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Reprinted from:
Global Seminar of Fiction & Dialog Among Cultures
Farokh Negar Pub.
Karnameh
Negar Eskandar-far
2004





Research: Literature

Situation
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Short Story
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Mohammad Sharifi: A Night Visitor (Short Story)

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When the old teacher entered the classroom, the student, who has slept lonely between the empty desks and benches, said, "Stand up!"

Then still in sleeping positioned called, "Sit down."

The old teacher put the roll call book at the wooden window of the classrome. He wore his back rimmed glasses, and he began the roll call.
"Abnousi!"
The lonely student said loudly, "He is absent, Sir."
"Ali Baratiani!"
"Present, Sir!"
"Jala-ol-dolehi!"
"From Jala-ol-dolehi to the end, all are absent, Sir."
The old teacher, looking at the roll call book, said in coarse voice, "Where are they?"
Ali Baratiani, the only student gaped and said, "Nobody knows."

The old teacher closed the book and stood at the blackboard. He wrote on the middle of the board "Today's Lesson".
Out of the room, in the schoolyard, there were no students under the flag to shout, "We all know that the teacher is our second father and the school is our second home!"

Ali Baratiani, the lonely student in the classroom, came out of the benches and desks and sat down on the first bench with full attention. The teacher, rolling a piece of chalk in his hand, went to the window and he looked the sky through the cracked glasses of window and he said to Ali Baratiani, "I don't think today is raining."

Ali Baratiani wrote in his blue book, "I don't think today is raining, under the little of Today's Lesson today."

The old teacher went to the blackboard and wrote "I don't know, what is going on with me today!" under the, "Today's Lesson!"

Ali Baratiani wrote in his blue book, "I don't know, what is going on with me today!"

The old teacher hesitated, and he turned toward Ali Baratiani, the lonley student in the classroom, and said, "What grade are you in?"
Ali Baratiani wrote in his notebook, "What grade are you in?"
The old teacher said, "I think today is Monday, I don't think today is raining!"
Then he went to the window and he looked sky through the cracked glasses and said, "Mondays are not suitable for raining!"

The sky was gray. Through the cracks of window pane, a Taq tree was leaning against a morning breeze. In a distance, there was a boy, hand in pocket, a police whistling on his lips, whistle constantly. Beside the boy, there was a wastebasket, full of torn notebooks of the students, further to that, beside the start of the walls of schoolyard, there was a kite in the smoky sky and whining of a child after that. The old teacher returned to the blackboard and he wrote with a piece of white chalk:
"There is nothing to say anymore."
Ali Baratiani, the lonely student in the classroom, wrote in his notebook, "There is nothing to say anymore."

There was no sound of frowning Assistant in the corridors. No trace of slavery laughs of the Principal. The old teacher recalls all the time, he considered the laughs of the Principal as slavery. There was no sound of alphabet classes. And no "sit down you fool", from the teachers. The old teacher looked at the closed door of the classroom. He remembered that he had closed the door himself, just after his entrance to classroom. He went to the window. Ali Baratiani, the lonely student of the class, put down his pencil on his book and mumbled a lullaby.

The old teacher looked the yard out of crack, again. The sky was gray. The boy, hands in pocket, whistling and the voice of whining child, following the kite in the sky. Besides, thirsty Taq tree was still leaning toward morning breeze. The old teacher went back and stood at the blackboard. He wanted to write something on the board, but he asked again, "What grade are you in?"
Ali Baratiani immediately wrote in his blue book, "What grade are you in?"

There was a maddening silence in the classroom. The old teacher believed that the situation is prevailing in the whole school. Suddenly, he thundered, "Where is here?"
Ali Baratiani write down in his notebook in silence, "Where is here?"

The teacher hesitated, on the ambiguity of his remark and shouted, "I mean, is here school or other place?"

Ali Baratiani explained his question on his notebook. "I mean, is here school or other place?"
Ali Baratiani, in the response of his question, write down in his notebook, "I mean, is here school or other place?"

The old teacher was hopeless. He went to roll call book again, he opened it and he started to read the name of the students:
 "Abnousi!"
Ali Baratiani put down his pencil on his notebook and said, "Absent!"
"Ali Baratiani!"
Ali Baratiani said, "Present!"
"Jala-ol-dolehi!"
Ali Baratiani said in calm, "From here to the end, everyone is absent. Sir!"
The old teacher asked again, "Where are they?"
Ali Baratiani said in calm, "Nobody knows, Sir."

The old teacher closed the roll call book and he stood at the blackboard. He cleaned it with a duster, made up of a hat of a father of one of the students. Ali Baratiani, the lonely student of the class, took out an eraser from his pocket immediately and he erased slowly whatever he had written in his blue book. There was no sound throughout everywhere in the school. The old teacher thought, he had woke up by the sound of his alarm clock. No mistake by now! After the morning exercises and after breakfast, he had come to school, in the same route as always. His eyes are sound and safe! Even if he is in mistake, Ali Baratiani would not do mistake. Besides, if here is not school, what is that flagpole? He shouted suddenly, "Here is the school!"

Ali Baratiani wrote in his notebook, "Here is the school".
The old teacher shouted, "If here is not school, what is that flagpole?"
Ali Baratiani wrote in his notebook, "If here is not school, what is that flagpole?"

No sound. It was silent. A deadening silence. The old teacher went to the window of the classroom. He looked through the cracks of window pane; the sky was gray again. But the kite was caught among branches of Taq tree. The boy hanged the whistle with a rope around his knee, and he sat over the wastebasket, taking out the torn papers of student's workbooks, he threw them one by one in the sky. The whining voice was stopped in the distance. The old teacher returned. He was hopeless. He wrote on the blackboard, "There is nothing to say, no more, I don't know, what is going on with me."

Ali Baratiani wrote no more; he put his head on his workbook and he was slept in a sound sleep. The old teacher crossed the classroom hopelessly. After a long time, depressing and deadening, he came back to the window. He looked through the cracks of window: The sky was still gray. The thirsty Taq tree released the kite in the sky. The flag was high in the wind and the whistling boy disappeared. There was waste papers flying in the wind, instead of him.

The old teacher went to the blackboard. The snoring sound of Ali Baratiani, the lonely student of the class, filled the classroom in a mysterious situation. The old teacher was terrified. He opened the door, crossed the hall rapidly and he went through the yard. When he was leaving the school-gate, the janitor came in her veil fluttering in the wind. She said, "Sir, Fridays the school is closed."

The teacher mumbled, Isn't today Monday?"
The janitor said, "Today is Friday."
The old teacher said, "Then, why Ali Baratiani has come to school?"
The janitor looked dizzily into his eyes and said, "Ali Baratiani passed away two weeks ago."

The old teacher was terrified, while going backward to the gate and to the street, said, "..."

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Research: Short Stories
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