A kid in your grade whom you don’t know very well shows up at your house one day to tell you something important. What does he say?

I open the door and standing there looking directly at me is Hershel, from my class, the quiet kid at the back who doesn’t really like to make eye contact with anyone.

I wonder if is he is lost and I’m about to close the door when he speaks.

“Good evening Riley, may I come in?” His voice is very deep for a twelve year old, most people make fun of him for it, or they used to, I haven’t actually heard him speak for almost half a year.

His voice startles me and I almost close the door anyway, except I don’t, but I can’t just invite him in either, he could be crazy, it’s always the quiet ones, that’s a saying for a reason.

I debate for a moment as he just stares at the ground, he has got really curly hair, it’s dark brown at the roots and almost blonde at the tips, he even has blonde highlights. It’s quite feminine hair, I never realised, maybe it’s the voice that threw me.

“Come in, but don’t touch anything,” I caution, before leading him up to my bedroom, Hershel is quiet, too quiet, I don’t even hear his footsteps behind me, freaky.

I sit on my desk and he just stands, eyes on the floor.

“I have something to tell you,” he says quietly.

I wait for him to continue.

“Go on,” I say.

I wait some more.

“Tell me,” I command.

“I remember that when Miss Brent died you spoke at the assembly, my dog has just died can you please do the same?” He asks.

I am speechless, not only do I not know Hershel, I didn’t even know he had a dog, certainly I didn’t know the dog well enough to write him an epitaph.

I want to refuse but I don’t because I like to think I am a good person which is how I ended up standing in front of a grave on Saturday morning, speaking about a dog I never even met before.

Hershel is quiet, but I can tell he is sad.

When I finish he just stares at the grave, then he walks away, I follow him, into his mansion, because he is rich, like famous person rich, given a tour of his house, that rich.

We walk into wealth and he just stands there at the threshold, during the tour I saw a gaming room, I want to go there but Hershel is silent.

Then the maid comes up to us with a lovely bouquet of flowers that would fill up my whole house, she tries to give them to Hershel but he is just staring at the floor again.

I take them and thank her, before reading the note out loud.

“We will send a replacement, love Mum and Dad,” the words are out of my mouth before I even realise what I am saying, I re-read it appalled, and I carefully put the note down.

“You may go now,” Hershel says looking at me directly.

“You can come with me, my mum is not a chef, but she’s making spaghetti and meat balls, I don’t have a pet but I have a little sister, she’s almost two and she’s basically an animal,” I say tucking a braid behind my ear as I take my bike out of the shed.

“You do not have to be nice to me because –”

“Because you lost your pet and your parents are mean, yeah I do, come on it will make me feel better.” I say grabbing his forearm and dragging him along, it’s awkward with my bike, and I scratch my leg but I don’t let go.

“You do not have to drag me, if it will make you feel better then I will come.” He says going into the shed to take out his own bicycle.

I laugh, “Was that an actual joke? I thought you didn’t even know what it was.”

Hershel smiles as both get on our bikes and ride back to my house.

 

 

 

Short Story: So…I accidentally kidnapped my teacher part 5

George and Jamal followed him; they all sat around the breakfast bar, as Drew began to rummage through the fridge.

“Start from the beginning George and I swear it better be good, or I’m out of here.” Jamal said.

“But you’re his best friend.” Drew said reproachfully his mouth full of what looked like butter.

“Whatever, best friends aren’t supposed to make other best friends go to prison and die.” Jamal said.

“That’s true.” Drew said nodding as he turned back to the fridge.

“Well it all started when Miss Levy came over –”

“Miss Levy?!” Drew and Jamal both said at the same time.

“Shush!” George said anxiously, glancing at the door to his left.

Jamal jumped out of his seat.

“A teacher?! You kidnapped a teacher?” He looked at George with a mixture of disbelief and amazement.

“It’s always the quiet ones.” Drew said nodding wisely.

“Shut up Drew.” George said.

“Actually he has a point G, how you gonna kidnap a teacher?” Jamal laughed suddenly, “a legit teacher!” He laughed so loudly that both Drew and George joined him; soon the kitchen was full of their laughter.

“Seriously though.” Jamal said still laughing.

They all jumped as someone pounded on the front the door.

“It’s the police!” George hissed quietly, exchanging a fearful glance with Jamal.

“No it’s Sharlene; she’s here to tutor you.” Drew said simply, his mouth still full of food.

George turned to him in surprise.

“It’s right here on the fridge, Sharlene five to six, tutor George in science. Do you need help in science?” Drew asked.

George jumped off his stool, and the others followed him to the door, he opened it a creak.

“Hey, Sharlene, I don’t need tutoring today, I’m erm I’m sick.” George said, through the crack in the door.

Sharlene rolled her eyes.

Short Story: So…I accidentally kidnapped my teacher Part 4

“How did this happen?” Drew said quietly.

“Yes George! How the hell do you accidently kidnap someone?!” Jamal said throwing his hands in the air.

“Shush, for goodness sakes, do you want the neighbours to hear, we could all go to prison.” George said frantically, as he ran over to peek through the windows.

“We?” Jamal said incredulously. “We aren’t going anywhere! We are not going to prison, maybe you are, but Drew and I are innocent.” Jamal said heading towards the door.

George stared after him in shock, he had never seen Jamal act so scared, nothing scared Jamal, maybe his Dad, and he was usually away on business.

“Jamal, wait, I need your help!” George said, running after him.

“No way!” Jamal said.

