18 – A Life Lived Through Stories: The Head

Keren Wilde was a magnificent specimen of a woman. She exuded power from every pore and everything about her said control. With her incredible power-dressing which was both sexy and professionally formidable. She never wore her flaming red hair up, never tied back to appear stern and strict but instead allowed it to flow freely down her spine; it was no wonder some of the male teachers at the school gave her the nickname of  ‘The Amazonian’.

Of course, they never did so in her hearing. That would have been professional suicide. No one wanted to end up like Dr Macnab. You didn’t do anything to incur her wrath or even attention if you could help it.

John Adams’ wife didn’t really believe him when he spoke about The Amazonian, and laughed whenever he mentioned her with fear and trembling in his voice.

“She’s going to eat me alive, Felicity,” he told her frequently, “it’s only a matter of time.”

“Don’t be silly, pet,” his young wife would respond – when she didn’t just laugh at him for his cowardice, “she can’t be that bad. I’m sure she’s very normal when you get to know her.”

She changed her mind when she attended a school music concert with John. They had arrived early and were seated near the doors to the main hall where the young musicians were now setting up and tuning their instruments ready to perform. As John was watching them prepare, Felicity grabbed his arm and hissed “is that her?

He turned to the door, where his wife was staring, wide-eyed. Sure enough, The Amazonian strode into the hall looking like she owned the place – which, in a sense, she did.

“I see what you mean. She’s…impressive” she conceded to John. Felicity had never seen Keren Wilde before but there was no mistaking who she was.

John had only been in the job a few weeks and, already, he lived in fear of ‘the coming of The Amazonian’, as he referred to it. It was inevitable she would come and sample – ‘taste’ if you like – his teaching style and then give detailed feedback – or step-by-step destruction of your career as John preferred to think of it. Everyone was seen by the Headmistress at some point and few came away unscarred.


To continue reading this story please buy the book ‘The Old Man on the Beach and other stories’ available January 2015.

Copyright © 2014 D K Powell



4 thoughts on “18 – A Life Lived Through Stories: The Head

  1. […] The Head is another teaching story (I will include at least one more in the published version) and combines several true events together. The inspiration for this – The ‘Amazonian’ who is the centrepiece of the tale – is based on a very real, equally as impressive and terrifying woman from the first school I worked in as a professional teacher. […]


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