That Life Commentary – Chapters Twelve & Thirteen

FIYAH! HELLFIYAH!

Thanks to consultations from other people, I now have more material for what else to post – coming up soon, expect a review of the anime series Strawberry Panic and a highly political poem written by yours truly. For now though, I really wanted to get on with this, because these next two chapters serve as the climax for this entire train-wreck, whereas the two after it just serve as a dénouement. How will this culminate? Well, just as hilariously awful as the rest, but it does raise some interesting questions about what I considered made a good climax. Let’s take a look. First, Chapter Twelve: The Resident Physco of Year 11, because I couldn’t spell ‘psycho’ and for some reason I felt like laying on Aiden’s reputation once more.

This chapter starts where the last one left off…

Aiden gazed with satisfaction upon Naomi’s unconscious body.

Oh dear, we’re back to that again…

I don’t quite know why I didn’t really notice the incredibly creepy rape undertones to this, but, y’know…he didn’t have that it mind, just revenge on Sean, because…reasons…

“Hey Russell, help me move her.” But Russell was looking white-faced at him.
“She’s not dead!” Aiden laughed humourlessly. “Look, feel her pulse if you’re worried.”

Something tells me you’ll be feeling more than that, Aiden…

 Russell was still staring in horror.
“Aiden…you’re sick!!” he blurted out. “How can you do this?”

Why exactly is Russell growing a conscience right this second? Wasn’t he just seconds earlier perfectly happy to restrain Naomi whilst Aiden prepared the syringe? It’s not as if the fact that they’re planning to kidnap her wasn’t known to him before this. Either he too has picked up on the rape aspects, or he thinks Aiden has crossed a line because he used DRUGS!!!!!!!!!!!! Is there no God???

Aiden, naturally, isn’t happy that his only minion has become a turncoat to him.

“Fine!”Aiden snarled. “Go then! I didn’t need you anyway!” Russell turned and fled.

“That’s right, I’ll save my own skin and not care about the 13-year-old girl you’re about to violate!”

It gets worse, don’t worry…

“Pathetic,” Aiden muttered, pulling some parcel tape out of his school bag and tying it tightly around Naomi’s wrists. Next, he got a length of material and tied it tightly around her mouth, gagging her.

Bloody hell, why has it gone so Fifty Shades all of a sudden? Naturally, physical restraint is no mystery to a 13-year-old, but I was eager enough to put my designated love interest into it…what the hell does that tell you…?

Aiden’s next tactic is a little…interesting…

Finally, he pulled a large tarpaulin sheet out of his bag and wrapped her unconscious body in it. Then, he carried her away.

OK, well, the good news is, I was at least aware enough to know that he’d have to find some way of making her broad daylight abduction inconspicuous. But at the same time, I’m sure wrapping her unconscious form in tarpaulin would make her look very much like A DEAD BODY. Is that not going to draw any stares…? Also, tarpaulin…

Naomi came round with blurry lights dancing mockingly in front of her vision[…]She was dimly aware of her hands being bound tightly together by something, and there was a tight and painful gag cutting into the mouth.

Back to the BDSM again…oh Lord…

I refrained from mentioning whether or not she was naked, so I’ll leave that to your imagination…you perverts.

Aiden manages to show up at the exact right time she awakes and decides to gloat. Although his taunts are getting a little less effective…

“I wouldn’t concern yourself. This is entirely your brother’s fault. You’re not to blame. But…you’ll die anyway.” Aiden then smirked wider and left.

I mean, I meant with the wording…but now Aiden has just admitted to attempted murder…what is this story becoming…? And the worst part is, we still can’t take him seriously…

After all this, Aiden actually then decides to go back to school…

It was just like Aiden to swagger into a lesson halfway through conceitedly and making no apology, and this time was no exception.
“Aiden you’re late!” snapped Mr Rug.

MR RUG…! It really would be worth going to this school just to hear all of the teacher’s names…

At lunch, Aiden sets up the rest of his master-plan…which is far-fetched, to say the least…

. He needed to think about how to do this carefully. So, first we swaggered towards Mr Ealing’s office. He opened it cautiously to make sure the headmaster wasn’t still inside. He wasn’t, so Aiden quickly searched to find the keys for all the locking doors in the school. When he found them, he scooped them up and pocketed them.

Conclusion: Mr Ealing is a completely useless head. Why the fuck does he leave those keys lying around when he knows Aiden is in the school? Naturally, Aiden’s master-plan wouldn’t have worked without the many bumblings of this fool.

Next, he went round the school locking any doors that people had to get through the get outside.

That’s…rather a chore, isn’t it? Obviously he wants to trap people inside, which, by the way, shows a very disturbingly developed psychotic mind, but hasn’t it occurred to him that other people will have keys for these doors? What’s more, fire exits are not lockable, for the very reason that they are fire exits. How exactly does he plan to sort them out…?

Then he walked into an empty corridor and pulled the can of petrol Charlie had given him out of his school bag[…]

Wait, he kept a can of petrol in his SCHOOL BAG? This was on top of the tarpaulin presumably…? Is his bag the TARDIS, and bigger on the inside…?

[…]poured it onto the floor, pulled his lighter out of his pocket and dropped it onto the pool of petrol. Flames ignited at once.

So, Aiden’s plan was indeed to start a fire. His name means ‘fire’ anyway, so it’s quite fitting…was that deliberate…?

In any case, the fire exits still present a problem for him, if he’s planning to trap everyone inside a burning building because he’s really messed up like that…unless he’s just a pyromaniac and is fine with people surviving provided the school burns…? Also, would just having the floor on fire be enough…? I’m no expert on pryotechnics, and I will confess to never having tried to set fire to a building before. I promise…but I do wonder whether this would have worked or not.

Finally, he exited the school using his handy set of keys.

You don’t need your keys, Aiden, you just need a fire exit. As will most other people. You idiot. Unless this school doesn’t have fire exits. Considering the terrible architecture, what with windows that can be shattered by briefcases and lockers that nobody can find, it wouldn’t surprise me…

Then we get this interesting moment…

Then he stopped dead. Should he fetch Russell? Nah. He was a stupid pathetic wimp. What did Aiden care if he burnt to death, really? Aiden shook his head and walked away.

Does Aiden hold any brotherly affection for Russell or not? It doesn’t seem likely, given his disregard for human life, but…you never know…

And so onto Chapter Thirteen: Arson. A rather convenient name, one must agree…

We start off with Caleb (THE SUAVE, MAGNIFICENT, SUE-ISH, CONTRIVED,  FORTUNE-MAKING, IRRITATING, CREATOR’S PET-LIKE AND not actually used for a while up until this point…) struggling to get through a locked door…

Caleb forced himself to calm down. He would just have to find another way, or at the very most wait until somebody found him.

There’s always a fire exit. Just saying. Although we don’t actually know where Caleb is. The descriptions are never very clear, so he may very well have gone into a small room for a little private time after Queenie once again complimented his ability to find long lost wills in old beer bottles.

Caleb then smells the smoke and hears the fire alarm going off, and realises that his need to get out quickly has become a lot more dire.

How was he supposed to get out? There was a window nearby but it was locked.
Wait. What was he saying?
A locked door and window, and the need to get out quickly. Now where had he heard that before?

Ah yes. Caleb recalls the time he left Mr Mothman for dead in his office, and decides to use a similar escape mechanism on the ridiculously fragile windows.

His eyes immediately fell upon a large red fire extinguisher. It was carbon dioxide, so he couldn’t use it against the fire in this confined area unless he wanted to suffocate. 

OK, so we have a confirmation that he is in quite a confined area. Fair enough – but this raises a few issues…

  1. First off, where even is he?? A confined area is all we get…how many confined areas are there in a school?
  2. Why is he in this anonymous confined area? Masturbating honestly seems to be the most viable reason at the moment…
  3. What sort of room was it that Aiden thought to lock?
  4. Why is there a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher in such a confined area with no fire exit? Surely that would have been condemned the last time a health and safety inspector came around…

So, Caleb takes the fire extinguisher, smashes the window and opens it from the outside. Why do these windows lock from the inside but not the outside? Again, a much better architect needs to come to this school…

However, Caleb discovers that amongst those who have evacuated the building, me, Jack and all of the girls aren’t among them.

Yeah. It literally says ‘all of the girls.’ I don’t know if it means literally every single girl that attends the school, or just the ones in our class because they’re the only ones we care about, but this does raise two observations.

  1. Is this just a horribly sexist insight, and that I thought women were helpless in emergency situations?
  2. I love how Jack and I are categorised among the girls. Makes quite a lot of sense…

“I can’t see a thing!” Jack complained, peering through the smoke and coughing.

Why are we so useless at this procedure? We somehow managed to get ourselves lost…find a fire exit, you losers!

Also, has Aiden’s fire really spread that quickly around the school, or are we just unlucky enough to stumble across it?

“W-well,” Toby coughed, “we need to get some wet material and put it over our-” he choked “-mouth and nose.”

Again, not a bad response to try and avoid smoke inhalation, but we don’t need to do that right now. The first thing we need to do is get the fuck out of the burning building.

“Hey, do you think Caleb’s all right?” Jack asked.

We seem to know he’s gone off somewhere secluded to masturbate…

“Course,” Toby replied, setting off in the direction of the staffroom. “He’s as resourceful as Alex Rider. But I’m more concerned about the girls.”

Wait…

OK…

Let’s analyse this…

  1. If we can see well enough to navigate ourselves to the staffroom, then perhaps we could MAKE OUR WAY TO THE NEAREST FUCKING FIRE EXIT AND NOT END UP DYING IN THE FUCKING FIRE. YOU FUCKING IDIOTS HAVE A DEATH WISH.
  2. OK, obviously, we want to try and get the girls out. What the hell makes us assume the girls can’t get out themselves? That’s probably the most misogynistic moment of the story, coupled with the whole, ‘ooh, redheads!’ part. Other than blatant chauvinism, the only other explanation I can think for us being desperate to get the girls out is that, like Caleb, we know they’re in a tight spot. Perhaps they locked themselves away for an orgy or something. I wouldn’t put it past me to write something like that in, even at 13, but…
  3. What makes us assume that we would be remotely good at getting the girls out? Presumably, this is all the girls in our form, and there’s only two of us. If it were a case of unlocking the door, then maybe, but we would, realistically, be utterly useless at this. Leave the heroics to the fire brigade, you twats.

So, we make it to the staffroom, only to discover that the door is locked. Aiden’s pretty thorough…

And then we get a moment that, despite being as cheesy and ridiculous as anything…is still pretty funny and kind of cool…

Jack called Aiden something that suited him. “He must have locked the doors as well!”
Then he coughed.
“I’ve had enough of this!” Jack declared. He went into the nearest classroom and came back with a chair.
“I know Mr Mothman and various others will skin us alive for this but…” he ran at the locked door, driving the chair directly into it. The legs of the chair broke through the woodwork, and it was just a simple matter of Jack unlocking the door from the inside.

OK, apart from the fact that that classroom probably had a fire exit, and the fact that that has got to be the cheapest door in existence to have a chair so easily go through it, and that once again the protagonists are doing more damage to the school than probably the fire itself, this scene…is just so damn funny. CHAIR-FU!

We get some wet tea-towels (wet with what?) tied over our mouths and noses and go to find the girls, because apparently we’re nothing without them. That’s a slightly better way of looking at it, especially considering it’s probably true given the awful personalities we’ve displayed throughout the story.

Also, wouldn’t any teachers be doing rounds of the school? They have a duty of care after all, and they should check for stragglers. And somehow I don’t think half a class of girls and two boys breaking down the staffroom door would go unnoticed. All these teachers appear to be shit.

Queenie staggered through the smoke, her eyes streaming, until she came across Carol and Ruth, both of them choking morbidly.
“I can’t see the way out!” Ruth coughed. “What are we supposed to do?”

For God’s sake, why does nobody know the layout of the school? There have got to be exits everywhere, and I doubt the fire is blocking off every single one, Aiden only set on corridor alight. Is the entire school made out of ethanol? Furthermore, EVERY SINGLE YEAR 9 GIRL IS THERE. Well, with exceptions…umm…just read it…

[…]through the smoke she could make out the distinctive figures of Cordella, Meena and all the other year 9 girls (apart from Whitney and Summer who had seemingly got out selfishly before them).

WAIT A FUCK.

WHAT THE HELL KIND OF COMMENT IS THAT???

WHITNEY AND SUMMER ARE NOT CONTRACTUALLY BOUND TO STICK AROUND AND WAIT FOR EVERY SINGLE CLASSMATE OF THERE’S WHILST THE BUILDING BURNS AROUND THEM, ALRIGHT???? THEY HAVE MORE FUCKING SENSE THAN ANYONE ELSE STUCK IN THIS SCHOOL BECAUSE THEY CLEARLY REMEMBER WHERE THE FUCKING FIRE EXITS ARE!!!! YOU LOT AND JACK AND I PROBABLY DESERVE TO DIE BECAUSE WE’RE TOO FUCKING STUPID TO TRY AND GET OUT WHILE WE CAN. WE’D EVEN WIN DARWIN AWARDS FOR IT, TAKING OURSELVES OUT OF THE VERY WEIRD AND MESSY GENE POOL THIS STORY HAS…

ALSO, CALEB GOT HIMSELF AND HIMSELF ALONE OUT OF HIS MASTURBATORY CLOSET. WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU NOT CALLING HIM SELFISH??? ‘OH, WHEN THE SUAVE AND MAGNIFICENT GARY STU WHO THE AUTHOR MIGHT EVEN HAVE A CRUSH ON DOES IT, IT’S RESOURCEFUL AND A CROWNING MOMENT OF AWESOME. WHEN THE LESBIANS GIRLS YOU DON’T PARTICULARLY LIKE DO IT, IT’S FUCKING EVIL AND SELFISH, OF COURSE!!!’ YOUR HATRED FOR THEM IS BLINDING YOU TO THE REAL DANGER. YOU JUST ASSUME THEY GOT OUT BECAUSE YOU ASSUME THE WORST ABOUT THEM, WHICH DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE BECAUSE LEAVING A BURNING BUILDING IS A PERFECTLY SENSIBLE COURSE OF ACTION. FOR ALL YOU KNOW, THEY COULD BE TRAPPED IN A ROOM WHERE THEY WENT TO KISS WITHOUT ALL THE ACCUSING STARES FROM HOMOPHOBES, AND WITH NOBODY ELSE WHO LOVES THEM, WILL EMBRACE ACCEPT THEIR FATES AS THE FLAMES LICK AROUND THEM, JUST HAPPY TO BE TOGETHER AT THE END. ONCE THEIR INTERTWINED BODIES ARE PULLED OUT OF THE ASHES, YOU WON’T BE HAVING A GO AT THEM THEN, YOUR HEARTLESS FUCKS. YOU’LL BE WRITING THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD, ‘WHITNEY AND SUMMER: FUCKING TOGETHER IN DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’

*heavy breathing*

What the hell just happened…? Let’s never refer to this again…clearly I have been spending too much time with only my stories for company…

So, Carol works out an ingenious solution to try and get out…

Carol started pacing back and forth. Eventually she pointed to the right and said,
“Let’s move this way. It’s warmer the other way, so I’m guessing that’s where the fire is.”

Relying of thermoception because you can’t remember the layout of the school and where the fire exits are. Good a way as any I suppose…

So, as the girls try and make their way through with many of their party collapsing (yes, I’m serious), we cut back to me having lost Jack in the smoke. WHY IS THIS SMOKE UNNATURALLY THICK?

However, I see another figure in the smoke…none other than Sean. Clearly in not state to kill me this time…

As Toby moved closer, he could also make out the sign he’d been hoping for. A green rectangle with the words: PUSH BAR TO OPEN on it. A fire exit.

The only one in the entire school by the looks of things.

Because Sean is coughing like a theatrically ill victim, I put aside the fact that he has tried to kill me on several occasions and help him to stand and lead him out of the exit. Even in such a weird situation, I’m glad that I did recognise the element of concluding a story arc that concern two people with animosity overcoming their differences. It was a sign of things to come, I feel.

