Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dead Rite chapter 127.03


“There you go, then.” Mrs Hammond's smile reminded Harold of a horse that once bit his arm. She linked arms with him. “We just need to fill out some paperwork first and then you're all set. This time next year...”

“We'll be millionaires.” Harold filled in the end of the quotation. Funny, he hadn't thought about Only Fools and Horses since he was a kid.

“I'm sorry?”

“An old television program. You must have heard it before, surely?”

“I'm a teacher, Mr Waterman. We don't get the luxury of watching television. If we're not marking homework we're planning classes and if we're not doing that...” She shook her head. “Let's just say the Department of Education likes its statistical reports, eh?”

“Right.” He looked for Lucy in the throng of children on the playground but they were all a blur of black-skinned tearaways. Funny. He was sure most of them were Caucasian before. Lucy's face appears at the far edge of the area. She seemed to be playing tag with the other children, though every time she tagged one they vanished, leaving her as 'it' once more.

Mrs Hammond gave him a tug toward the school office. “Let's get these forms signed and you can be on your way.”

“I haven't given Lucy her lunch money.” Harold thrust his hand back into his pocket and pulled out the screwdriver again. He stared at it, blankly.

“She'll be fine. I'll put her down for school dinners today, on the house. How about that?” She gave him another tug.

“Very generous, I'm sure.” He tapped the screwdriver against his lips, feeling the cold metal on the sensitive surface. It was important, this screwdriver, be he couldn't remember why.

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