Jump to content

Fan Fic Challenge Entries 2008/09

Guest Dean

Recommended Posts

Here are the entries for the latest fanfiction challenge, all entries are anonymous and will remain so for the duration of the voting. After voting finishes the winning author will be named but none of the other authors will unless they choose to do so.

Please review ALL the entries and at the end of your review please state clearly which entry is your favourite and why. Only votes where all entries have been reviewed will be counted (unless there is a good reason ie. ratings for not reviewing).

Remember the point of these challenges is to improve as a writer so don't be offended by people critiquing your work and giving you points to improve, they're only trying to help you write better. When writing your review please try to focus on the positives about the story but also suggest room for improvement. Even the best writer isn't perfect but they're also human and love ego boosts.

If you entered the competition you are not obliged to review but what people have tended to do in the past is review all the entries including their own. It throws people off the scent but also sometimes gives you a chance to defend your own work and objectively make note of what you'd improve with hindsight.

Below are some ideas of things you could think about when reviewing the stories:

What are your first impressions of the story? Does the opening line grip you?

Is the plot open-ended? Does it feel like there are subplots missing that could further develop the main plot to the story? Are there holes in the plot? Does it seem plausible and/or believable?

How does the action play out? Can you see it playing out in your mind? Do the characters' actions seem believable? Is there enough of it, or not enough?

Does the dialogue sound believable? Do the characters sound as if they're talking from the right time period? (i.e., do they talk with proper prose, or a New York slang?) Is there too much dialogue? Not enough?

What do you think of the story overall? Would you read it again? Does it feel as if the story is long enough? Should there be a sequel? Do the characters interact well together? Does the reader skip from one scene to another in a distracting way? Do you feel as though the story has a beginning, a middle, and an end?

If this story has a theme to it, does it seem believable? Does it grip you?

What did you love most about the story, and why?

What bits didn't work for you? What might have improved the story? What suggestions would you have for the author wanting to make their work better?Is there anything you'd have liked to have seen or done differently if you were writing it?

Good Luck,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 37
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Entry One - Untitled

Father Bernard Lawrence tapped his pen irritably on the side of his desk. He had been attempting to write his sermon for a good half an hour but so far hadn’t got any further along than the first line and even that wasn’t any good. His head ached, one of those dull aches that didn’t hurt exactly but were just a nuisance and stopped you from concentrating on anything else.

A sharp, almost insistent rapping on the door was enough to drive the sermon completely from his mind. Slowly he stretched out his legs and stood up, moving his papers deliberately inside the gold trimmed notebook he used to record his sermons. He shut the cover firmly and placed his pen carefully inside the expensive wrought iron pen holder, a present from one of his parishioners.

As he pulled the door open, the crisp night air hit him in a rush and it took a moment for him to regain his composure and take stock of the person in front of him.

“Christine my dear, what brings you out at such a late hour?”

As a regular church goer Christine Jones was a familiar face at services and also at parish events, a lot of which were held right here in this very house but never before had she come here out of hours and Father Lawrence was suitably intrigued.

“Father please forgive me for disturbing you but I just didn’t know where else to go, I’m in such need of someone to talk to and you did say your door was always open…”

Her words had come out in a breathless rush but she hesitated now, unsure of herself and not at all like the formidable woman he was used to seeing in her element organising the latest fundraiser or campaigning against something she disagreed with.

“Of course, come in, make yourself comfortable. Would you like a hot drink, perhaps a nip of brandy in your tea?”

He headed into the kitchen as he asked the question and set the kettle to boil without waiting for her response. He added a generous measure of brandy, another parishioner gift, to each cup and as the kettle boiled he made up two mugs of tea and headed back into the sitting room.

The fire roared from the side of the room, bathing her in a soft red light but she seemed unmoved, sat still and upright in one of his most comfortable velvet backed chairs. She still wore her coat, the collar pulled up high over her neck and her eyes, largely hidden under the oversized hat were red and looked almost painfully stained with tears. She accepted the cup he offered but made no attempt to drink it, instead busying herself by staring at it, as if mesmerised.

“It might help to talk about it my child, I’m assuming that is why you’re here,” he attempted to coax her. He was concerned about her and curious too. Christine Jones was not the sort of woman to let her guard down, usually she hid her emotions behind the walls of formidability that surrounded her every action, that battled through every campaign or cause she championed.

“I’m not sure where to start Father…”

She let out a deep shuddering breath and finally took a sip of her tea. She placed the mug back on the table and perched on the edge of her chair, her hands clasped tightly together as finally she began to speak.

“I had a visitor today. Mr Holden, you know who I mean Father, he has two sons, one of them is that policeman who was accused of his wife’s murder then got back with his ex with indecent haste.”

Father Lawrence managed a nod, unable to help the smile that graced his lips as the formidable Christine emerged to give her scathing view on the local sports coach. It proved the fighting spirit was still in there somewhere.

“He said he was concerned about Melody, that she had been assaulted at a party but I asked Mel and she denied it. Later though that awful boy came round, I caught him coming out of her room. He said that what Mr Holden had said was true and Melody came out and she confirmed that it was true. I know my Mel Father and she’s not a liar but I’m afraid I didn’t handle it very well. I told her not to go to the police.”

She was wringing her hands together more tightly than ever, her nails cutting into the flesh on her hands and he could already see ugly red wheals forming on her skin. The light from the fire was dancing shadows all over her face creating an aura of mystery around her which somehow, despite her vulnerability, only served to make her appear even more formidable.

“You must think I’m a horrible person. Mel does and that boy, Geoff he said some terrible things about me not caring and that’s not true at all.” She stood up now and began pacing alongside the fireplace; three strides then an about turn and the same thing again. The repetitive movement was doing nothing to help the aching in his head.

Her pacing had stopped and she was staring now, staring into midair, a distracted, almost blank expression on her face. In a sudden movement her features hardened and she turned to meet his eyes.

“I’ve seen what happens with these things Father, it gets twisted and it ends up with the victim being the one to blame. The lawyers make the girl out to be a whore, she led him on, it was all her fault, and her life is made a misery…”

“That’s not necessarily true Christine.” He was attempting to calm her hysteria but the manic flashing of her eyes, the pain in every hard line of her face was disturbing him.

“But it is Father, I know it to be true, I know because it happened to me!”

Her words came out in a much higher pitch than usual and at three times the normal speed. Father Lawrence took a second to digest her proclamation and formulate the right response but before he had got there she was speaking again and this time he decided to just let her get it all out.

“I knew a girl once; she was sixteen years old and full of confidence. She knew she was attractive and popular and she had such a social life, always out at parties or social events.”

As Father Lawrence watched her features softened, her eyes became almost glazed and he had no doubt she was lost in happy memories. He smiled to see how innocent she looked in her most unguarded moment but even as he watched her features twisted into a scowl and her eyes hardened, the dancing light leaving them as abruptly as it had arrived.

“This girl had a younger sister, five years younger who looked up to her, who used to sit on the edge of her bed watching as she did her make-up. The younger sister had a bedroom on the ground floor and at night the older sister would climb in through the bedroom window to avoid waking up their parents. Usually they’d sit up for a bit, chatting and the little sister would hear all about the night out.”

“But one night something happened and when the older sister came home she was crying and shaking, her makeup was all streaked, her dress torn. After some persuading she told her sister that she had been at a party and she’d been drunk and a boy had… well let us just say he’d gone too far with her.”

Christine moved suddenly to sit back down as if she was suddenly uncomfortable with standing but even seated she still didn’t look at ease. She was perched again on the edge of the chair; her fingers clasped once more together, her nails deepening the ugly red scars. As she noticed him watching she reached instead for her mug, wrapping her hands around it.

“The little sister was very innocent but even she knew that the boy had done something wrong. She persuaded her older sister to tell the Police. It was her words that caused the older sister to report him.”

“At first it was fine but then the boy denied it and people started to turn against her, they called her a liar, said she’d led him on with her short skirts and her make-up. The girl tried her best, she kept her head held high, determined that she’d get justice in court.”

Her voice caught in her throat and he noticed that the mug shook precariously in her hand, the liquid contained in it shifted from one side to the other occasionally escaping over the sides. Not that Christine seemed to notice, she did not even flinch when a drop of the red hot tea landed on the hand that grasped the mug with white fingers in an iron grip.

