The key in his back, wound each day by duty and habit, turned relentlessly. The rising sun’s welcome drew up the curtain of dew, revealing bowed maize, glistening trees, chattering birds. He saw only paperwork, never complete. Daily the key, not he, drove him forward.
Then the key fell out. He rose and, strangely, woke up. The yellow maize and sighing trees filled him. He cried as bird song stroked his aching heart and recalled an ancient song long forgotten.
He learned to teach. Some called it breakdown. He called it break-in. His pupils called him breakthrough.
This is from 97 SMILES, a book of 97 97-word stories, available by clicking here.