That Life II Commentary – Chapter 2

Fictional characters have always fascinated me, and I can’t be alone in that.

I’m not just talking about the obvious intrigue for those who love shipping and violently attack those who don’t like their favourite pairings (maybe more on that another time), but also the obvious intrigue to authors, who can ruthlessly torture their creations for the greater good, or weep for them when they themselves turn their paths sour. I bring this up because by this time into the That Life saga, I was seeing my characters less as tools and more as people that I cared for. How could I care for such bland personalities? Well, they were gradually becoming less bland and I think that may have contributed to it. The more substance you give, the more real a character becomes, until eventually you’re starting to wonder if all will see a character journey this way. As we know, a lot of characters are open to alternate interpretations…

But don’t worry – although I share this particular bit of information, this next chapter isn’t as profound yet…there’s still plenty to make fun of, so let’s dive in. Chapter Two: Badly Tuned.

Amber opened her eyes. Then she remembered it was the first day of her new school and she closed them again.

In all fairness, I think I’ve captured the attitude present in us both then and now when we have to get up pretty accurately. This recognition of basic human emotions is a good sign, and probably started with my attempt to direct a narrative through a protagonist. In many ways, Amber is more of an Author Avatar than my actual Author Avatar…

Eventually Yeti comes and wakes her, and on the subject of alternate character interpretations, we get this delightful line.

But Yeti’s wake-up call had certainly stimulated her.

Now, Amber, stop it. Yeti won’t appreciate what you attempt to do to him, because you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Amber’s in quite the grumpy mood, but what really pisses her off is how ridiculous her uniform is. Am I gender stereotyping here? No, probably not – first off, I’m very sensitive to ridiculous looking clothes, and secondly, we helpfully don’t get a description of whatever she’s wearing. It’s the Hyde Park uniform, and most of our main characters will be wearing it for a lot of the story, so I’ll leave it to your imagination as to just what it looks like.

They’re 14 at the oldest, you pervs…

This next line is great…

Angrily, she marched into the kitchen, grabbed a piece of un-toasted bread, and walked out.

She’s expressing her anger through defying toast! Genius, Amber, that’ll bring down ISIS!

The defiance of toast sadly doesn’t last that long…

As she walked to the bus stop she noticed a pigeon following her.
“Have it your way,” she grunted at it, and threw it the bread.

The entire slice? So now she’s overfeeding pigeons, despite being established as one who gets on better with animals than humans…yeah, I’m starting to see why this girl has been expelled so often. If she’s prepared to kill pigeons, God knows what she’ll do to her fellow students…

Oh wait! We found out in this chapter. Great.

Amber’s still pretty sore about getting the bus, and it seems that even I was getting fed up of her constant internal complaining. Take a look at the rather fierce bluntness of this sentence.

Eventually the bus came and she got on it.

Thanks for not over-complicating things. I wouldn’t have enjoyed a scene where Amber glared at the bus driver, screamed quite loudly how nobody understands her, and pull him forcibly from the vehicle because only she understands the buses, and ends up driving all the way to Bournemouth to have a go at me for writing this. I’ll probably not get out of it alive.

Eventually, some other Hyde Park students join her, and in the true sequel fashion, we actually get physical descriptions of characters from the previous story before they are named.

On came a girl with long fair hair and talking animatedly to her friend, who had long dark hair.

I mean, it’s less of a physical description as so much as the briefest profile we could probably get, implying that the only physical difference between the two of them is their hair colour, but y’know…

Also, if you’re not sure who these two are…there’s no reason you should. This is probably the first physical description I’ve given these characters. They are in fact Ruth (the girl who spent too much time moping over her not-quite boyfriend’s departure to America) and Naomi, the girl who wanted to bang me but had a brother with a sister complex, respectively. What role will they have to play in this story? Only I will tell…

A few more people joined the bus afterwards. The girls seemed to know them, and began talking to them as well. Amber knew that some of them were talking about her. Well, they would, wouldn’t they?

“OMG! Have you seen the new protagonist?”
“She seems to be mildly psychotic…”
“She’ll fit right in with us then!”

So the party arrives at the school and Amber is determined not to go to her lessons for as long as she can help it…well, until…

“You lost?”
Amber looked up. It was the fair haired girl who had greeted her on the bus. She nodded.

Isn’t a little counterproductive to stay lost by admitting you’re lost? Just wondering…

It seems we finally get a new side to Ruth though. Rather than spending the entire book pining after Ian because America was calling him, she gets to be…well, mildly nice and helpful, and willing to open up to this weird little whatever.

As luck would have it, she’s in the same form group as our heroes. Amber dislikes the noisy form room, so goes to sit on her own.

We then get a change of perspective completely out of nowhere.

Sean ambled into his form room, thinking about sixth forms.

Come on Sean, do you have to interrupt? I guess this is your idea of trying to make up for being a near enough stalker in the last story, trying to add some layer to your character by the NEXT BIG TRANSITION IN YOUR LIFE. But why is he ambling? Did somebody dissect his spleen?

Sean thinks that a college in Hammersmith might be his best option academically, but true to his small number of character traits, he’s too worried about leaving Naomi.

But presumably he won’t be boarding there, that’s more of a uni thing, right? So, he’s so paranoid, he needs to be in the same building as Naomi every single day? He really hasn’t changed at all…oh, character development, where art thou?

Also, why is the Hammersmith college the best option academically? Now I may be wrong, but colleges tend to be more vocational, whereas sixth forms tend to be academic. Unless he meant a sixth form college, but it’s already established in a previous line the Hyde Park Comprehensive does in fact have a sixth form (although we never seen any of the sixth formers), so, what’s wrong with the academic nature of that?

Like I really need to ask! The teachers are shit…

Anyway, Sean decides to discuss his problems with Alexis, a girl in his class briefly introduced in the last chapter of the previous story, setting up another very obvious romantic subplot.

We then return to Amber, or at least, her classmates’ opinions of her.

Ruth went and sat down next to Naomi.
“What’s her name?” she asked.
“Amber.”
“Oh. She didn’t seem very happy.”
“No. She says that moving schools isn’t new for her.”

Well…it’s less malicious than it could have been, but I think it’s very true to these guys’ minimal characters that all they do is gossip – remember, in the last story, hearing girls talk about boys was a bloody spectator sport.

We then get a line from Caleb (THE SUAVE AND MAGNIFICENT, THE WONDROUS CREATION WHO I DEFIED ANYONE AT THE TIME TO NOT BOW BEFORE HIS SHEER AWESOMENESS, BUT NOW IS REALLY SUE-ISH, CONTRIVED AND FUCKING ANNOYING).