Meanwhile, all the girls are continuing to collapse until only Carol (the only resourceful person, it seems) is left standing, BUT BARELY. The smoke inhalation I seem to brush off as just knocking people out rather than potentially killing them…

But just before she passes out, Jack comes along to…hold her. Yeah, that’s literally all he does before passes out and the fire brigade show up (at fucking last) to rescue these pathetic stragglers.

Jack sighed with relief. Everything was going to be all right.

Well, maybe not. The girls have breathed in a lot of smoke. They could still, y’know, die. But in any case, that was the climax of the story everyone, and as promised, it was just as stupid as the rest!

There are only two chapters left in this story, where they wrap up a few more things (including the fact that Naomi’s still being held captive, so don’t worry…) so join me whenever and thanks for reading.

Images belong to respective owners.

 

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That Life Commentary – Chapter Eleven

What else can I say? This is a great reprieve. In spite of the fact that I have no idea how many people regularly view this, doing this does at least distract me from the world at large, and the uncomfortable truths that libertarian reactionaries do exist…

Now, where were we?

Ah yes, now we’re getting to business end of the story, some might say, even though the climax is just as weird as everything else. Should be fun? Let’s us take a look – Chapter Eleven: Abduction.

Yeah, my titles were a little bit too revealing, weren’t they…?

So, after the incident in which Sean chased me seventy miles or whatever it was, he returns home to find Naomi is INCREDIBLY pissed. Thankfully she uses a lot less narm this time – there are no references to frozen food, or indeed any other obscure metaphor that I pulled directly from my anus. But perhaps that would have been better, because the reason for her displeasure seems to be a little lost on Sean.

“Err…what’s up sis?”

For God’s sake Sean…

Naomi is in a completely unforgiving rage this time, and finally seems to have gotten through to her brother, who acknowledges that his actions are really quite…well, insane. Although he could have cut down on the Wangst.

Sean remembered the incident hours later, as he paced around his room. He kicked his bed-post in anger, getting nothing but a pain in his toe. It was all his dad’s fault. He wouldn’t have been so protective otherwise. But wait…his dad couldn’t help it. It was nobody’s fault…it was just the way of the world.

Not only is that incredibly clumsily written, it’s also extremely dismal. Makes me want to hide in an impenetrable cave forever…

But I don’t have time for that. Sean decides to bring this up with Naomi later, and then we get a scene with the last person you’d expect.

Oh yes, it’s Ian! Our resident emigrant who hasn’t appeared since chapter 8! He’s still moaning about how much he hates Eagleland when he gets some interesting news from his dad…

“Oh…don’t tell me you go sacked?” Ian gulped.
“Well…they told me they didn’t really need me anymore…”
“So you did get sacked!”
“Technically yes, but I’ve been offered me old job back.”

What kind of employment operates this way…? I think there’s far too much wishful thinking going on there. Forget being offered a job in Britain, all the stock-markets are pulling out of Britain because David Cameron thought it would be a good idea to have a dick-measuring contest with Farage and Johnson, and now the entire world is regretting it.

I will stop complaining when things get better, alright…?

Perhaps Ian’s dad’s employers just found him too British, or were fed up of his son insulting their comedy. Either way, this has conveniently happened, and Ian is quite pleased with the idea of going back to the UK. This was a pre-Brexit UK, so of course he was…what’s more, he’s very keen to be going back to Ruth. Ah, I feel a tearful reunion coming up, with two characters who’s only defining traits is their weird love for each other!

We then go back to Naomi, who’s woken up early, and is still, naturally, incredibly pissed at Sean. Her anger is enough to make her leave the house earlier to walk to…some indeterminate place…

She had decided to go out early this morning. She didn’t know if she was going to school or not. She really didn’t care anymore.

Again, this is a fairly disturbing though process. It’s established earlier on that she has decided not to mention this to anyone or to call anyone, thinking (probably rightly) that Sean would interfere. Has she really been pushed over the edge…? I don’t like to think about my state of mind back at 13, but I’m pretty certain it got worse than this…

We then get a scene with me, miffed about walking to school in the half-light and upset that I can’t contact Naomi, not all traumatised about yesterday, apparently. Jack joins me and asks what’s up and I make a very accurate assumption about what’s gone on…

“It’s Naomi,” Toby replied. “She’s not around here and she won’t answer her phone.”
“What do you think happened?”
“Well, she seemed really upset yesterday. Perhaps Sean went one too far and now she’s really angry with him…I dunno…she may have walked out of the house not caring where she ended up.” 

Why exactly did I happen to guess the accurate picture? Such a reaction is not nearly as common as I obviously thought back then. It’s just what I like to do in my Wangsty state. Why didn’t it occur to me that she’s just not in the mood to talk to anyone? That’s a much more likely event…of course, I guess the author is slipping me some hints. I can be useful to be your own author…

However, my concern seems to lie elsewhere…

A horrible though suddenly struck him. “Sean’s gonna blame this on me…how do I get out of this one?”

So my girlfriend could potentially be off to end it all, and my first concern is what her brother’s going to do to me…on the one hand, yes, Sean is clearly an unstable individual, but all the same…

Jack, apparently tired of being this story’s chew toy, offers his aid.

“Well, I could try my best to make sure your paths don’t cross today,” Jack replied. “It’ll be difficult, but I’m sure I can create a diversion.”
Toby looked at him.
“Would you do that?”
“Course.” Jack smiled. “You’re my best mate. You don’t think I’d let you stand alone in this did you?”
Toby smiled too.
“Thanks.”
“Any time.”

AWWWW, EVEN THEN I HAD SUCH AFFECTION FOR MY BFF…! :3

OK, so his choice of words was a little odd…but even so, it’s clearly meant to be a touching moment, and reflects on something quite touching too. The only inaccurate thing in this is that our choice of words would be a lot less..dignified.

However, the next scene is just horrible…

Our touching moment is interrupted by…

[…]Kazuki of all people, grinning cheerfully and waving at them.

If you don’t remember who Kazuki is…well, there’s no reason you should. He’s that Japanese foreign exchange student who has neither said a word nor played a role in this story so far, so I think we’re right to be confused.

But then Jack notices Meena on the other side of the road, and Kazuki, caught off guard, goes to join her. Well, that’s nice…except what our heroes have this to say about it is this…

Toby and Jack stared after him.
“Well that’s…disturbing…but brilliant!” Jack exclaimed.

WHAT PART OF IT IS DISTURBING YOU FUCKING RACIST? WHY ARE YOU SO OPPOSED TO ETHNIC MINORITIES FORMING RELATIONSHIPS WITH WHITE PEOPLE??? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS STORY??

OK, I think the implication was supposed to be that Jack found it disturbing that anyone could be attracted to the girl he found irritating, but it comes off as…well…

Moving on…

Jack did his best to keep Sean out of Toby’s way. But as the bell rang for lunch, Toby found himself hurled against the wall. He looked up to see Sean’s livid face glaring at him.

Oh, well done Jack. You’re back to being the butt of the joke again.

Sean demands to know where Naomi is, and doesn’t believe when I protest my ignorance. He’s prepared to kill me surely, when I get an unlikely saviour.

 “Sean, isn’t it obvious?” Sean turned round to see Ruth standing behind him.
“What?”
“Well, surely you upset her, so she probably just wandered off.”
“You mean she…ran away?”
“Sort of. But you all need to calm down.” Sean considered for a minute, before turning and walking away.

OK, first of all…enough with the accurate guesses.

Secondly…where did Ruth get the ability to tame this terrifying beast??? All she’s done in this story so far is mope about Ian going to America. Maybe his return (something that we’re all ignorant of at this point as far as I know) has somehow given her a new lease of life. To my memory, I think I just needed to give her a slightly more significant role.

Well, that was nice of me…

Our final sequence features Naomi, wandering through Hyde Park (finally a proper setting establishment!) when she runs into…

Aiden was sitting on a park bench, smirking at her with a cannabis cigarette sticking out of the corner of his mouth.

“Thank God! I’ve been sitting here all day on the very slight off-chance that you’d be wandering in this very direction. I asked around and they said you’d probably wandered somewhere, so out of the many places you could have gone, I took a gamble and it paid off! Must have been all the cannabis I’ve been smoking. Really gives you a buzz. But according to this story, it just makes me a psychopath.”

Aiden pretty much begins to monologue, and again, I feel he’d be better off with a moustache to twirl.

“I guessing you’re here to get away from your interfering brother.” Naomi didn’t answer. Yes, Aiden was absolutely right, but she wasn’t going to tell him that. She wouldn’t have trusted Aiden to sneeze properly.
“Can’t say I blame you,” Aiden commented. “But of course it was a mistake to come out here.”

“And now you’re doomed! DOOMED! MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!”

Also, sneeze properly…what…?

Naomi felt somebody grab her from behind. As she was struggling to get free, she could make out Russell’s face. Eventually she wriggled free, but then Aiden managed to get her in a headlock that she couldn’t escape from. Aiden calmly put one hand in his pocket and pulled out a syringe.
“Nooo!” Naomi yelled, wriggling to get free. But to no avail. She felt the needle prick into her arm and she slipped into unconsciousness.

Well, that just happened…

And being the sick freak I am, I decided to end that chapter there.

So…I don’t know. Next time we’ll get to see what the hell Aiden does next. Intrigued? If so, then you’re almost as sick as me…

That Life Commentary – Chapters Nine & Ten

So for the time being, I’m going to stick with doing this. It’s not as if I’ve run out of ideas for things to blog about, it’s just that right now things are being a little hard on me, so I’d rather avoid attempting to write in-depth analyses on things and just have a bit of a fun with this nostalgic omnishambles.

At this point you might be thinking to yourself, ‘Where in all the saints is this story going?’ Although I’d normally say you’re giving this story too much credit, in actual fact, chapter 9 is the last standalone chapter, in a way. Chapter 10 does actually kick-start a concluding and climactic arc for this story, and it will also be included in this post due to the shortness and insignificance of chapter 9. It’s some comfort that there were certain things I understood about narrative, even then, and understood that some semblance of structure was needed. In the meantime, let’s see what this has to hold – Chapter Nine: Return of the Interferer. Apparently that’s not a word. Who knew?

This chapter has a pretty weird opening paragraph.

“So, who’s in the choir?” Mrs Quaver asked. Nobody raised their hands. The music teacher scowled.
“Then what, really, was the point of this lesson?”
Mrs Quaver really needed choir practice for the prom, but as nobody in 9T was in the choir, there wasn’t really much point to the lesson, as she had said. Music was a lesson that most planned to drop for GCSE, save for the few year 9s that were in the choir. But none of 9T was, so, as I say for the third time, the lesson really had no point.

Just like this segment had no point.

Why would a choir be required for prom? Surely a Glee club would suffice…

Also, do you look the fact that I named a music teacher ‘Mrs Quaver’? GOD, I’m so witty…

Well, it wasn’t entirely pointless. They had learned that Ross could play the piano. Badly.
“I stopped learning when I was seven,” he explained sheepishly to a grumpy Mrs Quaver as they filed out.

Remember, this is what passes for comedy. And…actually, it wasn’t that horrible. Although entirely pointless, considering there’s no real role Ross plays in this story. Yet…

We then cut to Ryan discovering his phone is missing. He immediately accuses Jack of stealing it, leading to yet another scrap, at which point, probably getting tired of this bullshit, Caleb (the Sue-ish and contrived), points out to Ryan that there’s a known thief and all-around bad egg in the school.

But what does Aiden want with Ryan’s phone…? Well…

“Hey Aiden. Have you got what I want?” Aiden grinned and grin evil enough to turn a crocodile’s stomach. He took Ryan’s phone out of his pocket.
“I certainly have Charlie!” He recited Olive’s number.
“Thanks!” Charlie replied. “I’ll get that cannabis delivered to you as fast as I can!”

DUN-DUN-DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNN!!! Yeah, Charlie’s Aiden’s cannabis supplier! How…horribly contrived. And pretty pointless to be honest.

Also, what a weird metaphor. Evil enough to turn a crocodile’s stomach? It’s just a bloody phone…also, Charlie’s pretty desperate don’t you think? Why, exactly…?

One more thing – doesn’t Charlie have the stuff on him? Why can’t Aiden just get it directly from his suppliers? Presumably because they don’t work for phone numbers.

Ryan found his phone the very next day. It was on a wall outside the school. There was nothing else too it.

What, Aiden was perfectly happy to just leave it? Knowing how destructive he can be, you’d think he might try and do something rather unsavoury to it. Furthermore, did nobody else try and take it or do something to it whilst it was there? Maybe Ryan’s just got a really crappy phone.

Then he turned round and his eyes were met with both good news and bad news. The good news was that Carol was walking towards him. The bad news was that Jack Fenton was with her, and they were talking.

Oh Ryan, your yandere-ish habits never cease to make me proud.

Jack is attempting to persuade Carol to let her help him with her homework. She turns him down because it’s such a pathetic attempt. He could have been a lot more forward, really – he’s had plenty of opportunity to talk to her, especially considering Ryan’s always been too busy with drug-dealing stalkers and people stealing his phone. Ryan and Jack get into yet ANOTHER fight, and Mr Mothman, finally having enough, puts them in detention. Even though I think they’re off school premises at the moment…well, good old Mothman is eagle-eyed. I just thought he would have been scared off detentions after, y’know…briefcase…

We finally get a scene with Sean that isn’t him obsessing over protecting Naomi from my frankly terrifying genitalia. Actually, he’s doing something decent and proper and moral for once. Thinking about dissecting Aiden’s spleen how much he hates Aiden’s psychotic activities. As quoted:

How he hated Aiden and what he did, but what, really, could he do to stop him?

Well, you have the ability to terrify me every time you show up. It might also work on Aiden…

Sean also takes note of Aiden’s incredibly strange behaviour…

He could see him now, half-hidden in the shelter of bins, ready, it seemed, for an ambush.

Aiden, you’re not an assassin, just calm the hell down…and where’s Russell at this time?

And Sean could see the obvious victim right now. A nervous looking year 7 kid was walking in the direction that Aiden was hiding. Sean swallowed. Aiden would attack a little kid and steal his money to buy drugs…

Except wasn’t Charlie going to give him it for free? Of course Sean doesn’t necessarily know that, but it does raise the question for what Aiden was in fact planning to do…

Sean approaches said kid and advises them to take a detour away from this lunatic. Aiden is incredibly upset by this…for some reason. Did it really take him that long to find that ingenious hiding place that Sean could spot him in from a mile off? Aiden has his sights of revenge set on Sean for this single event…

He had a much better idea. A much more evil idea to get even with Sean. And in case someone suspected him, he would be far away before they did. He was fed up of this pathetic excuse for a school anyway. It was time, Aiden thought, to leave.

Aiden once again trying to use dramatic tension to his advantage. What’s his plan, I’m sure nobody’s asking. Nevertheless, this particular line does steer us slightly more towards the climax. Somewhat…

So, Ryan gets home late, and his mother gets a call from none other than Charlie-boy. Olive, seriously pissed off with him, tells him to sod off and hangs up, before engaging in a very quick deduction game with her son.

“Ryan,” she said, turning to her son. “You wouldn’t have given Charlie my number would you?”
“Of course not!” Ryan said indignantly. “But…Aiden stole my phone yesterday. So Charlie may have got the number from him.”
“But Charlie doesn’t know Aiden!” Olive protested. Then an awful thought crept into both their heads simultaneously.
“You…don’t think…?” Olive began.
“That…Charlie’s the one who Aiden buy’s his cannabis off?!!?” Ryan gasped in utmost horror.

Yes, UTMOST horror!

This is such a wild speculation and yet they just accept it without question. Why do they assume Charlie’s connection to Aiden is drug-related? They may have simply met at a briefcase melee. How do they know Aiden even stole the phone? I know Ryan jumped to that conclusion too, but considering it was left peacefully on the wall, God knows it was likely to be someone more gentle…I mean, we know it wasn’t, but all the same. It would have made sense in that sense for Charlie to steal it himself.

The most amusing thing about this is how they treated a drug-dealer as epitome of soullessness. I do believe I mentioned in my post about antagonist development that due to growing up, I was starting to utilise the bogeymen of the adult world at this point, without really understanding them. As such, drug dealers are demonised beyond repair. Which is kind of a shame, as it seems Charlie is desperate to reconcile himself.

