The following is a short story and intro to a character as written by Blogger Paddy Picaso, it’s called ” Our Teachers”, and it’s theme is the awareness of divine intervention in a nutshell.
Come on will you, she is behind a big truck, it’s not that she is going to be late; she wanted to enjoy an early morning breakfast and talk shop with another colleague. Finally pulls over, she changes gear and floors it, her car is old but sharp, a relic of the nineties, a BMW crock, she got it for under 2,000, but the German engineered car has never let her down. The radio is on, a song ends, the news, the hour is eight in the morning, and traffic is building up, but she’ll escape the worst of it, the school is set on the outskirts of the town. Nice car she sighs, a fancier version of herself whizzes past her, she was about to beep the horn. too childish. In twenty years she’ll be able to afford it, when she exchanges what she’s driving for it.
Three years for embezzling seventy five million, and his reputation gone, that’s enough of a punishment said the judge, so says the news reader, who is relaying the facts. Martha shakes her head, last week she had to cut the arts program because she could not get it funded, just as they were beginning to gel. It’s early September, her class is small, but the challenges are profound, the usual social pathology, problems from home. Her mobile beeps, she ignores it, it’s a social media message, she has it on a new sort of beep, she has different beeps for a range of things, work, school service days, her family, her friends, how she manages it all, she didn’t, until her former boyfriend come partner showed her. He’d a special beep for her he said, one for his temporary associations as well. If he could get it on request, well why did he need her. Online dating, no it wasn’t dating, it was online arranging. So far she hadn’t succumbed to the online hunting process; too many out there with difficulties in the nether department, Are those spots there?…if she wanted one she’d order it from the doctor.
Eva’s café, best breakfast in town, and the only one to offer the new vegetarian option so many were on about. Her stomach didn’t disapprove. She pulls into the car park next to the school, a short stroll to Eva’s place. A perk of the job, it’s a free park for the day. Skirt navy in colour, bright colours never work, gets dirty too easy, as you’re always rubbing off something, one thing she learned. Something she has in common with Johnny Cash. Wear it dark while in the zone. Johnny did it for different reasons; still it’s good to recall the legend.
Her blouse is light coloured though, she wares a blazer over it, and she looks smart. Whatever you do look your best said her friend after the break up. It worked, she gets admiring glances most places she goes, maybe it’s the grey streak she’d laugh, but used to it.
She waits while an early riser comes out the door of the café’, she’s seen him before, they nod. Used to be the other way around, she goes in after and over to her usual place. A coffee is before her without asking. She reaches into her carry bag, extracts a paper folder, takes from it a sheet. She has a bio of her pupil. One of them in particular has caused her some alarm, she reads through it carefully. Other diners munch through their fare, her vegetarian takes a little longer. The café door opens, Martha immediately looks over, raises her hand and smiles. She wants to have an out of office about this once bright child. From four to six he was a high achiever, then suddenly there was a creak, and he just simply fell into it, so it seems. There is always an underlying reason.
“Courgettes with tomato and that stuff, how do you do it?” asks Debby, her teacher friend.
You’ve asked me a thousand times she replies, and then adds, “did you get the rest of his files”. Without answering Debby puts a corresponding file on the table, after carefully removing smudge stains from the table first. She extracts a letter, passes it over. Martha examines it closely, and then looks up.
Just as I thought she says, while lifting a forkful from the plate.
What is that stuff anyway says Debby, wondering how anyone can eat that stuff so early in the morning?
Size 10 debs, you should try it some day!
On the way to class, she left before debs did; it goes over in her mind. His Father left the family home and his mother connected with a religious nut, it could explain what happened to the boy. A world dominated by those addicted to formula and detail, not healthy, unless it’s North Korea, and it’s certainly unhealthy there. She was seeking a new trigger, a new approach. A very imaginative teacher, a hobby poet and painter at heart, one day she promised herself if she ever made it to retirement that is, one day she’d apply herself to it, but for now, those in her care consumed her creative ways.
Aaron sat in the back of the family saloon, he wondered if it was real. For some strange reason he was looking forward to school. The conversation in the front of the car was calm for once.
I told you’d he’d get used to it, the voice was male.
