What I Learned In School Today

What I Learned In School Today - Photo by pixabay.com from Pexels
Photo by pixabay.com from Pexels

As a bit of a supplement to my upcoming book, Ghosts are Assholes, here is another vignette into Vincent’s life that I hope you enjoy. It is entitled What I Learned In School Today.

“What’s the answer to number 2?” the young boy asked the dowdy ghost floating over his left shoulder just above a whisper. He didn’t want to risk attracting the attention of his fourth-grade teacher sitting behind her desk.

“Vincent!” the apparition admonished. “Are you asking me to cheat?”

“Uh-huh!” the boy replied eagerly.

“Why didn’t you study?”

“Wanted to watch the ball game.”

“You couldn’t have studied beforehand?”

“No, I had baseball practice.”

“But you’ve known about this test for a week.”

“I had to watch a lot of ballgames.”

“You have to study for your tests.”

“You sound like my mom.”

“She sounds like a very caring and intelligent woman.”

“Whatever. Are you gonna help me or not? Mom’s gonna kill me if I fail another test.”

“I’m sorry, Vincent, I won’t help you cheat.”

The boy heaved out a sigh. “Well, I was hopin’ it wouldn’t come to this. I’m the only one who can see you, right?”


“So, I’m the only one who can help you, right?”

“Go on.”

“You kinda need me.”

“I don’t like where this is going, Vincent.”

“If you don’t help me pass this test, I won’t help you.”

“Vincent! That’s blackmail!” she screamed even though it wasn’t blackmail. It was extortion.

“Uh-huh! So you gonna help me?”

The apparition let out a long, exasperated sigh. “Fine, I’ll help you, but only if you promise to study from now on.”

He smiled. “Yeah, sure, whatever.”

“Vincent,” the woman chided, “Promise me you’ll never cheat again.”

The boy rolled his eyes. “Okay, okay, sheesh. I won’t do it ever again.”

His teacher’s head jerked away from the papers she was grading. “You won’t do what ever again?”

Vincent’s classmates giggled as they each turned to face the now perspiring lad seated in the back corner of the classroom.

“Uh, n-nothing M-Ms. J-Johnson,” he stammered.

“Uh-huh,” she said while exaggerating each syllable. His teacher then shook her head and let out a sigh. “Just finish the test, Mr. Pietro. And do it quietly.”

Vincent smiled as he wiped the sweat from his brow. “Okay, Ms. Johnson.”

Disappointed with the lack of drama, the rest of the class begrudgingly turned their attention back to their exams.

“You’re still gonna help me, right?” Vincent asked, remembering to whisper this time.

“Since I have to. The answer to number one is ‘b’, and the answer to number two is…” The little boy eagerly wrote down the answers the poltergeist apprehensively recited to him. When he turned in his test, his teacher gave him an askance glance. It was odd that someone like Vincent could hardly contain his jubilation post-test. Usually, his demeanor was quite the opposite when it came to such matters. However, she ultimately let it go until, at least, she was able to grade his exam. Then perhaps she’d have something to discuss with his parents, or so she presumed.

The young boy was oblivious to her dubious glare, though. He was feeling so much joy that nothing could have dampened his mood. That is, nothing could until the end of the school day. His teacher’s worst fears of why Vincent was so happy had been alleviated by that point. In contrast, Vincent’s worst fears had suddenly reemerged and were confirmed.

“I failed the test!” Vincent screamed after they exited the classroom and both were alone in the halls. There he presented the apparition his exam by holding it with both hands above him. It indeed had a large red “F” stamped in its right corner. A sticky note was also attached that read “We must have a serious discussion with regard to your son’s grades, Mrs. Pietro.” The word “serious” was underlined several times. “I only got two answers right!” the boy continued. That was out of a possible twenty.

The ghost flashed a smug grin as she pointed her nose into the air and placed her hands on her hips. “I wanted to teach you a lesson about cheating.”

Vincent scowled. “Really?”

After a short pause, the grin disappeared and her posture eased. “No, not really. I’m afraid I don’t know much about history.” Her expression hardened again as she wagged her finger at Vincent. “Still, it serves you right for trying to cheat!”

Vincent’s lips wore a bemused smile. “Wait! That means you weren’t a good student, neither!”

A motherly look remained on the ghost’s face. “Maybe so, but that’s why I know it’s important to study and take school seriously!”

Vincent groaned and grabbed his forehead upon a realization. “Aw, man! This blows! I just realized something. Not only is mom gonna be so angry. Probably have to go to summer school! And then I won’t be able to play baseball or watch the Mariners! This sucks! And what good is my ‘gift’ if ghosts can’t even help ya pass tests?”

“You shouldn’t rely on ghosts to succeed. You should only rely on yourself.”

Vincent remained silent. It was followed by a short and awkward pause. A look of apprehension enveloped the apparition’s visage. “Um, Vincent? Dear?”

There was another slight pause. “Yeah? What?”

“Are… are you still going to help me?”

“Yeah,” Vincent answered solemnly, “Of course, I’ll still help you. I was always gonna. I just wanted you to help me out with the test, first.”

Relief washed over the matronly ghost’s face as she clapped her hands together with joy. “Oh, thank you, Vincent! You are a good boy.” A stern expression spread across her face. “And good boys don’t cheat!”

“Yeah, yeah, I hear ya,” Vincent said. He gestured forward. “Come on. Let’s go see Mom. She’ll know what to do.”

A quizzical expression washed over the ghost’s face. “Wait, what do you mean?”

Vincent shrugged. “She’s better at that kinda stuff than me. Ghost stuff, I mean. She even told me to take all ghost stuff to her so I can concentrate on school.”

“Your mother can see ghosts too?”


Once more, the ghost placed her hands against her hips. “So everything you told me was a lie!”

Vincent flashed a half-grin. “Um, uh, pretty much.”

Her finger started wagging again. “Oh, when I see your mother, we are going to have so much to talk about! I’m sure she’ll have so much to say about this. Your lack of respect will not be tolerated, young man!”

Geeze, Vincent thought to himself as he continued to be berated by the apparition while they made their way to his home. Ghosts are jerks.

If you enjoyed this story, then perhaps you’d be interested in reading more by pressing the “short story” tag below or clicking this(short story) link or this(genre and tags) link or this(story list) link. I would also urge you to share this story with others and comment below. Please check out my books page as well by pressing here. Thank you for reading my story.


One thought on “What I Learned In School Today

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com