The Eye Of The Storm

Harley crawled out of his master's office office, tail between his legs. Some 5 minutes later Francis appeared in the doorway. It took an expert eye to distinguish between man and dog, both victim's of the director's sabre-like tongue. Harley watched Francis make his way towards the exit wondering whether it would be safe to try and reclaim his basket underneath his master's desk. One thing he had learnt from the experience. Never again would he attempt to show any sympathy for someone who was evidently not in his master's good books.

As for Francis, he hung about the front of the building unsure what to do. When he saw two of his now former colleagues coming up the street, he crossed the road and slipped into the park. The bench under the oak tree was free. Francis liked this spot. The tree's large overhanging branches always welcomed him with open arms. Today, more sinister connotations came to his mind; the branch creaking under the strain of a rope and the his body mass.

His mind went back to the request... his initial hesitation, his students' enthusiasm and that conversation with Joy.

"It's a fantastic idea. It's right up your street."

"But I don't want to visit Paris. It's just one big, sprawling metropolis. What on earth would we do there? Besides, the students all want a trip which will bring them into contact with English speakers. They don't want hotels and museums. I'd much rather take them to Gensdouce. It's got some beautiful countryside and I could arrange meetings with various groups every day. That would be ideal."

"Well, why not do that then."

"I'm not sure what Ian would say."

"Never mind Ian. It's your students that count. You're doing this for them, not for Ian."

"But he is the centre's director. I can't just go behind his back."

"And you're the best French teacher the centre's ever had. The figures speak for themselves. Just go and tell him what you intend doing and why."

And he had. Ian had not been happy. Not at first. It was all a question of prestige. Compared to Paris, Gensdouce was nothing but a backwater tucked away in the mountains. But for once, Francis stuck to his guns and Ian acquiesced.

"But I'm warning you, if anything goes wrong, I'll hold you personally responsible. French teachers are two a penny round here, you know."

But what should go wrong. Organising the journey was easy enough with Joy's expert knowledge. And she even managed to get them an extra 10% discount on top of the usual group rate. Ian had been impressed. And once the number of participants topped twenty, he had even begun telling people what a great idea he'd had: praise indeed from one of the town's most selfish bastards. And he was even there to film as the group of twenty-five people set out on the first leg of their week-long trip. Everyone was so happy, they'd paid no attention to headline that was soon to throw everything into disarray. Besides, they'd never heard of Eyjafjallajökull before. What harm could he do them.

In the end they'd waited three days at the airport before calling off their trip. And the return was far from the joyful triumph anticipated just a few days earlier. Hardly had the bus stopped, Ian made it quite clear to Francis that he would have to pick up the bill for the flop from his own salary. Francis tried to object but soon realised it was pointless. The disciplinary hearing was fixed for Thursday at 3 pm. But it never met. Realising most of its members kowtowed to Ian, Francis handed in his resignation letter to an astonished and furious Ian. Facing up to this tirade had badly shaken his confidence. But he'd pulled it off. And it had been worth it. Ian's power had been broken. And he would turn up Monday morning for his new appointment without the slightest regret.


I like the ominous feel of this piece.

5 June 2010 at 01:31  

The growth in the character sparkles here. It is understated but comes across with force in comparison to the nastiness of the director, whom I'm sure we have all worked under at some point.
Adam B

5 June 2010 at 02:00  

The director seems like a tyrant bent on the power of his position.

Interesting story, thanks for sharing.

5 June 2010 at 03:24  

ahh the beauty of revenge and the sweetness as the plan falls into place..

visitors can pop over and see mine here

7 June 2010 at 15:34  

Newer Post Older Post Home

Blogger Template by Blogcrowds