Day 4 of http://writewithfey.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/chrys-feys-30-day-writing-challenge.html – Create a character off the top of your head and write a short history about him/her. Looking at this, it is more like the opening scene including the character rather than a biography but here it is anyway.
Matt Murphy was assessing himself in the mirror. He was in a suit which was becoming less unusual but still seemed a little strange. He tugged briefly at his tie. it was his first proper day at Hilltop High – yesterday had been teachers only – and he was trying to decide exactly which thing it was that the kids would find the most hilarious. He was tall – 6ft 1 – and extremely skinny so it could be that. Or his unruly hair. Or his tendency towards camp exaggeration. Or his broad scouse accent in the middle of South Yorkshire. Or…
He made himself stop. Probably it would be some, as yet, unrealised fault. He thought of the text that had just come and which had prompted the self-assessment. It was from Steph, a teacher already for some ten years. She had tried to talk him out of it. Do something better, she had said. He hadn’t listened. The text had said Good Luck in the lion’s den. Very fucking funny.
He was thirty three years old. Too old to be starting a career. Not even a new career. The first one. Unless working in a pub counted as a career which he doubted. Maybe that would work in his favour. The fact that he looked older, was starting to go a little grey.
It had been a long road to here. If he failed at this, there was little chance of starting all over again. He wasn’t going to fail though, was he? He realised it would be difficult at first but he imagined that by the end of the term he’d be winning. If he could imagine it, it could happen. That was how it went, wasn’t it?
He didn’t particularly want to remember his own teenage years. He had left home before he was sixteen due to issues with his stepfather. School hadn’t been the easiest of places either. He had just stopped going. GCSEs seemed a minor thing to sacrifice when you were fighting for your life every day. The rest of that year had been spent on whichever floor would have him. He’d got a job at a bar and worked every shift he could. Eventually he had saved enough to get a flat. Then it had been night-school: GCSEs, A-Levels. Working every single second. He hadn’t imagined being a teacher. Just that he wouldn’t always be working in a bar, pulling pints for idiots. No way.
That was when he had come to Sheffield. University had to be part-time so he could also work. English Literature. Not useful but enjoyable.Then an MA. Then teacher training. All the way up to this present moment.
He wanted it to be over. The first moment. It was like being at the bottom of a steep hill. he couldn’t see what the summit was like from this angle. He needed to be starting to climb. He picked up his briefcase and made for the door. He promptly fell over the corner of the bed. Silently he cursed his clumsiness. That was another possible source of amusement.
“You look fine. You’ll be fine.” Matt turned towards the bed, towards the voice. He smiled. Mikey had never suffered a moment of nerves in his life. Matt supposed if he looked like that, he wouldn’t be nervous either. He was full of confidence on Matt’s behalf. He had no doubt that Matt would be fine.
“I didn’t mean to wake you.” In fact, it had been his intention to sneak out quietly. He didn’t want to give Mikey the chance to make a fuss. He was nervous enough already. He didn’t think he could take any of Mikey’s pep-talks at this time in the morning. “I have to go.” He added, hurriedly giving Mikey a kiss on the cheek and then darting out of the door. Miraculously he didn’t collide with any more of the furniture.