"Give me a minute!" The head took his feet off the table and shoved his 'Dream Desks' catalogue beneath a pile of files. "Come in! I haven’t got all day."
Mrs. Stubbs pushed the door and stuck her head round. "Have you got a minute Mr Barker? I'm afraid he's done it again."
The head snorted. "Again Mrs Stubbs! Bring him in this minute." The teacher grabbed Zac Silver's elbow and pulled him into the office.
Mr Barker's monobrow cast a shadow over his scowling, sultana eyes. Hairs swept down his nostrils and twisted out of his ears. Zac imagined they were tentacles, escaping into the light, growing from an alien bush-beast inside the principal's head. "Take a seat Mrs Stubbs." Mr Barker removed the scissors from his pen pot and hid them in a drawer. "YOU STAND OVER THERE!"
Zac looked up at the dark, corner shelf where Mr Barker proudly displayed his collection of animal skulls. "You've got a new one Sir."
Zac Silver's Hairy Tale - Chapter 1
"Never mind 'you’ve got a new one Sir.' You were on your last warning. You've got a lot of explaining to do."
"I can't help it Sir - it just takes over. It's the only thing I'm really good at."
"Oh be quiet boy! Tell me what happened Mrs Stubbs." Mr Barker pointed at her head. "And please remove that."
She yanked off the rubber swimming cap and laid it on her lap. "Well, it was the middle of Maths. Everyone had their swimming caps on, including myself and the teaching assistants."
"Yes, yes! And the scissors?"
"They were all locked away as you'd instructed. He must have brought them from home. Stacy Tatlock had to remove her swimming cap for a second." Mrs Stubbs leaned towards the head and whispered, "The girl with nits. She needed to scratch."
"Get to the point Mrs Stubbs."
"The moment Stacy removed her cap, Zac pulled out his scissors. You know how fast he is. He'd already given her a short bob with a diagonal fringe by the time I noticed." Mrs Stubbs hid her mouth and leant forward again, "It did quite suit her."
Mr. Barker banged his fist down. Another deep crack quaked across his desk. "I don't care if it made her look like the Queen of England - Zac Silver is forbidden from cutting anymore hair in this school." He glared at Zac. "Are you listening boy?"
"I waste school funds buying all those swimming caps and still this insolent boy manages to mess with hair. It's not good enough. That money should have gone towards my new desk."
Zac daydreamed of attacking Mrs Stubbs's frizzy head with straighteners. He knew he could make her look a million dollars. Well, at least a hundred! Mrs Stubbs saw the glint in Zac's eye and pulled the rubber cap back on. "I don’t know what else we can do Mr Barker."
Mr. Barker punched his desk again. Years of frustration dealing with Zac Silver's hairdressing obsession had caused it to crack and bow in the middle. He stood up and ranted his venom over Zac and Mrs Stubbs. "Surely a top of the range, maple desk isn't too much to ask for, after 35 years of exemplary service. And one that doesn't do this every time I put something on it."
Mr. Barker slammed down his gold pen. It rolled like a sausage towards the centre of the desk. "It would only cost £5000. What's £5000 considering the blood, sweat and tears I've invested in this place." He took a coffee mug from the window sill and banged it on the other end of the table. The mug slid like a sledge until it stalled beside the pen.
Zac dared to interrupt the display. "I’m not being rude Sir - you know what would make you feel better than a new desk?" The head teacher stared at Zac - eyes bulging, veins throbbing and nostrils flared. Zac hadn't noticed. "A makeover! I could make you look like George Clooney."
Mr. Barker thudded the concave table a third time. The files, mugs, pens and stapler bounced into the air and landed in a messy pile. "Enough! Get him out of here Mrs Stubbs. Get him out before I..." The head crushed a biro in his hand. "Bring him back tomorrow. I'll have his punishment decided by then."
The teacher tugged Zac's jumper and ran towards the door. Zac turned back to Mr Barker and pointed at his collection of skulls. "They'd look really cool with wigs you know Sir."
Mrs. Stubbs and Zac fled the office. They heard a thud.
Seconds later, a splintering, tree-tumbling sound vibrated through the door.