After Olive and Ryan try to ignore this epiphany, Charlie decides to be a little more direct. He comes to their house! Why he didn’t do that earlier…? Anybody’s guess…

Oh, and Ryan’s reaction cracks me up.

“GO AWAY DRUG-DEALER!”

It just needs to be shot with the most narmy actor possible, and we will get tons of fun from this. Charlie’s response is even better.

Charlie looked at Ryan for a few seconds before saying:
“Quite a perceptive son you have, Olive!”

He just needs to grow a moustache so he can twirl it.

“MWAHAHAHA, I AM THE EVIL DRUG-DEALER!”

It was mere seconds away from becoming that, let’s be honest…

What if he goes all Chris R on everyone too?

“WHERE’S MY FUCKING MONEY AIDEN???”
“I GAVE YOU A PHONE NUMBER YOU TWAT!!”
“I DIDN’T EVEN NEED IT, BECAUSE I KNOW WHERE SHE LIVES!!”
“Well, the joke’s on you then, isn’t it?”

Olive’s response is to promptly beat him up. It’s GLORIOUS…

Olive leapt up, and smacked him hard round the jaw. Then she kicked him in the groin. Charlie doubled up in pain.
“Olive…” he whimpered.
“NEVER COME NEAR MY FAMILY…AGAIN!!!”  Olive yelled, pummelling Charlie with her fists before shoving him outside and slamming the door. Then she went over to the window and watched him half-limp, half-stagger away. Finally, she turned to her eldest son with a smile on her face.
“Well,” she said. “He won’t be bothering us again!”

Remember kids, just say no…and brutally beat them up whilst you’re at it.

Now we have Chapter Ten: Stalker City. An interesting title for sure…I’m not even sure it’s relevant…but we’ll see.

So, 9T are currently struggling under a lot of homework, the opening of the chapter showcasing their physics teacher piling yet more onto them.

“But sir!!” whined at least fifteen voices.

I can’t help but laugh at that, because that is a very genuine reaction that happens in schools. At least I got that right.

Jack was suddenly struck by a genius idea.

No, offering the girl you’re crushing on to help her with her homework is NOT a genius idea, we’ve been through this. I don’t know why Jack is such an idiot in this story. I do apologise to the real-life person he’s based off, my actual best friend, who is, in reality, quite intelligent. Almost as intelligent as me.

But Ryan’s thinking the same thing as him, and after school they both offer to help Carol with her homework. Now I’m starting to see why this chapter is called what it is…

Carol’s reaction to constantly getting hounded is interesting…

“Well,” Carol said, “I really going to need all the help I can get. You can both come.”

That should be ‘I’m really going to need…’ but I don’t need to tell you that.

This is just code for ‘I really want to have two boys in my room.’ More evidence for the Carol Is A Yaoi Fangirl Theory.

We then cut to a scene with me, and it’s only just occurred to me what little impact I’ve had recently. This is the most mellow self-insert ever…

As Toby stepped off the bus, he was greeted by the load complaints of Whitney and Summer.

OH, WHITNEY AND SUMMER, HOW I’VE MISSED YOU!

Yes, these two are also upset by the amount of homework they’re getting, Whitney concluding that the stress of it will make her obese. I know what angle I was going for there, but that’s really less to do with vanity as it is to do with health. Obesity is a health issue. Whitney’s a lot more intelligent than people give her credit for.

Toby cleared his throat to make his presence noticed. Whitney whirled round.
“You?” she snarled. “What do you want?” Summer grabbed Toby by the front of his blazer.
“I think he wants a black eye or something!” she growled.

I really enjoyed getting myself smacked around by girls in this, didn’t I? I guess times haven’t changed that much…

Toby sighed. Why was it so difficult to have a sensible conversation with Summer? Or Whitney for that matter?

They are just very sensitive about what people think of them and their love. NOW LEAVE THEM ALONE.

“All I wanted to say is that I think I know who can help you with your homework,” Toby said, having been struck with a bit of an idea.

People need to stop getting ideas in this story, it’s just so damaging…and, unsurprisingly, my idea is yet another short-cut to getting laid. It’s a running theme…

“Right,” Carol said, putting her schoolbag on her bed and unzipping it.

That’s not the only thing you’ll be unzipping in a minute…

Jack and Ryan have avoided fighting each other so far…shame such harmony goes unnoticed, as we then cut to this scene…

“Charlie!” Charlie groaned.
“What do you want Aiden?”
“Shut up!” Aiden hissed at him.

More BDSM…?

He checked to make sure that nobody had heard him, then leaned closer towards him.
“Look, do you supply tranquilizers?” Charlie nodded.
“How strong?”
“Strong enough to be able to knock out someone with the metabolism of a young teenage girl for a few hours. And I’ll also need some petrol.” 

HOLY FUCK.

That got uncomfortably dark. Let’s move on – there will be plenty of time to analyse Aiden’s creepy activities later on…

Was I really this messed up a kid…?

We cut to Naomi, struggling with her own homework, plus an interesting scene that promptly goes nowhere…

She sauntered out of her room and down the stairs, where she found her stepdad Quentin, reading a letter.
“What’s that about?” she asked. Quentin crumpled the letter in his hands.
“Absolute rubbish, that’s what,” he told her. Naomi realised that talking to Quentin wasn’t the most interesting of things to do and wandered back upstairs as the doorbell rang.

Whatever Quentin’s reading is never brought up again. Could be literally anything, from a joking remark by the MP who just happened to be passing to a ransom note from someone holding someone somewhere like frozen food.

So Sean goes to answer the door…

Standing there were two girls Naomi’s age. He recognised them from Naomi’s form, and he guessed they were Whitney and Summer.

HOORAY!

Actually, there’s a bit of a continuity error here – Whitney was introduced back in chapter 4 by Sean himself. He clearly knew her by sight – why is he guessing here?

Whitney, of course, get’s straight to business…

“We were told that you could help us with our homework,” Whitney snapped.
“So let’s get on with it.” Sean glared at her.
“Certainly your Majesty,” he retorted.

Oh, snarky Sean. Absolutely love it. Sean does in fact agree to help them, presumably out of his inherent good nature we’re only just starting to see. Of course, it was all a ruse, by none other than…ME!

The doorbell then rang again, so Naomi went and opened it. Toby was standing outside.
“I was the one who told Whitney and Summer to get help from Sean,” he whispered. “With him distracted, I can…help you with that homework.” Naomi smiled.
“Alright then,” she whispered back.

I swear to God, that had better not become a commonplace euphemism…

We then cut back to our one true threesome. So many scene changes are making my head spin…

Carol, Jack and Ryan were all doing homework silently, which was not how the two boys expected it to be at all.

No, they were expecting loud, amorous noises. Dirty bastards…

“So…err…Carol?” Jack said.
“Yes?” she replied, not looking up.
“Have you thought about this prom-disco thing?”

Since when was it a disco…? WHO FUNDED THIS THING??

Through sheer determination, Jack and Ryan both finally confess that they were planning to ask Carol to the ambiguous event. Carol’s response…?

Carol stared at the two of them.
“So the two of you…whoa…I had no idea…”

YOU LYING SCUM. THEIR ATTEMPTS TO BANG YOU COULD BE SEEN FROM SPACE. Of course, she was just hoping they’d get it on with each other.

She tells them she’ll have to think about it, at which point the doorbell downstairs rings. Meena, the butt of our jokes from the last chapter, has arrived. And of course, Jack’s simply not happy with that…

We cut back to Whitney and Summer. Yay!

“Is that it?” Whitney complained.
“Yep,” Sean replied. “Now if you would like to leave my residence?”
“NO!!” Summer yelled. “We can’t work on just this!!”
“Well tough, ‘cause I’m not doing anymore!” He began pushing the two girls towards the front door. Whitney started insulting him at the top of her voice and swearing at him.
“…and that goes twice for your mother!!” she screamed, getting pushed out of the door.

FANTASTIC.

I’m also glad I didn’t go the typical slut-shaming gold-digger route by having Whitney hit on Sean. Obviously her love for Summer is true.

But with those lovebirds now gone, Sean suddenly hears my voice in the house. Inevitable…

The door banged open, making a mark on the wall.
“GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!” Sean roared.
Toby could only make weird noises, recovering from the shock of the door suddenly bursting open, but Naomi got to her feet furiously.
“Leave him alone!” But Sean didn’t listen to her. He advanced towards Toby furiously and Toby slipped past him and ran out of the door, down the stairs and out of the front door. Sean was so angry he chased Toby down the street.

Ah, that’s the ridiculously over-the-top Sean we all know and love!

Back with our threesome turned foursome, things are heating up as well…

“Hi Jack!” Meena said, smiling.
“Err…hi…look; I’m kinda busy Meena…”
“No you’re not!” Ryan snarled. “Go and spend time with your girl-”
“SHE’S NOT MY GIRLFRIEND!!!” Jack screamed, leaping onto Ryan into that all too familiar battle.

A foursome would have been inevitable had they not been interrupted.

Then, there was yet another ring at the doorbell. Queenie opened it and Toby ran in.
“No time to explain!” Toby said hurriedly as he ran in.

I seem to be running in twice. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

Even funnier is the fact that we get no sense of how far Queenie and Carol’s house is from Naomi and Sean’s. Sean could have chased me SEVERAL MILES for all we know.

Toby legged it upstairs with Sean following him. The first room he came across was coincidently the room where all the action was happening.

The action, huh?

The result is blatant chaos, with everyone tripping over everyone.

Carol surveyed the scene around her.
“If you don’t mind,” she said, “I’d like you all to leave now.”

This chapter may have been perfectly ridiculous, but at least the closing line kind of summed it up.

So, there it is. Next time, Naomi has finally had enough of Sean trying to murder her boyfriend, and in her vulnerability, runs into a less than welcome customer. With Aiden reaching the end of his tether too, the stage is set for the over-the-top climax of That Life. Is it wonderful? Probably. Let me know what you think and I’ll see you next time…

That Life Commentary – Chapter Eight

Oh dear…

So, whilst I wait on the examination board to tell me whether I actually have a chance in life or am just a total loser, I amuse myself by going through this again. This time it’s Chapter Eight: Mentoring, where my terrible subplot comes to it’s pointless zenith.

Foreign mentoring wouldn’t be fun. And it wasn’t.

Just a confirmation. It wasn’t. It most definitely wasn’t. Don’t try and argue with me you little bastard, it wasn’t fun. Jesus, what a pointless sentence…

Again, why are people so adverse to this?

Those 9T students who were attending prom (again, why is this a thing…?) have to stay in their form room whilst Ms McGriffin goes and fetches the foreign students. There’s only three (something even the form tutor is confused about) but McGriffin assures us more will be coming later on. More we don’t even get to see…

And even though there are all too many characters in this story, we are at least assured in the fact that these three really contribute nothing to the plot at all. There’s Kazuki, a Japanese boy who doesn’t seem remotely interested in anything other than his iPod, Meena, an American girl who has a sudden and fanatical interest in Jack, and Cordella, a French girl who can’t speak a word of English. (Why…?)

OK, so apart from the fact that these archetypes are horribly racist, there’s at least no malicious feelings towards any of them by our ‘heroes.’

“My name’s Meena. What about you?”
“Err…Jack,” Jack replied, not sure where this conversation was going.

Of course you don’t know where it’s going, it’s only just begun, you fucking idiot.

Meena leaned closer to him, grinning the whole time.

So apparently rape was were it was going.

Ryan was in hysterics until he was greeted by the sound of loud Japanese music. The third foreign student had just sat down next to him with his iPod at full volume.

Oh, sorry, I forgot Ryan was our resident UKIPer. Screw you, Ryan, Japanese music is awesome!

He pointedly and obviously stands up to avoid said student (not that he even cares) and goes to sit next to Carol. Oh yes, that’s still going on…

Jack glared furiously at him, and was about to stand up and set things right, when Meena said,
“Don’t go! I haven’t told you about my brother yet!”

“He is very violently protective, loves to preserve me like frozen food and probably has a sister complex.”

Also, ‘set things right’? Feel free to use your imagination as to what the hell that is.

It’s also unfortunate that from that point onward, Meena becomes the butt of our jokes, following Jack around everywhere…he’s a little worried that it would put Carol off, to which I reply that it’s fine, as his attempts to avoid Meena are plain to see.

Poor Meena…

Then we get this really weird sentence…

The French girl was called Cordella, and she seemed to get on with Ruth since Ruth had a cousin who had lived in France for two years.

Because French people can only get on with people who have known other French people. There’s nothing even here that seems to suggest that Ruth even has a particular grasp on the French language (apart from the fact that Cordella can only speak French) and anybody else who could speak French wouldn’t need a cousin in order to know it.

Oh, and this cryptic line…

The Japanese boy was called Kazuki. But that was all really anyone knew about him.

He’s secretly the Antichrist.

The only other foreign student who gets any introduction is Ross McDowell, a Scot. You see the problem with this? Yes, Scotland is NOT  a foreign country. (Although I don’t want to tempt fate, it may very well be soon. We live in dark times.)

Of course, Ross, being of the British Isles, is allowed to get on with people. And also for other reasons…

[…]by a strange coincidence, he was Ian’s second cousin.

Why is this particular bit of information even needed? Was I really that nepotistic? The elements of xenophobia that seem to exist here are also a bit bizarre, especially considering I imagined Ian as possibly mixed race, but not Ross. Hmm…

And now a contender for the most risque accidental innuendo in this story!

Ross got a shock when he went to his first PE lesson. He hadn’t been expecting a PE teacher quite so…big. They all left the lesson with sweaty brows and aching hamstrings.

My God, Mr Cork, stay away from the year 9 boys…

We next get a scene with Aiden who’s craving some cannabis. (Yeah, just go with it.) He rings his dealer, but is a bit annoyed when said dealer gives him a rather hefty price.

“What?!”Aiden snarled in frustration. “I’m not made of money-” he swore “-idiot.”

Look, Aiden, I wouldn’t swear (even via narrative help) at your dealer if you really want this cannabis. He can’t just cater for you, y’know, this is a living he’s got to make and he can’t just lower the price because you’re a spoiled brat. Hell, if you’re this rude to him I’m surprised you’re still getting the stuff.

But it would appear the dealer is in a good mood and offers to give Aiden the cannabis for free if he does something for him. The scene cuts off then (at least I had a feel for dramatic tension back then) and so I’ll leave you to imagine what it was. Unlike a lot of subplots, this does actually get resolved…

Oh, and the next bit is a resolution of a subplot. But…

Oh Lord…

Oh God…

OK…so, even as I was writing this, I knew it was a cop-out. I knew it was a ridiculous ass pull of a Deus Ex Machina. But I realised I still had a few loose ends to tie up and I wanted to do so quickly. Why I couldn’t think of something better, I have no idea. But I wanted to get on with more people’s storylines, plus I wanted Queenie and Carol to actually, y’know, DO something. So here it is. Promise you won’t think less of me when you see it.

It starts with Caleb, the suave and magnificent.

Caleb hammered on the door and waited impatiently for it to open.

Well, that’s rather rude.

[…]it was opened by a young woman of around twenty, who was chewing gum.
“Yes?” she said boredly.

In case you were craving more unflattering portrayals.

The woman in question is actually Queenie and Carol’s sister, and Caleb has come to enlist their help on a certain matter.

The three of them walked into the longue and Carol shut the door behind them.
“Just to make sure our interfering sister doesn’t come in,” she said.

Again, incredibly rude! She doesn’t seem the type to interfere anyway. She was downright bored at the sight of Caleb, and as he’s so suave and magnificent, that takes some doing.

And get your new longue today! Comes complete with all first aid kits for briefcase-induced injury…

Caleb brings up the issue of his mother struggling to pay the rent, and then we get this…

“But, I was told that I once had wealthy great-uncle called Gerald.”

Oh…hell.

Really does sound like the opening to an obscure fairy tale, doesn’t it?

“Once upon a time there lived a wealthy great uncle named Gerald who was such a miser that he didn’t even care that his niece and her children were getting considerably abused.”

