Celia scoffed

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Story continues from yesterday:

A couple of people laughed at his apparent ignorance and Luke scowled at them.

“Enclosure,” Mrs Abbot repeated patiently.

“Well,” said Luke, who was perfectly capable of listening while he stared out the window.  “I agree with Nicky.”

“Do you?” said Mrs Abbot, “and what specifically do you agree with?”

“I agree with what he said about no one should own land, it belongs to everybody.”

“Okay, and you don’t think this young man had a point?” she asked, pointing to Andrew.

“No,” said Luke.  “There wun’t be any farm animal diseases if they din’t farm animals.  And farmin’ more animals didn’t make farmin’ more efficient coz you can get a lot more food out of land if you just grow crops on it.”

“So, in conclusion – your opinion is that Enclosure was – ?”

“Bad.”  The brief pause that followed, though due to Mrs Abbot searching her sleeve for a tissue, led Luke to assume that further explanation was required.  “If there were no fences,” he went on, “an’ everybody could have a strip to grow their own food like they used to, then everybody would have enough to eat an’ there’d be enough land left over to grow forests and have places where the wild animals could live.”

Celia Brook snorted.

“Something to add?” asked Mrs Abbot.

“Well he’s living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks that would work!” said Celia.  “If you had no fences then some people would do all the work and other people would steal their food.  Or the wild animals would eat what they’d grown because they don’t have fences to keep them out.”

“It worked then so why wouldn’t it work now?” argued Lucy.  “When people all have the same they don’t get jealous of each other’s stuff.  Everyone would be able to use as much land as they needed to feed their own family and there’d be no need for money so no one would sell their food, they could trade it for other people’s food if they wanted to and everyone would co-operate so that they all had enough.”

Celia scoffed.  “That’s never gonna happen!  People only look after number one!  That’s what capitalism is!”

“I’m not a capitalist, I’m an anarchist!” said Nicky.

“Okay, okay,” said Mrs Abbot, “I think we might be going off on a tangent here.  Let’s look back at the diagram on the first page of your …” She was interrupted by a knock at the door.  “Come in.”

A teenager entered and gave a note to Mrs Abbot.  She thanked him and he left.  After reading the note she stood silently for a moment before clearing her throat and telling everyone that their lesson had been cut short because they had been called to assembly.  They should take their bags and coats with them because they would go straight to lunch afterwards.

Luke and Joe followed everyone else back out into the corridor to join the rest of the school heading down to the assembly hall.  There was lots of speculation regarding what might be the cause of their summons.

“I heard the school’s closin’ down,” Kenny told anyone who cared to listen.

“Says who?” asked George sceptically.

“My sister – she’s in the sixth form and she said Mr Davies said it might be merging with Bishop’s.”

“Bishop’s?” asked Christopher with some concern, “that’s way over the other side of town.  If they make us go there I’ll have leave home even earlier.”

“We won’t be merging with Bishop’s,” Celia told them confidently, “it’s not big enough.”

“They’re addin’ new buildings,” said Kenny, “there’s builders there now.  That’s where all them lorries were going.”

Luke and Joe were a little concerned, like Christopher, that a move to Bishop’s would mean an even earlier start to the day, but they needn’t have worried.

The hall was rarely this full of people.  Years Seven and Eight had their assemblies on Mondays and Wednesdays; Years Nine and Ten on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and Year Eleven had just one per week, on Fridays.  It was only on special occasions that the whole school attended assembly together.  Everyone waited for Mr Strang, the Headmaster, to finish talking to the Head of Year Seven, Mrs Oakley.  She looked like she’d been crying.  When she left the stage, Mr Strang cleared his throat and talked into the microphone.

“I’m sorry to – “ his words stuck in his throat.  He coughed and gestured to one of the other teachers for a glass of water.  After swallowing a mouthful he tried again.  “Excuse me, erm, …”

A Year Eleven boy pulled back the chair of the girl in front of him and it slid forward on two legs.  She shrieked and was left hanging at a 45 degree angle with her shoulders against his knees and her feet kicking the back of the person in front of her.  The commotion caused some laughter along two rows of seats and inspired the rest of the assembled to turn and see what was going on.

“You two!  Out!  Leave this room NOW!”  Mr Strang’s voice boomed over the P.A. System and the laughter was immediately curtailed.  One of the P.E. teachers dragged the boy and girl from their seats and marched them out of the hall.  Everyone else turned to face the front and waited silently for Mr Strang to resume.

“I’m sorry to tell you that Mrs King passed away at 6.42 this morning,” Mr Strang’s voice was quivering, “she has worked here for eleven years and was a valued colleague and friend.  I’m sure you’ll all agree that she was an excellent teacher who was devoted to her students and always had time for anyone who needed extra help.”

The atmosphere in the room changed instantly from one of curiosity and impatience to one of melancholy.  Luke and Joe hadn’t known Mrs King for long but they’d liked her and were sad she was gone.  No one said anything.  Mr Strang continued.

“As some of you may know, Mrs King battled with cancer for years.  She was brave, uncomplaining and always cheerful.  She was an inspiration to us all.  We have decided, therefore, as a tribute to Mrs King, to organise two fund raising activities in support of an organisation which has for many years funded life-saving research into the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer – Cancer Research UK.

“The school Swing Band – which Mrs King loved – will play a concert at The Tower Theatre, at the end of March. Volunteers can go home today with tickets to sell in aid of the charity and there will be a prize for the person who sells the most.  Secondly, there will be a Mufti Day on Friday for the whole school.  Every pupil who wishes to take part must pay £2 to their form tutor for the privilege of not having to wear school uniform that day.  If everyone takes part, the mufti day alone will raise £2000 for the charity.”  Mr Strang cleared his throat, took another swig of water and turned to say something to Mrs MacGregor who sat behind the piano.  He then left the stage and Mrs MacGregor led the school in Mrs King’s favourite hymn.

****

At the end of the day Isabel and Tania pushed through the crowd to find Luke and Joe in the bus queue.

“What are you doing here?” asked Luke.

“Can’t stop,” said Isabel, a little out of breath, “but did you get some of those concert tickets to sell?”

“Yeah,” said Luke, “Mr Flanagan gave everybody ten.”

“Don’t sell them!” said Tania, grabbing Isabel by the elbow and pulling her away.

“Why?” Luke asked the retreating pair.

“Meet us tomorrow lunchtime,” Isabel called across the noisy crowd, “usual place.”  And they hurried to their rendezvous with Tania’s mum at the back of the school.

*********************************************************************************************************

Story continues on Monday, but if you don’t want to wait you can read it now 😀

Have a great weekend 😀

*******************************************************************************************

vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction

Comments welcome

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.