Damien was kept behind in the class again.
― So, this was your review of the play you saw last week?
― Damien, I’d rather you tell me the truth.
― What do you mean?
― Not your usual style is it?
― I like the play aw tha stuff about thievin’ an’ tha’.
― Well, I’m impressed that you liked the play but this’s not your work is it?
― Eh? I worked real hard an aw’.
― Not quite, Damien, how come it is word for word the same as Andrew Norton’s review?
― Wha? You need to ask him tha’.
―Come on now. Did you not copy his work?
― No way man. Nae chance. I don’t hang aboot with that swot!
― How come it is word to word the same then?
―Nae idea. Aw that in the play that wimmin Jam, saying Scotland stole aw that plantation stuff cotton and sugar an that really got me goin. Countries stole an aw, right?
― Are you saying that it is right to steal another pupil’s work?
―Naw just sayin that the play was good. That jakey sayin thay big building in Merchant City was paid by thay plantation owners. I liked tha’. An’ the poor in Glasgow jist stayed the same.
― Damien I’m glad you got the gist of the play.
―That you understood Glasgow’s history but coming back to the review …
―Naw miss, you’ve got tha totally wrang an aw. I’ve never touched Andy’s jotter.
―Then perhaps you could tell me the source of that quote that you’ve used in the review?
―Wha dae you mean?
―Where is that quote that you used in the third paragraph?
―Eh? From thay books you told us aboot.
―Which one, Damien? Who was the author?
―You’d know, miss, tha thick black book you showed us in class.
―Really? I showed you three books none of which had a black binding.
―Ah! I remember noo, ma pal Nash says to put that quote in. I go tha from him, right enough.
―Damien, I don’t have any more time to waste on this. Detention next Tuesday after school and you’ll do that review again at that time.
―Aw no miss, that’s my footie practice day. We’re playing Schools league next Saturday. You cannae keep me in.
―There is a simple solution to this Damien. Did you copy this from Andrew Norton? Yes or no?
The noise and commotion outside the room was sudden. Sounded like pupils fighting. Miss Cummings ran out the door.
Damien slipped out of the room quietly.
LEELA SOMA was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow. Her poems and short stories have been published in a number of anthologies, publications. She has published two novels and two collections of poetry. She has served on the Scottish Writer’s Centre Committee and is now in East Dunbartonshire Arts & Culture Committee. Some of her work reflects her dual heritage of India and Scotland. Twitter: glasgowlee
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