A Small Child
by some crazy fool
A bell rings out over an empty school. Proud masters stride from room to hallway, their long gowns fluttering in the stream of stuffy air caused by rushing boys in short blue coats, hurrying to get to their next lesson before it is too late.
Amid this disorder, the young child struggles with his over-weighed games bag, the proud school emblem embossed upon it in a sick shade of pink.
The rain pours down more and more heavily, covering the looming buildings in a cloud of grey, wet spray. The child struggles on, the weight of his bag digging into his shoulder, as if it where the burden of all those years before he came to school.
As he reaches a speed bump, the neatly trimmed figure of a master dressed in a black suit appears from around the corner. He strides closer to the child, back straight, face obscured by the dark shadow of his umbrella, not daring to look. As he nears the child, the child raises his head, as if to glance momentarily at this figure, to show him that he is respectful, that he too is trying.
A mere few feet before they cross paths, the bag strap catches the child’s leg. He falls. Landing in a puddle where the drain should have been working. The child does not stop for long, he must not be late for lessons. He crawls out, obviously in pain where his knee hit the perfect middle the cast iron drain, blocked by years of debris flowing down the boastful school drive. He gets up, an unnoticeable red stain on his grey trousers, just below the knee, obscured by a thin mosaic of dark brown mud. He continues dragging the large bag with him down the drive, as the gross pink emblem jolts with his slight limp, as if ridiculing his failures to the whole world.
The figure does not break stride, for he too is not exempt from time. He cannot be late. Back strait, legs in rhythm, umbrella in one hand, books in the other, he presses on.
Ahead there lies a turn in the road, sweeping left, with a thin, dark black rail on the inside corner, there for no apparent reason, simply to be there.
As the figure slowly walks around this turn, he begins to come into view. His face is at first half shown by the light, then as he comes closer and closer to the main building, it slowly is revealed.
He is not much more than a child himself, cold an bemused, having only graduated recently. On the right hand side of his face, just between his eye and the curl on the corner of his lips, is a sick pink coloured plaster. He must have cut himself shaving the fluff of his face in the morning, probably rushing to be on time.
He enters the building and no more is seen of him.
He closes the huge white wooden door; the big school is closed virtually on time, no more than thirty or so seconds late. No one will notice. The headmaster was away that day.
The child can not even see the time and does not know that he is late, because of the heavy rain, as he presses on to lock away the bag.