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TheRedSharpie
July 10th, 2016, 07:41 PM
Could really do with some feedback on this. Thanks guys :)

Dear Mum,

This must be my second or third letter now – I thought I’d stop after one, to be honest, or at least two, but this has become strangely and wonderfully addictive so I’m going to carry on if you don’t mind. But then again, I’m never going to send these anyway, because I don’t have an address, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter whether you mind or not, in the end.

It’s been a good day, my first at the new school. I’ll start at the beginning, I think, to make it easier to understand.

I was in my car. I haven’t told you much about that yet; it’s an Orlando Breeze, pale blue, petrol instead of Fetanol. I built it myself, Mum, and if you were here I like to think you’d tell me you were proud of me, but you’re not of course so I’ll say it myself. I’m proud of me, there you go.

Do you have a car? For some reason, I don’t think you do. I think you’re more the sort of person to go cycling every day, or maybe running. But then maybe not – maybe the only running you’ve ever done is running away.

The route to school’s going to be a tricky one to memorise, because the whole journey I watched identical country lanes spin away from my vision through the windscreen. It was dark still, that’s a disadvantage of October, and the morning was only lit up by the hum of the old-school SatNav and the glow of the headlights. I took the risk of brightening them a little more. The lighting was typical for this time in the morning in October, of course, but the trees made it seem much darker than it actually was.

I drove through another quaint little village, the same as the other two or three I’d already passed through. The whole drive’s setting reminded me of a old cop movie I once saw with Nick Frost in called Hot Fuzz.

Eventually, I arrived at the school. Consulting my timetable, I breathed a sigh of relief. My first period was German, something I recognised as my first chance to grasp popularity.

Using the map I’d been sent in the post along with my timetable, I navigated my way to my German classroom. A middle-aged, light-haired man in a suit opened the door. He grinned so widely I was practically blinded.

“Hallo, hallo, Guten Tag!” he said cheerfully, and laughed.

“Um, ja.” I replied, wincing at my own words, and hurrying inside before I could come out with anything else weird.

I sat down at a desk, and to be honest, Mum, I was feeling a bit lonely due to not knowing anyone, when a boy about the same age as me took the opposite seat.

“Hey,” he smiled at me in a friendly way, “I’m Harris. Harris Samson.”

Harris was a bit shorter than me, with eyes almost the exact colour of tree bark and a super-tanned face (though how he managed that in British October, I had no idea). His hair, surfer-style, was dark brown chocolate-coloured, almost black, and he was wearing some of those geek-chic glasses, which settled on his nose looking a natural part of him. He wore a hint of stubble in a most determined way, almost as though he couldn’t be bothered to shave twice a week and was proud of it.

I’m not gay, but if I were I think I’d go for a kid who looked like Harris.

“I’m Gerry.” I shook Harris’s hand, “I’m new here.”

Harris nodded. “So I’ve heard.” He glanced up at the German teacher, who was writing the date on the whiteboard. “That’s Herr Robinson. He’s been looking forward to having someone around who can actually speak the bloody language.”

I laughed. “You just wait until your Maths teacher meets me. They won’t be so impressed.”

Harris grinned, and then looked at me. “You know, I’m sure I’ve seen you before somewhere. Have you been on TV?”

I shook my head, suddenly self-conscious of my brightly-coloured hair. “No! I don’t get out much. And I’ve only lived here for a week or so.”

“What kind of stuff do you do?” Harris asked, as if knowing that might help.

“Um, I like mechanics.” I suggested, “And I’m in a band.”

“Kick Me Goodbye!” Harris exclaimed triumphantly, “I’ve seen a few of your videos on YouTube. I’m into all that alternative stuff.”

“Oh, cool.” I grinned back, and seriously I was well pleased to have been recognised, “Do you play anything?”

“Yeah, rhythm guitar. But it doesn’t look like you need one of those.” He looked rather mournful.

“I only play lead, I just solo over a backing track,” I told him truthfully, and I was surprised that this was so unnoticeable, “You looking for a band?”

Harris nodded again. “Yeah. I left my old band a few weeks ago. Musical differences. That’s to say we fell apart.”

“Our band can never play a live performance, that’s the problem. If I play lead guitar over a backing track on stage, it’s too obvious.” I told him.

Harris looked up from his textbook, wearing an interested expression. “I don’t suppose you’d be in need of a rhythm guitarist, then?”

“Well,” I pretended to muse, and then broke into a grin, “You’re in.”

I was pretty desperate to make new friends, okay?

We high fived, and Herr Robinson shot us a disapproving look.

The rest of the day was productive, though Harris wasn’t in any more of my classes until the last lesson, and I decided that when I got home I could tell Dad and Tally the day had gone well (and obviously I’d tell you, too, if you were around). At lunchtime, Harris and I headed over to the music block to check out our new sound – and seriously Mum, it wasn’t bad for two guys who had only met each other a few hours ago, because though I completely messed up and forgot all my chords, Harris was damn brilliant. I’ve never seen anyone play a guitar like that, not even in videos online.

The final lesson of the day was Art. When we arrived, a tall guy with an afro was stacking up canvases against the wall.

“Sorry, remnants of Art Club,” he gestured to the pile, “Come on in.”

With a chorus of scraping stools, our class settled down, and I spent a peaceful hour shading in the outline of a banana.

“Oh, Harris,” I said quietly, a thought suddenly occurring to me, “Do you know who Luke Runner is? He doesn’t go to this school, does he?”

“Unfortunately he does,” said Harris, “He’s in my History class, and our Music one.”

“What’s he like? My sister… knows him.” I selected my words carefully.

Harris shook his head fretfully. “Luke Runner’s dangerous, Gerry. A few years ago, there were a lot of rumours circulating the fact that his girlfriend disappeared a few days after they had a massive argument.”

“She disappeared?”

Harris shrugged. “Some say disappeared. Others say… killed.”

dither
July 13th, 2016, 10:32 AM
Sharpie,

i keep returning to this and i don't know why. It poses so many questions. So much ( too much maybe, if there is such a thing. This piece is loaded with possibilities.) mystery, it feels tense and threatening.
There's so much and yet you've told the reader very little and that i think, is what draws me back to it.

This is not a crit. I wouldn't know how. I can't pick at this.

All i can say is that it's a great opening.