Sample Pages 12-Saol-Athruithe

On his way in, he thought about what he would say to everyone. He wasn’t sure who was even going to be there; vacations were happening, and he was fairly positive there would be some who had left for good, not wanting to work for him any longer. He pulled into the parking lot and shook his head. He knew there would be protestors; he wasn’t surprised. Still, the signs were hurtful, and he steeled himself for the jeers and taunts of those who felt he should have been fired. There were those, of course. There were also a number of his supporters there as well, welcoming him back. He smiled, opened the door, and headed for the office. Once inside, he looked around at things. “Looks like nothing’s changed. But I’m a little surprised; seems like more people should be here. Maybe they’re all on vacation.” John wasn’t in his office; Carla wasn’t out front yet. He paused before he unlocked the door to his office. He drew in a deep breath, and opened his door.

He found where a good number of people were. They were all seated around the table in his office, waiting. They rose and applauded their boss. He smiled as he walked in, then closed the door behind him. He looked at everyone. “I’m only going to say this once. I can’t ask you to work where you’re not comfortable with the leadership.” Nobody moved a muscle. Finally, Carla looked at him and raised an eyebrow. “Sir, time’s a wastin’.” John looked at him and smiled. “What’s the first item of business on the agenda, Mister Superintendent?” Mark looked at everyone. “Thank you, everyone, for your support. Get out there and get things moving. School starts in just over four weeks, and we need to make sure everything’s a go. John, Carla-finish getting me back up to speed. And one last thing.” “Yessir?” Mark smiled a cruel, cold smile. “Get those flaming idiots off of school property. They don’t have permission to be here, I’m sure. And if they do, it’s just been revoked.” There was more applause as people started walking out. Carla smiled. “I’m all over that. Welcome back, sir.”

————

Angie and Nova sat there while Charlene Hallenbaut collected her thoughts. “I am somewhat concerned about a few issues. First of all, they don’t seem to be interacting with their peers very well. They tend to play with each other, to the point where others can’t play with them. It’s like it’s just the three of them almost exclusively.” “That’s not terribly unexpected” Nova said, quietly. “They know each other well, and have been friends for some time. That’s not really a concern to me right now.” Angie nodded in agreement. “If they’re still that way by the end of the school year, I’d be a lot more concerned as well. It’s still very early in the school year; and they’re not used to the other kids-especially Diarmuid. My husband and I live on the edge of town, and we don’t have a lot of close neighbors. What else?” “Well…they often speak to each other in ways that confuse the others-and to me as well. For example, they were playing foursquare yesterday, and Odran said what sounded like…like…Odran, what exactly did you say?” Odran looked up calmly and said “Caith dom an liathróid.” Angie looked over at him and asked, “Well, did you?” “Tá, Aintín Angie. I threw the ball to right to him.” Diarmuid pushed Odran over. “Dude, it’s more like you hit me in the leg with it.” The two boys laughed as did Ciara and Angie.

Charlene looked a little ruffled. “Your child is no better, Ms. Sullivan. When asked what time it was, I couldn’t understand him. Diarmuid, would you come over here, please?” Diarmuid put the truck down that he was playing with and came over to where Angie and Nova were sitting. Charlene Hallenbaut pulled a piece of paper out. “Diarmuid, what time is it on the clock?” He rolled his eyes. “Mrs. Hallenbaut, I told you earlier and you got all mad at me.” Angie looked at him. “Diarmuid, answer the question exactly how you did before, please.” He shrugged. “Tá sé aon a chlog.” Nova stifled a giggle. “You’re absolutely right, Diarmuid. Good boy” she told him. Suddenly Angie understood what the problem was. “Diarmuid, cén t-am é? Labhair cosúil le Daideó Mark.” (Diarmuid, what time is it? Talk like Grampa Mark.) He shrugged. “Okay. It’s one o’clock.”

————

Mark had routinely turned down most requests for interviews or thoughts on the races, citing conflict of interest issues. Neither Annalie nor Joey would let him off the hook so easily, and finally he held a press conference to explain why he wasn’t saying much of anything to anyone. “As the Superintendent of Schools, my position here is overseen by the school board-some of whom are running for re-election-as well as certain members of the city council. Therefore, I must maintain a neutral stance-and must remain a neutral party. That is the professional way of doing business.” “So tell us who-as Mark Roberts, private citizen-you’re voting for” Jon Lanson asked, grinning. “Nice try, Jon. Next question, please.” Joey shook his head and thought, “That’s ballsy, Jon-even for you.” Sue had also approached after school on several occasions, no less-and while polite, was even firmer in not telling the press anything. “I’ve had more than enough of the political thing in the last six months. Sorry, everyone.” Jill flat out refused all requests for interviews; Russ declined to be interviewed as he was busy with a new business venture and had little time to deal with interviews. “It’s nothing personal, everyone. But we’re in negotiations to buy a property, and now just isn’t the right time.” Joey had done a little digging around, found how much Russ had contributed to each candidate-then privately sent him a story before submitting it, showing that he could prove who Russ was backing. Russ called him, gave him a few quotes, fixed a couple of possible issues that could be misunderstood, and gave Joey his blessings on it.

Annalie was not as fortunate. Russ was polite, but firm with her. She got exactly one minute of filmed interview, then he begged off. She understood, and filled a few more seconds with some other footage. She knew better than to try to talk with Jill on camera; she’d been warned by both Mark and Russ not to try. Sue was also not too willing to speak publicly, but finally relented for less time than Russ had given. Ryan was asked for a few moments of his time. He was a little more gracious to Annalie, but then as he put it “I can afford to be a little more open. I’m hoping Steve wins this one; he’s an old friend and classmate…and we take care of our own.” Steve sent Ryan an e-mail after the piece had aired, saying “Who’re you calling old?”  David Starr was a little more willing to speak out; he made no secret he was backing Steve-and Jaimee Masterson as well. “Of course I’m supporting my son. What parent wouldn’t? As for Ms. Masterson, she brings in a fresh spirit, some fresh air to a city council that needs it. Dave Bonham started that process a few years back; Jaimee Masterson will continue that trend.”

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