Caleb goes on…

“When he died, his money must have gone somewhere. He had no children and my mum’s his only niece, so she must be the next of kin. So technically, we have enough money to pay the rent, and even buy a proper house. But without a proper bank statement, we can’t actually prove anything. What I’m trying to figure out is what happened to the will? And as they say, three heads are better than one.”

OK, legally, this appears to be on shaky ground, although I’m not altogether sure. It sounds marginally plausible, maybe, but if there’s a missing will, why not get a lawyer involved? Caleb, I highly doubt your girlfriend and her sister are going to be much use…

Furthermore, surely there’s more than one record of this Gerald’s will?

“Well your stepdad wouldn’t have wanted your mum to get rich would she?” Carol said reasonably. “So he obviously disposed of it.”

There is plenty of reason why Caleb’s stepdad would want to keep the will. If he exercises as much control over his family as he seemed to, it would be his way of getting hold of and making use of his wife’s money. Attempting to destroy the will would have been an incredibly stupid thing to do.

“That’s true,” [Caleb] agreed. “But Gerald protected his financial deals by law. He couldn’t have destroyed it…but he might have hidden it.”

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT???!!!??!!!

OK – let’s analyse this…

  1. Of course he protected his financial deals by law. Wills are legal documents. That’s like saying you protect your property by law. Of course you do, BECAUSE THEFT IS A CRIME.
  2. Why would something being illegal deter the man who beats up his wife and step-kids?
  3. HIDING A WILL? Really? Apart from the fact that there’s surely more than one copy of this document, what good would hiding it do when other people know it exists?

We then get a flashback from Queenie, remembering a time she went to see Caleb at his house, where Caleb’s mother was clearing out her husbands old beer bottles. Cause, y’know, he couldn’t have thrown them away himself, being they empty bottles by the sounds of things. When Queenie looks closer at one of the bottles, she notices a folded up piece of paper in one of the bottles, and she picks it up and pockets it, thinking she’ll take a look later.

Oh yes…it is as bad as you think…

“Wait!” Queenie exclaimed, pulling the piece of paper that she had had all this time out of her pocket.

OH. MY. GAWD.

And yes, that is actually the will.

I am so desperately and unyieldingly sorry. I am an awful pathetic contrived excuse for a human being and will go and sit in the corner. Let us never refer to this again. I promise the plot devices don’t get any worse than this. I think…

Just one question – why the hell has Queenie not changed her trousers in all this time…? Something tells me she would benefit from a bit of spare money, y’know?

Caleb is utterly jubilant about this horribly contrived coincidence based largely on the sheer stupidity of every party involved and runs off to presumably inform his mother.

Queenie sighed happily.
“You see why I like him don’t you sis?” she said admiringly.

No, not really. Unless his Gary Stu syndrome is showing again.

But never mind that horribly forced and bland romance, because we need to focus on another horribly forced and bland romance!

Yes, it’s our old friend Ruth. And it looks as though she’s FINALLY had the epiphany we were waiting for for so long. Thank God for that…

Ruth sat on her bed, staring at Ian’s name on her contact list. She should’ve known from the start really. It was pretty inevitable. But he had to know.

Yes, finally. And indeed, she should have known from the start. How many crushes has she had…?

At least she’s not letting anything get in the way…

Ruth glanced at the clock. It was quarter to five, meaning it would be quarter to one in California. Ian would still be in a lesson. Oh well.

Love that, ‘oh well.’

“Fuck it, I don’t care how he feels about getting calls in the middle of a lesson, he must know!” Also, Ruth’s a bit of a stalker for knowing which lessons he has when…obviously he’d still be at school, but she can’t know if quarter to one is specifically a lesson…

Also, I’ve just realised, I got the time zones a little wrong here. I do believe I was going by Eastern seaboard time, and California’s on the west coast. Oh well, such a slip up could be worse. You know, like having a will go missing inside a beer bottle…

Ian gets a call in the middle of a maths lesson (maths always gets the butt of every joke) and quickly sidles out of the classroom so the teacher can’t see him. He and Ruth exchange polite conversation, where he asks how everyone is doing…which makes me wonder whether this is the first time an old school friend has actually tried to contact him…wow, we really are horrible human beings!

Ruth decided it was time to tell him. She took a deep breath and said,
“Ian…I need to tell you something.
Ian swallowed. He guessed this would be coming sooner or later.

So he knew all this time and didn’t say anything??? What a bastard…unless of course he’s convinced Ruth’s about to tell him she’s pregnant…which does in fact raise more questions than it answers.

The final exchange itself though is actually really weird…

“I…” Ruth began.
“I know.” Ian finished. “Look, Ruth…” But she had already hung up.

WELL THAT SOLVED ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. How much more of this must we endure?

Actually, Ian and Ruth’s incursions annoy me a lot less than some of the bullshit the other characters are up to. Which we will sadly return to next chapter…

My future still looks very uncertain, so I don’t know when you can expect something else from me, but by all means like and comment this, and we shall see what happens next…

 

That Life Commentary – Chapter Seven

Once I get another idea of something to post, this might have to take second place. As it is, I thought I’d amuse myself by taking another look at the obscurely written, obscurely thrown-together story that I wrote aged 13 and see what Chapter Seven: Incoming Message has to offer.

Before I start, a word about my other writing – it’s currently a little lacking, but as soon as I pull myself together (not an altogether easy task) I might be able to get more done. As it is, I’m looking at my old shit. Great.

The chapter starts with this bizarre line:

 The prospect of 9T helping out with foreign mentoring was a big problem for those students.

Why?? It’s never explained. They’re just foreign students, you racist fucks. Carol ends up informing Ruth on this matter who says she’s not actually going to prom, as it doesn’t seem appealing anymore. Cause y’know, never mind spending time with your friends at a random plot device that doesn’t come around often, if you can’t get your rocks off, it’s just not worth it.

 Carol, Queenie and Naomi were all concerned about Ruth.

Nobody else was though. Heartless losers.

We next get a little weird something from Ian, complaining about how he doesn’t like America. Well, fair enough, he’s the other half of this contrived romantic agony, but we get this really great line from him…

Nobody seemed to have particularly interesting personalities unlike Queen’s Park Comprehensive.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!! You’re joking, right, Ian? The jet lag must be affecting your cognition.

Again, a mention of Queen’s Park Comprehensive. Not sure when it changes it’s name, but it’ll probably come at us completely unexpected, a bit like the Kaguya twist at the end of Naruto.

The next scene features Ryan walking home from school, and this is what the narration says about his though processes…

Ryan was walking home, his head full of thoughts about his rivalry with Jack, how to sort out foreign mentoring, and Carol.

Ah, his only thoughts comprise fighting, racism and sex. How male.

But then gets a text message from a certain ‘Charlie’ trying to get hold of Ryan’s mum’s new number. Exposition informs us that Charlie is an ex of Ryan’s mother (who goes by the name of Olive) who cheated on her. Well, possibly. This is what the text tells us…

She had loved him and they were planning to get married, but then she realized he was already engaged to someone else.

Is this infidelity, or just an attempt at bigamy? I’m not sure quite how Charlie thought he was going to get away with this or who in this situation was his bit on the side. Either way, Olive probably did the right thing in cutting him out. Charlie’s sexual exploits are making my head spin too.

Ryan, taking umbrage with Charlie’s attempts to get back in touch with his mother, just blows him off, which I guess is in-character. I mean, given the amount of character we’re exposed to in this story, that’s not really saying much, but given his impulsiveness, it does seem like an expected reaction. The narration doesn’t quite tell it how it is though…

Ryan had his mother’s genes and that’s the reason why he was able to organise his fellow students in the canteen.

Possible issues with the syntax aside, there are three main problems with this sentence:

  1. Of course he had his mother’s genes, you idiot. It’s called heredity, and it’s one of the foundational principles of biology. If he didn’t have his mother’s genes, then that would be a whole different story in and of itself.
  2. An ability of mobilise and marshal students in the canteen is unlikely to be genetic. Especially since Olive is described as being a black belt in both karate and judo, which has little to do with organisational skills. Even if it were, karate and judo skills are not hereditary, otherwise we’d be learning Lamarck’s principle of evolution rather than the principle of natural selection. Why has a commentary on an old story turned into a biology lecture?
  3. To my memory of the last chapter, Ryan did an absolutely TERRIBLE job of organising his fellow students. Most of the time he was just flirting  fighting with Jack, and as far as I can tell, no conclusion was reached.

And then we cut to our old polite friend, Mr Ealing. Oh God, it’s this scene…

 Mr Ealing leant back in his chair nervously.

If he’s rocking on it, he’s setting a poor example. I once rocked on my chair and ended up falling forward and smashing by nose of the table. Blood everywhere. True story.

He didn’t know what to expect of Mr and Mrs Gorse since he’d never met either of them, despite knowing Russell for four years, and Aiden for five.

Which really raises the question of why, doesn’t it? Mr Ealing is completely useless.

This meeting also comprises several more people, not only Mr Mothman and Ms McGriffin, but three others with the most beautifully ridiculous names…

[…]Mr Mortar (Aiden’s form tutor)[…]

Mortar, really…? Was I trying to portray an image of toughness with this one? He is Aiden’s form tutor, so I suppose…

[…]Miss Bedwing (Russell’s form tutor)[…]

Miss Bedwing, you sound like an Enid Blyton school matron. Sorry, but you do…

[…]and Nicholas Cardpaper, the head of the school governors.

FUCKING CARDPAPER. THAT’S BRILLIANT. Even better as I imagine him looking like Lucius Malfoy…

But of course, what the hell is he doing in this meeting? And if he really was necessary in a meeting to discuss two pupils, shouldn’t the entire board of governors been involved…?

Mr Gorse was large beefy man with thin black hair pressed onto his scalp and sideburns running down the side. Mrs Gorse was a slim, bony woman who looked rather nervous.

OH MY ACTUAL GOD. IT’S VERNON AND PETUNIA DURSLEY, IT ACTUALLY IS…

Is Aiden a wizard…?

“Petunia, we swore we’d stamp this rubbish out of him!”
“We did…instead of being a wizard, he’s now just a total psychotic nutjob.”

Mr Ealing goes through various misdeeds that the brothers have committed, culminating in the briefcase incident. Mr Vernon Gorse seems grumpily sceptical which…yeah, I probably would be too.

“Also,” Mr Ealing continued. “In a recent chemistry lesson, Aiden somehow made a huge sheet of flame leap out of a sink.”

Somehow this happened…? Perhaps Mr Ealing hadn’t been fully informed on this matter, or doesn’t have a basic understanding of flammable gases. This scientifically illiterate headmaster probably also thinks karate and judo is hereditary…

“That’s right,” Mr Mortar agreed. “Two of my students are now in causality because of two degree burns on their faces. If you don’t believe that, Mr Gorse, then go and ask them, because it seemed pretty real to them!”

Has nobody seriously considered calling the police on Aiden? I’m pretty sure he’s guilty of several different charges now. Again, this school is far too relaxed about violence of any kind, including child abuse, it seems!

Mr Gorse is not prepared to take action apparently, and promptly leaves. Just like that.

There was a long silence.
“I don’t think that went too well,” Mr Cardpaper remarked.

Thanks for that observation you completley useless character. Now go away and open the Chamber of Secrets or something.

Oh, are you wondering what purpose this scene served? I think you give this story too much credit…

Next up is this really odd scene:

Caleb was pinned up against the wall.
“Let’s go through this one more time,” Summer said viciously.
“Must we?” Caleb groaned.

Oh my God, they’ve found my femdom erotica, it’s finally happened…

Actually, Summer is just, touchingly, protecting her girlfriend’s honour from the likes of my Gary Stu creation.

“Shut up!” Summer growled. “Don’t diss Whitney. She’s cool, alright?”

Bless you, Summer.

And after that pointless segment, we cut back to Ryan, getting more hounding messages from Charlie, which he once again brushes off.

He slipped his phone back into his pocket, and realized he had other problems. Jack Fenton was talking to Carol.

The worrying thing is, this does accurately reflect my though processes.

Ryan manages to convince Jack that he left something in maths, and somehow Jack falls for that…not wondering why Ryan didn’t bring it to him, and even then, going to retrieve something shouldn’t take priority over ensuring some idiot doesn’t try and chat up your crush…? At least, if it accurately followed my thought processes, something like that would happen…

Despite having successfully tricked an immensely gullible rival, Ryan seems to be incapable of talking to Carol. Makes sense, all he’s really done is ogled her…

“Yes?” Carol said expectantly. Ryan cleared his throat and began trying out some extremely cheesy chat-up lines, none of which actually made sense to the girl who was standing opposite him.

One has to wonder what Carol actually makes of all these encounters. She seems incredibly amused, so one has to assume, as I deduced in the last post, she just really likes guys with homoerotic tension.

Jack quickly returns to engage Ryan in a fight, and the ending of this scene really highlights what passed for comic relief back then…

The two of them wrestled like a bunch of angry dogs until, Jack, pinning Ryan to the ground, looked up triumphantly. But Carol had left.

Based on personal experiences, no doubt.

The next scene is, if possible, even weirder, in which Sean is spying FROM THE BUSHES on Naomi and I. Like…what the fuck…?

He had to split them up somehow.
Oh no! They were leaning towards each other! He had to stop this now!
Sean charged out of the bushes and Toby’s automatic reaction was to run in the opposite direction.

I can only laugh at the sheer stupidity of this. I am in a perpetual fear of my girlfriend’s older brother. Though this is understandable, given how clearly unhinged he is, and likely with a sister complex. Again, I was perfectly happy with writing myself in this role.

We dash past Ryan, who finds this intriguing, and makes to follow us, only for Charlie to actually ring him up this time. Ryan is not happy, but Charlie’s dialogue makes it difficult to determine how sincere he is. Admittedly, he’s probably going to wrong way about it.

Oh, and then my 13-year-old self realises just how stupid half his plot elements are…

Toby was still being chased around by Sean, even though, being 16, Sean should really have something better to do with his life.

Yes, he should! Hasn’t he got GCSEs to prepare for?

Anyway, eventually Sean delivers another warning for me to stay away from Naomi before leaving, at which point I’m joined by Jack.

“I bet Naomi is completely fed up of him,” he commented.
“She is,” Toby agreed. “She told me.”
“Ah, well she would, wouldn’t she?” Jack said, grinning deviously.
“Err…what’s that supposed to mean?” Toby asked confused.
Jack thought for a moment.
“I’m not actually sure,” he replied truthfully.

Another piece of dialogue that makes no sense at all.

  1. Why am I confused by what Jack said? It’s clear he’s referring to our emotional intimacy. Or as much of it that seems to exist, again, don’t want to be giving this too much credit.
  2. What is Jack implying, other than that Naomi tells me things…? Even he isn’t sure.
  3. Why isn’t he sure? He’s the one who said it! Did he hit his head this morning…

So, on his way home, Ryan gets another call from Charlie (do restraining orders exist in this weird world) and argues with him all the way home. Unsurprisingly, his mother notices.

“Ryan, who are you talking to?”
“Oh it’s just…” Ryan’s voice trailed off. Olive quickly snatched his mobile from him and put her ear to it.

Well, that’s a little rude. You can’t just grab someone’s phone and listen to their private conversations. What if it’s his boyfriend Jack???

Olive returns to him in ten minutes informing him that she’s deleted Charlie’s name from Ryan’s list of contacts. Why Ryan couldn’t do that himself, I don’t know, but as we know, he likes arguing. Presumably Charlie and Olive’s off-screen conversation confirmed that Charlie’s motives for this were nefarious, otherwise she probably wouldn’t have been so brash. Although this story is incredible unpredictable. She then asks Ryan why he didn’t come to her, and his reply is…

“I guess you’ve taught me too much,” he replied.

Clearly Olive is an awful teacher.

That being said, I have to admit, this contrived subplot is far less painful than many of the others written into the story, and if it had been handled more maturely, it might have been a potentially good idea. Ryan’s character is arguably more developed than many of the other characters written here, which is interesting considering I literally introduced him for the sake of being Jack’s rival. Evidently I wasn’t above giving more sympathetic storylines to rivals of those who weren’t me…

The chapter ends there, and the questions that I’m sure nobody’s asking are:

  1. How far will Aiden go before people decide to actually take action?
  2. Will Sean stop attacking me?
  3. Will Jack and Ryan’s conflict ever be resolved?
  4. Will Ian and Ruth’s…?
  5. What the hell will become of this foreign mentoring…?
  6. Would Jeremy Corbyn be a better PM than Theresa May?

