Thursday, 15 November 2012

Story Of The Day: Mixed Messages

Our next 'Story of the Day' is Mixed Messages by Alex Birch which has been recommended by LSF member, corncrake:

"I was first alerted to this very short story when I was very new to the site and, as it happened, the day after Alex Birch died. I read quite a lot of his stuff about then and I clearly remember being astounded that this one had not been commented on. I was still very timid and remember wishing I was brave enough to speak out.

This touching, wide-ranging short story is all the more effective for its brevity.

Newly arrived in a girls' boarding school in wartime, the handsome young science teacher is clearly aware of his good fortune at being in a 'reserved' occupation, but all the same is in agonies over the safety of his (illegal) partner.

The girls irritate him enormously, epitomising as they do the worst of silly, romantic teenage behaviour. They, of course, as evacuees, are also feeling displaced and insecure.

It is wartime and Mr Hammond the science teacher is nervous as he has never taught at a girls school before. He despises the way the silly infatuated girls try to attract his attention. Worried for the safety of his partner, he finds teaching science to these girls a real ordeal.

synopsis by flopsybunny

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