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Last One Standing - Part 1

by MillarS

Thursday, 18th August, 2011

When the new staff was announced at morning break, I honestly think that all of us were in shock. When we thought ‘new’ staff, we thought wrong. They were all old, especially the new History teacher. With one glance to my best friend, Tiffany, we thought: Hey, this might be a crap year after all! She rolled her eyes and continued eating her scone. The jam began to dribble from the back, dropping onto her new skirt. “Crap!” she whispered and looked at me as if to say: Oh, my, God! Drama! Mid-life crisis! I rolled my eyes and quietly handed her some tissues, which was hard, considering there were two people between us. She mouthed a thank-you and began to wipe the jam as I regained focus on the group of tweed-covered teachers that were lined up on the stage. It was break, so people were quietly chatting, but through previous experience, I found it best to remain quiet. I counted how many teachers were there, going through the letter that had been sent to our parents, informing them of the new staff names and which department they were in. I recounted them three times. Something wasn’t right. One was missing.

“And, last, but not least, Jayne!” Our head teacher gestured behind her. We expected to see another old person standing there, but there was no-one. The spot was empty. “Where’s Jayne?” I heard the head whisper to the new RE teacher. He shrugged. Concern spread across Ms Park’s face. Her forehead began to crease, glancing over us in case the teacher had got lost in the crowd of teenagers. But she wasn’t there. We all began scanning the hall, and I even pretended to have X-ray vision (sadly, I don’t actually have it) just to make sure our newest teacher wasn’t there. The school was still quiet, even though the lost teacher still hadn’t appeared. All of a sudden, a loud humming came from outside. A car’s engine was revving up the school’s bus lane.

The doors burst open and a body fell through the doorway. Three more followed. The two smaller men picked up the body that had fallen and pinned it up against the side of the stage. Her hands were bound behind her back, her mouth covered in duct tape. One eye was bruised shut and a deep gash tore from her right temple down to the left-hand side of her chin. Tears were streaming down her face. I could see the pain in her face. The two men picked her up by the back of the neck and threw her down the aisle of the seats. Blood streaked the uneven tiles as her muffled cries echoed through the hall. We all knew none of this was a joke. Our normal teachers that had remained throughout the summer holidays stood at either side of the hall in shock. Seeing the fear on Mr Nolan’s face told me that this wasn’t a joke.

The body of the woman was picked up and thrown against the stone pillar at the back of the hall. A harsh crack came from the pillar as a small part of it crumbled away and the woman fell back, revealing that a horrid chunk of her face had been replaced with blood. The smallest of the men that had been hurting the poor woman ripped the duct tape off of her mouth. She screamed and fell to the floor, only to be picked up and punch, twice, in the stomach. Blood sprayed from her mouth and she coughed coarsely. The two men pinned her shoulders back as the tallest man, who hadn’t taken any action yet, stepped forward. He produced a knife from the inside pocket of his leather jacket and held it by his side. Finally, the silence was broke when he said, “Jayne. You’ve been a bad girl.” There was something sly in his voice that made beetles run up my back. I looked at Tiffany, who had now turned pale with a few tears running down her face, and I felt my stomach flip. The blade was gleaming in the headlights above us, set on the stage.

“Where is it?”

“What?” Jayne was testing his patience. I could hear it in her voice.

The man laughed and ran a finger up the knife’s blade. The blade made a small incision in his finger as he said, “Don’t temp me, honey.” Jayne spat on the ground, two inches from his feet. The spit wasn’t saliva, but blood. He scoffed. “Like I said, you are no daughter of mine. “Son’s,” he gestured towards the men that held Jayne in place, “you know what to do.” They nodded and started punching the woman. She groaned with each blow, blood spurting from her as though she were a fountain. “All right,” said the father, “enough.” He advanced forward to Jayne, who was now hunched over.

“Now, where is it?”

“Never…tell…you!” she said, panting.

“Well then…” The father took another few steps forward. The blade gleamed more in the yellow light. Jayne knew what was going to happen. She looked up at him, waited until he was only three steps away with the knife raised and lifted her leg, quickly. It caught her dad under the chin and there was a sickening snap as he fell to the ground. She looked at the body then to her brothers. She shrugged at them and said, “Now, do I have to spell it out for you?”

They ran. Fast. Their footsteps thudded on the ground and we all turned back to Jayne She nodded at Ms Park before collapsing on the floor, right beside her dead father.

It took five teachers, three gallons of water and eleven slaps on the face for Jayne to resurface. Mr Nolan was holding her head, but helped her sit up. They had cut her hands free, but where the tape used to be was raw flesh, deep pink and burning. The new Chemistry teacher, Mr Michaels, was checking her pulse, but his hands jerked away from the heat that came from the tape burns. “Ha,” he chuckled nervously. His hands were shaking. Jayne attempted to pull her wrists away, but her strength was gone.

