Forty Shades of Green

 

Here’s a snippet from the book I’m currently working on.

In 1972 Paul Lavin had been a hippy in a tweed suit, just out of teacher training school; his first job was in Frank’s school. He introduced his students to pomegranates, Georges Braque and the beauty of silent movies. He challenged them to solve Fermat’s Last Theorem, reminding the class that they had probably greater knowledge of mathematics than Fermat. He showed them films of the great museums, and sometimes fell asleep during them, (he wasn’t a fan of museums, but thought it would be good for the kids to see something of the world beyond their small Irish town.) This changed one day when panic in the classroom woke him up. For a moment he looked in confusion at the flames in the projector before realising what had happened. He picked up a magazine and walked quickly to the projector, issuing orders as he went. ‘Martin, lights. Francie, windows.’ As the room filled with light and air, Mr. Lavin took his jacket off and threw it over the burning projector. He closed the jacket around the flames to kill them.

The classroom door flew open and the principal, a grumpy-looking old man whom everybody hated, (he was one of those people who become teachers because of the authority it gives them), stood there taking everything in. He stepped into the room, barking, ‘What’s going on here?’

Martin looked up at him, ‘Sir, the projector went on fire, sir.’

‘Did I ask you?’

‘It just overheated. It’s ok,’ Mr. Lavin said.

The principal looked at Mr. Lavin, wondering if this would be a good way to get rid of him.

‘It’s ok,’ Mr. Lavin said again. ‘No harm done.’

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