Professor Gladenhall – Intro

“Professor Gladenhall” is a short story set in the English countryside at a small but renowned boarding school. As the story comes together, sections of it will be posted here for your enjoyment!

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It all began when we took a class with a strange but kind professor at the boarding school. He had seemed alright to begin with and even played along with some of the jokes that us students decided to pull the first couple days when we should have been in class.

For example. When his class was about to begin, most of us would scurry off to the ball fields on the far end of the school property and hide there until he came looking for us to give warning that class was about to begin . At that time, we would pretend that we had just lost track of the time in the midst of our games. He would always smile ruefully and play along with our childlike imaginations.

Little did we know that one day he would play a trick of his own. But unlike ours, which lasted a few moments and brought a few giggles from the younger students, his surprise would change our lives in more ways than we knew.

To understand where this situation came from, one would need to know that the professor had only recently taken up his position with the school and had a history that nobody could quite figure out was true or simply made up. His record was spotless and he seemed to have taught at all the famous schools in the country.  The reports from students, coworkers and principals alike were stellar and his reputation so pristine that no other candidate was considered for professor of literature when his name was seen on the first application.

Months after receiving the call to come join the faculty at this renowned boarding school, the professor was still missing. It was not until partway through the semester that he actually appeared on the school grounds. And even then it seemed as though he had only partly made it.

Dust billowed off of his clothing and small bits of rock-like building materials seemed to cling unnaturally to his shoes. His hair was long and disheveled as if he had travelled by horseback through the woods and collected a souvenir from every low-hanging tree branch. His skin was wrinkled, but his eyes were steady. His tread was sharp and his smile whitty. Within moments he had excused himself for arriving two months late and promised the “experience of the semester.”

To be continued…