With autumn came cooler weather and introspection among the staff of the school dedicated to the teaching and learning of the nation’s elite.
I liked getting to school early. It allowed me to miss the morning peak and it gave me time to get organised for my day.
Tuesday morning was a good morning for me as I didn’t teach until after recess so I had the morning to myself, to catch up on lesson planning and to chat with friends around the school.
My school was made up of a variety of teachers from all walks of life and when you teach for a long time in a school of academic excellence the nature of the teachers and the teaching does change over time.
Smart kids are challenging and teaching them is equally so. When you consider that most of them are smarter than you the whole idea of being a facilitator of learning becomes very meaningful.
In the Maths faculty my friend Merv was always early like me. He taught a before school class to the seniors and loved the class and the challenges it presented. Now Merv was an odd man on a good day, all Maths teachers I discovered were unusual, they had to be to teach the stuff they did.
On this particular morning I went past Merv’s classroom to see him at his whiteboard putting up what I thought were his formulas for the morning class but he was in fact using a students finger the blood smearing onto the board in some geometric pattern that I am sure in Merv’s demented head at that time made a lot of sense.
I stuck my head in the door to discover the early arrivals were in fact in various pieces around the room except for Lennie Phillips who was sitting rigidly in his seat staring ahead eyes focused on Merv.
Merv in the meantime discovering the finger he was writing with had run out of blood reached down to a hand on his desk and ripped another finger and began writing once again.
I called to Lennie to get up and come with me. He did so and we made our way to the office. The office was the hub of the school, nothing happened in the school without the office being involved in some way.
I should have known this phenomenon would not have been any different. We were greeted with an array of drooling women wandering around the office, blood dripping from their mouths, their heads bent to one side, their grey skin and hair highlighted by their eyes now glazed over red and glowing as they spied Lennie and I at the counter.
Behind the office was the principal’s office and I made a be line for her room only to greeted by her leering face, teeth discoloured, her hands out wanting to seize me for her next meal.
Grabbing Lennie I made it out of the office unsure of what to do but knowing that soon the school would be full of potential victims.
Then my heart dropped. Across the playground they came as one wave of zombies, each screaming for blood, mine it seemed, I ran this way and that but every path was blocked, every avenue of escape gone it was either succumb or…suddenly my head felt a severe knock…I opened my eyes my bedroom ceiling stared down at me…thank goodness I thought it was all a dream…
I climbed out of bed the images still vivid in my mind and as I dressed I smiled at the thought of telling Merv about the dream.
In the kitchen I heard my mother moving about, the chains dragging across the floor as she laboriously moved about preparing breakfast. Harnessing and training my mum as a kitchen operative was a stroke of genius I thought, after all it was better than having to put the obligatory bullet through her brain and she was happy to snack on the neighbourhood children who ran about oblivious to the zombie mum at number twenty-two.