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Detention

“Silence!!” he screamed at them, “I said silence. This is detention!”

The hall went quiet finally. A few minutes of chaos and then order establishes itself, just like the rest of society.

The young people in detention were crouched on the floor with their bags nearby them, awaiting their allotted time to be up.

“If you weren’t all miscreants, we wouldn’t have this in place would we?”

His bald patch was showing again, he combed over his hair as quick as he could with his brush to hand. Today hadn’t been a good day so far. His car broke down on the way in, he spilt coffee on his new yellow striped tie and his white shirt had gathered some dirt after he helped a Year 7 who had fell into the mud by the school on their way in. shouting at the children was almost catharsis right now. He wasn’t meant to be on detention duty today, but Mr Hill, whose turn it was today, was off sick.

A small brown-haired boy raised his hand.

“What is it, Mr O’Halloran?’ he walked over from the front of the hall towards him, “there’s no talking in here and the first thing you want to do is raise your hand and ask something”

He stooped over the young lad of 13 years and asked “What is it then?”

“Sir,” said young Mr O’Halloran, “you have a stain on your tie. I just thought I’d point it out as no one else wants to. It looks like Donald Trump in a suit with all that yellow on it.”

The assembly hall roared with laughter, and the children started laughing heartily. Cheeks became red, bags kicked around, some started lying down on their backs and grabbing their stomachs trying to contain their delight in the comment.

“Quiet! All of you! I said quiet!” he snapped and snapped more and more at them, attempting to bring them back to order. He turned around pointing and shouting at each individual student

“Jenkins… Thomas… Melissa… Ade… Jordan… Jermaine… Carl… the lot of you. Stop this at once!”

He turned at young Mr O’Halloran, stared down into his eyes and said “Get up boy”

“Detention is to sit here sir. So that’s what I’ll do.”

“You cheeky…” and he kept his temper to himself

Young Mr O’Halloran smiled up at him. The tension in him was at breaking point. He wanted to explode and attack the child. Over and over he considered what was stake in the next moment or two, his career, his mortgage, his reputation, his integrity, none of it mattered right now. He wanted to kill him. A deep breath overwhelmed him and his cheeks started to turn from bright red back to his pale complexion. A few moments passed. As he was just about to turn around and walk away from the students to the front of the hall as they had finally calmed down, he felt his arm go numb and his breath, that had taken him over a moment ago, disappear. He screamed as he raised his left foot to walk away and collapsed onto his left side, clutching his chest. The kids were startled but none of them moved. As he lay there, he tried to murmur some words but none came and he took his last breath, on his side facing the emergency exit to the playground. It was sunny outside but he wouldn’t see it again.

The children looked at each other and saw his body not moving.

Someone whispered: “Shouldn’t we do something?”

Young Mr O’Halloran stood up: “Fuck him. He weren’t supposed to be on shift anyway. Let’s get out of here”

The rest of the detention-dwellers silently moved with Young Mr O’Halloran out of the Assembly Hall en route back to the playground where they could finish their lunch.