“She never got justice though Father, in court it was his word against hers and there was no evidence, no proof. She told them what had happened, she told the truth but they didn’t believe her. He walked away scot-free and her life was ruined, she couldn’t go anywhere after that without people whispering and calling her names, it was a nightmare for her.”

Her tone had hardened and her face reverted back to the blank, slab wall. The shutters had gone back up and the moment of vulnerability had passed. Her expression wasn’t one of anger though it was of sadness and despair and if anything that disturbed Father Lawrence more than any other emotion she had so far displayed.

“She changed after that.” Her voice was monotone as she continued the story. “The make-up and mini skirts disappeared and she borrowed clothes from her mother’s wardrobe instead. She rarely went out and never to parties, she just used to sit up in her room staring into space and not eating.”

“Then one day she didn’t get up in the morning and her younger sister was sent to wake her. What she found was a note explaining that she couldn’t go on anymore, that going to the police had ruined her life. It said she hated her life, hated the way everyone looked at her like she was a liar and a whore. It said she was ready to end it all.”

Her eyes hardened once more, the lines in her face deepening as her anger twisted her features. “You see Father why I can’t let Melody go to the Police?”

“The girl in the story was my sister.”

“She killed herself that day, threw herself off a high cliff and all because I told her to go to the Police.”

She paused and looked him square in the eyes as he struggled to keep his expression from betraying his shock at her revelation. Her words as she spoke where cool and almost calculated and the hatred in her tone chilled Father Lawrence to the core.

“I will not let the same thing happen to my daughter.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Entry Two - Rewriting Mum's Existence

Sydney 1988

“BABY!” A young woman had screeched as she slammed the front door shut of her house, muting out the noises of the brewing storm outside. Tears were streaming down her cold cheeks as her heart was racing, beating quite rapidly, almost as if it was going to tear out of her chest. ‘BABY!’ She had cried once more as she reached the top of the stairs, shaking so rigid it was unbearable that she couldn’t hold a glass vase without dropping it.

‘What! What is it!?’ A young man had cried as he exited one of the bedrooms from upstairs, running towards his panicked wife. ‘What happened?’

‘It’s Daddy… They’ve killed him.’ She shrieked as she buried herself into his arms, almost hysterical, barely breathing. Her husband had stood there, far away from shock as he just held his wife, not knowing what to say as they just stood there for motionless seconds.

‘We have to go.’ She ordered as she broke herself away from his arms. ‘We have to go!’ She had repeated once more as she raced into a darkened bedroom and switched on the lights. ‘Baby, get up. We have to go.’ She had asked her eight year old son, picking him up as she placed him onto the floor. Before she could reach her six year old son, her husband had come into the room, confused and beginning to feel the panic by the tension his wife was creating.

‘Katie, what’s going on?’ He asked as he walked over to her, completely ignoring his eight year old son standing beside them.

‘They’ve kill Dad, and they’re now coming for us, we have to leave before they kill us!’ She squealed as the tears began to double, where the small boy stood between his parents, completely unaware of what was going on.

‘Sweetie, go downstairs… Jason…wake up honey.’ She begged her six year old son as she asked them to wait downstairs with her husband while she went into another bedroom.

‘Hey, hey, hey, hey.’ He arose, feeling the stress get to him. ‘It’ll be OK.’

‘I’m going to go get Lucas, I’ll meet you in the car.’

‘Where are we going to go?’ He had begged.

‘TONY, we can not talk about this, they’re on their way already!’

‘No! We are going to talk about this, what’s going on!?’

‘Tony, please.’

‘Did your father get caught from the police?’

‘No…that big delivery from overseas was coming in today, Dad didn’t have the right amount of cash, they killed him, David had gotten away and had called me… He’s already fled town.’ Tony had let out a gasp as he held Katie tightly in his arms which had seemed like forever. As they stood in the hallway, everything around them had seemed to go quite, even the storm which was looming outside. Their silence was broken when they heard a small crack in the glass window downstairs. Tony had moved himself away from his wife as they just stared at each other in peacefulness, wondering what the sound was. It wasn’t until they heard a loud scream from their son when they knew something bad had happened. Racing down the stairs, Tony took three steps at a time as he leaped into the living room, as his jaw dropped to the ground horrified by the site of his sons. His eight year old stood in the corner screaming, as their six year old laid on the cold floor boards – dead, with a bleeding wound from a gunshot. When Katie had entered the room, she had let out the most bone chilling scream any mother could let out by the sight of seeing their child bleeding to death. Her screams hadn’t stopped as she picked him up, resting him in her arms as she cradled him like a newborn. Tony stood a few paces behind her, frozen, as tears began to roll down his face. Without saying anything, he had moved over to his screaming son and picked him up and walked back up the stairs as if nothing had happened. Katie’s screams began to soften after awhile as Tony returned downstairs with two crying boys in his arms. Jack, and their baby Lucas. Tony stared at the sight, not knowing what to do or say as he slowly moved towards her, trying his hardest not to stare at the wound of his son, believing he would break down at the sight. He needed to stay strong and calm for his family, although it was breaking his heart.

‘Katie.’ Tony had softly spoken, half bending down with the boys in his arms. ‘We have to leave sweetie.’ Katie opened her mouth to reply, but everything had came out in mumbles and scrambled words. She too didn’t even know what to say.

‘What are we going to do?’ She softly wept, still cradling him in her arms. ‘He’s dead!’ She finished, with a tone almost filled with spite.

‘We have to keep going before something else happens.’


‘This isn’t going to work. We cannot go to the police about this.’ Tony had begun to instruct his wife, feeling sorry for her.

‘What do you mean? They killed my father, they killed my little boy!’

‘If we tell the police what happened, they’ll lock both you and I up inside and take the boys away from us! Your dad was a massive drug dealer, we’ve even participated in the dealings from time to time - we can go down for a lifetime Katie!’

‘We need to bury him.’ She had spoken, almost chocking as she got himself up with Jason in her arms.

‘We don’t have the time.’

‘Well we’ll make the time!’

‘Katie, the boys are in danger, we need to go!’ Tony had reasoned, as another silence was made between them, and yet again, broken up from another alarming noise, by police sirens in the distance.

‘Take the boys…I’m going to take Jason somewhere and burry him.’ Katie began to explain as she backed herself out of the living room. ‘GO!’

‘OK… Where am I going to meet you?’

‘I don’t- I don’t know…You can’t… Tony, you can’t…with me around, the boys will be in danger!’

‘What are you saying?’ Tony asked, completely in the dark by what his wife was asking him.

‘The Gillian’s are going to be chasing us until I’m dead! Look what they’ve already done to Jason- to my father! Go away and keep them safe!’

‘Baby, this is ludicrous!’ Tony began to explain as he stepped towards her.

‘No, no it’s not! Maybe in ten, fifteen years or so, I’ll meet up with you again, OK?’ She began to softly weep.

‘Why so long? Why not a few months, a year even?’

‘Tony, you know how these guys work, they don’t stop until they know that their enemy has been wiped out, come fifteen years time, everything will be over with, they would think I’m dead.’

‘Katie, no.’

‘Tony, it’s the best thing for Jack and Lucas… I can’t be near them right now, not while I’m wanted!’

‘What do you want me to tell them when they get curious with where you went?’

‘…Tell them I died a peaceful death.’ She had smiled for the first time in a long time. ‘I’ll meet you back here in fifteen years or so when all this dies down… You better be here.’ She had finished off with a grin as she backed away, with her dead son in her arms. As the sirens got louder, Tony couldn’t even stop and think about everything that had just happened. Immediately, he ran out of the front doors as he put his kids into the car, and driving out of the driveway into the loud storm that the sirens were dithering in.

Summer Bay 2008

‘So here you are…’ Tony had softly spoken.

‘Here I am.’ Katie had gritted through her teeth, where her blonde hair had now seemed extremely unhealthy, all knotted, although she still had looked good for her age. ‘Five years I’ve been trying to find you Tony… After I told you almost twenty years ago to remain at the house, you disappear when that time approaches!’

‘It wasn’t like that.’ Tony had whispered.

‘Well what was it then?’

‘Jack…It’s a long story…he killed someone accidentally when he was a rookie, the girl’s father that he had murdered kept chasing us out of town after town until we settled here. By then, I didn’t even think that you would be alive, I hadn’t heard anything from you ever since.’ Katie had walked around in circles as Tony unbuttoned his top button, to allow for some fresh air. Katie, just like the past, had seemed lost for words as everything began to seem emotional again for her.

