A tail from Matchway High

Tomorrow I’ll put up the second part of my interview with Doctor Who’s own Dave (a Dalek). Today, a quick side-step with a little slice of strangeness from the cooky corridors of Matchway High.

Mr Young. Young by name, not by nature. He was middle-aged when he was born and in his dotage by the time he was eighteen. So, at the age of 48, he was practically a fossil. Mr Young, young by name and at the mercy of nature (because whenever it called, he would feel instantly compelled to answer, or face the damp consequences)

At Matchway High Maths and Languages were always scheduled close together, with just a five minute gap for teachers to catch their breath before the next wave of children washed into the language block, ready to be administered their smattering of German or French.

Any child will tell you that choosing to learn German or French is like being made to choose between the gallows and the firing squad. Mr Young, like the rest of his compatriots in the Language’s Block was more than qualified at administering these linguistic punishments upon adolescent ears but Mr Young had something his colleagues in the department  didn’t have. He had a rather spacious cupboard located at the back of his classroom. Spacious and suspicious.

“What do you think he keeps in there,” the children would say as they listened at the white painted wooden door.

Before class, they’d tug at the thick metal door handle and sometimes, if they were feeling daring, launch several scrawny shoulders at it. “Ow! How strong is it anyway!”

As each wave of children followed another year after year, it was a perpetual mystery among them, a question that never went away. What did Mr Young keep in his cupboard? There were some, like Mr. Clay who didn’t want to know.

“Could be anything,” he’d say. He didn’t think he was just a sweet old man. No, Mr Clay knew nobody could be that doddery and sweet. He would watch as the white haired gentleman walked slowly across the car park and slid into his Ford Fiesta. No family, no friends and neither liked or disliked by the kids. Mr Clay was certain there was something distinctly unnatural about Mr Young.

Mr Young did indeed have a secret, and the truth is too bizarre to contemplate. A tail of his own, you might say.


Copyright Martin Gregory

More of the Dave (a Dalek) interview tomorrow!!

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