Her head swayed from side to side as her eyelids began to drop again. Mr Redford, our old Chemistry teacher, had collected an oxygen cylinder and face mask (why the school had one of those, I don’t know) and was helping Jayne breathe by the good old-fashioned way of resuscitation, just without mouth-to-mouth. Her eyelids fluttered slightly, but she remained conscious. Mr Nolan was attempting to wake her up, whispering in her ear. None of us heard what he was saying, but it made Jayne smile. Blood was leaking from her mouth and she was coughing. Mr Nolan sat her up properly and held her head against his shoulder. He stroked he hair and continued whispering in her ear. She laughed quietly occasionally.

Ms Parks was on the phone, to an ambulance no doubt. Us students had been ordered either to the back of the hall or back to class, depending on which teacher was or wasn't there. I remained in the hall.

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374 Reviews

Points: 1747
Reviews: 374

Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:41 am
tgirly wrote a review...

I'm going to get into the nitty gritty now before I forget anything.
I'm a bit confused on why the age of the teachers matter so much to the main character. It's never made that much difference to me if my teachers were young or old; so maybe you should explain what your main character has against elder teachers.
Your main character reads a lot into her friend's looks, and its a bit of an extrapolation for her to think that she knows what her friend is thinking.
If the jelly fell out of the back of the scone, it would most likely not reach her friend's skirt unless they were sitting, in which case, that'd be a nice description to add (since you don't really describe where they are.)
Your character reaches over two character. Why didn't she just sit by her friend? I've had people talk over me before and found it incredibly rude, so this detail might turn some of your readers off from the story.
It's a bit strange that your main character notices that one of the teachers is missing. Is that a part of her characteristics, to notice everything? If not, I think you should cut it out. (Remember this is all my opinion. I can't remember who said it, but I once read that there isn't good advice or bad advice, only advice that works for your writing and advice that doesn't. Some/most of my advice might not work for you, though giving it a try won't hurt of course.)
Why is Jayne introduce by her first name? Aren't teachers usually only known by their last name?
It's a bit odd that they can hear a car outside when they're inside. It must have a pretty loud engine, but normally things with loud engines are trucks, not puny cars.
You don't have to tell us its not a joke multiple times. (You don't really even have to tell us once. The readers aren't stupid. They already know it's not a joke.)
Don't the men beating up the teacher realize they have an audience? It seems odd they aren't trying to hide their actions. Also, I'm kind of confuzzled how they got from the car they were revving to inside the lecture hall so quickly.
It's a very shocking and unexpecting shift of events in the story, and I like that. Nice job with that.
I get that everyone's in shock, but Jayne seems to be punched around a bit too much without anyone doing anything. There should be SOMEONE there that would help the poor lady. I know if something like that happened at my school, there'd be at least three guy-teachers, and maybe a few girl teachers pulling the fight apart and at least half a dozen teen girls with hidden phones dialing 911 by then.
It's very gory. A lot of people like that, and, though it's not really my thing, I respect that you've done a good job with the description in that element of the story.
I love the phrase about beetles running up her back, that's wonderful imagery right there.
I love the part where you think the father's going to kill the girl. It definitely fills the reader with suspense and keeps us on the edge of our seat and I like that. You have the reader begging to know what IS it that could drive a father to almost murder one of his children and it's awesome.
Jayne says "Do I have to spell it out for you?" Personally, I feel like it's a bit gimicky, like something a super hero on some children's television show might say, which is not consistant to the raw, powerful action of the rest of your story.
NOW all the guys teachers leap into action? Is there no manly-men at this school?
She remained UNconscious, not conscious.
I can't for the life of me understand why she would be laughing after such a harrowing experience, but she's a tough little cookie, so maybe she would be.
The ending seems a bit abrupt and I expected a cliff-hanger after all the excited suspense of the chapter. I was a bit dissapointed it wasn't, with all the questions still running around in the readers' heads. (Good questions of course, questions that keep the pages turning.)
Sorry if my review was a bit harsh at parts; remember you don't have to do everything I suggested. I'm very intrigued by this piece and I'd like to know when the next chapter comes out (though I promise not to be so nitpicky next time if you don't want me to. I know what it's like to get too much review too soon.) so please notify me when it does. Thanks! Hope my review helped!

MillarS says...

wow, ok, will try to fix it. sorry for my mistakes! guess i never set it right...

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279 Reviews

Points: 40
Reviews: 279

Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:01 pm
MasterGrieves wrote a review...

Hi there :) I am 567ajt, lord and master of the most bipolar material conceived. Welcome to YWS, by the way.

I found your piece humorous at the start, but it only set me up for what was to come. It had amazing build up to the climax. The pace was fast, consistent and the action never let up one bit. For someone to introduce themselves on YWS with a piece like this is astounding. I so wish my first YWS piece was up to this standard. It is also incredibly quick how things happen. The idea of being kidnapped in front of your WHOLE school is terrifying. It certainly has the drive and ambition to be a memorable piece. It doesn't really feel rushed either. Everything seemed to happen for a reason. You have excellently structured this piece.

Apart from a little noticeable spelling error, I love this piece. Let me know when you have more.


MillarS says...

Did I loose the point for the spelling error? lol :) Thanks a lot for the review, I do have more of it written, I just wanted to see the reaction to the first part. I also have another upload: The Ventriliquist (Part 1), so any feedback on that would be great too!

Thanks again!

“I don't talk things, sir. I talk the meaning of things.”
— Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451