‘Where are they?’ She had asked out of the blue, quite strongly.

‘I’m sorry?’ Tony asked, confused.

‘The boys, where are they.’

‘They’re…They’re next door, with Rachel, you can’t see them.’

‘Why the hell not, they’re my kids Tony!’ Katie had pleaded, feeling quite stressed.

‘Because they think you’re DEAD!’

‘Well I’m not, so can we just skip all this reminiscing so I can just see my boys!’

‘Not today.’


‘Not today, Katie! I told you, I’m remarrying today, in under an hour, don’t do this yet…not yet.’ Tony had pleaded as well, hopefully for some bargaining with her.

‘Fine.’ Katie had whispered, as she sat on the bed as Tony walked out of the bedroom and out of the house. As she began to brake down on the bed, the noises of Tony and her grown up sons in the distance hoping into the cars onto the way of the wedding began to break her heart as she began to slowly choke as she cried. Everything that she had hoped for, her reunion with her sons and Tony for the past fifteen years was put on hold because of Tony and her sons on the run. It had taken almost five years for her to track them down, and now that she had, it was all for nothing. Everyone had all moved on with their lives, she was nothing to them anymore. As she took in a deep breath, she got herself up from the bed and walked out into the kitchen where she dried her tears with a few tissues. In the corner of her eye she had spotted something shiny, something dangerous, she had spotted a weapon of a killer. Taking the butcher’s knife from the kitchen bench, she placed it into her handbag and walked outside, shaking with fear. She had entered the lot next door, as she knocked waiting for an answer. Leah had opened the door, all dressed up with a childish smile as Katie introduced herself as Tony’s relative. Wanting to see the bride before the ceremony, Leah had showed Katie towards Rachel’s room and had left them alone. Rachel had looked stunning in her pure white dress, and couldn’t wipe the grin off of her face as she shook hands with Katie.

‘I would like to get to know you of course, but seeing that it’s less then an hour to the ceremony, I thought I would cut to the chase.’ Katie had begun to explain which made no sense to Rachel.

‘Um, sure, what is it?’ She had asked, with her smile in no sign of fading away, as Katie had whispered,

‘Close your eyes.’

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Entry Three - Untitled

This is a story of love, pain and heartache for all involved. I Jack Anthony Holden give you my story.

2nd March

This story begins in 2008 when my wife Sam died; she was murdered for selfish reasons. She died with my baby as well, I can now finally process the pain and devastation you go through when you lose a child. People keep saying that her

7th March

I can’t believe that because she was one normal person before the drugs thing and to get mixed up in the drugs scandal means that you have no respect for the law. Although me saying that is kind of hypocritical because I dodged the bullet and removed Martha from harms way. Sam death made me believe that life was short so I went to the one source of love that I believed I had; Martha. People hated the speed at which we reunited but I know in my hearts of hearts that it was the right thing to do. She is and will always be the love of my life and I am not letting her go again. To some extent Sam as well.


Sam’s funeral dawned, Jack was torn on whether to go against Rory’s wishes or justify his arrival on the fact he loved Sam. There are many different ways you can love a person but describing the feelings are lot more complex as how can you truly delve into your depth and discover just exactly how you feel and let people know that. His feelings for Sam are beyond confusing, he couldn’t even rationalise how he felt as it hurts way too much. He did love her but she didn’t receive the love the way he had wanted her to

He just let the tears flow out of the eyes and across the sea he saw a flicker of something shiny, he focused on it, he knew than that it was the light that was going to being his hope. Sam loved the sea and said she wanted her ashes to be thrown out to sea.

Jack was determined to see her wish through. She had left him a letter saying “.. I have been so selfish and I know that you love Martha, maybe more than you love me in a different way... I want you and her to look after Rory but I want it to be you alone who throw my ashes into the sea. I love you and I will do forever.


Present Day

Martha entered the dining room and smiled as Jack put his shirt on frantically as Tony was approaching the door, fortunately the phone rang and tony picked it up.

“… I will be there in 10…” his voice carried through the dense wall and they heard the footsteps walk away hurriedly.

Jack had finally changed “... Good Timing! ...”

Martha put her hands around his neck and nuzzled him “I know. I better go”

“Do you have to?” Jack whinged

“Well unless you want people to know about us?”

“Why not, we might as well tell them”

“Ok” she agreed…

“..And that is how we reunited...” Some faces were smiling through total happiness for us but some were disapproving.

“… We know it is soon after Sam but I don’t want to waste time as I know Martha is the one for me.. We have never stopped loving each other at all.. Love lasts forever and through thick and thin…”

“.. How do you think Sam will feel?...”

“She will be happy” came a small voice in the corner

Everyone turned around and saw Rory’s face. “My mum knew Jack loved her and Martha in different ways and on her death bed she told me to accept them as they are my future and my mum is everything to me”

Colleen who couldn’t resist it said “Do you think Martha is a replacement?” Everyone gasped in shock but Rory didn’t seem fazed at all. “She isn’t a replacement, Martha know that but she is someone I will treasure as she doesn’t make me feel like an outsider in her life and I am forever grateful for that” He looked up at Martha and she smiled and mouthed “thanks”


14th April

Today, my life changed forever, I am going to be a father and I can’t wait. I have yearned to be a father for so long if I talk about it for too long it feels like it will disappear. The feeling you get is beyond fantastic, I love this woman and I love our unborn child. She is already 3 months along, its amazing how long it has been without her noticing or maybe she already knew but didn’t tell me through fear of my reaction. Rory is happy as well, a new brother or sister. He is so excited and so am I, I cannot wait.


Jack sulked on the couch he wasn’t about to stop for anyone, he was so scared and happy at the same time, he was going to be a father!! Excitement crept in slowly but the uncertainty also darkened his mind at the same time, how was he going to cope? He had no idea what he was doing or how he was gong to do it.

Martha came in looking really sullen and the look she had on her face said ‘We need to talk’

“What’s wrong?” jack enquired

“I have to tell you something, I should have told you before but I didn’t know how”

“It is all right, I know”

“Know? What do you mean?”

“Roman is the father to your baby”

“A potential father”

“Oh come on Martha, he is the father, stop kidding yourself with hope”

“I just don’t want to lose you”

“Some things are inevitable but I am not letting you go Martha, you mean too much to me.”

17th April

Spoke too soon I think. Apparently Roman could also be the father to Martha’s baby. We are going to have a DNA test soon and I hope it turns put that it is my baby; I don’t think I could handle it if it turns out to be Romans’. Call me selfish but I don’t want to share this baby with anyone else other than Martha. I don’t blame either of them, things happen but I really do hope that it is mine. Being engaged again seems so unreal and I think I will call it off until we truly know what is going on.

20th August

Martha is my wife now. It is so surreal, it has whizzed by so damn fast and it scared me but I know we are strong enough now for it to work and it will work, Martha is nearly 9 months pregnant and one of these days I am going to be a father. I am not sure what gender it is but I am happy either way, a mini me or Martha will be perfect or twins but that wont happen.

This was just my interpretation of Jack’s view of the events of 2008

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Entry Four - Untitled

This couldn’t be happening. There was just no way. He would have known. He couldn’t have been kept in the dark about something this important. She wouldn’t have done that to him. That wasn’t who she was. It was just impossible. There had been some sort of mistake. That was the only plausible explanation. It was all just a great big misunderstanding. It had to be … right?

The sun had set hours ago, and the breeze whipping his hair out of his face was bitter cold, but the man, who had been sitting alone on the riverbank for four hours, didn’t even notice. The pale moonlight caught in his blonde hair and illuminated his pale complexion, giving him the appearance of a ghost. His knees were hunched towards his chest and his arms were folded on top of them, reminiscent of a child trying to block out a painful experience. In a way, that was what he was doing, as he ran over her words in his mind on a continuous loop. He was in denial about the whole thing; pretending it hadn’t happened; hoping it was all in his mind.

It just couldn’t be true. It was all wrong.

The man had been staring at the same spot out on the water for so long that he had long since stopped truly seeing it. His eyes had the glazed appearance of someone who is only feigning interest in something, and yet he wasn’t even pretending to be engrossed in whatever was out there. He was just sitting thinking. There were goose bumps so clear on his arms that they could well have been a permanent feature, and his mouth had been set in the same tight line for so long that it could have frozen that way with a change in the wind. A hundred people must have noticed him that night, so still that he could have been a part of the scenery. Some wondered if he was ill, and others if he could perhaps be homeless. Others, his friends, worried that there was something truly wrong. It was unlike him to be so distanced from the world, but nobody could get through to him. A couple of them had even gone over to try to talk to him, but he didn’t even acknowledge their presence. By two in the morning, everyone had gone home, and he was left alone with his thoughts: at once the only and the last place he wanted to be.