Well, the answer to the last one is of course, yes, but for the others you’ll have to wait until next time…whenever that is…

Let me know what you think and thanks for reading.

That Life Commentary – Chapter Six

This is completely ridiculous.

And no, I’m not just talking about this chapter. My entire attempt to be a writer is just crashing round my ears now. It’s failed me. I can’t seem to articulate anything. Least of all good stories.

Well, at least I can point this out, and so let us take another GANDER at this pathetic behaviour. Chapter Six: Flash Bang Science.

So, last time, Ian finally buggered off to America and the faculty determined that they should bring in Aiden’s parents to discuss the fact that Aiden is a terrible psychotic madman.

Aiden seemed to have taken the news about a meeting with his parents out on everyone else. The first aid office was full of all sorts of injuries with students attached[….]

Again, I continue with my very weird way of describing things. Here’s the implication that the injuries are the most important thing, rather than the students, as if the students were just an unfortunate and inconvenient additive. The first aid staff would much prefer to just have injuries to work on, of course, but these students keep on getting in the way, whining about ridiculous things like having their leg wrenched off. YOU SHOULD BE PROUD, DAMMIT!!

Also, why is nobody disciplining Aiden this time? Fear of another briefcase to the face presumably.

[…]and the school walls were suddenly multi-coloured with spray-paint. 

Well, sounds like an improvement, if you ask me. Aiden could be doing much worse things.

We get an unnatural cut to me when I get called over, in the canteen, to a group of my fellows – Ryan, Jack, Caleb (THE SUAVE AND MAGNIFICENT), Naomi and the two redheads. Yes, I know they have names, but this is all the story seems to define them as.

Ryan is quite agitated about something he then shows me – a poster that informs us that students from our class will be helping with foreign mentoring…right.

Isn’t that kind of the point of mentoring someone? Everyone mentors someone…? Look, I barely know what I’m talking about now, how am I meant to know what I was thinking God knows how many years ago?

Apparently, this upsets Ryan, but quite why…? Well, he even states he’s struggling to get his point across.

“I’m not getting anywhere,” he stated.
“Fine, I’ll try,” Jack said.
“No you won’t!” Ryan growled. “I’m in charge locker-boy!”

That has got to be the weirdest pet-name I’ve heard in a while. And also possibly one of the sauciest. After all, in the US, changing rooms are referred to as locker rooms. This could mean something. Although it probably doesn’t. The love affair of these two continues to baffle me.

Jack stared at him as if he’d just strangled his cat, and then darted forward and slapped Ryan around the face.
“You @#$%?!” Ryan snarled and pushed at him.

How very eloquent you are, Ryan. Anyone want to guess what exactly he said there? Probably something so kinky it couldn’t be printed.

The table fell over, as did Jack and his chair. Ryan leapt on him and they both ended up rolling around the floor punching each other doing all the things that they normally did with these confrontations.

Again, there’s a cryptic remark, suggesting something very risque is going on between them. I can’t be the only one who sees it. What do they normally do during these conversations? I don’t know, but judging by what we’ve seen, it probably ends in sex.

Whatever it is, everyone else seems quite resigned to it now.

“How long is it going to last this time?” Caleb asked.
“I dunno. Let’s watch!” Carol replied, shrugging.

Carol is an incredibly voyeuristic yaoi fangirl. Who would have guessed?

Jack and Ryan’s wild, passionate love-making brawling ends up disturbing Russell (Aiden’s brother, remember him?) in his merry and clearly very important lunch-eating, causing him to join the fray, until Ms McGriffin (other deputy head, remember her?) takes him to her office, obviously ignoring the fact that Ryan and Jack were fighting too.

They return to their seats as though nothing at all happened, and then Ryan brings up something which implies that his desire not to mentor people (something he should have been aware of before, surely…??) stems from him just being quite racist. Caleb, certainly thinks so, until Ryan claims that he just doesn’t want to teach anyone English. Right…? Apparently this is enough to rouse everyone.

And then Kurt shows up, OUT OF NOWHERE, to point out that apparently, only students that signed up for prom are expected to be mentors…

What kind of foreign exchange programme is? To be honest, the insight we get later doesn’t leave us any the wiser. What’s the point of this foreign exchange programme? There isn’t one. You could practically make trading cards out of how many pointless sequences exist in this story…

Anyway, we then get an insight into Aiden’s strange psyche…

Aiden leant against the wall of the E corridor waiting impatiently for Russell. Where was he? It’s no fun trashing somebody’s locker on your own.

Aww, bless him. He needs his brother beside him to engage in acts of petty vandalism! I don’t know whether this is funnier, or the fact that the two of them specifically planned to vandalise a locker at a certain time. The kinds of conversations these two have must be entertainment in and of themselves.

“So, what do we have today? We’ll trash a locker on the E corridor around lunchtime, and until then we’ll just grin evilly at passers-by. After the lock trashing, get the briefcase out.”
“But Aiden, I left it at home.”
“YOU RUINED MY PLANS YOU ACTUAL FUCKER. I WISH I COULD DISSECT YOUR SPLEEN. 😥

But Russell is in fact in Ms McGriffin’s office, and Ms McGriffin questions him as to why he follows Aiden’s example. And unlike the case of Whitney and Summer, I don’t think we can put this down to a romantic love. Incest is not wincest in my book. Not even this trashy one.

When Russell is reluctant to answer, we get this little gem.

“Look,” Ms McGriffin said leaning forward. “You’re lucky Mr Mothman didn’t catch you acting violently to Jack and Ryan back there. He would have given you fifty detentions without blinking. But he didn’t catch you, I did. I will not act like any other teacher. I want to help you.”

Basically an admission that no other teacher in the school actually gives a shit about the pupils’ well-being, which given the whole Caleb abuse thing, does kind of add up…

Russell reveals that he’s under the influence of peer pressure from Aiden to which Ms McGriffin simply says that they can talk about it more when his parents are here. She seems very unwilling to give her own advice, but that’s hardly out of place…

Aiden was not in a good mood as him and his form filed into the chemistry classroom. He was really annoyed at Russell for losing his temper and attacking some year 9 boys when he should have been trashing someone’s locker.

Aiden, calm down! It’s just a locker! Aiden is so pissed, actually, that he begins to plot, but in the meantime, Sean, not recognising Aiden’s silence as a very bad sign, decides to ring Naomi. Because, he, in her words, loves to preserve her like frozen food.

Naomi’s in the middle of a geography lesson when Sean’s call come through, and she, quite reasonably, tells him to get a life.

Ladies and gentlemen, this has been another…

POINTLESS MOMENT.

So, because the year 11 chemistry class are doing something with Bunsen burners, Aiden does something that I can’t be bothered to go into detail with, which involves trapping gas from the gas taps in a sealed location and dropping a match (WHY DOES ANYONE ALLOW HIM TO HAVE MATCHES IN SCHOOL…?) in, causing an explosion that kills everyone.

No, not really, but it would save us all a lot of agony.

THAT’S the end of the chapter. No idea when the next one will come, because I may have more important things to do. Shocking I know…next time we explore a bit more of Ryan’s life, we meet Aiden’s parents and Sean gets even creepier. Intrigued…? Good…

That Life Commentary – Chapter Five

This next chapter is absolute carnage.

Hi, I’m a despairing person. Despairing about the fact that I can’t write, even when trying to create an obvious gap between my writing now and my writing then. In the meantime, I shall delve into the sheer stupidity and probably not even that interesting stupidity of Chapter Five: Departure.

So, continuing on from the last chapter, Caleb discovers that his landlord, Mr Woodland (a rather pleasant name compared to the likes of Mothman, it has to be said) is threatening to evict his family due to incomplete rent, or something…even to this day, I’m still not sure how accurate a picture of financial troubles this is, but is most likely completely over-the-top. Not to mention a completely unnecessary thing to bring up, but given that I had already resolved one of the storylines centred around Caleb (the suave and magnificent), I obviously wanted to drag out his role in the story even more, milk it for all it’s worth and bleed anything interesting we can get out of this character completely dry. And believe me, once you see how this particular plot-point gets resolved, you’ll want to hunt me down and hang me. I’ll reveal it in a later post, but suffice to say, even back then I realised how much of an ass pull it was.

The lines delivered by Caleb’s mother Sylvia also betray a limited understanding of the kind of financial language used in dealing with financial issues:

“And I’ve already told you, we haven’t got much money at the moment since my husband’s arrest. But we will get some more.”

That’s a very hand-waved way of putting it.
“Don’t worry, we’ll get some money. And you can have some of it.”
How all business deals should be conducted I think.

Mr Woodland is quite huffy about it too, and leaves without much more discussion.

With that he stormed out.

Temper, temper. Calm down dear, you’ll get your money. I’m sure Caleb can steal some without anyone noticing, being as much of a Creator’s Pet as he is. He can even get it out of a briefcase after knocking out it’s owner with it.

One day that’s going to get old. But not yet.

The scene then cuts to Sean and Naomi walking home from school. Sean seems to be oblivious to the fact that his sister’s actually a little pissed about having him lock me in a cupboard when she was just about to get some action, and so she expresses her anger in one of most profound and yet bizarre ways.

“You really love to preserve me like frozen food don’t you? Why can’t you actually let me have a social life Sean?”

Frozen food…? Was I just hungry when I wrote this? Hungry for processed junk…?

I guess coming up with weird imagery and similes is just something that runs in the family.

Naomi raises a good point with him though, and once again, he refuses to listen, and so Naomi appeals to her mother, May (although I swear her name changes in a later scene, bear with me on that), to try and exercise some control over Sean’s attitude. She agrees…and, as later scenes prove, fails utterly. Poor Naomi, nobody wants her to get laid. Except for me of course.

In the next scene, we surprisingly get an insight into Ian’s thoughts on him leaving for California. Unfortunately, his thought processes seem to go much the same way as Ruth’s, and he’s too much of a dumbass to realise that he wants to get his rocks off with her. Makes me wonder why none of their friends decided to tell them to just get on with it. Maybe they only care about their own sex love lives, which actually seems to be backed by the narrative as it happens…

Then we cut back to Naomi, who’s still pissed.

Sean was still watching her like a hawk.

Oh, nice one mum. Adults in this story truly are useless. Almost as useless as everyone else.

Naomi manages to lose him by going into her form room, at which point she remembers that it’s Ian’s last day before he buggers off to America.

Ruth, of course, is looking quite subdued, and Naomi, finally taking initiative in something other than try to get into my pants, asks her what’s wrong.

“You OK?”
“Yeah,” Ruth suddenly came to her senses. Naomi looked sceptical.
“Really?”
“Yeah, course I am. You know me!” But did she know her well enough?

Well, that seems to be a strange question to ask yourself. Why would that matter? The implication seems to be that Ruth is one of those people who’s ‘always OK,’ in which case Naomi may be wondering whether she has hidden depths. Given her habit for using obscure similes, any insight into Naomi’s imagination about what depths Ruth might be hiding from her are fine with me. Could she speculating that Ruth is in fact an immortal alien allied with Tommy Wiseau bent on monopolising all of the world’s frozen food? 😮

Sadly, I wasn’t nearly as interesting a writer back then, and Naomi just decides to leave Ruth alone. Cause, you know, she’s got more important things to do, like trying to bang me without Sean noticing. Truly, these are such great people.

Naomi straightened up and walked straight into Whitney.

Well, OK, at least I provided her with an interesting distraction at the very least.

Actually, this next confrontation is very interesting, so I’m just going to analyse it line-by-line. This brings to the surface something very distinctive about these characters other than the fact that they’re as dull as driftwood – they’re kind of bastards.

I mean, obviously Aiden is far more psychotic than anyone else, but the people I trump as my heroes are really only designated that way. They don’t do anything particularly heroic – I’ve already pointed out that Sean can’t take a hint and literally everyone else’s only obsession is getting laid. But it’s when our designated heroes are confronting our designated villains that the sheer bastard-ery really comes to light. Take a look at this:

“Naomi, your hair’s all…” 
“Not interested retard!” 

There are no uncertain terms about this – what Naomi just said to Whitney was not only incredibly rude and offensive, it was also really unjustified. There was vritually no indication that Whitney was even going to say ANYTHING wrong. Obviously, the implication is that Whitney was perhaps going to make some kind of critical remark. After all, Naomi was probably prevented from brushing her hair that morning by Sean having confiscated her hairbrush on account that it was comprising herself for heartless boys…or something. But her term of address to Naomi suggests that it wasn’t going to be anything that awful…it could be a whole host of things…

“Naomi, your hair’s all rather dishevelled. Bad night was it?”
“Naomi, your hair’s all greasy. Want to borrow my shampoo? It’s made with frozen food.”
“Naomi, your hair’s all stuck-up. I hope you didn’t get electrocuted this morning.”
Hell, or even…
“Naomi, your hair’s all sleek and shiny. It looks really nice.”
“Naomi, your hair’s all I want in this world. Come to my bedroom tonight and we will consummate our love for one another.”

She could even have been talking about her pubic hair in that regard.

But no, I really had to stoop so low as to use the word retard. And I had my in-universe girlfriend use it too…I want to go back in time and slap the 13-year-old me round the face. He needed some sense knocked into him.

But poor Whitney gets some help whilst she’s being ruthlessly attacked.

Summer was instantly there.
“Am I a retard, huh?”

Aww, bless you Summer – defending your girlfriend’s honour by confronting the attacker head-on. Actually, it’s a shame that the confrontation over this particular matter (which we never see Whitney’s reaction to, actually) dies down quite quickly, after which Summer sadly stoops to Naomi’s level.

“That retarded boyfriend of yours wants to see you.” Naomi slapped Summer round the face.
“He’s not a retard you cow!” she snarled.

WOW. Naomi got unexpectedly violent. I’m not quite sure why she’s so defensive of me, but it probably has something to do with the fact that I dice with death (unlikely to even be an exaggeration) by being in her vicinity. She probably feels responsible for that…well, good for her.

Actually, this scene is probably the most weird in the entire story, because it just keeps getting stranger. This is Summer’s response to getting slapped across the face:

Summer raised her fists.
“Come on then, if you think you’re…feminist enough!”

WHAT THE FUCK?

Actually, I do know why this surreal terminology is used. Kind of. Summer was meant to say something along the lines of ‘come on, if you think you’re man enough.’ But obviously as they’re both girls, such a statement doesn’t really make sense. But why I didn’t use ‘woman enough’ is a little bizarre too. My 13-year-old self obviously didn’t think that the image of woman portrayed an image of strength, which I’m certainly not proud of thinking. So, what, feminist is the female equivalent of strength…? Well, kind of…? Except a feminist isn’t a strong woman, a feminist is someone who believes in social, political and economic equality of the genders, and can be of either sex, which makes sense, it being about equality and all. This includes portrayal in fiction, as it happens, and it looks as though that was something I still needed to work on…

That being said, it’s obvious that there were the beginnings of it here – after all, the character most ready to use their fists in this story is female, and she seems far more competent at it than some of the boys, particularly myself. Case in point…?

“Ooh, what’s this?” Toby said walking over. Summer instantly turned round and hit him.

HA.

Ignoring, if you will, the fact that I forgot a few commas here, can we just appreciate the sheer beauty of this moment? The fact that I made my own self-insert walk blindly onto the verge of a cat fight, looking innocently curious, only to get decked. I mean, whatever traits I was attempting to showcase in this story, be it my skill at history or my ability to pull a rather desperate acting girl with an overbearing older brother, it certainly wasn’t my physical skills was it?

Yes, I, a 13-year-old boy, was PERFECTLY happy to have my own author avatar get beaten up by a girl. There’s something quite pleasing about that – at least I wasn’t quite so sexist to think that female = weak. True, I thought female = sex, but I was evolving.

Sadly, Whitney and Summer promptly leave this scene following and admittedly brilliant line from Whitney.