“Just until Amber settles in, we need to keep her away from Whitney.”

Well, that’s homophobic.

I’m joking of course. In the absence of Aiden the terror, Whitney finally seems to be living up the reputation she’s designated in these stories, rather than just being the butt of everyone’s jokes. We all know who remains the butt of the jokes though…

“Right,” Toby agreed. “So, where is Whitney?”
Whitney was already marching towards Amber.
“Nicely handled,” Jack growled.

Oh, I doubt I’ll ever get tired of this double act…

Whitney leaned over Amber’s desk and got right into her face.
“Watchadoin’?” she asked, loudly.

Into her face? That sounds…erotic…is she trying to make Summer jealous now? I hope they repair their relationship soon…

Why am I shipping two characters from a story I’m not even writing any more, and for good reason…?

Amber tries her hardest to ignore Whitney, and so Whitney goes straight on the offensive.

“I bet you’re one of those types who never washes,” Whitney continued.

Where the hell did that come from? That has got to be the most bland playground insult I have ever heard. Couldn’t she be slightly more creative than that…? Her heart’s obviously full of grief for fear of losing Summer.

“I can smell you from here. You’re such a-”
SMACK.
Amber had finally flipped and had punched Whitney hard round the face. Shocked, Whitney stumbled, and fell, knocking a desk over.

Oh great. Starting as I mean to go on!

A few things though…

  1. Whitney is right in Amber’s face (or into?). The fact that she can smell her from there is hardly surprising, whether she washes or not.
  2. Finally flipped? Whitney barely said more than two things. Although this seems to reflect what we know about Amber quite well.
  3. Too many commas.
  4. Is that the first use of onomatopoeia in these stories? Intriguing…
  5. I’m once again really curious to see what Whitney was going to say before she got cut off.
    “You’re such a ridiculous choice for a protagonist.”
    “You’re such a violent young woman, what the hell is the deal with that?”
    “You’re such a friend to the animals, your dog stimulates you in the morning.”
    Or even…
    “You’re such a beautiful, amazing girl and I want you.” (Only in an attempt at making Summer jealous, of course…

But hey, she may not have needed to, because…

Summer, who seemed to exist to do Whitney’s bidding, marched angrily over.

Aww, bless her!

She was about to start a fight when Mrs Marsh came in, and she stopped.

I don’t see why. That teacher seems completely oblivious to any scenes of violence that take place under her watch.

“Breaktime near the Music room. Be there,” Summer growled in her ear.

That was mildly suggestive…are they going to have a threesome with Whitney…?

No, of course she means a fight, because apparently people have to arrange such things. Amber is quite pleased about this, because not only can she let out her aggression, but it means she’s more likely to get expelled…

Amber! Do you not spare a thought for your poor father? Or indeed anyone else…? Why do I have to dislike this character this early on…?

As the class filed into their first lesson, Ruth turned to Amber.
“Don’t go,” she advised. “You seriously don’t want to get on the wrong side of Whitney and Summer. They’re lethal.”

Ruth apparently has superhuman hearing. Nevertheless, it’s nice again to see a caring, nurturing side…and for someone who’s probably not even worth it.

Amber ignores her advice, and then we very quickly cut to Naomi and I.

“You alright?” Toby asked Naomi.
“Hmm…? Oh yeah. I’m just thinking about this morning.”
“What happened?”
“Well, on Thursday, you’re coming round for dinner. Sean wasn’t sure how to react.” She sighed. “He’s still really clingy,” she complained.
“Don’t worry about it,” Toby advised.

It would appear that I took my dialogue lessons from Tommy Wiseau. Also, I love how I only find out about this now. And she doesn’t even open the conversion with the fact that I’m meant to be meeting her family, she just sort of drops it in as a sort of ‘BTW!’

We then get this entirely pointless scene.

“OK,” Jack whispered to Toby as they sat through a geography lesson. “The blog’s up and running. We need you to do your Yoda impressions.”
“Right,” Toby agreed, and began impersonating Yoda.
“Quiet!” Mrs Guernsley shouted.
Everyone stared at Toby, who went red.
“Sorry,” he muttered.

I feel like profoundly despairing…

  1. A blog is a form of the written word. There is no reason that doing a voice impression would be needed. That’s more for a vlog.
  2. Why the hell would I need to start doing those impressions then and there? In the middle of a geography lesson? Not the place to be blogging/vlogging!
  3. Impersonating Yoda? Does that mean I took on his identity and tried to pose as him in Jedi Council meetings? I think there’s a wrong word usage there…
  4. Never mind why I’d need to do it in the middle of a lesson, why did I start doing it in the middle of a lesson?
  5. What is the point of this scene?
  6. What is the point of this scene? I know I’ve already asked that, but I think it needs asking again.
  7. There is no point to this scene.
  8. Glad we’ve sorted that out.

So, at morning break, Amber marches straight over to the music block to fight Summer. However, it would appear more are concerned about her than she thinks.

Ruth turned exasperatedly to Ryan who was grinning broadly. She gave him a big kick in the shins.
“Ow! What was that for?”

My thoughts exactly! Ruth, when did you become so hot-blooded? We don’t need more of this incredibly graphic violence, thank you…

Ruth tells Ryan he needs to help her sort this issue out…and so Ryan does, probably out of fear he’s about to be killed. In fact, quite a big party makes it’s way there.

So, Amber was eventually followed by Ruth, Ryan, Naomi, Toby, Jack, Caleb, Ian, Ross, Queenie and Carol.

Oh, the Mighty Ridiculous Power Rangers! Reunited at last! And this time Ross is with them, that random Scottish kid from the last story who played virtually no role. Take a wild guess at what role he plays in this story…

No doubt this is a quite a large party, certainly compared to who Summer has backing her. It’s just Whitney (TOGETHER 4EVER!) and Kurt, that guy from the last story who was just there for me to vent out my hatred for sporty guys more attractive than me. Why is he there? Well, firstly, I needed to even the odds as best I could…and secondly…

“Why’s he there?” Ian whispered to Ryan. But Ryan was grinning again.
“Kurt fancies Whitney,” Ryan replied.
Ian almost fell over in shock.
“Wha…her?” Ian spluttered.
“Think about who we’re talking about,” Ryan reminded him.
Ian thought for a moment and then said,
“Of course.”

Wow. RUDE. I know Whitney’s no saint, but it seems to be tit for tat more than anything else…

Also, despite the superior numbers, Ruth’s party seems to be making no attempt to stop this brawl…

“Alas! The peace of the world pivots around women,” Caleb said to Ross.
“How true!” Ross agreed.

……………..

I refuse to comment on that under protest that we are better as a species.

