School Days

Responding to Reena Saxena’s prompt #138.“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are players. They have their entries and exits” famously said Shakespeare”.https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2020/06/04/reenas-exploration-challenge-138/

A play in two acts:

aAct 1. William Edgeford-Hill. a.k.a. Billy Bananas.

Was that my morning alarm buzzer forcing me into wakefulness, no such luck, it was the sound of the recess bell summoning me to enter the hell they called recess. Maybe this time I could escape the devils clutches and grab twenty minutes of peace. I sighed, it was not to be, there he was right on cue, the devil followed by his minions, trotting over to greet me. I planted my feet firmly on the ground and braced for impact.

” Hey, Billy Bananas, where do you think you’re going.” hissed the devil as his right fist thundered into my left upper arm.

I grimaced, trying not to show he had hurt me, and failing miserably, Staring into the devils gleeful, malicious eyes, I muttered, ” I’ve told you before my name is William Edgeford-Hill”.

“Well you’ll always be Billy Bananas to me, because you’re a yellow sniveling coward. Though I guess I could call you Billy Bonkers, if you prefer” thus spake the devil.

We stared daggers at each other for a while.

” Prove yourself worthy to be one of us, and I’ll leave you alone”, intoned the devil”

“Depends on what I have to do” I said.

” That precious little princess , Anne Taylor, who is forever combing her hair with the brush she keeps in her desk. Well, I want you to steal that brush”. spoke the devil.

I was devastated, Anne Taylor, the most beautiful, the most intelligent girl in the class, whom I was deeply, madly, secretly in love with, how could I do that to her.

“I can’t do that” I replied “Anne is my friend”.

“What’s the big deal” insinuated the devil “Just buy her a new brush wrapped in pretty paper and ribbons and place it on her desk. She will be happy and overjoyed when she receives it. That should make your day to see her so happy appreciating your gift”.

He had a point and I would do anything to escape the torment of recess hell, so I made my pact with the devil. True to his word they wandered off with smirking faces, leaving me alone with my conscience. That’s how the devil works his evil intent, self justification for our wrongful actions.

Entering the class after recess I saw the devil blocking Anne’s path giving me a nod. I quickly walked over to Anne’s desk reaching inside with my hand, while my eyes searched the classroom ensuring I wasn’t seen. I located the brush and quickly placed it in my pocket, sauntering back to my desk.

Math class was about to start when a despairing scream shattered the hushed boredom of the classroom.

“Where’s my brush. Someones stolen my hair brush”.

Mr. James, the math teacher, walked over to involve Anne in huddled conversation.

“Will the person who stole Anne’s hairbrush, please place it on her desk before the end of the day and nothing further will be said. I hope this will conclude the matter” said Mr. James.

It was at that moment the devil stood and announced with a sincere voice,

” I saw William Edgeford-Hill take Anne’s hair brush, Mr. James. He put it in his pocket”.

There was a commotion in the class as Mr. James asked me to turn out my pockets and the hairbrush was revealed to all and sundry. After a disproving look and a lecture on how disappointed he was with me, I was sent to the principals office. As I exited the classroom I saw Anne staring at me enquiringly. I stayed in the principals office till the final bell and was sent on my way with a letter to my parents.

Returning to the classroom to gather my homework I was met by Anne.

“I know it was George who put you up to taking my hairbrush. I’ve seen the way he bullies you at recess. Don’t worry about it, I won’t press charges” she said with a smile.

“How’s your arm” she said as her hand reached up and stroked my upper arm. At that moment I left my mortal confines and was transported body and soul straight into Heaven.

Act 2. George Hunter a.k.a. The Devil

I left school in a happy mood that day. That sanctimonious little shit Billy Bananas and that prissy little princess Anne Taylor had received their comeuppance. Thought they were better than anyone else, serves them right to be cut down to size and suffer a bit. Just like me, just like most of the world. Privileged little shits.

