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Ersatz Jerry Cornelius by Potter Michael My short story take on one of my favorite Characters from one of my favorite authors, Mi... [743 words]
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One Way Road
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TITLE (EDIT)
One Way Road
DESCRIPTION
A naturalist short story about school and its effect on a boy.
[946 words]
AUTHOR
Ben Stuart
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[March 2007]
One Way Road
Ben Stuart

“BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP,” screeched the inutile alarm clock, lying on the bedside table abreast of the bed. The boy had awakened several hours earlier, and staring into the deranged nothingness, he had anticipated the alarm. White sheets were drawn back, revealing a small white boy still clad in yesterday’s clothing. Sitting up and rubbing his eyes, he routinely made his way to the light switch. The distant light selfishly, and perhaps somewhat menacingly, produced an orange glow that enveloped the distinct upper half of the room. Peering up at the source of light, the boy’s eyes made their way to the side of the ceiling. The walls, placed purposefully, leaned in over the boy, as if threatening to let go of the house’s wooden skeleton. Apologetically, he quickly returned his gaze to the motion of his feet. As he staggered through the gray cloud of dimness, his back, molded by the warped, towering walls, strained to support his head. The boy reluctantly sat down by his desk and attempted to finish his studying from the night before. The chair moaned under the boy’s weight, and as he leaned over his chemistry textbook and resumed to cramming arcane formulas, he became aware of the futility in his actions.

The insistent ticking of his wall clock whispered some inaudible, repeated word, of which the meaning was implied, but no less understood. Hastily tossing his supplies into a bag, the boy left the dim, enclosed house and entered a vast world of bleak fog. Counting the cracks in the concrete, the boy carried his burden on alternating shoulders until he found a bench directly underneath a series of white symbols. The ciphers faded into the sky, but the empty space of the rectangle shot through the fog in a cerulean haze. Its exquisiteness captured his attention until a dull yellow bus arrived with screaming, defiant brakes and slow, hesitant doors. Similarly, the boy stood up and climbed the rutted steps with difficulty. As he peered over the last step, a pair of brown, detached eyes unintentionally connected with the arriving passenger, but they offered no acknowledgment. The boy tried to coax a welcoming word with a smile, but the cold had tightened his lips, and as he stretched them into an obviously strained expression, a chill signal of pain sped from the rip in his lips to the brain and back. Letting out a whimper, the boy turned and faced a tightly formed crowd of children. The seats parted down the center and left a narrow walkway, which forced the boy to shuffle sideways. The anxious bus had begun rolling before the boy could find a seat. Only one seat was left, so he placed the heavy bag on his lap and tried to remember his formulas before he arrived at school.

Glaring left across a girl’s lap and out of the window, the boy forgot about his work, as a bright sports car dressed in a layer of blue paint passed by, paving its way through the monotonous fog. Racing toward the school, the boy closed his eyes and imagined leaving this road forever. But the paint was only a layer and the street was a stationary path; the double yellow lines and the thin, lonely white line would steer him back eventually. Consciously attempting to focus, he carried his eyes away from the window by glanced toward his bag and the crossed arms that shielded it. The liquid crystal in his atomic watch rearranged into three different digits. It was seven o’clock; they were late. Returning to his thoughts, the boy empathized with the bus; the sickly yellow was an appalling substitute for the fervent red and the rational green of its counterparts. But the pavement had been set, and the bus had always been yellow; stopping only prolonged the inevitable. Nevertheless, when they arrived at school, he shuffled his way through the aisle, and supporting his weight with the hand rail, he descended the steep stairs one foot at a time. Landing uneven, with part of his foot off the curb, he instantly arched his body forward, arms waving, in a vehement, but awkward, attempt to counterbalance the weight of his bag. After falling back on the bus’s last step, he walked off with his eyes to the ground. His back managed the weight pitifully, and with his posture imposed, he decided to watch for irregular patches of concrete that might further impede his simple objective.

A bulky and protrusive building grew larger with every strenuous step and elongated breath of the boy’s pale body. His lungs rejected the dim, black fog in a fury of frenetic coughs. After burying his mouth into his sleeve, the boy lifted his head to witness the overwhelmingly dreary and infinite corridors of lockers as they swallowed him whole. The floor had once been a bright and comfortable carpet, as the remnants of recently relocated lockers suggested, but the boy had only ever known the rough base, worn down by the weighted bodies of slouching children feverishly attempting to abide by inane schedules. The test started without explanation at the start of the period, but the bell rang before the boy could get to class. Moving as fast as he could, the boy opened the door and rushed inside the classroom. After sliding into his confining desk, he dropped his backpack with a feeling a physical relief, only to pick up a heavier piece of paper. He wrote his name at the top right hand side, placed his head on the desk between his crossed arms, and waited anxiously for the teacher to announce that his test time was over.

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2007 Ben Stuart
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
March 2007
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1207
 

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