His mother looked into the rear view mirror and smiled. He wasn’t crest fallen as he had been for over a year almost. The little head was looking out the window, expectantly too.
Daisy, and the rest of the class, had already arrived, and gone straight to class, no waiting around, miss didn’t like them coming in late, as usual Aaron was the straggler. But it wasn’t because of any disquiet; there was a sense of wonder about. Something inside him had changed. While he strolled along the chewing gum smelling corridor, she was entering the staff room. There is the usual bustle, teachers opening and closing their lockers, tests, study plans, the usual assortment withdrawn, the new stuff put in, the old stuff, smiles here, smart comments the fare. Then the door opens, a new face, a substitute they assume, someone was on a sick leave, so they thought nothing. The head enters behind, idling somewhat, more than a visitor it seemed. A stern voice opens up, Mr Clark, the head teacher, everyone swings around stops what they were doing. They were used to such interference. Clarke usually conveys gloomy news, another cut in resources, or a call to a meeting, the latest department report, the report being of government policy or something close to it. In the last five years, the world of the politically correct has taken over, and new pronouncements are now a regular event, keeping the workers up to date, another spin, but everyone gets used to it.
This is Mr Solomon he says with a fond voice, he will be with us till the end of term, Mrs Joyce had a fall at home, and will be out for a couple of months. Bastard sighs Martha under her breath; he’d beaten her up again. She’d fallen down the stairs so often; she should be living in a bungalow. Jack Solomon nodded. They were all looking different at him now, wondering if he was a teacher or just filler to supervise, since he seemed to have been recruited overnight. Clarkey used an agency when there was a short term need, so when he said it was till the end of term, it was quite a surprise. Mrs Joyce actually won the lottery, and she and her husband are going on a three month cruise.
He’s in, smiled Peter. Step one was complete, their helper had arrived. Perfect replied God, we’ll get a few birds with this one. Did they infuse her with a little sparkle, she needs it badly. Peter smiles; we did, and added a few surprises. A great start is a valuable start, peter is a fan of Irish Hurling.
The agency is a front for angels in the workplace, who are placed into zones. The spiritual threat is at a cross roads, and the numbers were adding up, to a point where a selection has to be made. The merciful God wants things to get better, and quickly.
Demons have taken over the school yards, and children were under great pressurised threat, losing their identities, their real ones. Adding to the threat is the growth of cynicism, overwhelming for even the toughest of believers. Those of Spirit are finding it difficult to cope, what did it say of the remaining.
Mr Clark was introducing Solomon, hands were extended, heads nodded, when there was that noise, a mobile went off. Everyone stared, as Solomon reached into his jacket, apologising profusely. He was about to close it down, seen the caller identity, he had to take it, it was James Riordan. Detective Inspector James R Riordan.
Do you mind he said, just as Martha was about to be introduced. She looked him in the eye, the beep reminding her of him, her ex. Bet he has them on speed dial too, another. Solomon went outside the door, stood in the corridor.
You won’t believe where I am he said
We have to meet, did you see the TV report said James, who was excited sounding.
Solomon’s head nodded and bobbed, while roirdan explained what had happened. At the same time, a young boy came around the bend that led into the corridor. That’s him, that’s the one, Solomon hung up. The boss was always sending hints. Mr Aaron walked casually by, a little grin on his face, you can get expelled for that he said passing the big man.
And who told you that he asked, while the boy walked on.
You’ll soon find out he replied walking on.
Solomon sighed; getting a lesson from a child was something he was not used to. Re entering the staff room, he soon got it. There were signs everywhere, mobile phones prohibited on school grounds.
I didn’t see the signs, sorry he said, while re-taking his position beside clarjey.
Martha, this is Mr Solomon. The introduction was made, again. When she took his hand, hasn’t worked a day in his life. Too soft she decided, must have been a lecturer or something, he didn’t have the feel of a resource teacher. A light blue jacket over white pants, anyone for tennis, he hasn’t been in a class room for years she thought, as she led him down the corridor, not with that sense of dress, no way.
Has she started complaining yet, he read her from her walk, almost ignoring him. One of those sighed Solomon, who judged on appearances only.
Thank you Paddy for sharing your unique viewpoint and insights. This was Wonderful 🙂