Saturday, November 20, 2010

Collision Course

This is a short story I wrote a few years back. Got a couple rejection letters and a smart ass tip not to use the Thesaurus so fucking much. LOL
I think this is an earlier draft before I ran the grammar check, so forgive the to's, too's, their's and there's.
Anyway, I thought I would put it on here for shits and giggles.
Hope you enjoy it.

Collison Course
© Steve Whisenant

“Can anyone give me an example of velocity and its relationship with momentum?”

No one raised his or her hands, not that Father Buchanan expected anyone to. Although he had only been at the university one year, he had a reputation as someone who enjoyed humiliating any student who dared to speak up in class, regardless if the student was correct or not.

On the massive LCD marker board behind Father Buchanan were a myriad of complex equations, each so indecipherable as to appear to be complete gibberish. Many of the resulting summations of each equation appeared to be a crucifix.

Some of the students slunk down in their chairs in attempt to be invisible, just in case “Daddy Buck” decided to direct the question to a particular individual. The unfortunate students who sat in the front row, such as Megan Henshaw, had no such luxury.

Father Buchanan turned his back to the class and with a quick press of a button on his LCD marker, erased the left side of the board. “I hoped that you have replicated that portion of today’s lesson. It will be on the test next Wednesday.”

Collective groans rose from the students. Most of the children were from families who could not afford to buy the churches e-notebook. Just reading the scribbles was virtually impossible; copying them precisely by hand onto paper was literally impossible. There was little satisfaction in the knowledge that the more fortunate children whose families could afford the e-notebooks would not do any better. Having it downloaded for you automatically didn’t make it that any easier to understand.

At the marker board, Father Buchanan was scribbling furiously, his head bobbing and swaying from side to side as another monster of an equation was drawn out. Without slowing down his chirography or looking behind him Buchanan said, “Miss Henshaw. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may have tolerated the company of whores, but I will not. Please pull your skirt over your knees.”

Muted snickers from the class only added to the rapidly flushing face of the unfortunate Miss Henshaw. Megan was one of the children who came from the lower income families and had to rely completely on the generosity of the church for her uniforms, books, and any other school supplies she might need. Of course “church” and “generosity” are not often used in the same sentence anymore.

At the awkward age of twelve, Megan had experienced a remarkable growth spurt and physical maturation. Her skirts were rapidly becoming homage to the long dead immoral mini-skirt. Her blossoming bosoms straining the buttons on her blouse, she now garnered looks from older boy students and faculty members that made her feel extremely uncomfortable. She turned heads from the same people who six months ago never would have given her a second look. She had gone to the Church welfare office and requested new uniforms but was denied by the computer calendar saying that she wasn’t due to be refitted for another four months.

Her face blazing in crimson shame, Megan tugged the skirt down as best she could. By drawing her legs up into an uncomfortable position, she just managed to get the plaid material to stretch over her knees.

Up at the marker board Father Buchanan was still scribbling feverishly, his whole body now swaying in an attempt to keep up with his hand as it blurred back and forth across the board. He appeared to be performing a bizarre waltz with the marker board. Father Buchanan had an unusually adept mind despite his weird behavior. He could quickly and accurately scribe out the most complex of equations while carrying on an unrelated conversation, or occupy his mind with other subjects.

This particular equation of his just might land him the prestigious Papal Peace Prize. It was the recognition in mathematics that landed him his current job at the most prestigious church university in the Christian world.

As he continued to write out his equation, his mind returned to the young woman he just chastised. He was well aware of the financial status of the child, and the strictness of the Office of Welfare, but he could not let that stand in his way of running a moral classroom. Miss Henshaw showing off her legs was not only an immoral act but it was distracting the other male students. He had caught the young Mr. Sanchez sneaking a look at them several times.

Silently he cursed the Universities strict student seating guideline. The computer assigned seats in each classroom dependent on what it ascertained the student’s intelligence/interests to be. The logic being, that it was no use wasting the precious time of the University trying to encourage the slower learning students to do better as the world needed more menial labor than higher education graduates anyway. The higher aptitude students sat closer to the instructor, while the slow learners delegated to back of the class.

Just my luck, thought Father Buchanan, I have an unusually bright whore in my Wednesday Mass 101 class, and she is sitting right next to the lovely Geoffrey Sanchez.

