Design a site like this with
Get started

Thompson’s Lost Plimsole

A taste of things to come

Part 49

It had been six months since Mr Davies, Headmaster of Hookemin Hall, had disappeared along with his wife. No communications had been received from either of them and therefore the board of governors had seen fit to employ, on a temporary basis, a replacement for the former Headmaster. Mr McQueen had done a sterling job managing the affairs of the school, ably assisted by his fiancé, Miss Fudge. However, the school governors felt that a heavier hand should be on the tiller. Mr McQueen stood looking out of the office window, which gave an uninterrupted view down the full length of the driveway leading up to the school. An early morning mist hung over the school grounds like a spectral shroud. There were several large and ancient trees at the farthest end of the drive in which rooks, over many generations, had made their nests and reared their young. It was the sudden commotion created by these birds that drew Colin’s attention to a shadowy mass emerging from the gloom. He opened the window in order to get a better view of whatever it was that was approaching the school at a snail’s pace. A number of the rooks had taken to dive bombing the object of their ire, cawing loudly as whatever it was attempted to fend them off. Out of the mist appeared two men, well, one man, and something that looked like a man who had just returned to his cave, club in hand, after chasing down his lunch. Accompanying them was what, at first glance, appeared to be another man, but would in fact, turn out to be a woman of immense bulk, and as Colin would soon find out, a voracious appetite. Trailing alongside her was a painfully thin boy of about twelve or thirteen years.  All four of these individuals were weighed down with heavy suitcases and were sweating profusely.

The new intake of pupils had arrived at the school over a fortnight earlier, so whoever these people were, their son was very late in joining the other scholars. Colin closed the window and made his way to the front doors in order to welcome the group to the school. One of the men stepped forward and addressed Colin. “The name’s Wormwood, Nathanial Wormwood. This is my wife, that’s her brother and this is my son, Elijah”. Mr Wormwood had a slight gap in his front teeth which allowed beads of spittle to emanate from his mouth as he spoke. Colin took his handkerchief from his pocket and tried surreptitiously to wipe these droplets from his face. “Wormwood, that’s an unusual name”. Mr Wormwood looked Colin straight in the face. “What do you mean unusual, what are you inferring?”. Colin was now stumbling for something to say. “Well”, In the Book of Revelation, it refers to the water being turned into wormwood, you know, made bitter”. They both stood looking at each other. Colin was starting to feel a little awkward, he desperately wanted to avert his eyes away from this fellow but also felt like some evil force was compelling him to look deep into the other man’s eyes.  “I’m tired”, the boy said. “I’m starving”, the woman moaned. “My name’s David” said the other man. “Like him in the Bible, I’m a giant killer”.  This comment startled Colin out of his trance. “Are you?” he exclaimed. “Am I what?” replied David. “A giant killer?”, answered Colin“.  “No he isn’t” interjected Mr Wormwood. “He’s an idiot looking for a spare village, now, are you going to let us in or what?”.  Colin stepped to one side and invited them into the main hallway. “If you’d like to drop your son’s luggage down here, I’ll organise a nice cup of tea and some refreshments for you. Did your taxi drop you off at the end of the drive, because they normally drive straight up to the main doors?”. “We walked from the train station”, replied Mr Wormwood.  “No point wasting good money on frivolities such as taxi cabs when the good Lord gifted us all with a sturdy pair of legs”. “But that’s over three miles away”, said Colin. “You must be exhausted”. Let me telephone for a taxi to take you back to the station”. “I have no intention of returning to the station for a good while yet”, replied Mr Wormwood. Looking straight at Colin, he said “I am the new Headmaster, and who might you be?”.  A distant rumble of thunder and the sound of rooks cawing loudly whilst circling above the school added to the sense of foreboding. “I’ll show you to your office”, said Colin. “About time”, replied Mr Wormwood. “I’m tired”, said Elijah. “I’m starving”, moaned Mrs Wormwood. “My name’s David” grunted her brother. “I’m a giant killer!”…  


Published by crispinunderfelt

All round good egg. Humanist and red wine drinker.

9 thoughts on “Thompson’s Lost Plimsole

  1. My, my. I wasn’t expecting this turn of events. I wonder if Miss Fudge will retain her employment? It seems like someone should have informed Mr. McQueen of his replacement’s pending arrival.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: