Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Phew! (02/11/10)
TITLE: Half term
By Graham Starling
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A few last excited voices squeal in the distance then silence descends, wrapping the world in a warm velvet cloak. The buildings around me seem to be sighing with relief, sharing their appreciation of a hardship endured and a chance to recuperate.
I look around the room. Tables and chairs sit at all angles and the floor is strewn with broken pencils, crumpled papers and other jetsam of the day.
Collapsing into my own chair, I close my eyes and allow the release of pressure to wash over me. It hardly seems possible that only six weeks have passed since I first set foot in this place. My throat is sore from raising my voice too often, and I feel the first signs of a virus trying to take a hold. It hardly seems fair that now that I have the prospect of a few days rest, that I may well spend them flat on my back aching and shivering.
This hour or so at the end of the day has been my catharsis for as long as I’ve been in this profession. The peace and quiet, the unexpected silence, such a dramatic contrast to the rest of the day, helps to ease the knots of tension in my shoulders, and this has never been more true than at this moment.
I clean the board, clear my desk and load a bag up with books that will need my attention soon. Not tonight though. I have a week, and they can wait a few days.
I turn the lights out and head towards the car park with a spring in my step and a tired but oh so satisfied smile on my lips.
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