It is hot. Insufferably so. The children are silent, save for their calm, complacent breaths.
“Repeat after me,” she says. The sunlight is harsh on her gray hair.
“It is wrong,” she says.
“It is wrong,” the children say.
“It is a sin,” she says.
“It is a sin,” the children say.
“It is unforgivable,” she says.
“It is unforgivable,” the children say.
She smiles and turns back around to the chalkboard. She says, "Now you understand."
A child in the fifth row of desks sits, quiet as a mouse, curious as a cat.
How can she know? the child thinks. How can she tell? How can she hate when it is God's will to love?
“Open your English textbooks. Page three hundred seventy.” The child follows the flock and does as she is told.