The thought of Mr. Sanchez brought a small smile to Father Buchanan’s face. Geoffrey was a very handsome and, according to the seating arrangements, intelligent boy of thirteen. He was a product of a Portuguese/Hispanic union. His activity in the churches soccer and swim teams enhanced his already succulent body into an athletic vessel of pure desire. A shock of the blackest hair Father Buchanan had ever seen flowed on the head of the angelic boy.

Three weeks ago Father Sanchez was most fortunate in having random odds act in his favor; he caught Mr. Sanchez in a violation. While coming out of the faculty restroom, he observed Mr. Sanchez running in the hall. Given that he was the one that caught him, the act of disciplining was automatically granted to him if he so desired, as is the rules of the University. Oh, and desire he did. While a malfeasance such as running in the hallways usually only carried a flogging of three to five lashes with a paddle, Father Buchanan could not restrict himself to such leniency. A leather strap was needed on this young transgressor, yes indeed!

After calling the delinquent to his office, Father Buchanan had the child drop his pants and underwear to his ankles and bend over his desk. The sight almost took the saintly priests breath away. Well tanned muscular calves and thighs, maintained by the Universities excellent athletic department, rose from the crumpled fabric of the boys lower uniform up to the less dark, but oh so supple buttocks. The tan line caused by the swim teams bathing suit only heightened the sight to a heavenly vision.

“I am so sorry Father, please don’t beat me. I won’t do it again!” pleaded the young boy. Father Buchanan acted as if he didn’t hear him. Indeed, he may as well not have heard him as his full attention was on mental calculations and justifications of the appropriate punishment. That and the regret he felt for not being back in his old parish. There the boy would get a less painful, but much more satisfying reprimand.

But there was no reason to waste time on such dreams. The church tries to discourage that kind of thing whenever possible now. Liberals, rare as they are, still afforded the Benches ear. Hence the rule that another faculty member must be present during the administration of discipline. Sister Ingrid seemed to be the one that was always available as the faculty witness these days. She stood near by, not close enough to interfere, but not far away as to miss the administration in vivid detail. In her hand she held the first aid kit, as corporal punishment by Father Buchanan always seemed to require a little bit of touching up afterwards. It didn’t hurt to be prepared.

With one hand holding the boys arm twisted behind his back so that he could not move in any direction, Father Buchanan repeatedly administered the strap of discipline.

Later in the day Father Buchanan beamed with pride when a fellow faculty member told him they could hear the boys shrieks all the way down the hall in the faculty lounge.
The mathematical priest brought his mind back to the classroom just as he finished writing his equation on the board. The thoughts of Mr. Sanchez and his punishment had opened up the blood flow of the nether regions, bringing his flaccid penis to life. Fortunately his priest robe hid that bit of information from the class. The early church elders knew what they were doing when they designed them.

Turning back toward the class, Father Buchanan caught Mr. Sanchez looking at the girl next to him again. Fury set in his brain. Granted the little tramp was doing everything she could to be modest, but that didn’t take away from the fact that she was disrupting Mr. Sanchez’s studies. The attention of Mr. Sanchez should be on him! Not some poverty stricken whore, no matter how smart the Church thought she was.

Megan was trying her best to make herself invisible, or at least shrink down to a size where no one noticed her when Father Buchanan’s turned his gaze on her. When he mentioned her name, she thought that she would faint. Her formerly crimson flushed face turned terror pale.

“Miss Henshaw,” said Father Buchanan. He said it in the patronizing voice that all the children in his class had grown to fear when directed to them. “Perhaps you can tell the class what the equation I just put on the board is?”
“I uh, uh, uh, I b-be-believe,” she started to stammer.

“Come on Miss Henshaw,” interrupted the esteemed educator. “What is wrong? Are your clothes binding you? Or are you occupying your mind with whorish thoughts?” he snickered.

Whenever Father Buchanan singled out a student for ridicule, he made a slight snickering chuckle after the berating. This signaled the class that they were to feel free to laugh at the misguided student too. Most did, not because they really found it funny, but out of relief that they weren’t the ones in his crosshairs.

Father Buchanan noted with satisfaction that Mr. Sanchez was among the students laughing at Miss Henshaw.