I didn’t have to be home till 4:30 p.m. so I stopped off at the park and sat under a tree, day dreaming of further tortures I could inflict on Billy and Anne. It’s so peaceful here, and the sun is so warm…… I awoke with a start, glanced at my watch, and raced out of the park as fast as my legs could carry me. It was 4:30 p.m. already and I still had 20 minutes to go. I knew I was in deep, deep trouble.

I raced in the door at 4;50 p.m. and was greeted by a blood curdling scream from my mom.

“You stupid little shit” she said ” You’ve made me late and I’m going to lose an hour’s wages, can’t you ever do anything right. I said 4:30 p.m. You’re as stupid and dull a halfwit as your father was.”

I planted my feet firmly on the ground and braced myself for what would come next as my mothers hand slapped viciously across my face. We had a staring contest, until she looked away, was that a glint of fear in her eyes.

“Take care of your sister, I’ll be home at mid-night” and with that pronouncement she marched out the door.

I turned to Lizzy my four year old sister, crouched fearfully at the back of the chair.

“Hi Lizzy. Do you want to do a puzzle” I said.

She smiled at me and and her tiny hand stroked the side of my face where my mom had slapped me. It was then that I started to cry.

Published by lensdailydiary

Born Stepney, London, England. Emigrated to Canada. Married, two children, six grandchildren. Retired. Conservative and cultural catholic. LOVE soccer. Tottenham Hotspur. Read historical and fantasy fiction..

22 thoughts on “School Days

    1. Thanks, Jane. Dickens is also a favourite of mine. I’ve blogged about it somewhere in the past. I also have a couple of his biographies and his walks through London. I read his Christmas collection every December.

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  1. Honestly, this is a moving story, Len. I expected there to be layers of fear, because fear is always underneath a bully’s bluster and behavior. But in two short acts, you give us the fears from every character (except perhaps the math teacher). The irony–all too real–is that everyone who’s frightened will not know the fears in the others with hopes to change self-views and relationships. Except for perhaps William and Anne. I’m going to keep a good thought for their prospects.

    This narrative is a pleasure to read!

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    1. Thank you, Christopher. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. I considered the fear angle which perhaps runs through 80% of bullying, preying on the weak etc. But decided on someone who needed a challenge of equals, but different temperaments. A long held theory of mine is that the police attracts a certain type of individual who are bullies and like a challenge. Instead of calming a situation, they ramp it up so that they can show off their machismo and get off on the adrenalin rush. I could go on, but then this would be another blog.

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  2. Wow, this post really pulled me in. So true, how the devil works, blast him!! And how tender was the second part…if I didn’t have such a headache today, I’d probably weep over it. Great writing, truly, Len!!

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      1. We must put on the Full Armor of God (Ephesians). And I do a lot of shouting at the devil…since the Bible says he has to flee at the Name of Jesus! We fight a battle in the spiritual world, and we must remember that we have a whole Army of Angels at our disposal…so when we feel weary, they’re the A-Team we can call on! 🙂 Blessings to you, Len!

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  3. Definitely worth waiting for Len! Children bully because they don’t feel connected. They lack self belief and don’t feel capable. They strive to achieve relevance through misguided goals of behaviour and George Hunter is the perfect example. I’m just glad he didn’t turn his hurt and anger on his innocent little sister! Keep writing!

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    1. Thanks, Marie. I know this is a subject near and dear to your heart and I appreciate your kind comments. There’s the old story of two children sharing the same violent background but one becomes a priest to help people and the other becomes a criminal to prey on them. What lays in the heart of us to motivate us in any given direction remains a mystery to me.

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      1. You know me well Len. I like the old story and for sure we all develop our own private logic in any given situation! The mystery comes down to goals Len. If children can’t connect successfully, feel capable, believe that they can make a difference and believe that they have courage then they will develop misguided goals such as throwing a tantrum to get the connection they feel they are missing, or if children don’t feel capable, they feel powerless and try to gain power by acting out in class or bullying. If you’d like further insight check out Betty Lou Bettner and Amy Lew ‘A Parents Guide To Understanding and Motivating Children.’

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