So, do you think you’re match enough for me?” Summer challenged Amber.

Summer seems to have gotten slightly better at her opening taunts. Slightly.

And so, they begin their fight. It’s interesting, because I decide to go into detail about every little move that each of them make…interpret that as you will. But it doesn’t last too long, and concludes without anyone intervening. Thanks guys…

Amber managed to scramble to her feet and pushed with all her might and fury and Summer fell backwards and smashed into the window for the music block. Glass shattered everywhere and Summer didn’t stop there. She then smashed right into the grand piano and stayed there.

HOLY SHIT.

OK, once again, the windows at this school are some of the cheapest in the world and seem to shatter at the slightest impact. Not to mention that hitting your head on a grand piano really isn’t a laughing matter, except it’s so weird that it might as well be. What’s with it with these stories and the most bizarre head injuries?

Amber’s supporters cheered.

You’re supposed to be trying to stop the fight, you fuckers!

Amber suddenly felt a pain in her scalp. She looked and saw Whitney, who was dragging her by the hair. Amber struggled to get free, but Whitney slammed her into a wall[…]

Wow! Don’t fuck with Whitney’s girlfriend. That’s the one thing you must NEVER do. Well, I’m hoping this life-threatening experience will repair their relationship. If Summer hasn’t died that is…

[…]only to be immediately thrown off by Ross, who had decided to join the fray. Kurt immediately came up and started fighting against Ross.

Oh, look, Ross. You’re helping a damsel in distress. I wonder what relationship you’ll have to this girl by the end…

Soon, everyone seemed to be fighting. Whitney’s forces were hopelessly outnumbered…

It’s not a war…

But yeah, I’d say! Two against seven? Not even at all…is it supposed to be a fight? It’s more like a beating…

At least they were until a big year 10, who knew Kurt from rugby came along and grabbed Carol’s hair…
Just for fun.

Am I trying to cast aspersions onto rugby players? Would I do such a thing…? Well, yeah, obviously…

But the point is, this character comes completely out of nowhere and is never seen again. He was literally there to make the fight more even. In hindsight, I really should have given Whitney a bigger posse. That would make these scenes so much more interesting!

Whitney’s posse! With Whitney as the head bitch in charge; Summer, her lover and closest crony; Kurt, the incredibly dull sports nut who’s there to provide comedy, a rival to Summer and eye candy for androphilic audiences; Uriah, the slightly weedy and possible untrustworthy evil genius, who has eyes only for Kurt; Minerva, a foil to Uriah, whom wishes to stage a coup to take over the school, and last but not least, Xenia, the obviously half-alien exchange student who spends her nights protecting the planet from a hoard of Lovecraftian horrors.

Anyway…the only significant things that happen in the rest of the chapter are Jack and Ryan both reacting violently to seeing Carol getting attacked (you’ll hopefully remember their rivalry) and Mr Mothman (OH HOW I’VE MISSED YOU!) and Mr Cork coming to break up the fight, with Amber delighting in how this will likely get her expelled.

So, that chapter was…about what you’d expect really, but in hindsight, this chapter, in it’s place in the narrative, really wasn’t that bad. It established Amber’s relationship with the other characters in a dynamic and interesting way, strengthening their bond by opening with a pretty intense scene. This first day could have been really boring, but I knew instinctively that that just wasn’t right. It’s an early sign of me evolving as a writer, and that’s pretty intriguing. Hope you enjoyed this, let me know what you think, and I’ll see when I can get the next one to you…

 

That Life II Commentary – Chapter 1

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m fully aware that probably nobody follows this blog anymore, but for my own personal enjoyment, I’m going to continue putting these out there. As for the That Life Commentaries…well, I find them pretty fun. It’ll be exhausted soon, and it’s not as if I don’t have other ideas, but right now it’s a bit late to work on anything more profound and deep. I want to take a look at this.

The series That Life Commentary concerned my looking back at an embarrassing story I wrote aged 13, which I thought was the pinnacle of greatness at the time – well, the pinnacle of my greatness at least, which it was probably, considering my limited ability…but anyway…

I also wrote a sequel, not long after the first, and whilst I never finished it, it’s longer in it’s incomplete form that the completed first one was. It’s intriguing to look back on, because I was deliberately trying to tackle in a slightly different way, with a bit more of a focused plot. How can I know? Well, for starters, this one actually has a protagonist. Instead of trying to tackle the many ridiculous elements of many ridiculous characters, I tried to focus, at least to begin with, on just one character. A completely new one, I should point out, who’s dropped into this narrative and starts being part of it once she ends up transferring to Hyde Park Comprehensive and meets the idiots who made up our characters in the last story. So, their wacky hi-jinks return, meaning hopefully this story will be just as entertainingly bad.

Nevertheless, I’m hoping there is some element of me changing that becomes apparent in this story. I was consciously trying to write a better story. A better narrative, and including aspects that I knew a less skilled writer wouldn’t be able to. Not only is this first (of many) uses of a female protagonist, I also continued, from the last story, of being aware of the passage of time that passed, at least somewhat. The last story finished with the end of the autumn term, and this story opens with the New Year, followed soon after by the spring term. So, shall we take a look? Chapter One: Unhappy New Year.

How do I introduce who was probably my first ever female protagonist?

Amber sighed heavily as the hot water gushed over her body.

She’s taking a shower…

For God’s sake…you know what? I don’t think I can rely on any incarnation of myself to do anything without a perverse twist. I know it’s only a shower, but, all the same…

This is Amber, and unlike the previous characters who were mainly just names with bizarre and contrived storylines attached, I actually try and flesh out Amber’s character in these first few paragraphs. It relies on very poorly done exposition, with the narrator telling us exactly what she’s like, but…it’s at least a change. Apparently, she has terrible trouble controlling her anger (she’ll fit right in with us then) and such a temperament has led her to be expelled from various private schools (apparentley comprehensives can’t handle her) and been seen to by six psychiatrists (or phychiatrists, as I’ve spelled it here), who have to keep on changing because she keeps biting them.

Wow, charming girl. The kind I was no doubt salivating over during the days I concocted this.

After she’s out of the shower, her dad enters the scene.

“Amber, can we talk?”
Amber sighed.
“You won’t take no for an answer, so yes.”

I would advise a little less of the lip? It’s only your dad Amber! And if you don’t like what he says, you can always bite him too…

“It’s like this,” her dad (Terry) explained.

Again, here’s my bizarre fixation with referring to all of the kids’ parents by their first names, but by revealing said names in the least subtle way possible…

So, Terry explains, quite frankly, that he’s fend up of constantly having to pay fees to keep at different private schools considering she keeps up fucking things up with her terrible temper, and so has decided to apply her for a comprehensive. Amber is not very happy about this, but you really have to admire Terry’s patience for not just giving her up as a dead loss considering the earlier exposition reveals Amber’s been expelled from five different schools already. I would be more grateful, Miss Biter.

