The young man stands before the desk at parade rest, not making eye contact.
“Sir, if you recall, I did say, ‘Suffer the little children.’ ”
The pause stretches for too many ticks of the clocks on the office wall…

“Sir, your four o’clock is here.”
“Ah, the after-school special!”
“Send them in, Ms. Jones-Berger.”
The door opens and the young man enters, stepping to the side and ushering in a small person about the height of a yardstick.
“Sir, allow me to introduce the lovely Honeysuckle Titus.”
The small person steps forward, hands clasped behind her. The pale pink dress wavers in the wind from the giant ceiling fan. The face lifts toward the man behind the mahogany desk….