The Elf King’s Thingy Part VIII
‘There are probably worse fates in the world than double geography’… Anna mused to herself while failing to pay any attention to the lines of strata been drawn on the white board by Mr Wainwright, possibly the more boring teacher in the history of the profession.
In fairness, in Anna’s opinion anyone who willingly chose to teach geography was going be boring. Anna preferred History. Interesting things happened in History. Even if the history they taught at school which tended to be the least interesting bits of history. Anna even preferred Theology to Geography. At least Theology taught you about some of those worse fates that could happen. The really interesting stuff, however, happened when you mixed history and theology together and got myths.
Myths were fun and defiantly has some worse fates than double geography…
As Mr Wainwright continued ‘teaching’ them about how glaciation crated the landscape of the pennies in the last ice age, his explanation seeming to take longer than that ice age, Anna started to revise her opinion on fates. She suspected if Sisyphus was given the option of double geography or continuing to push his boulder up the hill in hell, he would opt to keep on pushing …
She became aware she was yawning just as Mr Wainwright broke off from U shaped valleys to loudly ask “Are we keeping you awake Miss Kirkpatrick?”
Anna sat up with a jerk, mumbling “Sorry sir” much to the amusement of her classmates, and felt herself go red at the cheeks as everyone, with the exception of Heidi, laughed at her discomfort. Mr Wainwright grunted and was turned back to the board to continue his lecture on moraine dragging along the base of an ice sheet just as a strange buzzing noise started to emanate from Anna’s vicinity.
“If that’s a phone you can bring it here right now Miss Kirkpatrick.” Mr Wainwright snapped.
Anna was hit by a sinking feeling as she glanced nervously down at her bag, which was indeed where the offending buzzing was coming. One thing she knew defiantly was not the cause was her phone. She had stopped bringing her phone to school when it ceased to be new enough to be ordinary. She had asked her parents for a newer model but her father had insisted she did not need one as her old one ‘Performs the function it was designed for, it’s a phone, you can ring people on it and they can ring you…’ Which was the kind of wisdom her father often spouted.
Her father’s logic was as fatally flawed as it was inescapable. It was based on the false premises that teenagers use their phones to ring there friends, rather than to snap-chat them, Instagram, watch videos of cats, facebook their lives , twitter what passed for their thoughts and speak in the complex and to him incomprehensible language of emoji. ‘smiley face, boot, cat, smiley face, yellow star , twinkling star, cupcake’. In reality calling these devices phones was a misnomer. They were really an extension of the id, via a five inch screen, that allowed access to the world beyond the mundane, not devices for conversing with other people.
To avoid ridicule over her outdated device and of course the feared being not ordinary, Anna always left her ‘phone’ at home. That and her own inability to understand what ‘smiley face, boot, cat, smiley face, yellow star , twinkling star, cupcake’ actually meant.
Despite giving her bag her best hard stare, the buzzing sound from within continued. As did the sinking feeling. She knew what it was, it was the box. Of course it was the box, ‘Why did I have to bring it with me, I knew something like this would happen…’ she thought top herself . The last thing she needed was to have to take out the box and let other people see it. No matter what else it was, ordinary it wasn’t, but Grandma Grunswick had insisted she bring it with her to school. ‘If Dearie insisted on wasting her time with book learning, then Dearest must take the Calidonius with her, lest Dearest leave it to be lost. We can’t have that now can we Dearest…’
Grandma Grunswick always spoke like that. And then she would smile at her, she always smiled at her. There was something chilling about Grandma Grunwick’s smile, but it was the words that had chilled Anna most. Though she knew Grandma Grunswick loved her, at least, she was sure Grandma Grunswick did. She could still make even the plainest words sound sinister and threatening in nature. Yet they were also compelling, playing on Anna’s desire to conform and be ordinary
When Anna was a child, a real child that is, rather than a teenager, Grandma Grunswick had been her imaginary friend. A wise old woman who would always be there to look after her. Granma Milly had been slowly returning to the age of the quiff and brothel creepers since Anna had been about three, and Granny Kirkpatrick was just a couple of pictures on the wall her dad used to point to occasionally and talk about. Grandma Grunswick on the overhand was there on a night when her parents had tucked her in to talk to in the dark, like all good imaginary friends she was also there to blame when something went wrong. “I didn’t drop the eggs it was Grandma Grunswick who nudged me…” It only became a problem when Grandma Grunswick stopped being imaginary when Anna turned twelve.
“Kirkpatrick, bring that phone here right now…” Mr Wainwright snapped at her.
Anna looked back up horrified and grabbed her bag, pressing at the box through the cloth hoping doing so would make it stop, but it continued to buzz and she realised it was vibrating at an alarming rate. “Sorry sir, it won’t stop.” She heard herself saying while a nasty bit of laughter started elsewhere in the room. The echelons of the pack setting in, she had broken the first rule, she had stood out from the crowd. ‘at least they all think it’s my phone.’ She thought bitterly.
“Kirkpatrick you have five seconds to turn that thing off and give it to me, or you can go to the green room..” the teacher said in what was the most animated voice he had ever used. ‘If he had only used that much passion when teaching his subject geography might prove to be less unconsciously dull.’ Anna found herself thinking…
She wanted to protest it wasn’t her fault, and more than that to protest it wasn’t her phone. But if he made her open the bag she would be in further trouble. Not with the teacher but with her classmates. Strange wooden boxes that vibrated were defiantly not ordinary.
Five seconds proved to be both no time at all and the longest of epochs, but when Wainwright spoke again it was with a degree of resignation, and continuing buzzing form her bag that Anna just stood and walked out of the classroom. The whole room laughing at her save for Mr Wainwright who could sense that which teachers fear more even than an Ofsted inspection, he was losing control of the classroom.
“Settle down you lot, that’s quite enough form you Jenkins, right pack it in or she won’t be the only one sent to the green room…” she heard the teacher say as she fled.
Next week ( or possibly in a couple of days) the tale of ‘The Elf king’s Thingy’ will continue, with Part 9 In the office of Speckpocket Genealogist to the Elf Kings Court
You can find the full series here
Authors note: This part work comprises of a first draft, without the usual editing, proof reading etc, It is somewhat raw because of this. There may be glaring errors, terrible typos and crimes of a grammatical nature. Feel free to point them out if your self-esteem requires a boost, you would certainly be proving your intellectual superiority over the author in doing so…