Amber sighed.
“OK…what’s the name of this school?”
“Hyde Park Comprehensive.”
Amber shuddered.
“Wasn’t that the school that some nutter set fire to?”

CALL BACK!!

Oh, and then there’s this…

“But…it’s in London!”
“You can catch a bus. It’s not too far.”

Well, that really depends where she’s catching it from. I think in my mind she lived in Tunbridge Wells, which is where my maternal family live, but I didn’t quite understand the scale…looking it up now, it’s a good hour and a bit between the places. Britain may be small, but it’s not THAT small…neither is it full. But that’s a story for another time…

Really, a train would be more sensible. Amber could try and negotiate that, or even another comprehensive that’s actually in the bloody vicinity so she saves money by not forking out a constant bus or train fare…instead, she says this…

Amber stood up, annoyed.
“I wish you would listen to me sometimes dad. You never do. Mum was never like this. She cared.”

Wow, you ungrateful little brat. I’d like to see you constantly pay for education…which you’ll have to if you go to university because our government is full of shit, but anyway… And way to throw in some more exposition! The way she’s talking about her, it’s as though her mother’s died…but she actually hasn’t. More on that later.

There was a nasty silence.
“I’m going to walk Yeti,” Amber announced, and walked out.

Oh, look, the story’s given up. There’s a yeti in it.

No, I’m joking. Yeti’s actually the name of her dog, and I have to say, I’m pretty pleased for having come up with that name. Why? Because he’s an Old English Sheepdog, and if ever there was a dog breed that looked like a yeti, it’s that one.

As she walked up the field with Yeti, she replayed the conversation she had just had inside her head. It didn’t sound much better the second time.

No, and re-reading it’s painful also.

But she meets up with her best friend, Sofia, who has a Jack Russell Terrier called Rocket. Now, Sofia’s another interesting concept – again, here’s me attempting to diversify my characters. More bland exposition reveals that Sofia actually suffers from bipolar disorder…well, OK. I worry greatly for how I handle this sensitive subject matter…but it seems I understood, at least, the nature of bipolar disorder, as Sofia is meant to be quite an energetic and elated individual. I’m not sure how much of that is present in the pages, but, y’know…

Amber and Sofia’s dialogue reveals though, that it seems Amber might be the one who needs an examination…

“So…what are you doing tomorrow?”
“Huh?”
“For the new year.”
“I’m coming round yours, remember?”
“Oh yeah.”

You forgot your best friend coming to see you. You bitch.

Oh, and then she starts wondering how it would be to be a dog.

What an easy life it must be to be a dog. Not a care in the world. All you had to do was have fun. What a life.

Amber, it’s really not as bad as you think…

So, she decides to go to Thornton’s for some hot chocolate, which seems to be she and Sofia’s favourite haunt. Whilst they’re there, Amber decides to take a look at someone’s newspaper.

She knew the people round here. They didn’t mind if you read over their shoulders. Some of them even offered to let you read their newspapers.

I think that’s less to do with the fact that you know the people and more to do with the fact that they know you, Amber, and offer to do things for you out of the sheer terror that you will draw blood if they don’t comply.

Anyway, the article concerns the prison breakout of one Sebastian Kythner, a dangerous psychotic nutjob who Amber learns once went to Hyde Park Comprehensive. Very pissed off at the prospect of attending a school full of probable murderers (not far off from what we saw in the first story), she promptly leaves the shop.

When she gets back home, she begins to take her anger out on everything she can.

 Amber walked into her house and slammed the door. Her father was busy gardening, so he didn’t hear the bang.
Amber growled and threw Yeti’s lead into the fireplace.

Hey stop! Yeti will need that! Stop being so destructive!

Sofia was banging on the door.
“Amber! Amber come on, let me in!”
Amber ran out towards the back door and into the garden.

Your dad’s there. Is he going to show up?

Actually, it’s interesting, because with the whole Yeti/lead incident, I actually decided to let my BFF friend write some moments, and even though I requested he keep to the story…it was a probably a bad idea. The reason is a simple one of continuity. Amber begins to take her anger out on some weeds, and Sofia, ever the supportive friend, notes that Amber probably wants to be left alone…except in the garden, her dad’s there, so she isn’t alone…oops.

Anyway, the new year’s eve party begins, and Amber gets irritated by her cousin Brendon. Admittedly, we all have relatives like that, but Amber, again, has to go overboard…

“Hey! Did you see the football results?” he asked wildly.
“No!” Amber snarled, and was just about to slap him, when Terry grabbed her hand and said,
“You see dear, this is why you need to sort out your anger.”

Thank you Terry! Let’s get a bit of sanity back.

Anyway, Sofia soon arrives, with Rocket.

“AAARRGGGHHH!!!” Brendon yelled, who for some stupid reason, hated animals of every kind.
“Take them outside!” he screamed.
“No,” Amber growled. “If you don’t like them, go outside yourself.”
So Brendon did. Amber turned grinning to Sofia.
“Right. That’s got him out from under our feet.”

Oh, pointless moments, how I’ve missed you.

The chapter concludes with Amber continuing to despair about what the new year and her new school have to offer her. Because she’s like that. Hope you enjoyed this, next time Amber attends her new school, and we get to see the stupid assortment of stupid characters from the last story…what a fun reunion that will be…

Top 10 Downsides To Living In Middle-Earth

(OK, so this wasn’t one of the previously mentioned items, but it’s an idea that struck me…and besides, it’s a break from all the story commentary…)

J.R.R. Tolkien is famous the world over for his philological intellect and creating the most consistent constructed world in fiction…possibly. This of course goes without mentioning his fame as a writer, who’s literary works are still popular many decades later, more so with the help of Peter Jackson’s adaptive trilogies of his famous Middle-Earth chronicles.

What is it about fictional universes and worlds that appeals so much to us? Is it the escapism? Is it the fact that speculative fiction presents analogues to real world issues? Or is it megalomania, the fact that as someone else has complete creative control over a world, so you can too? How glorious such demonic cackles they must be…

Of course we’ve all had those fantasies, particularly as children. I, for example, was always hoping to get my Hogwarts acceptance letter. When I didn’t, I just buggered off in the TARDIS. No doubt Middle-Earth is yet another fictional world (fully constructed compared to the other two examples) that anyone would love to settle in and have multiple adventures, right?

