Self-Taught

If anything, school was an escape from the stresses of Steve’s home life. Being a Goodson Outsider, he was in the lowest sets for all subjects and the teachers treated his lessons as free time. As the children messed about, Steve sat at the back of class and chatted with friends in between bouts of boredom. But increasingly he picked up a book and read. Self-teaching was the only way someone like Steve would get an education.

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Hiking

Steve’s life at the house was far from harmonious. There was probably fault on both sides, but the damage had been done early on. Arguments kicked off over something and nothing. Their fraught relationship may have stemmed from his parents being unhappy he spent so much time away from home, whilst Steve felt picked on whenever he was at home. It was a no win situation. Being in the firing line, he was always on edge in the house. The relationship was fractured and time did not heal. His father often yelled “You’re not good enough” while Steve bit back and shouted “You don’t know me.”

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Time To Leave

“I can’t remember how many times we’ve had to pull you up on your behaviour. We see your surly looks and the way you try to avoid us. It has to stop!! Why can’t you be more like your brother? He does what he’s told without question. But you disappear all day at weekends and try to keep away from us whenever we come home. There’s you doing your own thing, like always. What’s wrong with you?!? You’re not a true Nobody. You may think you’re strong-willed, but you’re flawed…” Steve’s father glared with menace. “Flawed to the core. Sooner or later, you’ll be found out. And then you will fail again and again.”

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It’s About The Light

On the other side of the village, Steve Nobody was in his bedroom listening to music. His homework was finished and bag packed. It was a strict school for Outsiders, so he had polished his boots ready for the inspection at assembly in the morning. Everything was in order, so he just chilled in his room. His parents were out at the pub, like most evenings. Steve liked it when his parents were elsewhere. It was only Steve and his elder brother in, and they did their own thing. Steve turned his head as an engine revved outside. It was his parents. Things had grown fractious of late and arguments were rife, so he stopped the music and flicked the light switch off. In the darkness, he got into bed and listened. The door opened and he could hear his parents stumble into the house. Footsteps hit the stairs. His light was switched back on as Steve’s mother stood in his room.

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Gweirdo

The front door clicked shut at a run-down house. Gronk leant back, sighed and looked at his shoes. It had been a bad day. A really bad day. His satchel dropped to the floor by the coat rack in the hallway and he sloped upstairs. In the narrow landing, Gronk turned left and into his bedroom. He closed the door and sat against it, head in hands.

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Status

Gronk jealously flicked through the glossy Snobbier-Than-Thou brochure and sighed. Irritated by a blanket exclusion from the course, he intended to make the best of his situation. Gronk permanently borrowed the Snobbier-Than-Thou textbook from the school library, observed the Poshey kids and repeated the vocal exercises in his bedroom. On a brighter note, Gronk was in Bosworth House, which was filled with Posheys, some Gossips and a smattering Outsiders with potential. He saw this as irrefutable evidence that a status uplift was within reach. He had the potential to become a Poshey so he would have to be patient. Bosworth House also gave Gronk the opportunity to openly sneer at Steve Nobody, who was in Goodson House with a horde of horrible Outsiders and the remainder of Gossips.

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Snobbier-Than-Thou

The problem with Gronk’s ambition was the school streaming system. As an Outsider, he was automatically in the lower sets and excluded from the all-important Snobbier-Than-Thou course. Whilst he accepted Outsiders should generally be prohibited from this part of the curriculum, he thought exceptions should be made for outstanding candidates such as himself because he was not like the other Outsiders. He was aspirational and dreamed of the opportunity to learn snooty qualities. 

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Culture

While adventures were being had in the countryside beyond the borders of the Snook, Guido Gronk remained in his parents’ run-down house. It was close to the local park and he could see the trees from his bedroom window. But Gronk detested the outdoors. He did not like grass or trees, and did not care for rain or sunshine. He liked to stay indoors where he could be warm and dry. Indoor activities were his thing. Gronk considered himself a civilised young man. He had pretensions of social climbing and trained for elevation from Outsider to the grand status of Poshey.

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