“We are already involved anyway, unless we report you George, we could go to prison we already know.” Drew said nodding.

“Drew shut up!” Jamal snapped.

“My dad’s a lawyer, I heard it, it’s called aiding and abetting.” Drew went on undeterred.

“O great! Thanks a lot George, we are all going to prison, do you know what they do to kids in prison?!” Jamal said exasperated.

George shook his head.

“Exactly! There are no kids in prison, they get killed right away.” Jamal said looking at Drew who shrugged.

“I don’t know about kids in prison, I know teenagers go to Juvenile detention, Jamal you’re a teenager now, you don’t have to die.” Drew said.

George and Jamal both sighed.

“Look, I didn’t want to involve you, I just really need your help –”

“You need my help! Just let them go!” Jamal said, looking around, “Where are they?” He said voice hushed.

George smiled a little as he realised Jamal was staying.

“She’s in the basement.” George said, his voice also hushed.

“A basement? O my God, who has a basement, apart from Americans, I’d understand if Drew had a basement –”

“My Dad is American, and he doesn’t have a basement.” Drew said, walking towards the kitchen.

Short Story: So…I accidentally kidnapped my teacher Part 3

George hesitated. “Erm, well, what happened was…erm…” George paused as his friends waited expectantly, he didn’t know if calling them had been the best idea, he had wanted Jamal to know, so they could both work out what to do, if anyone could talk themselves out of something it was Jamal, he never got in any trouble even though he was probably the naughtiest kid in class. Having Drew here complicated things, Drew wasn’t stupid, he just wasn’t very smart, he was getting picked on really badly before he became friends with Jamal, who had told everyone to leave Drew alone, and no one went against Jamal.

“Say it already George, I’m getting bored, and I have to go home soon.” Jamal said, he was leaning against the sofa, his concentration on his phone.

Drew was right beside him, he looked like he was trying to copy Jamal’s casual stance but was failing, because his trainers kept slipping on the polished floor.

“I accidently kidnapped someone.” George blurted out.

There was a long moment of silence, Jamal looked up from his phone his face frozen in shock, Drew was looking from George to Jamal, his face contorted in concentration, as though he was trying to work out a difficult math problem.

“Isn’t that illegal?” Drew said, breaking the silence.

George was about to respond when Jamal exclaimed.

“You did what? You kidnapped someone? How do you accidently kidnap someone, you can’t accidently kidnap someone? I don’t…” Jamal trailed off as his face froze in shock again.

“It was an accident!” George complained.

“How?! How the hell do you kidnap someone by accident?! The whole point of kidnap is doing it on purpose.” Jamal paused again and he began to run his hands through his curly hair.

Short Story: So…I accidentally kidnapped my teacher Part 2

“I like that pattern bit.” Drew praised.

“I can show you, where’s your laptop?” Jamal asked looking around.

George looked around in confusion. “I don’t know, I think I left it…”

George tried to remember where he had left his laptop, they moved into the living room, as he looked under his coat, then he remembered why his laptop was missing.

“I didn’t call you here to play?!” George exploded suddenly, and Jamal and Drew both jumped in surprise.

“What the hell George?!” Jamal complained nearly dropping his phone.

“The reason I called you here…” George hesitated as he glanced at Drew.

“You can trust me G.” Drew said nodding vigorously.

“No, I can’t! You couldn’t keep a secret to save your life.” George said.

“Yes I could, I so could! I didn’t tell you that Jamal kissed Tina yesterday!” Drew said proudly.

George and Jamal both sighed.

“O, oops, sorry Jamal, but I am good at keeping secrets, I kept my Mum’s secret about her handbag, o shoot, this is hard, but it’s only cause I’m thinking about it, if you tell me and I don’t think about it, I won’t tell, promise!” Drew said so quickly, that George wasn’t sure he had heard everything he had said.

“You’re so stupid sometimes Drew.” Jamal said giving Drew a look, before turning back to George. “I didn’t really kiss Tina, I know you like her.”

“Yeah right, and Drew knows how to keep secrets.” George said crossing his hands over his chest.

“All right whatever,” Jamal said rolling his eyes, “what’s this big secret then, that’s so huge! I was having a nice time at home playing.” Jamal said eyeing the TV.

Short story: The Tate therapy

He slapped me to the ground; I held my face cowering away from him.

“You are worthless, are you listening? You are worth-less than nothing!” he grabbed me and shook me, trying to get me to react “you aren’t worth anything!”

That’s a double negative that means I’m worth something, technically anyway. I thought.

“Can I interrupt you here Lily?”

I nod looking at her expectantly.

“You said, that you were worth something ‘technically’” Angelina said evenly. I smile I can almost hear the quotation marks.

“Do you now believe you are worth something?”

I nod slowly, even after years of therapy I was still having a few nightmares every now and then, but at least I finally believed that I was not worthless.

“I’m glad you’ve come to that realisation Lily, your mum would have been so very proud” Angelina said.

I nod, trying unsuccessfully to hold back the tears that threatened to ruin my new image as, semi-normal.

“I miss her every day, I just wish sometimes that – that I had said something sooner about what used to happen in that house then maybe if I…”

“Lily stop! Stop right there” Angelina said firmly “I thought you had done blaming yourself, you are not responsible for –”

“Don’t say her name” I said quickly, my breathing was suddenly coming to fast, and I feel dizzy.

“Lily! Stop! Lily calm down breath! Lily?” her voice was thick with worry; she got up and came and put her arm around me, I put my head between my legs, my breathing till coming heavily.