Mr. Green woke up. Outside, a bird sang loudly at the small window and flew away. He looked at his watch. It was 6 a.m. He pulled the blanket off and stepped out of bed. He felt tired and sad: he always did after that dream. He didn’t feel hungry and he didn’t want breakfast. He needed to work and take his mind away from the past. He thought about his job now. ‘What can I do today?’ he thought. Then he had an idea: the boiler. ‘I’ll start the boiler.’ It was always a good idea to start a boiler for a little while, even in summer, to make sure it was working well. He dressed quickly and went next door.
Inside the boiler room, the huge machine sat silently. There were many buttons, but Mr. Green used one of these machines when he worked at Crosslanes primary. He began pressing some of the buttons and soon the machine was working. ‘It seems fine, but perhaps it needs to run for 24 hours,’ he thought to himself. Closing the boiler room door behind him, he stepped outside and looked up. Black smoke from the boiler rose slowly from the chimney and darkened the clear air. Inside his room again, he sat on his bed. An image of Sally, his favourite bird, came into his head. ‘I wish there was a telephone here,’ he said to himself. ‘I could call John and find out about her.’ Next door, the machine for the boiler made a deep hum and the bed shook a little. He looked up at the little window. Beyond it, the sky was clear and blue, but there was one small, white cloud. He stared at it. He did not have a mobile phone but he wanted to call his neighbour, John. Suddenly, he had an idea. ‘There must be a telephone in the school’s office,’ he said, feeling happy for the first time that morning.