Fluentella tales: episode 7




(plus english idioms related to school / education)




Marie: English teacher

Marie is from Cape Town, South Africa. She has taught English as a second language in a variety of settings, including a kindergarten, after school language academy (in South Korea), and at a world-famous language school for adults in her hometown. She is able to help students of all ages and levels. She can help you or your child with English grammar, British or American pronunciation, or any type of English test preparation. She especially enjoys Business English and IELTS preparation. She has nine years of teaching experience with all ages, levels, and nationalities.

  The man in the hallway is now dead. His unblinking eyes reflect the moonlight coming in through the window. I’d rather look at the wound in his chest than at his eyes right now. I can tell by the muffled voices that the men in the house have now drawn a blank as to what to do next. I’ve surprised them. Suits me just fine. 

I sneak past the dark living room on my way to the front door. Besides the Christmas lights on the tree, nothing else is moving. The sofa lays on its side, the incredible dinner mom prepared now cold on the floor. OK, back to basics.  The training from my navy days kicks in without me even noticing. Living room, clear. Hallway, clear. I move silently down the hall, in the direction of the front door where I suspect the men are. The door of the linen closet catches my eye. It has moved slightly. Someone’s hiding in there. An elderly, blue eye stares at me through the crack. Grandpa! I hand him his semi-automatic pistol from the basement without saying a word. Grandpa was the first person to teach me how to handle a firearm. Back when I was six or seven years old, I passed  his target practice test with flying colors. I struggled in school, but he understood. We share a unique bond, my Grandpa and I. When I wanted to drop out of school  at age 16, he convinced me to finish what I started and then find my own way in the world. I’m so glad he isn’t hurt! 

He unlatches the safety of his weapon and gives me our special hand signal. He signs “A, B, C”, meaning as easy as ABC. This makes me smile in the darkness and reminds me not to lose hope. My Grandpa and I make a mean team. They don’t stand a chance. 

Grandpa takes the lead and I follow closely behind him. It’s eerily quiet outside. Here in the hallway we have absolutely no cover, so we slip into the guest bathroom next to the stairs to plan our next move.  Being out of the firing line is something I’ve learned by heart in the navy. The area is cramped, but I’ve been in tighter places before.  He whispers to me, “They have taken your mother away by car. I was unarmed so I couldn’t stop them. As far as I know, there are three men on the porch. You just got rid of the fourth that was roaming around inside. Two or more men followed your sister into the woods, looks like she and your mother are the targets. I don’t know where Louis is, but I suspect he followed your sister. We have a lot of work to do,  Commander. Are you hurt?” I shake my head. Every time he calls me Commander, I know things are about to get interesting. This situation takes me back to my first year as a training officer in the Royal Marines in the UK when I had to learn practical and maritime skills. I was not keen to hit the books, but one phone call to Grandpa set me straight. I still remember what he told me that day very well. Your sister might have been teacher’s pet, but you are the one with fire in your heart. 

A soft voice from the porch jerks me back to reality. “Show of hands, which one of you dimwits have seen the old man? He might be ancient but still a great shot, I hope one of you took care of him…” Silence follows. Then a grunt of irritation and the click of a lighter. “Don’t just stand there! Go look for him, he’s in the house!”  Rushed footsteps approach us. Grandpa and I smile at each other.




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