Megan never felt more mortified in her life. It was taking all of her will power to not burst into tears. She knew from experience that that would only make things worse.

In what could only be described as a show of superhuman strength, she took a deep breath and resumed her attempt at answering the Indoctrinated Instructor. “I believe it is your prominent formula th- that answers the old riddle, of wh-what would happen if an in indestructible unstoppable object were to meet with an indestructible unmovable object of equal mass.”

The glare on “Daddy Buck” never changed, but in his mind he was shocked. The little whore knew! Of course he could never grant praise on the little tramp. Instead he did what he always did, moved to the next level. More than likely the little slut knew about his mathematical discovery from somewhere else and took a guess that was what it was. Yes, more than likely she just took a guess. They were after all covering velocity and momentum this week.

“Well well well, Miss Henshaw,” came the patronizing voice again. “Why don’t you stand up and face the class and tell us how this works. After all you do seem to be so familiar with it.”

Poor Megan thought that she would die right then and there. When death did not come, she silently prayed for it. As with most prayers of the poor, it went unanswered.

“Come on Miss Henshaw, don’t be shy. Stand up and let everyone see you as you enlighten us.”

Megan slowly stood up. Of course when she shifted positions her dress slid back up above the knee. She pulled vainly at it as to stretch it back below the knee, but to no avail. If she pulled much harder she was sure her skirt would slide right off her hips. As horrifying as that thought was, she didn’t think that she could be anymore mortified than the way she felt then.
“What is the matter Miss Henshaw?” inquired the Patron Saint of Patronizing. “Do you have something in your clothes that is making you itch?” Snickers ran through the class. “Or perhaps it is the itch of a whore. Could you not find a deviant infidel to scratch your whore itch for you, Miss Henshaw?”

Megan's pallid complexion had changed back to its crimson shine of shame. She quit pulling on her dress, took another deep breath and turned to face the class. “The formula computes that as an object of mass moves, it builds extra mass along with the momentum derived from its velocity. It p-postulates that an object at rest, no matter how unmovable or indestructible c-could not resist an object of equal mass and endurance that is in motion. Therefore the at rest object would be compromised under the superior mass of the object under momentum and velocity.” She let her breath out in a long shuddering exhale. Please Sweet Jesus, Megan prayed. Make him leave me alone. As with most prayers of the poor, it went unanswered.

Father Buchanans smug look never changed, but in his mind the mental equivalent of his jaw hitting the floor took place. This is a trick, he reasoned. There is no possible way this little whore could know! The remarkable multitasking brain went into overdrive. One part trying to compute a formula as to how this tramp could have possible known this, the other part working on how to further humiliate the little slut. A flash of horror shot through his brain. Mr. Sanchez was actually looking at the whore in what appeared to be awe! This would not do.

Megan slowly turned to her desk and started to sit down. “No!” shrieked the Father, his voice rising in pitch, “I am not through with you!” Megans face once again drained of color as her wrist was grabbed and she was yanked cruelly towards the marker board.

In an instant, Father Buchanan’s composure was under control. But not before the whole class gasped in shock at his outburst. Noting that he was in danger of turning the whore into a martyr, he immediately started on the calculations for his next best plan of humiliation. In the mean time he would have the tramp go over the formula, explaining it in detail to the class. This would give him ample time to formulate a berating. She was also very likely to stumble over many parts of it, giving him opportunity to chastise her in front of the class.

“Here you go Miss Henshaw,” he said, handing the frightened girl the LCD marker as his voice pulsated with his practiced patronizing prose. “Please be so good as to go over the formula for the class bit by bit. Don’t forget to put heavy emphasize on explaining the matrices and logarithms.”

Any spark of will power the poor girl had on holding back tears was now extinguished. Tears ran down her cheeks in long glistening streams. Gripping the marker in her clenched fist, all she managed to vocalize was a gasping, choking sob.

“Come on Miss Henshaw! You seemed to have had all the answers a minute ago. What is the matter? Had you rather be using that little mouth for something more suited for a whore?” He snorted and looked around the class. Not one student was snickering. In the quick cursory glance, he wasn’t even able to find a child smiling. Not good. No sir, not good at all!

