Here’s a taster from my story:
Owen whistled as he worked. He wasn’t sounding a particular tune—he was just making a noise, really, to mask the silence. This was the first time the children had been off since he’d started work in the school, so he was used to constant din in the building. Even during lessons he had always been able to hear the murmur of voices from classrooms, toilets flushing and someone’s footsteps as they click-clacked down a lonely corridor. But now, there was nothing, except for the occasional groans and creaks one always hears in a building.
It was eerie. As an ex-army private, he’d always had a pretty noisy workplace—some times more than others. But, he reminded himself, that’s why he was here. He’d been injured in active service, and although it wasn’t bad enough—thank God—to put him in a wheelchair or even on crutches, it was enough that he couldn’t be on the front line any longer. He’d been offered an office job in the army, but there was no way he wanted to do that. He’d never be able to cope with sitting behind a desk, knowing his friends and colleagues were out there on manoeuvres. It just wasn’t him, so he’d left the army and gotten a simple job that wouldn’t be too taxing and would earn him a few quid while he figured out what to do next. Therefore, he was currently in the position of caretaker in a secondary school and was pottering around during the school holidays, finding things that needed to be fixed, replaced or painted.
Thankfully, there was plenty to be getting on with, or he’d have been bored out of his mind, particularly with there being nobody around to talk to. At least in term time he exchanged the odd word with the teachers and other staff, and put up with good-natured jibing from the cockier kids. Though that had soon stopped when they found out he was an ex-soldier. He didn’t know if it was fear or respect that kept them quiet, but either way he was pleased—he never knew how to respond, anyway. If he told them off or answered back they might go running to the Head, and although he knew the school wouldn’t take the kids seriously, he’d rather not draw any attention to himself. He just wanted to get on with his job with the minimum of fuss while he figured out his future plans. So that’s what he did. Kept his head down, remained polite with the teachers and staff, ignored the kids as much as possible.