Tall And True Short Reads

Back to School – Chapter Two

Episode 19 (10 April 2021)

The headmaster tapped his pen on the punishment column in the discipline file. “I’m waiting, Edwards. Why do you want to come back to school next year?” Charlie’s mouth still felt dry. “Because I want to sit my exams, sir.” “Yes, but why?” “Um, err—” Charlie struggled to find the words.


Back to School – Chapter Two

Show Notes

Season One: Episode 19 (10 April 2021)

Back to School is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. The podcast version of the story is presented in six instalments, one per chapter.

Read the story: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/young-adult/back-to-school

Podcast website: https://www.tallandtrueshortreads.com

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Story Insight

As I explained in Chapter One, I wrote the first version of Back to School when I lived in England in 1992. The working title for the original handwritten draft was A Second Chance. But when I typed it up on my old Amstrad PC, I changed it to Another Chance. And finally, when I shared the short story on Tall And True in 2017, I renamed it Back to School.

I was the same age as Charlie in the story when I quit school at sixteen. For many years in early adulthood, I dreamed of being sixteen again and back at school. One day in 1992, I decided to exorcise those dreams by writing this short story.

In Chapter Two, Charlie reveals to his headmaster, Heavy Handed Hamilton, what prompted his visit to the office and change of heart about school next year. It was a dream or “premonition” of what would happen to him if he didn’t finish high school and sit his exams.

My dreams weren’t exactly like Charlie’s. But I did imagine different alternatives had I finished my final year of school.

Thanks for listening to the podcast. I hope you enjoyed Chapter Two of Back to School. You can read this and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com.

Chapter Three, The House, will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed for Chapter One (earlier chapters) and other Tall And True Short Reads episodes. And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app.

And please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads produced using Audacity. Thanks to Josh (VoiceOverMaster) Meyer for Audacity recording tips and tricks.

Podcast episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.

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