Fear No More
"Fear no more the heat o' the sunâ¦"
(William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, IV, ii)
Jonte faced playtime with mixed feelings. When the bell rang, the others would rush into the open air, laughing and chattering. He felt left out. Yet these were also times he enjoyed. He could daydream about how things might have been.
Sometimes, though, he would watch the play â' not directly, that would have been impossible â' but on the big screen in one of the classrooms. Cheering on his friends made him feel part of the action. Even through the screens, however, watching for long often made his eyes hurt. Sunlight reflected strongly off the silvery turf, and even more from the trees around the ground. Players in motion trailed flashes of light which left black spots in his vision.
It was during a tense game that the summons came through. The shelter Principal, no less, wanted him at once in his office. Jonte uttered a mild swearword, though realising that he had already been watching too long â' his head was aching. He made his way to the admin sector; signalled his arrival; and went in.
The Principal was behind his desk directly opposite the door. He was a small man, with metallic black hair cut short, silver-grey hands in constant fidgety motion, and an expression of perpetual irritation. He waved in the direction of a chair placed in front of the desk.
But to Jonte's surprise, there were several other people in the office. It was difficult at first to see them all clearly: not only had the effects of watching the match still to wear off, but the lighting was poor. Perhaps the Principal had only remembered at the last minute to close the heavy shutters and switch on a lamp.
As his vision returned, Jonte's surprise grew. The six men and two women, who sat in a half circle to one side, judging by their job tags, were seniorâ¦very senior. Four were from the administration. The two women and the other...