Winters were trading off lines to keep me swiveling and off guard.  Nice try, ladies.

“You brought me here because you didn’t want any distractions with the ballpit while you chew me out.  Skinner’s room sucks so you think it’ll help me focus.”  Skinner’s lips retreated inward.  I was disappointed when neither of her co-workers affirmed my hypothesis.

“We think you’re a good…” Winters chose her words carefully, lest she offend, “...person. And you’re very, very clever. That’s why the three of us are wondering why you keep trying to pick on the people who are helping you.”

Behavior? They wanted to talk to me about my behavior? It would have been funny if it weren’t so sad. “Shouldn’t I be talking to the Guidance Counselor? Or the Dean? Or the Principal?” Fuck it. Give me Brollish.

“We don’t want you to get in trouble,” Sosa said. She actually sounded like she kind of meant it. “We don’t want to punish you. We want to help.”

My blood pressure spiked, yet my voice remained even and steady. “You left me in a room with someone awful enough to make Billy cry. Billy. Have you met the man? He’s not a crier.”  No rebuttal came so I continued. “You put me pantsless in front of my kids. Or did you think I would forget that those were my students before I forgot what sound a bird makes?”

This whole conversation was becoming terribly awkward and as angry as I was becoming I was enjoying myself.

“You’ve got a point, Clark.” Winters said. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Sosa scoff and cross her arms.  “We should have taken you back to your classroom, not Mrs. Ambrose’s. We won’t be doing that again.”

Sosa tagged in, keeping her temper. “But you were acting in a way that was highly immature and inappropriate, sir.  You were impeding your own learning, our ability to teach, and everyone else’s ability to learn.” That would have been true if any of us were ‘learning’ things besides that it’s easier to give up and a Grown-Up for help or that crawling was a viable option for locomotion. “Do you understand why we had to remove you, kiddo?”

Kiddo. Sosa had dared use the word that Maxine had been cautious enough to avoid.

“I guess I’m just too Little to understand,” I droned. “Beouf ever tell you guys about the block tower metaphor? Maybe my early blocks were just super fussy and bratty. Maybe I was a horrible child the first time around and only through good parenting and patience did I grow into a teacher.”  My nostrils flared at the blasphemy I was making myself say. “Now all those old impulses are coming back, and it’s taking forever to get to the adult I used to be. This is just who I am now.”

I didn’t believe a word I was saying, obviously.  That wasn't the point. I was insulting myself in an effort to derail their grievance.  They’d said I’d acted badly and I’d parried it by saying I was an innately bad person who could not be cured. Now they were being pressured to argue that I could.

Skinner took the bait. “Clark,” she spoke for the first time. “Don’t say that, sugar.”  Her voice was already becoming sweet and syrupy like maple on pancakes. Damn, I missed pancakes. “You’re good. You’re really good. You’re just having a rough time of it and don’t have the words to ask for the help you need. That’s why we’re here trying to listen.”  She reached out and placed her palm over my folded hands.

“No,” I stated. “I’m bad. I’m very, very bad.  You should just give up on me. If you don’t want to write me up, just go through the motions. Stop trying. It’s not worth it.”

A soft, sorrowful smile bloomed on Skinner’s face. “That’s not gonna happen, bubba. We’re here for you.”

“Miss Skinner?”  I had to do my best not to laugh.


“Are you, Maxine and Jasmine all part of a throuple?” I asked.  “Just wondering.”

Skinner withdrew her hands and leaned all the way back in her chair.  Her nose wrinkled up like I’d just had an accident.  “No wonder your wife burned your house down.”

Gasps erupted out from everyone’s lips. Mine, Winters, and Sosa. Even Skinner looked like she couldn’t believe she’d said what she’d said.


“Miss Skinner!”


My whole world went blood red. “YOU MOTHER FUCKING BITCH!” Two heavy hands shot to my shoulders to keep me from standing up. I kicked the chair out and dropped to the floor, ready to give a new meaning to the phrase ‘ankle biter’. 

I screamed and surged under the table but didn’t get far enough to do anything. Winters and Sosa scrambled after me and dragged me out from under the table. Sosa sat cross legged on the floor and pulled me into her lap. She grabbed my wrists and forced my arms across my chest like a mock straight jacket and leaned her body weight forward on me so that I was bent over and couldn’t kick.

My throat was starting to get raw, I was screaming so hard. I stopped caring that my pants had slid down past my knees in the struggle. “KEEP MY WIFE OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MOUTH YOU CUNT!”

The blood rushed out of Skinner’s face and rushed all the way to her ankles.To make someone’s mask slip that drastically should have made me feel proud.  I didn’t feel anything except rage at that moment.

Skinner walked out of my line of sight. Nobody talked over my shouts and screams. I wanted to keep screaming forever.  Eventually I ran out of breath and started huffing.

