Horatio Knows Nothing – Part One

Read Time: 6 mins| Drama| Serial Fiction | Part 1

On his first day teaching ninth grade science at Roosevelt High, Mr. Horatio Jenkins made a rather distinct impression on his students. Teachers aren’t supposed to swear. But Horatio Jenkins, let fly an expletive laden sentence when he got into an intense argument with fifteen-year-old Donovan, about the origin of man. There was an awkward hush. Mouths, and eyes wide open, and if it weren’t for the sound of tiny Katya Popov laughing her head off, it could have ended horribly. Instead, he became an overnight sensation.

Teaching isn’t a glamorous job, but when students begin making TikTok videos about you, and when said videos go viral, you become a bit of a celebrity. At first, Horatio resented the attention, but the school board saw opportunities for his fifteen minutes of fame to aid in raising much needed funds for the school. There was no turning back once they had opened Pandora’s box, and television appearances were becoming a part of his weekly schedule. Problem was, Horatio Jenkins had a bit of a checkered past. Not that it was anything to be ashamed of per se… but he would have preferred that no one started poking their noses in his business.

It happened two weeks later as he exited his rusted 1964 VW Camper Van, after a long day at work. A reporter, or someone claiming to be a reporter, was thoroughly inspecting the vehicle.

“May I help you?” he had asked her.

But she shook her head and continued her inspection.

“This is private property. I live here.” He tried to give her a hint.

“I know.” Was all she replied.

Horatio was too tired to care. He went about his business and had a restful night of sleep. The next morning as he stepped into his class, Donovan and Katya approached him with the meanest looks that only teenagers could pull off.

“Is this you?” Donovan shoved a phone in his face.

“The reporter says it is you.” Katya doubled down.

Horatio was embarrassed, so he denied it at first, and then his conscience got the better of him. What they had shown him in that picture was a rather embarrassing screenshot from his most recent mishap. When Katya said she was going to post it to TikTok, however, Horatio admitted his problem.

“Yes, it is me.” he said sheepishly.

“What are you doing on the highway in your birthday suit Mr. Jenkins?”

“I was not naked, Donovan. Stop being over dramatic.”

“A McDonald’s advertising board is not considered clothing.” Katya insisted.

“Look, you little snots; sometimes I walk in my sleep. Okay?”

They both stared at him, not wanting to believe him.

“Lucky for you, my mother says it can’t be Mr. Jenkins. Or the school would not have hired you.” Katya said.

“Your mother knows?” Horatio could feel the knot in his stomach. That moment when your sphincter winks at you.

“Mr. Jenkins… the entire county knows.” Donovan chimed in.

Horatio wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

“Don’t worry Mr. Jenkins. It’s not as bad as Charlene Ricketts.”

“Who is she?”

She sits in the second row, tall girl with colorful headbands.

“She’s in my class?” Horatio needed to quit the weed.

“Yip. She is there every morning. The First hand to raise for every question, and you always ignore her.” Donovan pointed with his chin.

Oh, that girl.” He still didn’t have the foggiest idea, so he shot a quick glance over their shoulders. Sure enough, there was a girl, with a bright green headband, who annoyed the shit out of him.

“What did she do?” Horatio should not be encouraging this. But it was the weed… too much of it.

“She threw her kid sister off a bridge. Was all over the news.”

“Bullshit… I mean. You shouldn’t be telling such horrible lies. Now go on back to your seats.”

For the rest of the morning, Horatio couldn’t stop looking at Charlene Ricketts. And for the first time ever, he allowed her to answer every question. She was intelligent, charming, inquisitive, and the kids adored her. They all thought she was funny. There was no way in God’s green earth that she was a murderer. Or whatever they called child killers. She wouldn’t be allowed in school.

During the lunch break, Horatio sat in his classroom munching on a can of sardines, with some crackers, as it was all he had in his pantry this morning. He went on his phone and searched for the story about Charlene. There was no information whatsoever. And the internet had everything. Ninety percent of all his class lectures were pirated off the internet. The other ten percent was just shit he had made up. Science was all about discovery and one day they’d discover he’d invented half the crap he taught them, but by then it wouldn’t matter. But Charlene Ricketts was not even mentioned once on the internet, except for her Instagram account. The kids had made it up for sure.

“You’re never gonna find information about me.” She peered over his shoulder.

Horatio dropped his phone. “Fox in a socks, you little…” He stopped himself from swearing. “Don’t you know it’s rude to sneak up on people?”

Charlene Ricketts leaned over him, her long ponytail dangling on the desk.

“You smell like the bad weed my stepdaddy smokes.”

“It’s not weed. Its my cologne.” Horatio rolled his eyes. These kids had no damn manners.

“What’s the name of the cologne?” She challenged him.

“It’s called Natural Mystic. Geez, you work for the CIA or something?” He reached for his phone off the floor.

“That’s a Bob Marley song, Mr. Jenkins. J’Marcus plays it everyday.” She laughed at the ceiling, tipping her head back so fast her ponytail slapped him on the way up.

“Who’s J’Marcus?”

“My step daddy. You don’t pay attention to nothing, do you Mr. Jenkins?”

Horatio gathered his belongings and bid goodbye to Charlene the child murderer. These kids would be the death of him.

“My records are sealed by the courts. But if you wanted to know the truth about me Mr. Jenkins, all you had to do was ask.” She said as he was leaving.

“Maybe you’ll do a show and tell for us tomorrow?” He mocked her and stuck his tongue out.

“And maybe you’d come to school in your McDonald’s outfit.” She smirked and flipped him the bird.

Horatio just wanted to get away from them all. But he was curious. Unashamedly curious about Miss Charlene Ricketts. And he would get to the bottom of her story.

To be continued…

If you enjoy reading any of my stories, please feel free to leave a comment, ask a question, like, follow or share. Join me on Instagram or follow me on Twitter. Apparently, writers don’t use social media enough… pffft.

9 responses to “Horatio Knows Nothing – Part One”

  1. 🤣 oh, yeah! Took me back to my days teaching English to unruly teenagers!

    And what the hell? Moooore!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol. Yeah, trying to write several serials a week. Gives me time between episodes to work on other projects. Glad you enjoyed it. Its based on a teacher from my past. He was a legend. We all adored him.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The old VW, love it! Would have been one of my favorite teachers, this one lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. he was a proper nutter. Loved him from the first day. pulled so many pranks on him, and he got me out of so many scrapes.. Best teacher ever… and I truly hated school, but I didn’t miss his class at all. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. tipping her head back so fast her ponytail slapped him on the way up.

    Terrific detail, Nigel ❤


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you David. Appreciate you brother.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Knowing you personally, it is nice to see this playful side of your nature appear in your writing. Reminds me of your character from Scandalous. Loved her.. Need more of her. I can’t wait to see where you take Horatio Jenkins.. (Tell me he’s fictional?). I don’t wish to wait till next week, though. Thanks for keeping an old man entertained.


  5. […] To be continued… You can read part one of Horatio Knows Nothing Here […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: