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#125: Halted

#125: Halted
Odd Spot - The Age - 03/06/2022

Something caught Matilda's attention. She'd been watching YouTube videos of cruelty to animals. The current video showed a horse post race stumble and then collapse. It suffered a heart attack from the exertion the jockey whipped into it. The jockey, dressed in red and yellow silks, simply walked away in disgust. She imagined he was upset that he needed to walk all the way back. He had no concern for the dying horse.

As the jockey gesticulated his disgust, the strange movement coming from Mr Pescadero at the front of the room took her attention. He'd been talking something about Romeo when he halted. His mouth twisted slightly.

Everyone looked up, possibly for the first time in this lesson, and watched their teacher.

Matilda thought someone had pressed pause. His hands were outstretched and half-clenched. He had always been very European in the way he spoke with his hands. If a student was behind him as he was speaking, they'd inevitably attempt to mimic the hand gestures.

A violent jolt shook his right leg, and the whites of his eyes blossomed.

Matilda recognised the look of terror, the same one she'd just seen on the video. Both man and beast had recognised death.

Mr Pescadero folded in on himself. Before he could hit the ground, screams rang out from nearly all the students. Matilda realised she was laughing.