DEBBIE STANTON, AUTHOR
writing from the heart, to the heart
This week Debbie gave us these random words to incorporate into a story.
Here is my story:
‘Settle down everybody. Quiet please. Let’s start the lesson.’
Miss Davis waited patiently, catching the eye of every student in her class, subduing them with a look. As books rustled, pens clattered on to the desks, girls adjusted their miniskirts or the buttons on their blouses, the boys smirked at each other raising eyebrows and winking at the shy girls.
‘Ready? Then we will start.’
Thirty pairs of eyes were now trained on Miss Davis, brains just beginning to engage in to gear. Standing in front of her desk she explained that this morning was going to be a creative writing exercise. As she expected, groans and sighs came from most of the group, only a few students seemed pleased with this lesson.
Miss Davis turned back to the chalk board and starting writing six words underneath each other.
‘I want you to use these six words in a story. Don’t use them all at once. I don’t want a lot of ‘and’ or ‘then’ or ‘so’ in your sentences. Do not start with a conjunction. You have ten minutes.’
Calls of, that’s not enough time, not fair, Miss, came but she just stared at them until they all proceeded to write in their exercise books.
‘I don’t know what to write, Miss.’
‘Of course, you do, Winston. You are the class clown – write something with humour.’
Amelia’s raised her hand. ‘How many words, Miss?’
‘As many as you can write in the time.’
Mary-Beth said, ‘I can’t think of anything.’
‘Work it in to your family life or part-time job if you can, Mary-Beth. Please start everyone.’
The classroom wasn’t quiet, you could hear the fidgeting, pens scratching on paper, sighs and huffs and puffs, rolling of eyes, quick peeks at their neighbours’ scrawls. She let it all go. She knew her students would come up trumps at the end. It didn’t matter how good their stories were, just that they let their imaginations flow and they thought of something other than social media or what they were wearing, who was going out with whom and, for some, what on earth they would walk into when they went home.
One by one they came up to the front and faced their class mates as they read out their words. One by one they sat back down at their desks; everybody applauded their classmates’ efforts. It only left Brian to read his out. Brian with the ‘Jo 90’ glasses, buck teeth, acne, acute shyness that it was a wonder he wasn’t bullied. Miss Davis was so proud of this class of students who protected him and were loyal to a fault.
‘Brian, come up to the front and read your story out please.’
Brian reluctantly stood and faced his classmates, he hated being the centre of attention but he did it, he owed these friends that much. Hesitantly he started to speak, as he continued his voice became stronger, he stood up straighter as he grew in confidence.
‘Tony waited in the car drumming his fingers against the steering wheel, his eyes darted all over the place, he scanned ahead, he looked in the rear-view mirror, he checked the wing mirrors repeating the process again and again. It was the longest ten minutes of his life.
Dick and Harry yanked open the rear doors, “GO, GO, GO” they shouted at him.
The van stuttered in to life as Tony crashed the gears and reversed out of the side road, spinning the wheel round and round he made a U-turn, revved the accelerator and burnt rubber as he squealed away from the scene.
Laughter erupted, that was their first smash and grab job. The subject of their crime was Harry’s father who was always on Harry’s case. Now his little corner shop had been robbed. Harry knew that his father had forgotten to fill in his renewal form for the insurance because he saw it on the kitchen table. He probably thought he had time to do it when he got home that night. Serve him right, thought Harry.
Tony parked in a little-known back lane, turned off the engine and turned to the other two. Dick and Harry were sharing out the proceeds of the raid. £250 divided by three – the boys scratched their heads, finally took out their phones and pressed the numbers into the calculator function. Just over £83 each.
Tony looked shocked. That wasn’t worth the risk. He wished he hadn’t been persuaded to take part but he was the only one whose Dad had a van and had taught him to drive. He thought it was a decisive move when they planned it. Excitement had built up along with the nerves but now he was a wreck.
‘I don’t want it. You two take it and get out.’
Shocked looks, glares and swear words were shouted but then Dick and Harry shrugged their shoulders and grinned as they realised it meant more money for them.
Tony parked the car, shaking like a leaf and crept up to his bedroom before his parents came home from work. He thought his guilt would make his heart bleed he felt so bad at what he had done. He couldn’t snitch either, that just wasn’t done.
He just hoped he could somehow redeem himself. He would work on that.’
Brian finished reading and stood with his head hanging as the classroom was totally silent. Spontaneous applause broke out led by Winston. Tears pooled in Miss Davis’ eyes and in the other girls’ eyes, the boys surreptitiously wiped their eyes or coughed away the frog in their throats.
‘Well done, everybody. I’m proud of each and everyone of you. Such lovely contributions.’
The pips started their strident wailing, a scrabble for the door followed as everybody crowded around Brian and cheered and jostled him out of the classroom.
Word Count: 977