Sniffing, Megan composed herself enough to start going through the formula. Sweet Jesus, she thought, it will take forever to go through this. “Here the formula starts out with a unitary matrix, its subsequent conju-.”

“No no, Miss Henshaw! Please assume that our little minds are inferior to yours. We don’t know anything about unitary matrices or anything else. Please elaborate!”

Groaning to herself she started again. “A unitary matrix is a matrix whose conjugate transpose is its own inverse. Flipping everything across the main diagonal gets the transpose of a matrix. That is, you make the rows into the columns and the columns into the rows.”

On and on poor little Megan went, line after line on the massive formulaic eyesore.
Father Buchanan stood right by her mentally calculating several complex algorithms simultaneously. There was no problem that could not be solved with mathematics. By one of his calculations she should make an error on the next logarithm. Another calculation that has never left his head in days was ciphering the probability that young Mr. Sanchez would once again violate and where that might be. It would not do for some other faculty member to be so fortunate to catch him and be the disciplinarian.

Glancing out the window he happened to see a terribly obese student violating the rules by cutting across the grass. Shuddering at the thought of being the one to have to whip such a repulsive sinner, he quickly averted his eyes. He made a mental note though, if another teacher happens to catch Mr. Sanchez in a violation, he could trade Fat Boy for him. Almost subconsciously he also started formulating an equation that proved that extra mass carried by obese people would invariably lead to transgressions.

Miss Henshaw passed his predicted logarithm failure with out so much as a stammer, blowing the whole eigenvector. This was not good at all.

Out of the corner of her teary eye, Megan could see that Father Buchanan was staring at her. Why does he hate me so? I am doing everything right! While she could not clearly see the academic celebrant because of the tears in her eyes, she could tell that he was not looking at her the same way the other people ogled her. While many priests and even Sister Naomi looked at her in that way that made her very uncomfortable, this stare was of a darker more sinister nature. She focused more on the problem at hand. Please Jesus, Get me through this with no difficulties. As with most prayers of the poor, it went unanswered.

Father Buchanan was in a quandary. He had to berate the little whore soon. She was making a fool of him. So far she has not made one error in explaining the formula. How was it that she had been in this class for the last two months and he not know her potential? The papers she submitted were not overly outstanding. At the moment he couldn’t he even place a single subject she had worked on. Wait! Was she the one that did the oral report on dark mass? Frantically he searched his mind to remember who had written it. It was a very intriguing concept about the theoretical missing mass in the universe.

According to theory, ninety percent of the mass in the universe was “dark”, meaning it is invisible, undetectable, or hidden from the human eye. The report she gave, if it was she, suggested that the dark mass was the ideological opposite of all visible matter. In other words, all of the dark mass represented Satan and the evil in the universe, while the visible mass portrayed Jesus and all that is good. He remembered thinking that it was a valid concept, worthy of calculating a formula for it, but it border lined on blasphemy. To think that evil outweighed good nine to one was just too uncomfortable. Except it did have support in some verses of the Bible.

Father Buchanan was contemplating this and wondering why he hadn’t dwelt on it more when the little whore finally stumbled. Yes! He thought. Time for the master to compose!

“What is the matter Miss Henshaw?” inquired the Inquisitor of the South Wing. “Have you started outgrowing your clothes again? Yes, I think you have! Goodness gracious young lady, you may as well go ahead and perform a strip show for the class. Seeing that you are half naked already and unable to complete your task!”

Again no children snickered at the cue.

Megan was frightened. Very frightened. But it was not from the remarks from her Malevolent Mentor. No, she had barely even heard them. What had once again piqued her adrenal gland was not some threat of verbal abuse. No this frightened her to her very soul. Please Jesus, she prayed. Make him send me back to my seat. Don’t make me have to do this! As with most prayers of the poor, it went unanswered.

“Come on Miss Henshaw, if you can’t explain the problem, I am afraid I am going to have to insist that you finish undressing. That is what whores want. Isn’t it Miss Henshaw?”

“F-F-Father B-B-Buchanan,” she stammered, “I-I-I-…”
“Miss Henshaw!” roared the Ecclesiastic of Vociferation, “Either continue with the analysis or start disrobing like the whore we all know you are, at once!”

