A matter of perspective

5,985 words – approx. 20 minutes

Mr Baxter was not like any teacher we’d ever had before. That much was clear from the start.

It was the first day of the new school year, warm with autumn, and we poured into the last room on the right in the Humanities block. Our blazers were slung over our shoulders and our mouths laden with the summer’s exploits. We were Year 10s now, ready to take our rightful place at the front of the dinner queue, aware of the threshold we had crossed in those last six weeks and the exalted position in the school we now held.

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1,331 words – approx. 5 minutes

It is unlikely that  none of the other boys on that school trip had brought some sort of stuffed toy, but only Anthony was naive enough to display his openly, rather than hide it at the bottom of a bag to be quietly and unobtrusively brought out at bedtime. There he stood in the 4am cold, clutching his naked, threadbare companion as we waited, with intoxicating tiredness, for the coach to arrive.

Once our luggage had been safely stowed, we boarded and waved goodbye to our parents. Some of them had already left even in the short time it had taken Mrs McMillan to check our names off the register, presumably in the hope of compensating for a little of their lost sleep, but my father stood waving, and, as I remember, so did Anthony’s mother, a tight stiff smile stretched across her face.

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