“Never mind this, I’m wasting time!” Whitney shrieked. “My hair needs combing every five minutes!” she went off, Summer close behind.

I love how this was meant to be showcasing her apparent vanity, but it honestly sounds like something I’d do nowadays. Furthermore, who’s to say her hair DOESN’T need combing every five minutes? What if she has a condition that means that after five minutes, in tangles itself into a brutal, hideous monstrosity of sentient, malevolent hair that eats children? Whitney could be SAVING THE WORLD by combing her hair religiously every five minutes. Or maybe it’s just an excuse so she can go and cry in the corner about the fact that Naomi is being a total bitch. Whichever it is, it’s still very touching to see that Summer’s sticking by her whatever.

I know I’m getting a little carried away by this ship now, but…I DON’T CARE. WHITNEY X SUMMER 4EVER. XXXXXXXXXXXXX~

And it’s not as if the subtext of the narrative isn’t supporting it.

“Why does Summer follow her all the time?” Toby asked.

It’s true love, that’s why. Something the 13-year-old me wouldn’t understand, you filthy pervert.

I love also how I’m completely unperturbed about having been decked.

Oh, and then we go from one couple laden with homoerotic subtext to another.

“She needs more individuality, right Jack?” Jack didn’t answer.
“Jack?”
Jack was having a one to one stare down with Ryan.

JESUS GUYS, COULD YOU STOP TRYING TO FUCK EACH OTHER FOR ONE MINUTE? Seriously, these two are inseparable, and with considerably more chemistry than Ian and Ruth, it has to be said.

“I will not blink.” Ryan told himself firmly. Jack leaned forward and grabbed his nose.
“OW!!” Ryan howled at the top of his lungs.

????

Right, that was clearly Jack’s attempt to make out with him. His nose was the most prominent part of his body, and that was all he could reach. But amidst Ryan’s screams, they share a passionate kiss, and then stare into each other’s eyes before declaring their undying love for one another, before making merry ON THE DESKS.

Actually, the scene just cuts away. Probably to avoid the dreaded ’15’ certificate.

So, after that pointless detour, we get Caleb complaining to Queenie about Mr Woodland threatening to evict them. Queenie is very understanding a very affectionate because…Caleb’s Mr Perfect, and then we get an insight into Carol’s skewed priorities.

Carol looked at them enviously.
“Why can’t I have a guy like that?”

OK, Carol, let me lay this out for you. This guy, the suave and magnificent, may be an enviable boyfriend to have, but he has just got out of God knows how many years of abuse, and now his whole family is threatening to be evicted. Could you, I dunno, maybe STOP THINKING ABOUT GETTING LAID FOR ONE FUCKING MINUTE AND START THINKING ABOUT SOMEONE OTHER THAN YOURSELF??

What’s more, everyone in this scene seems far more fixated on the goings on of their hookups than the fact that it’s Ian’s last day here. Nobody’s saying their goodbyes, or their ‘I’ll-miss-you’s, not even Ruth, although she is probably contemplating him at least.

This obsession with sex is further exemplified by Jack and Ryan’s response to Carol’s comment – instead of admonishing her for being a selfish bitch, they are very eager to impress their beard crush.

Jack and Ryan’s heads both immediately swung round. They both tried to get up, but tripped over each other and got Toby caught in the tumble. They all fell to the ground.
“Nice work, Jack,” Toby said, getting to his feet.

Again, more of Jack and Ryan’s bodies being in close proximity. And more self-deprecating humour from me. I was obviously very fond of that.

Oh, and Naomi slightly redeems herself by bringing up what I just did earlier…

“Going back to the point,” Naomi reminded them, “Ian,” she said to him,
“I hope California’s great.” Everyone else said their farewells to him.

Oh hai Ian, we’ve just remembered you exist.

Oh, and our form tutor shows up (apparently blind to the sexual tension-fuelled fights going on in her form-room) to inform Ian that he’ll miss lesson 3, to which he is glad, it being maths.

Yes, maths was another pet peeve. Deal with it.

Then, after a completely pointless and yet mercifully short scene that features Mr Woodland laughing evilly about eviction (yes, I’m serious), we get our first sighting of Mr Mothman since his briefcase incident.

YOU’RE ALIVE!!! 😀

Mr Mothman has gone to see Mr Ealing about Aiden, because, quite clearly, he is deranged. This is probably the most sensible course of action anyone’s taken in this story so far.

“Come in!” came Mr. Ealing’s voice from inside. Mr. Mothman opened the door and entered.
“Take a seat!” Mr. Ealing said, gesturing to a chair. The assistant head sat down.
“I believe you want to speak to me?” Mr. Ealing said, raising his eyebrows.

“No, headmaster. I thought I’d come in here after politely knocking to desecrate your room, take a dump on your desk and masturbate all over your LEA forms.”

Look, Mr Ealing, I appreciate that you’re a very polite guy and this is just procedure, but this is literally the stupidest question asked in a while.

Mr Mothman says that he wants to talk about Aiden.

“Ah,” the headmaster replied, swallowing nervously. “I’m guessing you think he’s the one who knocked you out that day?”
“Think?” Mr.Mothman almost laughed. “I know! If you ask me, he should be permanently excluded!”

Another sensible course of action. Clearly Mr Mothman is the most forward-thinking character here. Unfortunately, this is Mr Ealing’s response:

“I’m sorry,” Mr. Ealing replied, “but we can’t!”

Well, screw you.

“Why not?”
“Because I view Aiden as a challenge.”
“A challenge?”
“Yes. I view him as a challenge to make our school better.”

In all fairness, this excuse has been used by Waterloo Road heads too.

Mr Ealing and Mr Mothman eventually agree to bring Aiden’s parents in, fearing that Aiden’s behaviour may be stemming from problems at home…which raises the question why they didn’t bother to meet his parents after FIVE YEARS of this behaviour, but whatever…

Actually, this scene serves it’s distinction in being the first scene between solely two members of staff and not the selfish, sex-obsessed pupils. These scenes are a rarity, so look out for them later…

So, we get one final scene with our rowdy pupils, in the maths lesson in which Ian finally leaves, to the valedictions of his friends. Carol, apparently dropping her selfish manner momentarily, notices Ruth is crying and goes over to her. Ruth however, denies anything is wrong.

Carol didn’t know what to do. Naomi had told her that Ruth was acting a bit anti-social lately.

“But I was far too incensed by my sister’s new incubus boyfriend to notice myself.”

She went back to her work.

“Ah, screw the bitch, moving on.”

The chapter closes with what was meant to be a touching scene, but actually just comes across as incredibly weird and borderline creepy.

Ruth waited until the teacher’s back was turned, and she crept quietly out of the classroom. Ian was still walking up the corridor, and Ruth watched him walk further away, until he turned the corner, and was gone.

“Wow…dat ass.”

So, no attempts to call after, run after him, tell him how she feels…? No? OK…

Well, that concludes this commentary, I hope you enjoyed, the next one should be coming soon, ideally tomorrow, but I don’t really know. Let me know what you think, and maybe speculations for what other rubbish I wrote, that’s always fun…in the meantime, thanks for reading, and I may join you next time. Although if next time refers to when I join you, then it definitely will be…whenever it is…

OK, I’ll shut up now…

That Life Commentary – Chapter Four

I haven’t yet determined whether I’ll be able to consistently do this every day. I may be wanting to do other things or simple not in the right mind-frame. But for now, let us continue through this cycle of awfulness. Here is where my terrible romantic writing comes to a wonderful boil. Chapter Four: Love and Lessons.

So, we start with another pointless piece featuring Ruth getting upset about how upset she is. Seriously, doesn’t this girl have anything better to do? Yes, your piece of man meat is going off to America. You can either join him, leave him, or bang him before he goes. But please stop with the meta-moaning. It doesn’t make sense. 😦

But if I was hoping for anymore intellectual stimulation, unfortunately we don’t get it, as the next scene features Jack and I on our way to school. Jack wants something from me.

“Bus money?” Jack asked.
“What bu- oh, that bus money. Don’t have it.” Jack’s mouth opened full gape.
What???” he shrieked. Toby shrugged and smiled sheepishly. Jack flew into a rage and grabbed Toby by his shirt.
“You…” then he calmed down and let go.
“Sorry,” Toby mumbled. Jack shook his head.
“Oh well,” he said and they both continued walking to school.

Well, this showcases an immensely dysfunctional friendship, doesn’t it?

Actually, I’ve got to be honest, this scene completely baffles me. It’s the true definition of Noodle Implements, because I am at a complete loss to try and explain what bus money we’re talking about. I can’t even remember the reason I wrote about it. What would either of us need with bus money if we walk to school (as we are consistently shown to do in this story)? And why do I specifically owe him bus money? Did I lose a bet? Did I gamble that I’d actually write a good story at this age?

Whatever this potentially dark and disturbing story thread is, it’s never mentioned again because our favourite distractions soon take hold.

It’s really bizarre – for all my assessments of myself being mature beyond my years at 13, this story and everyone in it is completely obsessed with sex. This chapter really kickstarts it, and from then on it just becomes more and more pronounced and over-the-top. True, I tried to dress it up as romance and inserted a few angsty and pondering scenes in there for good measure (although I probably went overboard with Ruth and Ian), but this doesn’t mean I was more mature, because it’s just horribly phoned-in. All this showcases is that, compared to other guys my age, I was much more sappy, sentimental, and, to be frank, effeminate. Although such things I do not consider negative qualities, particularly the last one, and of course there is no reason anyone should comply to expectations of their gender, so I think we’re all good there.

But the story’s obsession with sex is showcased in this same scene – presumably still miffed about his drug bus money, Jack starts to eat the eye candy on the other side of the road. These two are a set of identical twins called Queenie and Carol. Yes, I know those names are much better suited to immobile octogenarians who play bingo all afternoon than 13-14 year old schoolgirls, but I thought they had a nice ring together, SO JUST LEAVE ME ALONE.

Queenie and Carol were actually briefly mentioned by name in the previous chapter, but they made absolutely no contribution, and before either of them even get a line they’re already being shamelessly objectified. Oh, how feminist of me. Actually, these two probably get the least amount of development out of any characters in this story, and whilst they may have escaped all the narmful crap that goes down later, I do wonder sometimes what forced me to reduce their roles the way I did, when I was so dedicated to giving Ian and Ruth time to develop their positively spell-binding chemistry.

And if you want a taster of exactly what treatment Queenie and Carol get throughout the story, here’s how Jack reacts to them:

“Ooh, redheads! Do you think they’re hot, Toby?”

Aww, how charming. He could grow up to become Roosh V.

But my reaction to his question is even weirder…

“Nah. I’ve got my sights on another girl.”

Apparently, I seem to conflate true love with just considering someone attractive, which is probably why I got that restraining order placed on me really not a good foundation for writing a romantic novel. (Stephenie Meyer, take note.) This is a problem that will persist in this story, so don’t worry…

Jack presses me to find out who the girl I’m talking about is, and eventually manages to work out that it is Naomi, but we don’t have time to embark on any discussion about her, or why I’m so entranced by her, which could really be useful, considering this is meant to be a romantic novel and knowing these things are important…

But we don’t get the time due to a wonderful catalyst showing up, determined to ruin Jack’s love life.

“Whatever. Those girls are mine!” came a voice from behind them. It was Ryan.
“Oh, it’s you,” Jack said with distaste. “You do realise that girls aren’t actually material possessions, you immoral lightweight!”

An important moral to remember, if we can just conveniently ignore the fact that Jack was openly ogling them earlier, and literally only referring to them as ‘redheads.’ But whatever this tiny difference is in Jack and Ryan’s opinion about their twin threesome fantasies, it’s enough to push them into a physical fight:

Ryan flew at Jack and the two of them started a massive wrestle.

How eloquent.

If this story were in any way realistic, Jack and Ryan would be banging by the end of it.

I choose to ignore them and go and walk with Naomi, who’s conveniently there, but with Sean’s eyes on me, who’s apparently forgotten his promise to not be so knee-jerk protective.

The next scene is really weird, because it starts in our form room, and we get this little insight into the context of discussions that go on inside a year 9 classroom.

 Naomi and Carol were discussing boys, a subject that most people were keen to hear.

Yes, keen to hear, not discuss themselves. So, what, Naomi, Carol and maybe a few other girls sit around discussing boys, and all the boys lean in to listen? Determined, as they are, to hear admissions of love from said girls who are apparently completely oblivious to the fact that every ear in the room is tuned towards them? This isn’t just me speculating, this is literally what happens. I clearly wasn’t very astute in the subject of classroom gossip. We then all go to assembly, because…? I dunno, we have random assemblies some days and not every day.

As they filed into the assembly hall, Sean looked very closely at Naomi. Who was that nutter walking with her, talking to her, laughing with her…?

I know, right, Sean? This nutter even wrote this shitty story, and doesn’t even know what do with his life. Definitely has no game.

We’re introduced to Mr Ealing, the head of the school, who’s extremely grouchy, resigned to the worst, and seems not to care that one of his deputies is probably lying in a coma due to a briefcase-induced injury. As such, he seems to be rather more nonchalant about school rules.

“Good morning school,” he said. “I’d like to give a few announcements. Firstly, whoever graffitied the lockers in the science corridor, I’d like to ask them not to do it again.”

I love how polite he is about it.
“Forget discipline! I’m just going to negotiate with the briefcase-weilding psychopaths and physcopaths that inhabit this school, and really ask if they’d be so kind as to consider not doing such awful things…it upsets me. I’ll be very disappointed in them.”

He’d be a great God, wouldn’t he? Instead of the Ten Commandments, we get the Ten I-Really-Rather-You-Didn’ts.

To be fair, they probably graffitied the lockers to mark where they were. Not everyone can be next to the great and amazing Caleb.

Anyway, Mr Ealing has a slightly more important announcement to make.

“Secondly, there is a prom at the end of term[…]any student may come. There will be music and dancing. So it would be good to bring a dance partner.”

Just in case we didn’t know what to expect at a prom.

This whole set up is really bizarre though. In the United Kingdom, we tend to have school proms at the end of years 11 and 13 to signify the end of an era. Why the hell are they having a random prom at the end of term (established as the autumn term later on in the story) that’s open to every student? Obviously for plot conveniences, but if the school had this kind of money, they could probably invest it in having a better system for people finding their lockers, or compensation for teachers attacked by briefcases, or maybe to cover the lawsuits filed against them by angry parents and members of the community demanding to know why the school wasn’t aware of a case of child abuse while said child’s friends were.

Oh, and then there’s this.

“Thirdly, foreign mentoring will begin next week. Certain selected students from each year group will mentor a foreign student for the rest of term.”

Is this particular story line brought up again? Well, yes, and it actually comes to fruition a few chapters later. But seriously, you could remove everything to do with foreign mentoring from this story and you would miss NOTHING. I’m serious. We’ll get to it later.

The whole lot of us are buzzing about the prom, because we had no idea this would be dropped on us at a random moment, and Naomi and I have a tender moment.

“I will, of course, need a partner,” Naomi said, smiling at Toby.
“Ah,” Toby said, turning red, “well, to be honest, I don’t really…”
“Who’s going to tell?” Naomi asked him.

WHAT THE HELL IS SHE TALKING ABOUT? I’m really stumped. What was I even going to say that merits the response, ‘who’s going to tell?’

“To be honest, I don’t really have a penis.”
“To be honest, I don’t really know why I wrote this ridiculous story.”
“To be honest, I don’t really know what the bus money thing was about.”
“To be honest, I don’t really know the difference between loving you and wanting to bone you.”

But apparently this doesn’t bother Naomi, and she launches straight into talking about us going out, which of course I’m only too happy to agree to, and then Sean shows up.

“Excuse me Naomi,” he said, grabbed Toby and shoved him into a caretaker’s cupboard. He then followed, and locked the door behind them.

Absolutely love his response.
“Oh, a guy’s chatting up my sister, I must lock him in a cupboard and act like a rapist.”

Naomi’s reaction isn’t recorded. I really regret that.

