A train in the distance rumbled into view. Steve turned to look. Gronk was on the verge of another triumph. A good old slap on the back of the head would show who’s boss. This was his moment. In a blur, Gronk’s open palm swung in an arc while Steve grabbed Gronk’s wrist and held it firm. Gronk panicked. He tried to get free, but his enemy was too strong. His arm was forced down and then Gronk was pushed away.

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One fateful midsummer morning, Gronk stood at Snookington railway station. He looked along the tracks toward SmogCity and saw a famous spire in the distance. The platform was almost empty. He glanced around and saw a solitary figure in the distance. Squinting for a moment, he spotted Steve Nobody. He had not seen his enemy in a long time. Pent up hatred rushed to the surface. He enjoyed baiting that Nobody.

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Gronk Versus Nobody

Guido Gronk had, at long last, convinced most people to call him Gronk. He was proud of the family name which, he kept telling everyone, went hand-in-hand with military glory dating back to medieval times. A tall, slight man with shoulders thrust back and head held high, he swaggered about in dark clothes accentuated with a pink shirt. His self-image was of a “rather dandy chap,” as he would often say. A mop of black hair with a long fringe flopped over his eye line. He spoke with a high-pitched voice and worked hard at being a loud, pushy show-off. His nose was pointed and stuck into the air. Brashness and image meant everything to Gronk and he intended to stand out.

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Outsiders also had to be wary of Gossips in the Snook, who saw what they want to see and heard what they want to hear. Being third class was a tricky existence. It was best to keep their heads down and only talk to those of the same standing. But not all were so cautious. One afternoon, a young Outsider strolled along a walkway toward the High Street. He saw a couple of women, did a cheery wave and said, “Hello, nice day isn’t it?”

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Pip Pip

The waiter bought their food and drink over, and they nibbled, inhaled, gorged and slurped. There were more hysterical noises at the combined hilarity of the waiter’s rudeness and the Outsider looking unhappily at his food. Harvey clicked his fingers for the bill. The waiter appeared, immune to their behaviour. Harvey flipped through his wad of cash and slapped an eye-watering amount on the table, leaving an extra couple of fifty-pound notes tip for the waiter. No eye contact was necessary.

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Loud guffawing attracted the attention of a lady in the corner. It was Miss Whippet, the headteacher of Snookington School. She broke off from reading a book and looked over the frame of her glasses. Straight-faced, she mentally congratulated herself on a job well done. As former members of Snookington School, these Posheys were practising the art of Snobbier-Than-Thou perfectly. She was alone and continued a discrete watch. Miss Whippet was always watching.

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Restaurant Experience

One morning, some Posheys were taking breakfast in Gnoshers. It was their favourite restaurant on the High Street on account of it being hugely over-priced. There was a unique concept on offer called ‘one for the price of two,’ which involved no menu so the waiting staff could serve whatever they deemed fit. If customers did not like what was on offer, even better. Anyone with the temerity to order would, at best, be ignored. At the end of the experience, the customer had to pay an extortionate price. It was designed to exclude Outsiders and Gossips to facilitate a Poshey-only eatery.

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He followed the stream all the way through the forest that day, keeping away from any lanes or paths. Further in, there were other working farms which had survived the axe of the corporation. He dropped out of sight and was careful to circumvent the boundaries of the farms without being seen. Steve walked over wooded hills and around the former estate of the ultra Posheys who had owned it for generations. He crept forward. The grand hall was now an exclusive wedding venue. Steve spotted it from the tree line just as evening closed in. He decided to make his way back through the trees. Darkness soon took the land as the birds and insects fell quiet. The forest stilled as the last rays of sunlight disappeared beyond the canopy and the moon rose above. The forest at night was where he felt most comfortable. Steve sat down to let his eyes adjust to the low light. An owl hooted somewhere in the distance. Steve clasped his hands together and hooted back for old time’s sake.

Continue reading “Explore”


So it seemed both Groate and Gronk worked for the corporation wanting to destroy the natural landscape. Steve may be a business lawyer now, but he did not believe in profit at any cost. Besides, this forest was important to him. So many good memories were made there. The wilderness had survived so far and he hoped it still had a future. Steve sat on the bridge with his feet dangling over the side. It was like he was a boy again. He took off the gloves and hood. Unclipping a side pouch to his assault pack, he pulled out some food and fizzy water for lunch. He watched the steam slowly meander its way through the trees. Steve listened to the sounds of trickling water and birdsong. Insects buzzed in the wild flowers. Sunlight made the reflection of trees flicker on the water’s surface.

Continue reading “Reflection”

Old Enemies

Two men got out of the vehicle. Both looked out of place in their suits and ties. The driver was small, whilst the other was tall and thin. The tall one held a clipboard and began writing as the other pointed to the left of the bridge at the woodland beyond. Steve looked through his binoculars and turned the middle dial to focus. He recognised them and leaned forward. Groate, was the driver whist the other was Gronk. Steve’s eyes narrowed as he blinked. Focussing again, he watched the pair go about their business. Gronk raised his nose in the air. Steve tensed at the sight of his arch-enemy. Groate and Gronk spoke, but they were too far away for him to hear the conversation.

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