Edu-cult

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: BoMoWriCha Prompts
Written for a challenge at the BoMoWriCha Prompt House.

Submitted: February 11, 2019

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Submitted: February 11, 2019

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Edu-cult

Dan, would you like to explain why your Father and I have been called in to the school. To see the Principal, no less.” Margret Hendry cornered her son as he dashed through the kitchen on the way to his room.

What, Randall? Who knows,” and with that Dan dashed up the stairs, snack in hand.

Margret went to call her son back, but already she could hear the sound of shooting and yelling that signified that he was back in computer game land and unreachable to her. Dan wasn’t going to tell her anything anyway. He was a good boy, at heart anyway; it couldn’t be anything too bad.

Vincent Randall stood up from behind his desk and stretched out his arm for a handshake. Once he was seated again he indicated with a nod that Margret and Tony Hendry should sit too. He shuffled through some papers before putting them back in to a file.

I’ve asked you both in here to discuss your son Daniel’s recent behaviour. It would seem that he has started his own....” Vincent Randall paused for a moment, trying to find the best word to describe Daniel Hendry’s most recent problem. Finally he came up with what he felt to be the most appropriate word, “Cult!”

Margret and Tony exchanged quick glances.

There must be some mistake....” began Tony.

Daniel is not at all religious,” put in Margret.

Well, religion does not come in to this cult of his, to be honest. It is about homework, or rather lack of it. He and his followers have decided that giving homework is an infringement on their liberty and for the last two weeks have refused to do any. Do either of you check on his school progress?”

Both parents bristled at what they took to be a criticism of their parenting skills. “Of course we do,” Margret answered. “I always ask him if he has done his homework.”

And does he answer?”

Margret felt herself trapped. If she said no, that would make her out to be a pretty pathetic mother; but then again, if she said yes it would be saying that Dan lied. Of course he did not answer, rarely spoke to her at all in fact, but she was not about to pass on that information to the Principal. She stayed silent, waited until Vincent Randall began talking again as she knew he would.

The thing is, Mr and Mrs Hendry, a lot of work has to be carried out by the students at home by necessity. There is no other way that we could cover the required curriculum. If students do not carry out their homework they will fall behind, very quickly so far behind that they will not be able to catch up. It would be a shame to see it happen to such a bright boy.”

I’ll talk to him,” Tony Hendry said. “He’ll be getting his homework done from now on. Thank you for drawing attention to the situation.”

Margret said nothing. It was easy enough for her husband to make such promises but she knew that it would be down to her to make sure that the work got done.

Daniel spent even more time in his room following his father’s ‘discussion’ with him. ‘Getting down to his homework’ had been Tony’s response, but Margret knew better. She could almost guarantee that their son had not once picked up a pen over the entire weekend.

And yet there were no more calls in to the school. The homework must be getting done. Their son had turned over a new leaf, and he looked happier for it too. He must have made some new friends for he was coming home with new games, borrowed she presumed. Quite how he found time to play even more games now that he was doing his homework she could not quite work out, but for now everyone seemed happy.

Sylvie Collins was not happy, and when her parents found out what was happening, they were not happy either.

I have to do it!” she’d wailed, when her parents found her sitting up at three o’clock in the morning doing Daniel Hendry’s homework.

The Collins family made an appointment with Vincent Randall to try to find out just what was happening. Mr Randall was far from amused and called the Hendry’s back in straight away.

There were no niceties this time, but a blunt, “This cannot be tolerated. Your son and his...followers, have been forcing other students to do their work for them. They intimidate, they bully and they steal. As the leader of this...er...cult, I am going to have to insist that your son Daniel no longer attends this school. From this moment on he is expelled.”

Margret and Tony were too stunned to speak. How dare that school Principal talk to them like that. No wonder Dan had been playing up. New schools were not too difficult to find; there was not much left of the term so they would get him somewhere else by the time the new term started.

It was not hard to find a new school but it was expensive. There were all new books to buy after all, not to mention that Margret would have to drop him off and pick him up again each day. She dreaded the thought of it, and was in no doubt that Daniel did too.

Now, this is a new start,” she said on that first journey in. “Put all the problems behind you and just get on with things. Okay?”

Daniel, of course, did not answer, but Margret was sure she caught sight of a stack of home-printed leaflets poking out of her son’s backpack as he got out of the car.

 

(965 words).


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