You’re a father, Peter.

Those words had tortured him from the second they had fallen from her perfectly reddened lips. Him, a father? It sounded absurd, and yet she swore to him that it was true. Part of his job was being able to read people, and there was no lie in her eyes. Either she was a much better actress than he had expected, or it was the truth. His first reaction had been, of all things, laughter. Hollow, disbelieving laughter. He thought she was teasing him, but then again, Christy’s blunt nature was part of what had attracted him to her all those years ago. And this wasn’t the kind of thing she would lie about. After he had finally accepted what she was telling him as the truth, he then felt an overwhelming surge of anger, and had wasted no time in taking it out on his ex. How could she keep something like this from him? What did she expect to gain from lying, from coming clean this far down the line? More importantly, why tell him now?

He doesn’t get on with us, Peter. He wants to move out and go to boarding school. He hates his home life. I want to send him to a good school. I want you to help me help him.

Help her help him. Help this lying, manipulative woman he barely knew anymore, send the son he had never met away because he was miserable. Not only had Christy, or as she told him she was now known, ‘Jazz’ – what kind of a ridiculous name was that, anyway? – lied to him about his child, but she had then done such a bad job of raising said child that he wanted to move out of home at age twelve. It made him sick to his stomach just thinking about it. He had sworn to himself a long time ago that if he were ever to father children that he would be a better role model, a better dad, than his own had been, and what kind of a start had he made? His son thought he didn’t care about him and had grown up with Christy’s new boyfriend, who was a bit of a drunk, Peter suspected from her vague comments, as a father figure instead. And there was little or nothing he could do about it. Apparently Andrew, his son, was not interested in meeting Peter or having anything to do with him. That made his blood boil. Christy dared come to him twelve years too late with this bombshell and then lay down conditions? She really thought he could just hand over a blank cheque and walk away from his own child? He may not have done the best job so far, but he hadn’t exactly had the chance, either, thanks to her. And Peter Baker was nothing if not determined. His parents had always preferred his brother to him and treated him as though he didn’t matter, and it had hurt him deeply, no matter how many times he assured his friends and brother that he didn’t care. The truth was, he cared, maybe too much, but he definitely cared. And all he could think about was how to make it up to Andrew.

You’re not getting a single dollar from me until I meet him.

The sun beat down on Peter’s face and he wiped the sweat from his forehead for what felt like the millionth time in the ten minutes that had passed since he had arrived at their meeting place. Christy had chosen a neutral spot, and Peter had agreed, having been still in shock at the time and not thinking clearly. Had he been, he might have questioned her choice. But he hadn’t been and hadn’t done, and so he was sitting on a picnic bench in a small park just outside the city. Aside from him, there were only two other people to be seen: a young couple, maybe about eighteen, walking a small white dog. He sighed to himself. Oh for things to be that simple. He had been awake all night, wondering what Andrew would be like. Would they have anything in common? What would they have to say to one another? What would Andrew want to say to him? These questions were beginning to spin in his mind again when he saw them. Christy, looking more beautiful than ever – oh how deceiving looks could be – was making her way across the park towards him, waving and smiling. Trailing somewhat despondently behind her was a boy Peter could only assume to be Andrew. His eyes were almond shaped, and his hair was unruly like Peter’s, but the similarities ended there. He had Christy’s dark hair and strong jaw, and Peter was only guessing, but he could imagine he saw a hint of her smile in the boy too. He got to his feet as they approached, greeting Christy with the customary peck on the cheek, and turned his attention to the kid. He didn’t look up, but merely scuffed his foot back and forth on the well-trodden grass underfoot, and Peter resisted the urge to laugh. He suspected Andrew had inherited an attitude as well as eyes from him.

Peter Kevin Baker, this is Andrew Jacob Curtis. Drew, this is your dad.

“You ever shot anyone?” It appeared that Andrew ‘call-me-Drew-or-die’ Curtis was not one for small talk. Christy had gone to get a coffee and left them to get acquainted, but so far, all Drew had opened his mouth for was to enquire precisely what rank Peter had reached in the police force, and now his latest question. The sullen way he spoke told Peter quite clearly that he was only here because he had been forced to, and only bothering to ask any questions at all because he was under strict orders to make an effort.

“A few times.” Peter wasn’t keen on playing games, but if Drew wanted to make this difficult, he wasn’t about to push things. He may have known next to nothing about teenagers, but he knew about father-son relationships. Well, not relationships, perhaps, but awkward father-son situations were something of a speciality of his. He suspected this fell into that category. He knew he was the adult, and he should be making the most effort here, but he was terrified of doing the wrong thing. More than anything he wanted to get to know Drew, to form a relationship with his son, but he knew he had to tread very carefully. What if he said something that hurt the boy’s feelings? What if he came across as trying too hard? What if it looked like he didn’t care? He didn’t think he could bear having Drew think of him the way he thought of his own father. At the very least, even if he couldn’t get it right, he might be able to make the boy feel a little more at ease by doing this on his terms. But it was soon to become abundantly clear that absolutely nothing about this was of Drew’s doing, and none of it was on Drew’s terms.

I don’t care, all right? She made me come today. I’ve managed just fine without a dad until now, and I really don’t need you feeling like you have to take responsibility for me now. We don’t even know each other. I don’t need you in my life.

It was impossible to say which was harder for Peter: finding out that his son really wasn’t interested in knowing him, or realising that there was nothing he could do about the fact. He wanted to make things easier on Drew, and it seemed that the only way to do it was to get him out of Christy’s and into an environment where he felt happy and comfortable. He even offered the boy a home, should he ever want one, and received an eye-roll for his efforts. It seemed that the last thing on Drew’s mind was having any sort of relationship with Peter, and while that hurt, it wasn’t totally unexpected. He had been right in his first impression: Drew had taken much more from his father’s genes than it appeared at first sight. He was stubborn, reckless, arrogant, and he was determined to be independent at all costs. Peter could certainly relate. He felt an immediate affinity with the boy; with his circumstances and his feelings; but it was evident that the bond was strictly one-sided. He realised that all the stories he had heard weren’t exaggerated after all, too. He loved his son the moment he set eyes on him, albeit twelve years too late. This was his family; his flesh and blood; his legacy. Family mattered to Peter. And if he couldn’t have a close family … well, at the very least, he would see to it that he had a happy one, even if that meant not being a part of it.

Just send me the payment details for this boarding school. I’ll take care of it.

Drew Curtis left the park that day carrying a promise of a home and support anytime he wanted it, no strings attached, and the assurance that his father cared a great deal, and wanted to make their relationship work. Peter Baker left with nothing more or less than he arrived with: the hope that one day, maybe, Drew would believe him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Entry Five - Statement

I, Axel Hay, state for the record that I sexually assaulted Melody Jones. I was drunk, and that’s not an excuse, but I feel that it made me unable to stop myself when she said she didn’t want to take things further. I don’t exactly remember what happened, but I do remember finding Melody alone in a bedroom in Aden Jefferies’ house during a party. Melody had gone upstairs to get away from everyone because her boyfriend, Geoff Campbell, had just dumped her. I didn’t follow her, I didn’t know she was in there when I went in. Aden had sent me upstairs to sleep it off because I was so drunk. I don’t think he knew that Melody was up there either.

Melody was upset and needed someone to talk to, so I talked to her. I never talked to her like that before. We were kind of having a moment. I thought maybe it could lead to something more. I’d never really thought of Melody that way, but I was really, really drunk…

I remember touching her leg, because I thought that maybe she’d want to forget about Geoff, and I could help her do that. But I wasn’t thinking clearly, because I’d had a lot to drink, and I wasn’t really listening when she told me to stop. I thought she was just being shy, because I know she’s a Christian, but I thought she’d like it if I touched her. I don’t really remember what happened after that. I think I remember lying on top of her, but I don’t know if it’s because she let me or if I forced myself on her. She says I forced myself on her, and I can’t remember, but I don’t think she’d lie about it. But… I just can’t imagine myself doing that to someone either, even if I was drunk. I guess I was hoping that she was lying, which is why I said nothing happened in my first statement. And I asked her about it the morning after - how much she remembered - and she said that nothing happened so I thought that was the truth. Or at least that she wanted to forget about it, because maybe she felt guilty about Geoff. They got back together pretty quickly so I thought maybe she just regretted whatever she did with me. I really didn’t remember too much, I only had her word on what happened.

