Sunday Writing Prompt “5 by 5” – The Old School.


An old school

Weather – foggy

An empty desk

Gesture – wait

Tool – scissors

The ghostly image of the school loomed through the foggy morning as if suggesting what I was seeing was something imaginary even though the memories of being there so long ago were still clear within my mind.

It sat on the side of the hill, innocuous in itself but not so for the children who attended.

Inside the broken windows, long desecrated by vengeful students whose time at the school must have been far worse than mine, the empty desks, dusty and in disrepair sat in solitude, sentenced to an eternity of detention.

The fog had settled around the buildings, creating a shadowy presence, as if protecting the place from the indignity of abandonment. I thought it must have plenty to hide, school was never a pleasant place, we attracted teachers who I’m sure saw our school as being at the arse end of the world and us kids as the worse kind you could encounter. In some ways that was true but not everyone was nasty and unpleasant, some of us did want to learn as we saw school as a means to get out of the town and make something of ourselves. But we were in the minority and any attempt to appeal to the better nature of our teachers was always greeted with a hand held in our faces, telling us to wait as they dealt with some kid in the class who didn’t want to be there and made creating disruption an art form.

I walked into my Year 6 classroom and in the corner found a rusty and corroded pair of scissors, long neglected and thrown in the corner to rot like so much of the place. I wondered whose hands had once held them, had cut and pasted some collage or in our case more likely to have injured someone.

With the fog settled around the buildings, the view obscured, veiled in the grey of the morning I thought it appropriate that a school that offered little hope to its students should be shrouded in such a way.


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8 Responses to Sunday Writing Prompt “5 by 5” – The Old School.

  1. crimsonprose says:

    You describe the negative sides of school days so well, and how frustrating such an environment for a pupil who strives for a life so much better

    • Michael says:

      Having worked in a few difficult schools I understand the frustration of the kid who wants to have a go.

      • crimsonprose says:

        Ah, yes, I’d forgotten you’d seen the other side of it.

      • Michael says:

        I still find myself cringing when I think about those days.

      • crimsonprose says:

        Oh dear.
        And yet my old school was housed in a former USAF WWII hospital, in nissen huts. Basic accommodation (yes, it was a boarding school). But never would we abuse the facilities. Except for Tomlinson Hall, which a group of 6th Form boys accidently exploded during their experiments with anarchic bombs. Okay, so it was an experiment intended to win them a Young Scientist of the Year prize.

  2. Excellent writing Michael I could really feel/experience this piece and it got me thinking of my own experiences in school in a small town

  3. I used three of your choices too Michael but in a different way.
    I could imagine the scene here.

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