Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Short Story » Realistic

18+ Language Violence Mature Content

A young man named Alex

by BookishBrook


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.

This story has been inspired by the style of short stories written in the book ‘Here I Stand: Stories That Speak for Freedom’ (by Amnesty International).

This short piece was written with the help of the boy whose story follows.

[All names have been changed]

Although this is a true story the names of all involved have been changed and a certain amount of creative licence has been used. The truth is, that, no matter what angle you take on the following story what happened is shockingly brutal and I hope that you take time to learn from these words. People still live in horrendous poverty even in the developed world. 

6:00AM

I rolled over in my grimy, dirt ridden bed. I really should wash it but there’s no time. There’s never any time. I roll over again and clasp my clammy forehead, yesterday’s bruises still fresh on my mind. What am I doing with my life? No time to think now.

I stand up, Stretch and yawn.

Mum’s still out on the Sofa. She will be for another day or so, I think. Her hand lies limp by her side, the needle still clutched tightly in her yellowed fingers. Carefully, I remove it. If the police were to find her now, in such a state… I dread to think what would happen.

I take the needle, tip the sofa forwards and lift up the loose floorboard. There’s a box under there and I know where to put it. I wish I didn’t have too. But I don’t have a choice.

Last night’s cigarette fumes rise from the ashtray in grey, snake like, coils. We’re lucky it hasn’t set of the fire alarm. I can’t risk anyone else entering the flat.

7:00AM

It’s time for Sammie and Zack to wake up. Age six and three, they don’t deserve this shit-hole of a childhood. Sammie wakes first. It’s a mad rush to get her ready for school and dressed. She says she’ll make sure Zack gets to day care on time. I kiss her forehead. Mum was blessed with a daughter as sweet as her. I just wish I could say that she was blessed with Mum. She gives Zack a little talking to as I help him on with his boots. He got in a fight at school recently. Called some other guy a ‘dick’. He’s only three for god’s sake? Where the fuck did he learn a word like that.

7:30AM

Zack and Sammie have left the house now, since their schools further away. It’s eerily quiet. I grab my homework jotter for French. I’ll have to do it at break time. I need to go now.

I swing my backpack round and make my way out of the front door. I don’t technically need to leave now but I don’t want to spend any more time at 'home' than I have to.

7:45AM

I round the corner between my block of flats and the next grey concrete rat infested clone. I freeze. Standing, not a metre away, is the Doctor.

Dr Dum we used to call him. I pull up my hood to cover my bruise. I can’t risk him seeing.

He lives in one of those fancy four bedroom new builds along the road. He smiles at me and I glare back. Neither of us speak, there isn’t anything to be said.

Dr Dum climbs into his fancy new Toyota and drives off.

7:50AM

I’m only a block away from the high school now. I’m very early. Maybe I’ll just wait outside until someone I know turns up? There doesn’t appear to be anyone around.

Just across the road from me a boy steps out from his fancy-four-bedroom-new-build-home. I watch as a beautiful middle aged woman reaches out to kiss his forehead tenderly. She’s wearing a lovely flowing dress that sweeps around her as she kisses her son goodbye.

He’s one of those kids. The kids from the privileged families with the ironed shirt collar and tie right up to the top. He’s wearing a blazer and his uniform is pristine. Definitely a middle class snob.

I shove my hands in my pockets and pull my hood forward. I’ll never be like him.

He’s crossing the road.

Shit.

He walks past me. Well, strides. No swaggers. Posho.

When he’s in front of me he glares into the dark depths of my hood and shouts something at me.

‘Paki.’

Why did he call me that? I want to turn around and tell him that I don’t know a single person who’s ever lived in Pakistan. I think it’s because my father was Indian. How dare he call me something like that? Who does he think he is?

Obviously I don’t speak to him simply. Why would I tell him he’s wrong when I could simply turn around and tell the bastard to eff-off? So that’s what I do.

‘Fuck off.’ I scream.

8:15AM

I’ve arrived at school after hanging back from the posh kid. I know that if anyone else had been nearby then I’d be dead. I shrug it off. He’s just a middle class jerk. He’s probably only thirteen or something.

The bars of our ominous school gates loom before me. It’s still closed but somehow four-bedroom-new-build has managed to sneak through. It’s like watching a rat through the bars of a cage.

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with school. Why I don’t just stay at home with my mum, knocked out, cold, on the sofa. Needle never far from my side. I wonder why I don’t just leave this wretched country, move to India. That’s where my Gran lives. I haven’t seen her since I was Sammie’s age. Since my dad…

… left.

The boy is speaking to a teacher now, Mrs Weston, I think? He’s gesturing in my direction.

