“Excuse me, please.”The horde of teenagers blocking her path, turned to look at her but didn’t move. Most had a look of mischief about them. Some giggled.
“Excuse me, please,” she repeated. It wasn’t what she wanted to say – not by a long chalk – especially when she saw that the ringleader was Ryan Halliday. He was wearing that smirk again. As if her day wasn’t already bad enough.
“Miss, what’s a…” Ryan turned to face the noticeboard on the wall beside him, laughing in anticipation at what he was about to say.
She followed his gaze and was horrified to see photocopied extracts of her work-in-progress novel pinned to the board. Somebody – probably Ryan or his trollop of a girlfriend – had gone to the trouble of highlighting various words and sentences. She didn’t have to read it to guess which ones. The “naughty” ones. The ones the Headmaster and his prim and proper deputy had deemed “lewd” and “inappropriate”. In fact her whole manuscript had been termed “inappropriate”. What was inappropriate in her mind was the fact that Ryan had stolen her manuscript from her desk one lunchtime whilst no doubt looking for cigarettes to steal. He’d read bits of it – a challenge for him no doubt – and then left pages all over the school. It had soon been brought to the Head’s attention.
The Headmaster had just finished making it abundantly clear to her that her “smutty musings” were never to enter the school premises again or the same would be true of her.
Smutty musings! The words made her bristle. Steamy romance is how she envisioned marketing it one day when publishers were falling over themselves to buy it. Besides, were they both so out of touch with the kids in their school that they didn’t realise sex was all over the television and the internet nowadays?
She suddenly realised that Ryan was reading an extract from her novel-to-be and it was one of the more erotic passages. That was no coincidence.
“Is this based on your own experience, Miss?” he asked, smirking. Those gathered around him burst into laughter as she started to colour.
They thought she was blushing with embarrassment, but they failed to notice the set of her jaw and the murderous look in her eyes.
It was the perfect slap she would later reflect and the glorious noise it made when her open palm struck his cheek would live in her memory for a long time to come.
The kids’ expressions were priceless as they glanced from her to a prostrate Ryan.
“I said excuse me,” and like the parting of the Red Sea they stepped back, the corridor opening up before her. It was time to go and clear her desk. A lengthy period of enforced “gardening leave” was beckoning.
No, not gardening leave – writing leave. She smiled at the happy thought.
Maybe today wouldn’t be a bad day after all.
She stepped over the boy and headed for the classroom.
© Author to be revealed at the end of the challenge
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