Chapter 1: school Trip

17 Nov

“Are you coming with us?”

The teacher smiled back across the table and nodded in affirmation.
The wrinkles at the corner of his eyes, meant that smiling made him
look at his best. His hair was dark brown, slightly thin on top with
the odd grey hair at the sides. Stubble and dry skin marked the lower
part of his face, his nose was over large, but neither drew the
attention. What did were his eyes. They were pools of myriad brown,
grey, green and blue. They were different each time, seemingly the
colours would move into different patterns. And set as they were
behind the prominent smile lines, they drew and held the gaze of any
observer.

The girl smiled and turned to her friend to begin chattering about
something else. The teacher turned away and let the chatter wash over
him. The children were excited. It was a rare trip to the coast – a
yearly excursion that this particular age group did. Some of them had
never been there before, had never seen the sea, or sand. They would
be seeing something unique this year. Something nobody had seen
before. The teacher’s smile turned slightly grim.

The journey was uneventful enough. Only one case of travel sickness
was a reasonable return on one hundred and fifty miles. The first
night passed with the normal over-excitement from the children whereas
the teachers looked forward to the children being tired out after a
full day of activities on the second night. But the first full day of
activities was very different from previous years.

The morning on the beach was followed by a cliff walk. Each teacher
shepherded their children cautiously up the cliff path that ran only a
couple of metres from the edge. The children were equally nervous –
most were unused to the countryside, let alone a steep drop into
churning foam. Which is why they were shocked when, at the highest
point of the walk, the teacher with the eyes stepped off the path and
right up to the edge of the cliff.

“Mr. Saunders!” shouted the girl from the morning before. This shout
drew the attention of the children and teachers in other groups spread
along the cliff path, who all see Mr. Saunders calmly step off the
edge of the cliff. He was still smiling.

There was a brief, silent flash as he fell. Remarkable maybe, but not
compared to what had just happened. In the shock of the aftermath,
those children and teachers that had seen the flash dismissed is as a
trick of the light, the sun glinting off the sea maybe. It had been a
bright day.

They never found a body

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