Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The Zoo Keeper - Part 4

Do you think we are finally going to find out the truth about the zoo?


The Zoo Keeper
Part 4 of 10
By Amanda Sington-Williams

She giggled and ran out of the room with her class mates.

The director was at the door. ‘So your class went well, did it?’ she asked. She glanced around my room at the abandoned books scattered on the floor, up at the white board where I’d written out the learnt phrases. ‘A little different from where you used to teach, isn’t it?’

For a year, I’d taught in a hot dry southern city famous for its Moorish palace with fountains and domes rising to the sky like blown-up balloons. Beautiful though the palace was, I’d found the metropolitan hub too noisy, with its screeching cars speeding past my bedroom window every night. From a hamlet on the edge of Dartmoor, my tolerance for traffic noise was low.

The director and I chatted about the class. All the time, I was checking the pauses in our conversation, searching for an opportunity.

It didn’t come out right, the question sounded childish, as if I wasn’t taking part in the conversation: I felt the familiar bloom growing on my face.

‘Is there a zoo in the park,’ I asked. ‘Only last night, I heard roars, whines and howls.’

‘Oh. A zoo you say? I don’t know of any zoo.’

With a flick of her hand, she wiped the board clean, moved the chairs back into a semi-circle, picked up a book open at a picture of a crocodile, then left.

That afternoon, I resolved to find out for myself. I returned to the street where my apartment stood. Shops snoozed, sunshades pulled over slabs of meat where flies dozed, too stupefied by the still hot air to bother with feeding, while left over bread in baker’s shops dried and hardened.


The barman couldn't help. Nobody at the school seems able to help. Or are they all hiding something? Come back on Sunday for a little exploration of the park...

3 comments:

Jeane said...

I didn't read the previous parts but the question title made me curious and now there is the danger of getting addicted to the story. :-) Thanks for posting!

Brighton Blogger said...

I recommend reading the previous three instalments as it is a really good short story. Only five weeks... come on, I know you want to!

Jeane said...

hehe