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Zac Silver's Hairy Tale - Chapter 7

The head teacher waved the yellow flyer above his head. "That boy there is playing truant from Pythagoras Primary - School of Excellence. And he's not 14 years old - he’s 11." The crowd gasped. David's jaw dropped.


“Alfie!” Tilly snapped. “You have to ruin everything?”


“Mother! What do you look like?” Mr. Barker said. “I don’t know who’s worse – you or him.”


“Alfie?” Zac gulped. “Mr. Barker’s your son?”


“I’m afraid he is. I couldn’t say anything Zac - you’d never have come today if you’d known that embarrassment over there belonged to me.”


The judges whispered and gesticulated in a corner. Finally, David smirked. He clapped like a toddler being handed a giant lollipop. He climbed onto the step ladders and screeched for everyone to shut up. “It would seem, that the young man standing over there has lied his way into this competition.” The students shook their heads. “So after much consideration we have decided...”


Someone clicked on the sound effect drum roll again.


“Turn that off! We have decided - sometimes in life, when you are pushed into a corner, the only rule left is... to break the rules. It’s talent that matters at the end of the day. Zac Silver... you are still our winner.” Everyone in the salon hollered. “Quiet, I haven’t finished yet. There is one rule I’m afraid we can’t change - the £5000 must be awarded to the winning entrant’s place of learning.”


Mr. Barker snatched the cheque from David’s hand. “That’ll be mine then.” He pulled the copy of ‘Dream Desks’ from his briefcase. He opened the centre spread and flashed the glossy maple desk at the photographer. “Take as many pictures as you want sonny. Put me on the front page and let every head teacher see – I’ll have the best desk in the country.” Miss Cleaver flung her arms around him.


Chaos settled to a murmur as Zac climbed to the top of the step ladders. “David?” Zac said. “Sorry, Daveed – you said the cheque must be awarded to a place of learning?”


David nodded.


“Well I learned more today from that lady over there ...” Everyone turned to look at Tilly. “...than I’ve ever learned at Pythagoras Primary. And Mr. Barker’s right - I wasn’t at school this afternoon. I was at ‘Heavenly Heights’ retirement home. In fact, it was Mr. Barker who sent me there. He said I’m not right because I like cutting hair.”


David threw a hand over his gaping mouth. Zac’s fellow contestants scowled daggers at the head.


“Mr Barker said visiting ‘Heavenly Heights’ was part of my education, to help straighten me out. So if it’s all right with you Daveed, I’d like to donate the cheque to the old people’s home.”


David glanced at the judges. Supersonic nods vibrated on their necks. “That doesn’t seem to be a problem Zac. Who shall we make the cheque out to?”


Zac smiled across to his new friend. “To Greta Garbo of course.” Zac whipped the cheque from Mr Barker's fingertips. “Also known as Tilly Barker.”


The principal rolled up his magazine and started hitting himself over the head. “But Mr. Barker,” David said. “Don’t despair. As an obvious champion of hair design and technology, I am proud to award you this.”


The stunned head teacher looked down and read the rosette that had been pinned to his suit. “Hair Excellence Award.”


The photographer focused his lens on Alfie Barker and snapped his final shot.

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