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.”

Continue reading “Hiking”

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.”

Continue reading “Time To Leave”

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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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.

Continue reading “Gweirdo”


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.

Continue reading “Status”


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. 

Continue reading “Snobbier-Than-Thou”


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.

Continue reading “Culture”

Keep Out

At the top of the wooded hill, the boys pushed deeper into the forest. Scotty was in the lead and stopped short of a forest track. It was where they had seen the gamekeeper speed along in his vehicle a few times. Steve dropped to a knee and signalled with his torch for Scotty to look upwards. The beam hit a slate sign attached to a branch with  ominous white stencilling.


They grinned and moved toward a natural dip in the land. It was dark in there and they got to work. Scotty brushed dried leaves away to reveal mud on the forest floor. Steve crept away to find a silver birch tree, the bark of which contained flammable oil. Those trees were aplenty in this area so he soon located one. Opening his bag, he pulled out a knife and peeled the bark sideways. With a small pile of curled bark in his pocket, he moved back toward Scotty and stopped. Clasping his hands together, Steve blew into both thumbs and made two hooting sounds, like an owl. Seconds later three hoots returned through the darkness. It was their all clear signal. Steve returned to Scotty, who had built a pyramid of branches. The silver birch tree bark was placed inside the branches as tinder and Steve prised open the lid of his survival kit. From a waterproof container, he poured an amount of potassium permanganate and sugar mix onto the silver birch bark. Striking a match, Steve soon got the fire going and the flames licked around the dry wood. Smoke billowed and Steve looked up to see the tree canopy above and moonlight shining down.

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