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Just a Wound of War?

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Old August 24th, 2010, 1:02 am
Fiachra  Male.gif Fiachra is offline
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Just a Wound of War?

Yes, this is set in the bad old days where children got beaten by their teachers, etc. Oddly enough, this also brings me back to the bad old days when I used purple prose. >_> Ahem, moving onwards:

Just a Wound of War

“The grumbles and groans of, you, Charles Daly, are worse than the disorganised snorting and baying of a herd of bovines,” Master Johnston roared at him. “I suggest that you remove that scowl from your face, assume an expression of dutifulness, turn to page one hundred and five, and begin revising the campaigns of Julius Caesar. You are aware what exam you are sitting tomorrow morning at precisely eight-thirty AM? Or is your brain so filled with worms and other invertebrates, that you no longer recognise reality?”

The verbosity of your speech, Master Johnston, is unequalled, save by those who attended Elocution Lessons in Cheshire, Charlie thought derisively, but his real reply was a quiet, “Yes master.” No one bothered to argue with the master. Even in the face of the most astounding logic, he never changed his mind. The quiet revenge most pupils took on him, was to call him ''Piggy'' behind his back. After all, he basically was one.

There was no point in beating around the bush – the master was a pig, and dare any zoologist deem him otherwise. His thick neck consisted purely of rolls of fat, leaving absolutely no distinction between it and his head. His chin was just a small bob sticking out above his voice box, and bellow tiny hole-like mouth.

Often Charlie wondered about the master's mouth – it, along with his small black eyes heavily contrasted the rest of his body parts, which were all larger than they should be. While his nose was short in length, it was also wider than normal, adding to its piglike appearance. With the help of a few leaps of logic, one could hardly view him as anything less than a sus domestica.

“Stop daydreaming, Daly!” Piggy barked. “Cease whatever mental tangent you are going on, and focus on the Gallic Wars. Must I traverse the length of this classroom to study it with you? It seems to me that there is no other option to make sure to dedicate your time adequately to it.”

Jerked from his reverie, Charlie looked up at the master sitting at his wooden desk, characteristically cluttered with his out of date teaching notes. In front of the mounds of paperwork, was the one object that enforced his rule over the class: the black cane. The standard joke was that Piggy, ripped from the rest of his pig family at a young age, had a deep psychological compulsion to make his students squeal. No doubt Freud would have made great theories about it, if he were alive.

Unconsciously, Charlie grinned at the last thought. Almost as soon as his mouth had finished forming the expression, he realised it was a big mistake, a very big mistake.

“Well I never,” the master said angrily. “I never thought I'd have to take a cane to a sixth year, especially the day before the exams. Charles Daly, come up here at once and take your pants down.”

Canning students had been made illegal, many years ago. However writing the law and enforcing it were two separate things. Charlie surveyed his options, on the one hand if he refused the caning, he would be expelled and not allowed to sit his exams. That would effectively have made his last six years of schooling worthless. On the other hand, if he took the caning, the next few days would be incredibly painful. It was quite a conundrum, really.

The other pupils were regarding this confrontation with some interest. Some looked at him sympathetically, others merely grinned. Only one fellow, Pete, put up his hand. The master looked at him in annoyance.

“Ah sir,” the wretched fool said, “wouldn't smacking left hand be a better choice?”

Oh Pete, when wilt thou learn? Charlie groaned inwardly. Pete's lack of social intelligence was infamous, but this was a new low for him.

“Don't you dare question me, Peter McLoughlin!” Piggy roared, “join Daly beside my desk.” However then his black eyes floated down to the right side of his desk, where pupils normally queued to get punishments. Realising that Charlie wasn't there, he shouted down at him, “Daly, my desk, now!”

This was far too much for Charlie to take. Strengthening his resolve, he said a quiet “no.”

Silence all around. The grinners stopped grinning; the sympathisers looked shocked.

“What did you say, Daly?” Piggy demanded ominously.

“I said no,” Charlie said, raising his chin defiantly.

The silence was replaced by oohs, and the master looked at him incredulously. “Do you want to sit your exam tomorrow?”
“Yes,” he replied, “which is why I want my backside in one piece, thank you very much.”

The laughter was quiet at first, but it gradually grew into gales and gales. At that stage, it was apparent that Piggy had lost control. The shocked look on his face was pure brilliance to behold. Clearly looking to retrieve the situation, he spoke again.

“Daly, McLoughlin come up to my desk, your left hands out. Three smacks for Daly, two for McLoughlin. Now no more smart talking, or I swear, the person that does it will not be able to sit down for three months!”

Charlie complied and rose, yet there was still a hint of a smile on his face – one that Piggy would never remove. Behind the smile, however, there was a twinge of regret that he hadn't done this long before. As the final thud of the cane struck his hand, one thought blocked out all the pain: “it's just a wound of war.”

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