“You ready to talk, sir?” Sosa asked me. “It’s okay if not. Take your time. I just can’t let you try and hurt anyone. You understand.”

I inhaled and steadied my breathing.  “Yeah. I can talk. Let me go?”

“Not yet.”

“Do you need to switch?” Winters asked her partner. 

I felt Sosa’s upper body shift when she shook her head.  “No. I’m good.”

The speech pathologist walked back around to my line of sight. “Clark, I’m so sorry,” Skinner said.  She got down on her knees so that she was closer to eye level.  “I shouldn’t have said that.  That was wrong of me.  I was angry, but that doesn’t excuse what I said.  I’m sorry and I wanted to know that. Forgive me?”

My tongue ran over my teeth and I mulled over her half-hearted mostly panicked apology.  “No.” I said.  “Not at all. I’m going to tell on you. I’m going to tell my Mommy on you and she’s going to believe me because I never tell on any Amazon that hasn’t actually done something. It’s the only thing I don’t lie about.” 

I would do so much worse than that. Skinner was in for absolute hell for as long as I was Janet’s captive. For once, me not being held to a lower standard than an Amazon was working in my favor. As long as I wasn’t a danger to other students, I’d be okay.  If Skinner was scared of me before…

Skinner’s eyesight rose above me. “I should go.”

“You should go,” Winters agreed.

The dreary room stayed quiet until the door opened and closed again.  “Clark. I’m going to let you go, now.” Sosa said. “Okay?”



My wrists were released, I half jumped out of her lap and yanked my pants back up over my waist.  Sore and aching, I turned to face them, and started stretching my back and arms.
Winters stayed standing and Sosa remained seated. She mirrored my own stretches. Holding even a Little in a restraining like that can be taxing and uncomfortable after long enough.  The clock on the wall said that I’d been close to insensate with anger for close to twenty minutes.

They were both in front of me where I could see them and one was sitting down.  I shuffled a few steps back.  They blocked my path to the door, but I could make them work to catch me if I felt like running around.

“What now, ladies? Where do we go from here?”

“We talk,” Winters addressed me.

“Like we said, Clark,” Sosa said. “We know you well enough to know that making people upset and getting upset are what you do when you don’t want to do something.”

Winters tacked on the obvious. “It’s an escape behavior.”

My feet shuffled a few more steps back.  Fantasies of me knocking Skinner’s computer monitor off her desk danced in my gray matter.  “So you guys just want me to be nicer to you? You want me to behave? Is that why you wanted to corner me?”

“No,” Sosa said. “We can handle you.”

“We only see each other once a week,” Winters clarified.

I cocked an eyebrow. “So the other Littles?” Who was snitching on me to the therapists? It couldn’t have been Ivy or my clique. A lack of opportunity and a healthy amount of loyalty prevented that.  Mandy maybe? Jesse? Shauna? What had I done to Shauna lately?

“We want you to take it easy on Mrs. B. for a while,” Winters said.

Laughter. Melodious, sidesplitting, rictus grinning laughter made me double over to the point that my knees felt weak.  I was panting again by the time I’d finished.   “No.”  I said. “Just. No.”

“What we mean is,” Sosa said, “is we don’t think you know just how much your teacher cares about you. How much she’s always cared about you.”

A second round of cackling found me rolling on the floor in hysterics.  Neither Amazon moved, waiting for me to finish my theatrics. “Miss Skinner was pulling up some emails for you to look at. Would you please read them with us?”

Winters was playing me, I knew. Didn’t care, though. Curiosity was getting the better of me.  I was allowed to stand up on Skinner’s chair and sort through dozens of handpicked emails.

“In the weeks and possibly months that follow, please be patient with C.G.” Sosa read one aloud. “That’s you,” she said.

I rolled my eyes. Teachers generally didn’t refer to students by name in official emails for reasons of confidentiality.  “Obviously.”

“Not only is his Maturosis in wild flux, but more importantly he is in a new stage in his life yet in an environment that he is very familiar with. Most Littles experiencing Maturosis have the benefit of a completely new start in terms of caregivers and services. He is not fortunate enough to have that option available. As his former colleagues and professionals, we owe it to him to make him as comfortable as possible as he reaches his Developmental Plateau.  He is going to need a lot of love.”

It was dated the Friday that my Adoption was being finalized.

Winters read another.  “C.G. is unavailable for therapy this morning. He’s been crying all day. Shock at recent trauma is starting to set in. Will inform you of specifics after school.”  That explained that.

“Thank you for the mittens,” Sosa read the next one. “I think they were an effective deterrent to him attempting to purposefully break things. I do not think at this time that they are appropriate for his needs beyond that.  Would you like them back?”

