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Ryan and Mr Fisher

Daniel Henshaw | Kristy Lankford

“Two more minutes,” Mr Fisher announced.

Disaster. Not enough time for a comeback. Ryan had been partnered with Kelly Brockhall for tennis and it soon became clear that she was going to beat him. Although Ryan loved sports, there was one thing that he absolutely detested; losing. In fact, Ryan hated losing so much that he actually had a dark, little secret… he often cheated!

For example, during a game of hockey, Ryan was tackled — quite fairly — by Leon. Knowing that Leon was certain to score, Ryan screamed in agony as if his shin had been split by an incoming arrow head. Before Leon had a chance to smash the ball into the net, Mr Fisher blew his whistle and made sure that Ryan’s leg wasn’t on the verge of being dismembered. When Mr Fisher saw that there was nothing wrong with Ryan, he simply shook his head and returned his attention to the rest of the class.

Right now on the tennis court, he needed to think fast. He couldn’t lose to a girl at tennis! After Kelly served the next ball, Ryan returned the shot but pretended the ball had caught the end of his little finger. He screamed at the top of his voice and writhed around in agony on the floor as if his finger was dislocated. After Mr Fisher had checked there was nothing broken, he told Kelly that: “We’ll have to call this game a draw. It’s only fair.” Ryan secretly smiled to himself. This was one of the many reasons that Ryan loved Mr Fisher; he always tried to keep things fair. Ryan knew he could play on Mr Fisher’s fair nature in order to get away with his cheating antics.

Towards the end of the school year, much to everyone’s joy, Mr Fisher announced that the whole class would be going along the Alaska Highway to Muncho Lake for a week-long camping trip. Mr Fisher made the whole trip fun. He was constantly telling tall tales about the times he’d been to Muncho Lake as a kid.

“And this one time,” said Mr Fisher, “I very mischievously went off walking by myself and didn’t tell anyone. I hadn’t been walking for more than two or three minutes when I came face-to-face with the biggest grizzly bear I’d ever seen. It was twice the size of me and had vicious, snarling teeth that dripped with hungry saliva.”

The children were all gripped, hanging on Mr Fisher’s every word.

“And then… BAM!”

He sharply slammed his hands together with a harsh slap. The children jumped out of their skins before falling about laughing. At night time, the class would often play games and have little competitions around the campfire. Ryan, as usual, feigned injury when he wasn’t victorious. Mr Fisher, who was quite used to his antics by now, simply rolled his eyes.

On the final day of their trip to Muncho Lake, the class went hiking in the hills. So that he could keep them in an orderly fashion, Mr Fisher ensured that the children lined up in pairs and walked two-by-two. Ryan and his partner, Stevie, rushed forwards in order to get to the front of the line. Accidentally, they knocked over the smallest girl in the class, Lizzie Gillott.

Mr Fisher was not impressed. “Ryan and Stevie, go to the back of the line! And walk sensibly!”

Ryan walked sulkily at the back of the line, stamping his feet heavily. As they passed over the rocky terrain, a pebble gave way under his foot and Ryan’s ankle twisted beneath his body. An excruciating pain shot up his left leg; his brain felt like it would explode with agony. Ryan screamed at the top of his voice and writhed around in tears on the floor. He was positive that his ankle was broken; snapped beneath him like a twig. Everybody turned around to see what the commotion was about. However, when they saw it was Ryan, they immediately assumed he was just pretending.

“Ignore him,” said Mr Fisher, “he’s just sulking because he can’t walk at the front.” And off the class went, further up the mountain, disappearing from Ryan’s view amongst the trees.

By the time that Ryan’s class returned to the spot they’d left him, he’d disappeared.

“Mr Fisher,” said little Lizzie Gillett, pointing towards a nearby tree, “is that Ryan’s hat on the floor?”

But Ryan hadn’t been wearing a hat. Mr Fisher approached the object cautiously. As he crept closer, he quickly became aware of a boggy moisture beneath his feet, the grass coated with a scarlet liquid. The object most certainly wasn’t Ryan’s hat; it was his scalp.

About Daniel Henshaw

While studying English at Sheffield Hallam University, Daniel began developing his writing style while simultaneously consuming great writers such as Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and HG Wells. Since then, Daniel has qualified as a primary school teacher, started numerous blogs and had a handful of articles published in magazines. When Daniel isn't teaching children, he writes short stories and poems for both children and adults.

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