The Adjunct

Adjunct Professor Zhang’s final exam began as any would, except that one of her students was from thirty-two years in the future.

“What—” she said to him, not sure how to continue. “Who are you?”

He smiled, a rich-man’s smile. “I am Lovepreet Sandhu,” said the man who had been almost twenty last week and was over fifty today.

She looked past his flesh and bone to the spirit inside. “Yes,” she finally said, “you are.” He was himself. But.

“So I shall take my seat?” Again, the smile. Her authority was limited, even in her own class. She was new to the Academy, a foreigner, a woman, and worst of all, an Adjunct Professor.

“Yes,” she said, again waiting quite some time before answering. “Take your seat.”

He walked past her to the sea of stools and tables that filled the examination hall. Huge, pointed-arch windows on three stone walls let grey light into the room, and even the slightest noise echoed out of proportion. On each table, were four objects: a comb, a button, a bowl, and a small, round hat. Students who had been paying attention would know what to do with them. Those who had not would quickly reveal themselves. The test began.

(C) Copyright Orion Ussner Kidder, 2018

Leave a Reply