Wall Calendar Blues by Darragh Walsh May06

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Wall Calendar Blues by Darragh Walsh

 

Michael sat in the carver facing towards the door. The rays of sunlight came into the principal’s office onto the back of his neck. He finished off his teacher evaluations just before the bell commenced the first lesson of the day. He leaned back on his chair with his hands linked on the back of his head and let out a long sigh. He looked over to the picture at the calendar hung on his wall. The sun setting, the water rippling on the surface, the white sand……
“Good morning Mr. Hyde,” interrupted Noreen. She had been the secretary for the last six years and was still going strong.
“Morning Noreen,” replied Hyde as he returned all four legs to the floor.
“You have a meeting with the new substitutes coming into the school today, please try to make them feel welcome.” She finished in a tired voice, and left. He groaned at the thought of the coming day: punishing students, making announcements and now introducing substitutes to the school. He let out another long sigh and rose from the upholstery. He made it a step out the door to be greeted by the sound of a principal’s worst nightmare. The fire alarm started to blare out of its deteriorating speakers. Its high pitch made his stomach turn. He hurried around the corner and into the cramped intercom room.
“Can everyone please make their way to the appropriate fire exits please, this is not a drill,” he announced in the calmest voice possible in order not to panic students. This was followed by the sound of doors opening and classes following teachers like ducks following their mother out of the luminous green doors. Hyde followed the closest group out the doors and to the car park where other classes were beginning to fill.

When everyone had settled down the teachers began calling the roll. Within minutes firemen were on the scene and they rushed into the building with their colossal hoses under their arm. Several minutes later they emerged untouched. Hyde was approached by a superior officer who explained how there wasn’t a flicker of a flame in sight. They came to the conclusion that it was no accident these students were standing in the car park of the school.
“Everyone inside,” he announced in a frightening tone, his face a cardinal red. He thanked the officer and stormed inside, through the hallway and into his office. He stuck in his head: “Find me the person that touched that alarm!” he spat to Noreen who was settling back down at her desk, and slammed his door.

He sat down on the carver once again. His phone started buzzing: “Education board” were the words on the screen. He punched his desk in frustration and took the call. The calendar fell from its perch and hit the floor like a dead bird.