Mysterious Glass Invitation

I walked up the noisy gravel driveway, coat pulled up against the pervasive chill of the night. I checked my watch to see how late it was, and was surprised by how bright the moon shone, reflected off my cracked glass watch face. I looked up at it and was struck by just how large it was in the sky – not the first time I’d had such a thought since touching down in this strange country.

My fingers grazed over the watch face, and I let a deep sigh escape – I really did have to find a good glass repair company in Melbourne, on my return.

‘Hello?’ a voice called out from the darkness immediately behind me, attached to a young blonde woman, her apologetic smile more apparent as she jogged into the moonlight. ‘I didn’t mean to startle you!’

‘No matter,’ I said, returning her cordial smile. ‘Are you also on your way to the Baron’s mansion?’

‘Afraid so,’ she sighed, and I detected a faint American accent. ‘You got his cryptic invitation too?’

I nodded. ‘Do you have any idea why he’s gathering us? Or even how many of us there will be?’

‘No clue,’ she said, as we began to walk up the immense driveway again. ‘Probably just wants to show off some fancy new glass stair balustrade he had imported from Australia or something.’

‘Oh,’ I frowned. ‘Rather not the macabre evening I had hoped for.’

She laughed at my expression, hooking her arm around mine in an overtly familiar gesture. ‘You’re funny,’ she declared. 

‘Thank you,’ I said, stiffly. ‘And you are…’

‘Abigail,’ she told me, with a curt nod. ‘Judging by those specs and that truly terrific hat… you gotta be the scientist, right? Rennings?’

I nodded, impressed with her deduction. 

‘Look,’ she went on, ‘don’t get your hopes up about tonight. It’s just as likely that he needs witnesses for some legal signing than that he wants to actually show you something… interesting.’

‘I shall do my best to keep my hope in check,’ I said, as we approached the door. ‘Shall we?’

Frankie’s Plan

For the first challenge on Australia’s Next Top Office, we’ve been asked to start outside by building a glass balustrade for our balconies. It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting, but I’m up for any trial they can throw at me! I want the kids back in my class to view this show and see that their awesome teacher, Ms Frankie, can do anything. And that means they can achieve anything they want to as well!

I’ve been doing a lot of research before the actual challenge period begins. I’m sure the other contestants were smart enough to do that as well. These days you can learn pretty much anything on the internet. So I’ve watched plenty of videos on glass repair and balustrade installation. I think I have a pretty good idea of what to do now. The competition is fierce, though. I’ll have to play this strategically if I want to win. Not just this specific game, but the whole show in general. If I race ahead and show that I’m a real threat, I’ll be putting a target on my back. It might be worth throwing the challenge altogether so that nobody expects much from me going forward. I’ll still try, though. Maybe I just won’t try my absolute hardest.

The good thing about all this research is that I could become a glass balustrade specialist, Melbourne having plenty of glass-filled offices, if I ever wanted to leave my teaching career. At the very least I’ll be able to teach my glass all about it. They’re sure to love the new material. It’s certainly better than studying mathematics or anything else that’s actually on the curriculum. How boring! Schools don’t do enough to prepare students for the real world, which is why I teach them about taxes, plumbing and everything in between. 

Okay, I need to stop reminiscing about my job and focus on the task ahead. Let’s do this thing, but not too well! Let’s do an adequate job of making a glass balustrade and finish in third place!