Back to School - Chapter Five

Hamilton leaned back, tapping the tips of his fingers together in contemplation. “An interesting dream, Edwards. What do you make of it?” Charlie shifted nervously from leg to leg. “Well, sir, I’ve been giving it a lot of thought since last night, and I think it was a premonition.”

Back to School is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. The podcast version of the story is presented in six instalments, one per chapter. At the end of each episode, Robert provides insight into the writing of the story and chapter.

The show notes include links to Back to School on Tall And True and the podcast’s theme music and sound effects.

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Writer's Insight into Back to School and Chapter Five

If you’ve listened to my insights in the earlier chapters of Back to School, you’ll know I wrote the first draft of the short story in 1992, based on a dream I’d had about my school days. Initially titled A Second Chance, the story became Another Chance in subsequent drafts. And when I shared it on Tall And True in 2017, I renamed it again to Back to School.   

In Chapter Five, Charlie is sixteen again and still attempting to convince his headmaster, Heavy Handed Hamilton, that the dream of his adult self, and his house and family, and his being unemployed again was a premonition.“It was a warning of how my life will be if I don't finish high school and sit my exams next year.”

Hamilton has school reports to sign and a pile of paperwork but indulges the boy. “If it was a premonition, as you say, Edwards, do you believe you can alter your future, your destiny?” Because the headmaster had a dream or premonition back in his army days. And acting on it saved the lives of his patrol and his own.

Unlike Charlie and Hamilton, I don’t believe I’ve ever had a dream that’s come true, a premonition. But I’ve had vivid dreams and experienced déjà vu many times.

Thanks for listening to this podcast. I hope you enjoyed Chapter Five of Back to School. You can read this and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at

The final instalment, Chapter Six, Another Chance, will be released shortly. In the meantime, check your podcast feed for earlier chapters and other self-contained short story episodes from Tall And True Short Reads. And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app.

And please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Read Back to School at

Podcast Theme and Podcast Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from

Creaky chair:



Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads produced using Audacity. Thanks to Josh (VoiceOverMaster) Meyer for Audacity recording tips and tricks.

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