It’s interesting though – in the face of adversity, I’m almost as calm and collected as my idol Caleb. Just take a look at this discussion between Sean and myself:

“Alright, Martin,” Sean growled. Toby put his hand up to stop him.
“Hold on,” he said, “my name’s not Martin.”
“But your surname is,” Sean snapped. “Now tell me, what are you doing with my sister?”
“Oh. She wanted to go out with me, and I wanted to go out with her so…”
“NO!!” Sean roared. “I mean what are you really planning? Have you got another girlfriend, like Whitney or some other year nine cow? And are you planning to dump her in the meanest way possible? Or perhaps you’ll just kidnap her in the middle of the night, tie her to a tree and rape her or…”
“Excuse me, Sean,” Toby interrupted. “I’m sorry, but you seem pretty traumatized. Did you once have a girlfriend who did that to you? I sincerely hope not.”

I don’t know what’s funnier – Sean’s actions or mine. On the one hand, his paranoia has gone into overdrive, but my reaction to is far too…I dunno, fatherly. I’m just like,
“Dude, calm down, everything’s fine.”
“No, it’s not! Keep you mediocre writing ability away from her, you twat, or I’ll dissect your spleen!”
“Sean, my son, you have to get through your past. I know you can never look at a briefcase the same way since the incident, but you’ll get through it!”
“How many other brick jokes are you planning to throw into this segment…?”
“…Fuck you, Sean.”

So, Sean threatens me to stay away from Naomi, or else, and I prepare to leave the cupboard, agreeing with him at least that the aforementioned Whitney is, indeed, a complete cow. Because I was too much of a prude to use the word bitch but not the word rape, so…

Is this an unfair assessment of this character we’ve never heard of before? Well, decide for yourself, she’s waiting for me outside.

 Whitney looked like a blond rugby player on steroids.

That has got to be the most unflattering description I think I’ve ever written of anyone. But don’t think poor Whitney’s alone…

Her friend was with her. Summer had a more fiery temper than Vesuvius.
“Am I cow too, huh?” she growled, cracking her knuckles.

I have to say, Whitney and Summer are probably the best characters in this story. I don’t know quite what kind of impression I was trying to create with them, but almost every single mention of them is incredibly entertaining – Whitney is probably supposed to be the stereotype of those bitchy clique girls you sometimes get in such awful teen sagas, but, as I’ve pointed out, her description is hardly glamorous, she’s no less obnoxious than our protagonists and she seems to have only one friend. But it’s Summer’s single-minded dedication to her that often fringes on violence that makes the two of them such a wonderful duo. There is a story in these two somewhere, I can just feel it. Maybe even a romance. Why not suggest something to me…?

Anyway, I end up running into Jack who informs me that Queenie has asked Caleb out. Well, given Caleb’s status in the story that’s hardly surprising. Jack is a little down about this, but then immediately brightens up when I mention that Carol’s still single. Because you know, girls are interchangeable like that. I also resolve to continue my relationship with Naomi, which is just as stale as every other relationship in this story (apart from Whitney and Summer’s!)

The chapter ends with Caleb, thoughts of Queenie going through him, arriving home to discover his family’s landlord there, IMPLYING THAT YET ANOTHER DIRE STORYLINE IS GOING TO BE HEAPED ON CALEB THE MAGNIFICENT.

Well, maybe the next post will come tomorrow, maybe it won’t. Either way, I hope you enjoyed this post, leave a comment or whatever, and I’ll see you next time…

 

That Life Commentary – Chapters Two & Three

So, upon discovering how short the second chapter of That Life ended up being, I decided to put it in the same post as the third. This might be repeated later on, as I’m just getting reminders of how short my chapters were back then – the word count for That Life is around 17,000, which I think might be a similar length to individual chapters in more recent works. Incredible how such things work isn’t it? Sort of…

These next few chapters aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things, but probably include some of the most cringe-worthy moments. To analyse how I much I used to descend into madness, let’s take a gander – Chapter Two: Childline.

So, when we last left off, Caleb, the suave and magnificent, had been given a detention much to his distress. We’re not yet informed on the reason for his distress, but…well…

He attempts to give Mr Mothman the slip, in which the narration informs us that he is the assistant head, along with another teacher called Ms McGriffin. Given the lack of such a position at this school, I’m presuming I meant that these two were both deputy heads, but in this school, it would appear a lot of things are interchangeable. Psychopaths can be called ‘psychos’ or ‘physcos.’ His attempts to avoid Mr Mothman fail however.

Caleb swore repeatedly under his breath as he followed him down the corridor.

Caleb is already the most foul-mouthed character in this story, but we’ve never actually seen him utter any particular piece of profanity. As I was perhaps more of a prude as a 13-year-old, this is an unfortunate and rather persistent tool whenever characters need to express themselves. They do so with the narrative telling us that the characters have indeed sworn, just so we know. But our delicate little ears (or eyes, rather, as this is not an audio book) are saved from having to experience such fucking language.

If this were an audio book, the only narrator to do it justice would be Tommy Wiseau.

“OH HAI TOBY, CAN I BORROW YOUR HISTORY NOTES, HUUUUHHHH??”

If you don’t know who I’m talking about, I’m ashamed of you…

Then there’s this really strange sentence…

Aiden and Russell were already there.

Were Aiden and Russell really content to be told what to do and stay where they were, WHILST MR MOTHMAN WAS OUT OF THE ROOM?? Now, later on, we do see they had a nefarious motive, but…well, I’ll get to that in a bit.

“You three need to learn respect,” Mr Mothman said, turning round to reach a piece of paper.

Well, that’s a pretty nonchalant way of putting it, don’t you think? Now, I’m not ashamed to admit that my knowledge of detentions is pretty limited, having had possibly only one in my life. This does raise the question though of what Mr Mothman actually had in mind for them – was he going to have a little origami session, and show them how to make symbols of peace? There are all sorts of interesting possibilities, as these detentions take place in his office, so maybe he’s got a blood-feather quill like Umbridge, or perhaps he’s just hankering for a good time. This is Caleb we’re talking about after all.

We never actually get to find out what riveting detention Mr Mothman had in mind though, because Aiden has other plans.

Here comes a contender for the most narmful scene in the entire story. Brace yourselves…

“Now!” Aiden mouthed to Russell, who handed him Mr Mothman’s heavy briefcase. He waited for the assistant head to turn back, and then he swung it round with all his strength. It hit the teacher in the face and he was out cold.

How absolutely horrifically glorious. You can just picture it in slow motion, can’t you? Complete with the soundtrack from Chariots Of Fire, as the briefcase swings in an arc as it comes around to face Mr Mothman, and as it makes contact, the music changes to a swelling choir, and we get to see, in exquisite detail with the speed of the film (yes) slowed down as much as it can, as the camera zooms in, the droplets of blood and the occasional dislodged tooth covered in the scenery he chewed in the last chapter that come flying out of his mouth, resolutely formed in the perfect shape to make an ‘ow’ sound. And then he collapses to the floor.

Yes, I actually wrote this. But in my defence…I WAS THIRTEEN. 😦

But now I’m older and wiser, let’s analyse this scene, shall we?

  1. As pointed out earlier, Aiden and Russell had ample time to give Mr Mothman the slip. Was it really necessary to plan something quite that malicious? I suppose it does go to show how unhinged Aiden is, which, even then, was my intention, so…
  2. Why the hell did Mr Mothman even leave Aiden and Russell alone? In his office? WITH HIS BRIEFCASE CONTAINING MANY OF HIS VALUABLE BELONGINGS? This man has a serious death-wish. Either that or he was distracted by fantasising overtly about the origami he would teach them.
  3. Why did Aiden need Russell to pass him the briefcase? Couldn’t he have just situated himself nearer it?
  4.  Why did Aiden wait until Mr Mothman had turned BACK AROUND to strike him? Surely a blow to the back of the head would be enough, and possibly more effective, not to mention he’d never know what hit him.
  5. How much force do you need to knock someone out purely through blunt trauma? That could easily have caused him some serious damage.
  6. Why not knock Caleb out too? If he’s pissed you off enough, you might as well…
  7. WHY A BRIEFCASE?

The best part of all of this is that Caleb is completely unperturbed by having just witnessed a vicious, brutal assault. He’s just glad for the opportunity to skip this detention.

As soon as Aiden and Russell were out of the door, Caleb stood up and went to open the door. But it wouldn’t open. Somehow, Aiden had shut him in.

Somehow is the word alright – surely such doors are only locked from the outside via a key. If Aiden’s got a set of school keys, then all hell is about to break loose. But why lock Caleb and Mr Mothman in anyway? Is he trying to make it look as though Caleb locked Mr Mothman and himself in with the teacher unconscious and helpless to defend himself against the wicked things Caleb was planning to do…?

Well, why not? Caleb’s already established himself as being very GUTSY and DARING, I wouldn’t put it past him…

Caleb escapes through the window after breaking the glass in order to open it. Firstly, why is everything in this school built so you can only open it from the outside? Secondly, he uses MR MOTHMAN’S BRIEFCASE TO BREAK IT OPEN! How utterly insolent a disregard to someone’s property. Not to mention it’s probably also covered in blood, and Caleb doesn’t think to call an ambulance, and leaves Mr Mothman lying unconscious via blunt trauma in a locked room.

But of course, he’s in a hurry.

We then get this really bizarre sequence with our old friend, Ruth. She’s on her way home, thinking about Ian’s impending departure and how she feels about it. We get this incredibly weird insight into it…

Surely it was natural of her to be upset, but this was cutting it a bit fine wasn’t it?

First of all, that should be ‘natural for her’ and secondly, what…? She’s confused about how upset she is? She even compares her level of distress to that of Jack and I, who make a cameo in this chapter, walking home, and acting:

…their ordinary – idiotic but likeable – selves.

Now, apart from the fact that this was an obvious attempt to express the fact that Jack and I were mostly definitely likeable (something that flies in the face of most of evidence of this story), but can I point out that we don’t seem to care about Caleb’s issues in this story, despite the fact that we obviously know. So Ruth really shouldn’t compare our distress to anyone’s, because we’re clearly detached sociopaths.

But who compares how upset they are to anyone else? (Apart from me?) It’s a strange measuring stick to determine how much you want to bang someone compared to everyone else, but it seems to be the one that Ruth keeps on going back to in later stages of this story. Why don’t her thought processes emphasise something else? Obviously going into detail to describe the physical attractive attributes of a male character would contravene my super injunction not be something I’d be particularly adept at, but I could have at least referred to the positive aspects of Ian’s currently non-existent personality. Perhaps I was just very set on the idea of soul-mates at the time.

One more thing about Ruth – throughout this entire weird unresolved sexual tension thing between her and Ian, we almost never get an insight into Ian’s thoughts on this – it’s always Ruth’s. This was, I believe, my first attempt to write romance, and what we see of it is almost entirely one-sided.

I think that says it all, really.

Oh, and if Tommy Wiseau was narrating Ruth’s inner monologue, it would probably go something like this:
“YOU ARE TEARING ME APART, IAN!!!”

So, we cut back to Caleb, and it’s revealed that he needed to be home to look after his nine-year-old brother, Kent. Not only is that a completely stupid name, but one has to wonder why their mother can’t do a better job than him at defending Kent from their abusive stepfather.

Oh yes, I went there. Obviously it’s natural for Caleb to want to stick with his family when they have a tyrant controlling them, but such a built-up was done very clumsily.

But not nearly as much as the actual scene demonstrating the abuse. Because I want to maintain some of pride, I’m not going to show it, except to make another point of Caleb continuing to be an incredibly irritating badass even as his stepfather attacks him.

“Well there goes my tooth,” Caleb thought as he fell to the floor.

I can’t even…we’re just going to completely ignore that bit, OK? A bit like we do to Nigel Farage, or copyright policy.

As Caleb’s stepfather turns to attack Caleb’s mother, Caleb finds the opportunity to go to the phone to ring childline.

OW. This plothole is so bad it’s physically hurting me. OW.

So, with his stepfather as constantly distracted as he is, why didn’t he do this before? Why didn’t any of them do this before? They obviously can’t be that scared of him if Caleb’s willing to crack jokes in his head and just go and call at first notice. Hell, why did he even need to use a handset, why didn’t he ring them on his mobile? I mean, the fact that he didn’t ring an ambulance for Mr Mothman could imply that he doesn’t have one, but then why didn’t he just tell Mr Mothman, or indeed any other teacher, about what was going on, and then he wouldn’t have to commit vandalism on his poor teacher’s window, when said poor teacher is probably in a coma. And most importantly…Jack and I knew perfectly well what was going on. And we didn’t do a thing about it. WE ARE COLD-HEARTED BASTARDS.

And that’s where the second chapter ends, but as promised, I’ll also do the third chapter here. It probably won’t take long, as it’s mostly filler, but does introduce a few concepts and characters that will become important later (yes, I know I already have too many). It was my opportunity to relish in destroying a pet peeve of mine. One of my least favourite lessons at school – PE. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s take a look at Chapter Three: Sport is not for me.

We actually get an opening from Naomi (remember her? The girl I wanted to bang) wandering around the corridors of what is referred to as Queen’s Park Comprehensive, although this is apparently a case of early instalment weirdness that I never ironed out. You see, I later decided that the story was set somewhere in London, and so determined that the school would be called Hyde Park Comprehensive, but never changed that earlier reference.

Her eyes glared enviously at a year 10 girl snogging her boyfriend passionately.

I love how it’s left ambiguous as to whether the boyfriend was snogging back, or whether he was in fact completely unconscious after having been knocked out with a briefcase and his girlfriend is just insatiable. I should also point out that this couple is never actually referenced again, and so this isn’t any specific jealousy, but rather general sexual frustration. Now just calm down, Naomi. I know this is a tricky time for you all, but that’s why they invented masturbation. She interrogates her brother on this matter, sounding immensely bratty in the process:

 “Every girl here, apart from a few year 7s seem to have boyfriends,” she said. “Everyone except me.”

Doesn’t look as though this school has a lesbian community. My heart is sad.

Sean points out that he doesn’t want Naomi to get hurt by the antics of some loser boyfriend, to which Naomi points out he intervenes even when she’s just chatting with any boy, and Sean drops a little bombshell about his and Naomi’s deceased father, who had a personality disorder that’s left ambiguous, which led to the neglect of his children, to which Sean developed his overly protective nature of Naomi. Well, good for the 13-year-old me to try and flesh out these characters more, but again, all this abuse does feel kind of pulled out of nowhere.

Naomi points out that now things are fine, and they have a great stepdad, and so Sean agrees he’ll loosen his hold over her a little. How touching. Just a shame he forgets that one chapter later. But we’ll deal with that when it comes.

Ian, Jack and I are on our way to a double PE lesson whilst complaining about it, when it suddenly occurs to us that we haven’t seen Caleb all day. Oh, well done us. Ian makes some off-hand comment that I take the wrong way, and a passing teacher, presumably missing the precursor, finds our bickering quite amusing.

“Child abuse is no laughing matter,” the three boys muttered in unison.

You know what? I completely agree with you guys. And as we’re agreed on this matter, perhaps you could have DONE SOMETHING ABOUT IT? Like, how busy were you that you couldn’t have told a teacher about what was going on? Or even taken the time to call bloody childline yourselves? If Caleb can manage it WHILST IN THE SAME ROOM AS HIS ABUSER, then it would have been QUITE SIMPLE. Of course, Caleb is the personification of perfection in this story, but still…

Turns out though, that Caleb is completely fine, and he comes to join us, informing us of what he did. This raises the question as to why the school didn’t get involved or why there isn’t an investigation as to why nobody seemed to know about this, but…yeah, anyway…

Also, I’d like to point out the lack of realism in my friendship group consisting of three other boys. I mean, how ridiculous.

Oh, and now for the best character description that I think exists in this story…

…Mr Cork, the 2-metre-tall PE teacher with a moustache that could be used to clean a floor.

LOVE IT.

Mr Cork wants us to do a game of rounders, boys vs. girls, much to our chagrin, but makes the mistake of leaving us to it. Surely hi-jinks will ensue.

The first up to bat was Kurt Smith, who was the top athlete in year 9. Blond-haired, blue-eyed, lean, muscly and a complete idiot. You would have thought his looks would have attracted plenty of girls, but no sensible girl would fall for someone who couldn’t rub two brain cells together.