I was confused when she changed her mind and reported me to the police - I didn’t know if she was trying to get back at me for trying to take advantage of her breakup with Geoff or something, so I didn’t change my story in case she was lying about the assault. I didn’t want to take the fall for her. But she yelled at me at school today in front of everyone and I don’t think she’d do that if she wasn’t serious. She was really, really angry at me. So I’m really sorry for whatever I’ve done to her, and that I’ve upset Melody so much, but I didn’t mean for it to happen, and it won’t happen again. I honestly don’t know what happened to begin with, but it must have been bad for her to react like that. I just wish it hadn’t happened at all. I’m really sorry.

McGrath lifted his eyes skeptically from the shaky handwriting on the page. “Have you told Melody that you’re sorry?” he asked Axel, who shifted uncomfortably in his seat on the other side of the table.

“She wouldn’t listen to me if I tried,” he guessed shamefully. “She hates my guts.”

“Can you blame her? You assaulted her and then you lied about it. You humiliated her and then made her look like a fool when she tried to report it.”

“I didn’t mean to!” Axel defended himself. “I don’t remember what happened - you just read my statement - how was I supposed to know she wasn’t making it up? I had to be sure before I let her crucify me, didn’t I?”

McGrath nodded, unsympathetically. “And you’re sure now?”

Axel shrugged. “It doesn’t make a difference now. If I did it, I guess I deserve to be punished, and if I didn’t… well, who’s going to believe that after Melody’s had a go at me in front of the whole school?”

“So do you believe you’re at fault or not, Mr Hay?”

Axel sighed. “I don’t know. But… I think so. I do remember touching her leg, and I sort of remember putting my hand under her skirt, so I guess it makes sense that I’d try to take it further. And if Melody says that I forced her, then… I think so, yeah.”

“And you’d be willing to face the consequences on ‘I think so’?”

Axel considered the question, and nodded.

“Are you sure about that?”

“Look, you want to prosecute me, don’t you? Why are you making it so difficult?”

“Because this is not a simple matter, Mr Hay. Your statement may be full of ‘sorries’ but I’m not convinced you believe in any of them.”

“But I am sorry!”

“For what? For the fact that Melody’s upset, or for what you did to upset her?”

“Isn’t that just splitting hairs?”

“No, it isn’t. If you’re sorry for what you’ve done - if you can accept that you’ve definitely hurt and traumatized Miss Jones, and that you are wholly responsible for that - then I can accept this statement as fact. If not… I’m afraid it would cause me to wonder what other parts of your statement might be fabricated.”


“Lies, Mr Hay,” McGrath said darkly. “I must say I find it awfully convenient that you remember everything leading to the attack but not the attack itself.”

“Yeah?” Axel crossed his arms, unimpressed. “Well I don’t. I don’t remember it. But I’m telling you now that I’m willing to believe Melody’s version of it - and if what she says is true, then I am sorry. Isn’t that enough?”

“It’s the ‘if’ that bothers me, Mr Hay. I still get the feeling that you’re trying to avoid responsibility.”

“I was drunk, okay!? I blacked out - I don’t remember! I can’t give you the details because I don’t remember what they are! I know I’m an idiot for getting that blind - I know I have no-one to blame for that but myself. But I didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt, so how can I feel responsible for something I didn’t mean to do, and don’t even remember doing? I am sorry that it happened, I am. I wish I could take it back more than anything, but I can’t. All I can say is that I’m sorry. So just… sentence me or whatever it is you do and let me get on with my life.”

“Do you think it will be that easy for Melody to get on with her life?”

Axel rolled his eyes - how was he supposed to know that?

“What about the attack on you?” McGrath switched topics to defuse Axel’s bad attitude. “What do you remember about that?”

Axel hesitated. “Nothing,” he answered off guard. “Nothing much. Some guy jumped me on the beach.” He shifted in his seat again. “Why are you asking? It’s got nothing to do with any of this.”

“Really? So it wasn’t Geoff Campbell out for revenge?”

“Even if it was, I’m not here to press charges, so what difference doesn’t it make?”

McGrath shrugged indifferently. “Oh I was just thinking that maybe someone had forced this rather reluctant confession out of you.”

“Yeah, someone did - Melody Jones!” Axel reminded the infuriating cop. “I’m here because she convinced me I should be here. Am I talking to myself?”

“And you have no idea who attacked you?”

“No. It was just some random.”

McGrath raised an eyebrow. “Pretty coincidental that you’d get bashed by a ‘random’ the same day that Geoff Campbell threatened you in the Den.”

“It happened days ago anyway,” Axel reasoned, “Before my original statement. Why would I change it now?”

“Perhaps Geoff threatened you again. Perhaps the last time was just a taste of what he’d do if you didn’t turn yourself in.”

Axel sniffed. “Bible-Boy hasn’t got it in him.”

“So who does?” McGrath leaned in, sensing that Axel knew his attacker, and feeling that he was close to a name. “What about your mate Jefferies?”

Axel glared at the cop. “Aden wouldn’t hurt me. And even if he did, I wouldn’t hand him over to you. He’s a mate.”

“A mate who beats you into a bloody pulp and leaves you for dead?”

“The attack was random - it had nothing to do with Melody.”

“I don’t believe that. I think that attack might go some way to establishing your motives for this benevolent turn around. You could have easily kept quiet about this - there was no evidence to speak of, it could have all gone away. I’m just interested to know why a boy like you would pass up the opportunity to sweep something like this under the rug.”

“A boy like me? What do you mean by that, Sergeant?”

“One with more money than sense,” McGrath answered predictably. “And easy enough access to alcohol to deplete you reserves of either one.”

“Right,” Axel nodded, finally getting where the cop was coming from. “A spoiled little rich kid. So is this where you ask me for a bribe? Because I’m obviously going to try and throw money at this problem to make it go away. Come to think of it, why don’t I just go and bribe Melody to keep quiet? I’m sure all she’s after is my cash! Why didn’t I think of it before!”

“I don’t appreciate sarcasm, Mr Hay.”

“Yeah, well I don’t appreciate you deciding who I am based on where I come from. Melody’s mother is a nutcase - does that make Melody crazy too? Maybe it does. Maybe she did make the whole thing up. Maybe I’m just wasting my time here, and I should keep my mouth shut and save you the paperwork, huh?”

“You really expect me to believe that you’re doing this out of the goodness of your own heart, so that Melody feels satisfied that justice has been done?”

“Why not?”

“Because that’s generally not how criminals work, Mr Hay.”

“Then maybe I’m not a criminal. Maybe I just made a mistake, and now I’m trying to fix it.”

“And it has nothing to do with that cut on your eye, and wondering what the next attack’s going to look like?”

Axel thought about the sentiment. “I can honestly say that this,” he pointed to the red mark on his face, “Won’t be happening again. I’m changing my statement for Melody, that’s all. So can I submit it or not?”

McGrath took the statement, and Axel was left to ponder his decision on the beach where Aden had attacked him. Was it the right thing? He didn’t know. He didn’t know if he was guilty or innocent - all he knew was it was his fault for getting too drunk to remember. Too drunk to stop himself hurting Melody… Too drunk to defend himself from her lies… Either way, it was his mess, he supposed. He just wished that he knew why Aden had turned on him so brutally for it.

