One of Steve’s friends elbowed him and nodded over to the Poshey celebrations. 

“Look at the state of that lot… they were the thickest in their classes, but still managed to get into the University of Snookford.”

Steve bit his lower lip. “I’m more concerned abut my own results, to be honest.” He looked over and smiled. “But they are good value. A lesson in how not to be.”

Steve neared the front of the queue. His thumping heart quickened and his ears seemed to throb. Controlling his breathing, he edged forward until an envelope was placed in his hand. He mumbled a ‘thank you,’ made for a quiet corner and opened the envelope. Before he could take in the contents, an industrial metallic scraping sound invaded his ears. Disorientated, he looked around and the foyer faded away. He could see blurred trees and smoke rising upwards. Squinting his eyes, he made out the figure of an old man who was speaking. But no words were audible. Steve shook his head and the results paper rushed into focus. The excited babble of student returned to his ears. Blood dripped from his nose onto the paper.

Looking warily down, he saw “Law A, History B, Art C.” Relief washed over and his breathing returned to normal. His friend came over and put an arm on Steve’s shoulder.

“Are you okay? Your nose is bleeding…”

Steve wiped his face with a hand and saw it was smeared red. A teacher handed him a tissue.

“Well done Steve,” the teacher beamed and walked away.

Copyright © 2022 Callum Stanford.  All rights reserved.

Author: C.Stanford

Writer, blogger, outsider, survivor.

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