By Colin Marks
Copyright 2011 Colin Marks
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
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Special thanks as always to Mark Mitchell, Tanya Almeida and Allan Jardine for their editing and enthusiasm. And thanks to Katherine, as her operation provided the story!
Edward sat in his chair, book in hand, and stared down the hallway uncertain what to do. The knock on the door had unsettled him, not just because of the late hour but simply because there had been a knock. In the silence that followed he realised it had been so long since he had last heard such a sound that he wasn’t clear whether the knock had even been on his door. His neighbour’s door was right beside his so maybe it was a visitor to her house.
He waited. His eyes fixed on the door. He hoped that by doing nothing the person outside would go away and he’d be able to return to his book. It was late and he was determined to finish this chapter before he turned in for the night. His students would probe him on it tomorrow and he wasn’t prepared to take any more of their criticism. At the end of their last lesson he was so frustrated by their behaviour that he had shouted at them to read this book, adding for extra impact that he would question them on it during their next class. It was only after the students had left and he was alone in the classroom did he understand this was also a punishment on himself; he also had to read the text to be able to conduct the interrogation. He judged this self-inflicted punishment as fair since his control of that lesson hadn’t befitted a teacher of his standing. He knew he should have been able to restrain the class better than he had.