He walked past the sand dune where Belle had found him - where it had happened. He was vaguely aware of his body trembling, but the wind was up and he decided that the cold would do that. He breathed in - slow and sharp - considering the ditch that Aden left him to die in. Axel didn’t understand it… He trusted Aden, he didn’t understand how he could do that to him. And for what? Bible-Boy’s Bible-bashing girlfriend? Axel wasn’t lying when he had told McGrath that the attack was random…

But he thought, if that’s how he made Melody feel, then maybe he deserved what he got. If she felt that helpless and scared, not knowing what was going to happen to her, where it was going to stop, if it was going to stop…

Axel shuddered, and he couldn’t blame it on the cold. He hugged himself anyway, rubbing his arms to pretend. He stared at the sand, remembering how chilling it was, feeling like he was slipping into death as the heat of the blood on his face turned icy from the drying wind, and his vision grew darker, the pain more dull and further away…

It was only a few quick punches in the end - the doctors said he hadn’t even fractured anything. Just a few blemishes of busted skin, easily patched up and healed in time. Easy to get over…

But it still hurt, and he was still scared, and he still didn’t understand why…

If he really had done everything to Melody that she said he did…

Axel shook himself free of the thought - he couldn’t believe he was that guy. He wasn’t that guy, and neither was Aden. Whatever he’d done, it was because of the alcohol. He didn’t mean to, he didn’t know…

Whatever Aden had done… Well, there was a good reason for it, Axel was sure. His friend wouldn’t turn on him for that alone, not without even hearing his side. There had to be another reason… some reason to abandon him so readily…

He caught sight of Aden at the other end of the beach. Axel thought it best not to stick around. He quickly started back the way he came. Now wasn’t the time to ask questions. Now was the time to run and hide, and to stay out of everyone’s way. He’d admitted to the assault now. Whether he wanted to believe it or not, as far as Melody was concerned, as far as Geoff, Aden, Belle, and the rest of the town were concerned… he was guilty, and he had to pay. How much and for how long, he didn’t know, but he’d signed his own death warrant. They could do what they liked to him now.

Axel took a daring, but fleeting glance behind him. The cold, sandy ditch - his former friend, distant and deliberately oblivious to his plight. He dragged his focus back to his feet and walked on, wondering if anyone would ever risk getting close enough for him to talk to them again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Entry Six - In Heat

I slumped back onto my bed with a thud, stretching my arms out above my head. I sighed; Life was good.

“Come on man, lets go do something,” Jules nagged from across the room.

“Dude, can’t you wait like five minutes until we’re changed or something?” I asked.

“Nope,” he replied strolling across our room towards me, “This is the start of one awesome summer, man.” He fiddled with his tie, undoing his top button as he lowered it, and pulled it around his head, tossing it to one side.

My view of Jules disappeared from the corner of my eye. I pulled my head up with as much effort as I could muster, which was difficult considering I had used up every ounce of strength I had to finish that damn English exam, that I’m pretty sure I had still failed. But now it was all over, and Jules was right; this was going to be an awesome summer. One more year and we would all be out of here, living out our lives, as far away from this hellhole as possible.

Noticing that Jules was no longer in the room, I propped myself up onto my elbows. He reappeared moments later, no longer wearing his school uniform, but shorts, shirt, and thongs.

“That was fast,” I commented.

“No time to waste,” he replied. He then began to wander about the room, sifting through the chest of drawers that occupied one wall, occasionally murmuring to himself. His arm disappeared down the back of the drawer, looking as though it was about to swallow him whole. His face strained slightly, as he proceeded to tug his hand free. It reappeared clutching a single pair of socks, rolled into a ball.

“Aren’t you ready yet?” he asked, noticing that I was still lying on my bed.

“Ready for what?” I asked.

“This,” he said, tossing the socks at me.

“We’re going to play tennis?” I asked, holding the socks up in disgust. I knew Jules; I also knew that he didn’t know the meaning of the words ‘washing machine’, so it scared me how long those socks had been in those drawers.

He scoffed,

“You’re funny, man,” he replied, wandering back over to me and snatching the socks from my grasp.

“That didn’t answer my question!” I protested.

“Just get changed already,” and he left the room.

I heaved another sigh, and slowly rolled over onto my stomach. Somehow this didn’t help my situation. I was no closer to being vertical than I was ten minutes ago. I groaned as I pushed my hands underneath my shoulders and levered myself up from the bed. I sat back down, and kicked off my shoes with my feet. One, then the other, they landed side my side about a foot away from me. I pulled off my socks and scanned the room for something to wear, other than my uniform. I noticed a shirt stowed away in a corner that I’m pretty sure belonged to me, but I couldn’t tell. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Jules had stolen it from an unsuspecting year 8, as he told them he was part of the “Boardie Welcoming Committee”.

As I finished changing I ran my hands through my matt of dark, curly hair and wandered over to the window. I looked out to the front gates of school. A long procession of cars was lined up along the verge as eager children ran towards each of the vehicles. Mothers, fathers, younger brothers and sisters, opened the doors and greeted their children with open arms, before bundling them into the car and driving off. There was no point even looking for my mother. She was probably miles away on a tropical island, spending the summer with my new stepfather. I shuddered at the thought of what they might get up to.

My vacant stare was interrupted by Jules storming back into the room,

“C’mon Drew!” he called, before beckoning me to follow as he dashed out of the room and down the hall.

My curiosity got the better of me and I followed, closing the door of our room behind.

* * * * *

Jules and I weren’t really “trouble-makers”, trouble usually found us. Whether that was intentional of not was an entirely different matter. I was now standing in the middle of the school oval, with a small crowd around us. Most of them were other boys from our year, but a couple were younger, obviously having had a parent forgotten to come and pick them up. I still had no idea what Jules was planning to do, which worried me. But hey, he was my best friend; anything he may have planned was normally harmless enough.

I glanced around the small gathering, expecting Jules to be right next to me. It was after all, his idea for us to be here in the first place. He was nowhere to be seen.

“Oi!” a voice called from behind, “Give us a hand, will you?”

I turned around on the spot to see Jules tugging two large, black rubbish bins across the neatly mown grass. I jogged over to his side.

“What are these for?” I asked, grabbing the handle of one and proceeding to heave it along beside him.

Jules didn’t reply; he just had one of his ‘you-will-find-out-soon-enough’ smirks plastered across his face. The last time I had seen that look, Jules had just convinced me to steal one of the school’s rowing boats and take it for a spin in the pool. It was only by my stepfather’s exceedingly deep pockets that we hadn’t been kicked out of school. One whole terms worth of Saturday detentions seemed a glimmer in the distance now.

The bin was heavy and I was struggling to pull it now, but fortunately Jules stopped when he reached the middle of the crowd that was now forming a circle around us.

“This had better be worth it,” I muttered just loud enough for Jules to hear.

His only reply was a single wink as he addressed the crowd.

“My fellow Boardie rejects!” he exclaimed.

A little kid with glasses in the front looked as though he was going to cry (either that, or pee his pants). The prospect of spending an entire 8 weeks at school, or worse, holidays with no parents seemed to have caught up with him. He scurried off, back across the pitch, to no doubt ask a teacher to call his family because he wanted to go home.

“Nice one,” I muttered, for it wasn’t in my nature to make little kids cry.

“At long last the nightmare has ended,” Jules continued, regaining his momentum, “This is a tribute to all the hard work and dedication we have endured throughout the past year. May we celebrate summer in style!”

There was a few woop!’s from the older boys and they began to clap.

Jules held up his hands to stop the applause. The crowd fell silent once again.

“I now ask my best mate Drew to do the honours.” Honours? What honours?

About fifteen pairs of eyes were gazing intently at me, and I had no idea why. Jules was beaming. His right hand entered his pocket and with a quick toss, threw a small bundle at me. I caught it with both hands, and opened them to reveal the same pair of socks he had thrown at me before. I looked up at him, glaring slightly as I tried to communicate with him that I had no idea what the hell was going on. Jules nodded discreetly, indicating that I needed to do something. I squeezed the socks slightly, and to my surprise I could feel something in the middle. I slowly unrolled them, and looked down to see a pack of matches sitting in a woollen safety net.

I held them between my fingers and shoved the socks in my pocket. Jules dramatically opened the bins, with a loud crash as the lid hit the sides. There was a cheer from the crowd as they realised what we were going to do. The start of an amazing summer, according to Jules, involved burning all the remnants of the previous school year.

He was staring at me, all of them were, there was no way I could back out now without humiliating myself into the next century. I would be ridiculed, forced to live as a hermit between my bedroom and classes; I’d probably be kicked out of the back row and be forced to migrate to the front with all the nerds. That thought was enough to frighten me back to my senses.

I looked around the oval, past the group in front of me. The whole area seemed to be deserted. The teachers were probably in the staff room, enjoying a stiff drink in celebration of surviving yet another year.

“Come on, Curtis!” a tall, blonde boy yelled from the back. He was clearly getting impatient.

“Oi, shut it Stevens,” Jules retorted, “Haven’t you ever heard of a dramatic pause?”

He stood down slightly, but crossed his arms across his chest to signify his boredom.

Jules casually wandered over to me.