That probably means trouble. I pull my hood up even further and shove my hands as deeply into my jeans pockets as they can go.

She’s coming over now.

8:30AM

The head teacher’s office seems much bigger and imposing from inside. I guess, I’m used to it now though.

“That’s the third time this week you’ve been in here with me, Alex.” Mrs Weston booms. Technically she’s not the head teacher, more of a ‘stand in’. But she acts like she owns the place anyway.

I’m sitting next to Mr four-bedroom-new-build. He says I highly insulted him on his way to school this morning, told him to eff-off. That’s not entirely false. But it’s not all of the story.

I tell Mrs Weston what he called me and it’s posho’s turn to look terrified.

“Don’t you dare use language like that in here.” And then she’s shouting at me. I can see the anger behind her eyes. I watch it bubble and froth. She looks like she might explode. I just pull the lip of my hood further up over my face and make sure the bruise is still covered.

8:45AM

It’s almost time for school to start. Peter, that turns out to be the snobs name, has gone away to cry in some bathroom. Apparently I punched him. I don’t exactly remember what happened. I remember Mrs Weston telling him off for his inappropriate language. I remember the blood boiling beneath my skin as he got up to leave the room with no more punishment than saying the simple word ‘sorry’. I remember how he got to leave with nothing more than a simple smirk while I had to stay seated so that she could give me the dates of my detention.

That’s when I punched him. Simple as that. Quick flick of the wrist and, bang. That’s me in detention for at least a week.

Mrs Weston is reaching out towards the phone at the back of the office. She’s still smiling at me. I wish she wouldn’t. I wish she’s just swear and scream and curse and tell me how much of a fucked up dickhead I am. But she still doesn’t. She just smiles sweetly and reaches for the phone.

“Hello?” She’s speaking down that telephone now. “Hello? Is that Alex’s mum?”

Shit.

She’s probably still unconscious on the couch. Even if she is awake there’s no way she’ll be in any state to answer the phone.

“She’s out.” I say, shaking. (It’s not entirely false?)

“At work?” Mrs Weston asks. She’s doing that horrible sweet smile of hers that looks like she’s talking down to me. I want to puke.

I can’t think of anything else to say other than ‘yes’, even though it’s a lie.

I’m shaking violently now. It’s just one of those things I do when I can feel my life falling around me. No wonder my dad…

…left.

8:47AM

I explode.

Suddenly, the pressures of this morning all flood out and I can’t make sense of my own words as the tumble and spin from my mouth. My hood’s crumpled back but I don’t care. The bruise stands tall and proud upon my forehead. It’s telling me, you’re mum deserves to die.

And then I’m thinking of my mum in her general half-awake state, nails digging deep into my shoulders as she throws me into the wall, again and again and again. All of those times I’ve held her arm still while she presses the needle tip deep into her skin. I think of the time she threw Zack across the room when he was a baby. I think of how I had to pretend that he’d fallen down the stairs. The covers I never washed. The box beneath the sofa. The job as a Lawyer I’ll never have.

And I’m thinking of the Father I never knew. The father who couldn’t live with himself anymore than I can now. The Indian man who moved across half of the world to be with the woman he loved only to discover that she’d found something she’d rather have. And, in my mind’s eye, I watch him tumble off that bridge, relief upon his face.

And I’m thinking of Peter and all of the other people who constantly throw me down just because I’m different. Just because I live in a flat with dirty bedsheets and a constant lack of food.

And then, as suddenly as it began, it’s over.

I wipe the tears from my bloodshot eyes and calm my shaking hands with one final gulp of air.

Mrs Weston’s staring at me, just staring, phone still in hand.

9:30AM

I’m in the social workers car.

He says I don’t need to worry anymore, that it’s all going to be okay.

He’s going to find me foster parents.

I don’t know anymore.

When we leave I wonder what’s going to happen to my brother and sister;

Aged six and three.

Somewhere down the road we pass the Doctor in his car. He smiles at me and I glare. We say nothing.

There is nothing to be said.

Two years later the boy still hasn't heard from his siblings. He was moved to a town over fifty miles away from the city he was born in. Although he has been back to the city, he is not allowed any contact with his mother. He has no clue whether his sister and brother are still living with her and he is not allowed to find out until he turns eighteen.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
11 Reviews


Points: 310
Reviews: 11

Donate
Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:29 pm
HollyM64 wrote a review...



You have a very powerful and compelling writing style, my friend. The structure was well thought out, the language was almost haunting and very well chosen and the first person POV made it that much easier to sympathize with everything "Alex" was going through.

Also, as someone with family who have been through situations that are honestly not that far away from this, thank you for shining a light on what is generally considered a taboo topic and talking about frustrating these situations can be.




