Friday at the coffee shop down the street from my housemate’s flat we did two writing exercises: although everyone preferred their first story, the object of these periods being to simply write – well, badly or indifferently – I thought that it was also worth publishing the second lot so any would-be writers out there can see that it’s all a matter of perspective and appreciation. Sometimes the story you prefer will not be the one your audience prefers. I know this from my photos: I am often amazed at the cards my friends will chose as they are often not the photos that I like best.
So for what it’s worth – here is the second series (in the same order author-wise)
Story one – D-L N
Jean followed his brother watching the kid’s backpack that was almost as big as his brother, the little shit.
“Make sure he gets into the school” his mother would say as she handed them their lunch.
Jean would sell his and use the money for a joint.
Thomas knew his brother was behind him but didn’t want anyone to know his mother insisted he not be alone.
Jean didn’t want any of his buds to see him with his little brother so the distance suited both.
At the school Jean held back until Thomas disappeared. He knew the brat would raise to answer all the questions he could, hand in his homework, which would be perfect and his teacher who said “You are certainly different from your big brother”.
She’d been Jean’s teacher, the bitch who never understood that when he looked at the letters they jumped around.
Sighing he walked to the alley where he ditched his backpack. Maybe he’d spend the day in the woods --- anywhere but the classroom.
He went close enough to the school to sell his lunch. A fast sale and he was off to freedom from the weight of his life.
He was late for school again and so was Selby who was running down the street a few feet ahead of him. His mother was always nagging him to hurry, drink your chocolate, do your homework, have you had a shower yet, did you brush your teeth, and forget about the homework question.
He was going to cut school one day, he was going to hop on a train, be a hobo for a few years and then come to his mum and say Mum see? No school, no problem.
Because the thing about parents was that they always saw the bad side of life – He had read on the internet about these businessmen who had started their own company and made tons of money and travelled and were famous and role models and in the end, they were all dropouts and that’s what he had to show his mum, that he could be who he wanted to be.
But at 12 years old, all the adults in his life saw was grades, manners and who he hung out with.
Nonchalantly he sauntered down the road past the church, head uncovered – never mind his mother’s request that he cover those ears – he might take cold.
It was nice to be allowed to go back to school; it was lovely to not have to submit to any more treatments. Cancer was a thing of the past – he was off to continue a normal life.
The Tramontane blew but he felt invigorated by it: he no longer feared the cold.
His friend followed a few paces behind – sweatshirt and jeans totally covering every body part.
What was very interesting about the two “bodies” – two authors had them as brothers, the third had noticed that one was dark-skinned, the other white.