“What’s the matter, man? You’re not going soft on me, are you?”

“Where’d you get all this stuff?” I asked, stalling for time.

“A years worth of work my friend,” he replied, slapping me jovially on the back. “Now come on, let’s write off the year in style.”

I sighed, and with one last look around to make sure no one with any authority was watching, I stepped forward towards the two bins. There was another a cheer from the boys, as the time had come. Staring down at the contents of the bin I saw a multitude of papers, books and a couple of odd socks. How ironic. I could still feel Jules’ socks at the bottom of my own pockets. The smell of petrol wafted up from the bins as I slid open the cardboard box and pulled out a single, new match. With one swift flick of the wrist and a small spark, a warm glow formed at the end of the stick. I held it over the sacrifice, my hand as steady as a rock.

At that instant I heard a thundering of footsteps, a barely audible ****! and I looked up to find myself alone. I quickly scanned the open expanse in front of me to see a tuft of brown hair disappear behind the sport shed. Jules! Like a school of fish sensing the oncoming presence of a shark, my fight or flight instinct took over. In my case – flight. I dropped the match and began to make a bolt. There was a sudden surge of heat and I turned back to see where I had dropped the match. The bins were no longer still; they had become a furnace, disintegrating their entire contents.


It echoed around the empty pitch. My head was telling my feet to run for my life, but they were refusing the budge. I slowly looked up to see a large figure taking extremely large strides, hurtling towards me. There was also a little bespectacled figure in tail, having to run just to keep up. Six feet tall and as wide as a door, the principal was now towering above me, with the little snitch cowering in his shadow. I began to sweat, and not just from the heat being emitted from the two bins still behind me.

Gee, thanks Jules. Amazing summer, dude.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Entry Seven - Suitcase Of Memories

Lying on the bed of the Hotel room- face to pillow, Henry thought of being anywhere else, he HATED Adelaide and he HATED the reason why he was there. Stuck in a shared room with Robbie, he had no interest in staying longer then he had to. After the burial he asked Ric to drive him back to Sydney, "As Soon As Possible," it was the only words he had spoken since his arrival. He barely talked to Scott, Kit and Robbie as it was and he hadn't spoken to Matilda since December 2005.

Tony knocked on the door of the Hotel room before letting himself in. He sat at the end of Henry's bed and gave him a short pat on the back.

"What happens to me now?" Asked Henry lifting his face from the pillow and looking at Tony. Tears pouring down his face. "How can I stay in school if mum's not around to pay for it?"

"Henry!" Tony said with a stern voice as if he was talking to his own son and made Henry feel all the more uncomfortable. "You can come live with Kit, Archie, Mattie, Lucas and I?" As Henry sat up to look him in the face, Tony shifted next to him to wrap his arm around him. "I can't afford to pay for the school for you... If I could I would. Trust me!"

"I'm in Year 12... If I have to change schools... What about my HSC?"

"Henry, I really don't know how to answer this..." Tony took a deep breath and a small moment to think. "But I'm pretty sure Kit and Mattie would love for you to stay with us for as long as you need to. Forever if need be."

"And where will I stay? Share a room with Lucas?" He asked those questions with some force in his voice, there was some awkwardness behind his voice as well. "Would Mattie like that? Would Kit? What about Luke?"


December 2005:

Henry was in The Lion King at the Opera House, Young Simba. It wasn't his night at all, he sang out of tune and when he spoke his dialogue he was hard to hear but Robbie, Kit and Beth were extremely proud of him. Matilda being more creatively aware then her family was, was secretly dissapointed but never said anything to Henry about it.

Tony and Lucas felt out of place, Tony's romance with Beth was farely new and it was the first time he had met Henry, Beth barely mentioned him and what she had mentioned of him had him picturing what looked like a younger version of Robbie that acted like a cross between Kit and Lucas and that was pretty much Henry, only he didn't look a whole lot like Robbie and was not shy like Lucas was.

Henry's opinion of Tony was much darker and well who could blame him, Henry's father figures in the past were a far cry from Mike Brady. His father, Jack cheated on his mother for years and when he died and Beth remarried to Rhys, she chose a guy too similar to Jack, and just as Henry felt close to Rhys, he left them all for his first wife, for his other family. The better family.

"Where are you off to now?" Henry asked. It had been weeks since he saw his family and even though he did feel uncomfortable about meeting Tony and his son he still wanted to make the best of spending time with his family. "There's a good restaurant at The Rocks, Italian, not expensive at all."

"Sounds delightful!" Beth smiled.


Matilda spoke to Beth after dinner at how impressed she was that Lucas and Henry got along well and how they both liked the same movies, 'Giant', 'Guess who's Coming to Dinner?' and Henry's personal favourite, 'West Side Story'. Matilda didn't like 'To Kill a Mockingbird' at all, it was Luke's favourite and although Henry hadn't seen it, he loved the book and it became the conversation of dinner. The only conversation at dinner and the only two people having the conversation at dinner were the only two people not present in the hotel room.

After dinner Lucas ordered Tony to rush them to the Video store so they can hire his favourite movie for Henry to see but they didn't have a DVD player in their Hotel room. So the two boys went back to Henry's instead.

It was just after 2 am and Henry walked Lucas the two blocks to his Hotel room, talking about how much Henry enjoyed the movie and how he had a new favourite. He said goodbye to him at the lobby but ended up walking with him to the lift. He decided to ride the lift with him up to the fourth floor and took him to his door. The two boys never shut up once the whole way... Talking, laughing and when they arrived at the door...

Matilda heard them from her and Kit's room and ran to the door, opening it, she couldn't believe her eyes...

Henry and Lucas kissed, Lucas pulled back at first but then leaned in again for another kiss, a more passionate kiss, a more satisfying kiss.

Matilda didn't say anything, she didn't make a noise, and the boys had no idea she could see them.

Lucas pushed Henry off him, saying nothing he slid his card into the door and walked inside. He closed the door without looking back at Henry, without saying goodbye. He dropped to the champagne coloured carpet of his Hotel room and cried into his knees.

Matilda closed the door, she covered her mouth with her hand, and tears flooded her cheeks.

The next day Henry received a text message from Matilda telling him she would never speak to him again. She told Lucas the same words, to his face, but after a lengthy conversation and when Lucas explained that the only reason he let him kiss him was because he didn't know what else to do and was just as shocked and speechless about it as she was, Matilda forgave him and he promised "It'll never happen again!"


It was fifteen months afterwards and although everyone had moved on from it, nobody had forgotten. Matilda gave her brother a hug when they first arrived in Adelaide, they said nothing to eachother however. Lucas never looked at him, never spoke a word to him.

Henry had his bags packed and Ric gave him a hand to carry them to his car. It was when the lift doors opened for the carpark level, Henry spotted them. He saw them at the church during the funeral but they must have left before the burial. But they were both still in Adelaide and they were staying in the same Hotel.

Max spotted Henry first, he had just parked the car in a spot just adjascent to the lift. "Uncle Rhys!" He said and gestured toward the lift.

Ric and Henry remained in the lift. Henry didn't know what to do, it was just as the lift doors began to close he made the decision. He left Ric with the bags and walked over to them. He gave Rhys a friendly handshake and Max gave him a manly seventeen year-old's hug.

"Thanks for coming!" Henry said.

"You're welcome!" Rhys replied a little unsure if his former stepson meant those words or not.

"What are you guys doing now?" Henry asked.

"We don't know!" Max admitted. "We just came back for some lunch."

"Did you want to join us?" Rhys asked not expecting for him to want to but at least hoping he would.

"Okay!" Henry said.

Not too long after that Henry made the decision to live with Rhys, Shelley and Max. He didn't forgive Rhys for what he had done to his mother but he did love Max as if he was his brother and he thought that Rhys owed him at least that much. The next year he repeated Year 12 at a Private School in Sydney and kept in constant contact with his siblings, Lucas included.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Entry Eight - A Truth Universally Acknowledged

You're Sylvia Plath

As you drift from the bath.

I hand you a robe

And so it goes,

The moment'll pass.

‘Happy birthday, darling x’. He looked at that old battered card; the one that had secretly been kept in the box, her box, for all those years. He’d never been able to really look at it before, or indeed the box, but today he felt he had to. For her. Tony Holden felt a pang of anger as he re-read the faded ink over and over again. He’d given her that card all those years ago and it should’ve been him giving her a card again today, on what would’ve been her fortieth birthday.

