The Broken Seat or The Demise of Helmsley



A twilight zone encounter.

The children piled in as always. Tommy was hitting Sara as usual while Sara was pulling Alicia's hair. Helmsley was bullying his favourite latest victim. Somehow the mass of year 4 class C organised itself from the most absolute chaos into 4 neatly ordered queues that filed down each row of desks and chairs. As usual every seat occupied by its habitual user, every day:- that is every school day since the beginning of term. I say every seat, well there was ONE seat that no one ever sat on, the broken seat. It wasn't actually broken as far as anyone could see but well it was called the broken seat and it just didn't look very nice.

Mr. Hauser came in and looked at the children with a mixture of dismay and disdain. He didn't like them and they didn't like him, however the class had to be given so.......

"Today we will be looking at the past perfect tense and learning how to incorporate it into a story..," he droned on. Tommy fell asleep. The droning on of Mr Hauser reminded him of the low humming of his father's car. There wasn't a single car journey in which he could remember staying awake.

Tommy woke up with a start as Hauser culminated his boring presentation of the accurate usage of past tenses with a loud flourish. Tommy sat up so quickly that he knocked all his books and things on the floor. He looked up but Hauser continued obliviously. Tommy picked up his things and meticulously ordered his desk. As he sat down he saw Helmsley preparing a rather larget paper pellet at the end of a large straw. It launched and unfortunately hit Hauser squarely on the cheek.

"Helmsley, come here boy," growled Hauser. The class laughed in glee at the impending doom about to come upon Helmsley. As the class bully he wasn't liked by anyone.

"Yes sir," mumbled Helmsley and walked out to the front of the class like the idiot he was.

"I've told you a thousand times that I will not tolerate disrespect in the class, go and sit on the broken chair," he sentenced.

Helmsley went and sat there as ordered.

The class continued. Tommy watched Helmsley looking increasingly agitated. He was moving from side to side to get comfortable. He seemed to be trying to get up and the chair holding him there through some invisible force. Tommy rubbed his eyes just to make absoutely certain he wasn't still asleep. In fact Helmsley's entire backside was sunk into the chair but couldn't be seen sticking out from underneath it.  Tommy looked around but like in a bad dream no one else noticed. He returned his gaze to find that now Helmsley had his legs in the air and his body folded in half. Tommy put up his hand to call the teacher's attention but he was engrossed in another long boring explanation of some good prose. Tommy could only see Helmsley's head and feet squashed together and then his head and feet also sank into non existing space.

Finally Tommy got Hauser's attention. "Sir, sir, Helmsley just dissappeared through....". His voice talied off rapidly as he realised the ludicrous story he was about to tell. "Don't be ridiculous Tommy, write down your story," barked Hauser. "But sir I'm not telling a story."  Tommy blurted. "Tommy there is no student by the name of Helmsley in this class so please behave or you will go to the Headmaster's office." said Hauser firmly.

The class bell sounded and the children reformed their chaotic mass and were herded out of the class. Tommy went over to Helmsley's place and picked up his things. He walked over to the broken chair and put them on the seat being careful not to touch it himself. He didn't look back because he knew they were no longer there.











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