Well, maybe. But let’s be honest – Middle-Earth, when you come down to it, is probably a pretty shoddy place to live. If you were born there, you wouldn’t know the difference, but from a 21st century perspective, I think I’d probably prefer this place. And I’d advise everyone to think twice before heading off to Mordor. Why? Well, I’m counting down the top 10 reasons for why Middle-Earth is kind of sucky place. There are no doubt more reasons that exist than this…

Please bear in mind that I don’t claim to be any expert on Tolkien’s legendarium. I’ve only seen The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit film adaptations, and whilst I’ve done some expanded reading into the cosmology and history of Arda and certain elements of the books not present in the films, I’ve not actually read the books myself, so feel free anyone to correct me if I make mistakes on this list.

So, without further ado, let us see what the top 10 Downsides to Living In Middle-Earth are…

 

10) Everything Is Trying To Kill You
mordor_by_edli-d2yrha5

There’s no real getting around this fact – I thought I’d start right off the bat with the most obvious one. Middle-Earth is terrifyingly dangerous! Let’s start with the fact that there are so many creatures that are apparently just inherently evil – orcs, vast armies of psychopaths that ride ravenous, enormous wolves, trolls, who, if you’re lucky, will turn to stone whenever there’s sunlight, but otherwise are enormous thuggish rogues. Even worse are dragons, vast flying monsters which, whilst they might look cool, are terrifying and dreadful to behold. It took a single dragon to flatten the Kingdom of Erebor under the Lonely Mountain (although just one arrow to take it down, go figure), so just bear in mind if you ever accumulate any wealth in this world, you’re a dead wealthy person. Dragons will come and incinerate you. Unless they are cold-drakes, in which case, they’ll freeze you. And that’s not counting any of the creatures that spawn from the dark lords themselves. The ring-wraiths, draped in black that will not hesitate to kill you, and of course the One Ring, a malevolent bit of bling that will slowly rape your mind and turn you into your own worst enemy, and the worst enemy of everyone else. Even Hobbits, the most diminutive and harmless race, will become utterly terrifying under the influence of the Ring. Even outside of Mordor, you can easily be at risk…

 

9) Everybody Smokes
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Is this a petty entry…?
No, I don’t think so.

Now, I’m not sure how much smoking takes place in the books (but I’m fairly sure there’s quite a bit) but in the films at least, every time somebody’s sitting around, they’re all smoking pipes! Why…? Evidently Middle-Earth medicine has yet to determine all the risks smoking has for you, including lung cancer, heart murmur, stroke and more. And even if you yourself didn’t smoke throughout your life on this continent, you’d still have to smell it! Might just be a pet peeve, but I can’t stand the smell of tobacco. Of course, there’s no suggesting it is tobacco…they call it pipeweed. What’s that meant to be? We don’t get any indication whether or not it’s hallucinogenic, addictive, or otherwise detrimental to cognitive processes. Maybe Gandalf was just a figment of Bilbo’s imagination after all, because he’d been smoking too much, the silly bastard. Even Saruman pointed out to Gandalf that smoking all this pipeweed would be bad for him: ‘Your love of the halfling’s leaf has clearly slowed your mind.’ He was quite right – Gandalf failed to notice that Saruman the White had become Sauron’s flunky until it was almost too late.

 

8) There are very few 21st century comforts
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I already mentioned that Middle-Earth medical knowledge only seems to go so far. That is just one of many 21st century comforts that don’t exist in this place – obviously you’ve got no computers or internet. How will one cope?? That and all the places just look really…drab. Places such as The Shire and Rivendell are exceptions, as most other ones just have this dirty, uncomfortably old fashioned look about them. The taverns certainly have nothing going for them, and yet another awkward thing about life in Middle-Earth is the calendar. Yes, the calendar.
The Western world and many other places today use the Gregorian calendar, a calendar standardized around the birth of Christ…a date we’re still not actually entirely sure about, and not entirely helpful in that sense because there’s no year 0. But the point is, it does at least give us an easy to use system – with BC/BCE you’re counting down, and with AD/CE you’re counting up. Both give you an impression of how long ago a certain date was. Not so with the calendar of Middle-Earth. The history of the continent is split into Ages, which I suppose is fair enough, (First Age, Second Age and so on) but all they do is count along the years until an event big enough comes along and then they start the next age. How is that in any way helpful to historians, or just people learning history? The First Age had 587 years, ending with the War of Wrath against Morgoth, the Second Age had 3,441 years ending with the War of the Last Alliance against Sauron, and the Third Age had 3,019 years ending with the War of the Ring, again against Sauron, the persistent bastard. Who exactly decides when an age ends? And who’s going to remember which ages have which number of years anyway? To make matters worse, the Shirefolk have their own calendar system, Shire Reckoning, beginning when their insignificant little country was founded. It probably doesn’t translate well with the rest of the complex calendar, and so only the very mathematically minded can probably make sense of it…so not me.

 

7) There is no pity for an artificially bred race of self-loathing slaves
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In the early days, it’s said that Morgoth mutilated and brainwashed elves into becoming his personal foot soldiers, and yes, they were picked up by Sauron too. As adversaries to our protagonists, orcs are defined only by their intense hatred for themselves and everyone else, including their masters, whom they serve out of fear. From birth to  often violent death, orcs experience nothing but misery and self-loathing every second of their lives.
So…where’s their pity?
Even Gollum was pitied! Despite the fact that he killed someone the second he saw the One Ring! But nobody cares for the dozens of orcs they slaughter, there is no hesitation in slaying these creatures at all. Admittedly, at the time, it’s usually in self-defence, and perhaps they consider the fact that they’re putting them out of their misery. It’s a possibility indeed, but it does bring home yet another grim fact about life in Middle-Earth. Not to mention all they do is flee in terror the second Sauron is destroyed, implying that they will get just as little mercy in the Age of Men as they did under the Dark Lords. In fact, I hear that having an exclusively easy race was a big problem for Tolkien, a devout Roman Catholic who believed in salvation and forgiveness. Apparently he never came up with an answer that satisfied him.