“C.G. has always been talented with speech and language,” I recited. “It does not surprise me to learn that he is having difficulty learning new communication strategies in the event that his vocabulary decreases due to Maturosis.  Can we collaborate and try to brainstorm some new strategies for him?” My jaw started to drop.  “Maybe something whole group so that he doesn’t feel singled out? He might even be motivated to encourage his classmates. He’s always had great leadership potential.” Tears threatened as I read the last sentence. 

I had to sit down for a moment. I felt dizzy like I hadn’t eaten.

“You okay, Mr. Clark?” Sosa asked.

I shook my head, but I said, “Yeah.”  More evidence that Beouf was a madwoman who saw me as a child in desperate need of her intervention.

We read another. And another. And another.  Every week I’d been enrolled, she was giving all of them updates and practically begging for second chances and offering insights and guesses as to what might be going on in my brain.  Sometimes she was close, too, even though it always got tracked back to my bullshit condition.

Every step of the way, she’d been trying to advocate for me in her own twisted manner.  “She doesn’t do this with every student of hers,” Winters said. “Not even close.  She really cares about you, Clark. Really, really.”

“There’s more,” Sosa said. She dug into her pocket and took out her phone. “Since you like reading texts so much…”  She tapped her now password protected screen and showed me.

                                                                 <3 Maxine <3

Ready for MM’s IEP?


                                                                                           it’s too early in the year for this shit


Think we’ll have any problems?

                                                                                                                                      probly not 

                                                                                      just the usual beginning of the year crap              

                                                                                                                  from new pre-k rents 

                                                                                                          don’t like CG teaching here                                                     

Who does?


Touche, lol.

That particular conversation had been dated over two years ago. I suddenly felt extremely empty inside. I chomped down on my own tongue to keep myself from bawling.

“Mrs. B has been looking out for you ever since you got here,” Sosa whispered. “You have no idea just how much she cares about you and wants you to be happy, Clark.  The only reason I think she didn’t Adopt you herself was because she thought you’d be happier with your Mommy.”

“She’s doing her best,” Winters said. “We just want you to do yours, too. Try to be fair to her.”

“Why’d she ask you to help her?” I asked.

“She didn’t,” Sosa answered.

“Then who?”

“Mrs. Zoge,” they said in unison.  They pulled up the email to prove it, carbon copied to all three of them. It had been sent yesterday and gave a blow by blow of every terrible thing I’d managed to accomplish last week through the end of school yesterday.  She was well aware of what I was doing but didn’t know how to help either her friend or her student and felt caught in the middle of it all.  Zoge ended the letter by asking them to please not tell Beouf because of how proud she was and she didn’t want to embarrass her partner.

I hung my head.  “I think I’m ready to go back to class now,” I said.

“I think you are, too.” Winters agreed.

We walked back in silence while everything I’d seen and heard blended together in my head.  I remembered in more than just an academic sense how much I’d liked Melony Beouf. How much the woman had meant to me over the years and how much I’d evidently meant to her.

I’d already heard it from her own lips. Hearing it come from others, from people I just wanted to make miserable, made it feel even more real. Beouf’s protection and fondness of me had been more than some long buried secret that came bursting out in moments of overwhelming regret and grief from things that could have been; it was a publicly recognized fact that was common knowledge to all.

At some point, in her own crazy typical Amazon way, she had really loved me and was doing her best to do so again.  I owed her a lot. So much.

Just thinking about it made me flush and feel utterly overwhelmed.

“He’s all yours,” Sosa said. 

“Thank you,” Winters chimed in.  “Much appreciated.”

“Thank you very much, ladies.” Zoge said in her almost musical way. “We are happy to have him back.”

Activity centers were over. Wrappers of animal crackers lay empty in the wastebasket.  I’d missed practically the entire first half of my school day reading emails and throwing blood lust temper tantrums while trying not to cry.

Presently, Beouf sat on the floor with a big book in her lap; probably something about the fun one can have when one is a baby instead of an adult or something. The rest of the class sat around in a semi-circle formation. She dared not make a statement for fear of a chorus of ‘Why?’.

Neither did Zoge intervene on her behalf and tell me to join them. The therapists stayed at the classroom entrance, waiting to see what I’d do. Likewise my peers all turned their heads and stared, expecting me to join them in their brainwashing or to create some fresh havoc to amuse.

Everyone was looking at me.  I was the center of attention. It was almost like being a teacher again.  So, of course, I did what came most naturally to me.

Fresh tears streaming down my face, I looked to her, stomped my foot and shouted at the top of my lungs, “FUCK YOU, MELONY! YOU’RE A FUCKING MONSTER! YOU CAN GO FUCK YOURSELF YOU GODDAMN PSYCHO BITCH I HATE YOU! FUCK YOU! I HATE YOOOOOOOOU!”



End Chapter 99

A Comedy of AR's

by: Sammderr | Story In Progress | Last updated Jul 6, 2024


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