Nightmare start to the new term

24th August 2007 at 01:00
A life in the year of Emily Shark

"RIGHT, SHARK, we're singing hymn number 101 this morning."

"But I can't sight-read!"

"Nonsense. You can do it!"

Huge piano. Whole school waiting.

"Hallo God, it's another day It's eight o'clock so it's time to pray..."

This is too high look at all those little purple faces.

"We'll forget about you for another day Till it's eight o'clock and it's time to say... Hallo God..."

"Fine. That's your job until half term."

"But... who are you?"

"I'm Mr Thwart. Not that way! Didn't you get the letter about the redesign? Here, take this plan."

"No, I didn't... What's happened to the stairs? Why are they so big?"

"Look at your plan! There's a new one-way system. Now, we're doing spot-checks on how much staff know about school policy. Are you aware of the new thinking about dyslexia and mirror writing?"

"No. Why are the stairs made of glass?"

"Thank you, Mr Thwart. I'll take over from here. Miss Shark, I am Inspector Droole. I'd like some information."

"But I must get to my classroom..."

"Did you carry out a risk assessment this morning?"

"Er, no..."

"Look at this photograph. Do you recognise this child?"

"Yes! She's called... um, wait..."

"Two hours ago she swallowed a bottle of Pixie Liquid."

"Yes, horrid business... But I don't understand why you're here, Inspector."

"Your classroom appears to be locked."

"It's all right, I've got a key... No skirt! No skirt! I'm not wearing a skirt!"

"Beep, beep! Good morning. This is Radio Marvellous. It's seven o'clock and here is the news with Jenny Fumbles."

Aaargh! That dream was a bastard. I should have known it wasn't real. It was so bloody ridiculous...

"The headlines. Big Shop has recalled its entire range of soft furnishings after a cushion exploded in Purley..."

Get up, Shark. The first day back isn't fun, but it won't be as bad as that dream.

"Hello, My name's Emily Shark. You must be new here. How..."

"Not that way! Didn't you get the letter about the redesign?"

"No, actually I, er..."

"Here take my plan."

"But why are the stairs so big?"

"Emily, this is Mr Wart, our new site manager. He'll explain the one- way system. And the redesign. Your classroom was the only one they didn't finish, and a few files got lost "

Brrrinng, brrrinng!

"Yes? What here? All right, I'll call her. Emily, that was the police. A child is in hospital after swallowing some Pixie Liquid. And a police inspector is on his way here... to ask some... questions..."

More from Emily in a fortnight

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