 

6) Everyone’s Pretty Racist
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Even though the orcs get the worst rap, the various races of Middle-Earth are not much kinder to those of every other race. Elves and dwarves in particular have this habit of slagging each other off and mistrusting each other. It was so bizarre to every community that a friendship could even form between an elf and a dwarf, as if such a thing has never happened before…which it probably didn’t.
Elrond also expresses his opinion that men are weak, based on the activity of just one. Most races look down on Hobbits (both literally and figuratively), and it seems that the racism is prevalent enough that everyone seems bound by their race, as though to defend it. How many times did Gimli remind us he was a dwarf? How many times have characters referred to others just by their race? Start counting them up, and you’ll begin to see the ingrained problem, which is made even worse when you realise…

 

5) …they’ve kind of got a point, too…
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Am I excusing racism? Of course not. But being constructed races, it seemed inevitable that those of Middle-Earth showcased a lot of archetypes. All dwarves have awful table manners, and are stubborn and pugnacious. All Hobbits eat more than they should and most are lazy. All elves seem to be good at whatever the hell they try and do, far outstripping anyone else. All men have pathetically short lifespans. It gets worse when you consider that only the elves and men were specially created by Eru Ilúvatar, the supreme creator deity of this universe, making everyone else seem kind of second class. Add to that the fact that elves are immortal, you’re looking at a very unfair world indeed, right down to the divine structure.

 

4) The gender equality is terrible
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It’s almost something of a shock when I consider that the film adaptations were actual step-ups for the role of female characters, and in The Hobbit, there were none at all. Obviously Middle-Earth is meant to represent a culture of the past, most of which had equally awful records on women’s rights, but Middle-Earth is a constructed world, and as such gives you the liberty to create whatever you desire. But not only is there an obvious gender gap in Middle-Earth, it doesn’t seem to be evolving. The culture of the world seems to stay fixed.
Some are better at it than others, no doubt – the elves seem to have the closest to gender equality in Middle-Earth, with figures such as Galadriel revered with great respect (although that might have something to do with the fact that she’s thousands of years old), but it’s still a man’s world. There’s loads of ‘someone, son of your father’ because apparently your mother isn’t important. Only men can be monarchs, and only men can fight in wars. Unless of course your name is Éowyn, and you happen to be lucky enough to fulfil a prophecy that results in the death of some dreadful thing. I don’t doubt that Tolkien didn’t actually think of women as merely helpless baby machines, but it’s obvious who’s holding all the power here. It probably would have been more bearable if they’d done something like in A Song of Ice and Fire, where the sexist double standards still exist, but are explored and deconstructed via the female characters. But of course, they are two different stories, and Tolkien couldn’t bow to the same tropes without jeopardising the story he was telling.

 

3) THERE ARE GIANT FUCKING SPIDERS
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Yes, I know I already mentioned how much everything on Middle-Earth wants to kill you, but…

THESE DESERVE AN ENTRY ALL TO THEMSELVES.
THERE ARE GIANT FUCKING SPIDERS IN MIDDLE-EARTH, OK??? ABSOLUTELY HUGE, ELEPHANT SIZED FUCKING SPIDERS. I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE ONES ANY LARGER THAN COINS, YOU EXPECT ME TO DEAL WITH FUCKING ELEPHANT SIZED SPIDERS??? FUCK THAT. I AM CANCELLING THAT TRIP TO MIDDLE-EARTH. YOU CAN KEEP SHELOB, AND ALL THE OTHER OFFSPRING OF THE UNGOLIANT, ANOTHER FUCKING GIANT SPIDER DEMON THING. DON’T EXPECT TO DEAL WITH THIS, I’M OFF.

On the other hand, the Ungoliant, Shelob and more spiders are all female, implying an even better role for women than the elves have…

 

2) There is too much emphasis on the divine right of kings
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Gandalf refers to the rule of anyone who is not a king as a rule of ‘lesser men.’ Apparently, just like being an elf, being a king makes you inherently better than anyone else. Your right of royalty is apparently enough to get people to do what you want, and again, it’s a boy’s only job.
Everyone knows full well how this is not a truth in real life, but unfortunately many still perceive things this way. Thorin was able to maintain his right to Erebor despite slipping into insanity because of his kingship. Aragorn was determined to be a leader among his companions, despite not even wanting to be king, just because he was royal. Again, the elitism in this world seems to be elite. And why? Well…

 

1) The Deities are rather psychotic
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The somewhat unpleasant aspects of Middle-Earth go right back to the one who created it. And no, I’m not talking about Tolkien, I’m referring to Eru Ilúvatar, who’s basically God. If I were to meet him, I’d give him serious advice. I’ve already mentioned how he decided to make two races his own important and special children, and give one immortal lifespans, but the truth gets a lot more disturbing than that. It’s not just him, but also his underlings that cause a lot of problems. Aulë, one of the Valar (like archangels) created the dwarves, but was reprimanded by Eru, because only HE gets to create life! Wow, stroppy…Aulë’s response is to DESTROY THE DWARVES, only relenting because they were fucking terrified. Even then, Eru doesn’t allow them to wake before the elves, because he gets to go first! These deities are perfectly happy playing childish games with sentient beings.
Furthermore, when some of the Ainur (collective term for Valar and the lesser Maiar) decided to rebel, led by Morgoth, Eru’s response was not to destroy them instantly but allow him and his subordinates wreck life for everyone on Middle-Earth for miliennia. Thanks a lot dad.

So, that was my list. I hope you enjoyed it, and if not…well, you didn’t. Sorry. Let me know what you think, and all the rest of that. Please.

All images belong to their respective owners.

That Life Commentary – Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen

And we come to final two. With everyone out of the fire despite not being able to locate fire exits for the longest time, we get the run-down of this incredibly bizarre work of fiction. How will it pan out? Well, let’s take a look…Chapter Fourteen: Not Over Yet.

Yeah, I needed to let my readers know that they can’t rush for the door just yet…

The scene opens with Ian, bizarrely, spending his time at home recovering from jet lag (don’t ask) until he discovers that his school’s been set on fire.

“Umm…dad?” he said uncertainly.
“Yup?”
“I know I need to spend today resting from jet-lag, but do you mind if I go to school?”
Roy stared at Ian as if he’d just announced his undying love for David Cameron.

To be fair, I’d stare at someone who announced that…then I’d probably slap some sense into them.

Roy concedes though…

“OK…if you want,” he replied. So, Ian set off.

I’m fairly sure it wouldn’t have been that simple. First, doesn’t he need to reapply to school? Secondly, Roy’s acting remarkably casual, letting his son bugger off to a school that’s been set on fire. Thirdly…considering his dad’s name is Roy, I’m starting to think that Ian is the yellow puppet from Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared.

Back at the school, the fire’s been put out, and Mr Ealing is informed that there have been no deaths. Lucky for him, as it would probably have been his fault, considering he let Aiden wander around the place. He then complains about losing hair.

“I used to have a full head of hair!” he moaned. “Stress, that’s what this is, stress!”

Get some perspective you idiot! Also, the fire brigade seem to be a little too optimistic at the moment. Maybe nobody has died in the the building, but there are some pretty oxygen starved students with severe smoke inhalation problems. One of them might still die. And Mr Ealing’s complaining about his going bald. I’m suddenly not surprised that Mr Ealing was willing to let Aiden wander amongst innocent children.

