Joe Ghiradello

David Watkins was having one of those days. He’d burnt his toast this morning and his car had taken ten minutes to start before he could be on his way to the hell hole otherwise known as Norwich middle school. It was finally lunch time. Upon settling in his chair with a cup of strong coffee and his feet up on the desk he was startled by a high pitched scream. He got up to look out of the window and wasn’t at all surprised by what he saw. Joe Ghiradello, his school’s prime trouble maker was chasing some first year girls with what appeared to be part of a dead fish. Absorbed with the scene he stood and finished his coffee before struggling to open the old single glazed window. He slowly stuck his head out. “Stop that at once!” There was no response. David had met Joe’s mother last week at parent’s evening. They had discussed last month’s incident with the fake penis. ADHD she had said. Not the boys fault she said. In David’s opinion ADHD stood for acutely disturbed hooligan disorder. In the playground Joe’s face shone with glee at the reaction of the screaming girls. As David watched he could feel the blood rushing to his face and his fists become clenched. “Joe, come to my office right now!” His volume couldn’t match his anger. Still the boy ran about before him. That was it. He wouldn’t stand for this. His shoes clomped loudly in time to his heart beat as he marched down the corridor laced with crepe paper smiles. He was in the playground. How dare that little pest ignore me, he thought. This is my school. “Joe Ghiradello put that disgusting thing down right now!” Joe didn’t react and continued with his game, even slapping the smallest girl round the side of the head with his festering toy. She yelped. As the smell of mouldy old fish reached his nose, that was that. He didn’t know at all what he was doing until he had Joe held tightly by the collar in one hand, the fish in the other. As a trace of a smile remained on Joe’s face, there was nothing that could stop him. “Eat this you little shit!” he roared as he squashed the fish hard against his mouth. It dropped to the floor as he loosened his grip. Released, Joe fell backwards and began to whimper as putrid fish remains slid down his chin.


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