‘I love you baby; and, if it’s quite alright, I need you baby...’ he serenaded.

‘Stop it, stop it’, Kate shrieked, as Tony whirled her round and round to his singing.

‘Nope, sorry, no can do. I wanna show my lovely girlfriend just how much I love her. Even if I can’t really see the attraction of sitting in a pool of water at a health farm nattering with my girlfriends...’

‘Oi, don’t knock it, you; and I hope you were joking about the girlfriends, mister!’

‘Yeah, sorry, gorgeous...’

Well, maybe since the present doesn’t present much opportunity for enjoyment now, we could, y’know, think of something else to do? Jack’s at my Mum’s, so there’s no one here to interrupt us and it is my birthday, afterall...’

She was a gorgeous girl; woman, in fact. Her strawberry blonde corkscrewed hair bounced when she smiled, and her brown eyes shimmered. Even to this day, Tony could remember the look in her eyes as he took her upstairs that day, and he would give anything to have her in his arms again.

Babe, here's your song.

Babe, it took too long

To find in your eyes

My best surprise.

‘You know something’, Tony said, with his arms wrapped around her, ‘That’, kissing her, ‘was’, and again, ‘amazing’ he mumbled into her mouth.

‘Yeah, well, you weren’t too bad yourself!’, she said, poking him playfully.

‘No, seriously. I know it’s your birthday, and everything, but do we have to get up? Can’t we just stay here?’

‘Great, it’s my birthday, so instead of going out to see my friends and family, my oh-so-greedy lover wants me all to himself. Well, I guess I am irresistible!’, she said, hovering ever closer to his face.

‘You sure are, babe’, he smiled, shifting so that once again she was lying on his chest. ‘It’s funny, though, isn’t it, how life turns out?’

‘Oooh, since when did you become Mr. Deep-and-serious, eh?’, Kate joked. She looked into his eyes, but could tell that he had something to say.

‘No, but, seriously... I mean, look at us. We’ve known each other all these years – all the way through high school in fact – and here we are, in bed, like an old married couple.’

‘Maybe that’s ‘cause we are, dumbass. You’re weird, y’know that? Why would a guy, when his baby son is out of the way, choose to lie in bed and talk to his girl? Although, y’know, I guess I should expect it from you – the guy who made ME record his voicemail message’.

‘Yeah, but babe, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that people respond better to a woman’s voice – I’m more likely to get nice messages from people if they hear your voice. And, yeah, maybe I do like the sound of it just a bit too much’, Tony blushed.

‘You’re such a loser, you know that?’

That’s one of the many things that Tony loved about Kate. He didn’t have to be the strong, silent, macho man of today around her. She picked up on all his little quirks and loved every single one of them. It was this freedom that he missed the most. Even though he’d had Beth, and Rachel, neither of them had made him feel so free and easy. And, well, like himself. Even though she joked and called him a loser, he could stand being her loser because it meant he was a winner of the greatest prize of all. Her. And he still had his old handset buried in a drawer somewhere... maybe, just maybe, her voice would still be etched on it. Tony shook his head violently. Why did he always want more than he’d already had?

Flames to dust...

Why do all good things come to an end?

‘Anyway, you, stop being so philosophical and put your love into action, why don’t you? You do realise you’ve committed the cardinal sin? It’s my birthday and I haven’t had anything in bed yet, except my lover...’

‘Breakfast is coming right up, m’lady.’

‘Oooh, I love it when a man does as I say’, Kate giggled as she rolled back over.

Tony knew that he was the luckiest man on the earth to have spent that time with her. And they had their beautiful baby son, Jack, as proof to cement their relationship. But, as she had said, he was greedy. He wanted more. He wanted time. Was that too much for a man to ask for? He dearly wished things had been different. Tony mentally chided himself for thinking this last thought. Why did he want things to be different? This was just him being selfish. All through her illness, Kate had shown the most remarkable bravery. She never complained; in fact, she was the opposite. She was the eternal joker. But she knew the doctors weren’t joking when they said there was nothing more they could do for her. She was so young. Barely out of her teens. Neither of them thought that cancer would affect one so young, or even that God would allow such a thing. How wrong I was, Tony thought bitterly as he studied the card in front of him. This ignorance had haunted him ever since. The fact that he’d left it too late to help her. The fact that they hadn’t let medics intervene earlier. Maybe then she’d still be here.

One of Tony’s greatest talents was cooking an English breakfast, even Kate had to concede on that one, and this morning was no exception. He’d fried bacon, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and sausages – the whole works. All to be washed down with a big mug of tea.

‘Oh, lovely one,’ Tony sang, ‘breakfast is served’. ‘Kate?’ Tony enquired, when he heard no answer.

What Tony Holden saw next would never ever leave him for as long as he lived. He could still see it, plain as day, even today, after all these years. Kate was lying there, asleep. Or so it seemed. Her chest wasn’t moving, and she looked eerily peaceful. What happened next was a blur.

He called the ambos.

They arrived – ‘Time of death, 11:34am.’

He saw her death certificate.

He sat in the church.

He watched as the coffin was paraded before him.

Like a taunt.

He broke down and cried. And inside, really, truly, he’d never stopped since.

Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this

As time moved on, Tony felt like he had to be strong for his son, Jack. Yeah, there were other women in his life, but none ever compared to her. He felt almost sorry for his previous relationships – they were almost doomed to failure before they’d begun.

‘Dad?’ A voice snapped him out of his thoughts.

‘Er, yeah, sorry, Jack. I’ll be through in a minute, mate.’

‘Have you been crying, Dad? Oh, God, it’s Mum’s birthday today. I’m so sorry.’

‘You’ve got nothing to be sorry about, son’, he responded.

‘But I forgot’.

‘That’s not a bad thing. All these years I’ve held onto this old box of your mother’s. I’ve never looked inside it, never been able to really, but never wanted to get rid of it either ‘cause I thought that would mean I’d be forgetting her. But, y’know, this morning, I’ve realised something. I’ve realised how lucky I am. I found my soul mate in your mother. A lot of people aren’t that lucky. We had a wonderful time together and we had you. What more could I have asked for, really?’

‘Dad, maybe we could look in that box together? Y’know, for Mum?’

And together the two opened it. They laughed, looking through the photos that represented so many memories – their first date, Jack’s first birthday party with cake smeared around his mouth.

At the bottom they found something unexpected. An old cassette, with faded illegible ink, with a note attached to it.

‘I know you’re a stubborn man, Mr. Holden, but when you finally find this, listen to it... and pay attention to the lyrics K xx’

Trembling Tony put the cassette into the player and pressed play. Immediately he recognised the introduction, and the singer’s heavy Irish accent:

If I ever leave this world alive

I'll thank for all the things you did in my life

If I ever leave this world alive

I'll come back down and sit beside your

feet tonight

Wherever I am you'll always be

More than just a memory

If I ever leave this world alive

If I ever leave this world alive

I'll take on all the sadness

That I left behind

If I ever leave this world alive

The madness that you feel will soon subside

So in a word don't shed a tear

I'll be here when it all gets weird

If I ever leave this world alive

So when in doubt just call my name

Just before you go insane

If I ever leave this world

Hey, I may never leave this world

But, if I ever leave this world alive

She says I'm okay; I'm alright,

Though you have gone from my life

You said that it would,

Now everything should be all right

She says I'm okay; I'm alright,

Though you have gone from my life

You said that it would,

Now everything should be all right

Yeah, should be alright

After listening to the song, the two men sat in silence. Finally, realising the importance of the message, he said, laughing, ‘Trust Kate. Even in death she has to have the final word.’

He realised then that even though his girl wasn’t there to have her card, he’d be alright because she was there, really. She looking down on them - at that very moment and always would be. She’d always be there when Tony went ‘insane’. And, yes, she had ‘left the world alive’ – she’d remained in Jack, and himself.


© If I Ever Leave This World Alive, Flogging Molly

All Good Things, Nelly Furtado

A Moment Like This, Leona Lewis

These Photographs, Joshua Radin

I Love You, Baby, Diana Ross

AN: I know there was mysteriously no Luc ever born, but I just wanted it to be the two of them at the end. So forgive the artistic licence taking. Thank you! (:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eight entries.. not bad for a resurrected comp. :) Thanks for hosting Dean. I've just read through and there's some seriously good entries this time round, its going to be very hard to pick a winner. I don't have time to review yet but I will review later in the week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.