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Another World

by OklyDokly 

Posted: 27 February 2011
Word Count: 459
Summary: A piece I wrote for a writing course. Just had a read through this, and I reckon it could work as a flash. Let me know what you think...

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Mrs Gregg, my second-grade primary school teacher, shouted too much. All the other teachers were kind, but she never let a smile break her wrinkled face. I didn't trust her, and I got the impression that she didn't like me.

At six or seven years old, I sat alone on a solitary table in the assembly hall. Perhaps I had to draw a picture, perhaps I had to write something, I really can't remember.

She didn't like me daydreaming: I used to a lot in those days. My mind would wander into new places, exploring adventurous concepts and revolutionary ideas. My parents and teachers told me that daydreaming was bad. What was daydreaming anyway? Surely all I was doing was thinking, trying to understand the world in which I lived. My vision would blur as I gazed off into the distance. Only a sharp clap of hands and Mrs Gregg’s bawling voice would bring me back again. I didn’t understand why she behaved this way, I wasn't doing anything wrong.

I must have been sitting there for fifteen minutes. My pen was hovering over a piece of paper on my desk. Who knows what I was thinking about: Life? The universe? The habitats of the woodlice in the school playground? The tarantulas that hunted them and how my friend had told me to keep an eye out for those hairy legs that had broken from the spider’s bodies? There was so much to discover. How could this piece of paper possibly be so important? Clearly it was to Mrs Gregg. She stood in front of me, hands on her hips and jaw low. Her voice bellowed like a foghorn.

“Why haven’t you written anything?”

Tears welled in the corners of my eyes. I hated loud noises. I hated her shouting. She sent me to the headmistress; into the foyer then down the corridor that seemed to stretch on for eternity. Although stern, the headmistress was kinder than Mrs Gregg. An aura of wisdom seemed to emanate from her face to gather in her red, curly hair.

I wasn’t there to receive advice; I was there to be reprimanded. The punishment: three taps on my extended hands with a ruler, alternating between each one. The punishment didn't hurt physically, but it hurt deep inside. I didn't hate her. I hated Mrs Gregg for sending me there.

I wish they hadn't condemned me so much for daydreaming. My teachers used to tell my parents that I had an 'overactive imagination'. You can’t develop one of those without being allowed to use your mind. Today, I don’t have the time to explore my imagination as I used to. It often got me into trouble, but what fun is an adventure that doesn’t?

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Comments by other Members

dharker at 14:00 on 27 February 2011  Report this post
A lovely descriptive piece Chris. Childhood angst in all its horrible at the time reality.
This clunked a bit at the beginning of the read
sat alone on a lone table in the assembly hall

Should thius have been "bawling?"
Mrs Gregg’s balling voice

Nit-picking over with... I really love the way you voice the young lads thoughts and feelings - the randomness of subjects in his daydreams. I can just about remember back that far and can vouch for staring into the distance! LOL! I think I might have made a little more of the long lonely walk to the headmistresses office? Aside from that a great read! Thank You!


OklyDokly at 14:28 on 27 February 2011  Report this post
Thanks Dave

Glad you liked it.

I've made some changes to correct the issues. Thanks for pointing them out

fiona_j at 17:11 on 27 February 2011  Report this post

I really liked this - it reminded me of my childhood daydreaming.

I was wondering what he was as an adult - I could imagine him sat at a desk in an office daydreaming of the days he used to daydream!

The only things I noticed are the same as Dave and I see you've corrected them already.

Fi x

Cornelia at 18:59 on 27 February 2011  Report this post
I liked this, but I'd say it's more memoir than short story.

His interest in the natural world fed his day-dreaming, but I thought

exploring adventurous concepts and revolutionary ideas.

wasn't quite justified in the text. Such a sad ending that implied, far from breaking out, he never recovered from the early repression.


V`yonne at 21:25 on 27 February 2011  Report this post
It works as memoir but not yet as flash. But it is a deep well from which to draw and I'd keep it to one side until a challenge comes up tosuit it and then let rip but not in that style. You are too close to this yet. It has to be some character's experience and you need to distance yourself a wee bit.

Desormais at 08:09 on 02 March 2011  Report this post
I liked this, and it certainly conveyed the insecurities of childhood. I felt let down at the end though. I was expecting a strong punchline - maybe something that was at complete variance with the dreamy child that he had been (like turning out to be an axe murderer or something ) Definitely worth working on some more.


tusker at 18:08 on 03 March 2011  Report this post
I enjoyed this, Chris. Felt so much for the boy. Brings back memories too. How I hated school.

This man's recollection is gentle and sad. Now I'd like to know who this man is. What does he now do. It's like the first page of a novel and if I was in the library and, on reading this, I'd take out the book.

Loved: An aura of wisdom seemed to enamanate from her face to gather in her red, curly hair.

You've got some lovely language here.


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