OK, I was definitely working through some personal issues here.

I mean…wow. There’s absolutely nothing subtle about this at all. I was literally saying, “Here’s an attractive, muscular, sporty guy. In other words, he’s nothing like me. YOU MUST HATE HIM.” I even wanted to make that point that he wasn’t very intelligent, but, considering I wrote this, that’s probably something we had in common. Not to mention the fact that Kurt does basically nothing for the rest of the story. He’s literally just here to be hated. And the narration continues to support this – he breaks the first ball he’s bowled and hits the other one literally out of sight. Soon everyone’s chanting for him to sit out.

“Oh but I can stay. All the girls want me to stay!” Kurt said, completely wrongly. He didn’t seem to realise he was the most unpopular boy in Year 9. He lifted his arms and the air was soon filled with the awful stench of his B.O.

Oh Christ, let’s move on.

Unfortunately the very next scene is Caleb-worshipping.

Caleb, being quite good-looking himself, winked at the bowler. Her body practically melted and she threw the ball and it fell short.

“Oh, sorry guys! I’ve just spent many months being abused by my stepdad but finally am free from it, no thanks to these losers. I guess I’m just far too relieved to turn off my weird Creator’s Pet-Mary Sue-suave-daring-gutsy-cool-badass-incubus-style powers!!”

This poor bowler is going to need resuscitation.

Anyway, we go through several more batters, until up comes Ryan Head, a character briefly mentioned near the beginning of this chapter. He is just described then as a boy in our form group, but this next scene with him reveals a little something that becomes the mainstay of a lot of the coming plot.

“I’ve got the stuff!” he declared.
“No you haven’t imbecile!” Jack retorted.
“Says the person who walked directly into his lockers yesterday!” Ryan snapped.
“Oi you…” Jack started, but then couldn’t think of a very good comeback, so he was quiet. Ryan hit the ball quite hard, and started sprinting round.
“Hah!” he called. “I told you I’ve got the…” and then he ran straight into a base. Everyone laughed and Jack muttered,
“Lightweight.”
“I heard that!” Ryan snapped.

Ignoring, if you will, the fact that Ryan snaps twice, there’s absolutely no reason given for Jack and Ryan’s rivalry in this chapter. Later, it becomes a pronounced rivalry over the affections of girls, but here, there’s none of that. No motive whatsoever, unless of course it’s belligerent sexual tension…

Not much else noteworthy happens, apart from Ian taking off his shirt as he runs around the bases, literally describing it as ‘something for the ladies.’ Ian, you’re a whore, but at least you’re showing Ruth what she’ll miss once you bugger off to America.

The chapter ends with it starting to rain and their lesson getting cancelled.

Well, as this actually went on for longer than I anticipated, I think I’ll just stick with doing one chapter per post. The next one, again, should hopefully be coming tomorrow, and the chapter is entitled, ‘Love And Lessons,’ in which my romantic writing gets even worse. Intrigued? Well, join me tomorrow, and let me know what you thought, and yeah…all of that rubbish…

 

That Life Commentary – Chapter One

So, since my last post, a lot has happened. Most of it bad.

I’m sure you’re all now familiar with the drastic mistake the UK made on the 23rd June to leave the EU (not me though, I made sure I voted remain) and everything since then has pretty much descended into chaos. Not only is the pound dropping, the world’s single largest economy is getting annoyed with us, Scotland are threatening to leave to a brighter future, the Labour party is imploding and now we have to choose which Conservative wingnut will lead us next. It’s worrying that I’m considering Theresa May, infamous for her rather imperialistic approach to refugees, the best option at the moment, considering the other options for Tory leadership are Michael I-hate-teachers Gove, a firm Brexit supporter despite everything that’s happening, Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary that believes in homeopathy and seems to be dedicated to slowly torturing our NHS to death, and Stephen Crabb, a NARTH-wannabe who claims he can cure homosexuality.

Yeah, not looking too promising.

On top of that, my own future at university is looking pretty uncertain. Everyone has told me not to worry, but I’m having nagging doubts, which is why I’m making sure different options are covered. It’s going to delay the writing of my novel too. -_-

So, I’ve decided to do a little something that might improve my mood somewhat. Take a look at a frankly terrible old story of mine.
Casting my mind back all the way to my days of Year 9, I frankly didn’t have much to complain about. OK, so I complained a lot, but at least, y’know. EU.
Anyway, in Year 9, I was very much an enthusiastic writer, and had even bonded the previous year over writing with someone whom I now consider my closest friend. Let’s call him Jack Fenton, because that’s his name. You can also follow his blog here, but that’s probably surplus to the viewer’s he got, so make sure you let everyone know that I sent you, alright…?
The kind of writing we bonded over was a little series of mine called Fred Toast, which was this zany comedy series were everyone had food as a surname. There were many wacky hi-jinks in the series, and some of the humour even actually stands up to scrutiny today. I had a lot of fun writing that, and Jack also started to write some stuff of his own, and it was around that time when our attentions turned to more serious works. As you can imagine, at the wise age of 13 (he might even have been 12 at the time), we didn’t quite get people or what made for a decent story, but unfortunately we thought we did. What was more, this was our attempt to prove the world that we actually understood and could interact with ordinary, decent people. Suffice to say, it did end up coming across as wish fulfilment a lot of the time – Jack started writing an interesting story that he named ‘This Life’ (a working title I’m sure) dedicated around the school life of a girl called Katie, and her friends, which included the two of us. Fascinated by this concept, I, with his permission, wrote a similar kind of story, but one that deviated quite considerably with what was going in Jack’s. For starters, I actually finished mine. For another thing, I think we can both agree (he can argue me on this point, I don’t mind) I was a little more focused on steering the plot, although given our pretty poor writing abilities at the time, this wasn’t saying much. Because Jack’s story was called ‘This Life,’ I, unable to think of a title (something that still haunts me to this day) jokingly christened mine, ‘That Life.’ And…the name stuck.

But looking back on this does actually give me hope – it’s so profoundly and hilariously bad that it does astound me that I was able to improve as much as I have. People keep on telling me about my talents for certain areas of my writing, something I certainly didn’t have at this age, and many more are encouraging me to keep writing. Furthermore, this story does exemplify the enormity of the loneliness I experienced at this age, incapable as I was to interact with people and make friends, which is why, in the story, me and Jack are characters who DO have friends. This is no longer such a problem, and it does make me pleased that there are many friendships and relationships I have today that far outstrip what is portrayed in this story.

So, what is the story of That Life? Well, it’s a little unfocused, due to my attempt to include a whole tonne of subplots, but on the face of it, it’s a primarily school-set teen romantic drama. Not exactly what most 13-year-old boys write about, but back then I was well on my way to embracing my inner girl. For the next few posts, if I can manage it, we will be exploring, chapter by chapter, the absolutely biblical failure that is this story. Starting with Chapter One: The States.

“Hey!” came a voice up the corridor.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is LITERALLY the first line. Oh, we’re off to a good start.

I’m the one being addressed in this by my friend Ian (already this is unrealistic). What does he want with me?

“Can I borrow some of your history notes? I’ve got an assessment on Monday.”
Toby sighed.
“Why does everyone ask me for history notes?” he asked. Ian shrugged.
“Can I borrow them?”
Toby took the notes he had written down in his last history lesson and gave them to Ian.

I should point out that this positively riveting story-line we’ve opened with is never brought up again, like quite a few things mentioned actually. And whilst we’re on the subject, shall we point out the few glaring problems in this particular scenario?

  1. Why is he telling me that he personally has got an assessment on Monday? Why don’t we both have it? Perhaps we’re in different History groups, but it’s unlikely we’d be doing different assessments, and if so…
  2. Why does he assume my history notes are going to help if we’re not even doing the same history work…? Even Ian doesn’t seem to know why people always want my history notes.
  3. Why can’t he use his own bloody history notes? If the lazy bastard does have an assessment on Monday, he shouldn’t be relying on me to get his work done for him, especially if we’re not doing the same history.
  4. Won’t I be needing my history notes from the last lesson in the next lesson?
  5. How exactly am I carrying my history notes? If this character with my name is anything like the real me, they’ll probably be in some massive messy pile somewhere in my bag, so giving him the notes would not be that damn simple. All the narration says is that I ‘took’ them. From where? The inside of my undergarments? From thin air? Did I summon them with a Summoning Charm or a Summoning Jutsu?
  6. WHY DOES EVERYONE WANT MY BLOODY HISTORY NOTES?? Maybe I really do keep them in my undergarments and everyone just wants that smell…

Actually, I think I can answer number 6. Back in year 9, my best subject was history, and it was a matter of pride, I think, considering I had little else going for me. This was just me on an ego trip.

So, Ian thanks me, but then gets distracted by the random appearance of another character by the name of Ruth. This early in, and I’ve already introduced a female character? Things must have been looking up. Ruth isn’t given any proper introduction, but I’m glad for the lack of tired exposition, and I leave the two of them to chat.

Toby went over to his locker. Caleb was there too as his locker was right next to Toby’s.

Well, thanks for that handy floor-plan, I would have been lost and disorientated in this completely featureless school if it wasn’t for the information that Caleb and I’s lockers were next to each other.

And here’s the introduction of Caleb…oh Lordy Lord.

An interesting thing that I find about That Life is that, while it’s clearly a self-insert story (name and everything!) I don’t big myself up that much. It’s all in omniscient third-person, and I’m not even the protagonist. There’s no real protagonist to this story as it happens, it jumps around a lot between the characters, but you’d think I’d give myself something distinctive, other than being good at history, which as I’ve already pointed out is never brought up again. I could be the dark and brooding character, who was very street-smart and resourceful and all the girls adored. But no – I gave that distinction to Caleb. Quite why I created this character to be hero-worshipped and why I loved him so much, I really don’t know. I’ll tell you something, I don’t like him any more…

We discuss the possibility of Ian and Ruth being an item, or at least interested in each other, to which Caleb tells me that Ian’s actually moving to California in a few weeks’ time, and that we’ll find out before then about Ian and Ruth’s feelings for each other, as either will be reluctant to leave, presumably. Well, I’m glad we’re playing this sadistic game with our friends’ love lives as supposed to making them confront their feelings…which also brings up the question as to why Ian hasn’t bothered telling the rest of us, or even why his history assessment on Monday should matter…but I don’t have time to digest the news, as it’s time for yet more character introductions! Yes, because Jack’s in this story too.

“Watch out,” he muttered. “Something wicked this way comes!” He was right. Just a few moments later, Aiden Gorse swaggered up the corridor, flanked by his crony, Russell, his younger brother in Year 10.

Just in case we were left in any doubt about who this story’s villain was. Using words such as ‘swaggered’ and ‘crony’. Although having just one crony seems a little pathetic don’t you think? Even more embarrassing when that crony’s your little brother. Draco Malfoy managed to gain two heavy-weights before he even arrived at school! One of them later did turn into a psychotic nutjob, but that’s besides the point.

Caleb, showing his incredible ability to be the more ‘edgy’ and ‘dark’ of our friends here (was I hiding some inner desires when I conceived him?) decides to piss Aiden off by calling him the ‘resident physco of Year 11’ because apparently my spelling was a little off then too, which is really rather embarrassing. But not nearly as embarrassing as calling him something so ridiculous. Aiden somehow takes offence, in the most stereotypical manner possible.

“What did you say to me runt?” he demanded, pushing Caleb up against the lockers.
“Just stated a fact,” Caleb replied, causally (or casually as you can when you’re being held up against lockers by someone two years above you) and added the worst insult he could think of.

This insult is left ambiguous, but knowing Caleb’s eloquent and armour-piercing artillery of pejoratives, it’s probably something like, ‘you git.’ Oh, and did you take note of how suave and cool Caleb is? He was so unfazed by being held against the lockers. WHAT A REBEL!

I hate this character so much.

Anyway, Aiden and Caleb get into a fight (LOOK HOW GUTSY CALEB IS) and next comes probably the most realistic scene in this chapter…

“Time we intervened methinks,” Jack whispered to Toby. He nodded and they both walked forward. But Russell wasn’t going to be left out of this. He slammed his fist into Toby’s stomach and kneed Jack in the groin.

This would be exactly what happened if Jack and I ever attempted to intervene in a fight. I’m glad I decided to utilise our uselessness. The next scene is even funnier:

“WHAT’S THIS?!” roared a voice. Mr Mothman was marching up the corridor. He stood with his hands on his hips and surveyed the scene: Aiden was standing with his fist raised, preparing to smack Caleb in the jaw. Caleb’s leg was raised to take a wild kick at Aiden, but he was sporting a bloody nose. Russell was standing guiltily near Toby and Jack, who were both doubled up in pain.

I don’t know what part of this is funnier: the fact that there’s a teacher called Mr Mothman, the fact that he’s looking at our scrap with HIS HANDS ON HIS HIPS. Is he going to give us a sassy rebuke?
“Oh, NO you DIDN’T!”
Or it might be the fact that Caleb is frozen with his leg raised to kick Aiden. Is he just standing there one leg? How soon until he topples over, perhaps into his locker to remind him that his locker is definitely right next to mine (seriously, did I have a crush on this character I created…?). Or maybe it’s just another reminder that Jack and I are COMPLETELY USELESS. And actually, why is Russell looking so guilty? “Oh, sorry, I didn’t realise you guys were made of paper, and you can’t handle even the slightest touch or else you’ll die.”

So, Mr Mothman takes us all to his office where he lets Jack and I go as all we did is get beaten up, but gives Aiden, Russell and Caleb an hour’s detention after school. At this, Caleb panics, asking if he can do it another time, but Mr Mothman refuses. To be completely fair, this was at least an early show of mildly competent writing, in that I don’t immediately Caleb’s reasons for his panicking. But trust me, come the next chapter, you’ll wish it stayed that way…

The story then cuts to Ian and Ruth walking to their next lesson, at which point Ian decides to drop the bombshell of him moving to California on her. Neither of them seem to have a clue how to react to this…just take my word for it, it’s as weird as hell, but was actually my attempt to build up romantic tension. We’ll continue with that thrilling story-line later on…

Caleb later meets up with Jack and I, very angry with being given a detention, and our reactions imply we know exactly what’s upsetting him about this. He blames Aiden for getting him into this (but really Caleb, you shouldn’t have been so suave and edgy) at which point we get yet another couple of character introductions.

“Aiden giving you grief?” came a voice behind them. They turned round to see Sean Adams, who was in Aiden’s form. 
“I wish I could dissect his spleen,” Sean muttered angrily.

Oh yes, that burning desire we all have to do to people we don’t like…? In all fairness, this does sound like something I would say. Maybe Sean just had dissection on his mind, having just had a very revealing biology lesson.

“And I saw this little Year 7 kid smoking that same stuff he does,” said Naomi, Sean’s younger sister in Year 9 who Sean was immensely protective of.

Well, that was clumsy character exposition. That being said, I obviously wanted to make sure that the audience knew the relationship between these characters – it’s just an informed trait now, but it definitely becomes more important later, as do both of these characters. How so? Well, let’s see…

Ian joins us and informs us that he told Ruth about him leaving and doesn’t know how to take her reaction because he’s a total idiot. Jack then protests that nobody told him, and then we get this…

“Did I tell you Toby?” he [Ian] asked. Toby didn’t reply. 
“Toby?” 
“Hmm…?” Toby replied who was looking in the direction Naomi had just walked in. He turned back to his friends. 
“Oh sorry. Yeah, Caleb told me.”

Oh, and so it starts! My brewing creepy obsession with Naomi Adams, and a major plot point in the story that steers my character arc. If you can call it that – how will this develop? How will Ian and Ruth’s romance develop? What will happen when Caleb has his detention? Will Rose and Rosie ever reply to my tweets? Well, that’s the end of the chapter, so we’ll have to wait until the next post to get some of those answers. My commentary of the next chapter should come tomorrow, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

I have to admit, this was a lot of fun. It’s quite enjoyable pointing out why rubbish is rubbish and being safe in the knowledge that I am not as rubbish as this anymore. I hope you enjoyed it, leave a comment with your thoughts and I hope to see you next time…?