Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Maybe next year.


In Devon there is a cove.

Near the cove is a hotel.

In the hotel there are twenty pupils from a South London boy’s school, studying coastal erosion as part of a week’s field trip.

Also in the hotel is a group of fifteen pupils from a Bristol girl’s school, studying local history.

And Mr Burton – a geography teacher of fearsome reputation.

With his unilaterally imposed corridor curfew.

Everyone is in bed by 10; the corridors are silent with just a possible Mr Burton patrolling menacingly, preventing shenanigans.

The other guests, retired and elderly, down for the sea air have been asleep since sunset.

The tide is on its way out.

A nearby owl hoots.

The door to room 17 opens silently, just a half inch – enough to afford a clear view of the empty corridor.

Nobody.

The three of us, barefoot for silence, slip out and head for room 12.

The three of them, also in their pyjamas, are not expecting this.

As we open their door, light from the corridor briefly shows the position of the three beds where our friends are lying, and as quickly we are thrown into almost total darkness as the door closes.

Time stops, hours seem to pass.

Today I’m still surprised by how quickly the three of them were upon their feet.

Perfect ambush.
Perfect response.

And technically speaking we weren’t in the corridor.

No one was hurt, that’s the whole point.
No one was left out, everyone was equal.

We didn’t think we were making any noise - certainly no shouts of outrage, but maybe there was a little too much explosive giggling.

Mr Burton thought so.

This was almost forty years ago.

Why didn’t anyone tell me it was National Pillow Fight Day three days ago?

I would have joined in.

4 comments:

Vicki said...

Ha! Oh brilliant!
This one is definietly not a filler. :-)

popps said...

Now you disappear for months on end and then turn up, rattle through the first page of posts and then leave in a swirl of comments.
There's so much you missed, like, like, damm, i can't remember.
Where's my pillow, i challenge you!

Vicki hollett said...

Ha! But I'm back for more now...

popps said...

And very, very welcome.

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