Clenching the LCD marker in a death grip, she thought, here goes, and gestured to a part of the formula on the marker board. In a very low voice she whispered, “I think I found an error in your calculations.”

Father Buchanan was taken back. In his most abstract of calculations, he would have never formulated a response from Miss Henshaw like that. He looked at her a moment, analyzing the look of fear on her face. No, she wasn’t just trying to be cute like that Henderson boy. Albert Einstein; an atheist of Jewish origins indeed! For a brief moment he wondered if the Church University decided that they would go ahead and pay for the blasphemers dental work.

Looking up at the class he noticed that they were all listening in intense interest. None of them were trying to foolishly hide behind his or her classmates. They were actually leaning forward in anticipation of something. It dawned on the prodigious product of the papacy that the rest of the class didn’t hear what the little tramp said.

Spreading a grin across his face, which to the amazement of the students didn’t cause his face to crack, he said, “Attention class! You probably didn’t hear the muffled mumble of the habiliment challenged Miss Henshaw. She has informed me that she has discovered an error in my computations. Didn’t you Miss Henshaw?”

Megan was still standing facing the marker board with her back to the class, clenching the LCD marker so tight that her fist was turning blue.

“I will tell you what Miss Henshaw!” catcalled the cocky cleric, “if you are correct and you can point out any mumpsimus in that formula, not only will I publicly apologize for any implications that I may have made implying you were a woman with a moral compass of a Southern Baptist, I will personally recommend you as an immediate member of this universities mathematics department. So, without further adieu, please elucidate!”

Megan, somewhat relieved that he didn’t fly into a rage and strike her like he did Billy Henderson, started her oral depiction of the erroneous arithmetic. “Here is where the error starts”, she said gesturing to a portion of the formula. “Where E is the energy of the object in question, Mo is its rest mass, C is the speed of light, and gamma g is a numerical factor that depends on velocity. At very small velocities, gamma is approximately equal to one. At velocities near the speed of light, gamma becomes larger and larger. Mass like gamma grows with velocity. This demonstrates that light speed travel can never be accomplished because as mass approaches light speed, the mass approaches infinity.”

“Miss Henshaw”, interrupted the skeptical celibate. “I didn’t write that formula as you should very well know. That was conceived and published almost a century and a half ago by Albert Einstein. Surely you are not implying that Einstein made a mistake in his relativity equations?”

“N-No I am not”, replied Megan. “B-But this is where it indicates that mass increases in speed and is where the formula justifies the next part of the equation that you did write.” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “Which is in error.”

“Humph!” grunted the caustic clergy. “Please continue.”

“Here we see that the formula computes the impact of the two hypothetical objects.” Megan went on describing the formula in a shaky low voice monotone. “Here we see K as the kinetic energy developed in the moving mass. This is where the formula falls apart.” The grunt next to hear causes her to instinctively to cringe. “While there is nothing to show that the at rest object would prevail”, she continued, “we can see here that the object in motion does not necessarily triumph.” Megan started writing her own formula with the LCD marker in a small window she created on the marker board.
After scribing out a formula at a much slower pace than her teacher, Megan said “This shows that for your formula to be correct, the in motion object must be traveling at light speed in relation to the at rest object. Your formula fails to mention this, in fact it implies that the in motion object would triumph at any speed. The formula actually creates an oxymoron; it proves that light speed is an impossibility and then in the next logarithm says that light speed is a necessary component.”

For the first time in his life, Father Buchanan's mind went mono-computar. No longer were the simultaneous equations being written in his head. Thoughts of young Mr. Sanchez were flushed away like turds in a monsoon. He stepped up and pushed Megan aside. Not in a hateful, forceful way… just out of the way. Without taking his eyes off of the board, he reached down and took the LCD marker from Megan and started scribbling equations.

After a while Megan slowly backed away and sat down at her desk. Father Buchanan never said another word the rest of the day, as did any of the students. When the bell rang at the end of the day, the class quietly exited the room leaving Father Buchanan alone, dancing his terrible waltz with the marker board.

The next Wednesday when the class arrived, Sister Rachel was seated at Father Buchanan’s desk. Father Buchanan, she had said, was on extended emergency leave and would not be returning this semester. Sometimes the prayers of the poor are answered.

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