Saturday, February 09, 2008

Writers Island - 'Changed'


Shall I go?’ said Justin to himself. Justin said lots of things to himself. Living on his own, it was often the only conversation he got.


Half an hour ago an invitation arrived from an old schoolmate. Actually it was from his only real school mate. He always had trouble fitting in with the other boys. They teased and bullied him. And as for the girls, he viewed them more as an aliens than members of the human race. Strange creatures which he simply didn’t understand. Having said that, he did have weird feelings sometimes, especially when confronted by one Jenny 'Lollita' Slatterley. Anyway, this invitation was to a school reunion, and he thought ‘to hell with it. I’ve changed and I’m going to show them what a success I’ve become.
.And he had. His own business making thermal underwear was booming. His Feel-Warm knickers were selling as fast as his team of out-workers could stitch them. His insulated Cosy-Vests were recommended by the Octogenarians Oracle Magazine and his Long-Johns had become a fashion craze amongst the confused folk in the local homes for the bewildered. He’d arrived and he was going to show them! Tonight was to be his night. A night no one would forget.


Justin strode into the old school hall, head held high and chest puffed out with pride. In a corner he spotted Fabian Sidebottom, the old mate who’d passed him the invitation. At least he thought it was. He’d changed, but then they hadn’t seen each other for twenty years. Yes it was him.


‘Hi Justin’ said Fabian ‘You’ve changed!’


‘For the better Fabian dear boy – for the better’


Then he spotted Jenny 'Lollita' Slatterley. She’d changed too! He gazed at her and tried to imagine her in one of his floral print Hold-In Cosy-Corsets. Perhaps that would help those weird feelings to return! And there was Beefy Big-balls. Not so cocky now. And Allan Pardue! Now he has changed. He used to have problem hair. Now he has none at all! There was Mary from the Dairy. Her spots have cleared up . He was sure she used to wear glasses the thickness of coke bottle bottoms, but not now. Oh, she just bumped into a table!


And who was that quivering wreck sitting dribbling in the corner? Was it? Could it be? It was. The one person he really wanted to meet again. The teacher that tormented him from the day he joined the school. The teacher who constantly put him down. The teacher that caused Justin to withdraw within himself and make him feel inadequate, insignificant and a useless waste of space.


‘Remember me Mister high-and- bloody-mighty Magnuson? asked Justin. ‘Because I’ve not forgotten you. I’ll never forget you.’ A glimmer of recognition registered in the old man’s tired eyes.


‘Patterson. It's you, Justin Patterson’ he said. ‘You’ve changed boy’


Mr Patterson’ said Justin. ‘Mr Patterson to you’ and with that Justin pulled a kitchen knife from his pocket. It reflected shafts of bright light into every corner of the hall.


Sudden silence for what seemed an eternity. Then a scream. Lot’s of screams. Then panic as a hundred people shuffled like a flock of frightened sheep towards the door.


Now you are taking notice of me’ yelled Justin turning round. ‘You are not laughing at me now - are you children –are you Mister Magnuson’.


******


People still talk about that day, the day Justin Patterson ended his life. A lonesome life. His death still plays on the consciences of those who sought to destroy him all those years ago. In his own sad pathetic way, he was centre stage for a few minutes. He made them take notice of him.


He always knew one day he would.
/
/

23 comments:

  1. You made my day with that ending! Great build up towards it, Keith!

    endless
    possibilities

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  2. Wow! What a story, what changes, and what a twist to the ending! I was led by the nose all the way. Great work!

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  3. A powerful write! Forsome strange reason, I could feel murmurings of a Hitchcock thriller!

    Great one!

    Smiles and Light

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  4. You pulled me into the story. Good twist at the end. Wasn't expecting it. Well done.

    Robin of mytwoblessings

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  5. Good story. Amazing how things people say, and then think nothing of it, can fester in some minds.

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  6. Wow not the ending that I had expected. Very well done.

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  7. wow that indeed was a twist in the tale...
    but why did he kill himself?? he hadent changed afterall...he did want people to notice....hmmm

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  8. What an unexpected tragedy, Keith?

    I know some real stories like these, how some people doing everything to seek attention, and its sad how they got it.

    You wrote the story very well, your writing is a page turner as ever. I like this non-apologetic style of writing you did in this story. No redemption - just as it is. For sometimes, life could just be like that: pathetic, just pathetic.

    It is noteworthy how you changed your style of writing in this piece - it's good to read stories done in a far different way than the usual - it creates new ripples in the mind. this story did.

    You're a prolific writer, Keith!

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

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  9. Kudos! Excellant! The ending completely fooled me - I loved this.

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  10. Great storytelling. I thought it was going to turn into an adult version of 'We Need to Talk About Kevin', but there was a nice twist at the end. I also enjoyed the humour.

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  11. How sad. I was really rooting for the nerd to finally get some respect. I didn't see that ending coming at all.

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  12. Hi Keith, cleverly crafted! Great ending and I loved the funny bits too...
    Feel Warm Knickers?
    That's hot stuff!
    Andy

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  13. Very good story but actually I want to know more about the Feel Warm Knickers and the floral print Hold-In Cosy-Corsets.

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  14. I could relive many parts of what I felt like when I was in high school

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  15. oh this one was good, disturbing..but really good.

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  16. He should have taken the rest of them out with him. That's what I've always wanted to do at a school reunion, turn up with an AK47 (only joking....) I thought he was going to impress them with his product line - didn't see the ending coming. Good one!

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  17. Wow! Now there's a story of the first order...love it - has lots of introspection, tension and a lively end twist!

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  18. i find it so sad that so many people that have been "teased" "made fun of" etc. never overcome that.. they seem to sacrifice their power to their tormentors and in essence,, allow them to win.....

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  19. I know I feel a certain 'I'm not that person anymore' when I meet people from my past.
    Wasn't expecting that ending though.
    Thanks for popping by.

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  20. Absolutely hilarious to start with especially all these last names and than the shocking end. Wow masterpiece

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