The bastard.

One ambulance had Toby Jack and Sean sitting in it, receiving oxygen.

Hey, look! Sean’s still not trying to kill me. Apparently something has finally clicked. Why it took a fucking fire for him to realise that I’m not an evil rapist is an interesting subject for a book in and of itself.

Another had the unconscious girls in it. A paramedic had said that with a bit of oxygen and a few days rest and recuperation, they should be fine.

Apparently these girls have miracle lungs. I wish I could be so fireproof. I also love how that sentence implies that they haven’t even been given oxygen yet, and they’re just lying in a heap in the back of an ambulance.

Ryan, who apparently managed to get out unscathed, has other things on his mind.

Ryan was standing a short distance away from the ambulances, looking closely at Jack. He was sure Carol would like him more after the heroic deed.

WHAT HEROIC DEED? All he did was approach them and hold her briefly. In which time she probably inhaled more fucking smoke. The only thing that really counts as heroism on Jack’s part is the fact that he stayed in the burning building to try and save people, and really, that’s not being a hero, that’s being a silly twat.

Also, will anyone in this story stop thinking about getting laid for one minute?

“Ugh! I bet Carol’s going to like that Fenton kid more than me for saving her…”
“But Ryan, he didn’t actually save her…”
“Then I bet she’s going to like him more than me for trying to save her!”
“Ryan, Carol’s died. She breathed in too much smoke.”
“Oh……….well, at least her body will still be warm from the fire…”

Eventually these miracle-lunged girls do start waking up, to be embraced by their boyfriends, because…apparentley I salivated over the idea of guys looking after oxygen-starved girls. Especially where Caleb the suave, magnificent and getting-really-fucking-annoying-now is concerned.

Queenie woke up and saw Caleb.
“Hey, you alright Queen Bee?” Caleb asked her.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Queenie, whatever you do, DO NOT LET CALEB NAME YOUR CHILDREN.

So, Ryan approaches Jack and seems pretty determined to bury the hatchet. Again, it’s nice to see here that I understand the concept of character development, but it’s just the most ridiculous of things have to happen before we can see any of it…

Ryan cast a look at the girls.
“You…did a good job,” he said, as if he were congratulating Jack on doing a good essay.

Except he didn’t. He did fuck all whilst almost getting himself killed in the process. Ryan’s tone of voice should be far more condescending than described here…

Jack looked at him.
“What are you saying?” Ryan stuck out his hand.
“May the best man win!” he said. Jack smiled. So perhaps Ryan wasn’t as bad as he first thought!
He shook Ryan’s hand.

Aw. So, do you think these two have finally learnt their lesson about being entitled little shits thinking that they’re owed relationships, and will finally allow Carol to make her choice about who she, if anyone, likes the best?

LOL!!! You give this story way too much credit.

“Ready?” Ryan asked. Jack nodded. They both started running.

In case you’re confused as to what the fuck they’re doing, they’re both actually running towards the ambulance with the unconscious girls in, under the idea that whoever gets their first wins Carol’s heart.

That’s several different types of wrong right there. I’m not even sure how I managed to mature.

Almost at once, Jack realised that Ryan was as bad as he first thought, and he’d tricked him! Jack had until recently been rather oxygen deprived, so Ryan easily had the upper hand.

Well, as I’ve already explained, THAT’S NOT THE POINT. It doesn’t matter how fast you can run, it’s for Carol to decide, unless you’re planning to be a rapist, which wouldn’t surprise me. Ryan can outstrip a cheetah, but if Carol found Jack’s pointless gesture to be charming, then he’s the one she’ll choose.

Then out of nowhere, Summer appeared.

Wait, what?

HI RYAN!!!” she shrieked. Ryan, slightly taken aback by this sudden greeting, lost his footing and tripped. Jack grinned wryly as he passed him. He never knew he’d be so glad to see Summer. It looked as though Ryan now had a stalker on his hands.

…………………..

No. No. No. NO. NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NOOOOOOOO, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! MOST UNAMBIGUOUSLY AND INCOMPARABLY NOOOOOOO!!!! IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS, NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! DO NOT UNLESBIANIFY SUMMER, YOU SHIT. IT IS FORBIDDEN. IT’S WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE. OR SOME OTHER SACRED SCRIPT.

There, see!

‘Thou shalt not make the characters of Whitney in Summer in any shitty story not lesbians. To do so would be an opprobrious offence.’

– Book of Ellen 1:1 (Rejected at the First Council of Nicaea.)

I should really go and meet my 13-year-old self and slap him as hard as is necessary…

Though, in all fairness, Summer having a crush on Ryan seems to be Jack’s assumption. She’s never shown any sign of being interested in him before, and her greeting him there seemed so ridiculously hammy and out of nowhere that one has to wonder how sincere she is about it. We know of course that Summer’s social skills, are, to put it politely, in need of some work, but I think maybe her and Whitney have reached a pretty rough patch in their relationship, and, to reconfirm what she means to her, Summer is trying to make her jealous. Yeah, that’ll be all it is – besides, there’s no reason Summer shouldn’t be bisexual…if she even is that.

Carol came round to the same sight she saw when she passed out. She smiled as she saw Jack. She managed to find her strength to sit up and slipped her hand through his.

You see, that’s surprisingly subtle. So subtle, it may not even mean she’s into him at all…just saying.

Then, Ian shows up. Literally just like that. This is the line he uses to make his entrance…

“So…everyone alright?”

Oh, Ian. If only you knew…

Naturally, he goes straight over to Ruth, who wakes up pretty quickly.

“Hi Ruth!” he said. Ruth wasted no time, and she sat up and kissed him.

Oh, thank God for that. Now let’s stop trying to pad this romance out any further.

Then Mr Ealing makes an announcement that genuinely made me snort with laughter.

“If I could have your attention please! Thank you. I’ve spoken with the fire brigade and the ambulance crew and I was told that it will take a few days for those who have been affected to recover, and a few days for the parts of the school to be replaced that have been damaged by the fire, so I’m closing the school for a few days.”

Nice and vague as always! Unless few is a new number that our mathematician overlords decided to add so we’re firmly under their thumb once again.

But, of course, once the fire is now dealt with, people’s minds turn back to Naomi, and their concern continues. Sean’s figures she probably won’t ever speak to him again whatever happens, but then sees an unlikely saviour…

Sean’s attention was caught by Russell, who was talking to one of the policeman who had arrived at the school. Seeing Russell struck Sean as odd. He was so certain that Aiden had started the fire and scarpered, but if he had, why hadn’t he taken Russell with him?
Russell had now finished talking to the policeman, and was walking over to Sean.
“Sean…” Russell began.
“Yes?” Sean asked, somewhat sharper than he had intended.
“I know where your sister is.”