BookishBrook says...


Thank you very much. Even knowing someone who's been through such things is quite difficult. It must be really hard. I'm so glad that people are finally beginning to open up about such difficult subjects.
Thank you.
And if you ever need to talk to someone, feel free to pm.



User avatar


Points: 166
Reviews: 3

Donate
Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:57 pm
PeijiRestoration wrote a review...



Wow, this is really good! The horridness of the situation is made even more impactful by the wonderful way you write. That being said, there were some errors.

Firstly, you need to make sure that Dr. Dum and Mrs. Weston always have periods after their titles. Sometimes they did, and other times they didn't, so be careful of that.

In the line "He’s only three for god’s sake?", the question mark should be replaced with an exclamation point.

On top of that, the line "Maybe I’ll just wait outside until someone I know turns up?" should end with a period.

In addition, the period at the end of "Where did he learn a word like that" should be a question mark.

The line "Why I don’t just stay at home with my mum, knocked out, cold, on the sofa. Needle never far from my side." would read better as "Why I don't just stay at home with my, knocked out cold on the sofa, needle never far from my side."

In the line, "It’s telling me, you’re mum deserves to die.", "you're" should be changed to "your", and "your mum deserves to die" should be in quotation marks.

In "I wish she’s just swear and scream and curse," you should change "she's" to "she'd"

The comma is unnecessary in "I guess, I’m used to it now though."

A comma should be added after "It’s still closed" in "It's still closed but somehow four-bedroom-new-build has managed to sneak through."

There should be a comma after "Just across the road from me" in "Just across the road from me a boy steps out from his fancy-four-bedroom-new-build-home"

The line "I round the corner between my block of flats and the next grey concrete rat infested clone." should be "I round the corner between my block of flats and the next grey, concrete, rat-infested clone"

There should be a comma after "I don’t technically need to leave now" in "I don’t technically need to leave now but I don’t want to spend any more time at 'home' than I have to."

A comma should be added after "I really should wash" in "I really should wash it but there’s no time"

There should be a comma after "stretch" in "I stand up, stretch and yawn."

There should be a comma after "tip the sofa forwards" in "I take the needle, tip the sofa forwards and lift up the loose floorboard."

In "We’re lucky it hasn’t set of the fire alarm." "of" should be changed to "off"

The comma after "snake like" is unnecessary in "Last night’s cigarette fumes rise from the ashtray in grey, snake like, coils."

Lastly, the sentence "Zack and Sammie have left the house now, since their schools further away." should either say "Zack and Sammie have left the house now, since their school is further away" or "since their school's further away" if both of them go to the same school. If they don't, it should be "their schools are further away"

Hopefully this helped!




BookishBrook says...


Thank you very much. As you can probably tell, grammar and spelling aren't exactly my strong points. Thank you.
I'm glad you thought it was impactful.
That definitely helped!



BookishBrook says...


Thank you very much. As you can probably tell, grammar and spelling aren't exactly my strong points. Thank you.
I'm glad you thought it was impactful.
That definitely helped!



BookishBrook says...


Thank you very much. As you can probably tell, grammar and spelling aren't exactly my strong points. Thank you.
I'm glad you thought it was impactful.
That definitely helped!



User avatar


Points: 166
Reviews: 3

Donate
Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:55 pm



sorry, my submission went through twice!




BookishBrook says...


It's fine! Thank you very much!



User avatar


Points: 253
Reviews: 1

Donate
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:10 pm
View Likes
Kat2003 wrote a review...



hey this is a review
(i'm really bad at these things)

I like everything about the story , I just wish there was some more explanation about the doctor. i would have really liked to know why the kid doesn't like the doctor. And I also would have liked to know what that box was. but that's just me being curious. Other than that I really enjoyed this.




BookishBrook says...


It's cool! Thank you very much!



User avatar
11 Reviews


Points: 108
Reviews: 11

Donate
Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:12 am
wordwing says...



WOW! This is beautiful, and I like your writing style, but I think I saw a you're instead of your somewhere, although I'm not sure.




BookishBrook says...


Thank you very much! :D



User avatar


Points: 377
Reviews: 4

Donate
Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:59 pm
View Likes
CorruptedArrow says...



Hey! I hope this wasn't what happened to you, if it did I'm so sorry. There are no spelling mistakes that I saw. Your way of writing truly keeps me at least wanting to read more. Really this story takes the reader and makes them feel like they are really living the events that the character was put through.




BookishBrook says...


Thankfully, it's not about me.
Thanks!



Random avatar

Points: 200
Reviews: 0

Donate
Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:15 pm
View Likes
Eman2017 says...



nice i liked it




BookishBrook says...


Thank you very much! :D




If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
— Anatole France