He waited for an hour. Yes, a whole hour. All I’m saying is that someone could have had the decency to email my son to say class was cancelled in advance, rather than just sticking a pin on a board. I mean, that’s not the way kids interact these days, is it? Yes, well in future you could do well to bear that in mind.

The handset clicks back into its base.

I clench my teeth so hard, it feels like my head might explode.

Kids these days? What a joke. Like my mother knows anything about my tribe. She only knows what I frigging tell her.

I turn over on my bed and close my eyes.

This was supposed to be my big fucking chance at finding my way in the world and yet there she was, once again, unable to resist sticking her big nose into my business.

As it goes, I had seen the note on the board, but it wasn’t a note cancelling class.

“URGENT. Alexander Thomas. Please contact Professor Turner as soon as possible.”

What the fuck? Seeing as I was in for class early just for once, I reckoned I should go right along and see the Prof. pronto. Get what needed to be said out the way so I could get on with my god-damn day in peace.

My sneakers squeaked as I walked the silent corridor, all the other lazy asses still in bed, hungover most probably. I was here, ready to learn. King pin. Yeah sure, I couldn’t be assed in class, but my submissions made up for it when the deadlines came rolling around.

See, all those good looking guys, girls dripping off them – they have nothing on me. The girls gonna realise that in time. Soon in fact. Word’ll get out about all my positive capabilities and what not.

So anyway, I got to the door with the Prof’s name on it and knocked. Rat-tat-a-tat-tat. Tat-Tat.

“Come In.” The voice said.

And so I did.

“Hi, the note? umm you wanted t-to sp-sp-spe-speak to m-m-meeee?”

“Just spit those darn words out, boy,” grandpa shouted down at me from the sky.

Fuck me.

“Hello, Mr Thomas. Come in and take a seat.”

She pointed at the seat and I went over, all nonchalant.

I sat for like thirty seconds before she even looked up. Rude bitch. I scanned her office meantime. It was pretty tidy for a teacher, which was unusual.

She picked up an envelope and opened it with a metal slicer.

“Mr Thomas.”

She looked up, squinting over her glasses.

“Thanks for coming to see me so promptly. I wanted to get you in for a short chat. I see from my register that your attendance levels in class have dropped below sixty percent and that you were two hours late in submitting Assignment One on the portal last week. I just wanted to check. Is everything alright?”

I stared at her.

Did she know?

How did she know?

“You must understand that if your average attendance does not improve drastically by the end of the semester, the principal will have no choice but to re-consider your place here.”

I looked at my sneakers, feeling
the heat rising through my legs, starting to bubble.

“It should go without saying that as your allocated tutor, you can come and discuss any issues with me, at any time, in complete confidence.

I’m at your disposal – ”

she paused

“to help, I mean.”

I looked at her sharply.


Her voice distant, watery.

“Is there anything that you would like to discuss? Or tell me? This is your opportunity.”

I opened my mouth. The words stuck. My insides screamed.

Who told you, who told you, who told YOU.

She was on her feet, the envelope slicer already in my hand.

In out. In out. In out.

I realised that I was screaming.

“Who told you, bitch? Was it mother? The Doc?”

Three minutes later it was over. Pretty good, eh?

I messed things up a bit. You know, to make it look like some kinda robbery. Took the slicer and the register and locked the Prof’s office up behind me.

My sneakers squeaked back along the deserted corridor. Back to the board. A new note to pin.

“Professor Turner’s lectures will be cancelled until further notice. Apologies for any inconvenience.”

Photo prompt:



31 thoughts on “Sneakers”

  1. The casual language you used for your narrator definitely upped the terror of his actions for me. Made me wonder if this is the kind of thing the Tsaernev brothers or the kid at Columbine HS were thinking. Very believable story, GD, nicely executed!


    1. Thanks Nate! I’m glad the casual wording helped hit the story home. The voice I was aiming for was something vaguely reminiscent of a Bret Easton Ellis character-meets-Elliot Rodger (of “son of Hunger Games director goes on killing spree” fame)type. Thanks for reading & commenting 😉


  2. Love the voice! It really makes the piece and takes you into his head, just like the squeaking sneakers. The line about Grandpa criticizing his stutter was especially effective, I thought. Great job!


  3. I like how we’re utterly wrapped up in the boy’s internal logic here – it means that we never receive any explanations because he, while talking to himself, has no reason to fill in any back-story. That gives the piece such a disconnected atmosphere, which is both right for the situation and genuinely unsettling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your brilliant analysis/feedback. In some ways writing in first person can be easier like that but I’m not sure how easy it would be to keep on the voice into a longer piece. I’m a huge B Easton Ellis fan and so I kept his style in mind when writing. Best wishes!


  4. Wow! Absolutely loved the internal dialogue, so authentic. And a great twist at the end, GD. I especially liked the build up of Alex’s state of mind, that you don’t realize until the end that he’s got severe mental issues. A great read and take on the prompt.


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