Perhaps Aiden should have considered that he’d informed Russell about every detail of his plan once Russell had decided to bugger off, but I think we’ve pretty much established how unhinged Aiden is.

We cut to Naomi, who’s making a desperate attempt to escape from her confines…but I’ll spare you the details, because I’m sure you’re fed up of ridiculously drawn-out escape scenes. At least I’m expanding them beyond Caleb this time.

She goes inside a house near the garage (with a conveniently unlocked door) and picks up a phone, but Aiden comes in before she can dial a number…

We then get this insight about the rescue party…

A huge group of police cars and police vans were tearing up the road. The group was this big because it was not only police officers who were coming. Russell, Sean, Toby, Jack, Caleb, Ian, Ruth, Queenie, Carol, Mrs Marsh and Mr Ealing were also coming.

Are this many people really necessary? Russell and Sean I get, and maybe me and Mr Ealing, but why everyone else? Half of these are oxygen-starved, so I doubt they’d be much use…

Detective Richard Price turned to Russell.

Detective what? My ignorance about the British police force was showing I see – DETECTIVE IS NOT A RANK.

“So, what’s this garage that Aiden’s using?” he asked.
“It’s our great-uncle’s,” Russell replied.

Oh, not another great-uncle! Fortunately, this one isn’t stupidly rich and does in fact have to frequent the hospital, which is why his house is empty. At least I knew to cover that plothole.

Back with Aiden and Naomi, Aiden actually tries to throttle her. Well…OK…

But the police come in pretty quickly and she gets free. Again, I’ll spare you the details.

 “I wonder what’s going on inside?” Ian asked Caleb.

Remind me why the hell you’re here again?

Anyway, Aiden’s arrested etc etc, and he’s really pissed that Russell told the cops, but really, he only had himself to blame, and then he gets taken away.

Naomi reconciles with Sean, and Sean gives her and me his blessing to date. And so, all loose ends are tied up, right…?

We move onto Chapter Fifteen: Christmas.

Yeah, because it was the autumn term, remember?

We open with Naomi buying presents, and there’s not much to it, except this weird little bit…

She had already bought Sean’s: A book entitled: What to do when your sister acts up. She thought he would find it useful.

Yeah, perhaps in more ways than you meant…

We then get a scene with Caleb, jubilant about finally living in a house rather than a flat, one with Ryan debating whether he should inform the police about Charlie’s involvement with Aiden, having read an entire section in the paper about Aiden getting sent down…followed by a completely contradictory scene about Sean getting pissed because there’s almost nothing about Aiden in the paper…

Of course, they could be reading different papers. Ryan, judging by his attitude towards towards foreigners, probably gets the Mail or the Express.

Anyway, soon the aforementioned school-prom-disco-whatever the hell it is, soon arrives. And we swiftly learn that some things never change…

Ryan was still seething about Jack’s piece of luck with Carol. So, he wanted to take it out on him.

Oh, here it comes…he goes to Jack’s house briefly before he’s due to go to the event with Carol, and we get this…

“I’ve something interesting to show you,” Ryan told him. “Come out here,” Jack went out and suddenly Ryan dashed into his house and slammed the door.

Seriously, Jack, why do you keep trusting Ryan? It’s incomprehensible…

When he was inside Ryan set about finding Carol. Where was she?

This took an unexpectedly dark turn…is he expecting everything will turn out alright if he spends a few minutes alone with her…? Luckily it doesn’t come to that…

Then, he looked through the window and saw Jack and Carol walking away together. Ryan gave a scream of fury and ran out of the house.

A very pointless scene, I don’t doubt.

However, when Jack meets up with me later, he’s a little upset – apparently Carol has crippling self-doubt and can’t seem to comprehend the informed deep feelings Jack has for her in his penis heart. I tell him not to worry:

“Don’t worry about it Jack!” Toby reassured him. “She’ll fall for you. People always do.”

I don’t know…this was probably a not so subtle jab at the fact that my BFF always seems to be better than me at everything…

Apparently, in the context of this story, we had a girl fall for both of us in our primary school called Anita Lawn. Because I had run out of borderline sensible names at this point. Oh, who am I kidding? QUEENIE AND CAROL.

“All right guys!” called Mr Ealing through a microphone. “I hope you’re all ready! Later we’ll have Mr Mothman doing his amazing break-dancing.”

Oh, well, got to hang around for that…

The rest of this scene goes largely without incident, although we do get a scene in which Sean approaches Russell, who’s looking a little lost, considering the negative reputation people still associate him with. Sean seems to have forgiven him, due to him helping rescue Naomi – it’s pretty nice to see actually. Again, I’m gaining an understanding of how human relationships actually work.

Then there’s this bizarre scene when Caleb goes over to speak to Ross, who you might barely remember as being Scottish…

Caleb sat down next to Ross and saw that he was looking somewhat unhappy.
“Cheer up mate,” he said to him. “It might never happen.” Ross looked at him. Caleb shrugged.
“Sorry. That’s just something my mum says. Has is already happened.”
“No,” Ross replied. “It’s happening.” He stood up.
“Gotta go,” he said, and left.

At this point you might be thinking, ‘why all the cryptic hints? The story’s drawing to a close, isn’t it?’ Well…I’ll get to it later…

Caleb wondered what was wrong with Ross, but then Mr Mothman started break-dancing and he quickly forgot.

Perfectly reasonable…I would too…

The final scene we get in this story is just a weird as the rest of it though…

Down an alleyway in some old warehouse, a tile slipped off the roof. Then another, and another.
Eventually a silhouetted figure scrambled up through the hole, and off the roof. Then the figure looked closely at the building that all of the students were flocking out of. He smiled to himself.
Hyde Park Comprehensive.
Oh yes.
He had chosen the right place.
He turned away and walked off into the night.

Oh, look at me trying to be all suspenseful! Badly…

But why the need, if that’s the end? Well…

Following this story, my juvenile mind thought it would be a good idea to write a sequel. Yes, you heard that correctly. Even at the time, I was aware the story didn’t quite connect as well as it could, so I decided to re-align the story a little bit and make it more focused, but with the same characters (evidently I hadn’t learnt that much). The result was me writing a successor to this.

I do plan to show it at some point, in the same format as this. Probably not straight away, because I want to be posting other things too. The sequel in question was never finished, but despite this, I still managed to write more of it than this one. It…takes an interesting direction, but the level of ridiculousness is still pretty much there. I hope you’ll enjoy it, and I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know and thanks for reading.